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Ram Navami Celebrations all over the nation March 27, 2015 19:31

People, especially from Southern part of India has started Ram Navami celebrations at their towns and villages.In South India, the Ram Navami festival carries on for nine days consisting of several elements of ceremony and rituals. Since the day coincides with the wedding of Rama and Sita, the mood on this day is extremely jubilant. The programs of kirtans, chantings and recitals lend a greatly inspiring and instructive tone to the Ram Navami celebration. In Andhra Pradesh, temples re-enact the marriage of Lord Rama and Sita on the final day of Ram Navami.Sri Rama Navami The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna incarnated Himself as Sri Rama in the month of Chaitra (Mar-Apr), on the ninth day of the growing moon (Chaitra Masa Shukla Paksha Navami Tithi).The Supreme Lord appeared as the son of Dasharatha, the king of Ayodhya. Dasharatha was a king in the dynasty of Maharaja Ikshvaku (also known as Raghu vamsha). He had three wives: Kaushalya, Kaikeyi and Sumitra, but had no children. On the advice of Maharishi Vashishtha, the king performed Putra Kameshti Yajna and as a result the three wives conceived sons. Kaushalya gave birth to Rama and Kaikeyi gave birth to Bharata. Sumitra gave birth to the twins: Lakshmana and Shatrugna.The life and activities of Rama are explained in detail by the great sage Valmiki in the book Ramayana. A summarized version of the Ramayana as narrated by Shukadeva Goswami to Parikshit Maharaja is included in the ninth canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana). Excerpts from the same can be downloaded here.Sri Rama Navami CelebrationsAt ISKCON Bangalore, the festival starts at 6:00 PM. Watch this video to see the glimpses of the festival. Sri Rama Navami is one of the important festivals celebrated at ISKCON Bangalore. Devotees fast throughout the day till sunset and remember Sri Rama, by chanting His holy names or hearing from the Ramayana. They break the fast at sunset.The Deities of Sri Sri Krishna Balarama is decorated as Rama and Lakshmana. This special alankara happens only once in a year. Sri Sri Krishna Balarama, the cowherd boys of Vrindavana, accept royal robes and appear as the princes of Ayodhya holding bows and arrows in their hands.Sri Sri Krishna Balarama in Rama Lakshmana AlankaraIn the evening the utsava vigrahas of Sri Sri Radha Krishnachandra are decorated as Sita Rama and taken in a procession around the temple. Devotees sing the glories of Lord Rama and chant His names.Sri Sri Radha Krishnachandra decorated as Sita RamaAfter the procession, devotees perform Rama Taraka Homa by chanting the Sri Rama Ashtottara Shata Nama.Rama Taraka HomaAfter the homa, a special shayana arati is performed. Devotees sing Nama Ramayana - a song which narrates the entire Ramayana. The shayana arati is followed by a pallaki utsava.On this day panakam and kosambari are distributed as prasadam to the visitors of the temple.   - Manohar

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Panakam or Panagam recipe March 27, 2015 19:25

Panakam reminds me of the drink that is served in temples. It is so tasty with perfect blending of Jaggery, lemon, dry ginger powder and cardamom powder. It is perfect thirst quencher that can be taken in summer season and don’t forget that this is healthy too. It is usually prepared as a traditional drink made during festivals like Sri Rama Navami, Navarathri, Pongal etc. As tomorrow is Sri Rama Navami, prepare this tasty and divine Panakam at your home by following simple preparation steps. Cuisine: Indian Category: DrinkPrep Time: 10 mins    Serves: 2Ingredients:Jaggery, powdered/ Palm Sugar: 1/2 cup Lemon: 1 Elachi/cardamom : 2 Dry ginger powder/sukku: 1/4 tsp Pachai karpooram/edible camphor: A generous pinch Salt: A pinch Water: 2 cups Thulasi/holy basil leaves: few Nutmeg powder(optional): A pinchPreparation: 1. Keep all the ingredients ready.2. Take jaggery in a bowl, add in some water and leave it aside till it is melted. 3. Now strain this and add in more water.4. To the above mixture squeeze lemon, add powdered elachi, dry ginger powder, edible camphor, salt and nutmeg powder.5. Filter it using a strainer, add the thulasi leaves if desired and you can also add the skin of the elachi without discarding it, as it adds more flavor.6. Adjust Jaggery and lemon according to your taste. Serve chilled though tastes great as such!!AW: Lizitha

