Jaipur fire probe report in six weeks

File photograph of Jaipur depot fire
Six days after a devastating fire broke out at the Indian Oil Corporation depot near Jaipur, it is still not clear what caused the blaze.


Fire can now be seen only in two tanks. Smoke can be seen coming out of others.

A seven-member committee set up by the Petroleum Ministry is now investigating the causes that might have lead to the fire that killed 11 people.

Members of the panel, accompanied by civil and police authorities, visited the site and the surrounding areas affected by the fire.

They also spoke to the people in the area for first hand information about the blaze.

The team has to submit its report within six weeks.

The Jaipur police have already registered a case against IOC officials and employees for negligence.

Terror on tape, Kasab giggles

A tape played in court in Mumbai on Tuesday drove home some spine-chilling truths about the Mumbai attacks.


The scariest part of the 16-minute tape, played out during the trial of lone arrested terrorist Ajmal Kasab,  is a conversation during the 26/11 attack between one of the other terrorists and their Pakistani handler. “This is just the trailer. The government should see what’s coming,” says the handler.

The tape also has a conversation, between an Israeli negotiator in Washington and one of the terrorists at Nariman House. Even as the NSG was being called in, the Israeli government was apparently willing to negotiate – as long as their hostages were unharmed.

Israeli negotiator: We have contacted the Government in New Delhi, but they need two hours and to arrange for someone to call you. But this is on the condition that they (the hostages) are not harmed.

Terrorist: Tell them that two hours is too long.

Israeli negotiator: We have heard rumours that they are unconscious

Terrorist: They are not just conscious, they are fine. We have not even slapped them.

The Israeli official even asked the terrorists for demands. They asked for the release of their friend, Kasab, who had just been nabbed by the Mumbai Police. Kasab giggled in court, when this portion of the tape was played out.

The Pakistani handlers were also monitoring the Indian media to guide their operation.

Pakistani handler: We want you to talk to the media. Tell them that we want to negotiate. We want to solve this problem. But don’t tell them how many hostages we have, or how many of us  are here.

Hostage: Ok

Pakistani handler: This will give you a chance to live.

Hostage: When will you release us?

Pakistani handler: As soon as they meet our demands

Hostage: Can I talk from my heart?

Paksitani handler: Ok. Tell me what you want to say

Hostage: (Do) Nothing that will make anybody lose. After all, we have already lost enough.

The conversations underline the role of Pakistani nationals in the 26/11 attacks, and are critical evidence in court.

Now, Army chief warns of 26/11-type attacks

Army chief Deepak Kapoor on Tuesday warned that 26/11-type Mumbai terror attacks were a possibility and that India has to take all steps to counter such strikes.


“We have to take all steps to prevent any Mumbai-type attacks. We cannot rule out apprehensions of such possibilities,” Kapoor told reporters here on the sidelines of an Army function.

To a question if there were any terror alerts in the recent times, he said the South Asian region is infested with terror groups. Be it India, Afghanistan or Pakistan, “we have to collectively battle such threats.”

Noting that Pakistan too had come under terror attacks in recent times, he said both Defence Minister A K Antony and Home Minister P Chidambaram had asked us to be cautious against such threats.

To allegations from Pakistan Army that they have seized some Indian-made weapons from terrorists involved in recent attacks, the Army chief said India had no intention of causing trouble inside Pakistan and that it did not support any terror group in the region.
“We want Pakistan to be stable and peaceful,” he said.

On Monday, NDTV reported that India is on high-alert, with intelligence inputs that suggest an attack by sea, originating in Pakistan, is expected before the one-year anniversary of 26/11. Government sources confirmed that India would not hesitate to retaliate.

Over the weekend, Home Minister P Chidambaram warned Pakistan against sending terrorists into India. The home minister said, “I’ve been warning Pakistan every time, to not play with us again and to stop with the Mumbai game. I’m warning Pakistan for the last time. If Pakistan attempts to send terrorists into India again, India will not only foil those attempts but also give them a crushing response.

Tropical storm kills 23 in Vietnam


Tropical Storm Mirinae unleashed severe flooding in parts of central Vietnam, killing 23 people, leaving two missing and stranding families on rooftops, disaster officials said Tuesday.

