60 children die in five days in Gorakhpur hospital

first_imgSixty children died between August 7 and 11 in BRD Hospital, Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh. While 30 died in two days (August 10 and 11), allegedly due to lack of oxygen following non-supply of cylinders by the contractor for non-payment of dues, 12 died due to AES (acute encephalitis syndrome) and the remaining due to other causes, the hospital said.State Medical Education Minister Ashutosh Tandon has said that the BRD Hospital principal has been suspended for negligence. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday dispatched two Cabinet Ministers to the hospital.On Mr. Adityanath’s instructions, Health Minister Sidharthnath Singh and Mr. Tandon left for Gorakhpur. They have been directed to inspect the situation and take strict action, a government spokesperson said.Before leaving for Gorakhpur, Mr. Singh said that strict action would be taken in the matter as it was a serious issue. He also asked the Opposition not to politicise the deaths.When it was pointed that the incident happened despite a visit to the hospital by Mr. Adityanath on Wednesday, Mr. Singh clarified that the hospital authorities did not inform Mr. Adityanath of the crisis in oxygen cylinder supply during his visit.   “…BJP government is responsible & should punish the negligent, who caused this tragedy,” Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi tweeted.Azad sees government lapseCongress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who visited the hospital, blamed the State government for the ”lapse” and demanded that the Health Minister and Medical Education Minister be sacked. He demanded an apology from Mr. Adityanath to people.Congress leader and former Union Minister R.P.N. Singh said that the incident happened only due to the lapse of the BJP government.BJP trying to cover up incident: AkhileshSamajwadi Party (SP) president Akhikesh Yadav accused the BJP of trying to cover up the incident and hide facts. “The kin of the dead were handed over the bodies and chased away. Post mortems were not conducted and admission card were also made to vanish,” he alleged. Opposition parties were raising the issue as the government was shying away from its responsibilities, he said.“Children die a painful death in Gorakhpur due to lack of oxygen supply. Government is responsible. Strict action must be taken,” Mr. Yadav tweeted. He demanded that the families of the victims should be given ₹20 lakh as compensation.The SP sent a delegation of leaders under Leader of the Opposition Ram Govind Chaudhary to Gorakhpur.U.P. Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya criticised the Opposition for giving statements in haste.There is heavy deployment of police outside the hospital. 60 children die in 5 days at Gorakhpur hospitallast_img read more

Magnitude 4.1 quake shakes parts of Kutch in Gujarat

first_imgAn earthquake of magnitude 4.1 on Richter scale was registered in parts of Kutch district of Gujarat today.No casualties or damage to property were reported due to the earthquake which was reported near Dudhai village in Anjar tehsil of the district.An official of Gandhinagar-based Institute of Seismological Research said the earthquake, with its epicentre 16 km north-north east of Dudhai, was recorded at 3.12 pm.“There are no reports of any damage to property or life,” said Kutch Collector Ramya Mohan.last_img read more

Tarun Tejpal’s trial in case of alleged rape to begin on Feb. 26

first_imgFormer Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal will face trial in the case of alleged rape of a former junior journalist colleague, in a court in Panaji in February.Additional District and Sessions judge Vijaya Pol on Tuesday ruled that the in camera trial will commence on February 26 and continue for four consecutive days. The woman will depose and cross-examined during the hearings.In November 2013, Tejpal allegedly raped the woman in the elevator of a five-star resort in north Goa, while Tehelka magazine was hosting its annual international event.Following the registration of an FIR, Tejpal was arrested and remained in police and judicial custody for nearly a year. He was released on bail by the Supreme Courtlast_img read more

Army’s land acquisition makes all householders in Arunachal Pradesh village a millionaire

first_imgArunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu hands over a cheque to one of the Bomja villagers in Tawang on Thursday. All householders of a village in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang district have become millionaires five years after the Army acquired their land for setting up key location plan units of its Tawang Garrison.On Wednesday, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu handed over cheques worth ₹408.04 million (₹40.8 crore) as land compensation to the heads of 31 families in Bomja, a village of Buddhist Monpas, located about 20 km west of district headquarters Tawang.The Bomja family that parted with the most land received ₹67.33 million (₹6.73 crore). Another family received ₹24.5 million (₹2.45 crore) while the remaining 29 families were given ₹10.9 million (₹1.09 crore) each.“More such compensation for land acquired for defence purposes is being worked out with the Centre,” Mr. Khandu said, thanking Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for clearing the backlog for Bomja. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement center_img  “The Army and local people need each other to survive at 10,000-17,000 feet on the eastern Himalayas. We hope adequate compensation would further strengthen the bond we enjoy in this part of the country,” an officer of the Army’s 190 Mountain Brigade said, declining to be named.’Richest village in India’A Facebook group named Tawang Times claimed Bomja has become the richest village in India overnight. “We cannot say for sure unless we have data on other rich villages across the country,” an administrative officer in Tawang said.The Army’s presence in Arunachal Pradesh, specifically the western section leading to Tawang, had been scaled up since the Chinese aggression in 1962. This led to a land acquisition spree.Many villagers in Tawang and West Kameng resented the non-payment of compensation for vast tracts of land acquired more than 50 years ago. Their anger died down after the Defence Ministry released ₹540 million (₹54 crore) in April last year for 152 families of three villages — Senge, Nyukmadung and Lish.These villages are close to Sela, a mountain pass at 13,700 feet, where Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat of 4 Garhwal Rifles, during the 1962 war, singlehandedly kept 300 Chinese soldiers at bay before being killed. Rifleman Rawat is worshipped as a soldiers’ deity in a temple at Jaswantgarh beyond Sela on the road to Tawang.last_img read more

