Month: December 2019
In a suspected case of honour killing, a 28-year-old civil engineer from Kerala was shot dead allegedly by his wife’s parents, who brought a sharpshooter with them to his house in the Jagdamba Vihar area here on the pretext of meeting the couple.The victim, Amith Nair, sustained bullet injuries on his neck, windpipe and chest and died of excessive bleeding. The parents tried to drag his pregnant wife, Mamta Chaudhary, out of the house, but they fled when she refused to leave.After the incident on Wednesday morning, Mamta’s parents have been absconding and the police have launched a manhunt to nab them. Amith’s body was cremated at Purani Chungi crematorium in the Sodala area here on Thursday in the presence of his relatives, friends and colleagues.Mamta, 30, belonging to the Jat community, had married Amith, a native of the Pathanamthitta town in Kerala’s Central Travancore region, two years ago, even though her parents were opposed to the match because of the caste difference. The couple settled down in Jaipur, where Amith was working as a civil engineer with a private firm.According to Mamta’s statement to the police, her parents had been insisting since her marriage that she leave Amith and return to them. Heated argumentsOn Wednesday, Mamta’s parents came to her house and after some heated arguments, called in a young man, who allegedly drew out a pistol and shot at Amith.As Amith collapsed on a sofa where he was sitting, the parents tried to drag Mamta out of the house. When the family raised an alarm and called the neighbours for help, they fled.Mamta is reportedly six months’ pregnant. Police said Mamta’s brother has been detained and a search launched to trace the absconding parents as well as the shooter. Barricades and check-posts were put up at several locations here on Thursday and on roads connecting the city with the national highways.People’s Union for Civil Liberties activists, who met police officers in connection with the case, demanded immediate arrest of the accused and action against two private hospitals which had refused to admit a heavily bleeding Amith. They also demanded that the State government pay a compensation of ₹1 crore to Amith’s family.PUCL State president Kavita Srivastava said Mamta, who studied in Mody University in Laxmangarh, was an intern with the organisation in 2014. She said it was high time the outstanding legislation on killings and crimes committed in the name of honour was enacted. “The couple shelter homes should also be established in all districts of Rajasthan on the pattern of Haryana,” she said.
The Trinamool Congress (TMC) government made it clear that it will ensure that daily life remains normal during the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) State-wide bandh on Wednesday. The State BJP leadership on Saturday gave a call for a 12-hour Bangla bandh to protest the death of two youths in Uttar Dinajpur district’s Islampur allegedly during police firing. The two youths died during an agitation over recruitment of teachers at the local Daribhit High School. “Like earlier strikes, the people of Bengal will also reject the Bangla bandh by the BJP. If the BJP and its associates such as the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Bajrang Dal try to create trouble, then the administration will take strong action,” State Education Minister and TMC general secretary general Partha Chatterjee said. He was speaking to journalists at the State Secretariat after a meeting of the Group of Ministers.‘Political frustration’Describing the BJP’s call for bandh as an “instance of political frustration”, he accused the party of trying to stall development in Bengal. “Out of political frustration, the BJP and its associates are trying to stall development and disrupt peace in Bengal. We will not let that happen,” he said.The Minister also said that the State government will issue notification to its employees to report for duty on Wednesday and also urged the private transport operators to function normally.“Transport Minister Suvendu Adhikari has been asked to ensure that transport remains normal on Wednesday. If anyone tries to disrupt traffic, the police will take action as per law,” said Mr. Chatterjee.Earlier, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said that there will be no bandh in Bengal. Accusing the BJP of trying to give a “communal angle” to the incident at Islampur, she urged the students “not to fall into their (BJP’s) trap.”BJP district president in Uttar Dinajpur Shankar Chakraborty, who was arrested on Sunday for threatening police, was produced before a district court and remanded in one day judicial custody.Mr. Chakraborty on Sunday afternoon had reportedly asked locals at Islampur to tie up the police personnel to trees and block their vehicles. He also said that if Superintendent of Police Sumit Kumar was unable to restore normalcy in Uttar Dinajpur, he will not be allowed to stay in the district for even 20 days.Meanwhile, Left leaning youth organisation Young Bengal demanded a judicial probe into the Islampur incident. “Only a judicial probe can bring out the facts as neither the State nor the Central agencies has any credibility,” Prasenjit Bose, secretary of Young Bengal said.