Five more bodies have been recovered, bringing the death toll in the hardest-hit province of Phu Yen to 15 people after the storm hit Monday, drenching the region with heavy rains, said disaster official Dang Thi Lanh.

“Many villages remain cut off by rising waters and we expect the death toll to rise,” she said.

Several villages in neighboring Binh Dinh province suffered the worst flooding in four decades after the Ha Thanh River surged over its banks, said disaster official Nguyen Van Hoa. Five people were killed by falling trees or washed away by floods in Binh Dinh and two others were missing, Hoa said.

In Khanh Hoa province, south of Phu Yen, three people were killed, a disaster official there said refusing to give his name.

The military sent two helicopters to drop instant noodles to people in isolated villages and to rescue people who were still trapped on rooftops a day after the storm, which lost force as it moved inland.

“We have received many calls for help from people who are still stranded,” Hoa said by telephone.

Ho Quoc Dung, vice chairman of Binh Dinh provincial People’s Committee, said some 400 soldiers were mobilized to use speed boats to reach areas cut off by flooding and have ferried out more than 1,000 villagers.

Several thousand remain stranded, he said.

Mirinae hit the Philippines with typhoon strength over the weekend, killing 20 people before losing strength as it moved across the South China Sea toward Vietnam.

Both Vietnam and the Philippines were still recovering from Typhoon Ketsana, which brought the Philippine capital of Manila its worst flooding in 40 years when it struck in September. Ketsana killed 160 people in Vietnam.

In the Philippines, Ketsana and two later storms killed more than 900. Some 87,000 people who fled the storms were still living in temporary shelters when Mirinae struck.

In a separate incident in northern Vietnam on Monday, one woman drowned and five others were still missing after a whirlwind toppled two boats in the northern province of Quang Ninh, disaster official Le Thanh Nam said.

Sixteen other passengers managed to swim to safety after the boats sank, Nam said.

Now, classrooms in your pocket


Technology comes to help: Students of IGNOU can look forward to download their study course contents and get SMS alerts through mobiles

 The Indira Gandhi National Open University will soon start using third generation mobile technology to impart education to students across the country.

The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) is exploring the advantages of the 3G (third generation) mobile services in delivering education to the nook and corner of the country.

On October 29, the university signed a MoU with Ericsson India Pvt. Ltd. (EIL), an Indian chapter of Swedish multinational firm Ericsson, to start application of the third generation mobile in education delivery.

Students of IGNOU will soon get 3G mobile services at nominal rates. It will be only Rs.20 or Rs.25 more than what they are paying for the normal admissions.

Explaining the advantages of the new project, Vice Chancellor V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai told The Hindu EducationPlus that the country had recently launched the third generation mobile services.

“This MoU is aimed at the effective use of facilities supported by 3G mobile services in open and distance education. It is a state-of-the-art technology being used to connect the remote area learners,” he said.

Pointing out that the common SMS today is already used in the course management through SMS alert services, Prof. Pillai said that students will be supported with access to parts of the course web pages, downloading files like assignments and video clips with the introduction of the 3G services.

Stating that the 3G technology would reach out to the heterogeneous echelons of IGNOU student communities, K.R. Srivathsan, Pro-Vice Chancellor of the university, who is spearheading the project, said that it is not the distance education alone, which will be the beneficiary of the 3G mobile services. “Even in the conventional university system, the students using the technology will have an edge over others,” he said.

Describing that the 3G technology creates wider scope for a learner, Prof. Srivathsan said that it is a small-screen mega performer which has a browser to scan, stream, build capacities of the users by getting materials at shortest possible application methods.

“The 3G technology helps a learner stream through video, audio and selective Internet browsing. Downloaded files may be played through laptop or personal computer. New notebooks will have built-in 3G chip sets with advanced e-learning services. This will allow consulting with academic counsellors, course coordinators, and peer-to-peer discussions,” he said.

Prof. Srivathsan said that a small laptop or a notebook with a built-in 3G chip can be a wonderful utility tool for the distance education teachers, particularly for areas where infrastructure and electricity are not available.

