All posts by admin

MLC polls: BJP, Sena win two seats each; NCP retains one

first_imgThe Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janata Party won two seats each while the Nationalist Congress Party won just one in the results of five out of six Maharashtra Council seats which were declared on Thursday.The six seats had gone to the polls on Monday, but counting for the Osmanabad-Beed-Latur seat has been kept pending owing to a court order. In Nashik, Sena’s Narendra Darade defeated NCP’s Shivaji Sahane. Mr. Darade thanked NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal for helping him secure victory. He said, “All parties have helped me to get to 400 votes. Naturally, everyone has helped me.” Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had inquired about Mr. Bhujbal’s medical condition following his release on bail earlier this month. Mr. Bhujbal’s son, Pankaj, had met the Sena president at his residence, Matoshree, in Mumbai. Mr. Bhujbal, a former Shiv Sainik, had thanked the Sena for the party’s support during his ‘trial by fire’. In Raigad-Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg, all parties including the BJP, Narayan Rane’s Maharashtra Swabhiman Paksha, and the Peasants and Workers Party extended support to NCP candidate Aniket Tatkare, the son of former minister Sunil Tatkare, against the Sena’s Rajiv Sable. Mr. Thackeray alluded to allegations of Sunil Tatkare’s involvement in the irrigation scam. He said, “Now all those who united to defeat us should unitedly start probing the irrigation scam.”Congress suffered embarrassment in Amaravati and Parbhani-Hingoli, thanks to infighting and backstabbing by the NCP. In Amaravati, its candidate Anil Madhogaria won 17 votes while the BJP’s Pravin Pote won 458 votes. Narrow defeats In Parbhani-Hingoli, the NCP seems to have voted in favour of the Sena. Congress candidate Suresh Deshmukh lost to Viplov Bajoria of the Sena by 35 votes. NCP State chief Jayant Patil said, “I and Congress chief Ashok Chavan were in touch on this seat. We tried our best.” In Wardha-Chandrapur-Gadchiroli, Congress’s Indrakumar Saraf lost to BJP’s Ramdas Ambatkar by 37 votes.last_img read more

Assam Islamic seminary tightens admission rules

first_imgA 121-year-old Islamic seminary in southern Assam has made its admission rules stricter in a bid to stop criticism of harbouring illegal immigrants and fundamentalists.The Darul Uloom Banskandi in Cachar district, situated about 13 km from district headquarters Silchar, issued a notice on Thursday making it compulsory for students seeking admission to submit their legacy data along with the application form.Legacy data are a set of documentary evidence which establish that the family of a citizen of India has been living in Assam from before 1971. This is a requirement of the National Register of Citizens of 1951 being updated in the State with March 24, 1971, as the cut-off date. In other words, people who entered Assam after the cut-off date would be marked illegal immigrants and deported.“Students will have to submit their legacy data that establish members of their family have been living in India before 1971. They will also have to submit proof of permanent residence and voter’s identity card in the case of those who have attained the age of voting (18 years),” Hamid Ahmed, the rector of the seminary, said.last_img read more

