MediaEye RSS Feedhttps://www.mediaeyenews.comMediaEye news RSS Feeden-usCopyright (C) 2016 mediaeyenews.comGoogle to help journalists create their own startups

San Francisco, June 21

Google on Monday said it is looking for its next group of aspiring journalism entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into real businesses.

Applications are now open to US residents for the 2021 Google News Initiative (GNI) Startups Boot Camp.

The programme will run from September 7 to November 5 (with a one-week break) and aims to accept 24 projects. The application window will closes on August 1.

"If you're a journalist who's ready to start a new project, we're here to help," said Phillip Smith, Director and Creator of GNI Startups Boot Camp.

"When you join the Bootcamp, you benefit from the collective experience and wisdom of founders who have very likely faced the challenges you're about to face yourself," Smith added.

The selected journalists will also benefit from a curriculum based on the GNI Startups Playbook.

The Startups Boot Camp provides training, support and funding for the journalists.

Google said that later this year, it will also open applications for its first Startups boot camp dedicated exclusively to Canadian founders.

"We're looking for our next group of aspiring journalism entrepreneurs to mentor every step of the way as they turn their ideas into real businesses," the company said.

ians

Tue, 22 Jun 2021 00:13:26 +0530
Lukaku or Haaland whose services should Chelsea acquire

 

Rohan Bhrahmbhatt

www.mediaeyenews.com

Chelsea finds themselves in a difficult situation right now as they are in the market for a superstar attacker and can't decide between former player Romelo Lukaku and Erling Haaland.

With no other position left to strengthen, European Champions Chelsea is looking for a superstar attacker who can provide a tough competition in the attacking third. Existing players in the squad look a bit too content with their current performances.

After their two-window transfer ban in 2019, Chelsea has come out very aggressive in the transfer market as they had all the money left in their bank due to the ban imposed on them for signing 23 minors. Last year they signed so many players for such a big amount of money that the manager had to be sacked for not providing results. Change in the managerial department was a gamble by the board which was successful. They acquired the services of out-of-employment Thomas Tuchel who was sacked earlier in the season by PSG. Tuchel reinvented the team and guided the young Chelsea team to the Champions League glory.

Chelsea does not find themselves in any scarcity of strikers, in fact, they have them in abundance. In the last transfer window, they went out and purchased German Striker Timo Werner for a large sum of money which Werner has not been able to justify.

They have young English Striker Tammy Abraham and Veteran Olivier Giroud but they seem out of favor under Tuchel. They still have a lot of money with them and are currently in the market hunting for a striker.

The twenty-year-old Erling Haaland started his career at his hometown club Bryne in 2016, and moved to Molde the following year. He spent two seasons with the club before signing with Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg in January 2019. At Salzburg, he won two Austrian Bundesliga titles and one Austrian Cup. He is young, energetic, strong, fast, and looks like a young version of Zlatan with amazing pace. He burst into the scene in his first Champions League Campaign with Salzburg, where he scored a hat-trick in his Champions League debut.

After Salzburg failed to qualify for the knock-out round, he joined Borussia Dortmund in the same season earning his move into the limelight. In Dortmund, his polishing began as they molded Haaland into a goal-scoring beast earning him the nickname "The Terminator". Sources from the United Kingdom suggest that Chelsea have already agreed to personal terms with Haaland and it is just a matter of time they agree on a transfer fee with Dortmund. Haaland is very highly rated and has the stats to show for it. He is a perfect fit for Chelsea with their strong defense and fast counter-attacking Football, he can certainly be a threat they need in the attacking third. He is very strong in winning aerial duels and has a lightning-quick pace.

I seriously doubt that Chelsea will opt for Romelo Lukaku as they have failed to achieve anything with him. Chelsea signed him in 2011 from Anderlecht and have since loaned him a couple of times after a successful loan spell with Everton, he joined them on a permanent deal for £28 million. He then signed for Manchester United but had a fallout with management two years later resulting in a transfer to Inter Milan for a club record of €80 million. Lukaku had an amazing 2020-21  season scoring 24 league goals, and 11 assists, making him the highest scorer on the title-winning team and the second-highest scorer in the league, behind Ronaldo.

Lukaku is 28-years-old now and he is only  going to get slower with age. Erling Haaland would be a better option for Chelsea as he has a very bright future ahead of him.

Mon, 21 Jun 2021 23:54:01 +0530
Destroying the Beautiful Marine Drive

 

Shazneen Mistry 

www.mediaeyenews.com

Marine Drive, also known as the ‘Queen’s Necklace’ has lost some of  its beauty after the construction work started there few years ago. The Coastal Road  Project -- the road by the sea, which will connect Marine drive to Worli Sea Link and then go more further, was started in 2018 and is still an  ongoing process.  This project was being made for easy travel  for people and making  their life easy as well developing better infrastructure, but along the  process in the present time, people’s life hasn’t been improved rather  thing are getting complicated for them. 

The Marine Drive used to be an open space for people to come and  relax by looking at the sea and its surrounding. It was a site that  appealed to many, and people from all around the world would come  to visit it and some would even stay at the hotels opposite the sea to  enjoy the beautiful view. Now this construction site has led to traffic  jams, noise, and air pollution, spoiling the whole area’s calm, beauty  and vibe. 

Marine Drive was used by people for early morning walks and spend time there, children use to run and play games, many  even roller skated and played different games, sadly all of that has  stopped now because of this construction. Huge barriers have been  placed and the roads have been blocked making it difficult for the  people to come out with their families or to just come out to sit and  feel the cooling sea breeze. 

This construction had caused great problems to the Parsi community as well. It is said that the Parsis worship the water and according to the  Parsi calendar, there is a whole month dedicated to the goddess of  water. They usually come to the Parsi Gate at Marine Drive and go down the stairs to offer milk, flower petals, and raw rice to the water. To get this construction complete the builders were ready to take  down the gate and spoil the beauty of Marine Drive as well as the sentiments of the Parsi people. Many old and young Parsis protested against it and then later it was decided that the  construction would go around the gate then through it.  

As a conclusion, it can be said that this development currently has not  been helping people, but rather has hurt their sentiments and created a  lot of problems for them, including the destruction of Mumbai’s best  destination, Marine Drive.

 

Mon, 21 Jun 2021 23:46:57 +0530
Myths To Avoid for Weight Loss

 

Shazneen Mistry 

www.mediaeyenews.com

Whenever one starts a diet for weight loss or to improve their immunity, they  often follow myths that are not true, and in return, this harms their body and  they don’t achieve the result they would have wished for. This in turn reduces  their morals and their focus, this either leads to them quitting or stopping the  diet. 

Here are some of the tips for a healthy diet: 

1. Avoid skipping breakfast 

People often believe that skipping breakfast is ok and they would compensate  for it in their lunch, but that is not the way to do it.  

People need to understand is that breakfast is the most important part of the  meal because from dinner time to breakfast, one hasn’t eaten anything and then  to go on about one’s day without any food is just not healthy. 

2. Do not chose juice over water 

Many times, people prefer juice over water and that is not the healthy way. Yes,  juices are good for the body, but only the natural ones that do not have added  sugar and preservatives. Water keeps the body hydrated and also curbs one’s  food cravings. So, it is important to drink a lot of water and say no to canned  juices. 

3. Be low on carbs 

It is not necessary that when you go on diet you need to cut down carbs rather,  dieticians and doctors have said that the body needs proteins and carbs and, on a  diet, everything should be eaten in less quantity and not just one thing. 

4. Have a salad when you feel hungry 

It is often thought that when one goes on a diet the only thing to eat is a salad  and that is not true. When one eats only salad, they do not provide their body  with other vital nutrients, therefore one should explore other healthy food  options.  

E.g., Flaxseeds, chia seeds, fish, walnuts, or blueberries, these foods have a lot  of nutritious value and are rich with omega, iron, calcium that helps to improve  one's immunity as well as in fighting cholesterol.

 5. Avoid getting stressed 

While on a diet people are constantly worried about what to eat, how much to  eat, will it be health and many such questions. 

These questions in return stress them out and they start stress eating, thinking  that the diet won't help and they aren’t losing any weight. To avoid all this one  should simply not worry and keep eating healthy food, do some exercises, and  not get stressed out.

Mon, 21 Jun 2021 23:41:41 +0530
Five things Yoga teaches us about life

 

Yashashree Malpathak

www.mediaeyenews.com

There is so much more to the art and practice of yoga than its health benefits. On the occasion of World Yoga Day—celebrated every year on 21st June, here are five things that define yoga, that define our life. The discipline in balancing asanas in yoga requires becoming one with the stance through concentration and strength. If we lose balance, we can always recenter and try to get back on. In doing so, our thoughts and emotions perfectly align themselves creating an equilibrium. Similarly, in any situation that we may face in our lives, we should recenter and conquer!

While practicing an asana, one is told to feel the stretch in the muscles. We know the strain is going to benefit us when we slowly stretch ourselves to our full potential. Yoga teaches us the composure and the ability to mindfully reach our decisions rather than hastily jump to them.

It is natural to hold breathing unconsciously while doing a difficult asana and the key is to keep breathing and let the moment pass. Release the negativity through the exhalation and inhale positive energy to face whatever challenges come our way. It gives us the ability to control our thoughts with every breath.

Yoga directs our focus inward and allows us to listen to all the signs that our body is giving us. We may learn to connect with our bodies and develop a deeper appreciation for them with practice. It motivates us to do what is right for us and, by extension, for our surroundings.

When we become aware of our body during a pose, we can sense the tension in certain parts of our body — by making a conscious effort, we can release it. When confronted with a challenging situation, it is critical to let go of tension in order to think clearly and find a way out.

ians

 

Mon, 21 Jun 2021 22:57:29 +0530
Khloe Kardashian I ve had one nose job

Mumbai, June 21

American reality TV star Khloe Kardashian has opened up about going under the knife, saying that she has had a nose job once.

During part two of the "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" reunion, host Andy Cohen asked Khloe what false claims she has heard the most about herself.

Khloe replied that speculation about plastic surgery is always something that annoys her.

"For me, everyone says, 'Oh my gosh, she's had her third face transplant. But I've had one nose job -- Dr. Raj Kinodia -- and everyone gets so upset, like, 'Why don't I talk about it?'" Khloe said, reports usmagazine.com.

Khloe shared that Cohen was the first person to ask her about what work she may have had done.

She said: "No one's ever asked me. You're the first person in an interview that's ever asked me about my nose. I've done, sure, injections -- not really Botox. I've responded horribly to Botox."

ians

Mon, 21 Jun 2021 20:54:23 +0530
Airtel Tata Group tie up to deploy 5G network solutions in India

 

New Delhi, June 21

Bharti Airtel and the Tata Group on Monday announced a strategic partnership for implementing 5G networks solutions for India.

Tata Group has developed a 'state of the art' O-RAN based Radio & NSA/SA Core and has integrated a totally indigenous telecom stack, leveraging the group capabilities and that of its partners. This will be available for commercial development starting January 2022, said a statement.

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) brings its global system integration expertise and helps align the end-to-end solution to both 3GPP and O-RAN standards, as the network and equipment are increasingly embedded into software, it said.

Airtel will pilot and deploy this indigenous solution as part of its 5G rollout plans in India and start the pilot in January 2022, as per the guidelines formulated by the government.

As per the statement, these 'Made in India' 5G products and solutions are aligned to global standards, and inter-operate with other products based on standard open interfaces and those defined by the O-RAN Alliance. The 5G solutions, once commercially proven in Airtel's diverse and brownfield network, will open export opportunities for India, which is now the second largest telecom market in the world.

Bharti Airtel's MD & CEO, India and South Asia, Gopal Vittal, said: "We are delighted to join forces with the Tata Group to make India a global hub for 5G and allied technologies. With its world-class technology ecosystem and talent pool, India is well positioned to build cutting edge solutions and applications for the world. This will also provide a massive boost to India becoming an innovation and manufacturing destination."

Tata Group/TCS' N. Ganapathy Subramaniam said: "As a group, we are excited about the opportunity presented by 5G and adjacent possibilities. We are committed to building a world-class networking equipment and solutions business to address these opportunities in networking space. We are pleased to have Airtel as our customer in this initiative."

Airtel is a Board member of the O-RAN Alliance and is committed to explore and implement O-RAN based networks in India. Earlier this year, Airtel became the first telecom company in India to demonstrate 5G over its live network in Hyderabad. The company has started 5G trials in major cities using spectrum allocated by the Department of Telecom.

The Tata Group's telecom and media enterprises cater to the communication requirements of global business houses to SMEs, and from wholesale to home networks. Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) is also a member of the O-RAN Alliance.

ians
 

Mon, 21 Jun 2021 20:40:49 +0530
Get inspired from Saqib Saleem s Airbnb home experience

New Delhi, June 21  

If you missed spending father's day at home with your dad, well, better late then never. Get inspired from actor Saqib Saleem who enjoys going on a road-trip adventure with his dad, to sit back, relax, and live in the moment.

The actor shares some tips from his road trips experience with his dad, which always brought something new:

Saqib and his dad on their last road trip from Mumbai to Kerala

* Hit the road with your dad: There's nothing like breathing in the fresh air away from the flurry of everyday life. Road trips can bring a sense of peace rarely offered by other experiences. An open road, a set of wheels, and some nice music is an idyllic setting for some father-offspring bonding. Saqib says his road journeys with his dad involve a lot of conversations, singing songs, sometimes stopping to take small walks or try out food at local outlets, as well as reminiscing family memories.

* Choose to stay at an Airbnb Home: Saqib recommends staying at an Airbnb Home while travelling. It gives you enough opportunities to spend time with your loved ones. During your stay, don't forget to ask your Airbnb Hosts for some recommendations, as the best way to go local, explore the neighbourhood, and get exclusive knowledge about the destination is through the locals. Saqib and his dad recently stayed at Airbnb's Forest Valley TreeHouse while on a road trip through Karnataka. Saqib Saleem said, "Since I was a little boy, I have always shared an extremely special bond with my father. It's never a dull moment when I am with him and hence I love exploring new cities, towns and experiences with him by my side. We love to travel and particularly enjoy each destination to the fullest. The local stays and experiences that you wouldn't find on every itinerary are intriguing and that's why we love staying at Airbnb's whenever we travel. From meeting new people, hearing the host's life stories and indulging in local food, Airbnb always ensures a holistic experience. This Father's Day, I really recommend that you take some time off your busy schedule, plan a trip with your dad and relive your childhood memories. Trust me, it'll be an amazing getaway that you will both always cherish."

* Cook a meal together: 'A family that cooks together, stays together'. For Saqib, the best way to bond with his dad is by cooking along with him. Saqib's dad is a hardcore foodie and loves everything that's related to food. They often try out new recipes and enjoy the entire experience. On their recent trip to Coorg, the duo were seen making some delicious grills together at a barbeque eve at their Airbnb treehouse.

* Have a go at Online Airbnb Experiences: Whether you've managed to hit the road or are staying at home, an Airbnb Experience can be completely worth your time, says Saqib. From creating the perfect cocktail, learning new recipes, to trying out something new together, there are a ton of things that you can do with your dad from wherever you are.

ians
 

Mon, 21 Jun 2021 20:03:00 +0530
Skin care

Dr Preeti Savardekar

www.mediaeyenews.com

The skin is the largest organ of the body covering the body  from head to toe.  It needs good care and maintainence as it's the 1st thing people notice about us.  We will understand how to take care of the skin covering each body part...( the feet, the hands, the face, the buttocks, the back, the genitals, the abdomen, the neck and the scalp.) ..  watch this column every week/ month.

The feet are the most neglected parts of the body  We need to examine the feet every day to make sure that we do not miss out any infection or any growths...  if you see any signs of redness, blisters, cracks or any colour changes even on the toe nails,  make sure you consult your doctor immediately. If left unattended it can grow and spread and cause pain or trouble later.      

The inbetween toes areas or web spaces need to be checked regularly for any cracks or collection of water causing infection and any growths which could be soft corns. We need to make sure our feet are never left wet with water or sweat ..