Pune: Ambedkarite parties have expressed concern over the allegedly tardy progress of the two-member commission set up by the State government to probe the Bhima-Koregaon clash that occurred on January 1. The outfits, including the RPI (A), said the statements of only a handful of people were recorded during the conclusion of the first phase of the hearings in Pune, which lasted four days from October 3 to October 6.They have demanded that the commission consisting of Justice Jai Narayan Patel, former Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court, and State chief secretary Sumit Mullick, submit their report by the end of December.On Wednesday, freelance journalist and researcher Chandrakant Patil deposed before the commission and submitted documents concerning the historical aspects leading to, and the vague nature of, the outcome of the 1818 battle between a regiment of the East India Company and the forces of the Peshwa.Mr. Patil said caste or religion had played no part in the events leading up to the engagement. In his affidavit, Mr. Patil said the battle was the result of a sequence of events arising from the assassination of a senior court member of the rulers of Baroda (Vadodara) in 1815 by a trusted lieutenant of the Peshwas. The British saw a chance to supplant the Peshwas.“There is no evidence to suggest that the Mahars had approached the British with an offer to help them against the Peshwas as they had been insulted by the latter or that they sought freedom from any sort of caste discrimination,” Mr. Patil said.Objecting to Mr. Patil’s claims, RPI (A) leader Siddharth Dhende said time is being wasted on the submission of a self-styled researcher whose deposition is irrelevant to the immediate question of the riots.“While I don’t wish to point fingers, the commission ideally ought to have recorded the statements of those directly affected by the clashes in the first phase of the hearings. Why is so much precious time being wasted on the testimony of someone like Mr. Patil? The materials that he has submitted to support his contention are already present in the public domain,” Dr. Dhende told The Hindu. The objective behind the judicial commission, Dr. Dhende said, is to probe who instigated the January 1 clash. “If only four or five persons have been examined by the commission so far, then the hearings could well drag on for another six months. By that time, the elections will be round the corner and the issue will be hanging fire,” Dr. Dhende, who was a member of an unofficial coordination committee set up by the police in the aftermath of the clashes, said.On Saturday, the sarpanch of Vadhu Budruk, Rekha Shivale, told the commission that the gram panchayat office has no record of the samadhi of Govind Ganapat Gaikwad, a Mahar who is claimed by the Dalit community to have performed the last rites of the slain Maratha King Sambhaji (Shivaji’s son).Ms. Shivale said while the panchayat has records of the samadhis of Chhatrapati Sambhaji, his aide, the poet Kavi Kalash, and the documents of historical shrines in the area, there is no such record of Gaikwad’s samadhi which might have come up in the last two years.Two days before the Bhima-Koregaon clash, a dispute broke out between upper caste Marathas and Dalits in Vadhu Budruk on December 29 last year over a rudimentary plaque erected near the tomb of Gaikwad.Dalits believe Gaikwad had defied Mughal emperor Aurangzeb to perform the last rites of Sambhaji after the latter was tortured and murdered by Aurangzeb in 1689, and had paid with his life for this deed.However, Marathas of Vadhu-Budruk claim the Mahars’ account is a distortion of history and that it was their ancestors — Shivale Deshmukh alias Bapuji Buva and his wife Padmavati — who performed Sambhaji’s final rites.Dr. Dhende said, “The Vadhu Budruk gram panchayat, which is dominated by Marathas, has tampered with documents Prahlad Gaikwad, who owns the land on which the samadhi is situated. The tomb of Govind Ganpat, along with those of other Mahar soldiers who had fought the Bhima-Koregaon battle, has been present in the village for nearly 150 years. The gram panchayat members are attempting to distort history through such [Ms. Shivale’s] testimonies.”Meanwhile, the Republican Yuva Morcha’s State president, Rahul Dambale, has moved an application before the commission demanding that it complete its work before December 25.
Three people were killed in a fire that broke out in the polybutadiene rubber section of the Reliance Industries’ rubber plant in Gujarat on Thursday, November 29, 2018, the company said.“The fire was restricted to one section of the plant and timely action by Reliance firefighting team helped in quickly extinguishing the fire,” the company said. According to the statement, three contractual workers, who were injured in the accident, later succumbed to their injuries despite the best efforts of the medical team. “Our prayers and sympathies are with their families in their time of grief and we will support the families to overcome their personal tragedy,” the company added.An investigation is to be conducted to ascertain the cause of the fire, the statement added, adding that the rest of the complex continued with their normal operations.