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NITI Aayog to set up working group March 27, 2015 18:23

Newly formed NITI Aayog which has replaced the planning commission will set up a working group to prepare a draft report on how to make implementation of Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) more effectively by taking into account suggestions made at the first meeting of the sub-group of Chief Ministers. "We have decided to set up a working group under NITI Aayog CEO Sindhushree Khullar to prepare a draft report on the suggestions made by various Chief Ministers in the meeting," said Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, convener of the sub-group comprising 11 Chief Ministers.The sub-group will discuss the draft report at its meeting next month and then move towards making recommendations said Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. He will be meeting officials of central departments running various schemes on April 16 to know their experience and suggestions. The sub-group has been constituted to deliberate on funding pattern on CSS as the states' share in central taxes has been increased to 42% from 32%, as per the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission. Among others, the meeting was attended by Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayed Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das.By Premji

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Radicalisation in Pakistan a big concern March 27, 2015 17:56

Indian National Security Advisor said that increasing radicalisation in Pakistan is a major concern. “The threat is real and the threat is imminent. There is change in Pakistan and Afghanistan, particularly in Pakistan. The radicalisation of Pakistan’s society is a matter of added concern,” Doval said. We are skeptical about the abilities or the competence and the will and desire of the Pakistan government to take on and control the situation, though we would like them very much to do so,” he said.“We want to deal with Pakistan in a way which is fair, correct, transparent,” he said, adding that India would not bend to “pressure tactics or blackmailing, or the thinking that the nuclear threshold will leave India with no option but to accept the covert war as a reality to which they don’t have any response.” “I don’t say there is an imminent threat from China or Pakistan. When I say we should be prepared, I am not talking about any immediate war. Preparedness does not mean war, it is a deterrent,” he said.By Premji

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Salman Khan records his statement over 'hit and run case' March 27, 2015 16:28

Bollywood super star Salman Khan revealed what exactly happened on Sept 28, 2002. The actor was charged for driving his car on to the people sleeping on pavement outside a bakery in suburban Bandra in Mumbai. In this incident, one person was killed and four were injured by ramming his car into a shop. Judge DW Deshpande has summoned Salman Khan to appear today to give his statement under section 313 of Code of Criminal Procedures (CrPc). Special public prosecutor Pradeep Gharat told that, under this act, the actor many be questioned to clarify any ambiguity that many have cropped up during the trial. Even after recording his statement, the actor may also get an opportunity to examine defence witnesses upon his interest. The court would then give its verdict by hearing the arguments from both sides.The prosecution has alleged that the actor was under the influence of liquor and and examined witnesses to prove that before the mishap he had gone along with his friends to a bar in a hotel in the late hours on the ill-fated day. He also alleged that the actor was not having driving licence but drove his Land Cruiser SUV in rash and careless manner. The statement of the Salman Khan Bodyguard Ravindra Patil was crucial who said that he informed driver not to drive rashly or else he would meet with an accident but he did not pay heed to his advice. Mr Patil passed away during the trial but the court will decide its evidence value later. AW: Lizitha

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US Postal department to issue Diwali stamp March 27, 2015 16:06

Two influential American lawmakers have introduced a resolution in the US Senate calling on the US Postal Service to issue a postal stamp to commemorate the Hindu festival of Diwali. "This commemorative stamp is an important recognition of the significance of Diwali to more than three million Indian-Americans and one billion Indians worldwide," said Senator Mark Warner, Co-Chair of Senate Indian Caucus, who introduced the legislation along with Senator John Cornyn."A stamp commemorating Diwali is a significant and meaningful way to honor the importance of the festival of lights to so many Indian-Americans, both in Texas and across the country," Cornyn said. The US Postal Service has issued similar stamps in the past for other popular religious celebrations in the US such as Christmas, Eid, Kwanzaa and Hannukah.By Premji

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Apple's Tim Cook to donate all his wealth March 27, 2015 15:01