Feet tend to be very dry for many people and the heels show cracks. This can be painful during the winters. . Using a foot cream daily at night will hydrate the heels and sides of foot to prevent drying. Getting a pedicure once a month is good for nails and cuticles.

Mon, 21 Jun 2021 15:02:03 +0530
Flying Sikh end of an era

 

Anupama Nair

www.mediaeyenews.com

Covid claimed yet another life – this time of the famous Milka Singh or the “Flying Sikh” as he was called, passed away on 18th June, which was a great loss to the world of sports. For him, the field was "the sanctum sanctorum, where the deity resided". Milkha Singh, became famous, when he represented India in 1956, 1960 and 1964 Olympics. The race for which Singh was best remembered is his fourth-place finish in the 400 meters final at the 1960 Olympic Games, which he had entered as one of the favorites. He is the only athlete to win gold in 400 meters race at the Asian Games as well the Commonwealth Games. Singh won Gold at the 1958 Commonwealth Games in Cardiff. He also won gold medals in the Asian Games in 1958 and 1962. He represented India in the 1960 and 1964 Olympics as well. He was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India. Even though he never won an Olympic medal, his dream was that "someone else should win that medal for India".

Milkha Singh was born on 20 November 1929. He was born in a Sikh family in Govind Pura in Punjab, British India (now Muzaffargarh in Pakistan). He had fourteen siblings, eight of whom died before the Partition of India. He was orphaned during the Partition when his parents, and siblings were butchered by the mobs during the Partition. He was traumatized as he witnessed these killings. His father last words were "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag", urging his son to run for his life and reach safety in India. The boy ran -- first to save his life, and then to win medals for the country. He soon reached India as an orphan in 1947, unfortunately took to petty crime and did odd jobs for survival until he found a place in the army. It was in the Army that he discovered his athletic abilities.

In 1960, he was invited to take part in the 200-meter event at an International Athletic competition in Lahore, Pakistan. He hadn't been back to Pakistan after 1947 and initially refused to go. Singh was persuaded by Mr. Nehru to set aside his memories of the Partition era and to race successfully in 1960. Singh eventually went to Pakistan. Despite, the huge support for his main rival, Abdul Khaliq, in the stadium, Singh went on to win that race, while Khaliq had to be satisfied with the bronze medal. General Ayub Khan, Pakistan's second president, awarded the competitors their medals, and he received the nickname that would stick with him for the rest of his life. Gen Ayub said, 'Milkha, you came to Pakistan and did not run. You actually flew in Pakistan. Pakistan bestows upon you the title of the Flying Sikh”, said Milkha in an interview with BBC. All of Singh's medals have been donated to the nation. In 2012, he donated the Adidas shoes that he had worn in the 1960 Olympic final to be sold in a charity auction organized by actor Rahul Bose.

He met Nirmal Saini, a former captain of the Indian women's volleyball team in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) in 1955, and  they married in 1962. They had three daughters and a son -- the golfer Jeev Milkha Singh. In 1999, they adopted the seven-year-old son of Havildar Bikram Singh, who had died in the Battle of Tiger Hill during the Kargil War. He was living in Chandigarh.

He lost his beloved wife a week ago to Covid, and now he the ever-dutiful husband joined her. May their souls rest in peace. Om Shanti.

 

Mon, 21 Jun 2021 14:03:07 +0530
Astronauts complete installing 1st solar arrays outside ISS

Washington, June 21

Two astronauts onboard the International Space Station (ISS) have successfully completed the deployment of solar arrays, which will soak up the sun's energy to provide electrical power for the numerous research and science investigations conducted every day, as well as the continued operations of the orbiting platform.

NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet in their eighth spacewalk of the year outside the ISS deployed the new ISS Roll-Out Solar Array (iROSA) on the far end of the left (port) side of the station's backbone truss structure (P6).

The new iROSA was delivered to the ISS by the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft early this month.

Kimbrough and Pesquet successfully unfolded the solar array, bolted it into place, and connected cables to the station's power supply to complete deployment.

In addition, the astronauts removed and stowed hardware in preparation for releasing the second iROSA from the flight support structure for installation. The pair will work toward the second solar array upgrade -- this one on the P6 truss' 4B power channel -- during another spacewalk, tentatively scheduled for June 25.

The first pair of solar arrays was deployed in December 2000, with additional array pairs delivered in September 2006, June 2007, and March 2009.

It has provided continuous electrical power to the station for more than 20 years and are now showing signs of degradation, NASA said.

Developed by space infrastructure company Redwire, the iROSA or "flex blanket" solar array, which is around 3,000 pounds, was loaded in Dragon's unpressurised trunk.

Each of SpaceX Dragona¿s cargo launch missions aim to carry two arrays. While a pair has already been installed, the remaining four solar arrays will arrive by 2023.

Once installed, the six iROSA arrays will collectively produce over 120KW of power. According to Redwire, the new iROSA arrays will improve the ISS' power generation by 20-30 per cent.

ians

Mon, 21 Jun 2021 13:44:14 +0530
Retail business likely to be RIL s next growth engine

Mumbai, June 21

Oil-to-telecom giant Reliance Industries (RIL) which has largely seen its growth coming on the back of its petrochemical business over the past decades, is set to see a shift in the anchor's role with the retail business, including its e-commerce operations, to drive the company's growth.

A Goldman Sachs report noted that after growing 5x over FY16-FY20, RIL's core retail revenue growth has taken a pause in FY21 due to Covid related macro headwinds.

"However, we believe retail business (including e-commerce) is set to be the next growth engine for RIL, with potential for retail EBITDA to grow 10x over the next 10 years," it said.

During the macro downturn, RIL has focused on building strong digital capabilities and Goldman Sachs said that the scale-up in omni-channel offering is driving sizeable market share wins.

It sees a six-fold increase in grocery organised retail penetration in India by FY30, coupled with 15 per cent market share gain for RIL.

"We expect RIL core retail revenue to grow at a 36 per cent CAGR over the next four years to $44 bn and e-commerce revenues to be 35 per cent of total retail revenues in FY25, at $15 bn," it said.

"We value RIL retail business at $88 bn in our base case with our offline business valuation similar to comps and online business valuation at the high end of the peer group given higher GMV growth. We also highlight our bull case valuation of $120 bn based on stronger than expected macro growth and market share wins."

Reliance's Retail business had showcased significant pre-Covid growth, with core retail revenues growing 5x during FY16-FY20 at a 50 per cent CAGR.

While growth has taken a pause in FY21 due to Covid related lower footfalls causing a downturn in the retail industry, RIL's retail business has focused on building strong digital capabilities while continuing to expand its physical reach. It expects significant market share, alongside the post covid macro reset, to drive significant growth for RIL retail.

"We expect RIL core retail revenue to grow at a 36 per cent CAGR over next four years to $44 bn and expect e-commerce revenues to be 35 per cent of total revenues in FY25 at $15 bn," it said.

ians

Mon, 21 Jun 2021 13:39:39 +0530
England players tried to distract us but we didn t heed to that Deepti Sharma

Bristol, June 21

India batter Deepti Sharma, who played a crucial role in the Mithali Raj-led side stealing a draw in the one-off Test against England, said that the England players tried to "distract us" during the match but "I made sure I didn't heed any of that".

Deepti, who not just took three England wickets but scored an unbeaten 29 in the first innings and a patient half-century in the second, told ESPNcricinfo on Sunday: "The England players were quipping something or the other after every ball, every over. So I made sure I didn't heed any of that.

"They were deliberately coming close to us, trying to distract us. So as (bowling) partners (with Sneh Rana, who took four wickets for 131 runs), we were communicating after every ball so that we stay focused on the game."

On what gave her the confidence to score a gritty 54 in the second innings, the 23-year-old said: "When I had batted in the first innings, I picked up confidence. All I focused on at the time was playing close to the body. When I was sent at one-down (in the second innings), I walked in with a different kind of a confidence to approach the day, session by session and according to the messages I was receiving (from the dressing room).

"Test match is about patience. You have to play with that one quality -- in batting as well as bowling."

Making her maiden appearance for India after nearly five years, Rana, who became the first Indian cricketer, male or female, to take a four wickets and score a half century on Test debut, said she cut out all the noise during her 104-run ninth-wicket partnership with wicketkeeper Taniya Bhatia, which sealed the draw.

"We just told each other that England were trying to say and do a lot of things to distract us, so were not paying any attention to that. Taniya and I kept talking to each other after every ball, from a distance or up close. We kept motivating each other and said that we have to get this done," added Rana.

ians

Mon, 21 Jun 2021 13:27:59 +0530
Sensex trims losses after losing 600 points

Mumbai, June 21

The domestic stock market witnessed a gap-down opening on Monday, tracking global markets after Federal Reserve official Jim Bullard suggested that the first interest rate hike by the US central bank could come as early as the end of 2022.

The key Indian equity indices have somewhat recovered from the initial losses, however, they are still in the red.

The BSE Sensex fell as much 604.26 points during the initial trade to touch an intra-day low of 51,740.19.

At around 10.05 a.m., it was trading at 52,042.18, lower by 302.27 points or 0.58 per cent from its previous close of 52,344.45.

It opened at 51,887.55 and has so far touched an intra-day high of 52,050.44 points.

The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange was trading at 15,588.15, lower by 95.20 points or 0.61 per cent from its previous close.

The top gainers on the Sensex so far were NTPC, Hindustan Unilever and ITC, while the major losers were Mahindra & Mahindra, L&T and ICICI Bank.

ians
 

Mon, 21 Jun 2021 13:21:09 +0530
NYC rising from Covid restrictions celebrates Yoga Day

New York, June 21

Rising from the pall of Covid-19 restrictions, New York City celebrated International Yoga Day at the Times Square with day-long performances of the ancient Indian art of developing a healthy mind and body.

The city's celebrations were held on Sunday to coincide with the Summer Solstice, which falls a day early this year, but the UN is scheduled to observe the day virtually on Monday.

The UN General Assembly declared June 21 the International Day of Yoga in 2014 at the initiative of India with the support of 177 countries.

More than 3,000 people participated in the "Mind Over Madness Yoga" performances organised by the Indian Consulate General and the Times Square Alliance.

India's Consul General Randhir Jaiswal said at the celebrations: "Yoga is a universal idea, universal thought, universal action. And what better place than Times Square to celebrate a universal thought. This is the crossroads of the world. You have people from all over the world coming, here people from five continents coming here, people from all cultures coming here.

"While we celebrate yoga in various parts of the world, celebrating yoga here in Times Square is very special, very unique, more so today when it happens to be Father's Day, what a happy coincidence."

Times Square Alliance President Tom Harris said yoga is about "health, harmony, unity and togetherness".

New York State had dropped most Covid-19 restrictions on June 15 and Yoga Day was the first major event at Times Square.

"We are back. Now is the time to stop wishing and doing more," Harris added.

The Consulate featured a stall with nature care, herbs and health materials from India, which Jaiswal said was to help people "live more in harmony with nature, more in harmony with traditional knowledge".

The relay of yoga exercises that began at 7.30 a.m. and continued till 8 p.m.. It was broadcast live on the internet to help those at home learn the art.

The day has been observed at the UN with top officials joining in the mass exercises, except last year and this year because of the pandemic.

On Monday, the UN is scheduled to hold a virtual event at 8.30 a.m. (6 p.m. Indian Standard Time) that be telecast over UN TV, which is available on the internet, and on the Indian Mission's social media.

General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir will deliver a message at the event and New York yoga teacher Eddie Stern is slated to give a demonstration.

A Saudi yoga instructor, Nouf Marwaai; an Indian doctor and author, Raman Krishnan, and Sam Rudra Swartz, a disciple of Swami Sachidananda and a hatha yoga teacher are to participate in an interactive dialogue on "Yoga and Wellbeing".

ians
 

Mon, 21 Jun 2021 13:11:44 +0530
UK watchdog raises alarm over live face recognition tech

 

London, June 21

The chief data protection regulator in the UK has expressed grave concerns over the inappropriate use of live facial recognition (LFR) technology in public places.

Unlike CCTV, LFR and its algorithms can automatically identify who you are and infer sensitive details about you.

It can be used to instantly profile people to serve up personalised adverts or match their images against known shoplifters as they do their weekly grocery shop.

"I am deeply concerned about the potential for live facial recognition (LFR) technology to be used inappropriately, excessively or even recklessly. When sensitive personal data is collected on a mass scale without people's knowledge, choice or control, the impacts could be significant," Elizabeth Denham, UK Information Commissioner, said in a statement.

In future, there's the potential to overlay CCTV cameras with LFR, and even to combine it with social media data or other "big data" systems -- LFR is supercharged CCTV.

The UK Information Commissioner has also published a detailed opinion on the use of LFR in public places by private companies and public organisations.

It explains how data protection and people's privacy must be at the heart of any decisions to deploy LFR.

"And it explains how the law sets a high bar to justify the use of LFR and its algorithms in places where we shop, socialise or gather," Denham said.

In the US, people did not trust the facial recognition technology. Some cities banned its use in certain contexts and some major companies (like Microsoft and Amazon) have paused facial recognition services until there are clearer rules.

"Organisations will need to demonstrate high standards of governance and accountability from the outset, including being able to justify that the use of LFR is fair, necessary and proportionate in each specific context in which it is deployed," the UK watchdog emphasised.

ians

Mon, 21 Jun 2021 09:55:55 +0530
India records 53 256 new Covid cases lowest since March 24

 

New Delhi, June 21

The Covid-19 cases in India continued to witness a declining trend with the country recording 53,256 new cases, lowest since March 24. In the same time span, 1,422 fatalities were reported, according to data released by the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry on Monday.

This is the fourth consecutive day in the last two months when the death toll is below the 2,000-mark. It is also the 14th consecutive day when India has reported less than one lakh new coronavirus cases.

On March 24, India had recorded 53,476 cases of Covid.

The overall tally of Covid-19 cases in the country now stands at 2,99,35,221.

The active cases have now come down below 8 lakh. The country has 7,02,887 active cases presently and has witnessed 3,88,135 deaths so far.

According to the Union Health Ministry, a total of 78,190 people have been discharged in the last 24 hours, taking the total discharge to 2,88,44,199 till date.

The Health Ministry said that a total of 28,00,36,898 people have been vaccinated so far in the country, including 30,39,996 who were administered vaccines in the last 24 hours.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, 39,24,07,782 samples have been tested up to June 20 for Covid-19. Of these 13,88,699 samples were tested on Sunday.

ians

Mon, 21 Jun 2021 09:51:17 +0530
BCCI to donate Rs 10 crore to Indian Olympic Association

Mumbai, June 21

The Indian cricket board will "donate" Rs 10 crore to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to support Indian athletes competing at the Tokyo Olympic Games next month, it was decided at an emergent meeting of its apex council.

The support to the IOA has come as a bit of surprise, particularly considering some lingering doubts about the Olympic Games actually taking place due to Covid-19 situation around the world and its "impending" third wave. Certain people and organisations have called for the postponement/cancellation of the July-August Games, which were scheduled for last year but were postponed due to the pandemic.

Also, the IOA is not really poor by its own standards. As per the 2018-19 balance sheet, the IOA is worth Rs.39.12 crore. But it has still not uploaded the 2019-20 balance sheet while the 2010-21 accounts could be work in progress.

Besides, the IOA has four "national sponsors", according to its website. They are MPL Sports Foundation, Inox Group, Nippon Paint, and Edelweiss. And, until recently the IOA had a kit supplier in Li-Ning, a Chinese company, with which it had signed a contract in 2018 that covered the Tokyo Olympics. Reportedly, the Li-Ning contract was worth between Rs 5 crore and Rs 6 crore.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), according to its 2018-19 balance sheet, is worth Rs.14,489.80 crore. Surprisingly, it has still not uploaded the balance sheets of 2017-18 and 2018-19, which should have been done by now, while it is understood that work on the 2019-20 accounts is on.