The 79th session of the Indian History Congress (IHC) that was to be held in the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) between December 28 and 30 has been “indefinitely postponed” by university authorities allegedly due to a shortage of funds.The university put up a statement on its website on Wednesday.The IHC, considered the premier body of academic and professional historians in the country and which boasts a membership of over 7,000 academics, said it was “shocked” and “deeply disappointed” at the university’s last-minute decision.On Thursday, SPPU organising committee member professor Radhika Seshan said that the ‘Khelo India’ programme scheduled between January 9 and 20, 2019, in the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex at Balewadi, meant that the facility would be unavailable for housing delegates coming to the IHC.“We have asked the IHC for a postponement till February or March owing to shortage of funds and because of the Khelo India programme. The loss of the Balewadi Sports Complex means that we would have to arrange for hotels to house the delegates. This would add to our costs,” she said.Though the IHC was scheduled in advance, she said that the neck-to-neck schedules of the congress and the ‘Khelo India’ event was the reason given by authorities for not making the Balewadi facility available to the SPPU. Ms. Seshan denied suggestions of any ‘political pressure’ on the university to host the IHC.Over 2,000 delegatesMore than 2,000 delegates from across India were expected at the Congress. According to SPPU authorities, the cost of hosting an event at this scale would come to ₹1.5 crore.“It is a matter of pride for us and we would still be happy to host. We hope that the IHC’s executive committee will agree to our request for a postponement,” Ms. Seshan said. When asked if the varsity would be able to secure funds if the IHC agreed to a postponement, she said that the organising committee had the full support of the SPPU.In a note put up on the IHC website on Wednesday, Professor Mahalaxmi Ramakrishnan, secretary, IHC said: “We had received an email from [university authorities] on the night of December 11 which said that due to financial difficulties and lack of arrangements for accommodation of delegates, they have at the last moment taken this unilateral decision. This morning [December 12], the website of SPPU carried the announcement of the postponement of the IHC, without the approval of the executive committee (EC) of the IHC. We have written to the Vice-Chancellor of SPPU expressing our deep anguish and asking him to ensure that the local delegate fee is returned immediately to the members.”Ms. Ramakrishnan further said that the IHC regretted that its members were being put to great inconvenience at this late hour but assured them that the 79th session of the congress would be held at a future date, the dates and venue of which would be duly conveyed to all members.Ms. Seshan, however, said that most delegates had not yet asked for the fee refund and had inquired about future dates.The IHC, which prides itself with the promotion and encouragement of the scientific study of Indian history, has often taken a critical stance in the past towards attempts at rewriting history on the basis of myth.The Congress met for the first time in 1935 in Pune city under the auspices of the Bharat Itihas Sanshodhak Mandal and on the initiative of the renowned historian, Professor D.V. Potdar.A strong link with the city constituted the rationale for the congress to be held in Pune this time. Distinguished historians from Maharashtra and Pune including Professor D.V. Potdar, G.H. Khare and Prof. H.D. Sankalia among others have served as past presidents of the IHC.The history body’s link with Maharashtra is further exemplified by the fact that the most prestigious prize that the IHC awards is named after V.K. Rajwade, the great Maratha archivist and historian of King Shivaji.Delhi-based historian of modern political history, S. Irfan Habib in a tweet said, “Shocking to know that Savitri Bai Phule university in Pune suddenly decided not to host the 79th Indian History Congress session. IHC session was supposed to be held by the end of this month. Law and order issues are cited as one major reasons by the university host.” SPPU authorities, however, categorically repudiated speculation about having sent the IHC any previous communication expressing reservations about hosting the congress owing to a potential ‘law and order situation’.