“The 3G technology ensures both web-mentoring and web-proctoring. Web-mentoring is studying through the 3G chip, consulting with counsellors and engaging in peer-to-peer discussions. The web-proctoring is more expert-driven. It means only the experts and researchers in the m-learning technologies can participate to effect better application modules. Web-proctoring will ensure not only the two-way audio and video interactive but also makes possible a delivery of classroom discussion or a seminar in a three-party module,” he said.

Giving an example of a student using sign language, Prof. Srivathsan said that the candidate could take his/her classes through the mobile screen of the 3G model of mobile telephony.

“His/her learning is more by watching the signs created by the interpreter. In this case a lecture is given at a place, the interpreter interpreting it through sign language is stationed at a different location and a speech and hearing impaired learner watching the signs of the interpreter from a different place. All activities at three points take place simultaneously. The 3G technology can make this possible,” he said.

Explaining the students profile at IGNOU, Prof. Pillai stressed the heterogeneity of the communities of IGNOU. “We are not like the conventional universities. Our students come from all types of communities of the country. They are disadvantaged BPL families, lower income groups, middle-class societies and also are highly articulate professionals like engineers, doctors, scientists, professors etc. We cater to all kinds of life of the country. Our 2.5 million student bases are powerful receptors of the 3G technology,” he said.

No financial burden

Dispelling doubts that the technology will be a financial burden for the student community, Prof. Pillai said that the university students earn and learn in most cases. “They can provide for the 3G mobile services for education. Even then, from this collaboration we will charge them hardly Rs.20 or Rs.25 for the 3G mobile services. But the real cost is likely to be from the TRAI and other services providers,” he said.

Elaborating on the agreement with IGNOU, Ericsson India president Gowton Achaibar said that Ericsson and IGNOU would create an eco-system for the 3G mobile technology applied in education. “India has about 20 per cent of the world’s population. If we create an ecosystem, delivery of education through the 3G Mobile will become a great success story,” he said.

According to the university estimates, the 3G technology has a niche area of functioning for the university.

The cost of the service will increasingly come down with enrolment figures going up. IGNOU will be at an advantage in this situation.

At present IGNOU disseminates education to over 8 million homes through the Edusat-mediate beams of DTH services.

The university is also implementing the latest Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) aimed at reaching out to the un-reached in the rural areas across the country.

Prof. Pillai said that scientists at IGNOU constantly evaluate the latest ICTs to use it for education services. This MoU by the university is yet another niche area specialisation for developing domain knowledge, he said.

IMF sells 200MT gold to India

Mr Dominque strauss kahn

A file picture of Mr. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Managing Director of IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has sold $6.7 billion worth of gold to boost its own cash reserves, the crisis-lender said on Monday, completing about half of a sale that was authorized in September.

The IMF said it sold 200 metric tons to India’s central bank over a two-week period from October 19-30. Its executive board has agreed to sell a total of 403.3 tons, or about one eighth of the IMF’s gold reserves.

IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said the sale marked an “important step” in the lender’s effort to secure its finances and step up lending programmes for poorer countries.

The IMF said the sale was made at prevailing daily market prices.

The lender is looking toward other central banks to complete the remaining gold sale but has said it will consider selling the cache in the open market

Sleep disturbances decrease after retirement



REIRED LIFE: The general improvement in sleep is likely to result from the removal of work-related demands and stress rather than from actual health benefits of retirement

 Retirement brings with it a sharp decrease in the prevalence of sleep disturbances, says a new study.

The findings of the study suggest that this general improvement in sleep is likely to result from the removal of work-related demands and stress rather than from actual health benefits of retirement.

According to the results, the odds of having disturbed sleep in the seven years after retirement were 26 percent lower (adjusted odds ratio of 0.74) than in the seven years before retiring. Sleep disturbance prevalence rates among 14,714 participants fell from 24.2 percent in the last year before retirement, to 17.8 percent in the first year after retiring. The greatest reduction in sleep disturbances was reported in participants with depression or mental fatigue prior to retirement. The postretirement improvement in sleep also was more pronounced in men, management-level workers, employees who reported high psychological job demands, and people who occasionally or consistently worked night shifts.