The citizenry test: Assam NRC explained

first_imgThe draft National Register of Citizens (NRC), published on Monday, includes only those able to prove they were in Assam before 1971. A look at some critical questionsWho is a D-voter?Short for ‘dubious’ or ‘doubtful, this is a category of voters disenfranchised by the government for alleged lack of proper citizenship documents. Some 2.48 lakh people got the D-voter tag during NRC processWho is a declared foreigner? D-voters are tried by special tribunals under the Foreigners’ Act and if they fail to defend their citizenship claim they are marked as declared foreigners and sent to any of six detention camps, which are within jails for criminals, for deportation. There were 91,206 declared foreigners as on December 31, 2017.Why is NRC being updated in Assam? Officially, the NRC process will address the issue of illegal migrants, specifically from Bangladesh. The National Register of Citizens was first published in 1951 to record citizens, their houses and holdings. Updating the NRC to root out foreigners was a demand during the Assam Agitation (1979-1985)Why is March 24, 1971 the cut-off date?There have been several waves of migration to Assam from  Bangladesh, but the biggest was in March 1971  when the Pakistan army crackdown forced many to flee to India. The Assam Accord of 1985 that ended the six-year anti-foreigners’ agitation decided upon the midnight of March 24, 1971 as the cut-off date.Who is a citizen in Assam? The Citizenship Act of 1955 was amended after the Assam Accord  for all Indian-origin people who came from Bangladesh before January 1, 1966 to be deemed as citizens. Those who came between January 1, 1966 and March 25, 1971 were eligible for citizenship after registering and living in the State for 10 years while those entering after March 25, 1971, were to be deported.What happens to the excluded 40 lakh? They will have to file for claims and objections and submit relevant documents for re-verification. The NRC office will issue claim forms from August 7 to 30, and these applicants would have to submit the forms from August 30 to September 28. The documents will be verified and accepted or rejected for the final NRC to be published on an unspecified date. The cases of those left out of the final NRC will be heard in the Foreigners’ Tribunals, after which applicants can approach the High Courtlast_img read more

Someone helped identify Dabholkar to shooters: CBI

first_imgA special court on Saturday for the second time extended the CBI remand of Sharad Kalaskar, the alleged second shooter in the killing of rationalist Dr. Narendra Dabholkar, till September 17.The Central Bureau of Investigation sought for extension on grounds that a person who was apparently present on the day of the murder on August 20, 2013, had allegedly helped the two named shooters — Sachin Andure and Kalaskar — identify Dr. Dabholkar when he was out on a morning stroll in Pune’s Maharshi Vitthal Ramji Shinde bridge (also known as the Omkareshwar bridge).“During the reconstruction of the crime, it has come to the agency’s notice that there was a person who identified Dr. Dabholkar to the two assailants, making it possible for them to kill the rationalist. Investigation has revealed that the shooters had not seen the victim in person before the murder. So, Kalaskar’s further custody can help in identifying this person,” said CBI counsel, Vijaykumar Dhakane.The agency further submitted that on the night of July 23 this year, Kalaskar, who was on his way to meet Vaibhav Raut (arrested by the ATS in the arms haul case) at the latter’s residence in Nallasopara, had dismantled four country-made pistols and thrown them in the water in areas in Greater Mumbai and Thane.“The firearms used in Dr. Dabholkar’s murder may be among those arms dismantled by Kalaskar,” said advocate Dhakane, stating that further custody was essential to know the spots at which he destroyed these arms and if possible recover them.“The agency has taken Kalaskar to locations such as Kalwa bridge at Thane creek and Bhayander bridge at Vasai creek, but the accused cannot identify the exact spot from where he threw the firearms. Hence, the CBI seeks his further custody,” the remand application reads.Judicial magistrate, first class, S. M. A. Sayyed accordingly extended Kalaskar’s remand till September 17.Arguing against an extension of Kalaskar’s custody, advocate Dharmraj Chandel said that the CBI had failed to make any significant recovery or elicit any vital piece of information during Kalaskar’s 12-day custody.“Kalaskar has already cooperated with the agency and has told them everything he knows. 12 days is sufficient for the CBI. Yet, the agency, by bringing up new pretexts for the extension of his custody, is merely trying to prolong the investigation on vague theories,” said Mr. Chandel.“Till recently, the CBI failed to make any progress in the investigation into Dr. Dabholkar’s murder. It was only when the ATS shared information with the CBI that the latter took Kalaskar and Andure in their custody,” he said.last_img read more

