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LOCKNOW: The Uttar Pradesh government approved the purchase of 15 lakh laptops from HP India at a unit cost of Rs.19,058, an official said.
The council of ministers approved the decision in a cabinet meeting here attended by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav after the recommendations made by the evaluation and technical committee of UP Electronics Corporation were reviewed by it.
A government spokesperson told IANS that the cost per unit will include
all taxes and duty cost. The purchase cost of the 15 lakh laptops would total about Rs.2,858 crore.
The state government also authorised the UP Electronics Corporation to
issue a letter of intent (LOI) to HP India Sales Private Limited for the
purchase of laptops.
The distribution of free laptops to all students passing Class 12 was a major promise of the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) in the run-up to the state assembly polls.
The party had also promised that free computer tablets would be given
to students clearing their Class 10 exams. The process of purchasing
computer tablets is underway, an official said.
Earlier, the purchase of laptops was delayed thrice owing to the mammoth scale of the tender.
Saturday 23 February 2013
Friday 16 November 2012
FIA Formula 1 drivers' world championshipLast updated: Thursday, 15 November 2012 12:17 UK
FIA Formula 1 constructors' world championshipLast updated: Thursday, 15 November 2012 12:17 UK
15 November 2012 Last updated at 20:06 GMT
Fernando Alonso says Red Bull must falter to keep his title bid aliveBy Andrew Benson Chief F1 writer in Austin
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso admits he will need Red Bull to falter if he is to stop Sebastian Vettel winning this year's world championship.The Spaniard heads into the last two races of the season 10 points behind Vettel, whose Red Bull is a faster car.
"It's the fifth time I arrive in the last races fighting for the title," Alonso said. "We have some chances, [but] we need some help from Red Bull."
Vettel admitted he was in a "strong position" but said nothing was settled.
Keeping the title race aliveThe title can be clinched this weekend, but only by Vettel
If Vettel wins, Alonso must be fourth or higher
If Vettel is second, Alonso must be eighth or higher
If Vettel is third, Alonso must be at least 10th
If Vettel is fourth or lower, he cannot be champion this weekend.
Both men are bidding to win their third world championship, and both would become the youngest driver in history to achieve that landmark if they end the season as champion.Alonso has been fighting a rearguard battle since Red Bull made a significant step forward with their car for the final seven races of the season.
Vettel has won four of five races since the Singapore Grand Prix at the end of September and finished third in Abu Dhabi two weeks ago after starting from the pit lane after being disqualified from qualifying for a technical infringement.
However, Alonso said: "I am very confident. I trust my team and I trust myself and we are honest with ourselves.
"We know we don't have the quickest package out there, and we qualify on average this year sixth or seventh. So if we qualify in sixth or seventh people will say you wave bye-bye to championship but it is our normal position.
"That is not our strong point, our point is to score more points than the others on Sunday and I am sure we will do that in the next two races."
F1 is returning to the USA for the first time since 2007 at a purpose-built track outside Austin, Texas, but Alonso said the fact this weekend's race is a new event would not make a difference.
"It is not an advantage, [the] new circuit," he said. "I think we will all adapt very quickly in first practice and all have simulators to prepare for the race - it is the same as every race.
"Nothing has really changed in terms of preparation and approach for the weekend - [we need] maximum concentration and effort from everyone in the team."
Vettel can win the championship this weekend if he scores 15 more points than Alonso.
The German admitted that it would be "incredible" if he won the title, which would be his third in a row.
Andrew Benson Chief F1 writer"Vettel, on account of being ahead and having comfortably the faster car, is favourite. But within F1 there is a feeling that Alonso would be the more deserving champion."
He said: "It has been a very long year - a tough season up and down, extremely challenging, different to previous years in many ways, we learned a lot and we did less mistakes this year."We have a very competitive car - we had one since the beginning of the season, maybe sometimes not good to win, but still good enough to collect a lot of points.
"It put us in a strong position, we are able to fight for championship with two races to go.
"It would mean a lot [to win the title] but it's difficult now to find the right words."
Vettel shrugged off a warning from governing body the FIA for drivers not to swear in media interviews.