Lead author, Jussi Vahtera, Professor in the Department of Public Health at the University of Turku in Finland, noted that the participants enjoyed employment benefits rarely seen today, including guaranteed job stability, a statutory retirement age between 55 and 60 years, and a company-paid pension that was 80 percent of their salary.

“We believe these findings are largely applicable in situations where financial incentives not to retire are relatively weak. In countries and positions where there is no proper pension level to guarantee financial security beyond working age, however, retirement may be followed by severe stress disturbing sleep even more than before retirement,” said Vahtera. Results also showed that there is a slowly increasing prevalence of sleep disturbances with increasing age, which can be observed both before and after retirement. The authors conclude that currently when people are expected to live many years beyond the traditional age of retirement, consideration should be given to the restructuring of working life to enable older workers to remain economically active without compromising their future health.

The study has been published in the latest issue of the journal Sleep.

Internet addiction is just as worrying


Workshop cautions young people about new-age obsessions


THE DANGERS: Excessive computer use can lead to sleep deprivation and restlessness.

Bangalore: Hooked to your computer most of the time? Feel you cannot go to sleep without hours of browsing the internet? If yes, you are suffering from the new age internet addiction, which is stirring a debate.

This and other such compulsions revolving around cyber addiction were discussed at a workshop, “Fighting New Age Addictions”, jointly organised by the Karnataka State Temperance Board and Maharani Lakshmi Ammanni College for Women in the city on Monday.

Advising students to reduce their dependence on technology, speakers said students should play a vital role in minimising the impact of such addictions.

“As students you can identify symptoms such as unusual behaviour among your friends, neighbours and family members. Form self-help groups to help people overcome such addictions; I want you all to take this forward from your college,” said A. Sridhar, psychiatrist and columnist. Internet addiction can be as destructive to a person’s life as addiction to alcohol or drugs. Some may think that being constantly wired was the cool thing to do. “But they don’t realise that by being high-tech, they are harming their own mental ability.”

Excessive computer use can lead to sleep deprivation and restlessness apart from the physical problems such as backache and eyestrain. “Such addicts don’t care for relations, tell lies and also (stoop) to stealing sometimes,” he explained while encouraging students to enact skits on addictions.

H.B. Dinesh, Secretary of Karnataka State Temperance Board (KSTB), said the board was all out to create awareness on various addictions. “You students and teachers can help us spread awareness about new age addictions.”

Memory power

College Director T.L. Shantha pointed out that over-dependency on technology had resulted in young people losing command over good language and memory power. “You may be good in maths but if you have to use a calculator, that is another addiction,” she said.


Free training camp for unemployed youth

The Hyderabad Film Development Society is organising a free training camp for unemployed youth in camera, make-up, acting, anchoring, dubbing and other trades related to television and film industry. The camp will start on November 6, a press note from the society informed on Monday. Interested persons may contact 9948967077 for more details.

Computer courses

 Literacy House, Andhra Mahila Sabha, is commencing new batches of computer courses from November 9, a release stated on Monday. Courses in MS Office, DTP, C programming, web designing and animation will be offered. Senior citizens can avail specially designed packages. For details contact: 2709-9181/ 2709-8406.

Data entry training

The YMCA of Greater Hyderabad is organising a four-week training and placement programme for data entry operators on its premises at Narayanguda. The programme includes training in alphabetic, alphanumeric and numeric speed and accuracy on the computer keyboard, said a press release. For details contact: 92987-01232

Art of Living classes

NELLORE: Sri Sri Sri Ravishankar Guruji of Art of Living will teach about ‘Sudarshana Kriya’ from November 4 to 8 at Rebala Lakshminarasa Reddy Town Hall in the city. Classes will be conducted at 5.30 a.m. and 6 p.m. for four days.

For more details, contact over phone Nos.: 93983-10897 or 94408-93047, according to a press release

Yoga for a good body and healthy mind

VISAKHAPATNAM: The ancient science of Hatha Yoga could be used as a tool for bringing good health and improving the condition of the mind, if practised sincerely, said Assistant Professor of the Department of Yoga and Consciousness, Andhra University K. Ramesh Babu.