Focussed training helps underprivileged students

first_imgPharmaceutical major Lupin Limited expects to train over 1,000 undergraduates as pharma professionals by the year 2020 under a ‘Learn and Earn Initiative’ aligned with the Centre’s Skill Development mission. The initiative is aimed at youngsters who have passed Class XII in the Science stream with a minimum of 50% marks, but are facing financial constraints. They are taken for a three-year-long course during which they are paid stipend and provided all the facilities.“Since 2011, Lupin has helped create 560 graduates with 181 students passing out in 2018,” Yashwant Mahadik, president, global human resources at Lupin, said in Panaji last week.“We expect to help graduate more than 1,000 students by 2020 adding to the manpower resource of the pharmaceutical sector,” Mr. Mahadik said adding that “most of these would be absorbed by Lupin.”The curriculum, designed in concert with open universities such as Yashwantrao Chavan Maharastra Open University and Bhimrao Ambedkar University, confers graduates with a Bachelor’s Degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry Education B.VOC. in Manufacturing Technology (Pharmaceutical Chemistry) after the successful completion of the three-year programme.While training facilities are located in cities like Tarapur or Goa, efforts have been made to penetrate to the interiors in States such as Maharashtra, Karnataka, Sikkim and Goa through newspaper adverts, propaganda in colleges, distribution of flyers and pamphlets, and even personally meeting such families. These efforts are currently focussed around five of Lupin’s largest manufacturing hubs: Tarapur, Goa, Sikkim, Indore and Aurangabad.The third batch of 181 students graduated through the initiative last week at a function held in Margao, Goa. Those who graduated were presented with a degree and an appointment letter for a job with Lupin. In 2014, the first batch of candidates under the program from Goa, Tarapur, Indore, and Aurangabad, was given appointment letters with their degrees.(The writer was in Goa at the invitation of Lupin Limited)last_img read more

Haryana govt. indifferent towards farmers: Surjewala

first_imgSenior Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala on Monday accused the BJP government in Haryana of being indifferent towards the problems being faced by farmers in the State.He said the farmers were being forced to sell paddy and bajra crops at a lower rate than the minimum support price and yet the State government was not taking any steps to ensure that they got the assured price for their crop.“Farmers are facing exploitation at the hands of middlemen as the BJP government has become a mute spectator towards misery of the farmers,” Mr. Surjewala alleged.“The entire State, especially parts of north and south Haryana, saw unprecedented rain between September 22 and September 24 and there was another spell of rain last week, causing irreparable loss to the sugarcane, paddy, cotton and bajra crops. Yet, by not conducting a ‘special girdawari’ and by not paying compensation, the anti-farmer face of the BJP government has been exposed,” he said.Mr. Surjewala condemned the recent rise in the prices of DAP and NPK fertilizers and the continuous increase in diesel price and demanded immediate relief to farmers, who were already under severe financial distress.“The price rise of fertilizers and diesel have both hit the farming community hard. The anti-farmer face of the BJP has been exposed,” he said.last_img read more

Prepare for a Ram temple, says Adityanath

first_imgStirring the Ram Mandir pot once again, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday exhorted his supporters to start preparing for the construction of a temple in Ayodhya with the same zeal with which they celebrated Ram Leela.Delivering his annual Vijayadashami speech in Gorakhpur, Mr. Adityanath said: “Along with the grandeur of the Ram Leelas, we should all also start preparing to build a grand temple in the same way in which grand Ram Leelas have been organised in the form of the temple,” Mr. Adityanath said. He, however, did not explain or clarify his remark, which was delivered in a winding sentence in Hindi. “I would appeal to all of you that along with the Leelas (enactment of the life) of Bhagwan Shri Ram, we must also incorporate his values into our lives and propagate it in the society,” said Mr. Adityanath.The CM said without Lord Ram, the path of public welfare would not be complete and hoped that his “grand ideal character” would inspire everyone.Mr. Adityanath, who is also the head priest of the Gorakhnath temple, participated in the customary Vijay Shobha Yatra from the temple.last_img read more