COPENHAGEN—Ten months after news of a horrific chemical attack in Ghouta, near Damascus, shocked the world, the last 8% of Syria’s known chemical arsenal left the country on Monday. The shipment was a high point in an international mission launched in October 2013 to destroy the country’s stockpile, and a victory for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). But more needs to be done to make the world free of chemical weapons, OPCW Director-General Ahmet Üzümcü said at a meeting here on Wednesday—and he called on scientists to do their part in reaching that goal.Under huge international pressure, the Syrian government agreed to join the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), a 1997 international disarmament treaty, in October 2013. The deal helped stave off U.S. military action after the Ghouta attack, which killed an estimated 1400 men, women, and children.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Syria’s toxic chemicals—used to make sulfur mustards or nerve agents like sarin—will be destroyed at sea through a hydrolysis process, using water, sodium hydroxide, sodium hypochlorite, and heat. The technology, used in the United States in the past decades, will be used on board the U.S. vessel Cape Ray, because no country volunteered to host the destruction. The waste, called reaction mass, will then be incinerated in commercial disposal facilities. The whole process will last several months, meaning that the destruction program will miss its 30 June target. Still, the operation is a success, Üzümcü says, and the first time an entire arsenal of weapons of mass destruction is removed from a country where a civil war is raging.Observers sounded a note of caution after the shipment was announced, saying there may be other, hidden weapons in Syria. For example, OPCW experts recently found that Syria has “most likely” used lung irritants such as chlorine, which is not classified as a chemical weapon in itself. But OPCW can’t tell if there are more weapons in the country beyond the 1300 tons that the government has declared. “We aren’t able to tell this for other countries, either,” Üzümcü told ScienceInsider at the EuroScience Open Forum, a biennial science meeting held here this week. “This is not our job, our job is to verify what is declared.”Syria is the 190th country to sign the CWC. Under the treaty, the OPCW has overseen the destruction of 83% of chemical weapons declared by eight member states. Üzümcü says it will take 4 to 5 years to destroy most of the remaining stockpiles; the United States has set a 2022 deadline for its remaining stocks.Only six countries have not signed or ratified the convention. Although Angola, Myanmar, and South Sudan may join soon, it will take longer for Egypt and Israel to do so, Üzümcü says. (The sixth nonmember country is North Korea.) “After Syria’s membership, I urged these two countries to reconsider their positions, and I’ll continue to do it,” he says.Even if and when the whole world is completely free of chemical weapons, prevention will remain a big task, Üzümcü told the meeting. “[F]or disarmament to be truly effective, it must do more than simply remove weapons. It must ensure that they are not reacquired.” Scientists have an important role to play in that process, he adds. OPCW and national governments already employ chemists, physicians, and other specialists, for example as inspectors or advisers. But OPCW wants to engage a wider group of scientists—in particular those working in developing countries and younger researchers.“We need to instill the highest ethical standards in our scientists at the very beginning of their careers, especially those with access to substances and facilities which could be misused,” Üzümcü told the meeting. He called on scientists in mentoring positions to help.Out of the organization’s annual €70 million budget, Üzümcü says about €6 million goes to promoting the peaceful use of chemistry, for example through scientific conferences, fellowship programs, or the provision of lab equipment—including in countries that have never declared chemical weapons. “In many countries the penal code includes references to our convention” and misguided scientists would have to be punished under national law, he tells ScienceInsider. “They have to be aware of their obligations.”
Talk about high-tech toys! Tomy’s “Hello! MiP” bot can dance, spin, fetch, and carry—and apparently, it even knows how to box. This little guy can be controlled using a phone or with hand movements, so there’s lots of different ways to teach it to bring y TOPIO may look like the Terminator, but it’s here to play table tennis, not destroy the human race. Its name stands for “TOSY Ping Pong Playing Robot” and it uses an artificial intelligence system to improve continuously during play, learning from each pr By Lizzy LeesOct. 