Delivering a talk on ‘Hatha Yoga for human well being’ here on Monday at T.L.N. Sabha Hall of AU with the aid of a Power Point presentation, he said that yoga was an ancient science of spirituality and was one among the six philosophical systems. Hatha Yoga, that forms the main branch of yoga, was invented by Maharishi Patanjali in the 2nd century BC.

Giving various definitions of yoga, Dr. Ramesh Babu said, “Apart from being the facilitator for the unification of the individual soul with the universal being, yoga acts as a tool for restraining the modifications of the mind and maintaining the equilibrium state of mind in all circumstances.”

Hatha Yoga part of the yoga deals with identifying and managing psycho-physiological problems. “The system of Hatha Yoga is divided into six parts: Shat karma, Asanas, Bandha, Pranayama, Mudra and Dhyana. The concept of Shat karmas deals with the purification of internal organs and comprises of various kriyas like dhauti, neti, nauli and kapalabhati. While Asanas purely focus on yogic postures for toning various muscles and the nervous systems to get rid of various physical ailments, Bandha and Pranayama is all about breathing exercises and breath control,” he said. Dr. Ramesh Babu pointed out that Hatha Yoga cannot be complete without the practice of Dhyana or meditation. “For gaining control over the mind, meditation should form part of the Hatha Yoga schedule,” he said. Rector of the university Prof. U. Viplava Prasad, Chief Convenor of AU Research Forum Prof G.S.N. Raju, Convenor Dr. R. Sathiraju and Co-Convenor K.R. Rajani were present.

Temples full on Karthika Purnima

The ‘auspicious’ day also happens to be ‘Dev Diwali’

Time to pray

Time to pray: Devotees performing puja on the auspicious day of Karthika Purnima at a Sivalayam in the city on Monday.

HYDERABAD: Temples in twin cities on Monday swarmed with devotees on the occasion of Karthika Purnima, the full moon day in ‘Karthika Masam’ (month of Karthikam), which is considered to be a very sacred month in the Hindu almanac.

The day was celebrated with fervour and enthusiasm, as women took up fasting and conducted pujas and rituals in temples.

With the day being considered as auspicious, temples throughout the city conducted Satyanarayana vratham and Tulsi puja.

The Karthika Purnima day also holds special significance for Sikhs Guru Nanak Jayanti falls on the same day every year.

The strong Jain community of Hyderabad observed the day as Jain light festival and for others, the Karthika Purnima is also celebrated as Dev Diwali or Deepawali of Gods. The golden hued full moon lit up the sky on Monday, as devotees once again were on the streets to burst the Diwali leftover firecrackers.

Purification rituals

The Shiva temples were crammed with devotees from the wee hours of Monday, as womenfolk, attired in their best offered prayers and observed purification rituals in the temples. The women offered special Tulsi puja and took up day-long fasting. The fasting ended after sighting the full moon.

Local temples in several parts of the city, including Dilsukhnagar, L. B. Nagar, Marredpally, A. S. Rao Nagar, Vidyanagar, RTC cross roads were brimming with Kartika Purnima devotees. The evening sky looked colourful as youngsters started bursting firecrackers to observe Dev Diwali.

Social networking sites prone to virus attacks

Spam is not just an irritant but a method of delivering dangerous malware

The biggest advantage for spammers is the fact that they provide users with a wide variety of customisation options and third party applications.

The increasing popularity of online social networking has opened up new avenues for cyber criminals. In the last few months, one must have witnessed repeated attacks on highly popular social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Though these attacks may be first encounter with cyber criminals, for millions of users, the trend of attacking social networking sites is not a new one.

It has, however, grown to become the most obvious choice for attackers due to numerous reasons, says Ratnamala Dam Manna, Director, Security Technology and Response, Symantec. For starters, these social networking pages are easy for criminals to spoof and since they are generally trusted by users. Profiles on social networking sites often contain a significant amount of personal information about the user. Also, spoofed social networking pages can include links to false download that require users to enter confidential data such as authentication information or credit card information that can subsequently be used for fraudulent purposes.