"The summer Olympics is scheduled to be held in Tokyo from 23 July to 8th August 2021. The BCCI has decided to support Indian athletes in every form and manner it can. In that spirit, based on the request received from the IOA/MYAS [Ministry of sports], the apex council of BCCI has decided to extend support to the IOA and has pledged a monetary gesture of Rs.10 crores," the BCCI said in a late evening statement on Sunday.

The BCCI hoped the Indian athletes would "return with more medals than ever before".

The apex council also decided to constitute a committee to suggest measures to give compensation to domestic cricketers for domestic season 2020 and 2021. The BCCI didn't organise several men's and women's tournaments, largely due to the Covid-19 situation, in the two seasons despite huge demand to organise them.

The names of the committee members were not announced, though, as the BCCI office-bearers would decide that.

Regarding the compensation to domestic cricketers, the BCCI is looking for a "suitable compensatory mechanism" to arrive at.

"The apex council has decided to form a committee to look into the issue of compensation for Indian domestic cricketers for domestic season 2020 and 2021. The apex council has mandated the office-bearers of the BCCI to form the committee and find a suitable compensatory mechanism for domestic cricketers, at the earliest possible," said the statement.

ians
 

Mon, 21 Jun 2021 09:47:15 +0530
Samsung unveils upgraded Odyssey gaming monitors

Seoul, June 21

Samsung Electronics on Monday announced the global launch of its upgraded gaming monitors as the South Korean tech giant tries to boost sales amid the stay-at-home trend.

The 2021 edition of Odyssey gaming monitors -- G70A, G50A and G30A -- will be available in major markets, including South Korea, according to Samsung.

The 28-inch G70A comes with a price tag of 950,000 won (US$840) here, while the 27-inch G50A will be sold at 650,000 won. List prices for the 27-inch and 24-inch G30A monitors have been set at 315,000 won and 215,000 won, respectively.

Samsung said the G70A comes with a flat in-plane switching (IPS) display that boasts ultra-high definition resolution of 3,840x2,160 pixels, reports Yonhap news agency.

It also supports a 144Hz refresh rate and a 1ms grey-to-grey response time.

The G50A features an IPS display supporting quad high-definition resolution, while the G30A comes with a full high-definition panel.

Samsung said the 2021 Odyssey monitors are also highlighted by ergonomic designs, featuring pivot, tilt and swivel control points, and height adjustments.

According to market researcher IDC, Samsung was the leading vendor of gaming monitors supporting 100Hz or above refresh rates in the first quarter of the year, with a revenue share of 16.9 percent.

ians
 

Mon, 21 Jun 2021 09:39:42 +0530
UK scientists warn of miserable winter due to new respiratory viruses

London, June 21 (IANS) 

British scientists on Sunday warned of "pretty miserable winter" ahead for the country due to likely emergence of new respiratory viruses, with further lockdowns a possibility.

Professor Calum Semple, member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), a British government advisory body, said that children and elderly people will be especially vulnerable to endemic viruses at the end of the year, Xinhua reported.

Describing it as the "fourth wave winter," he told Times Radio "there's a sting in the tail after every pandemic" because social distancing will have reduced people's exposure to usual endemic respiratory viruses such as pneumonia and bronchiolitis.

"I suspect we'll have a pretty miserable winter because the other respiratory viruses are going to come back and bite us quite hard," he said. "But after that, I think we'll be seeing business as normal next year."

Meanwhile, Susan Hopkins, Public Health England's director for COVID-19, warned "we may have to do further lockdowns this winter" depending on whether hospitals start to become overwhelmed.

"I think we will have alternative ways to manage this, through vaccination, through anti-virals, through drugs, through testing that we didn't have last winter," she told the BBC.

Scientists have warned that a third wave of coronavirus infections is "definitely under way" in England due to the fast spread of the Delta variant first identified in India, even though hospital admissions will hopefully not be on the same scale as in January.

The recent data published by Public Health England showed the AstraZeneca vaccine is 92 percent effective against hospitalization from the Delta variant after two doses, and the Pfizer vaccine, 96 percent effective.

More than 42.6 million people have been given the first jab of the coronavirus vaccine while more than 31 million people have been fully vaccinated with a second dose, according to the latest official figures.

Experts have warned that coronavirus may continue to evolve for years to come, and eventually it is likely current vaccines will fail to protect against transmission, infection, or even against disease caused by newer variants.

ians
 

Mon, 21 Jun 2021 09:24:55 +0530
WTC final New Zealand 36 0 replying to India s 217 Tea

Southampton, June 20

New Zealand were 36 for no wicket in their first innings at the tea interval, replying to India's 217, on the third day of the World Test Championship final here on Sunday.

At the break, Tom Latham was batting on 17 and Devon Conway was on 18 at the Hampshire Bowl.

Earlier, India were all out soon after the lunch interval. Ajinkya Rahane ended up as the top scorer with 49 (117 balls, 5x4s) while captain Virat Kohli scored 44 (132 balls, 1x4) and Rohit Sharma made 34 (68 balls, 6x4s).

For New Zealand, fast bowler Kyle Jamieson captured his fifth five-wicket innings haul, in his eighth Test, for 31 runs in 22 overs. His superb analysis included 12 maiden overs and the wickets of Kohli, Sharma, and Rishabh Pant (4).

Left-arm speedsters Neil Wagner and Trent Boult bagged two wickets each.

Brief scores (Tea, Day 3): India: 217 all out i92.1 overs (Ajinkya Rahane 49, V Kohli 44, Rohit Sharma 34, Kyle Jamieson 5/31, Neil Wagner 2/40, Trent Boult 2/47) New Zealand: 36/0 wkt in 21 overs (Tom Latham batting 17, Devon Conway batting 18)

ians
 

Sun, 20 Jun 2021 21:42:56 +0530
Vivo V21e 5G likely to launch in India at Rs 24 990 Report

New Delhi, June 20

Chinese smartphone brand Vivo is expected to launch its upcoming smartphone Vivo V21e 5G in India at Rs 24,990.

The smartphone is likely to launch with 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage in the country on June 24, GizmoChina reported on Sunday, citing Tipster.

The microsite of the Vivo V21e 5G has revealed that it will be sporting a slim and trendy design.

The front view of the 5G-capable phone reveals that it has a waterdrop notch display and a noticeable chin.

The smartphone might feature a 6.44-inch AMOLED panel that delivers FHD+ resolution. It has a 32MP front camera and its rear camera setup has a 64MP primary lens along with an 8MP ultrawide snapper.

The Dimensity 700 chip powers the device with 8GB RAM and has 128GB of internal storage and a microSD card slot. The phone runs on FunTouch OS 11.1 and Android 11 OS.

The V21e 5G is backed by a 4,000mAh battery that supports 44W rapid charging.

For security, it has an in-screen fingerprint reader. The handset weighs 7.67mm and weighs 165 grams.

ians
 

Sun, 20 Jun 2021 21:34:12 +0530
EPFO payroll data shows 12 76 lakh subscribers added in April

New Delhi, June 20

The provisional payroll data of the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) on Sunday shows that it has added around 12.76 lakh net subscribers during April this year.

Despite the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic, there was an increase of 13.73 per cent net subscribers during April as compared to the previous month during which around 11.22 lakh net subscribers were added to the payroll.

Data reflects that the number of exits in the April have declined by 87,821 and rejoining has increased by 92,864 subscribers as compared to March this year.

"Of the 12.76 lakh net subscribers added during the month, around 6.89 lakh new members have come into the social security coverage of EPFO for the first time. Around 5.86 lakh net subscribers exited and then rejoined EPFO by changing their jobs within the establishments covered by EPFO and choose to retain membership through transfer of funds rather than opting for final settlement," a Labour and Employment Ministry statement said.

Age-wise comparison of payroll data shows that the age group of 22-25 years has registered highest number of net enrollments with around 3.27 lakh additions during the month. This is followed by age-group of 29-35 with around 2.72 lakh net enrollments.

The members of the 18-25 age group, usually first timers in the job market, have contributed around 43.35 per cent of total net subscriber additions in April.

State-wise comparison of payroll figures shows that establishments registered with Maharashtra, Haryana, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka remain in forefront by adding approximately 7.58 lakh subscribers during the month, which is 59.41 per cent of total net payroll addition across all age groups.

The northeastern states have shown above average growth in terms of net subscribers addition as compared with previous month.

Gender-wise analysis indicates that the share of female enrolment is approximately 22 per cent of total net subscribers addition during the month.

Month-on-month analysis reveals an increasing trend in net female subscribers by adding 2.81 lakh enrollments during April which was 2.42 lakh during March.

In addition to this, number of female subscribers who have come under the ambit of EPFO for the first time, has also increased to 1.90 lakh in April from 1.84 lakh in March.

Industry-wise payroll data indicates that 'expert services' category (consisting of manpower agencies, private security agencies and small contractors etc.) constitutes 45 per cent of total subscribers addition during the month.

In addition, industries involved in making plastic products, beedis, schools, banks and establishments related to iron and steel sectors have also registered above average growth in terms of net addition of subscribers during the of April as compared to the previous month of March.

The payroll data is provisional since the data generation is a continuous exercise as updation of employee record is a continuous process. The previous data hence gets updated every month.

Since April 2018, EPFO has been releasing payroll data covering the period September 2017 onwards.

ians
 

Sun, 20 Jun 2021 21:05:54 +0530
Covid survivors still at reinfection risk from Alpha Beta variants

London, June 20

Immune response following a coronavirus infection can vary between individuals and may not be enough to fight Alpha, and Beta variant of Covid-19, finds a study reinforcing the need for vaccination.

The study found that people who produced a weak immune response signature, obtained at one and six months post infection, failed to show any neutralising antibodies against the Alpha variant, with none mounting a neutralising antibody response against the Beta variant.

The preprint study was led by University of Oxford, in collaboration with the Universities of Liverpool, Sheffield, Newcastle and Birmingham, suggests that whether it is symptomatic or asymptomatic infection, it does not necessarily protect people long-term from Covid-19, particularly against new Variants of Concern.

"Our study is one of the most comprehensive accounts of the immune response following Covid-19 in both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. It is very important that we all get the Covid vaccine when offered even if you think you may have previously had Covid-19," said Christina Dold, from the University of Oxford.

"We found that individuals showed very different immune responses from each other following Covid-19, with some people from both the symptomatic and asymptomatic groups showing no evidence of immune memory six months after infection or even sooner," Dold added.

The study examined how the immune system responds to Covid-19 in 78 healthcare workers who had experienced either symptomatic or asymptomatic disease. An additional eight patients who experienced severe disease were included for comparison.

Blood samples were taken monthly from 1-6 months post infection to examine different elements of the immune response. The report details a highly complex and variable immune response following Covid-19 infection.

The team found an early immune signature, detectable one month post infection and linked to both cellular and antibody immunity, which predicted the strength of immune response measured at six months post infection.

This is the first time that such a signature has been found and improves understanding of the development of lasting immunity.

While the majority of people who had symptomatic disease did have measurable immune responses at six months post infection, a significant minority (26 per cent) did not. The vast majority of people who experienced asymptomatic disease (92 per cent) did not exhibit a measurable immune response at six months post infection, the researchers said.

ians
 

Sun, 20 Jun 2021 20:39:47 +0530
Shama Sikander This pandemic allowed me to do a lot of meditation

Mumbai, June 20 (IANS) 

Actres Shama Sikander says that in these mentally strenuous times of the pandemic, practicing yoga has really helped her.

As the world celebrates International Yoga Day on Monday, she emphasised the importance of yoga and how it can help people stay positive.

"This pandemic allowed me to do a lot of meditation and go to a level I never thought was possible.

"I think I am on an advanced level of yoga. I can't say I on the ultimate level and there are some asanas I am currently getting better at. It's a work in progress.I want to do all the asanas. I want to see my body achieve all of that. I suggest everyone do yoga," she says.

The actress also feels that children should also be encouraged to focus on yoga.

"I request parents to put their children in yoga and they could experience the magic of meditation and understand the world better and that would make change their worlds for the better," she says.

Shama has earlier spoken about battling with depression and bipolar disorder. She feels mental health needs to be given more priority.

Mental health is the most important thing for people. If we don't understand that, then these pandemics will keep on happening," she says.

ians

Sun, 20 Jun 2021 20:22:33 +0530
Record FX reserves Temper joy with caution

20, June 2021

Ram Suresh

www.mediaeyenews.com

In early June India’s foreign exchange reserves topped $600 billion for the first time ever, sending a whiff of fresh air into an otherwise glum economic predicament in the country that was wracked by pandemic-induced lockdowns. Perhaps justifiably, the event has spurred chest-thumping among the chattering classes. But this is no time to rest on laurels.
The stockpile – the world’s fourth-largest, behind China, Japan and Switzerland – is no mean achievement. At $608 billion in the week ended June 11, the reserves were sufficient to pay for more than 18 months of imports, a giant leap in fortunes from the precarious situation in 1991 when the reserves had plunged to a level that could barely cover two weeks’ import bill.

Robust exchange reserves underpin a country’s economic health, act as a buffer in times of crisis and provide strength to the currency. They also uplift confidence among world businesses and authorities to engage in deals with the country, sure about receiving their payments. In other words, it is like a rich man in a city with whom everyone would love to have a formal relationship, assured about his ability to honour commitments.
So, a fat forex kitty is a matter of pride and a source of comfort. It provides elbow room to face challenging times. In the process, however, one must not lose sight of vulnerabilities that lurk beneath the surface.
Unlike major accumulators such as China, Japan and Russia whose reserves are built on large trade surpluses – export earnings far exceeding import bills, India has been perennially a trade deficit nation whose import consumption is way ahead of sales overseas. India’s exchange reserves are the result of large capital inflows in the form of foreign direct investment (FDI), foreign portfolio investment (FPI), external commercial borrowing (ECB) and remittances by non-resident Indians.
Therein lies New Delhi’s vulnerability. Currently, with many central banks worldwide on a mission of pumping cash into the system to soften the blow caused to citizens by the coronavirus pandemic, there is excessive availability of cheap funds. In this ultra-loose global liquidity scenario, money managers chase countries such as India that offer better yields.
India’s bullish longer term growth prospects have been a magnet for strong portfolio inflows as well as FDIs over the past few years, and they continue to remain a formidable factor behind the revival in such inflows despite the economic contraction in 2020/21 and the rather muted expansion seen in the current year.
Exchange reserves during the past financial year grew by $99.2 billion, according to the Reserve Bank of India. FDIs in 2020/21 totalled $52.5 billion, led by Singapore with $15.9 billion and the United States at $13.2 billion, provisional data released by the central bank showed.
Although there are no dark clouds on the horizon to cause worry as of now, the overdependence on capital inflows is troublesome because they can change direction quickly based on geopolitical developments, better growth prospects elsewhere, changes in yields, global risk appetite and so on. In 1990, for instance, even NRI deposits saw outflows in the panic-driven run-up to the first Iraq war.
Policymakers in New Delhi must pursue a hands-on approach to tackle economic twists happening all the time. They cannot afford to take their eyes off the ball. Quick decision-making is important to halt downturns and steady the ship. It is important to note that foreign capital flows are influenced by sovereign ratings, and any downgrade could trigger pull outs.
“If India’s rating drops below investment grade, no foreign lender would be willing to refinance our old loans,” economist Ajit Ranade wrote in an article in the Times of India. “Our coffers will become empty repaying loans.”
“That’s why India’s large forex stock, to the extent it has fickle flows, should not make us complacent. Unless our exports exceed imports, we will remain vulnerable.”

At end-December 2020, India’s external debt stood at $563.5 billion, which is more than 90 per cent of the exchange reserves on June 11, 2021.
 

Sun, 20 Jun 2021 20:06:39 +0530
On Father s Day India defender Adil recalls family challenges of sportspersons

 

New Delhi, June 20

India football team defender, Adil Khan, on Sunday said sportspersons often had to make sacrifices and "forego the simple pleasures of life" in order to maximise their performance on the pitch.

Adil realised this when he was playing during the 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL) season inside the bio-bubble and got the news that he had become a father.