Third militant holed up in Jammu Army camp killed

first_imgAccording to the police, the firing between the holed-up militants and the security forces was on till 2 a.m. on Sunday. Ten civilians, including six women and children, were also injured in the past two days.Boy critical“The condition of a 14-year-old boy remains critical,” said the Army, which continued with the sanitising operation till late Sunday evening. Over 150 houses on the premises were cleared and the occupants moved to safety during the operation.Meanwhile, a woman was killed as Pakistani troops resorted to fresh ceasefire violation in the border districts of Rajouri and Poonch on Sunday. An official said the woman, identified as Parveen Akhter, was hit by the firing around 10.30 p.m. on Saturday when Pakistan used small arms and shells in Pkukherni and Lairan villages of Nowshera. The villages are situated on the Line of Control. The victim was inside her house.Fresh shelling was reported in Rajouri’s Naika Panjgrain, Khorinar and Rajdhani villages on the LoC. The Pakistan Army also fired mortar shells in Khadi Karmara in Poonch around 11 a.m.Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday condemned the militant attack on the Army camp. “All Indians, across political lines, stand united with our Army men and women. My prayers and thoughts are with the families of those killed and injured,” Mr. Gandhi said in a tweet.Meanwhile, a youth, identified as Adil Ahamd Wagay, was hit by bullets when Army opened fire on stone-throwing protesters, according to the locals. The incident took place at Shopian’s Bargipora village. The youth was injured in the leg. The police said they are ascertaining the facts.There was tension in parts of Shopian after an 18-year-old woman, Saima Wani, succumbed to her injuries in a Srinagar hospital on Sunday. Ms. Wani was hit by bullets near an encounter site on January 24 in Shopian’s Keegam area.Meanwhile Congress general secretary and Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad visited injured jawans and their family members at the Satwati Army hospital on Sunday. Jammu Army camp attackers from Pakistan: J&K DGP A day after the pre-dawn militant attack on its Sunjwan camp in Jammu, the Army said on Sunday that it found the bodies of three of its personnel and a civilian, taking the toll to six, and gunned down three suspected Jaish-e-Mohammad militants.Five Army men, including two junior commissioned officers (JCOs), and the father of a soldier have been killed in the attack by the fidayeen, who struck at the sprawling camp of the 36 Brigade of the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JKLI) on Saturday, an Army spokesperson said.In a statement, Jammu-based Army PRO Lt. Col. Devender Anand said three heavily armed militants were killed in the ongoing operation. While two were gunned down on Saturday, the body of the third was found on Sunday, he said.The third Jaish-e-Mohammad militant killed was also heavily armed like the two others killed on Saturday. “He was also wearing a combat dress and carrying an AK-56, Under Barrel Grenade Launcher, ammunition and grenades,” Lt. Col. Devender Anand told The Hindu.Also Readlast_img read more

Tight security sought for J&K local polls

first_imgMainstream political parties in Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday welcomed, though with a rider, the announcement of panchayat polls made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Governor N.N. Vohra in their Independence Day speeches.“In the recent past, all parties except the BJP had suggested postponement of the panchayat polls in view of the situation on the ground. Even the security establishment did not favour holding them now. We are ready to be part of the exercise only if the current administration provides a conducive atmosphere and security to the candidates,” Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) spokesman Rafi Mir told The Hindu.The PDP, which ruled the State along with the BJP from 2015 till June 2017, had to defer polls both for urban local bodies and panchayats twice in the past one year because of rising militancy and growing street protests in the wake of civilian killings, especially in south Kashmir.“We are hopeful the Governor took the security scenario into consideration and sought inputs from all security agencies before making the announcement,” Mr. Mir said. National Conference provincial president Nasir Aslam Wani said the administration should not take a hasty decision.“The Governor’s administration has to ensure the situation is conducive on the ground for such an elaborate exercise,” Mr. Wani said.Other smaller regional parties also asked the administration to move “cautiously as there was the threat of militant violence against potential candidates.”J&K saw panchayat polls in 2011 after a gap of four decades. The fresh panchayat polls were supposed to be held in 2015.The polls will elect over 33,849 grassroots representatives, including 4,130 sarpanchs and 29,719 panchs. Besides, there are 80 urban local bodies. Governor Vohra on Wednesday announced that the elections for the urban local bodies will take place during September-October and the panchayat polls in phases during October-December this year.last_img read more

