Chaitra Krishna 4,Vik.Samvat 2073,Yugabda 5118 : March 16, 2017


Chaitra Krishna 4,Vik.Samvat 2073,Yugabda 5118: 16 March 2017

1. FESTIVALS: Hanuman Jayanti










We wish all the readers and their families a very happy and prosperous New Year Yugabda 5119 Hemlambi Samvatsar.















1. FESTIVALS: Hanuman Jayanti is celebrated on Chaitra Poornima falling on April 11 this year. People worship Hanuman as a symbol of devotion, magical powers, strength and energy. In Tamil Nadu and Kerala, Hanuman Jayanti is celebrated in Margazhi month (between December and January) in the belief that Hanuman was born on the amavasya in the Margazhi month.
In Odisha, it is celebrated on 1st day of Baisakha (in April). In Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, it is celebrated on 10th day of Vaishaka in the Krishna Paksha. It is the 41 days long celebration in the Andhra Pradesh which starts from the Chaitra Purnima.
On this day, in a Hanuman temple, spiritual discourses are started at dawn. Hanuman was born at sunrise. At that time the spiritual discourse is stopped and Prasad) is distributed to everyone. -goTop

2. NO PLACE FOR GENDER BIAS IN BHARAT - RASHTRAPATI PRANAB MUKHERJEE: Rashtrapati Pranab Mukherjee said that there is no place for gender bias in Bharat where inclusive development is a key objective. while presenting Nari Shakti Puraskar for the year 2016 on 8th March. Rashtrapatiji also congratulated individual ladies and organizations of Bharat who received the Puraskar. Rashtrapatiji further said that on International Women's Day, it is important to reiterate that every girl child and woman in our country should be assured that Government of Bharat is fully committed to providing her an enabling environment that affords equal opportunity. She should feel confident that she can achieve her highest aspirations in whichever field she chooses. -goTop

3. MOHAN BHAGWAT AWARDED HONORARY D.Sc.: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Sarsanghchalak  Mohanrao Bhagwat was conferred Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) by Maharashtra Rajyapal Ch Vidyasagar Rao on 9th March at the 8th convocation of the Maharashtra Animal and Fishery Sciences University in Nagpur. Mukhyamantri of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis was among those present on the occasion. Bhagwat had graduated in Veterinary Sciences from Nagpur. -goTop

4. SELFLESS WORKERS ARE LIKE 'SALT ON EARTH' - DATTATREYA HOSBALE: "Selfless social workers are like 'Salt on Earth', who might number less in the society but their presence is essential for the society," said RSS Sah Sarkaryavah Dattatreya Hosbale and praised religious leader Chaitanya Maharaj Deglurkar and Dr. HR Nagendra for their selfless service. Both were felicitated by the prestigious 'Shri Guruji Puraskar' by the RSS Janakalyan Samiti on 5th March at a function in Dombivli near Thane.
The chief guest Dr. Anil Kakodkar, former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of Bharat, felicitated both the prominent social activists.
Chaitanya Maharaj Deglurkar after receiving the award said, "I would like to thank all the dignitaries of RSS for honouring me" On the other hand, Dr. HR Nagendra said, "I believe this award is not for me but for yoga. Guruji is equal to god."
The RSS Jankalyan Samiti commemorates the birth anniversary of Shri Guruji (Magh Krishna 11) by giving a national award in his honour. The award is given to individuals or organizations for outstanding achievements in 10 selected areas.  -goTop

