A serving Colonel at the Army Training Command (ARTRAC) here was arrested on Wednesday evening on charges of raping the 21-year old daughter of a Lieutenant Colonel. He will be produced in the court on Thursday, police said.In the complaint filed on Tuesday, the victim stated the 56-year old Colonel drugged and molested her on Monday night at a house in Longwood, a Shimla suburb. SSP Shimla Somya Sambshivan said an FIR has been registered and the accused was arrested from the house where the crime took place. “The girl was under shock and could not divulge much,” she added.The woman, who belonged to Haryana, was a modeling aspirant and was frequently visiting Shimla.
Francois Pinault, the French billionaire, knows how to nudge things up a notch. After entrusting the renovation of the 17th century edifice, the Punta della Dogana, to Japanese starchitect Tadao Ando, the new centre for contemporary art in Venice will house a selection of outstanding, genre-defying works from the Francois Pinault Foundation. The new exhibition titled In Praise of Doubt will bring together historical pieces and new works which question the idea of uncertainty in terms of identity, and revisit the relationship between intimate and personal dimension. Drawing on emblematic works from the 1960s-and right up to the most contemporary creations-the exhibition pays homage to doubt in its most dynamic manifestations; through its strength in challenging prejudices, conventions and certainties. Twenty artists including luminaries like Adel Abdessemed, Marcel Broodthaers, Maurizio Cattelan, Subodh Gupta, David Hammons, Roni Horn, Thomas Houseago, Donald Judd, Edward Kienholz, Jeff Koons, Paul McCarthy, Julie Mehretu, Bruce Nauman, Sigmar Polke, Thomas Shutte, Elaine Sturtevant, Tatiana Trouvu and Chen Zhen will showcase their works. The exhibition will present newly commissioned works by Julie Mehretu and Tatiana Trouve, specially created for the site. Dizzy yet? We are.The exhibition will be on display from April 10 till December 31, 2012.FashionSale priceHe may have become the creative director of Paco Rabbane, but Indian designer Manish Arora hasn’t forgotten to keep fans of his eponymous label happy.Arora has launched an online store where fans of his kitschy, whimsical and fun-tastic designs can swipe off some couture with their credit cards. Of course, given his growing global clout, expect an international price range.FashionDream roleBritish designer Kim Jones has been named the new style director of Louis Vuitton. Having been named ‘Menswear Designer of the Year’ by the British Fashion Council in 2006, Jones has served as creative director for Alfred Dunhill menswear and accessories and has also designed apparel and footwear for sportswear label Umbro.In his new role at Vuitton, Jones will work closely with Marc Jacobs, who currently serves as the artistic director for the luxury label.WatchGet steamyRomaine Jerome’s Steampunk is a follow-up timepiece to the limited edition Titanic-DNA Tourbillon Steampunk A la Grande watch from a few years ago.The Steampunk is large, at 50 mm wide, and the bezel is made of oxidised metal (going by the Titanic DNA theme). The ‘X’ motif of the bezel claws are continued with screws that go deep into the dial. These screws are also meant to resemble steam engine pistons. It is pretty neat and still feels wild.Art Photo shopFormer Dior designer, Hedi Slimane, has a new book of photographs Anthology of a Decade that will showcase a selection of 175 photographs that traverse the music scene, the New York art scene, street fashion and haute couture.The volume records Slimane’s early years in the fashion industry, before, during and after his tenures at Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Dior and lays bare Slimane’s inspirations for the androgynous, rock look that he invented.Piece de resistanceTrunk callParisian trunk makers TT Trunks, create one-of-a-kind pieces that meet today’s lifestyle. This TT Malle Mini Bar Trunk comes with a 40 litre refrigerator and coffee maker. Coffee and champagne kits can be stored in the door frame. A large drawer divided into compartments presents a service tray case. Each drawer’s column may be replaced by a portable cigar humidor made in solid Okoume wood. Of course at a price.This mini bar trunk is priced at Rs 1.85 lakh.Jewellery Sweet mixThe new jewellery collection by H. Stern is inspired by the famous sketches of the Brazilian architect, Oscar Niemeyer. Subtle curves combine with empty space in a homage so successful that it has the approval of the grandfather of Brazilian modernism himself.In what is the 102-yearold architect’s first foray into the world of jewellery, Niemeyer has approved- though not actually designed-a collection inspired by his sketches. For instance a sketch of a voluptuous woman becomes a pair of elegantly long earrings, the subtle lines of Sao Paulos’ Copan building become a voluminous bracelet, and the sinuous form of the San Francisco de Assis church in Pampulha becomes a wavy ring.TalkTop women artists seem to rake it inDifferent strokesEvery fortnight Artprice posts a theme-based auction ranking. Few weeks ago the focus was on women artists, and rightfully so. Often treated as muses or simply ignored, women artists only really managed to penetrate art history during the 20th century. Today, they form an integral part of major exhibitions and important public sales. So exactly who are the top female artists within the auction sphere? With three seven-figure auction results in 2010, Cindy Sherman has returned to the forefront. In fact, at the Carte Blanche for