13, 2014 , 3:00 AM © ROBERT PRATTA/Reuters/Corbis Max Aguilera-Hellweg If you think this robot looks like an animal, you’re on the right track. The Legged Squad Support System (LS3) was developed by the U.S. Department of Defense to act as a trained combat animal and literally take the burden off soldiers in rough terrain. C © Frederic Soltan/Corbis Despite their extremely “metal” appearance, the all-robot band Z-Machines can play sweet mellow music. But they can also amp it up to take full advantage of their extra fingers and arms and rock out with extreme mechanical precision. The only thing these Meet the robot pal you’ve been dreaming of. PR2, developed by the robotics lab Willow Garage, can do almost anything you want around the house: It folds laundry, fetches beers, flips pancakes, and even cleans up after you. PR2 was designed as an open sour © Toby Sterling/AP/Corbis Google’s newest self-driving car, released in May, was built entirely from scratch—and it shows. The car has no steering wheel, accelerator, or brakes. And if you’re planning on kicking back and on rocking out to some music while it drives you around, thi Slideshow: Eleven of the world’s coolest robots © Toru Hanai/Reuters/Corbis ‹› Max Aguilera-Hellweg © KIYOSHI OTA/epa/Corbis In the category of robots at work, this bot might be up for most dangerous job. The combat-ready “Modular Advanced Armed Robotic System,” or MAARS robot, enters risky areas in advance of troops. Here, it’s being guided through an urban training ground at Humanrobo via Wikipedia Commons © Michael Bahlo/epa/Corbis DARPA Players in the Robot Soccer World Cup, or RoboCup, are mostly interested in the serious business of advancing robotics and artificial intelligence. All the teams in the Standard Platform League game use the same type of robot body, and the best-designed s Like horses, camels need jockeys when they race. Until a few years ago, young boys were the likely riders. Now, tiny robot jockeys ride camels through the sand while owners remotely control their little whips. © STEPHANIE MCGEHEE/Reuters/Corbis In the category of robots at work, this bot might be up for most dangerous job. The combat-ready “Modular Advanced Armed Robotic System,” or MAARS robot, enters risky areas in advance of troops. Here, it’s being guided through an urban training ground at Meet the robot pal you’ve been dreaming of. PR2, developed by the robotics lab Willow Garage, can do almost anything you want around the house: It folds laundry, fetches beers, flips pancakes, and even cleans up after you. PR2 was designed as an open sour Google Press Release Forget that fantasy trip to volunteer at the vineyard in France! Burgundy-colored Wall-Ye is equipped with shears and sensors so it can do the tough work of pruning and monitoring plants throughout the season. Performers inside giant “fembots” are just one element of the extreme floor show at the Robot Restaurant in Tokyo. Other acts include boxing robots, giant motorcycles, and lots and lots of neon. © Michael Bahlo/epa/Corbis Robots have captured our collective imagination ever since we first made machines. A special issue in Science turns the spotlight on robots and the people who make them. From robotic soldiers to metal pop stars, meet some of the bots that are blurring the borders between human and machine.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)
Many NRI investors based in the USA and Canada are still asking around when will they be able to invest in Indian mutual funds again. Related Items
NRIs and PIOs are not required to link bank accounts and other services with Aadhaar, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) saidRead it at Times of India Related Items
The last 4,200 years have been classified by geologists as a new distinct age in Earth’s history, called the “Meghalayan Age,” named after the Indian state of Meghalaya.The new age, which was brought about by a global drought that had severe consequences for various civilizations, will now appear on all official charts depicting Earth’s geological history, the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS) announced at a meeting held in June. The International Chronostratigraphic Chart is updated to show the Meghalayan Age as the youngest slice of Earth’s 4.6-billion-year geological history, incorporated into the Holocene Epoch, the last 11,700 years on the planet that began with the end of the Ice Age. This epoch also includes the Greenlandian Age — the oldest phase of the Holocene — and the Northgrippian Age, which dates from 8,300 years ago up to the beginning of the Meghalayan.The latest version of the International Chronostratigraphic Chart/Geologic Time Scale is now available! New #Holocene subdivisions: #Greenlandian (11,700 yr b2k)#Northgrippian (8326 yr b2k)#Meghalayan (4200 yr before 1950) https://t.co/IhvZHfHnWh#ChronostratigraphicChart208 pic.twitter.com/8Pf9Dnct7h— IUGS (@theIUGS) July 13, 2018The Meghalayan goes back 4,200 years, when a devastating drought severely impacted civilizations in Egypt, Greece, Syria, Palestine, Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, and the Yangtze River Valley over two centuries. The proposal for the Meghalayan age was floated around six years back, after distinct chemical signals were detected for the transition to a new age in the stalagmites rising from the floor of the Mawmluh cave near Cherrapunji in the northeastern Indian state. The layers of the stalagmite showed a change in the isotopes of oxygen atoms due to weakened monsoons. “The isotopic shift reflects a 20-30% decrease in monsoon rainfall,” Prof Mike Walker of the University of Wales, UK, who led the international team of Holocene scientists that developed the division proposal, told BBC News.