Congress is trying to sabotage country’s security: Prakash Javadekar

first_imgThe Congress is trying to sabotage the security preparedness of the country by raking up the Rafale deal issue despite the Supreme Court saying there is no need for a probe, Union Minister for Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar said here on Saturday. “Supreme Court has clearly exposed the falsehood of Congress and given a clean chit to the deal by saying no further inquiry is needed. Still if Congress persists, the only conclusion that can be drawn is that they want to anyhow stop the deal which will weaken the security preparedness of the country. We will never allow this to happen,” Mr. Javadekar told reporters on the sidelines of the 31st convocation of Goa University.“This is nothing but sabotage for our security preparedness. We have already said that Rahul Gandhi owes an apology to the nation, to the defence forces and Lok Sabha also,” he further said, adding, “the BJP was willing to discuss the Rafale fighter craft purchase in Parliament.” He however, blamed the Congress for demanding a joint parliamentary committee(JPC) probe without discussion. “Congress lies have been exposed on the issue of Rafale, but they are still lying and there is no reason. When the Supreme Court said there is no need for a probe, they are asking for JPC. The reality is, the Congress is trying to baulk at efforts being made to strengthen India’s security,” Mr. Javadekar said.last_img read more

Do-It-Yourself Biologists Doing No Harm, Survey Finds

first_imgThere’s little to fear from the existing Do-It-Yourself Biology (DIYbio) movement, concludes a report released today by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. “There’s been a lot of debate in the biosecurity community about what DIYers may or may not be doing, from making narcotics to pandemics to viruses that kill heads of state (I’m not joking),” writes Wilson fellow and report co-author Daniel Grushkin in an e-mail to ScienceInsider. He hopes the report will “dispel a lot of these myths, so that the discussion can move beyond suspicion and risks, and start focusing on opportunities.”As sophisticated biological research techniques and equipment have become cheaper and more accessible to hobbyists, some observers have worried that tinkerers could end up working on projects, such as engineered bacteria or viruses, that could threaten public safety or the environment. Media reports have even suggested that Frankenstein-like researchers are toiling away secretly in basement laboratories. A few outsiders have even called for greater government regulation of the DIY community, in order to avoid surprises.Such worries may be premature, today’s report concludes. Rather than causing problems, molecular biology hobbyists around the world are instead improving public engagement with science, creating useful products, and even contributing to scientific research.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(*)The meat of the report is an online survey of the estimated 3000- to 4000-strong DIYbio community; the authors say it is the first of its kind.Less than 10% of the 359 respondents reported doing their tinkering solely at home, while more than 80% have bench space in community DIYbio labs or general “hackerspaces” where they collaborate in teams. Most reported conducting experiments that are harmless and basic, like extracting DNA from a cheek swab.But there are sophisticated exceptions. Borrowing skills and equipment from the burgeoning DIY fabrication movement, such as 3D printers and laser cutters, some DIYbio enthusiasts have engineered cut-rate versions of key lab equipment. For example, the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machine, an essential device in biotechnology labs for mass-copying DNA, usually goes for $2000, but a DIY version called OpenPCR is now available for $600.According to the authors, media reports create the impression that the DIYbio community has an adamantly libertarian stance on government regulation of their hobby: “The underlying assumption has been that they uniformly stand against it.” But the survey results suggest that many DIYers are already considering possible regulatory frameworks. Just one-quarter believe that regulation is required now, but about one-half say it is inevitable in the future.”For the most part molecular biology is self regulated,” writes Jacob Shiach, a DIYbio advocate based in Houston, Texas, in an e-mail to ScienceInsider. “If you receive [National Science Foundation] or [National Institutes of Health] funding, they do have rules and requirements that your lab must follow as a condition of the funding, but for biotech companies and some universities where the funding is entirely private there are no hoops or documents needed to be signed for biological work (and there shouldn’t be); the guidelines are sufficient.” Shiach says that the DIYbio community has suffered “negative experiences” in recent years due to media and think tank pieces that malign the movement.Others, however, argue that some regulation is needed sooner rather than later. Dustin Holloway, a bioinformaticist at Harvard Medical School in Boston and the author of a recent article calling for DIYbio regulation, says he doesn’t disagree with the survey’s findings. “But biotechnology is changing far too quickly for us to make any firm and lasting conclusions,” he writes in an e-mail to ScienceInsider. “Today, a DNA sequencer still costs over $50k.  But in five years when the cost is under $500 and an amateur scientist catches swine flu and decides to publish the viral sequence on his blog, the media outcry may be significant enough to stifle even the safe activities of the community.  So, I think the earlier the government gets involved to provide incentives for safety training and create (perhaps non-mandatory) certifications or licensing, the better off the community will be in the long run.  As with anything, too much regulation is suffocating, but the right amount can encourage safe growth.”last_img read more