Phillippe Segalot sale organised by Phillips de Pury in November 2010, her diptych Untitled #420 sold for $1.2m (Rs 5.41 crore) and her Untitled #153 fetched $2.4m (Rs 1.08 crore, her new record). The year was fruitful for the Ethiopian artist Julie Mehretu who generated three new personal records including one for The Seven Acts of Mercy that fetched $2m (Rs 9.02 Crore) at Sotheby’s, New York. In 2010, Bharti Kher posted a new record with The Skin speaks a Language not its own at $1.2m(Rs 5.41 Crore) at Sotheby’s London. The British artist Cecily Brown’s Suddenly Last Summer fetched $900,000 (Rs 4.06 Crore) at Sotheby’s New York. The Swedish artist Cecilia Edefalk’s oil on canvas entitled Baby fetched $853,730 (Rs 3.85 Crore) at Bukowskis in Stockholm. Much appreciated in her country of origin where all her sales are generated, Edefalk is the highest-valued female Swedish artist on the market.Speed RacerBentley has created its most potent and radically styled convertible ever-the 202 mph (325 km/h) Supersports ‘Ice Speed Record’ convertible. This new model, limited to just 100 cars worldwide, is a celebration of the company’s world ice speed record by Finland’s four-time world rally champion, Juha Kankkunen, in a Bentley Continental Supersports convertible. The 6-litre, twin turbo-charged W12 engine, produces 640 PS (631 bhp / 471 kW)-the most powerful Bentley ever-and 800Nm (590lb ft) of torque. Paired with a Quickshift six-speed automatic transmission, it launches the convertible ‘Ice Speed Record’ model from 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds (0-100km/h in 4.0s) and reaches 100 mph from a standing start in only 9.5 seconds (0-160 km/h in 9.4s). Va va vroom.Watch outThe Watch Bar in Mumbai promises some good times ahead. Watch connoisseurs can head to this sleek boutique and enjoy a selection of exquisite watches from brands that include Backes and Strauss, Bvlgari, Cartier, Franck Muller, Girard Perregaux, Graham, Hublot, Jaeger Le-Coultre, Parmigiani and TAG Heuer. Stop by. After all, it is the experience that counts.Store HouseStudio Voltaire is a leading independent contemporary arts organisation in London that supports artistic practices and creates a space for thinking, experimentation and reflection; its main activities are the provision of affordable studios, a renowned programme of exhibitions, performances and commissions, and a pioneering education programme.If you can’t make it in person, a selection of special works and editions are available to buy online and can be delivered internationally.Chef TrailTo mark the 10th anniversary of his three-Michelin-star restaurant at the Plaza Athenee hotel in Paris, chef Alain Ducasse decided it was time for a change. He implemented his new Essentiel concept, which eschews flamboyance and fussiness in favour of purity, quality, and authenticity. Ingredients are carefully sourced from Ducasse’s handpicked suppliers and served at the peak of seasonal freshness. Dig in.Operatic FeatThe 70,000 sqm Guangzhou Opera House, designed by top architect, Zaha Hadid, is a unique exploration of contextual urban relationships. The design, taking over seven years to complete, has evolved from the concept of natural landscape and the fascinating interplay between architecture and nature; engaging with the principles of erosion, geology and topography.The Opera House has 1,800 seat theatre plus a 400-seat multi functional hall.THE SPICE CELLARThe sweetest thingBy Magandeep SinghThe most common stereotype (or misconception) that exists about wines is that if you drink a sweet one, you are not sophisticated. That is ridiculous. It’s like saying that if one goes out with blondes, one doesn’t value intelligence in women.The Moscato is in between a sweet and dry wine, especially when done in the Italian style which is low on alcohol and slightly fizzy.A dessert wine can be the sweetest form of expression, no pun intended. But sometimes people find that too syrupy. And dry wines can be too offputting for someone who has never tried wine. The Moscato is a great in-between then, especially when done in the Italian style. This style is usually low on alcohol and slightly fizzy. The grape is very aromatic and to find the aromas of lychees and roses is normal. But always bear in mind that wine is still made from nothing but grapes so all these resulting aromas are nothing but the mystic joys of nature’s many ploys. Even the sugar in a sweet (or semi-sweet) wine is natural, coming from the grapes. No cane sugar is added to sweeten a wine. In short, if you can drink orange juice, you can drink this, without fearing diabetes.It can go very well with light desserts fruits and cream too perhaps. The greatest thing however, to do with this wine is to have it chilled, as an aperitif. The lightness of this wine with the aromas and the sweetness make it quite un-put-down-able.The Moscato, which will be launched in the market, comes from the house of Kimaya. Yes, the brand known for its fashion forays is now stepping into a new realm of aspirations and luxury- bottled wine. Kimaya has quite a few variants from Australia, among which is this prickly off-dry white wine. For now it has launched Kimaya Chardonnay 2010 and Kimaya Shiraz 2010. The label will be available across most major metros and not just in hotels. However, it will not be available at Kimaya stores.The philosophy behind the wines chosen by the brand is rather simple: easy-to-drink with a decent varietal character and a consistent quality that is great for the price.A neat little trick I have learned with off-dry wines is to serve them as an