5. HOW TAMILS CARRIED RAMA'S STORY EAST: 'Ramayana: A Shared Culture', a recently screened documentary film, tries to highlight the epic's global appeal as a culture sign not just in India but across 10 countries in south Asia and south east Asia. Shot for the ministry of external affairs, the film directed by culture historian and filmmaker BenoyBehl shows the appeal the story of Ramayana has across diverse geographical regions starting from Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR to Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Vietnam.
"The story of the Ramayana is enacted more often than any other story across the world," says Behl.
Ramayana's popularity in south and South East Asia could have a strong link with southern India's maritime relations with countries in the said region. "The Ramayana would have travelled, along with Sanskrit along many routes. The sea-faring route would have been the main one reaching South East Asia. Here, the great Hindu Kingdom of Champa (which covered most of Vietnam) would have played a major role in the dissemination of the epic. The present-day Tamil Naduregion and the coast of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, were in constant interaction with South-East Asia. Ramayana could have travelled through these ports too."
Today, the epic has survived in essence in many of these cultures but with subtle variations. That nuanced difference, says Behl, is present in India too. "In North India, the focus is on the triumph of Rama over Ravana, while in south India the emphasis is on the life of Rama, Sita and Lakshmana in the forest. Such differences exist in the versions of the epic in south and south East Asian countries too. The Hanuman in Nepal is the deeply reverential devotee (of Rama). In Cambodia and Thailand, his manly and attractive persona is emphasised. However, the final idea is the same -he is a powerful and glorious being, completely devoted to Rama," Behl adds.
The local interpretations of the epic play out in their respective performing arts forms too -whether it a ramleela performance in Odissi, an all-women performance of Reamker in Cambodia, a Lhayee Lugar performance in Bhutan and a Cecak dance recital in Bali.
"The version of Ramayana staged on the Rama Leela Ground of Delhi is more based on the Bollywood style. The performance in Nepal has simplicity and depth to it. It is more focused on the life of Rama, Sita and Lakshmana in the forest. The Hindus of Bali in Indonesia also give performances of the Ramayana for tourists, practically every day. There it is called the Cecak dance," adds Behl.
What makes the Ramayana's cultural spread even more interesting is that it acquires a secular colour with non-Hindus participating in the performances. (By Nandii Sengupta TNN, 27th February 2017) -goTop

6. GURUJI WAS A VISIONARY - S GURUMURTHY: "Shri Guruji Golwalkar was not a Guruji in the ordinary sense of the word, but was a profound and visionary thinker and philosopher. In order to understand him, we should stop being reverential to him but start studying him deeply. The more you study his views and how he led the RSS during its most challenging times, you realize he was a great visionary who foresaw things to come and led with moral conviction and clarity," said the eminent economist S Gurumurthy, in the lecture on 'Sri Guruji Golwalkar and Contemporary India' organized by Manthana, Bengaluru on March 4.
 "The greatness of a person is how posterity treats him and his views. When Guruji passed away, he was honored by the Indian Parliament. His views on Bharat and the path we need to follow on China and global affairs have been vindicated. We need to study him deeply and realize the full import of his views on the contemporary challenges we face." concluded S Gurumurthy. -goTop

7. SOMETHING TO SMILE AT - Cribbing apart, GDP growth numbers good: There has been a great deal of criticism from opposition parties on the new growth figures that the Central Statistics Office (CSO) has put out. The CSO data showed that the GDP growth was at seven per cent during October-December 2016 - the period when the immediate impact of demonetisation was at its peak. The Opposition's response is understandable: It was anticipating a much lower number with which it could beat the Government with. After all, former Prime Minister and Congress leader, Manmohan Singh, himself an economist, had predicted a really sharp drop in the GDP growth figures. Others too in the opposition camp as well as the sceptics outside had spoken of similar doomsday eventuality. The CSO also said that the economy is expected to grow at 7.1 per cent this fiscal year, which is only marginally lower than the previous quarter of 7.4 per cent and will be below the 7.9 per cent of 2015-16. Both the Reserve Bank of India and the World Bank have cut growth estimates in the wake of the demonetisation decision but were also quick to add that the disruption in the growth would be only temporary. Indeed, most global investment and banking firms have gone on record to say that the demonetisation impact, while sizeable, would not be catastrophic. A Capital Economics Report has pointed out that economic activity had already begun to rebound after being hit by demonetisation. These are the precise sentiments the Government had been emphasising on since the demonetisation drive. And yet, opposition parties, primarily the Left, the Congress and the Trinamool Congress, have been seeking to put the Government on the mat on the issue. They have particularly targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with Manmohan Singh going to the extent of calling the decision, an "organised loot". Others have gone further, insinuating that the BJP and the Prime Minister had 'benefitted'from demonetisation. To an extent, they are right. The party and the Prime Minister have indeed gained - witness the string of victories in local body elections in various States. With the third quarter results showing buoyancy, one should expect that the fourth and last quarter of the current fiscal will be as cheerful.
There are some reasons for worry, though, and the Government must take care of those areas. Growth in eight core sectors has slowed down to a five-month low of 3.4 per cent in January. That, according to experts, has been primarily due to output contraction in cement, refineries and fertiliser. The Government's recent push in infrastructure, farming and housing sectors should help these core areas to pep up in the months to come. Meanwhile, sceptics are wondering as to where the decent growth percentage has come from, given that industries almost across the board were reporting steep declines in sales and consumers grappling with shortage of hard currency. They are asking how the consumption demand grew at over 10 per cent during the third quarter when the demonetisation hammer had hit the nation the hardest. They have concluded that the CSO had failed to grasp the reality. Whatever the case may be, the CSO data cannot be all that wrong in terms of at least indicating a trend. (Editorial, Daily Pioneer, 4th March 2017) -goTop