The Only Thing Constant About Friendship May Be the Number of Your Friends

first_imgFriends come and go, but the number of close friends you have may remain surprisingly constant. That’s the main result from a new study in which researchers used cell phone data from British secondary school students as they transitioned to university to track how many close social connections they maintained. The research also suggests that people have distinct social “signatures,” or patterns of intimacy with others, which they tend to maintain over time.Regardless of how many Facebook friends a person has, most people maintain only a small number of emotionally intense relationships, says Jari Saramäki of the Aalto University School of Science in Espoo, Finland, a computational scientist who studies social networks. Studies show that these close relationships are vital to our health and well-being. But they do have a cost: time and effort that take away from work, personal time, or other relationships. So individual differences in the number of close ties likely reflect each person’s ability to divvy out the finite resources of time, communication, and emotional investment that are required to sustain relationships, scientists say.Given the importance and difficulty of creating bonds that sustain us, Saramäki and colleagues wanted to know what would happen to the social networks of students as they transitioned from secondary school to university, a period of significant flux.  They recruited 24 students ages 17 to 19, half male, half female, and gave each an 18-month contract from a major mobile phone company with 500 free monthly minutes and unlimited texts. All the students lived in the same city in the United Kingdom when the study began; by the end, 10 had left for universities in other parts of England. When given the phones, each student completed a questionnaire listing the names and phone numbers of all their unrelated friends and work and school acquaintances, as well as all their known relatives. Then, they ranked all of those individuals on a 1 to 10 scale of emotional closeness, with 10 signifying someone “with whom you have a deeply personal relationship.” 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(*)Each student was asked to fill out the same questionnaire again, 9 months later, and a third time, after 18 months. Higher “emotional closeness” ratings on the surveys paralleled number and duration of calls throughout the study, reassuring the researchers that frequent phone calls were a reasonable indicator of intimacy. By analyzing the students’ phone invoices, the researchers were able to construct a ranking system for each contact based on the frequency and duration of calls.Although there were high levels of turnover in the names in each individual’s network, the basic characteristics of the network itself—how many people a person called and how much time they spent on the phone with them—remained the same throughout the 18-month period. For example, a person’s top three contacts typically got 40% to 50% of the person’s calls, the authors report today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Saramäki is careful to note that the study didn’t establish why students rearranged their social lives, but one blunt interpretation is that as subjects’ circumstances changed, they didn’t pine for their old best friends—they simply replaced them with new ones.Parents, siblings, and other relatives were least likely to precipitously lose rank or simply fall off the call lists, Saramäki says. “To keep rank, you need to be a relative.” But the striking stability of individual preferences for organizing—and limiting—social interactions suggests to him that each person has their own distinct preference, or perhaps capacity, for maintaining those bonds.“It would be very nice to see what happens for people of different age groups and social situations” to see if the same pattern persists, Saramäki says. After people leave college, for example, their networks might shrink or “get more and more frozen” as time goes on, he suggests. Saramäki hopes in future research to study larger groups of people over longer periods of time, and to include other forms of communication such as social media.The findings “do suggest a certain ‘budget constraint’ in the number of ties one might maintain, which has been suggested by studies before, but is still not universally accepted,” says David Lazer, a network scientist at Harvard University. He agrees with Saramäki that “you have to be very careful” about extrapolating from the results of the study because of its small, homogeneous sample.  Whether such a constraint exists may also depend on the type of communication being used, he says—it is not possible to spend 24 hours a day talking on the phone, for example.last_img read more

Top stories: Cancer’s ‘good fat,’ predicting earthquakes, and rapid climate change

first_imgReport: Climate changing more rapidly than at any point on recordA new look at the “vital signs” of Earth’s climate reveals a stark picture of declining health. As global temperatures rise, so do sea level and the amount of heat trapped in the ocean’s upper layers. Meanwhile, mountain glaciers and Arctic sea ice are melting away beneath an atmosphere where concentrations of three key planet-warming greenhouse gases continue to rise.Sexual harassment is common in scientific fieldworkSign 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(*)Universities and other workplaces have codes of conduct guarding against sexual harassment. But what about the more casual venue of scientific fieldwork—which is also a workplace? A new survey finds that sexual harassment and assaults occur frequently in the field, with little consequence for the perpetrators or explicit prohibitions against such conduct. The study reveals that the primary targets were young women who were harassed, assaulted, and even raped by people who were usually senior to them in rank, although men also reported harassment.’Bad fat’ may be good for cancer patientsObesity researchers have been studying ways to turn the body’s energy-storing “bad fat” into energy-burning “good fat.” Now, scientists are reporting that the flip side of that approach could address a huge killer of cancer patients—the muscle wasting, emaciation, and frailty known as cachexia, which kills 30% to 80% of people in the advanced stages of cancer.New map fingers future hot spots for U.S. earthquakesU.S. Geological Survey scientists have released the most recent earthquake hazard assessments for the country. Although the picture hasn’t changed much on a national scale since the last report in 2008, the devil is in the details, the report’s authors say—and some areas in the country are now considered to be at higher risk for powerful quakes than once thought.Want a grant? First review someone else’s proposalAfter 32 years as a program officer at the National Science Foundation (NSF), George Hazelrigg knows the rules governing peer review, especially the one that says a researcher can’t be both an applicant and a reviewer in the same funding competition. Last year, however, he got permission to throw the rules out the window. His experiment, aimed at easing the strain on NSF staff and reviewers produced by a burgeoning number of proposals and declining success rates, not only allowed applicants to serve as reviewers, but it also required them to assess seven competing proposals in exchange for having their own application reviewed.last_img read more