Fortune magazine cited the head of the world's largest technology corporation as saying that he planned to leave all his wealth to charities and good causes after paying for his 10-year-old nephew's college tuition.As per Fortune, based on his holdings of Apple stock, Cook's estimated net worth is about $120 million. He also holds restricted stock worth $665 million if it were to be fully vested.In the interview given to the magazine that will feature next month, Cook shared his thoughts and said that he wants to have a serious approach on Philanthropy with a different game plan altogether rather than simply be sitting and writing cheques. “You want to be the pebble in the pond that creates the ripple for change,” he told Fortune.Lisa was Apple's office computer that was the first personal computer to use a graphical user interface. It was a commercial flop, largely because it retailed for a whopping $10,000.NeXT Station was a workstation computer manufactured by NeXT, a computer company Steve Jobs founded in 1985 after he was forced out of Apple. After Apple acquired NeXT in 1996, Jobs rejoined Apple.Apple I was Apple's first computer, which became obsolete within a year. Today, they are auctioned off as collector's items.   - Manohar

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Congress will not resurge - Hans Raj Bhardwaj March 27, 2015 13:42

Senior Congress leader, and former Union minister and former governor of Karnataka, Hans Raj Bhardwaj made a direct attack on party president Sonia Gandhi, alleging that she "shared no responsibility" and was in the "grip of sycophants and corrupt people". "Does Sonia Gandhi not understand what happened, why it happened and who did it? Everything is known. That is the style. Sharing no responsibility and yet do everything," Mr Bhardwaj told. “Sonia threw me out of Congress. Those around her threw me out as a minister because I wouldn’t toe their line in the 2G case,” Bhardwaj said. “Congress has gone down because of these leaders who were involved in scams.” “It is a matter of great sorrow that our leaders are getting summons from the court. Those at the top level including at the level of the Prime Minister,” he added.The 77-year-old, once known to be a Gandhi family loyalist, alleged that Mrs Gandhi was "in the grip of couple of sycophants and corrupt people". Bhardwaj said: "People are not ready to listen any more. Congress won't rise again. Congress is responsible. "Aur main us bechari (Sonia Gandhi) ko koi dosh nahin deta (And I don't blame that helpless lady)," he said. "The new forces are very strong. There are three to four leaders, they only decide what is right and what is wrong," Bhardwaj said. "And Congress took the senior experienced leaders by the ear and took them out. Imagine the amount of foul play when a man like (former prime minister) Manmohan Singh is summoned by a court," Bhardwaj said.By Premji

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Co-pilot is the main culprit in the Germanwings crash March 27, 2015 13:29

After prosecutors made it clear that the co-pilot, Andrews Lubitz had decisively crashed the Germanwings plane of Lufthansa two days ago, now a criminal inquiry is being focused on Lubitz and the reasons for him to commit a suicide.Andrews’ act left everyone right from the top executive of the Lufthansa speechless. The 27-year old flying enthusiast is from the German town of Montabaur but had an apartment in Dusseldorf.Andrews joined Germanwings less than two years ago and has an enthusiast of flying. Robin, the French prosecutor, said the voice recorder showed details of the final 30 minutes of the flight. "During the first 20 minutes, the pilots talk normally," he said. "There is nothing abnormal happening." He even denied the terror links to the incident.Members of a flight crew would typically use a fail-safe code to open the door if someone in the cockpit could not or would not let them in. The pilot would have known the code, an official said, but it was unclear whether he had used it. Even if he did, the co-pilot could have activated a switch that prevented the door from opening for five minutes, or found some other way to block the door, he added.There is no chance the pilot forgot the code, he said.- Manohar

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Bharath Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee March 27, 2015 12:13

President Pranab Mukherjee will present the Bharat Ratna award to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee today at his residence in New Delhi. In a departure from tradition, President Pranab Mukherjee will confer the Bharat Ratna on Atal Bihari Vajpayee at the residence of the former Prime Minister, today. Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee is the right person to be honoured with the highest award of the country. He is been admired by one and all irrespective of cast, creed and political affiliations. His contribution to the country is not measurable. Gwalior-born Vajpayee, was prime minister first in 1996 and then again from 1998 to 2004. Vajpayee will be the seventh prime minister to receive the award, after Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Morarji Desai, Lal Bahadur Shastri and Gulzarilal Nanda. He has been credited with taking bold initiatives, notable among them being the historic bus journey to Lahore in 1999 when he signed the landmark Lahore Declaration. Vajpayee's detractors called him the "mask" of RSS but still always had good words for him. Vajpayee was a staunch swayam sevak of Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh. He has been detained by the congress government led by Smt Indira Gandh during the black days of Emergency.By Premji

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