“The two most prominent shifts occur at about 4,300 and about 4,100 years before present, so the mid-point between the two would be 4,200 years before present, and this is the age that we attribute to the [Meghalayan golden spike],” he added.The Meghalayan is a unique division in the time scale because it marks a major global cultural event that resulted from a global climatic happening, the report cited Stanley Finney, professor of geological sciences at Long Beach State University and Secretary-General of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS), which ratified the ICS proposal, as saying. Some scientists, however, are not convinced about the move to label a new Meghalayan Age, especially since deliberations are still going on about identifying a new time period — tentatively called the Anthropocene — that would recognize the impact of human activity on the planet. “After the original paper and going through various committees, they’ve suddenly announced [the Meghalayan] and stuck it on the diagram,” Mark Maslin, a professor of geography at University College London, UK, told the publication. “It’s official, we’re in a new age; who knew? We have lots of new definitions that perhaps now contradict the Anthropocene Working Group and go against what most scientists perceive to be the most important change on Earth in the last 10,000 years.”Prof Walker, however, dismissed the objections. “To be frank, I see absolutely no conflict at all between the new subdivisions that we have here and a future designation of the Anthropocene,” he told the BBC. “These subdivisions of the Holocene are based entirely on physical (climatic/ environmental) evidence whereas any designation of the Anthropocene as a new unit within the geological timescale would rest entirely on evidence for human impact.”Meanwhile people in India, and especially Meghalaya, are ecstatic with the recognition that the state has got. “I think this is a very proud moment for everybody in Meghalaya. It’s a global phenomenon where the history of the earth and humanity is named after Meghalaya,” Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said, the Hindustan Times reported. “In fact we can proudly say, we are living in our age,” he added, pointing out that right policies are needed to protect the vast network of caves, such as the Mawmluh cave, that are found in the state. Related Itemsgeologymeghalaya
Amazon is looking at infusing a further $2 billion in the Indian market to take on the challenge posed by the recent acquisition of Flipkart by Walmart, CNBC TV 18 reported. The Jeff Bezos-led American e-commerce firm had earlier increased the investment in India to $5 billion.“Amazon may start with increasing its investment target in India to $2 billion and increase it over a period of time,” the publication quoted a source as saying. However, no timeline has been decided for the investment so far, the source added, according to the report.Amazon’s plans to boost its presence in India come on the heels of the $16 billion deal inked by American retail chain Walmart to buy 77 percent stake in Indian e-tailer Flipkart last month. “India is one of the most attractive retail markets in the world, given its size and growth rate, and our investment is an opportunity to partner with the company that is leading transformation of eCommerce in the market,” Doug McMillon, Walmart’s president and chief executive officer, had then said in a statement.Amazon was also reported to have made an offer to buy 60 percent of Flipkart before the deal was clinched by Walmart.However, Amazon is still keeping its eyes firmly on the Indian e-commerce sector. “Amazon is betting big on the India market. It is evident that after Walmart’s acquisition of Flipkart, Flipkart’s ability to increase market share and India presence will increase,” CNBC TV 18 quoted another source as saying in its report. “Amazon has had its eyes and ears firmly on the ground and has been carefully planning its strategy. India is one of its fastest growing geographies and Amazon will not be left behind,” the source added.In 2016, Bezos announced that the company will increase its $2 billion investment in India by another $3 billion.“Amazon will invest $3 billion more in India. This is in addition to the $2 billion announced in 2014,” Bezos had said during a USIBC meet in Washington in 2016, which was attended by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “We have already created some 45,000 jobs in India and continue to see huge potential in the Indian economy,” he had added.Of the $5 billion, Amazon is estimated to have already invested $3.3-$3.8 billion in India, the report added, citing industry experts.Amazon India’s online marketplace has been said to be spending $120 million every month — $75 million on ecommerce and $45 million on its Prime subscription service, the Economic Times had reported earlier this year, citing experts. The amount is much higher than its average monthly cash burn rate of $80-100 million in 2016, the report added.Amazon India is reported to have a valuation of $16 billion, with a market share of 30 percent.Meanwhile, on the occasion of the firm’s fifth anniversary in India, Bezos posted a letter to its consumers in the country on the Amazon India website.“On our fifth anniversary in India, I want to say thank you for your support and for making Amazon.in the most visited shopping site in India for the last two years,” Bezos said in the letter, adding that customers from 100 percent of serviceable pin codes in India have placed orders on the ecommerce platform, thanks to local innovations such as Udaan and I Have Space. “We’re five years into our journey, but as we say here at Amazon, it’s still Day 1, and I’m energised and humbled by the opportunities ahead. Amazon.in is ‘India ki apni dukaan‘,” he added. Related ItemsAmazoneCommerceWalmart