aperitif. Not too much, just a thimbleful. A little sweet start to an evening or a meal. I chill it and serve it in shot glasses. Another trick is to use it in a spritzer with some soda to top, served in a high-ball glass. As a dessert wine, the pairings are best limited to: fruits and cream, white desserts or anything that doesn’t involve cocoa, coffee or dark berry fruits.However, this wine doesn’t store very well; nothing wrong with the wine- it’s a style thing. For a wine that is resplendent in floral aromas and fruity flavours, it is normal that ageing would strip it of this charm. Hence, it’s best to buy these wines fresh and consume. When uncorked, finish.advertisementadvertisementadvertisement CalendarDates that mean something.London’s vibrant art scene comes alive at Chelsea art show. On display will be a selection of work from 45 galleries, representing over 500 individual artists. Prices for original art range from as little a Rs 3,632 to Rs 14.5 lakh. April 1-3.Head to the city of love, Paris, for the Banlieue Blues Jazz Festival. The northern suburbs of Paris are enlivened with exciting jazz and blues performances. April 8Sports fans can head to the World Ski and Snowboard Championship held in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada. For 10 ten days, t his northern ski resort sparkles with a joyous celebration of sport, music and art. April 15- 24.
P. ChidambaramP. CHIDAMBARAMUNION FINANCE MINISTERIs politics overtaking the new economy? Let us first understand what is the new economy. The new economy for which the doors were opened in 1991 is based on a few fundamental postulates. First, an open and competitive economy. Second, adherence to fiscal prudence. Third, promotion,P. ChidambaramP. CHIDAMBARAMUNION FINANCE MINISTERIs politics overtaking the new economy? Let us first understand what is the new economy. The new economy for which the doors were opened in 1991 is based on a few fundamental postulates. First, an open and competitive economy. Second, adherence to fiscal prudence. Third, promotion of investment, in every sector and from as many sources as possible. Fourth, growth that creates employment opportunity. Fifth, a growth which is inclusive and embraces all the sections of the society. There are, of course, some other elements but I do not wish to make it a very long list. Suffice for my purpose today to emphasise the need for open and competitive economy, adherence to fiscal prudence, job creating growth, inclusive growth and promotional investment. Many believe that the 9.2 per cent growth is despite government, I wish good luck to those who believe that. I think government is critical to growth, therefore it would not be wise to dismiss the role of government.DYSFUNCTIONAL POLITICS CAN IMPACT GROWTH BY PUSHING WRONG POLICY OR BY HOLDING BACK THE RIGHT POLICIES. Now let us define the nature of politics today. In my view, the current politics is determined by the rise of regional parties, the coalitions at the Centre, the dysfunction that seems to characterise law-making by Parliament, the effectiveness of executive and regulatory action and the role of the media.Consider first the regional parties. They have gained a much greater voice today than ever before. Add to this the Left which, while being regional also, has a national outlook and footprint. Then you have coalitions at the Centre. Today it is a Congress-led coalition and two years back was led by the BJP. Both coalitions have a dominant presence of regional parties which are not wedded to any ideology and can shift from one coalition to another. I believe we will see more coalition governments not only at the Centre but also in the states. This is because people are unwilling to trust absolute power to any one political party. So, we must understand this . Now consider the role of Parliament-it is essentially to make law. But Parliament makes few laws these days and chaos rules. The Appropriation Bill is passed mostly without debate. The Vote on Account is taken without debate and amendment to the Banking Laws was made without debate. Surely, some day, civil society will ask is this law or the intended law? Can you make law without debate? Dysfunctional status of Parliament is something we should worry about. Contrast that with the role of executives and regulatory agencies. Policy decisions, which require no Parliamentary approval, are moving smoothly. So are executive and regulatory actions. Then finally there is the media. It is no longer possible to say that the media has no role in shaping politics. The media is playing a very powerful role and sometimes a disconcerting role. Pricing power to one section of industry also brings advertising power and thus lobbying power. I think the media must recognise its power and therefore must voluntarily place limitation on how it presents news, how it fosters debate and how it takes a position in the editorial columns.advertisementP. ChidambaramSo, is politics overtaking the new economy? My answer is the politics shaped by these forces has clearly overshadowed the economic reforms. As one put in a position to carry out economic reforms, I do not say that we are overwhelmed or that we feel that we have been defeated. Has the new politics overtaken the new economy? Well, thankfully not. If it did we would not have 9 per cent growth. The economy continues to move at a brisk pace. Thanks to the entrepreneurial skills and energies of our people. The young generation of India today is driven by the desire to create wealth. Inventiveness, innovations, entrepreneurial skills and risktaking are driving