"I had to remain in a bio-bubble in Goa for the league but my wife was in Mumbai when she was pregnant, and she had to manage a lot of things by herself," Adil told aiff.com on Father's Day. "No matter what happens, we have a contract with our clubs and have to respect that."

It was in February when Adil's club FC Goa was playing against Mumbai City FC that he received a message after the match that his wife had gone into labour.

"I remember I was so excited and nervous at the same time. On the football pitch, I was just doing my duty but this was something different. We both had obviously wanted to be there when it happened but I couldn't. I remember staying up all night -- I called everyone after the match -- my parents, in-laws, friends. I was in constant touch with my wife and her doctor, too. It was quite difficult to be stuck in a room in Goa when your wife is giving birth," Adil recalled.

"There's always a level of anxiety involved in such situations. And with God's grace, all went well and we were blessed with a baby boy. I can't describe the feeling. I got on a video call as soon as it was possible to see my son. I was sad that I couldn't hold him in my arms but I was really happy to see him at the same time. Can't describe the emotion," he said.

"This was the moment that I thought, I'd make him a No. 9 (India football player), if I can, in the future. "After (Sunil) Chhetri bhai, I hope he can become a striker and break more records."

While most footballers went back home after the end of the season, Adil only had a few days to meet his son in person before he had to join the India team camp in Dubai.

Even after returning from Dubai, the defender had to report to his club FC Goa for their AFC Champions League matches, which also took place in Goa. However, the family was allowed to be together inside the bubble, and Adil could finally spend some quality time with his son.

Sun, 20 Jun 2021 17:45:46 +0530
Tropical storm Dolores makes landfall in Mexico

 

Mexico City, June 20

Tropical storm Dolores made landfall near the town of San Juan de Aldama in the western Mexican state of Michoacan, the National Meteorological Service (SMN) reported.

The SMN said on Saturday that Dolores is presenting maximum sustained winds of 110 km per hour, with gusts of up to 140 km per hour and displacement toward the north-northwest at 20 km per hour, reports Xinhua news agency.

"A prevention zone for hurricane winds is being maintained from Lazaro Cardenas, Michoacan, to Cabo Corrientes, Jalisco, as well as a surveillance zone for tropical storm winds from Cabo Corrientes to Escuinapa, Sinaloa," the SMN said.

High waves of three to five metres in height and the possible formation of waterspouts are expected on the coasts of the states of Jalisco, Colima, Michoacan, and Guerrero.

The SMN has called for taking "extreme precautions by the general population in the areas of the states mentioned (due to) rain, wind, and waves".

According to the SMN, 39 cyclones are forecast for this year, of which 20 will occur in the Pacific Ocean and 19 in the Atlantic Ocean.

ians

Sun, 20 Jun 2021 17:26:48 +0530
Rigorously implement public health social measures WHO

New Delhi, June 20

The World Health Organisation on Sunday called upon countries in WHO South-East Asia Region to scale up and rigorously implement public health and social measures, along with efforts to accelerate vaccination for Covid-19 and prevent another surge.

Besides personal protective measures, the public health and social measures include cleaning, disinfection, ventilation, surveillance, Contact tracing, isolation and quarantine. Physical distancing measures include limiting the size of gatherings, maintaining distance in public or workplaces, domestic movement restrictions; and international travel-related measures. These measures are cost-effective to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2, and save lives.

"We need to continuously strengthen our efforts to test, trace and isolate. Societal interventions such as physical distancing, hand hygiene and proper wearing of masks need to be stringently implemented. These measures should be in full force and for longer periods in areas reporting more transmissible variants of concerns," said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia, in a statement.

Even as countries scale up vaccination against Covid-19, they need to implement public health and social measures in a tailored and agile way, Singh said. It should be implemented by the lowest administrative level and continuously adjusted to the intensity of transmission and the capacity of health systems.

"Where more transmissible Variants of Concern are spreading, these measures need to be applied more stringently and for longer periods," she noted.

Earlier this week Maldives and Myanmar confirmed transmission of Variants of Concern. Earlier, the Variants of Concern have been confirmed in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste.

The Variants of Concern, along with opening of economies and societies, contributed to the recent surge in cases globally.

Countries across the world are currently at different phases in the evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic and face varying epidemiological situations. Though the region is now witnessing an overall decline in cases, mainly due to decreasing cases reported in India, in some other countries the cases are still increasing.

"We must not forget that the pandemic is still around. We must guard against complacency, at any level. We must continue to implement combinations of public health and social measures until globally there is high Covid-19 vaccine coverage among health workers, and high-risk and vulnerable groups," Singh said.

ians

Sun, 20 Jun 2021 17:15:15 +0530
Edtech sector witnesses surge in demand for digital skills

New Delhi, June 20

Edtech sector has witnessed a 90 per cent surge in demand for digital skills amid the pandemic, according to TeamLease Edtech.

The demand for digital skills for the EdTech sector is set to increase to further 65 per cent to 75 per cent in the coming quarters.

The shift in skill requirements comes amid the Covid-19 pandemic for the education and the edtech sector. In the last quarter, the demand for digital competencies has gone up significantly.

Further, the demand for analytical skills has increased by 45 per cent and is likely to further increase by 40 per cent and the demand for talent with innovative mindset has increased by 65 per cent and would continue to increase by 55 per cent.

Neeti Sharma, Co-Founder and President of TeamLease Edtech said that the rapid digital adoption and transformation has increased the requirements for employees with digital skills.

"There has been a shortfall initially, however many employers made investments in upskilling their employees and the employed learners themselves took up programs that prepared them for these skills. This has enabled many employers to match the demand and supply of digital skills," the Co-Founder said.

She added that there are a lot of opportunities for people who can match the requirements.

"We see a huge opportunity market opening up these days. Even though people are upskilling themselves, there is a demand and supply gap. There are many jobs but not the right candidates to fill those positions."

Sharma also noted that digitally skilled people have been updating their profiles to make them relevant to the current job openings.

On the outlook for the demand for digital skills in edtech sector, she said that automation and digitisation are here to stay and hence the need for digital skilled employees will continue to be high.

"Even when we will go offline, a lot of things will still remain online, so digital skills will be required at every stage of employment, and in all industries."

ians
 

Sun, 20 Jun 2021 14:50:28 +0530
Can Akshay Kumar s Bell Bottom reboot Bollywood

 

New Delhi, June 20

Can Akshay Kumar do a Vijay? Or Ravi Teja? Ever since the Bollywood superstar announced "Bell Bottom" for a theatrical release on July 27, excitement is on the rise. Fans as well as industry watchers have applauded the move. The hope that, pandemic practicalities permitting, Akshay's gesture will initiate the first step at box office normalcy for the Hindi film trade.

The trade after all has maintained for a while now that, with vaccination in place and with the world cautiously opening up in the latest unlock phase, all it would take for the Hindi film trade to get going once again is one big hit. This, in turn, called for a film with the right entertainment quotient, pre-release hype and, most importantly, a star who doesn't have to try too hard to draw the crowds.

Akshay's "Bell Bottom" is a retro spy thriller set in the 80s, is shot mostly in the UK, mixes sleek espionage action with pop patriotism drama, is reportedly based on a true story, and co-stars Vaani Kapoor, Huma Qureshi and Lara Dutta.

The combo would seem instantly saleable, an all-out entertainer. Bollywood hopes the film has the same impact that Ravi Teja's "Krack" did for the Telugu film industry and Vijay's "Master" did for Tamil cinema in January, when big screen trade down South made a brave attempt to get back to business even as the first bid to unlock cinemas happened this year.

For the record, "Krack", made on a budget of around Rs 16 crore and released on January 9, managed over 60 crore in just about four weeks, after taking in a first weekend collection of around Rs 23 crore.

The release of "Master", coinciding with Makar Sankranti (January 14), was an ambitious move, with the film rumoured to be budgeted at around Rs 125-135 crore. "Master" did spectacularly despite pandemic protocol in theatres and the audience being wary to venture out. The film grossed Rs 250 crore worldwide according to India Today.

Of course, subject to cinema halls opening, a few other Hindi films were lined up for a theatrical release in July. Before the second wave of Covid struck, "Shershaah" starring Sidharth Malhotra was announced for July 2.

Ayushmann Khurrana was scheduled to return to theatres with "Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui" on July 9, as was the modest-budget comedy "14 Phere" featuring Vikrant Massey and Kriti Kharbanda. Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Alia Bhatt-starrer "Gangubai Kathiawadi" was planned for release after Akshay's "Bell Bottom", on August 30.

None of the above films that were listed as possible releases in July 2021 have officially confirmed release as of now, and no one in the trade wants to hazard a guess on whether these films will be pushed back again. Perhaps, the makers are apprehensive that theatrical business all over India might not open up sufficiently by the first half of July or, even if it did, the audience may not be convinced enough to venture into the halls.

At best, halls might open by July-end given the current situation (to understand the immediate situation, Maharashtra, one of the most important domestic markets for Bollywood films, recently said regular opening of cinemas would happen only in Level One zones while Level Two areas would see 50 per cent occupancy).

On Akshay's "Bell Bottom", it is interesting to note the fact that July 27, his chosen date for release, is a Tuesday.

Which means Akshay and his battalion of producers (Vashu and Jackky Bhagnani, Deepshikha Deshmukh, Monisha Advani, Madhu Bhojwani and Nikkhil Advani) have given themselves a three-day headstart. This would be hoping to garner word of mouth over Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, before the actual weekend kicks in on Friday the 30th. For a film like "Bell Bottom", which is not a conventional mainstream entertainer, a bit of buzz would seem just the right thing to go for, in the time of uber-cautious unlock.

Akshay currently has half a dozen films lined up. Of these, "Bell Bottom", "Sooryavanshi", "Atrangi Re" and "Prithiviraj" were scheduled for a 2021 release. Rumours suggesting Akshay is keen to release "Sooryavanshi" on Gandhi Jayanti have neither been confirmed nor denied. Two other films of the superstar, "Bachchan Pandey" and "Ram Setu", are slated for next year, and Akshay has reportedly completed almost all shooting, except "Ram Setu".

A quick scan of that list tells you right away that Akshay's focus with his releases this year and the next is interestingly on all-out entertainment.

Subject to pandemic realities, if "Bell Bottom" kickstarts the Bollywood theatrical trade on a positive note, it would certainly give Akshay an advantage over the other superstars. At a time when OTT has reaped rich in the absence of cinema business, Akshay's fellow superstar Salman Khan recently learnt the rough way with "Radhe" that the digital space doesn't care much about the power of traditional Bollywood superstardom. Akshay himself would be aware, too. He had dropped "Laxmii" on OTT last year and the impact was far from blockbuster.

ians

Sun, 20 Jun 2021 14:42:47 +0530
Yoga improves clinical outcome in Rheumatoid arthritis Study

New Delhi, June 20

In India, yoga is celebrated as an ancient tradition, which has grown into a global phenomenon. As India gears up for International Yoga Day on June 21, a research paper released by an expert at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) said, yoga can be used as an adjunct therapy in the management of severe arthritis.

Dr Rima Dada, Prof Lab for Molecular Reproduction and Genetics, Department of Anatomy at AIIMS, said, yoga improves clinical outcome in Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and decreases systemic inflammation by its beneficial effects on psycho-neuro-immune axis and normalization of dysregulated transcripts.

The research paper titled 'yoga impact on autoimmune arthritis' is based on a study done in collaboration with Dr Uma Kumar, Professor and Head of the Department of Rheumatology. Dada emphasized yoga is an integrative health strategy which focusses on both physical and psychological aspects of a disease.

Dada claimed the study on the impact of yoga in 66 RA patients supports adding yoga as an adjunct therapy to treat the chronic debilitating autoimmune disease.

The results of the study suggested that there was a decrease in disease activity after yoga practice, which was associated with a significant reduction in inflammatory cytokines, the elevation of mind-body communicative markers, and normalization of various transcript levels, which improved quality of life. "Despite lack of a cure, the disease may be controlled by yoga-based lifestyle interventions which improves joint flexibility and reduces pain. Yoga significantly improves and reduces the psycho-somatic symptoms, pain perception, disability quotient, joint flexibility, range of motion, posture, muscle strength, coordination, and disease activity", said the study.

Dada emphasized that this mind-body intervention is the need of the hour in the age of super specialization. "Yoga holds the immense potential to be an adjunct therapeutic regimen in RA patient and has tremendous rehabilitative potential", added Dada.

The findings indicated that yoga plays a role in facilitation of mind's capacity to overcome disease and improve physical symptoms via a variety of downstream pathways.

ians

Sun, 20 Jun 2021 14:34:36 +0530
Public Wi fi available at all 15 railway stations of Kashmir Valley

New Delhi, June 20

Public Wi-fi connectivity has been made available at all the 15 railways stations of the Kashmir Valley.

The 15 stations in the Kashmir Valley are Baramula, Hamre, Pattan, Mazhom, Budgam, Srinagar, Pampore, Kakapora, Avantipura, Panzgam, Bijbehara, Anantnag, Sadura, Qazigund and Banihal, which spread out in the four districts of Srinagar, Budgaon, Banihal and Qazigund.

These stations have now been have been integrated with the wi-fi network of 6,021 stations of the Indian Railways.

Wi-fi is already available at the stations in Kathua, Budhi, Chhan Arorian, Hira Nagar, Ghagwal, Samba, Vijaypur, Bari Brahman, Jammu Tawi, Bajalta, Sangar, Manwal and Ram Nagar of the Jammu region.

Union Minister of Railways, Piyush Goyal said: "Today, on World Wi-Fi Day, I am delighted to announce that Srinagar and 14 stations of the Kashmir Valley have become a part of one the largest integrated public Wi-Fi network in the world connecting 6000 plus stations across the country.

"All the stations of Valley now have public Wi-Fi. It is a crucial step for Digital India mission and will go a long way in connecting the unconnected. I convey my appreciation to the team Indian Railways and RailTel, which has worked tirelessly to achieve this remarkable feat, the Railway Minister said.Commending Indian Railways for achieving this commendable feat."

Minister of States for PMO, Jitendra Singh said: "I am very happy to note that 15 stations in the Kashmir Valley in Jammu and Kashmir are now live with RailWire Wi-Fi. This will be an added amenity for the people of the region and the country. I wish everyone a very Happy World Wi-Fi day."

Designed to offer users the best internet experience, Wi-Ffi at Railway stations will be available to any user who has a smartphone with working mobile connection for KYC considerations.

ians

Sun, 20 Jun 2021 13:20:00 +0530
UP to launch Dastak campaign from July 1

Lucknow, June 20

 Uttar Pradesh will launch the 'Dastak' campaign from July 1, which is part of a comprehensive Social and Behaviour Change Communication (SBCC) strategy embraced by the Yogi Adityanath government.

Health department officials have been asked to coordinate with other departments and make necessary arrangements to prevent the spread of Encephalitis, Malaria, Chikungunya, and other diseases.

State-level training of health workers has been started and healthcare facilities have been strengthened in every village.

According to a government spokesperson, all Block Development Officers (BDO), District Panchayat Raj Officers, District School Inspectors, Chief Medical Officers and officers of all departments have been asked to extend their support to the campaign.

The state government has formed about 73,000 monitoring committees across the country which have been playing vital roles in the fight against seasonal fever, vector and water-borne diseases.

More than 4 lakh members associated with these committees have been engaged in making people aware by visiting them at their homes.

In 3,011 Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and 855 Community Health Centres (CHCs) in the state, adequate arrangements have been made for treatment of these diseases.

A total of 592 urban PHCs have also been asked to remain alert to provide treatment round the clock to patients. Fever clinics have also been set up at CHCs and PHCs to make sure patients could be treated on an immediate basis.

Besides, ASHA workers, Anganwadi workers, ANMs and village heads have been entrusted with the responsibility of apprising rural population about various water-borne and vector-borne diseases.

ians

Sun, 20 Jun 2021 13:13:09 +0530
Hundreds of trees chopped off along Yamuna furore on social media

Agra June 20

 Hundreds of trees along the Yamuna river, close to the Taj Mahal have been chopped off to lay a water pipeline by the Smart City Corporation Employees.