Over 600 prosecutions in Panaji for TDS defaults in last 2 years: I-T Commissioner

first_imgIn the last two years, over 600 prosecutions were initiated here, with nearly 200 deductors admitting to their offence and paying hefty compounding fees, the Commissioner of Income Tax (TDS), Panaji, Bhavna Yashroy, said on Friday. Speaking at a seminar on public awareness on issues related to TDS (Tax Deducted at Source) at Socorro, near Panaji, Ms. Yashroy said that the department has launched prosecutions against errant deductors. The seminar was aimed at tax-payer capacity-building with respect to the use of the TDS portal called TRACES.At the same time, Ms. Yashroy said that a majority of the deductors in Karnataka and Goa have shown increased compliance with TDS provisions and more e-TDS returns are filed in time.“However, some deductors continue to be non-compliant, which causes a loss to the exchequer, and results in deductees not getting credit for taxes deducted in their income tax returns,” she said.The department has also conducted a series of surveys which have resulted in major TDS defaults being detected across sectors such as banking, hospitality, civil contractors, sugar factories and transporters, she said.“Last month itself, over 50 surveys have been conducted in the region. The department is continuously identifying and taking stringent action against deductors who are not depositing TDS. Even in the case of deductors who show substantial decline in TDS or late deposit, inquiries have been initiated,” said the Commissioner.TDS contributes nearly 45% to the total direct tax collections and is an important revenue source in nation building, said Ms. Yashroy.last_img read more

Guinness World Records nod for Bilaspur police’s ‘rakhi with khaki’

first_imgThe “rakhi with khaki” initiative of Chhattisgarh’s Bilaspur police, in which girls and women tied rakhis to 50,033 police personnel, has been acknowledged by the Guinness World Records.The event, a brainchild of Bilaspur Superintendent of Police Sheikh Arif Husen, was held on August 25, a day before Raksha Bandhan, and had women and girls from local schools and colleges tying rakhis over a span of ten hours and then uploading selfies with hashtags #rakhiwithkhaki and #HappyRakshaBandhan.The Guinness World Records certificate was awarded to Bilaspur police at a function held at the Lakhiram Memorial Auditorium here on Saturday, Mr. Husen told PTI.Prabhjot Sodhi, representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) India was the chief guest at the function on Saturday.“The rakhi with khaki initiative aimed at reaching out to women and girls and assuring them of security. Besides, it was to make the festival special for police personnel who are on duty even during such occasions,” Mr. Husen said.He added that Bilaspur police had started “samvedna kendra” at police stations to help women witnesses speak freely with the police about their problems.Mr. Husen, a 2005 batch IPS officer, has earlier received the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) award twice for community policing initiatives during his tenure as SP of Bastar and Balod in the State.last_img read more

Rajasthan to boost rural job scheme

first_imgThe labour component of budget for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) will be increased in Rajasthan, after Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot laid emphasis on creating more man-days under the flagship scheme to attract more workers to it and make the people in rural areas self-reliant.Mr. Pilot directed the officials of the Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Department here to give priority to creating man-days for the maximum number of people. About 2.50 lakh families had completed 100 days of work under the MGNREGS in 2017-18, according to the department.In his first review meeting after taking charge, Mr. Pilot asked the Collectors and Chief Executive Officers of zila parishads to organise a special campaign from January 5 to 20 to publicise the MGNREGS and distribute job cards among the rural families which have not availed themselves of the scheme.Special campsCamps will be held during the fortnight to remove irregularities in the issuance of job cards and provide receipts to people seeking work. Mr. Pilot said an action plan would be prepared for the districts where the number of persons joining the MGNREGS was relatively less.“The payment of wages to the labourers employed under the scheme should not be delayed and the pending works should be completed by March 31,” Mr. Pilot said, adding that employment avenues should be found for the skilled labourers seeking work under the MGNREGS.Mr. Pilot reviewed the Prime Minister’s rural housing scheme, schemes of the 14th Finance Commission, Swachh Bharat Mission, bio-fuel scheme, development of barren land, Jal Swavalamban Abhiyan and watershed development and land conservation schemes.last_img read more

Curfew continues in Kishtwar town for 5th day

first_imgCurfew remained in force in Kishtwar town of Jammu and Kashmir for the fifth day on Saturday after an RSS leader was shot dead by militants in the communally-sensitive region earlier this week, officials said.Internet services continued to be suspended as a precautionary measure in the district, but were restored in nearby Doda and Ramban districts on Friday night, the officials added. “Curfew is being strictly implemented in the town and adjoining areas,” Kishtwar District Development Commissioner A.S. Rana said. Army columns are assisting the CRPF and the police, he said. Minor protests were reported from some interior localities, but the situation remained under control, the officials said.last_img