The warning, exclusively revealed by BBC Sport last week, came after he and race-winner Kimi Raikkonen both used bad language live on television on the podium after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
"If you are sensitive then you should watch some kids' programme," Vettel said. "You have the remote control in your hand. It was not intentional in the last race. It was unnecessary to create such a big fuss.
"But anyway, if I said some things that were not appropriate then I apologise, but there is not a lot I have to do different to succeed in that regard."
16 November 2012 Last updated at 11:08 GMT
India v England: Cheteshwar Pujara and spinners dominateBy Stephan Shemilt BBC Sport
First Test, day two, Ahmedabad
India 521-8 dec v England 41-3
A Cheteshwar Pujara double hundred and three late wickets put India in complete control of the first Test against England in Ahmedabad.After India declared on 521-8, England lost debutant Nick Compton, nightwatchman James Anderson and Jonathan Trott to close on 41-3.
Pujara earlier made an unbeaten on 206, with Yuvraj Singh adding 74.
Graeme Swann claimed 5-144, while James Anderson's sole strike was the only success in a combined 70 overs of pace.
15 November 2012 Last updated at 19:09 GMT
England wing Chris Ashton aims to vent frustration on Australia
AUTUMN INTERNATIONALS: ENGLAND v AUSTRALIA
- Venue: Twickenham
- Date: Saturday 17 November
- Kick-off: 14:30 GMT
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live & online. Watch highlights on BBC Three, online and on mobiles: Saturday 1900-2000 GMT; repeated on BBC Two on Sunday from 1230-1330 GMT
Recalled England wing Chris Ashton aims to take out his frustration on Australia and end his barren Test run.The 25-year-old, who returns after a one-match ban, has scored 15 tries in 26 Tests, but none in his last nine.
"There's a lot of frustration," he told BBC 5 live. "But there is nothing I can do. I'm playing exactly the same way as I always have. Every game is tough.
"I'm always disappointed if I haven't scored two or three a game, but it's not going to happen. I will take one."
Ashton scored his first Test try against the Wallabies in a memorable win in Sydney in June 2010, and two more against them at Twickenham later that year, including his spectacular 90m effort.
ASHTON'S ENGLAND TRIES
- 1 v Australia, June 2010
- 2 v Australia, Nov 2010
- 2 v Wales, Feb 2011
- 4 v Italy, Feb 2011
- 2 v Georgia (WC), Sep 2011
- 3 v Romania (WC), Sep, 2011
- 1 v Scotland (WC), Oct, 2011
But after losing his place to Charlie Sharples for England's opening autumn Test against Fiji after picking up a suspension, the Saracens wing - who has scored four tries in eight games for his new club - admits he was concerned about regaining it."I had a few sleepless nights to be honest, I was struggling on the weekend," he said. "The missus wasn't too happy because I was having a go at her as well.
"It was only on Sunday that I realised what was wrong with me. It was probably this [selection] playing on my mind.
Ashton replaces Ugo Monye in England's starting side, with Sharples - who scored two tries in the 54-12 win over Fiji, from the right flank - moving to the left wing.
LAST FIVE MEETINGS
- Nov 2010 - England 35-18 Australia
- Jun 2010 - Australia 20-21 England
- Jun 2010 - Australia 27-17 England
- Nov 2009 - England 9-18 Australia
- Nov 2008 - England 14-28 Australia
After spending the first two years of his Test career playing alongside his former Northampton team-mate Ben Foden in the back three, Ashton is now working on forging a successful link with full-back Alex Goode, who excelled against Fiji.He said: "Being at the same club together is going to help, but it is difficult going from 'Fodes' to 'Goodey'. They are completely opposite players, so it is going to take time to learn how to work off him.
"But as we saw last week [against Fiji, when Goode created three of England's first four tries] he creates chances. It is is just a matter of me getting on his shoulder."
Ashton has been the subject of some gentle ribbing this week from Australia wing Digby Ioane, who said he was looking forward to playing against England's "pretty" wingers.
"I have actually played against him before," added the Wiganer, recalling the occasion of his first Test try in Sydney two years ago. "But he played on the other wing and I was on the left that day.
"He is a great winger. I would say he is up there in the top two in the world, so I am looking forward to playing against him."