Bypass White House, come to Congress with spending request, key legislator tells NSF

first_imgThe new chair of a congressional spending panel that oversees the National Science Foundation (NSF) and NASA thinks those agencies should submit their budgets directly to the committee, without vetting by the White House. It’s the latest twist in the endless battle between Congress and the executive branch over how to set funding priorities, and comes from a legislator who says he’s just trying to give U.S. scientists what they need.  Representative John Culberson (R–TX) believes that the current budget process, during which agency spending plans get folded into the president’s annual request to Congress after negotiations with the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), prevents legislators from getting an accurate picture of the nation’s research priorities. “We want to avoid having politics shape those decisions,” Culberson told NSF Director France Córdova yesterday at a hearing on NSF’s 2016 budget request.Of course, politics also rests at the core of Culberson’s suggestion. Legislators often pressure agency heads to talk about what they originally asked for, rather than what OMB eventually approved, in hopes that such inside information will give Congress an edge in its annual tug of war with the administration over spending.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(*)“One thing that has always aggravated me is that we don’t get a recommendation directly from the scientific community when it comes to NASA or NSF,” Culberson told Córdova, the only witness at a 2-hour session largely devoid of any controversies. “We’re hearing from OMB, and we ought to be hearing from you.”The top Democrat on the panel, Representative Chaka Fattah (D–PA), leaped to Córdova’s defense before she could answer Culberson’s request for inside information. “It’s difficult for administration witnesses to step outside of their role as a representative of the administration,” Fattah pointed out. And Córdova knew her place. “Thank you,” she said. “Speaking as the head of the National Science Foundation, I would agree. … For the record, I don’t have any comment.”A legal services model?Culberson cites another federally funded entity under his committee’s jurisdiction, the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), as a model for how NSF and NASA could operate. Each year LSC, which provides lawyers and other services to defendants without adequate income, submits a budget request to Congress. This year it asked for $486 million, for example, $34 million more than what President Barack Obama sought for it in his budget. “The functional budget request comes from us,” an LSC official explained.LSC is an outlier, however. Congress has given just a few government-funded entities permission to bypass the White House in submitting budget requests. Another is the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which helps fund PBS and NPR, which lawmakers wanted to partially shield from political pressure. That was also the rationale for LSC, which was created in 1974 as a nonprofit corporation to serve the poor and bills itself as “America’s partner for equal justice.” LSC is not technically a federal agency and, while its budget comes from Congress, the people who work there are not federal employees.In contrast, NSF is indistinguishable in most ways from other federal agencies. Accordingly, its prospective budget is submitted to OMB each fall and modified to reflect the administration’s priorities, before emerging several months later in the president’s request to Congress.One parallel between NSF and the LSC is that each is overseen by a presidentially appointed body—in the case of NSF, the 24-member National Science Board. But the science board and NSF officials usually speak with one voice: Although the board approves NSF’s budget submission to OMB, for example, its public statements typically support what the administration ultimately has requested for the agency.Cancer institute’s bypass operationThere is already one major federal research agency that has permission to send a budgetary wish list to Congress: the National Cancer Institute (NCI). But it is not clear if that ability has made much difference.Since 1971, NCI has been able to lay out research opportunities that have not necessarily been endorsed by the National Institutes of Health, of which it is a part, or by its parent agency, the Department of Health and Human Services. NCI’s so-called bypass budget is generally seen as a “wish list” by Congress, but lawmakers have yet to match its requested amount with actual appropriations—and the pattern is likely to continue this year. In December, for example, NCI Director Harold Varmus outlined $5.75 billion worth of activities for the upcoming 2016 fiscal year in his bypass budget, while the Obama administration has asked for just $5.1 billion.Biomedical lobbyists admit the 16% boost envisioned in the 2016 bypass budget is unrealistic. “It doesn’t take into account the current fiscal environment, or competing priorities,” notes Jon Retzlaff of the American Association for Cancer Research in Washington, D.C. “We try to be more credible and relevant when we go up to the Hill,” he adds, citing the association’s “ask” of a 5% annual increase for the next several years.Still, he says that NCI’s bypass budget is a useful tool both for educating legislators about opportunities in cancer research and for rallying the community behind a particular initiative. “It’s one of many things we use to make the case for increased funding,” he says.Doubts aboundWith respect to NSF, Culberson’s proposal would require a change to the laws and policies that govern the $7.3 billion agency. It could be done through a spending bill, like the one Culberson and his appropriations subcommittee will be drafting later this year, or in a bill reauthorizing NSF’s programs. Representative Lamar Smith (R–TX), chair of the science committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, crafted such a reauthorization bill last year with controversial provisions about how NSF manages its grantsmaking process and allocates its funding. But the bill, which died in the previous Congress and has yet to be reintroduced, says nothing about how NSF would submit its budget.Culberson says that he’s discussed the idea with Smith. And yesterday he told ScienceInsider that “any good idea, to be successful, should be passed into law as many times as possible, and in as many vehicles as possible.”Most science lobbyists scoff at Culberson’s suggested change and assert it has little chance of becoming law. And the reaction crosses party lines.“I see no merit in Rep. Culberson’s proposition,” says former NSF Director Arden Bement, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, a Republican, and who completed his 6-year term in 2010, under President Obama. “I don’t believe it would be constitutional without major changes in the NSF enabling act which defines a clear chain of command between the Director and the President (not through the NSB).” Bement then delivers the coup de grâce. “I don’t see how political interference from the Congress would be better than political interference from the President, where constitutional authority already resides.”last_img read more