The trees were cut on Saturday and after a furore on social media and complaints by the green activists, the police filed an FIR.

Environmentalist Devashish Bhattacharya said, "This is a critical eco-sensitive zone. Felling trees would adversely affect the newly developed green stretch on the controversial Taj Corridor."

Pandit Jugal Kishore of the River Connect Campaign told IANS: "As soon as we got to know about it we immediately posted pictures on social media and highlighted the callous negligence by the government agencies. The furore led to filing of an FIR at the Chatta police station naming four persons of the municipal corporation. But the damage has been done."

A new 1200 mm pipeline is being laid to supply Ganga Jal to Taj Ganj and other distant localities, from the Agra Water Works at Jeoni Mandi. Almost two thirds of the pipeline has been laid on the Yamuna Kinara road, while a third is being laid along the river bank which had a thick growth of trees.

The Agra Municipal Commissioner and other officials visited the site to assess the damage to the green cover late Saturday evening. The state Forest department officials said strict action would be taken against the contractors and others who destroyed the greenery around.

This area between the two world heritage monuments, the Agra Fort and the Taj Mahal, was being developed as a green buffer to absorb the pollutants and insulate the monuments from sand of the dry Yamuna.

River Connect Campaigners Rahul Raj, Deepak Rajput, Ranjan Sharma have demanded immediate restoration of the green cover and punishment to all those involved in destroying the trees.

The controversial Taj Corridor in the neighbourhood, it may be recalled, brought down the Mayawati government in Uttar Pradesh in 2003.

For over a decade this 20 hectare stretch of the river bed remained a vast "wasteland" but for the past two years the state Forest and horticulture departments have worked hard to transform it into a lush green area, pleasing to the eyes and an effective green barrier. A large number of foreign tourists visited the area, before the Covid-19 pandemic.
 

ians

Sun, 20 Jun 2021 12:59:07 +0530
Now politics over orphaned children in Rajasthan

Jaipur, June 20

Politics, these days, seem to be centred around the orphaned kids in Rajasthan with Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot criticising the package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for children orphaned due to Covid and praising the package announced by Rajasthan government.

Meanwhile, Rajya Sabha BJP MP Kirorilal Meena on Saturday surprised all by staging a 'dharna' near the Chief Minister's residence on Saturday with 30 orphaned kids and their families demanding a well-defined economic package for them.

His dharna came a day after Gehlot said the Centre's welfare measures for children who lost their parents to Covid-19 were 'defective' and demanded their revision as they did not provide immediate relief.

Gehlot also claimed the Centre did not announce any scheme to help women whose husbands succumbed to Covid.

"The Centre's package did not provide immediate relief, which was of utmost importance, to the children who lost their parents to Covid-19. The package of the government of India is defective and there is confusion about it. The government will provide financial help after a child reaches the age of 18. Who knows who will be where after 18 years? Package means instant help," said the Rajasthan Chief Minister, adding that he would speak to the Prime Minister about the scheme.

A day after his criticism, Rajya Sabha MP Meena demanded that orphaned children in Rajasthan should be given aid of Rs 1 lakh each, free college education and Rs 7,000 a month till they turn adults. Their requirements related to food and rations should be arranged by the state government, he said. If the orphaned children were in school, they should be provided Rs 25,000 annually in one go, he demanded.

Meena's protest at the Chief Minister's residence caught the security apparatus by surprise as neither intelligence officers nor or security officers had information about it.

The Rajasthan government had announced immediate relief of Rs 1 lakh to children whose parents had died of Covid and women, who had been widowed during the pandemic, apart from monthly financial assistance. Additionally, these children would get Rs 2,500 per month till the age of 18 and Rs 5 lakh once they attained the age of 18 years while widows would get a monthly social security pension of Rs 1,500.

Meena demanded a similar package for other orphaned kids in the state. State Transport Minister Pratap Singh Khariyawas reached the Chief Minister's residence and spoke to Meena. He ensured that quick action will be taken on his demands. Meena eventually ended the protest.

Sangeeta Beniwal, chairperson, Rajasthan State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, said, "There should be no politics over children who have been orphaned. There are many other ways to reach out to the Chief Minister and convey the message but getting these children to stand on roads with placards in hand is not right. We will write a letter to Meena. We will ask him for the whereabouts of such children who need help and connect them with our schemes."

ians
 

Sun, 20 Jun 2021 07:50:29 +0530
India looking at a score of 250 says batting coach Rathour

Southampton, June 20  

India are hoping to get to 250 runs in their first innings of the World Test Championship final against New Zealand here at the Hampshire Bowl, said batting coach Vikram Rathour on Saturday.

India finished the second day at 146/3 after the last session was affected by bad light on multiple occasions.

"We are looking to play sessions well and if we keep doing that then anything more than 250-plus would be a reasonable score in these conditions," Rathour told the media after the day's play that saw only 64.4 overs being bowled.

Rains had washed out the entire first day.

Rathour said that they are communicating with the boys during lockdown and breaks to keep them motivated.

"There is a lot of communication that is happening during lockdowns and breaks. We have had a lot of discussion. Lots of discipline was shown today. There was lot of intent today. The batsmen were looking to score wherever they could," he added.

Rathour acknowledged both skipper Virat Kohli and his deputy Ajinkya Rahane, who added unbeaten 58 in over 24 overs with patience while enduring three incidents of bad light, which forced them to walk off the field.

"They batted well. Credit also to Rohit and [Shubman] Gill. Those were challenging conditions; it was a fresh wicket. They showed a lot of discipline and restraint," he said.

ians
 

Sun, 20 Jun 2021 07:43:07 +0530
Kisan Rail carrying mangoes chugs to Delhi from K taka

Kolar (Karnataka), June 20

A special train 'Kisan Rail' carrying 250 tonnes of mango grown in Kolar region left Doddanatta Halt Station (Chintamani), Kolar district for Adarsh Nagar railway station in Delhi on Saturday, an official said here.

After symbolically flagging off the train here, Divisional Railway Manager, Bengaluru Division, Ashok Kumar Verma said that the transport of farm produce by train through Kisan Rail was cheaper and faster than by road.

"The road transport costs about Rs 7-8 per kg whereas (with subsidy applied) the transport cost per kg by Kisan Rail is just Rs 2.82. Farmers could save a lot of time too, as by road it takes anywhere about 3-4 days to reach Delhi, whereas the Kisan Rail will reach by 40 hours, transportations from Kisan rail is way cheaper and faster," he contended.

He also added that South Western Railway (SWR) aimed to run at least one Kisan Rail every 2-3 days once in its commitment to assist farmers to transport tomatoes, onions and other seasonal products to the markets across the nation based on demand.

While Kolar Lok Sabha MP, S. Muniswamy urged Farm Producers Organisations (FPOs) to come forward and utilise the services of Kisan Rail trains.

A statement released by the SWR claimed that the Kisan Rail Trains are run on time-tabled paths and their punctuality is monitored very strictly to avoid delays enroute.

"This helps in swift movement of perishable goods like fruits, vegetables and other agricultural produce across the nation," the statement said.

The transportation of fruits and vegetables by Kisan Rail are granted a subsidy of 50 per cent on the tariff chargeable, by Ministry of Food Processing and Industries, so that farmers can realise better value for their products.

ians
 

Sun, 20 Jun 2021 07:34:56 +0530
Third wave of Covid definitely under way in UK Scientist

London, June 20

A new wave of coronavirus infections is "definitely under way" in England due to the Delta variant first identified in India, a British government advisory scientist said on Saturday.

"The race is firmly on between the vaccine program... and the Delta variant third wave," said professor Adam Finn, a member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), Xinhua news agency reported.

Acknowledging the recent surge in infections, Finn told the BBC: "Perhaps we can be a little bit optimistic it's not going up any faster, but nevertheless it's going up -- so this third wave is definitely under way."

Noting that the highest number of cases of the Delta variant is among 16-25 year-olds, Finn said that older people are still "much more likely to end up in hospital."

"As far as vaccines are concerned, the main emphasis everywhere at the moment is immunizing adults because it's adults that suffer predominantly from this infection," he said.

Meanwhile, epidemiologist Mike Tildesley said he is "cautiously hopeful" that hospital admissions in Britain will not be on the same scale as in January.

Tildesley, a member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (SPI-M), another government advisory body, said cases have been "creeping steadily" over the past month "but we haven't yet seen that reflected in hospital admissions and deaths".

"I'm cautiously hopeful that whilst we probably will expect some sort of wave of hospital admissions over the next few weeks, it won't be the same scale that we saw back in January."

The recent data published by Public Health England showed the AstraZeneca vaccine is 92 per cent effective against hospitalization from the Delta variant after two doses, and the Pfizer vaccine is 96 per cent effective against hospitalization after two doses.

More than 42.4 million people have been given the first jab of a coronavirus vaccine while more than 30.8 million people have been fully vaccinated with a second dose, according to the latest official figures.

Experts have warned that coronavirus may continue to evolve for years to come, and eventually it is likely current vaccines will fail to protect against transmission, infection, or even against disease caused by newer variants.

ians
 

Sun, 20 Jun 2021 07:24:31 +0530
Third wave of Covid definitely under way in UK Scientist

London, June 20

A new wave of coronavirus infections is "definitely under way" in England due to the Delta variant first identified in India, a British government advisory scientist said on Saturday.

"The race is firmly on between the vaccine program... and the Delta variant third wave," said professor Adam Finn, a member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), Xinhua news agency reported.

Acknowledging the recent surge in infections, Finn told the BBC: "Perhaps we can be a little bit optimistic it's not going up any faster, but nevertheless it's going up -- so this third wave is definitely under way."

Noting that the highest number of cases of the Delta variant is among 16-25 year-olds, Finn said that older people are still "much more likely to end up in hospital."

"As far as vaccines are concerned, the main emphasis everywhere at the moment is immunizing adults because it's adults that suffer predominantly from this infection," he said.

Meanwhile, epidemiologist Mike Tildesley said he is "cautiously hopeful" that hospital admissions in Britain will not be on the same scale as in January.

Tildesley, a member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (SPI-M), another government advisory body, said cases have been "creeping steadily" over the past month "but we haven't yet seen that reflected in hospital admissions and deaths".

"I'm cautiously hopeful that whilst we probably will expect some sort of wave of hospital admissions over the next few weeks, it won't be the same scale that we saw back in January."

The recent data published by Public Health England showed the AstraZeneca vaccine is 92 per cent effective against hospitalization from the Delta variant after two doses, and the Pfizer vaccine is 96 per cent effective against hospitalization after two doses.

More than 42.4 million people have been given the first jab of a coronavirus vaccine while more than 30.8 million people have been fully vaccinated with a second dose, according to the latest official figures.

Experts have warned that coronavirus may continue to evolve for years to come, and eventually it is likely current vaccines will fail to protect against transmission, infection, or even against disease caused by newer variants.

ians
 

Sun, 20 Jun 2021 07:16:36 +0530
NTPC reports highest ever FY21 profit at 13 8k cr

New Delhi, June 19

The country's largest power generator- NTPC Ltd., on Saturday reported highest ever net profit of Rs 13,769.52 crore for fiscal year 2020-21 ending March 31 beating the pandemic through increased generation and sale of power.

The net profit of the company for FY21 grew 36.16 per cent over Rs 10,112.81 crore profit reported in FY20.

NTPC's total income for 2020-21 stood at Rs 103,552.71 crore as against Rs 100,478.41 crore in FY20, registering an increase of 3.06 per cent.

In FY21, NTPC group recorded the highest ever gross generation of 314.07 billion units as against 290.19 billion units during the previous year.

On Standalone basis, the gross generation of NTPC for FY21 was 270.91 billion units as against 259.62 billion units in the previous year. Coal stations achieved a Plant Load Factor of 66.00 per cent as against National Average of 54.56 per cent with an availability factor of 91.43 per cent.

NTPC has realised more than 100 per cent of the billed amount during the year, crossing rupees one lakh crore, which is the highest ever realization.

The Board of Directors of NTPC Ltd. have recommended a final dividend of 31.5 per cent of paid-up share capital i.e. Rs 3.15 per equity share of the face value of Rs 10 each for FY21, subject to the approval of shareholders in the Annual General Meeting.

The company had paid an Interim Dividend of 30 per cent of paid-up share capital i.e. Rs 3.00 per equity share in February 2021. This is the 28th consecutive year of dividend payment by the company.

NTPC has group installed capacity of 65825 MW.

ians
 

Sat, 19 Jun 2021 19:56:05 +0530
Footprints of last dinosaurs walked 110M years ago in UK found

London, June 19

A team of researchers in the UK has discovered footprints from at least six different species of dinosaur -- the very last dinosaurs to walk on the UK soil 110 million years ago.

The discovery of dinosaur footprints by a curator from Hastings Museum and Art Gallery and a scientist from the University of Portsmouth is the last record of dinosaurs in Britain.

The footprints were discovered in the cliffs and on the foreshore in Folkestone, Kent, where stormy conditions affect the cliff and coastal waters, and are constantly revealing new fossils.

"This is the first time dinosaur footprints have been found in strata known as the 'Folkestone Formation' and it's quite an extraordinary discovery because these dinosaurs would have been the last to roam in this country before becoming extinct," said Professor of Palaeobiology, David Martill.

"They were walking around close to where the White Cliffs of Dover are now - next time you're on a ferry and you see those magnificent cliffs just imagine that!"

The footprints are from a variety of dinosaurs, which shows there was a relatively high diversity of dinosaurs in southern England at the end of the Early Cretaceous period, 110 million years ago.

The footprint fossils formed by sediment filling the impression left behind when a dinosaur's foot pushes into the ground, which then preserves it, according to a paper published in the journal Proceedings of the Geologists' Association.

They are thought to be from ankylosaurs, rugged-looking armoured dinosaurs which were like living tanks; theropods, three-toed flesh-eating dinosaurs like the Tyrannosaurus rex; and ornithopods, plant-eating 'bird-hipped' dinosaurs so-called because of their pelvic structure being a little bit similar to birds.

Most of the findings are isolated footprints, but one discovery comprises six footprints -- making a 'trackway', which is more than one consecutive print from the same animal.

The largest footprint found -- measuring 80 cm in width and 65 cm in length -- has been identified as belonging to an Iguanodon-like dinosaur.

Iguanodons were also plant-eaters, grew up to 10 metres long and walked on both two legs or on all fours.

"To find such an array of species in one place is fascinating. These dinosaurs probably took advantage of the tidal exposures on coastal foreshores, perhaps foraging for food or taking advantage of clear migration routes," explained Martill.
 

Sat, 19 Jun 2021 19:15:48 +0530
Raisi wins Iran prez polls by landslide Preliminary results

Tehran, June 19

Ebrahim Raisi, the incumbent Chief Justice of Iran, has won the country's presidential election by a landslide, according to preliminary results released on Saturday by the Interior Ministry.

Deputy Interior Minister Jamal Orf said 28.6 million Iranians participated in Friday's election, and with around 90 per cent of the votes counted, Raisi garnered over 17.8 million votes, Press TV reported.

In the second place was Mohsen Rezaei, a senior officer in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and current secretary of the Expediency Discernment Council, with 3.3 million ballots.

Meanwhile, former Governor of the Central Bank of Iran Nasser Hemmati garnered 2.4 million votes, and conservative MP Amir-Hossein Ghazizadeh-Hashemi won almost one million votes, the Ministry figures revealed.

Orf added that vote counting was still ongoing an official announcement will be made later.

Addressing a meeting of the national committee fighting the coronavirus, outgoing President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday praised the participation of the voters and welcomed the winner without naming Raisi, reports Xinhua news agency.

"Although I will delay the official congratulations in conformity with the law, the people's choice is already clear and he will take over the government in 45 days," Rouhani said.