India’s economy. I do not think any political factor can ever overwhelm that force. Dysfunctional politics though can impact growth by pushing wrong policy or holding back right policies.While there is a welcome check on governmental neglect and carelessness, politics is currently not supportive of good economics. Good and forward-looking politics can drive India’s growth to 10-plus per cent.DiscussionQ. How do you balance attracting foreign investment with the interests of the Left parties and of the common man? Chidambaram: It is not easy because of the current state of politics. The large number of regional parties, in a coalition or supporting a coalition, have necessarily to defend their interests. I think one must show a great deal of empathy for the political process that we are working with today. This is a new and a very difficult process.advertisementQ. We need to bring structural reforms in social sectors if inclusive growth is to be a reality. Chidambaram: Many of these issues cannot be addressed by the Central Government. Many of them have to be addressed at the state level and the sub-state level. To ask the Central Government to take responsibility to address these is asking it to do the impossible. Therefore, we must ask ourselves the question, what is the quality of people we are electing at sub-state and state levels and not only look at Parliament and the Government of India. There is so much to be done at the state and the sub-state levels.Q. Do we need to take a fresh look at Central, state and concurrent list of subjects which were drawn 60 years back to ensure accelerated and inclusive growth? Chidambaram: In politics, there are two contrary pulls today. One section believes that since states are neglecting their responsibilities, the Centre must take over areas like primary education and primary healthcare. The other view is that the Centre has no business in these areas and should shed its responsibilities in favour of the states. I think this debate has not reached a final conclusion. Over the past decade, the debate seems to be swinging in favour of the Centre playing a more active role. I don’t know though how the Centre can manage all these responsibilities.Q. What we are concerned about is majority or minority view should not suppress the other view. Our perception is that the tail is wagging the dog. How can industry help you in this? Chidambaram: Well, certainly industry can help if it stops complaining about the little tweaking of a tax rate here or a tax rate there. Industry is doing well, so is the services sector. I offer my congratulations. But when the government turns its attention to neglected sectors, industry must willingly share that burden. Industry must play a role in macro economic stability. You can’t only look at balance sheets. The latest figures show inflation rates for primary foods and fuel have come down while they have gone up for manufacturing. Please don’t allow core inflation to be entrenched.Q. GDP growth is 9 per cent, it could be 15 per cent also, if we have good governance and a bureaucracy that is answerable. Chidambaram: I think it is unfair to paint the whole bureaucracy with the same brush. Bureaucracy is like a horse. If you know how to ride your horse, you can get things done or you will be taken for a ride. Today, the individual in society is far more empowered that ever before with provisions like the Right to Information Act. You should use these to place a check on the government.
Washington DC: US President Donald Trump chaired a meeting on the Afghanistan peace deal with his national security team that, the White House said, went “very well” and negotiations are proceeding. The talks, attended by Vice-President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton among others, were held at Trump’s golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, on Friday. Soon after the meeting, the president tweeted: “Many on the opposite side of this 19-year war, and us, are looking to make a deal – if possible!” Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USAccording to the White House, discussions centred around ongoing negotiations and eventual peace and reconciliation agreement with the Taliban and the government of Afghanistan. The meeting went very well and negotiations are proceeding, it said. After briefing the president on the progress of the negotiations in the war-torn country, Pompeo issued a statement, saying, “Led by the president, we are working diligently on the path forward in Afghanistan.” Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls”In continued close cooperation with the government of Afghanistan, we remain committed to achieving a comprehensive peace agreement, including a reduction in violence and a ceasefire, ensuring that Afghan soil is never again used to threaten the United States or her allies, and bringing Afghans together to work towards peace,” the secretary of state said. The meeting was also attended by Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford and CIA Director Gina Haspel. Trump chaired the meeting after Taliban and US negotiators wrapped up their latest round of talks for a deal on Monday that would see America shrink its troop presence in Afghanistan. Details of a possible deal with the Taliban is yet to be made public, but administration officials have said that the president wants the troops back from Afghanistan as soon as possible. Early in the day, Trump also had a telephonic conversation with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on the Afghanistan peace talks and the India-Pak relationship.