ScienceShot: Oldest Cardiovascular System Found in Ancient Shrimplike Creature

first_imgThey were crushed. Without warning, 520 million years ago an ancient tsunami or storm trapped 50 shrimplike creatures under layer after layer of fine dirt particles and mud in the seabed that formerly covered much of southwest China. But rather than pulverize them, the powdery silt and Cambrian oceanic chemicals preserved the 6-centimeter-long animals, known as Fuxianhuia protensa, with impeccable statuesque detail (top panel). This underwater Pompeii initially revealed the ancestral brains of arthropods—such as spiders, scorpions, and crustaceans—and today, scientists report in Nature Communications the discovery of the oldest known cardiovascular system (lower panel). It was both modern and unsophisticated. A simple, tubelike heart was buried in the creature’s belly—or thorax—and shot single blood vessels into the 20 or so segments of its primitive body. In contrast, x-ray scans of the specimen revealed profoundly intricate channels in the head and neck. The brain was well supplied with looping blood vessels, which extended branches into the arthropod’s alienlike eyestalks and antennae and rivaled the complexity of today’s crustaceans. From this Gordian architecture, the researchers can now speculate about the critter’s lifestyle. Its brain required abundant oxygen, so it presumably did a fair amount of thinking. The ancient arthropod could likely peer around its murky marine environment, taking cues from a relatively advanced visual and sensory system, the researchers say.See more ScienceShots.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(*)last_img read more

White House Science Fair celebrates student research

first_imgSixteen-year-old Sophia Sánchez-Maes is all about algae. The slimy green stuff is an attractive candidate for biofuel production, but Sánchez-Maes wondered why the biofuel startups near her hometown of Las Cruces, New Mexico, weren’t having more success. “I’d heard all these stats about how awesome algae was and the potential, but I just wasn’t seeing it in my everyday life,” she says. “I kind of wanted to fix that.” After doing some digging, Sánchez-Maes found that the algae operations near Las Cruces were putting more energy into fuel production than they got out, so she set out to pioneer a new process that produces a positive energy yield.The result earned Sánchez-Maes a coveted spot in Monday’s White House Science Fair, where more than 100 elementary, middle, and high school students shared their research with President Barack Obama and other government officials. “We’ve got to celebrate the winners of our science fairs as much as we celebrate the winners of football or basketball or other athletic competitions,” Obama said in a speech honoring the students. The young scientists and inventors studied topics that ranged from carbon dioxide–powered batteries to software that identifies breast cancer–causing genetic mutations to spine implants for young scoliosis patients.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(*)Sánchez-Maes began her research by computationally modeling algae growth to determine how biofuel companies could optimize their operations. But, she says, this was “only the tip of the iceberg” for challenges that biofuel operations face. She then worked to develop a process that eliminates the most energy-intensive part of the biofuelmaking process—drying the algae and extracting its lipids. The new method involves “pressure-cooking” the algae and using catalysts to make the process more energy-efficient. But Sánchez-Maes didn’t stop there. She is now studying a type of algae that feeds on contaminants in wastewater, eliminating the need for sunlight that can hold back some biofuel plants. Thanks to a collaboration with researchers at Stanford University and New Mexico State University, among others, a wastewater treatment plant in her hometown is now demoing the technology. “She’s helping to bring the world closer to using algae as a clean, renewable, and even inexhaustible energy source,” Obama said.Sánchez-Maes wasn’t the only student to focus on biofuels. Eric Koehlmoos, 18, ran a biofuel project from the most unlikely of places—his basement. Because it was a several-hour drive from his home in rural Granville, Iowa, to the nearest lab, he labored mostly alone on his project: the production of ethanol from prairie cordgrass and switchgrass. He found that by treating the grasses with calcium hydroxide, or lime, he could boost ethanol production in certain grasses by 80%, making it a viable alternative to corn-based ethanol. The grasses can grow on land that isn’t suitable for corn or other crops, and byproducts could serve another purpose—cattle feed. To get started on his project, Koehlmoos consulted with a local ethanol plant and researchers at South Dakota State University. “Without them, I probably couldn’t have done my project,” he said.Other students focused on cybersecurity and computer technology. One of them—Nikhil Behari, 14—developed a protocol that may one day protect your Facebook page from hackers. Using a system that measures the amount of time and pressure unique users apply to their keystrokes, the Pennsylvania student created a protocol he says is more than 98% accurate in identifying individuals. Just as we all have distinct fingerprints, each person has a unique typing style, which a computer can detect to ensure your password hasn’t fallen into the wrong hands. Participating in the fair, Behari says, was inspiring. “I’ve met so many amazing people, and … they’ve given me even more motivation to do the science and work that I’ve been doing.”In his remarks, Obama emphasized the importance of continuous support for science research and education, announcing an additional $240 million in funding for the administration’s Educate to Innovate program. “It’s not enough for our country just to be proud of you,” he told the students. “We’ve also got to support you.”This year’s science fair—the fifth since it was launched in 2010—emphasized the importance of including minorities and women in science. Participants included first-generation Americans and a troop of 6-year-old Girl Scouts from Tulsa, Oklahoma. The girls, just beginning their first adventures in science and technology, created a machine made of Legos that automatically turns book pages to assist disabled people.“Science is for all of us,” Obama said. “And we want our classrooms and labs and workplaces and media to reflect that.”last_img read more