8. BHARAT SUCCESSFULLY TEST-FIRES A NEW BRAHMOS SUPERSONIC CRUISE MISSILE: Bharat's conventional precision-strike capabilities now have a longer reach. A new BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, with an extended range of 450km from the earlier 290km, was successfully test-fired from the integrated test range at Balasore off the Odisha coast on 11th March.
The land-attack version of the missile, which flies almost three times the speed of sound at Mach 2.8, was fired at "an electronic target". The launch, executed with high precision from the mobile autonomous launcher deployed in full configuration, "met all the test parameters".
The technology upgrade to the extended range BrahMos comes after Bharat gained entry into the 34-nation Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) in June last year, which "removed the caps" on the range of the missile developed with the help of Russia. The MTCR basically prevents the proliferation of missiles and UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) over the range of 300km. -goTop

9. OBAMA SHARES PIO'S LETTER TO MICHELLE: Barack Obama has shared an "inspiring" letter by a 38-year-old Bharatiya American woman, Sindhu, on International Women's Day, thanking his wife Michelle for making a difference in her life.
The letter by Sindhu reads: "One day in fall 1996, an idealistic 17-year-old Bharatiya girl was inspired while sitting in a chapel. She didn't remember the name of the woman who spoke. But she will never forget the fire that was lit to make something of her life, and to use that life to serve others.. I later found out that the inspirational powerhouse of a woman who spoke was Michelle Obama. I wanted to say thank you to the both of you." -goTop

10. AIR INDIA SETS WORLD RECORD BY FLYING AROUND THE WORLD WITH ALL-WOMEN CREW: Air India has made a world record by flying around the world with an all-woman crew ahead of International Women's Day. The Air India flight (Boeing 777) traveled from Delhi to San Francisco and everyone involved was female - from the captain to the ground crew and check-in staff. The aircraft flew over the Pacific Ocean on its trip to the United States, while its return flight was over the Atlantic Ocean, encircling the globe.
Captain Kshamta Bajpayee said the flight is a 'symbol of women empowerment. The entire message is actually to encourage young girls who have dreams of getting into the skies and they feel it's too technical or this is something only men do.'
The Boeing 777-200LR plane covered a distance of about 9,500 miles in 15-and-a-half hours. -goTop 

11. RISHIKESH YOGA GURUS HAVE CHINA IN A TWIST: Rishikesh has emerged as one of the biggest exporters of yoga teachers to Southeast Asia as well as China. Around 1,500 Indian yoga teachers, for instance, are believed to be teaching in China.
Rishikesh, believed by many to be the yoga capital of India, is also emerging as one of the biggest exporters of yoga teachers to Southeast Asia as well as China where demand for yoga is at an all-time high. An estimated 1,500 Indian yoga teachers, for instance, are believed to be teaching in China.
Of these, 70 to 80% hail from Rishikesh and Haridwar, home to various yoga schools where these teachers have honed their skills.
Ashish Bahuguna, who has been teaching yoga in China for over a decade now, learnt his asanas at the Parmarth Niketan ashram in Rishikesh. Last year, he was conferred the title of 'The Most Beautiful Yogi of China.' Bahuguna, who runs his own studio 'WeYoga' in Beijing, says that even though there are others who are teaching yoga, Indian teachers are the most preferred. "The Chinese prefer us since we have a grip over the basics of the science," he told by email.
According to a report by Beijing-based Daxue Consulting, yoga is growing rapidly in China with the number of people involved in its practice rising from 4 million in 2009 to 10 million in 2014.
China has seen a surge in the number of yoga teachers in the country. While in 2009, about 1.1 lakh professional coaches - both local and from across the globe - were active here, the number had jumped to 2.3 lakh by 2014, as per a report by Beijing-based Daxue Consulting.
Improper yoga can give you pain in neck
Mohan Bhandari, one of the first yoga teachers from Rishikesh to settle in China, says that the Chinese are very particular about learning yoga "the right way." "It is a characteristic of the Chinese that they want to learn things from people who they consider as subject natives. That is why the demand for Indian yoga teachers is high in the country."
Bhandari, who went to China in 2003, now has a chain of 'Yogi Yoga' studios across that country and claims to have over 9,000 students enrolled with him. In Rishikesh currently, along with a few of his students for the International Yoga Festival being held at the Parmarth Niketan ashram, Bhandari told TOI that the surging demand for good teachers - he estimates the yoga industry in China as growing at an annual rate of 20% - has prompted many youngsters to follow in his footsteps.
"I have seen a sizeable number of well-qualified boys from Rishikesh come to China to teach yoga. All of them are earning upwards of Rs 1 lakh per month."
Although there are several types of yoga styles being taught in the various studios, Iyengar Yoga (which uses props) is a big hit with the Chinese. Manu Rana, another Rishikesh lad who now teaches yoga in the Fujian province of southwest China, says that Iyengar Yoga despite being tough "gives great results and has impressed many of my students".
David Li, a Chinese yoga practitioner, told TOI over email that "yoga has given me great benefits and rejuvenation".
Last year, I got the opportunity to visit the International Yoga Festival in Rishikesh and became completely enamoured with the practice. I soon enrolled in an Indian yoga studio in my city. I think I must have done some good deeds that I am able to learn this ancient practice from traditional teachers". (Prachi Raturi Misra, TNN 7th March 2017)  -goTop