In a message on his personal Instagram account, Hemmati expressed hope that the new leader "will make the Islamic Republic of Iran proud, and also improve the livelihood and prosperity, and provide welfare for the great nation of Iran".

Rezaei and Hashemi have also extended their congratulations to Raisi.

Raisi, who has been the Chief Justice since 2019, has formerly held several other posts in the country judicial branch following the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Although associated with the Principlist camp, Raisi said he ran in the election this year as an independent.

He was campaigning with the slogan "Popular Administration, Strong Iran" aimed at uprooting corruption in the executive branch, fighting poverty, creating jobs and containing inflation.

ians
 

Sat, 19 Jun 2021 18:56:08 +0530
BJP s J K unit to organise Yoga Day events at booth level

New Delhi, June 19

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has planned major events across Jammu and Kashmir on International Yoga Day (IYD) observed on June 21 every year, to further expand its base in the Union Territory (UT), including the valley.

The saffron party will organise a yoga programme in Jammu and Kashmir. The BJP has decided to use the opportunity to create awareness to reduce vaccine hesitancy among the people.

Jammu and Kashmir BJP Co-incharge, Ashish Sood, told IANS that IYD programmes will be held at the polling booth level across Jammu and Kashmir and senior party leaders will participate. He said that like the other flagship programmes of the Narendra Modi government, the BJP has planned to promote Yoga Day in Jammu and Kashmir by organising events at the booth level.

"Several events and awareness programmes highlighting the welfare schemes of the Modi government have been held in Jammu and Kashmir. This year for the first time, the BJP will be organising an International Yoga Day programme across Jammu and Kashmir, including Srinagar, Baramulla, Ganderbal and other parts of the UT," Sood said.

The saffron party believes that such events involving public participation will give a boost to its expansion in the valley. "For the first time a BJP member won District Development Council (DDC) polls in the valley and continuously worked to win people's support with the welfare schemes of the Modi government," Sood added.

BJP workers and leaders will do yoga with the people and explain to them about the benefits of yoga, especially in the time of a pandemic.

The party workers will celebrate IYD with people at the majority of booths or where the BJP has already appointed booth level workers.

"Our workers and leaders will do yoga with the residents of that particular polling booth," Sood said. A party leader said out of more than 10,000 polling booths in Jammu and Kashmir, the BJP has appointed workers at the majority of the booths.

Sood said the BJP workers will also use Yoga Day as an opportunity to create awareness about Covid vaccination. "On June 21, the Union government is also launching free vaccines for everyone above 18 years and the BJP workers, including me, will use yoga day events to create awareness to reduce vaccine hesitancy among people," he added.

ians
 

Sat, 19 Jun 2021 18:35:25 +0530
Santhosh to visit UP again fuels fresh speculations

Lucknow, June 19

 BJP National General Secretary, Organisation, B.L. Santhosh, who had visited Lucknow 15 days ago, is again coming to UP on June 21. Speculations are rife about his second visit in less than a month.

State in-charge Radha Mohan Singh may also visit the state along with Santhosh. During their visit, they are likely to meet party office-bearers and ministers to discuss the groundwork preparations for the elections in Uttar Pradesh to be held early next year.

Santhosh and Singh may also discuss a possible cabinet expansion and candidates for four vacant seats in the Legislative Council.

During the last visit of Santhosh, many office bearers had raised the issue of filling up vacant posts in the corporation and commissions as well as the issue of lack of coordination between the organisation and the government. After which, transfer of officers on a large scale took place, Backward Commission was constituted and vacant posts in Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Commission were filled up. A large number of BJP veterans were accommodated in this exercise.

The brainstorming sessions that started in the month of May are still continuing. Consequently, the visit of Santhosh to Lucknow is being considered very important in many ways.

It is to be noted that the central leadership of the BJP has prepared a blueprint of the strategy for the assembly elections in UP after talks with state party president Swatantra Dev Singh, general secretary organization Sunil Bansal and national president J.P. Nadda in Delhi on Thursday, though it has not been revealed to the media. However, it is believed that the party will accommodate as many veterans as possible in various corporations, boards, commissions, organization fronts, cells and departments. Speculations of cabinet expansion have intensified again after Swatantra Dev and Bansal met Nadda in Delhi.

Based on the feedback received from Santhosh's visit to UP, and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's visit to Delhi and his interaction with Home Minister Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, experts say that there is a possibility of joining some new faces in the Yogi cabinet to maintain the caste and regional balance in the state ahead of the crucial next year's election.
 

ians

Sat, 19 Jun 2021 13:11:48 +0530
Relaxing Covid curbs should be carefully calibrated MHA

New Delhi, June 19

 As many states and Union Territories (UTs) have started relaxing restrictions with decline in number of active Covid-19 cases, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), on Saturday, advised them to ensure the opening process in "carefully calibrated" manner.

The Ministry suggested them to follow the fivefold strategy of Covid appropriate behaviour, test-track-treat and vaccination, while opening up.

Among the directions, issued by Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla in a written letter to the states and the UTs, they have been also asked to regularly monitor Covid appropriate behaviour to "prevent relapse".

The Home Ministry reiterated Covid appropriate behaviour that includes mandatory use of masks, hand hygiene, social distancing and also proper ventilation of closed spaces.

The direction comes in the backdrop of information regarding crowding in markets without adherence of norms of Covid appropriate behaviour in many states soon after the relaxation in restrictions.

"It is, therefore, essential to ensure that complacency does not set in, and there is no let-up in adhering to Covid appropriate behaviour, while opening up activities," mentions the letter.

To contain the spread of infection on sustainable basis, the letter further advises, it is necessary to continue the strategy of test-track-treat. "It may especially be ensured that the testing rate does not come down."

As the situation is dynamic, it said, a close watch needs to be kept on early signs of a surge in active cases or high positivity rates.

"A system should be in place at the micro-level to ensure that whenever cases rise in a smaller place, it gets checked there itself, through local containment measures as per the existing guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare."

The Home Secretary also stressed in the letter over vaccination process, saying "vaccination against Covid-19, in the present scenario, is critical to break the chain of transmission".

"Therefore, all states and the UT governments should step up the pace of vaccination, to cover the maximum number of people in an expeditious manner," Bhalla directed.

The Home secretary asked the states and the UTs to issue directions to district and all other authorities concerned to keep a close watch on the situation, while activities are opened in a cautious manner and to scrupulously ensure that there is no complacency in adhering to Covid appropriate behaviour and in the test-track-treat vaccination strategy.
 

ians

Sat, 19 Jun 2021 13:04:38 +0530
Portuguese EU Presidency launches new educational program

 

Lisbon, June 19

 The Portuguese presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) has launched the new Erasmus+ educational funding program, with a total budget of 28.4 billion euros ($33 billion).

At an event on Friday, Portuguese Education Minister Tiago Brandao Rodrigues said that Erasmus+ 2021-2027 is a "fundamental and very powerful tool" for the EU's internationalisation and competitiveness, reports Xinhua news agency.

Rodrigues said that the educational program had almost doubled the budget allocation to "reach more people."

Since its creation 34 years ago, Erasmus has already benefited more than 10 million young people, and the goal now is to help another 20 million young Europeans.

According to Portuguese Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education Manuel Heitor, the objective of the next seven years of the program will be to "democratise" Erasmus, promoting "European diversity and culture" and generating "employability".

The Erasmus program offers study or internship opportunities in different countries, investing in cross-border cooperation projects between universities, educational establishments, youth, and sports organisations.
 

ians

Sat, 19 Jun 2021 12:57:25 +0530
With hardliner Raisi likely to be Prez women s freedom in Iran may get hit Israeli expert

Chennai, June 19

 As an Iran-expert at one of the most important security institute in Israel and the Middle East, Dr. Raz Zimmt's views on Iran, its domestic and foreign policies, are keenly followed by the strategic and political community globally.

Here are excerpts of an exclusive interview of Zimmt to IANS, held forth on the likely scenarios to unfold after the Iran elections held on June 18.

With Iran facing tough US economic sanctions and the Iranians trying to restore their nuclear deal of 2015 and the country's Supreme Spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's dictum being the last word, pollsters and opinion poll agencies say that the voting percentage is expected to be only 42. This could be a Presidential election with the least voter turnout ever since the Islamic Revolution in Iran of 1979.

Q: What outcome can be expected of the Iranian elections held on June 18?

A: The Iranian elections have been very very unexpected. We all remember the surprises we had when reformist leader Mohammed Hatami won in 1997, when Mahmoud Ahmadinajad won in 2005, and another surprise when Hassan Rouhani won in 2013.

However, we have to say that due to the mass disqualifications of high-ranking Iranian officials, especially former speaker of the "Majlis" Ali Larijani, I can say that it will take a miracle for anyone other than the hardliner judge, Ebrahimi Raisi to win.

It is very clear that the Supreme Leader and the regime want no one other than Raisi to win the elections that is why they have disqualified a lot of leaders who would have posed a challenge to him.

Three other presidential candidates have also withdrawn from the fray and the former Governor of the Central Bank of Iran, Abdolnasser Hametti has a chance of getting some votes from the reformists but is very unlikely for him to win.

Q: Will Iran change its policy if the present opposition comes to power?

A: Let me make it clear that I wouldn't call it opposition, Ebrahim Raisi is not a member of the opposition, he is a member of the judiciary and an integral part of the Iranian regime.

It's a pragmatic coalition of hardliners and regarding policy change, the bottom line is that there won't be any major policy changes. However, in domestic policy, it will be the more hardline position for the women in Iran and more Islamisation will come into being.

The economic policy may change a bit as Rouhani adopted a more liberal policy but Raisi will promote "Resistance" economy or an Economy not much dependent on the West.

As far as foreign policy is concerned, Iran's foreign policy is not decided by the President but by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as well as the revolutionary guards and the National Security Council of Iran. Ultimately there will not be much of a change in policy owing to a change in the President.

Q: Is the Supreme Spiritual Leader Khamenei more determinant in Iran than an elected government?

A: Yes certainly. He is the major decision-maker in Iran. Of course, he doesn't make decisions himself, he has the Supreme Advisory Council, there are other power centres in Iran, including the Clerical establishment, the Revolutionary Guards. Overall I can say that the President of Iran or the government cannot contradict the strategy adopted by Khamenei. The policies of Iran will be decided by this Shia cleric, Khamenei.

The President of Iran implements the strategy adopted by the Supreme Leader Khamenei and the supreme national security council, as well as the Revolutionary Guards Corps.

Q: Iran and Israel were good friends four decades ago. Any possibilities of such a bonhomie returning?

A: As long as Iran continues with the Khamenei regime which is obsessed with the anti-Israeli views and actions, I don't think that there ever can be a friendship between Iran and Israel.

The Iranian position towards Israel which refuses to even recognize the right of Israel to exist has been a major part of Iran's official ideology. It continues to support Palestine Islamic organizations like Hezbollah with arms and ammunition and its continued actions of entrenching Syria militarily as well as developing its nuclear capabilities show that it is totally against Israel.

More than that most, of the decision-makers are for annihilating Israel. As far as this regime which continues to support anti-Israeli forces continues, I don't think that there would be any major changes in Iran's policy towards Israel.
 

ians

Sat, 19 Jun 2021 12:50:08 +0530
Three Punjabis appointed Ministers in Ontario

Toronto, June 19

 Three Punjabis were appointed as Ministers in a Cabinet reshuffle in Canada's Ontario province.

Moga-born Parm Gill, 47, was on Friday appointed as Ontario's new Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism.

Prabmeet Sakaria, who in 2019 became the first turban-wearing minister in Ontario when he was appointed Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, now gets a full Cabinet rank as President of the Treasury Board.

"It is an honour to be sworn in as Ontario's President of the Treasury Board. I am dedicated to working hard with Premier Ford and my colleagues to support Ontarians," Sarkaria said after his elevation.

Nina Tangri, whose family comes from Bilga near Jalandhar, has been made Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction.

Till now, she was serving as Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.

"Excited to be sworn in as the Associate Minister of Small Business & Red Tape Reduction. Thank you to Premier," Nina said.

But it is the appointment of Gill as Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism that surprised many in the Indo-Canadian community.

Gill himself seemed to be surprised when he said: "Who would have thought a young boy who immigrated from India to Canada at a young age, raised by a single mother, would today be sworn in as Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism for the Province of Ontario."

He had previously served as an MP in the House of Commons.

With the Ontario elections exactly a year away, Premier Doug Ford has elevated three Punjabis in his Cabinet with an eye on Indo-Canadian votes in the so-called 905 region around Toronto, including Brampton and Mississauga.

The 905 region, named after the area code, has the biggest concentration of the Punjabi community in Canada.
 

ians

Sat, 19 Jun 2021 12:43:20 +0530
Fuel prices remain unchanged on Saturday

 

New Delhi, June 19

 Fuel retailers spared consumers of any further increase in prices by keeping retail prices of petrol and diesel unchanged on Saturday.

Accordingly, petrol continues to cost Rs 96.93 per litre and diesel Rs 87.69 per litre in Delhi.

Across the country as well the petrol and diesel prices remained static on Saturday but its actual retail prices varied depending on the level of local levies in respective states.

In the city of Mumbai, where petrol prices crossed Rs 100 mark for the first time ever on May 29, the fuel price reached new high of Rs 103.08 per litre on Friday. It remained at the same level on Saturday. Diesel is also priced at Rs 95.14 a litre in the city, the highest among metros.

Petrol price has reached very close to hitting the century mark all across the country extending the scope of historic high prices that had already made the fuel rate cross the Rs 100 per litre mark in certain cities and towns of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

Before Saturday's price hold, fuel prices increased on Monday, Wednesday and Friday this week. Petrol and diesel prices also increased on four days last week.

With price pause, fuel prices have now increased on 26 days and remained unchanged on 24 days since May 1. The 26 increases have raised petrol prices by Rs 6.54 per litre in Delhi. Similarly, diesel has increased by Rs 6.96 per litre in the national capital.

With global crude prices also rising on a pick up demand and depleting inventories of world's largest fuel guzzler - the US, retail price of fuel in India is expected to firm up further in coming days. The benchmark Brent crude which reached multi year high level of over $75 on ICE or Intercontinental Exchange a couple of days back had softened to remain over $73 a barrel currently.

 

ians

Sat, 19 Jun 2021 12:35:18 +0530
Yoga helps these artists better their art

New Delhi, June 19

 International Yoga Day is celebrated across the globe on Monday, June 21. To get you inspired,  eight exemplary visual artists, classical dancers and musicians who share insights on how their yogic lifestyle helps them with life and art.

Dance is yoga: Kathak Guru Padmashri Shovana Narayan

My dance is my yoga. Since I do my Kathak dance practice every single day, in spirit, mentally, and physically, I am living and going through all the eight stages of Yoga namely yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharna, dhyan and samadhi. Kathak dance involves a lot of physical activity involving virtually the entire gamut of asanas. Pranayama is best seen in Kathak in the practice of 'padhant' (rhythmic utterances by the dancer herself) immediately after performing a strenuous energetic rhythmic pattern where a lot of energy has been expended. One has to recite the next rhythmic pattern without any trace of panting. Finally, when I start hearing within myself the music of dance and am completely oblivious of my surroundings, I am well on my way to reaching the seventh and eighth stages.

Brushstrokes become meditative: Visual artist Chetnaa

I have been a workout enthusiast for almost two decades now and have managed to explore various aspects of exercise ranging from yoga to pilates to weight training. When it became an obsession, I took exercising to the next level by becoming a certified trainer. Although power yoga is my go-to form of exercise, Surya Namaskars and pranayama have never failed in helping me achieve a positive mindset for each morning. Many times, I have found myself holding my breath while painting in fine lines. The repetitive strokes and gestures in my artworks proved to be a form of meditation and I soon came to a realisation that these two together make a major contribution to my well being. (She is showcasing at Anupa Mehta Arts.)