Bane of sheep and goat farmers targeted for eradication

first_imgAnimal health specialists meeting in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, yesterday agreed to try to rid the world of peste des petits ruminants (PPR), a viral disease devastating goat and sheep flocks throughout Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Control efforts have fallen short. The time has come for a “bolder next step,” said José Graziano da Silva, director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, at the meeting FAO organized with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) to kick off a global eradication program.Also called ovine rinderpest, PPR kills up to 90% of the animals it infects within days. The virus has spread rapidly over the past 15 years and is now present in 70 countries, putting 80% of the world’s more than 2 billion goat and sheep at risk. FAO estimates that the disease causes more than $2 billion in losses annually and is an economic disaster for the small herders and poor rural households that depend on the animals for milk, meat, wool, and leather both for their own use and for trade.The eradication plan envisions a staged approach. The assessment phase requires determining the numbers and locations of flocks most at risk and building veterinary capabilities. Then control efforts relying on voluntary vaccination will hopefully lead to an endgame in which authorities might enforce vaccination. The final step would be for countries to verify that there have been no PPR cases within their borders for at least 24 months. FAO and OIE believe they will need $4 billion to $7 billion over the next 15 years to accomplish their goal.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(*)There is a reliable PPR vaccine, though the organizations would like to see improvements made to extend its shelf life in hot climates. They note that strengthening veterinary capabilities would also benefit efforts to combat other diseases, such as foot-and-mouth disease, and improve animal health overall. The plan builds on lessons from the successful eradication of rinderpest, a disease caused by a related virus that had plagued cattle for millennia. After several failed attempts to control rinderpest, FAO launched a Global Rinderpest Eradication Programme in 1993 and declared the disease vanquished in 2011. It was the first time in history that an animal virus had been eradicated.Paul Rossiter, a U.K.-based veterinary consultant who was involved in the rinderpest campaign, notes that the PPR effort starts with a number of advantages. Diagnostic and tracking tools not available in the early days of the rinderpest program are now ready to go for use against PPR. These include tests for antibodies and to identify different viral strains. But he also flags challenges in the field. Many herders and local vets are still unfamiliar with PPR, which can be confused with other infections. And the large numbers of sheep and goats, as well as the rapid replacement rate of the animals, will complicate efforts to attain sufficient levels of herd immunity to stop virus transmission. Thus Rossiter believes that a central challenge facing the PPR eradication program will be developing wider ranging and more imaginative vaccine programs.last_img read more