The first police and crime commissioner (PCC) in England and Wales has been elected in Wiltshire, as vote results are awaited in 40 other police areas.Conservative Angus Macpherson was elected as Wiltshire's PCC ahead of the Labour candidate after second preference votes were counted.
The first PCC elections face likely controversy over reported low turnouts.
Turnout was 12.9% in Merseyside, 13.5% in Greater Manchester, and some West Midlands councils reported 12-13%.
In Gwent, where turnout was 14.3% overall, one polling station in Caldicot saw a turnout of just 4%.
Elections expert Professor John Curtice, of Strathclyde University, said there were indications of the worst voter turnout ever.
Find your results
Policing minister Damian Green said the PCCs were a new idea that would need time for people to get used to.
"The measure of this policy is not the turnout, it's what the police and crime commissioners achieve over the next few years," he also told ITV1's Daybreak programme.
But Labour's Chuka Umunna said: "It has been a total shambles and the £100m spent on it could have been spent on 3,000 police officers.
"At least if you are going to have the elections, organise them properly and don't have them in the middle of winter."Shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry said: "I've been out on the doorsteps and people did not want to go out in the cold and they didn't want to go out in the fog, they didn't have enough information on what was happening."
Lessons to learn The Electoral Reform Society has branded the government's handling of the elections a "comedy of errors".
The society predicted a turnout of 18.5%, which would be below the previous record low in a national poll in peacetime of 23% in the 1999 European elections.
"People have emailed and contacted us saying that they didn't know enough about the candidates in order to be able to make a choice, and obviously that's something I have no control over," he told BBC News.
He added: "It would be good to have some analysis afterwards and see whether there are any lessons to be learned."
Mr Macpherson said: "I think it's incumbent on all police commissioners as we all take office to actually develop this job and let people know what it is."
Continue reading the main story
What will police commissioners do?
- PCCs will be responsible for appointing chief constables
- They will set local policing priorities and report annually on progress
- They will set the force budget and community safety grants
- They will be overseen by police and crime panels
- See our Q&A for more details
Professor Curtice said: "It looks pretty likely that this will be the worst turnout in any nationwide set of elections ever and therefore will raise questions about whether this whole exercise was worth it in the first place."He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that a lack of "real choices" in an election made it difficult to persuade the electorate to vote.
"The candidates were all saying, 'We want more police on the beat, we want to tackle anti-social behaviour, we want the police to be more efficient.' It is very difficult to find an obvious difference between them in terms of strategic direction."
Continue reading the main story
Cardiff South and Penarth by-election
- Stephen Doughty (Lab) 9,193
- Craig Williams (C) 3,859
- Bablin Molik (LD) 2,103
- Luke Nicholas (PC) 1,854
- Simon Zeigler (UKIP) 1,179
- Anthony Slaughter (Green) 800
- Andrew Jordan (Soc Lab) 235
- Robert Griffiths (Comm) 213
Meanwhile, Labour has held its seats in by-elections in both Manchester Central and Cardiff South and Penarth, and is hopeful of taking a seat from the Conservatives in Corby.In the Manchester Central parliamentary by-election, Labour candidate Lucy Powell (11,507) won with a majority of 9,936. Liberal Democrat Marc Ramsbottom (1,571) came second and Conservative Matthew Sephton (754) came in third.
The turnout of 18.16% is believed to be the lowest in a UK parliamentary by-election since World War II.
Ms Powell said: "With this result Manchester Central has sent this Tory-Lib Dem government a message - a clear message that we think their policies are wrong and unfair."
In Cardiff South and Penarth, Labour's Stephen Doughty won with 9,193 votes, Conservative Craig Williams came second with 3,859 and Lib Dem Bablin Molik was third with 2,103. Labour's majority was 5,334 and the turnout was 25.65%.