Yoga improves flexibility, balance: Bharatanatyam Dancer Priya Venkataraman

I have been practising Sivananda yoga for over twenty years now. I start my day with at least eleven rounds of Surya Namaskar and Pranayama practise. Yoga definitely keeps the body healthy and calms the mind. The use of breath and linking breath to movement, has helped my dance practice immensely. In addition, yoga has improved my flexibility and balance over the years. My students learn basic asanas as part of their dance training.

Merging yoga and classical performances: Shruti ChaturLal Sharma

Euphonic yoga is an amalgamation of Yoga, Indian Classical Music and Indian classical Dance together on the same stage, it has been curated and conceptualized by me. It is a concept designed specially to help people cope with stress. It is also a merger effort to bring Indian culture closer to the people in the most perceivable form, with an aim to make our audience aware about the 7 chakras and their mammoth impact on the human body. The journey of seven musical notes transcends in the world of 7 mystical chakras... while classical dance narrates the mood, expression and the significance of both performing arts.

Yogic lifestyle brings mind to 'yes' mode: Ankur Pathak, author and co-founder, Garuda Prakashan

I have been practising Yoga for the past twelve years. Different asanas help me in keeping myself physically fit while different pranayama (breathing techniques) and dhyana (meditation) make me centred and calm, which is essential for any person who is in the field of creative writing. Yogic lifestyle provides you immense energy, which brings your mind into 'yes' mode and this positive outlook makes you successful in all your endeavours. Personally, I feel that my creativity is honed due to Pranayam and Dhyan, not only in the writing field, but in music too. Yoga helps you in exploring the source of your untapped energy and unexplored talents.

Musical breathwork is yoga: Classical Vocalist Sunanda Sharma

Yoga helps build strength, balance and flexibility--elements which are important for a musician. It also facilitates in managing stress which in turn uplifts mood and makes the body more energetic. I have been unknowingly using Yoga since childhood during music practice in the form of breath control and concentration. In the last 10 years I have started the scientific practice of yoga with breathing exercises like OM, Kapalbhati, anulom-vilom etc postures and meditation which have helped to improve my performance in music. Regular practice has created mental clarity, calmness, alertness, enthusiasm and also sharpened my concentration.

Yoga and art nourish each other: Visual artist Seema Kohli

Physical discipline has been a part of me since my early years of my life. My inclination to yoga has grown as it struck a balance between breath, mind and body. It started with lawn yoga when I was eight and I went on to be possessed by the various nuances and the promise it holds. I studied and practised yoga through various able masters, presently I am practising yoga under Navtej Johar. For me the practise and the study yoga imbibes and weaves in my life and art; they are not separate entities but support each other for their nourishment.

Gurus RajaRadha Reddy and Kaushalya Reddy

Karnas Yogic stances or yoga whatever you want to call it, for us this is an art that gives peace or Anandam to the soul created by Lord Shiva. It gives us happiness and fulfilment, that is the beauty of Yoga. By practicing these yogic postures, it brings calm and ease within you.
 

ians

Sat, 19 Jun 2021 12:28:39 +0530
PM Modi may hold all party meet on J K next week

New Delhi, June 19

 Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to hold an all-party meeting on Jammu and Kashmir next week, a first such move taken since the abrogation of Article 370 from the region and bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories in August 2019, sources said.

However, the schedule is not yet fixed, it is learnt that the meeting may occur any time next week.

The meeting will be held in Delhi as the central government wanted to restart the democratic process in Jammu and Kashmir which was bifurcated into two UTs -- Jammu and Kashmir with an assembly and Ladakh without one.

Regional parties in Jammu and Kashmir may also agree to participate in the Delimitation Commission proceedings. The commission was set up in March 2020 to redraw the constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir before the next assembly elections are held.

However, the National Conference (NC), one of the oldest parties in Jammu and Kashmir, may not join the meeting as it is adamant on the restoration of the statehood of Jammu and Kashmir.

Public representatives may also be the part of the meeting.

The development comes following a meeting taken by Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday in Delhi to review ongoing welfare programs in Jammu and Kashmir in order to bring development with transparency in the region.

Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and other top officials attended Shah's meeting on Friday.

In a statement, the home ministry said that all-around development and welfare of people of Jammu and Kashmir is the government's top priority. Shah congratulated Sinha and his team for ensuring the Covid-19 vaccination drive has reached 76 per cent of the target in the Union Territory and 100 per cent in four districts.

The statement said Shah asked authorities to ensure the farmers in the region get the benefits of the central schemes.

Jammu and Kashmir has been without an elected government since chief minister Mehbooba Mufti lost power when the Bharatiya Janata Party withdrew support to the People's Democratic Party-led government in June 2018.

Mufti and two other former chief ministers were among hundreds of people arrested in the run-up to the nullification of the Constitution's Article 370 that stripped Jammu & Kashmir of its special status. A communications blackout and a lockdown were also imposed to stem protests against the move. All the restrictions have since been removed.

The first major electoral exercise --District Development Council polls -- was held in the region as part of efforts to restart political activities in Jammu and Kashmir last year. All major political parties participated in the exercise. The parties have also shown willingness to engage with the Centre.
 


ians

Sat, 19 Jun 2021 12:16:29 +0530
Actress Ayesha Sultana leaves for Lakshadweep to appear before cops

Kochi, June 19

 Lakshadweep film personality Ayesha Sultana, on Saturday, left for the island, to appear before the Kavaratti Police which had served her a notice to appear before them on Sunday evening.

The complaint was registered by Lakshadweep BJP's unit president Abdul Khader following the TV channel debate on June 7, where she had alleged that the 'Centre used biological weapons for the spread of Covid in Lakshadweep', which according to the complainant is anti-national.

At the Kochi airport, Sultana said she has done no wrong while she appeared on a Malayalam TV channel and spoke about the spread of Covid in the island.

"I have done no wrong and I will appear before the police tomorrow as asked by them," said Sultana, who is accompanied by her counsel too.

Incidentally, she had filed a petition before the Kerala high court seeking anticipatory bail as she feared her arrest.

The court however asked her to appear before the police and in case the police find the need to arrest her, she should be given bail.

The notice that has been served on Sultana by Sub Inspector Ameer Bin Mohammed contains charges under 124 A and 153 B of the CrPC, both of which are non-bailable offences.

Incidentally, following the move by Khader, several BJP leaders and workers in the island have resigned from the party.

Sultana hails from Chelath Island in Lakshadweep, and is based here. Besides being a model, she has worked in numerous films in Malayalam.
 

ians

Sat, 19 Jun 2021 12:08:03 +0530
Delta likely to become dominant strain in US CDC

Washington, June 19

 The Delta coronavirus variant is expected to become the dominant strain in America, Director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Rochelle Walensky said.

The Delta variant, also known as B.1.617.2, is more transmissible than others, Xinhua news agency quoted Walensky as saying in an ABC News interview on Friday.

"As worrisome as this Delta strain is with regard to its hyper transmissibility, our vaccines work.

"Right now, they are working and they require actually two doses to be fully vaccinated, to work well.

"So I would encourage all Americans, get your first shot and when you're due for your second, get your second shot and you'll be protected against this Delta variant," she added in the interview.

The CDC has elevated the Delta strain from "variant of interest" to "variant of concern", which means the agency officially recognises that itmay carry a risk of more severe illness and transmissibility.

According to the CDC, the Delta variant accounts for up at least 10 per cent of all the confirmed coronavirus in the US.

On May 22, the variant had made up only 2.7 per cent of cases.

In addition to Delta, the CDC has noted five other variants of concern.

The US continues to be the worst-hit country with the world's highest number of cases and deaths at 33,519,262 and 601,281, respectively, according to the Johns Hopkins University.
 

 

ians

Sat, 19 Jun 2021 11:57:03 +0530
Manikarnika Queen of Jhansi the legend still lives on

 

Anupama Nair

www.mediaeyenews.com

Bharat Maa is a proud mother, as she has given birth to many brave daughters. I had previously written about many brave Queens of India from Naika Devi, the Solanki queen who defeated Ghori till Rani Lakshmi Bai. Today is the 164th day of  Rani Lakshmi Bai’s martyrdom. What is Indian history without Manikarnika or Lakshmi Bai, the brave queen of Jhansi? With immense pride I am writing about her. Even today, for every Indian she is the icon for the freedom struggle against the British Raj for Independence.

She sacrificed her life so that we could be born and live in an Independent India. Sure enough, we got Independence from the British on 15th August 1947, but are we free from 900 years of slavery? Read this words from Gitanjali, written by Tagore and you will have the answer.

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action –
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake”.

Are we living “into that heaven of freedom”? Did the sacrifice of the millions go in vain and we have forgotten them and only give credit to two people for our independence and the rest are forgotten in the annals of history never to be remembered. Was it for this day, they selflessly sacrificed their life for you and me, children of Independent India? But is it fair to forget them and their sacrifice? What I am glad about is, Rani Lakshmi Bai will never be forgotten as she is the “beacon of the First War of Independence” in 1857.

To understand the story of Manikarnika, I need to take you back many centuries before. India was ruled by the cruel Mughals. It is a credit to the British, how the merchants who came to do trade with India, within 300 years became the masters of the entire land from Khyber to Chittagong and from Kashmir to Comorin (now Kanya Kumari), i.e., entire sub-continent. The English East India Company was formed by merchants of England to trade with Asia and India the “golden bird” in particular and America. It was formed by Royal Charter on New Year’s Eve on 1600. They landed in the Indian subcontinent on August 24, 1608, in Surat (Gujarat).

The Battle of Plassey (1757) and Battle of Buxar (1764) , smoothened their path to conquer the sub-continent. Robert Clive became the first Governor General of British India. By spinning a web of deceit, and many laws like Subsidiary Alliance (Lord Wellesley) and Doctrine of Lapse (Lord Dalhousie), they succeeded in ruling the entire sub-continent by 19th century. Jawaharlal Nehru in his book Discovery of India quoted “British rule in India had an unsavory beginning and something of that bitter taste has clung to it ever since”.

However, the last Governor General Lord Canning, never imagined a ‘mere rifle’ will bring the end of East India Company. Let us see how that happened. Soldiers throughout India were issued a new rifle, the Enfield Rifle— a more powerful and accurate weapon than the previous ones used for decades. To load both the old musket and the new rifle, soldiers had to bite the cartridge open and pour the gunpowder. Then, the rumor spread the cartridge was greased with the fat of pigs and cows. The news spread like wild fire and the soldiers refused to use the rifle, however,  British officers dismissed these claims as rumors and ordered them to use the rifle. Moreover, there was a prophesy that Company Raj would end in a hundred years, which was proved true.

Now I am going to talk about the life of the brave queen. Rani Lakshmi Bai, popularly known as Rani of Jhansi, was born into a Maratha Brahmin family on 19 November, 1828 in Varanasi. She was named Manikarnika because she was born in the famous Manikarnika Ghat. She was the daughter of Morepant and Bhagirathi Tambe. She lost her mother when she was only four years old. Her father worked for Peshwa Baji Rao II  of Bithoor. She was the Peshwa’s favorite and he lovingly called her "Chhabili", which meant "playful". She was well educated at home, and was more independent in her childhood than many others of her age. Her studies included shooting, horsemanship, fencing with her childhood friends Nana Saheb and Tatya Tope. Her favorite horse was called Badal.

She married the King of Jhansi, Gangadhar Rao and as per tradition was given a new name Lakshmi Bai. She  was widowed without bearing an heir to the throne, as her son Damodar Rao died as a baby. Just before his death, the King adopted a boy Anand Rao, also renamed as Damodar Rao, as his heir. Lord Dalhousie, the Governor General of India, refused to recognize the adopted heir and annexed Jhansi in accordance with the Doctrine of Lapse. An agent of the East Indian Company, was posted in the small kingdom to look after administrative matters. When she was informed of this she cried out " I shall not surrender my Jhansi”. In March 1854, Rani Lakshmi Bai was ordered to leave the palace and the fort by the Administrator.

She returned to Jhansi, when the First War of Independence started in May 1857. From August 1857 to January 1858, Jhansi under the Rani's rule was at peace. The British who was fighting the rebellion could do nothing. They summoned their greatest war hero, General Sir Hugh Rose to fight against the Queen. Sir Hugh Rose commanding the British forces, demanded the surrender of the city , and threatened if this was refused it would be destroyed. Rani refused and said that after due deliberation she proclaimed, "We fight for independence”. She defended Jhansi against British troops when Sir Hugh Rose besieged Jhansi on 23 March 1858.

The company’s forces surrounded the fort of Jhansi, and a fierce battle raged. Offering stiff resistance to the invading forces, Lakshmi Bai did not surrender even after her troops were overcome and the rescuing army of Tatya Tope, was defeated at the Battle of Betwa. Lakshmi Bai managed to escape from the fort with a Damodar Rao, tied to her back on her horse Badal, and is still in our memory. A small force of palace guards left with her and headed eastward, where other leaders joined her.

Tatya Tope and Lakshmi Bai then mounted a successful assault on the city-fortress of Gwalior, and the Scindia, the ruler ran away to London. The treasury and the arsenal were seized, and Nana Sahib, a prominent leader, was proclaimed as the Peshwa. After taking Gwalior, Lakshmi Bai marched east to Morar to confront a British counterattack led by Sir Rose. Dressed as a man, she fought a fierce battle and was killed in combat on 18 June 1858, in Kotah-ki-Serai near the Phool Bagh in Gwalior.

The British captured the city of Gwalior, after three days of her martyrdom. Sir Hugh Rose commented “personable, clever and beautiful" and she is "the most dangerous of all Indian leaders”. Colonel Malleson said “Whatever her faults in British eyes may have been, her countrymen will ever remember that she was driven by ill-treatment into rebellion, and that she lived and died for her country, we cannot forget her contribution for India.”

In 2019, to honor the great Queen, the great actress of modern times Kangana Ranaut, made a blockbuster movie “ Manikarnika, Queen of Jhansi”, which grossed more than 100 crores. Kangana as Manikarnika acted brilliantly and won the National Award for best actress.  The film was selected for the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival. I cannot count how many times I have seen the movie. Whenever I feel low, I still watch the movie and full of energy.

Subhadra Kumari Chauhan, a great poetess wrote “Khub ladi mardani, woh to Jhansi wali Rani thi”.  On the 164th year of  her martyrdom, let us remember her and others like Bhagat Singh, Khudiram Bose, Netaji Subhash Bose, Veer Savarkar, and Sardar Patel, who sacrificed their lives so that we could be a free nation. But are we forgetting them in our busy lives?

 

Sat, 19 Jun 2021 11:08:28 +0530
New Indian IT Rules do not conform with international norms UN Special Rapporteurs

New Delhi, June 19

Experts at United Nations Office of the Human Rights Commissioner have said in a report that it is concerned that Indias Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, in their current form, do not conform with international human rights norms.

The observations were made in Mandates of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression; the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association and the Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy.

The report is authored by Irene Khan, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Clement Nyaletsossi Voule, Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association and Joseph Cannataci, Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy.

"As noted in previous communications sent to your Excellency's Government, we are concerned that these new rules come at a time of a global pandemic and of large-scale farmer protests in the country, where the enjoyment of the freedom of opinion and expression, including the right to receive information, and the right to privacy, is particularly important for the realisation of several other civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights," the report said.

"We would like to recall that restrictions to freedom of expression must never be invoked as a justification for the muzzling of any advocacy of multiparty democracy, democratic tenets and human rights," the report said.

The report said as a global leader in technology innovation, India has the potential to develop a legislation that can place it at the forefront of efforts to protect digital rights. However, the substantially broadened scope of the Rules is likely to do just the opposite.

"We would therefore encourage the Government to take all necessary steps to carry out a detailed review of the Rules and to consult with all relevant stakeholders, including civil society dealing with human rights, freedom of expression, privacy rights and digital rights", the report said.

"We understand the new Rules were issued under the Information Technology Act of 2000 and therefore, were not subject to parliamentary review or opened for consultation with stakeholders. We believe such consultations with relevant stakeholders are essential in order to ensure the final text is compatible with India's international legal obligations, in particular with Articles 17 and 19 of the ICCPR," it added.