Qatar Airways Rethinks Indian Plans Due to Foreign Ownership Rules

first_imgQatar Airways is reviewing plans for its own domestic Indian airline due to “confusing” foreign ownership rules and could work with a partner in India or take a stake in IndiGo instead, its chief executive said on Tuesday.Read it at Arab News Related Itemslast_img

Singapore Court Dismisses Singh Brothers’ Appeal Against Daiichi Sankyo’s Arbitration Award

first_imgIn another blow for former Fortis promoters Malvinder and Shivinder Singh, who have been fighting a Rs3,500-crore arbitration award against them, a Singapore court on Friday dismissed their appeal against the award, ET has learnt. Read it at Economic Times Related Itemslast_img

About Half the Foreign Student Population in U.S. Hails from India, China

first_imgAs much as 49 percent of the F-1 and M-1 non-immigrant international student population in the United States hails from either India or China, according to a recent biannual report on student trends conducted by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP).The number of Indian students in the United States stood at 211,703, while the corresponding figure from China was 377,070, between March 2017 and 2018, the report said.F-1 students are non-immigrants whose primary purpose is to complete an academic course of study at an SEVP-certified school or program, while M-1 non-immigrants are foreign nationals pursuing a full course of study at an SEVP-approved vocational or other recognized nonacademic institution — other than in language training programs — in the United States. SEVP oversees students and their dependents, as well as the schools that enroll them, for compliance with U.S. laws and regulations.Both China and India saw proportional growth between 1 and 2 percent, with China sending 6,305 more students and India sending 2,356 more students, the report, titled Sevis by the numbers, stated, comparing data from March 2017 to March 2018.“It is this level of participation from China and India that makes Asia far and away the most popular continent of origin. In fact, 77 percent of all international students in the United States call Asia home,” the report said.The report, however, highlighted that despite steady growth from the two most popular nations — China and India — there was a slight decrease in the number of Asian students who were coming to study in the United States during this period.Europe was the second most popular continent of origin, which also saw a slight decrease in the number of students coming to study in the United States.“Roughly 85 percent of all F- 1 and M-1 students were enrolled in associate, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral programs certified by SEVP. Specifically, there were 1,019,333 degree-seeking international students in the United States’ higher education system, which is a 0.8 percent increase from March 2017,” the report said.The largest growth and decline came from students seeking doctorate degrees and associate degrees, respectively. Doctorate degree programs saw a four percent increase (+6,241), while associate degree programs saw a five percent decrease (-4,793). Students seeking bachelor’s and master’s degrees stayed stable.There were 785,435 F-1 students in the United States seeking either a bachelor’s degree (402,293 students) or a master’s degree (383,142 students). As many as 43 percent of these students are female. These two levels of education were the most popular among international students coming to the United States.A total of 169,359 bachelor’s and master’s students studied business, management, marketing and related support services. The numbers for engineering stream stood at 148,875 while that for computer and information sciences and support services was 135,608.A recent study by the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS), a non-profit higher education organization based in Washington DC, showed that applications and enrollments by international graduate students, including Indian students, at American colleges and universities declined in 2016-17. Related ItemsacademicsUnited Stateslast_img read more

Pramod Sawant to meet Modi and Pralhad Joshi to seek solutions to restart mining industry in Goa

first_imgGoa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Sunday said he would meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister for Mines Pralhad Joshi to seek solutions to restart the mining industry in Goa, which stands banned by the Supreme Court since 2018. Speaking to mediapersons on the sidelines of a function in Panaji on Sunday, Mr. Sawant said he would meet them both after Mr. Joshi familiarises himself with his portfolio. He reiterated that resolving the mining deadlock was a priority for his government. Last month, Mr. Sawant had said harvesting of mining dumps near the mining leases was one of the options his government was examining to resume the mining activity in the interest of stakeholders, despite the Supreme Court ban on mining in 88 leases. There are currently over 736 million tonnes of iron ore dumped in mountain-like heaps in Goa’s mining belt. Mr. Sawant is expected to finalise a policy for dump ore harvesting by July this year.last_img read more