The Australian Open has appointed Infosys, India’s second largest services and consulting company, as its new major technology partner for the tournament, one year after it ended its partnership with IBM.While the financials of the deal are not known yet, the partnership will be up for renewal after three years.American technology giant IBM was the technology partner for the Australian Open for 24 years before the partnership ended last year. For the 2018 tournament, Tennis Australia, the governing body of the sport in the country, did not have a technology partner, which left a gap in its match analytics, according to Sportbusiness.com.As part of the new deal, Infosys will leverage its expertise in emerging technologies like big data & analytics, artificial intelligence, as well as virtual and augmented reality, to provide unique, innovative and engaging experiences for fans of the tennis tournament, the Bengaluru-based firm said in a statement.“Partnering with Infosys is an exciting next step in our ongoing quest to innovate the Australian Open and engage new audiences across the world. We have long understood the importance of using data and insights to improve connections with our fans, players, coaches and the rest of the tennis community and we look forward to working with Infosys to change the way we all experience our great sport in the future,” Craig Tiley, Tournament Director, Australian Open, said in a statement.“This partnership is about creating new ways of experiencing the Australian Open. We’re really excited about the opportunity to showcase how digital technologies can enhance the boundaries of this tournament, to change the way the Australian Open is watched, analyzed and played,” Salil Parekh, CEO and Managing Director, Infosys, said. “This association with Tennis Australia also reaffirms our strategic commitment to the region where we partner with some of the leading enterprises in driving their digital transformation agenda.”Indian technology service providers are increasingly forging partnerships with sports clubs and sporting events to upgrade fans’ experience and engagement with players, matches, and a host of other activities. HCL Technologies has a digital partnership with Manchester United, while Tech Mahindra has a deal with Jaksonville Jaguars, both of which are British soccer clubs, moneycontrol.com reported.The Australian Open, said to be the biggest sports and entertainment event in the world in January, is governed by Tennis Australia. All Australian Open 2019 tickets will be available on sale from Oct. 9, 2018. Related ItemsAustraliaInfosystennis
The journalistic fraternity in Kashmir, where 19 scribes lost their lives to unknown gunmensince 1990, will get to elect its first-ever body for the Kashmir Press Club (KPC) on July 15. As many as 252 working journalists and editors will vote for four posts of office-bearers and a seven-member executive committee. Thirty one candidates are in the fray for the July 15 polls. All the candidates wooed voters through a fierce poster, social media and video campaigns in the past one week, promising social security, exigency funds, free legal support etc.“Holding election for professional organisations is always a welcome step. One hopefully looks forward to its promised positive outcome for the profession as well as the larger public good,” said senior journalist Mohammad Syed Malik. He recalled that regular organisational elections were held prior to 1990 to choose the office-bearers of working journalists’ State unit affiliated to the Indian Federation of Working Journalists (IFWJ). “The onset of turmoil (in 1990) disrupted all. The rest is history,” said Mr. Malik.Kashmir may be a rare place in the country where setting up a press club remained a no-go area. Successive governments identified land and buildings but never handed them over to the journalists. “In the late 1990s, then Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah instructed his Chief Secretary to hand over the keys of a particular building to the media fraternity to start a press club. Later, the Chief Secretary disclosed that the keys of the building had gone missing,” said another senior journalist on condition of anonymity.The setting up of the press club, which was handed over by the previous government to the journalists in 2017, has come at a time when working journalists and editors are under tremendous pressure from many sides in Kashmir.The Kashmir Editors Guild (KEG), a body of editors of local dailies, at a recent meeting said the club “should become a symbol of unity.”Ishfaq Tantry, contesting for general secretary, said, “This election will be a first move towards starting a process of welfare for journalists and their working conditions. It should also become a hub to upscale skills of journalists.”
Three undertrial prisoners facing charges of dacoity escaped from police custody while being taken to Silvassa from Thane Central Jail in Maharashtra for a court hearing, an official said on Thursday. The accused, Jairam Dalvi (21), Ganesh Dalvi (20) and Martin Madha (30), were arrested last year by Silvassa police in the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and subsequently lodged in the Thane prison, senior police inspector Vilas Chowgule said. On Tuesday, while the prisoners were being taken for a court hearing in Silvassa, they complained of nausea and got down from the escort van on Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway near Vasai in Palghar where they gave police the slip, he said. The escort team later approached Valiv police here and lodged an offence against the accused under Indian Penal Code Section 224 (resistance/obstruction by a person to his lawful apprehension).The three prisoners were facing several cases of dacoity in Thane, Palghar, Mumbai and Gujarat, Mr. Chowgule said. A manhunt has been launched to nab the absconding accused, he added.