Ms. Dam Manna said in a recent report by Symantec Corporation that social networking sites, in fact, topped the list when it came to phishing attacks in most countries. Phishing is the criminally fraudulent process of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as user names, passwords and credit card details. The biggest advantage of social networking sites for spammers is the fact that they provide users with a wide variety of customisation options and third party applications. Users can customise details in their profile, include links to other sites and upload images.

Over the past year, Symantec observed a 192 per cent increase in spam detected across the Internet, from 119.6 billion messages in 2007 to 349.6 billion in 2008. According to the Internet Security Threat Report XIV, 29 per cent of all spam originated in the U.S. in 2008. The reason is that the U.S. has the second highest number of broadband Internet users in the world. This allows spammers to send out high volumes of spam at any time of the day. Russia was ranked number two for originating spam in 2008, with 6 per cent.

Festive targets

Ms. Dam Manna says India is definitely one of the top targets for spammers. The penetration is increasing over the years. In fact, Symantec has recently discovered a malicious campaign centred on Diwali that entices users into opening spam messages. While spammers traditionally used global festivals such as Christmas and New Year, this year, they turned their attention specifically to an Indian festival.

Unfortunately, spam is not just an irritant, but also a method of delivering dangerous malware into an unwary and unprotected user’s machine, she said.

India is becoming a significant region from where spam originates. Twelve per cent of the spam detected in the Asia Pacific region in 2008 originated in India, making it the third-ranked country for this category.

Malicious activity

Due to a rapidly growing Internet infrastructure, a burgeoning broadband population and rampant software piracy, India is expected to witness increased malicious activities. According to Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report XIV, India saw a substantial increase in its proportion of malicious activity in almost every category. It had the fifth highest number of broadband subscribers in the Asia Pacific region in 2008 and the third highest volume of malicious activity, 10 per cent of the regional total.

Among the cities in India with the highest number of bot-infected computers, Mumbai figured at the top with 37 per cent followed by Chennai at 24 per cent and Delhi at 7 per cent. Cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Surat, Ahmedabad, Kochi and Pune too had a sizable share of bot-infected computers.

Another alarming trend for Internet users in India is the threat landscape being heavily infested with worms and viruses.

In the Asia Pacific region, India ranked first on worms and viruses attacks prevalence chart. Nine of the top 10 malcodes found in India consisted of worms (55 per cent) and viruses (15 per cent) that disabled security related processes, downloaded additional threats and stole confidential information.

Aim at the GRE


Let’s begin with a fact: the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not as heavy as it may sound. There is no need to study, all you need is to be is in tune with the basics, practical and smart. If cleared well, the test opens doors to several prestigious colleges in the United States (and a few in Europe), and also to financial aid throughout the course. “Almost all the top foreign universities, besides a number of renowned B-schools such as Harvard, Wharton, Sloan, Stanford, etc. consider GRE as a measure of a student’s ability and aptitude,” says Bidyut Dutta, Head-Academics, International Education, Career Launcher.
Developed and conducted by the Education Testing Services group (ETS), GRE can be taken all year round by paying a test fee of US$180. The test is largely mandatory for those who dream of pursuing a Master’s or a Ph.D programme from a university abroad. Admissions panels and committees use the GRE score to support a candidate’s undergraduate records, and other qualifications required for graduate study.

About the test
The examination has a General Test that measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning and critical thinking as well as the analytical writing skills of the students. The GRE Subject Tests, if required by the university one is keen to join, gauges undergraduate achievement in eight specific fields of study. The use and value of GRE scores vary not only from one institute to another, but also among departments. For example, programmes in arts may only consider an aspirant’s verbal scores, while the engineering programmes may put more weightage on one’s quantitative ability.
GRE comprises two types of tests namely: the General Test and Subject Specific Test. The former, which is mandatory, evaluates general aptitude via two multiple-choice sections — quantitative aptitude and verbal ability. A third section consisting of essay writing is called Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA). The verbal section tests language ability (reading skills and vocabulary), while the quantitative section tests a candidate’s knowledge in arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data analysis. “The AWA section tests one’s prowess in analysing a given situation and presenting complex ideas clearly,” says Vineet Gupta, MD, Jamboree Education, adding, “Since colleges abroad open for admissions from December to April, one must have a GRE score by September.”
As mentioned before, the subject-specific exams assess skills in eight specific disciplines, which include biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, biology, chemistry, computer science, English literature, mathematics, physics and psychology. Each subject test is intended to evaluate extensive knowledge in the subject the GRE aspirant has majored in.