Indian American Activist Ankur Patel Makes Bid for California State Assembly

first_imgLong-time Indian American community activist Ankur Patel is making a bid for the California’s state Assembly’s 45th District seat, positioning himself as the “education candidate.”In 2015, at the age of 29, Patel was the youngest candidate to run for a seat on the board of the Los Angeles Unified School District. He lost that race but said that has not stopped him from continuing to seek public officeRead it at India West Related Itemslast_img

August 2017

first_imgNameEmailAddressCityZipState AlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelawareFloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhioOklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermontVirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyomingOther Other State PhoneDescriptionAttach Photo (jpg/gif only) Related Itemslast_img read more

Indian Investigators Bust Global WhatsApp-Based Child Porn Racket

first_imgThe Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has busted a child pornography racket that was WhatsApp based and included 119 members from 11 countries. The investigation agency is planning to write to authorities of the countries whose nationals were found involved in the racket.The group involved citizens from the United States, China, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Kenya, Nigeria, Mexico and New Zealand, according to reports.The CBI has arrested the group administrator Nikhil Verma, a resident of Kannauj in Uttar Pradesh. He is an unemployed B.Com graduate aged 20 years. He will be brought to Delhi on transit remand.The other administrators of the WhatsApp group called “Kids-XXX” were said to be Satyendra Chauhan, a resident of Mumbai; Nafis Raza and Zahid, both residents of Delhi; and Adarsh of Noida.The investigating agency is searching the premises of the suspects and is trying to determine if the accused were charging money for sharing the pornographic material, according to the Hindu.The group has been active for two years. During their search, the CBI recovered mobile phones, laptops, and hard discs and other digital devices. The investigation had been going on for three months with the help of field intelligence and monitoring of mobile locations and IP addresses of the computers being handled by the accused.The CBI conducted thorough background checks and behavioral analysis before arresting the accused. The agency is also investigating if an organized gang shoots and uploads the videos of child abuse.In India, accessing, producing, recording, uploading or circulating child abuse videos or picture are serious offenses under Information Technology Act and attract a punishment up to seven years and a fine of Rs 10 lakh.A case under section 67-B of the Information Technology Act and under the provisions of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) was registered. “We found mobile phones, tablets and laptops containing incriminating material depicting children in obscene, indecent and sexually explicit acts,” said CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal, according to Times of India. Related Itemschild abuselast_img read more

Bushwhacked!