12. BHARAT TO HOST DALAI LAMA IN AP: Bharat has trashed China’s fresh warning against hosting the Dalai Lama in Arunachal Pradesh and decided to go ahead with the proposed visit of the Tibetan spiritual leader to the world-famous Tawang Monastery. The Bharatiya Government has made it clear to Beijing that the Tibetan spiritual leader is a guest of India and has the freedom to travel across the country.
Bharat also maintained that Arunachal Pradesh is part of Bharat, and there is no reason for China to show anxiety over his travel plans to the State. -goTop

13. BHARAT'S TALLEST TRICOLOR HOISTED AT ATTARI BORDER: The tallest national flag in the country measuring 360 feet was hoisted at the Attari-Wagah joint checkpost in Punjab on 5th March. Earlier, the record was held by the one in Ranchi which is 293 feet high. The new flag can be seen from Lahore in Pakistan.
The flag is 120 feet in length, 80 feet in breadth and is hosted on a pole which is 360 feet high. The concrete base is 30 feet in length and another 30 feet in breadth. The foundation has been designed in such a way that the flag will be able to withstand high velocity winds up to 180 km an hour, said sources. -goTop

14. HSS CALLS UPON CNN TO BE SENSITIVE TO THE HINDUS IN AMERICA: Hindu Americans are deeply concerned with CNN's misrepresentation of the Hindu religion and cultural traditions in the show, "Believer." By focusing on a tiny, obscure and fringe sect, the show further increases the already prevalent misunderstanding about Hindus at a time when the country is going through a period of concern and fear.
The grotesque practices portrayed in the show give a totally misleading impression of a faith of 1.25 billion Hindus with a civilization that spans thousands of years.
Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh has called upon CNN to be sensitive to the more than million Hindus living and working in the United States who belong to a tradition with major tenets including peace and nonviolence and who cherish living in harmony with their neighbors.
Tulsi Gabbard, the first and only Hindu lawmaker in the US Congress has also accused CNN of "sensational and false" reporting about religions after it aired a show which allegedly portrayed Hinduism in a negative light.
The three-term Congresswoman, said while good people across the country are working hard to increase mutual understanding and respect between people of different religions, she is "very disturbed" that CNN is using its power and influence to increase people's misunderstanding and fear of Hinduism.
Some other organizations like Hindu American Foundation, Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP), Hindu Students Council have also strongly condemned the airing of the show. (The news item refers to a TV series 'Believers with Reza Aslan' on CNN which depicted Hinduism in a perverted manner portraying so called practices of 'Aghori' - a very small sect.) -goTop

15. RASHTRA SEVIKA SAMITI BAITHAK AT SOMNATH: Second biannual baithak of kendriya karyakarini for Rashtra Sevika Samiti concluded on 12th February at Somnath in Gujrat. A total of 57 bhaginis attended the baithak. Various topics like reporting, future programs and other organizational aspects were discussed in the baithak. At present Samiti has about 2500 daily and weekly shakhas all over Bharat. Pramukh Sanchalika Vandaniya Shantakka ji addressed the concluding session in which she stressed on carrying forward the work selflessly and with devotion and conviction. -goTop   