The ruling Congress and Opposition BJP in Rajasthan have started the exercise for identifying candidates for by-elections to two Assembly seats — Mandawa and Khinvsar — scheduled for October 21. After facing defeat in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, the bypolls will be a challenge for the Congress, while the BJP pins its hopes on new State president Satish Poonia.The by-elections were necessitated after the sitting MLAs vacated the seats following their election to Lok Sabha. Mandawa MLA Narendra Khichar won as the BJP MP from Jhunjhunu, while Rashtriya Loktantrik Party MLA from Khinvsar, Hanuman Beniwal, won from Nagaur after his regional party entered into an alliance with the BJP and joined the NDA just before general elections.The candidates’ nominations can be filed till September 30 and the date for withdrawal of candidature will be October 3. After the polling on October 21, the results will be declared on October 24, according to the Election Commission.Impact on civic pollsThe by-elections are important for Congress because of their perceptible impact on the municipal polls due in November this year, for which the rival factions in the party wish to field their favourite candidates with the winning potential. Moreover, the party wants to send across a message of its effective governance even after its defeat at all the 25 Lok Sabha seats in the State.For the BJP, the appointment of Mr. Poonia — a Jat leader with strong association with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh — as the party chief may help at the two Jat-dominated seats. The party is yet to make up its mind on entering into alliance with the RLP, though former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje may not play a major role in the candidates’ selection, unlike in the Lok Sabha polls.Mr. Beniwal said on Monday that the RLP-BJP alliance would contest both the Assembly seats and he would like to field his party’s candidate in Khinvsar. “We are willing to support the BJP candidate in Mandawa. The final decision will be take at a meeting of office-bearers of both the parties in a couple of days,” he said.The Congress, which has strengthened its position in the State Assembly after the recent merger of six Bahujan Samaj Party MLAs, may give ticket to a member of Nagaur district’s influential Mirdha family. The party has lost the Khinvsar seat during the last three successive elections, as Mr. Beniwal won first on the BJP ticket in 2008 and later as an Independent in 2013 and as the RLP candidate in 2018.Mandawa was earlier considered a stronghold of veteran Congress leader Ram Narayan Chaudhary, who died in 2012. His daughter Rita Chaudhary defeated Mr. Khichar in 2008, but the latter emerged victorious as an Independent in 2013 and and as a BJP candidate in 2018.
“If 200 million Muslims of India succeed, India will succeed. So rather than getting filled with bigotry and hatred, we should try to bring people together and provide them an equal economic opportunity,” said Frank Islam, noted Indo-American entrepreneur and philanthropist.Speaking to The Hindu ahead of participating in the 202nd Sir Syed Day event at AMU as the chief guest on Thursday, the celebrated alumnus of the university said: “One nation under God is acceptable but not one nation under one religion and one language. That is not part of the secular ethos of the country. When you attack one set of people because of who they are, you attack the composite culture of India.” He said India was a “global beacon” for democracy and “we have to keep that momentum alive”.The head of FI Investment Group said he was not an expert on Islam but Islamic faith always had people who were entrepreneurs. “I am here to provide a connection between AMU and entrepreneurship. The students should go out and get jobs, create jobs and make a cha-nge in people’s lives. That’s what Sir Syed’s vision was.”He appealed to the Muslim youth to keep their chin high, aim high and work hard. “If you are good at something, people recognise your talent and give you opportunities. Don’t be afraid of hostility or get disheartened by prejudices; it probably happens in every country… There are Muslims who can’t afford good education. It is where people like me have a role to play,” said Mr. Islam who has funded the construction of an auditorium in the mass communication department and an entrepreneurship centre in the department of business administration in AMU.Modern educationOn the need for imparting modern education, Mr Islam said madrasas have to rework their curriculum to train youngsters for the 21st-century workforce. “I have always said reciting Koran is a very good thing, and one should do that, but it is not going to get you a job.”Aked about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to the U.S., Mr. Islam said he was able to capture the pulse of the Indian-American population. He added that there were protesters wherever Mr. Modi went but their number was much less than those who turned up to cheer for him.
Journalists in the Valley took out a protest march here against the continued suspension of internet services which completed 100 days on Tuesday since the abrogation of the Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on August 5.Scores of journalists working with different media organisations assembled at the Kashmir Press Club here and took out a protest march against the snapping of internet services in the Valley on the night of August 4, hours before the Centre revoked the state’s special status under Article 370 and abrogated it into two Union Territories.The journalists demanded immediate restoration of the services to facilitate the media persons to discharge their professional duties.“We took out the protest against the suspension of internet services for 100 days now. Internet is a basic took for journalists to discharge their professional duties and we demand its immediate restoration,” senior journalist Pervez Bukhari told reporters after the protest.The Centre’s August 5 decision led to an unannounced shutdown in the valley even as authorities imposed severe restrictions, including on communication, which were later gradually eased out.Postpaid mobile services on all networks were restored in the Valley on October 14, 72 days after they were snapped.However, pre-paid mobile phones and all internet services continue to remain suspended since August 5.The government has set up a ‘Media Facilitation Centre’ at a conference hall of a local hotel here for journalists to discharge their professional duties. But the media persons complain that it has not enough computers and they have to wait for hours for their turn.