Score and beyond
Beyond the GRE score, colleges look at a student’s grades in college, recommendation letters from teachers and project work done. These will decide how one ranks on the merit list of a university. Depending on the net score, one could get financial aid. “Various funding options are available for international students, including grants, scholarships, loans and work/study options. Your best tool in learning about college financial aid is seeking the advice of the financial aid counsellor at the college you plan to attend,” says Dutta.
The ETS recently launched an updated version of its popular site TakeTheGRE.com that includes information on a host of new tools to help you get noticed by graduate and professional schools. By placing important resources right at your fingertips, the website makes registering for the GRE tests, obtaining free practice material and planning for test day simpler, faster and easier.

9 banks fold up in U.S. on one day

New York: The American economy may have witnessed quarterly expansion, but the count of bank failures is soaring and a staggering 115 entities have gone out of business in the first 10 months of 2009.
Indicating that the nation’s financial system continues to remain jittery, the bank failures in 2009 have witnessed a four-fold rise from that of last year, when just 25 went belly up.
The authorities closed down nine banks on October 30. They are Bank USA, Community Bank of Lemont, San Diego National Bank, California National Bank, Pacific National Bank, Park National Bank, Citizens National Bank, Madisonville National Bank and North Houston Bank. According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which insures deposits of over 8,000 American banks, these collapses would cost its Deposit Insurance Fund about $2.5 billion.
The nine banks had combined assets worth $19.4 billion and deposits of $15.4 billion, as on September 30.
Moreover, the collapse of 115 banks so far this year is the highest for any year since 1992, when 181 entities were shut down, in the wake of the savings and the loan crisis.
Even as the economic activities is slowly picking up, the bank failures are anticipated to climb in the coming months, mainly due to higher unemployment resulting in increased defaults.

Events Today In Hyderabad – Art | Eating Out | Nightlife | Lectures and Seminars | Shopping | Workshops |

Eating Out Top
Evening Snacks
Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009. 4 p.m. to  6 p.m.
Promenade, Aditya Park, Ameerpet. An array of South and North Indian snacks and light meals at the Promenade.

Midnight Biryani
Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009. 11:30 p.m. to  3 a.m.
Tulips, Hotel Greenpark, Greenlands, Begumpet. Tulips is serving an array of vegetarian and non-vegetarian biryanis. Other delicacies like Haleem, Sheermal, Paneer Burjee and desserts are also available.

Southern Delicacies
Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009. noon to  3 p.m.
Deccan Pavilion, Hotel ITC The Kakatiya, Begumpet. The coffee shop is offering authentic Hyderabadi biryanis and delicious kebabs along with other Chinese and continental cuisines. Also on the menu are soups, salads, cold cuts, pastas and desserts.

Snacks and Desserts Buffet
Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009. 4 p.m. to  7 p.m.
Sweet Nirvana, Kavuri Hills, Madhapur. A variety of savoury snacks like chicken barbecue and even desserts are up for grabs.

Lunch Buffet
Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009. 12:30 p.m. to  3 p.m.
Tandoor, White House Building, Begumpet. An authentic North Indian buffet – peas pulao, paneer tikka, biryanis, desserts and more.

Awadh Food Festival
Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009. 5 p.m. to  11 p.m.
The Great Kebab Factory, Next to MLA Colony, Road No.12, Banjara Hills. Some of the famous dishes on menu are smoked Kebabs like Kakori Kebab, Lucknowi Chaamp, Murgh Wajad Ali, Dum ki Nalli with vegetarian delights like Dahi ke Kebab, Dohra Kunbh, Makkai ki Tikki and desserts like Apple jalebi, Rabdi Lachchadar and others.