16. BHARATIYA DIAMOND MERCHANT IN ISRAEL: While visiting various Indian sections of Indian Diasporas yesterday, I went to one of the busiest diamond trading centre in Tel Aviv. There are 30 odd Gujarati families who dominate this trade in Tel Aviv, against 1000 odd Jews. The market, which was at one time world's number one diamond trading hub, has lost its pole position against Mumbai, and even whatever is remaining, Gujaratis dominate.
It was early 60s when one Gujarati Jain diamond trader landed in this land. His name was Shri Kirtibhai Mehta. The dominance of Jews was near total. So adventurous was his entry that after him, it took almost a decade for second Gujrati trader to arrive.
I have met these diamond traders in various places, like Hong Kong, Antwerp and TEL Aviv. At one time point, entire diamond business, including diamond mines, raw diamond trading, polishing (they call it manufacturing), converting them into jewellery and retail sale, everything was controlled by Jews. Today, except mines and retail sale, everyone is controlled by Gujaratis, Jains and Patels.
Though they control this multi-billion dollar industry, stay in palatial villas, drive luxury cars, at heart they are as simple as one can be. Kirtibhai's son Rashmibhai Mehta, still calls me every now and then, just to say hello. Rashmibhai is now the managing trustee of Lilavati Hospital, Mumbai, established by his father. Diamond traders of Surat are building India's most sophisticated hospital (and Charitable) in Surat. Food in their houses is still simple vegetarian, typical gujju, with Khichadi, Kadhi, fafda, and some sweets. (As narrated by Shri Vijay Chauthaiwale - In Charge OFBJP, during his recent visit to Israel) -goTop

17. VISITORS FROM OVER 100 COUNTRIES PLEDGE TO SAVE GANGA IN RISHIKESH: Participants from over 100 countries came together to support a proclamation to save the river Ganga at the ongoing International Yoga Festival at Parmarth Niketan 4th March. The participants reaffirmed in the proclamation the importance of Ganga "which has inspired poets, saints and sages for centuries and has been the lifeline for some 500 million people, as well as for countless species of plants and animals, some of which can be found at no place else on earth."
Swami Chidanand Saraswati, president of Parmarth Niketan and founder of the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance, a consortium of faith leaders who work towards facilitating safe water, sanitation and hygiene for all, said that the proclamation accentuated that river Ganga "is a global treasure which should be kept in a clean, green and free-flowing state." -goTop

18. SPECTACULAR RSS PATH SANCHALAN HELD AT TUMAKURU: RSS Swayamsevaks marched with pride for the Path Sanchalan held at the streets of Tumakuru City of Karnataka on March 11th A total of 1620 swayamsevaks marched which is a record number for Tumakuru City for the recent past. The sanchalan started from Goverment Junior College Grounds and went in two different routes simultaneously. Citizens welcomed and showered flowers to Bhagawa dhwaj during the Sanchalan. -goTop
19. SAFFRON SWEEP: Emerging as the single largest party in the state of Uttar Pradesh with the unprecedented mandate of 325 seats Bharatiya Janata party has registered the landslide victory under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit shah.
In UP, with the gain of 277 seats from its tally of 48 seats in the 2012 assembly election BJP has wiped out the strong and united regional forces like incumbent Samajwadi Party and Mayawati led Bahujan Samajwadi.
Expressing happiness over the gigantic victory of BJP Prime Minister Narendra Modi twitted, "overjoyed that BJP has received unprecedented support from all sections of society. Huge support from the youth is gladdening. "
He Congratulated BJP Chief Amit Shah and all the workers and party office bearers for their extraordinary work for the grand victory of BJP. He also greeted Congress leader Amrinder Singh for winning the state of Punjab.
Speaking to the media after the landslide victory BJP Chief Amit Shah said, "politics of appeasement has been rejected, everybody wants development."
Making inroads in the state of Manipur BJP has won 21 seats where congress party is ruling the state for the last 15 years. Congress bagged 26 seats. Proving to be a giant killer, BJP snatched the state of Uttarakhand from incumbent from Congress party, bagging 57 seats out of 70 assembly segments with the vote share of 46.4 %. In Goa, Congress got 17 seats and the BJP 13. -goTop