first_imgSome of us have not recovered from Nov. 3. That is because that day is likely to last for another four years. The endless diagnosis of what happened and how it happened is also likely to last as long. Four more years of King George are upon us. The most intriguing aspect of all the interpretations and all the surveys and exit polls is that Americans elected one of the most divisive figures in the country and indeed the world, ostensibly because of “moral values.” A whopping 22 percent of voters preferred this dud over the other one. These moral values have a lot to do with the issues of guns, gays and god. Conservative Middle America, made up of NASCAR drivers and regular church goers, seems concerned about its safety and protection. This population does not appreciate gays wanting to be married, let alone married in front of everybody. And, for them, the country made a faith-based move and elected a guy who is religious and wears his god on his sleeve as much as he worships Jesus as the greatest philosophers.There is nothing wrong with this picture. The Christian right wants to create the world in its likeness. After all, that is the gift their religion gives them and in a free country, they should be entitled to it.The problem is the kind of values they did not choose. They did not choose honesty, integrity or an approach that values the values of the others as well. They seem to have elected someone who is willing to send everyone else who fights in the name of their religion to death. The voting public did not choose healthcare reform. They did not choose stem cell research. Instead they pushed forward rhetoric and a game plan that promises to wipe out dissent and tolerance.Since the election there have been quite a few articles, speculations and arguments about how and if Americans really voted for moral values. It is clear that they also voted for the slickest and the dirtiest of campaign tactics. They voted for something nebulous like national security by electing someone who has made the world unsafe and put Americans at risk all over the world. And yet, everyone is clamoring that moral values won.May be they did.As Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter has found out, it is impossible to even second guess anyone in power. He merely muttered some simple statements that suggested that he would not push or vote for candidates for the Supreme Court that would challenge established precedents out of hand, such as civil rights or abortion. He wrought the wrath of the guards of the moral values. He was whipped in public, on talk shows, in the halls of Congress and god knows in some unseen places. Now Arlen has come home. He has agreed to give up the treasured role of the Senate that respected vestige of democracy and said that he would support any nominee unloaded on him by the White House.This talk of moral values would be fun if it were not accompanied by the emerging apparatus of total and absolute control. Already, the country is divided into red and blue states. And those who wear blue have a lot to pay for.For over three weeks since the election, we have seen how the Right moves forces to stifle dissent or for that matter, anything that sounds slightly different from their view of the world. There is a huge cry about controlling Black athletes. If you listen closely, the implication is that we need to clean the Black culture itself because those who come to basketball court are violent because their culture is so.A record fine had been levied against Viacom. The most recent New York Times/CBS polls say that Americans are worried about the sex and violence coming from Hollywood. Every day, the talk radio circuit, which is effectively dominated by the Right, whips anyone they think is not on their side and does not subscribe to their values. One hears lashings on television and radio against people who are secular, who are about to face the same destiny as that poisonous term,” liberal”.It is a sin to be secular and one cannot even make fun of those who believe in god and follow the faith. As we write this, radio reports are replete with accounts from around the country about creationism and evolution. Before we are through with these four years, the godless secular people who believe in rationality will have to choose between constant public beratings and permanent silence that brings peace.The red states may have won, but the blue states have really lost. Even if the election was not won on so-called moral values, you have to accept that wisdom because to challenge it is to invite the wrath of the right. The same machinery the Right has built so effectively to win elections is also governing the country.The hypocrisy of the loud-mouthed machine that can destroy anything that is dissenting or different is monumental to say the least. For the next four years, we are going to get lessons in morality and values from the likes of William-the gambling- Bennett, Bill-the masturbating-O’Reilly and Rush-the druggie-Limbaugh. What kind of cruelty does this life bring!As Frank Rich has put it wonderfully in the New York Times, the sleaziest of all the networks is Fox and Rupert Murdock is laughing all the way to the bank. And moral values or not, his network is all set to squeeze the sleaze over the next four years and make millions. Those who scream at Hollywood want nothing but sleaze oozing out of their screens, at home and in theaters. What else makes money in the market! Quality has left Hollywood long time ago, regardless of blue or red colors in the markets. And the worst of all the contradictions and hypocrisies has to do with the war that will win all wars. The principal motive of the leader of this war and the people he leads is, it turns out, religion. All this is done in the name of punishing and ridiculing people who love their religion and those who kill in the name of theirs.Wasn’t there something here in this land that the world looked up to? The atrocities of this war that come to light only accidentally show the pretentious arrogance of moral values. The president actually said in his first debate that all life is important except that of the enemy. The world is now clearly divided between us and the enemies. That is a moral value of clarity, we suppose.It would be a dream to imagine this nightmare would be over sometime soon. But the divisions are taking hold with each salvo fired in the name of what they think are moral values. With 4-5 networks screaming at you 24 hours a day and the increasing spread, power and the pitch of talk radio, we have the moral values of the “new media.” We witnessed a successful silencing of dissent in the last century and whether one is ready or not, that Dark Age may be upon us unless we re-discover the real values that made this country take hold. Without that, it is dark abyss and more of it.   Related Itemslast_img read more