Continue reading the main story
Manchester Central by-election
- Lucy Powell (Lab) 11,507
- Marc Ramsbottom (LD) 1,571
- Matthew Sephton (C) 754
- Chris Cassidy (UKIP) 749
- Tom Dylan (Green) 652
- Eddy O'Sullivan (BNP) 492
- Loz Kaye (Pirate) 308
- Alex Davidson (TUSC) 220
- Catherine Higgins (Respect) 182
- Howling Laud Hope (Loony) 78
- Lee Holmes (People's Dem) 71
- Peter Clifford (Comm Lge) 64
Mr Doughty said his victory was a "condemnation" of the policies and priorities of the Westminster government.The result in the Corby by-election, which is seen as a crucial mid-term test of David Cameron's premiership, is expected at about 13:00 GMT.
If Labour wins, it would be the first time in 15 years the party has taken a Tory seat at a by-election.
The contest was triggered by the resignation of Louise Mensch, the high-profile former member of the Commons media select committee, who stood down after just over two years to relocate to New York with her family.
Mrs Mensch had a majority of less than 2,000 in a constituency that has regularly swung between Tory and Labour over the past 30 years.
Voters in Bristol have also been to the polls to choose the city's first directly-elected mayor.
Egypt PM Hisham Qandil decries Gaza 'disaster'
Egypt's prime minister has condemned Israeli attacks on Gaza as a "disaster" during a short visit to the territory.Hisham Qandil, who went to a hospital and talked to Hamas political leaders during his three-hour visit, said Israel's "aggression" must stop.
The Israeli military struck at more than 130 targets overnight and militants fired 11 rockets from Gaza.
At least 20 Palestinians and three Israelis have been killed since Israel began its offensive on Wednesday.
Militants and civilians, including at least five children, were among the Palestinian dead, Palestinian officials said.
Two Israeli women and a man died when a rocket fired from Gaza hit a building in the southern town of Kiryat Malachi on Thursday, Israeli officials said.
The Israeli army began an initial draft of 16,000 reservists on Friday, after the government authorised the call-up of 30,000.
However, the BBC's Jon Donnison in Gaza says there is not yet any sign of a ground offensive.
Truce dashed Mr Qandil visited the Council of Ministers building in Gaza City, and also a hospital treating those wounded in attacks.
"What I am witnessing in Gaza is a disaster and I can't keep quiet. The Israeli aggression must stop," he said.
But he insisted that Egypt would "spare no effort" in trying to broker a ceasefire.
Hamas was formed as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, to which Mr Mursi belongs.
Israel had said it would pause the offensive during Mr Qandil's visit, if militants refrained from firing rockets.
But shortly after the prime minister arrived, Israeli and Palestinian officials accused each other of violating the temporary truce.
While Mr Qandil was at the hospital in Gaza, medical workers brought in the bodies of a man and a boy who officials said had been killed in an Israeli air strike moments earlier.
Ministry building wrecked Explosions continued in Gaza throughout Thursday night, with huge blasts rocking Gaza City as dawn broke.
Witnesses said parts of the Hamas interior ministry building were destroyed in the overnight raids.
Israel said it had targeted dozens of rocket-launching facilities in the coastal territory.
Israel said 130 rockets had been intercepted by its Iron Dome missile defence system.
UK Foreign Secretary William Hague called on both sides to "de-escalate" the situation and warned against a ground attack.
"When Israel has entered into ground invasions in other conflicts, that is when they have lost a good deal of international sympathy and support," he said.
In Tel Aviv on Thursday, residents took cover after air-raid sirens alerted them to a missile threat for the first time since the Gulf War in 1991.
The armed wing of Islamic Jihad said it had fired an Iranian-built Fajr-5 rocket, which has an estimated range of 75km (45 miles).
Israel said two missiles had landed near Tel Aviv, one hitting an uninhabited area and another which is believed to have landed in the sea.
Violence escalated after the killing by Israel of Hamas' military leader Ahmed Jabari on Wednesday following a surge in rocket attacks from Gaza.
Israel had repeatedly carried out air strikes on Gaza, as Palestinian militants fired across the border.
What are tweets?
Most shops shut in #Ashkelon's largest mall, Giron. Residents say situation "scary" but trying to go about normal life as much as possible.@YolandeKnell 8 mins ago
No deaths/damage but psychological impact of #Gaza rockets inwealthyTel Aviv area normally remote from #Gaza violence huge across #Israel@katyaadler 59 mins ago
Just seen Palestinians now firing rockets from northern #Gaza.@JonDonnison 1 hour ago