20. BHARAT'S INDIGENOUS SUPERSONIC INTERCEPTOR MISSILE SUCCESSFULLY TEST-FIRED: Bharat successfully test-fired on 1st March its indigenously developed supersonic interceptor missile capable of destroying any incoming enemy ballistic missile at low altitude.
The interceptor was engaged against a target which was a Prithvi missile launched from launch complex 3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur near Balasore in Odisha, taking up the trajectory of a hostile ballistic missile. The missile had its own mobile launcher, secure data link for interception, independent tracking and homing capabilities and sophisticated radars. -goTop

21. UNREASONABLE ACCUSATION: NGOs must abide by laws of the host nation - Trust the foreign media to jump to the defence of those non-governmental organisations in India which, the media believes, are being harassed or have some global connections, either religious or otherwise. In line with this pattern, the New York Times recently published a report about the alleged problems a Christian charity NGO, Compassion International, had been having with the Government.
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's (RSS) supposed role too was mentioned. The entire controversy, from available material, is based on speculation. It is speculated that the RSS had engaged in back channel talks with Compassion International to work out a deal that would allow the NGO to work in peace. It is also speculated that the Modi Government has made it difficult for the NGO to operate because of the latter's religious affiliation. The fact is that all NGOs are supposed to work according to the guidelines set by law and they cannot claim vendetta if the Government decides to crack down on them if they fail to do so. This is the case across the world - and in democratic societies too. Compassion International had been almost a year ago put under the 'watch' list by the Government following allegations that it was funding religious conversions while also receiving foreign aid without the Government's approval. If true, these are serious charges. One cannot have an NGO involved in religious conversions in a secular country and yet continue to receive foreign money and not be taken to task by the Government of the day. It's not a question of the Modi regime; any other Government in its place would have - or ought to have - acted in similar fashion. Indeed, the Congress-led UPA regime had begun a scrutiny of various NGOs in the wake of the protests against the Kudankulum nuclear power plant. Even a formal investigation had begun against the activities of many NGOs who were suspected to be indulging in activities which were less than above board, or engaging in tasks that they were not mandated for, or had not adequately disclosed their foreign funding, or had been misusing such funds. There were some NGO that were, believe it or not, unregistered with the appropriate authorities. The unfortunate part is that while the Government had begun a probe in right earnest, the inquiry ran out of steam soon.
That there is something rotten in the NGO sector came to be starkly known when the Supreme Court, no less, recently directed the Government to undertake a review of the functioning of such organisations spread over the country and punish those that had been flouting the rules. Indeed, the apex court asked the Union Government to recover the money that had been misused by NGOs. Surely, the advocates of dubious non-governmental organisations and their patrons in the media are not suggesting that the Supreme Court is stifling dissent, blocking freedom of expression, and being communal in its intent and action! (Editorial, Daily Pioneer, 11th March 2017) -goTop

22. HINDUS COULD DOUBLE THEIR NUMBERS IN AUSTRALIA: Hindus will rise to 2.7 percent of Australia's population, thus more than doubling their numbers as compared to 2011 Census at 1.3 percent, according to census experts in Collingwood, Victoria in Australia.
The number of people who claim to have no affiliation with an organized religion will increase to 29 percent, overtaking Catholicism as Australia's largest single religious group, the study said. Other predictions are that the number of people who reported they were of the Islamic faith will increase from 2.2 percent to 2.6 percent of Australia's population, and that Christianity overall will fall from 61.1 percent to 54.8 percent of the total population. ( ) -goTop

23. CHANGE IN SOCIAL MINDSET REQUIRED TO IMPROVE THE CONDITION OF WOMEN: Noted social activist and Akhil Bharatiya Mahila Samanvya Pramukh of RSS Sushri Geetatai Gunde stressed the need of extensive change in the social mindset to improve the condition of women. She was speaking at a seminar organized jointly by Chetana and National Commission for Women on February 25 to discuss the 'Impact of the laws enacted for marriage and property rights of the women'. Advocate Smt Jyotika Kalra said merely enacting a law is not enough for social change. There is also the need to change the mindset of individuals. Smt Pragya Parande, general secretary of Chetna and others also spoke at the occasion.  -goTop

24. SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN: Pravas: Shri Ravikumar, sahsamyojak Vishwa Vibhag will leave for tour of Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia. Visitors: Smt and Shri Prakash Nandha -UK.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy. - Ravindranath Tagore -goTop