J&K Governor regrets remark asking gunmen to target corrupt politicians

first_imgJammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik has regretted his remark asking “militants to go after corrupt politicians and bureaucrats,” a statement that drew sharp reactions from the regional parties on Monday.“As Governor, I should not have made such a comment. But my personal feeling is what I said. Many political leaders and big bureaucrats are steeped in corruption here,” Mr Malik said while clarifying his earlier statement. “The statement was made in a fit of anger and frustration due to rampant corruption in J&K.”Mr. Malik irked regional parties with the remark he made in Kargil on Sunday. “These boys [militants] who have picked up guns are killing their own people; they are killing PSOs [personal security officers] and SPOs [special police officers]. Why are you killing them? Kill those who have looted the wealth of Kashmir. Have you killed any of them?” the Governor had said.In a sharp reaction, National Conference (NC) vice-president and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said, “Save this tweet — after today any mainstream politician or serving/retired bureaucrat killed in J&K has been murdered on the express orders of the Governor of J&K Satyapal Malik,” tweeted Mr. Abdullah.“This man, ostensibly a responsible man occupying a constitutional position…Perhaps the man should find out about his own reputation in Delhi these days before sanctioning unlawful killings and kangaroo courts,” Mr. Abdullah had said.In his retort, Mr. Malik said, “He [Mr. Abdullah] is a political juvenile tweeting on everything. I ask him to evaluate my reputation here and his own too.”The Governor said he had risen from a one-and-a-half room. “I belong to no dynasty. I don’t cash in on my father or grandfather’s name. Let me make it clear, I will expose all corrupt names in J&K.”Systemic problemsMeanwhile, in a direct message to the Centre, Mr. Abdullah said there were a lot of systemic problems in J&K. “Participatory democracy and empowered institutions will contribute to solutions being found…. the key word here being participatory.”He also questioned the Centre’s move on empowerment of Panchayats and Urban Local Bodies. “Why do we ignore the reality that many seats in the Valley are vacant, the ones that were filled either won unopposed or with a negligible participation of voters?” he added.‘Nail corrupt elements’J&K Peoples Movement chief Shah Faesal welcomed “any steps to nail corrupt elements.”“Eliminating corruption from J&K will need the Government to rise above party affiliations and act against high and mighty, whichever party they belong to, rather than making it look like an operation against the opposition,” said Mr. Faesal.Awami Ittehad Party head Engineer Rashid said the Governor’s appeal to militants should be seen in the right perspective. “Militants are not aliens. One way or the other, governance should be their concern as well,” he said.Peoples Conference vice-president Abdul Gani Vakil said the reason for the current turmoil “was the corrupt politics of the NC and the PDP.” However, he was quick to add: “Mr. Malik’s drive to eradicate corruption is welcome, but his utterances are absolutely irresponsible and unbecoming of any head of the State.”last_img read more

3,500 rescued by joint Armed forces, NDRF

first_imgCoordinated operations by the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and the National and State Disaster Relief Force teams on Thursday rescued 3,500 persons and evacuated 10,000 others across southern Maharashtra and Karnataka.Incessant rains have over the past few days resulted in widespread flooding in southern Maharashtra, Karnataka and northern Kerala. A Joint Operations Centre was established at south Maharashtra and Goa sub-area, Pune for coordinating the relief and rescue operations in the three States.As of Thursday, the Army had deployed 16 columns, 14 Engineer Task Forces, including a Para Special Force team for ongoing flood relief and rescue operations in Kolhapur, Sangli and Raigad districts of Maharashtra and Bagalkot, Raichur, Belagavi and Kodagu districts of Karnataka.Additional troops were also been requisitioned for carrying out flood relief operations in the area of Kalaburgi in north Karnataka and Wayanad district of Kerala. A Special Engineer Task Force was air lifted from Jodhpur to Belagavi for further enhancement of the ongoing rescue operations.“A total of around 3,500 persons have been rescued and 10,000 persons have been evacuated from marooned and flooded areas, provided medical aid and distributed with food packets. The army personnel showcased dauntless courage and extreme devotion to duty while rescuing 24 persons including a pregnant lady stranded for more than 72 hours at Kowad village in Kolhapur district,” a spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence said.Across the border a naval team was deployed in Belagavi’s Kovadu where 25 villagers were rescued. “Water had risen to nearly 10 feet making their early evacuation a challenging task. The teams have been redeployed to neighbouring villages,” a naval spokesperson said.In Maharashtra’s Chickhali, four Indian Navy teams ensured that hundreds of people were moved in rubber boats to Sontali. On Wednesday evening, 240 people were rescued following which operations paused due to rains and resumed at day-break. The Coast Guard’s Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) team too was at Chickhali and evacuated 150 people stranded in their flooded homes and streets.last_img read more

NSUI rebel wins students’ union polls

first_imgNational Students’ Union of India rebel Pooja Verma, who contested as an Independent, was elected president of the Rajasthan University Students’ Union, for which the results were announced here on Wednesday. An independent candidate has won as the students’ union president for the fourth year in a row.10 univs., 200 colleges Polling was held in 10 major universities and over 200 government and private colleges across the State on Tuesday. NSUI candidates Priyanka Meena and Mahavir Prasad Gujjar were elected vice-president and general secretary respectively in Rajasthan University, while Kiran Meena of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad won as the joint secretary.ABVP candidate Rameshwar Chhaba was elected president of the students’ union in Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati University, Ajmer, where the three other key posts also went to the ABVP contestants. ABVP’s Nikhil Raj won as students’ union president in Mohanlal Sukhadia University, Udaipur.In Jodhpur, independent candidate Ravindra Singh Bhati was elected president of the students’ union in Jai Narain Vyas University. Shravan Jakhar, who fought as an independent, won as the students’ union president in Maharaja Ganga Singh University, Bikaner.Low key affairThe students’ union elections were a low-key affair this year because of strict compliance with the Lyngdoh Committee’s recommendations. The usual rallies, traffic jams, police lathicharge and clashes among the students’ groups on the polling day were missing with the police and university administration taking stringent measures.last_img read more