Thai Food Festival
Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009. 7:30 p.m. to  11:30 p.m.
Far East, Ohri’s Banjara, Road No.12,Banjara Hills Authentic Thai delicacies like Penang Ghai, Tom Yum Soup, Khow Phad and many more along with Thai ambience and music.

The Cocktail Festival
Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009. noon to  11:45 p.m.
Novotel Hyderabad Novotel & HICC Complex, P.O Bag No.1101, Cyberabad Post Office , Near Hitech City The factory is ready to churn vivid cocktail mixes all through the month. The festival is in contrast to the regular Oktober festival celebrated across the globe. The USP of the drinks will be matching with the days of the week, like Mojito Mondays, Tropical Tuesdays, Whiskey-mixed Wednesdays, Tequila Thursdays, Frozen Special Fridays, Sangria Saturdays and Shooter Sundays and also on the changes and the preferences of the crowd.

Indian Food Festival
Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009. 7 p.m. to  10 p.m.
Utsav, 221, Tivoli Road, Secunderabad Some of the famous dishes on the menu are Nadr Yakhni, Dhania Shorba among the soups, Starters like Bhatti da Paneer, Subz Galouti, Milli Julli Subz Kurkura and others. Main course dishes are Awadhi Tava, Sarson ka Saag, hariyali Kofte and may more along with Makkai ki Roti, Amritsari Kulcha and others.

Nightlife Top
House Music Night
Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009. 8 p.m. to  1 a.m.
Dublin, Hotel ITC The Kakatiya, Opp. to Walden, Begumpet Rocking party tracks by in-house DJ Daman.

From Goa With Love
Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009. 8 p.m. to  11:45 p.m.
Seasons Bar, Taj Krishna, Road No.1, Banjara Hills. Singer Wahida belts out hit songs from 70s, 80s to latest chart busters.

Russian Melodies
Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009. 8 p.m. to  11:45 p.m.
Atrium Bar, Taj Deccan, Road No.1, Banjara Hills. Russian singer Polina will perform at the bar. She is versatile and covers a wide variety of world styles, from contemporary popular repertoire to retro and hip-hop.

Lectures and Seminars Top
Reshaping The Future
Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009. 6:45 p.m. to  8 p.m.
Saptaparni, plot#21, Banjara Hills Manthan presents an interactive session on – ‘How China and India are reshaping their Future and Yours’., by Tarun Khanna, professor at Harvard Business School.

Shopping Top
Season Sale
Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009. 11 a.m. to  9 p.m.
Planet Sports, Shop No.1-2, Afzia Towers, Opp. Lifestyle, Begumpet. There is a 20% discount on apparel, footwear and other sports accessories for women and men.

Festive Collection
Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009. 11 a.m. to  9 p.m.
New Meena Bazar, Abids. The store is has an exclusive range of reviting kurtas, pyjamas and sherwanis, featuring Lucknowi, Chikandari, Kashmiri works, Brocades and thread embroidery in exotic range of colors and designs. The fabrics used to create these masterpieces include plain cotton, crushed cotton, cotton silk, linen tissue silk and ploy silk.

Festive Collection
Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009. 11 a.m. to  8 p.m.
Musaddilal Jewellers. Musaddilal Jewellers and Exporters have launched adesigner jewellery collection for Diwali and the wedding season. The collection specialises in diamonds, ruby, antique jewellery like satlada, chokers and much more.

Designer Collection
Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009. 11 a.m. to  8 p.m.
Personna #8-2-589/3 , Banjara Hills The store is displaying formal and party wear apparel from famous designers like Manoviraj Khosla, Troy De Costa, Wendell Rodricks and many more.

Workshops Top
Music Notation Reading
Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009. 6:45 p.m. to  9 p.m.
Alliance Francaise, Desk Edufrance, West Marredpally. Hyderabad Western Music Forum presents the second Music Notation Reading training course. The workshop is conducted by Joe Koster and Laure Menegoz. It is the second in the series by the Hyderabad Western Music Forum. The participants will learn the art of reading Western music notation.