This observation along with India's comment will also subsequently be made available in the usual report to be presented to the Human Rights Council, it added.

ians
 

Sat, 19 Jun 2021 08:50:16 +0530
Global Covid 19 caseload tops 177 7mn

Washington, June 19

The overall global Covid-19 caseload has topped 177.7 million, while the deaths have surged to more than 3.84 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

In its latest update on Saturday morning, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed that the current global caseload and death toll stood at 177,753,055 and 3,849,115, respectively.

The US continues to be the worst-hit country with the world's highest number of cases and deaths at 33,519,262 and 601,281, respectively, according to the CSSE.

In terms of infections, India follows in the second place with 29,762,793 cases.

The other worst countries with over 3 million cases are Brazil (17,801,462), France (5,814,648), Turkey (5,359,728), Russia (5,220,168), the UK (4,626,899), Italy (4,250,902), Argentina (4,242,763), Colombia (3,888,614), Spain (3,757,442), Germany (3,728,601) and Iran (3,080,526), the CSSE figures showed.

In terms of deaths, Brazil comes second with 498,499 fatalities.

Nations with a death toll of over 100,000 are India (383,490), Mexico (230,792), the UK (128,220), Italy (127,225), Russia (126,300) and France (110,864).

ians

Sat, 19 Jun 2021 08:35:25 +0530
IMF proposes carbon price floor among large emitters to limit global warming

Washington, June 19

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday proposed to set up an international carbon price floor to help limit global warming and achieve the transition toward low carbon growth over this decade.

"Gradually increasing price on carbon encourages innovation and transition to renewable energy, clean mobility, and low carbon technologies," IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said in prepared remarks at an event hosted by the Brookings Institution.

"Limiting global warming to 1.5 to 2 degrees will require emissions to be cut by a quarter to a half by 2030, and this is unlikely to happen without measures equivalent to a global carbon price of around 75 dollars per ton by the end of this decade," she said, noting that the current global average emissions price is only $3 per tonne.

Noting that there has been progress, with over 60 national and subnational carbon pricing schemes around the world, Georgieva said that "we have long way to go."

Georgieva said that the IMF staff is publishing a proposal on Friday that sets out how an international carbon price floor can help achieve the goal of accelerating the transition to low carbon growth over the course of this decade, the Xinhua news agency reported.

She highlighted three crucial elements of such a price floor: it would focus on a small number of large emitters, such as some or all Group of Twenty (G20) countries; the agreement would be anchored on a minimum carbon price - a single, efficient parameter - that would allow "simultaneous action" across different countries; a carbon price floor agreement would be "flexible, pragmatic, and equitable" and account for different responsibilities across countries with different pricing based on different development levels and historical emissions.

The IMF chief noted that a carbon price floor arrangement does not mean carbon taxes per se. "While taxes are an efficient mechanism, a price floor can work through other policy measures - such as regulation or emissions trading - that achieve equivalent outcomes," she said.

ians
 

Sat, 19 Jun 2021 08:13:47 +0530
Mumbai June 19 IANS India s foreign exchange reserves rose by 3 074 billion during the week end

Mumbai, June 19

India's foreign exchange reserves rose by $3.074 billion during the week ended June 11.

According to the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) weekly statistical supplement, the reserves increased to $608.081 billion from $605.008 billion reported for the week ended June 4.

India's forex reserves comprise foreign currency assets (FCAs), gold reserves, special drawing rights (SDRs), and the country's reserve position with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

On a weekly basis, FCAs, the largest component of the forex reserves, edged higher by $2.567 billion to $563.457 billion.

Similarly, the value of the country's gold reserves rose by $496 million to $38.101 billion.

However, the SDR value slipped by $1 million at $1.512 billion.

But, the country's reserve position with the IMF inched higher by $11 million to $5.011 billion.

ians

Sat, 19 Jun 2021 07:59:57 +0530
Country lost a colossal sportsperson Modi

New Delhi, June 19

Condoling the demise of legendary Indian athlete Milkha Singh, 91, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the country has lost a colossal sportsperson.

"In the passing away of Shri Milkha Singh Ji, we have lost a colossal sportsperson, who captured the nation's imagination and had a special place in the hearts of countless Indians. His inspiring personality endeared himself to millions. Anguished by his passing away," Modi informed in a tweet.

In another tweet, Modi said he had spoken to Milkha Singh just a few days ago.

"Little did I know that it would be our last conversation. Several budding athletes will derive strength from his life journey. My condolences to his family and many admirers all over the world."

Union Home Minister Amit Shah said: "India mourns the sad demise of legendary sprinter Shri Milkha Singh Ji, The Flying Sikh. He has left an indelible mark on world athletics. Nation will always remember him as one of the brightest stars of Indian sports. My deepest condolences to his family and countless followers."

Milkha Singh, 91, passed away in a local hospital here at 11.30 p.m. on Friday, said a statement from the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, where he was being treated for Covid-related complications.

Milkha Singh was admitted in the ICU of Covid Hospital of PGIMER on June 3 and was treated for Covid there till June 13 when after putting up a battle with Covid Milkha Singh tested negative.

However, due to post-Covid complications, he was shifted out of Covid Hospital to medical ICU. But despite best of the efforts by the medical team, Milkha Singh could not be retrieved from his critical condition, said Ashok Kumar, official spokesperson for the PGIMER.

ians
 

Sat, 19 Jun 2021 07:25:34 +0530
Manikarnika Queen of Jhansi the legend still lives on

 

Anupama Nair

www.mediaeyenews.com

Bharat Maa is a proud mother, as she has given birth to many brave daughters. I had previously written about many brave Queens of India from Naika Devi, the Solanki queen who defeated Ghori till Rani Lakshmi Bai. Today is the 164th day of  Rani Lakshmi Bai’s martyrdom. What is Indian history without Manikarnika or Lakshmi Bai, the brave queen of Jhansi? With immense pride I am writing about her. Even today, for every Indian she is the icon for the freedom struggle against the British Raj for Independence.

She sacrificed her life so that we could be born and live in an Independent India. Sure enough, we got Independence from the British on 15th August 1947, but are we free from 900 years of slavery? Read this words from Gitanjali, written by Tagore and you will have the answer.

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action –
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake”.

Are we living “into that heaven of freedom”? Did the sacrifice of the millions go in vain and we have forgotten them and only give credit to two people for our independence and the rest are forgotten in the annals of history never to be remembered. Was it for this day, they selflessly sacrificed their life for you and me, children of Independent India? But is it fair to forget them and their sacrifice? What I am glad about is, Rani Lakshmi Bai will never be forgotten as she is the “beacon of the First War of Independence” in 1857.

To understand the story of Manikarnika, I need to take you back many centuries before. India was ruled by the cruel Mughals. It is a credit to the British, how the merchants who came to do trade with India, within 300 years became the masters of the entire land from Khyber to Chittagong and from Kashmir to Comorin (now Kanya Kumari), i.e., entire sub-continent. The English East India Company was formed by merchants of England to trade with Asia and India the “golden bird” in particular and America. It was formed by Royal Charter on New Year’s Eve on 1600. They landed in the Indian subcontinent on August 24, 1608, in Surat (Gujarat).

The Battle of Plassey (1757) and Battle of Buxar (1764) , smoothened their path to conquer the sub-continent. Robert Clive became the first Governor General of British India. By spinning a web of deceit, and many laws like Subsidiary Alliance (Lord Wellesley) and Doctrine of Lapse (Lord Dalhousie), they succeeded in ruling the entire sub-continent by 19th century. Jawaharlal Nehru in his book Discovery of India quoted “British rule in India had an unsavory beginning and something of that bitter taste has clung to it ever since”.

However, the last Governor General Lord Canning, never imagined a ‘mere rifle’ will bring the end of East India Company. Let us see how that happened. Soldiers throughout India were issued a new rifle, the Enfield Rifle— a more powerful and accurate weapon than the previous ones used for decades. To load both the old musket and the new rifle, soldiers had to bite the cartridge open and pour the gunpowder. Then, the rumor spread the cartridge was greased with the fat of pigs and cows. The news spread like wild fire and the soldiers refused to use the rifle, however,  British officers dismissed these claims as rumors and ordered them to use the rifle. Moreover, there was a prophesy that Company Raj would end in a hundred years, which was proved true.

Now I am going to talk about the life of the brave queen. Rani Lakshmi Bai, popularly known as Rani of Jhansi, was born into a Maratha Brahmin family on 19 November, 1828 in Varanasi. She was named Manikarnika because she was born in the famous Manikarnika Ghat. She was the daughter of Morepant and Bhagirathi Tambe. She lost her mother when she was only four years old. Her father worked for Peshwa Baji Rao II  of Bithoor. She was the Peshwa’s favorite and he lovingly called her "Chhabili", which meant "playful". She was well educated at home, and was more independent in her childhood than many others of her age. Her studies included shooting, horsemanship, fencing with her childhood friends Nana Saheb and Tatya Tope. Her favorite horse was called Badal.

She married the King of Jhansi, Gangadhar Rao and as per tradition was given a new name Lakshmi Bai. She  was widowed without bearing an heir to the throne, as her son Damodar Rao died as a baby. Just before his death, the King adopted a boy Anand Rao, also renamed as Damodar Rao, as his heir. Lord Dalhousie, the Governor General of India, refused to recognize the adopted heir and annexed Jhansi in accordance with the Doctrine of Lapse. An agent of the East Indian Company, was posted in the small kingdom to look after administrative matters. When she was informed of this she cried out " I shall not surrender my Jhansi”. In March 1854, Rani Lakshmi Bai was ordered to leave the palace and the fort by the Administrator.

She returned to Jhansi, when the First War of Independence started in May 1857. From August 1857 to January 1858, Jhansi under the Rani's rule was at peace. The British who was fighting the rebellion could do nothing. They summoned their greatest war hero, General Sir Hugh Rose to fight against the Queen. Sir Hugh Rose commanding the British forces, demanded the surrender of the city , and threatened if this was refused it would be destroyed. Rani refused and said that after due deliberation she proclaimed, "We fight for independence”. She defended Jhansi against British troops when Sir Hugh Rose besieged Jhansi on 23 March 1858.

The company’s forces surrounded the fort of Jhansi, and a fierce battle raged. Offering stiff resistance to the invading forces, Lakshmi Bai did not surrender even after her troops were overcome and the rescuing army of Tatya Tope, was defeated at the Battle of Betwa. Lakshmi Bai managed to escape from the fort with a Damodar Rao, tied to her back on her horse Badal, and is still in our memory. A small force of palace guards left with her and headed eastward, where other leaders joined her.

Tatya Tope and Lakshmi Bai then mounted a successful assault on the city-fortress of Gwalior, and the Scindia, the ruler ran away to London. The treasury and the arsenal were seized, and Nana Sahib, a prominent leader, was proclaimed as the Peshwa. After taking Gwalior, Lakshmi Bai marched east to Morar to confront a British counterattack led by Sir Rose. Dressed as a man, she fought a fierce battle and was killed in combat on 18 June 1858, in Kotah-ki-Serai near the Phool Bagh in Gwalior.

The British captured the city of Gwalior, after three days of her martyrdom. Sir Hugh Rose commented “personable, clever and beautiful" and she is "the most dangerous of all Indian leaders”. Colonel Malleson said “Whatever her faults in British eyes may have been, her countrymen will ever remember that she was driven by ill-treatment into rebellion, and that she lived and died for her country, we cannot forget her contribution for India.”

In 2019, to honor the great Queen, the great actress of modern times Kangana Ranaut, made a blockbuster movie “ Manikarnika, Queen of Jhansi”, which grossed more than 100 crores. Kangana as Manikarnika acted brilliantly and won the National Award for best actress.  The film was selected for the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival. I cannot count how many times I have seen the movie. Whenever I feel low, I still watch the movie and full of energy.

Subhadra Kumari Chauhan, a great poetess wrote “Khub ladi mardani, woh to Jhansi wali Rani thi”.  On the 164th year of  her martyrdom, let us remember her and others like Bhagat Singh, Khudiram Bose, Netaji Subhash Bose, Veer Savarkar, and Sardar Patel, who sacrificed their lives so that we could be a free nation. But are we forgetting them in our busy lives?

Sat, 19 Jun 2021 00:39:20 +0530
Manikarnika Queen of Jhansi the legend still lives on

 

Anupama Nair

Bharat Maa is a proud mother, as she has given birth to many brave daughters. I had previously written about many brave Queens of India from Naika Devi, the Solanki queen who defeated Ghori till Rani Lakshmi Bai. Today is the 164th day of  Rani Lakshmi Bai’s martyrdom. What is Indian history without Manikarnika or Lakshmi Bai, the brave queen of Jhansi? With immense pride I am writing about her. Even today, for every Indian she is the icon for the freedom struggle against the British Raj for Independence.

She sacrificed her life so that we could be born and live in an Independent India. Sure enough, we got Independence from the British on 15th August 1947, but are we free from 900 years of slavery? Read this words from Gitanjali, written by Tagore and you will have the answer.

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action –
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake”.

Are we living “into that heaven of freedom”? Did the sacrifice of the millions go in vain and we have forgotten them and only give credit to two people for our independence and the rest are forgotten in the annals of history never to be remembered. Was it for this day, they selflessly sacrificed their life for you and me, children of Independent India? But is it fair to forget them and their sacrifice? What I am glad about is, Rani Lakshmi Bai will never be forgotten as she is the “beacon of the First War of Independence” in 1857.

To understand the story of Manikarnika, I need to take you back many centuries before. India was ruled by the cruel Mughals. It is a credit to the British, how the merchants who came to do trade with India, within 300 years became the masters of the entire land from Khyber to Chittagong and from Kashmir to Comorin (now Kanya Kumari), i.e., entire sub-continent. The English East India Company was formed by merchants of England to trade with Asia and India the “golden bird” in particular and America. It was formed by Royal Charter on New Year’s Eve on 1600. They landed in the Indian subcontinent on August 24, 1608, in Surat (Gujarat).

The Battle of Plassey (1757) and Battle of Buxar (1764) , smoothened their path to conquer the sub-continent. Robert Clive became the first Governor General of British India. By spinning a web of deceit, and many laws like Subsidiary Alliance (Lord Wellesley) and Doctrine of Lapse (Lord Dalhousie), they succeeded in ruling the entire sub-continent by 19th century. Jawaharlal Nehru in his book Discovery of India quoted “British rule in India had an unsavory beginning and something of that bitter taste has clung to it ever since”.

However, the last Governor General Lord Canning, never imagined a ‘mere rifle’ will bring the end of East India Company. Let us see how that happened. Soldiers throughout India were issued a new rifle, the Enfield Rifle— a more powerful and accurate weapon than the previous ones used for decades. To load both the old musket and the new rifle, soldiers had to bite the cartridge open and pour the gunpowder. Then, the rumor spread the cartridge was greased with the fat of pigs and cows. The news spread like wild fire and the soldiers refused to use the rifle, however,  British officers dismissed these claims as rumors and ordered them to use the rifle. Moreover, there was a prophesy that Company Raj would end in a hundred years, which was proved true.

Now I am going to talk about the life of the brave queen. Rani Lakshmi Bai, popularly known as Rani of Jhansi, was born into a Maratha Brahmin family on 19 November, 1828 in Varanasi. She was named Manikarnika because she was born in the famous Manikarnika Ghat. She was the daughter of Morepant and Bhagirathi Tambe. She lost her mother when she was only four years old. Her father worked for Peshwa Baji Rao II  of Bithoor. She was the Peshwa’s favorite and he lovingly called her "Chhabili", which meant "playful". She was well educated at home, and was more independent in her childhood than many others of her age. Her studies included shooting, horsemanship, fencing with her childhood friends Nana Saheb and Tatya Tope. Her favorite horse was called Badal.

She married the King of Jhansi, Gangadhar Rao and as per tradition was given a new name Lakshmi Bai. She  was widowed without bearing an heir to the throne, as her son Damodar Rao died as a baby. Just before his death, the King adopted a boy Anand Rao, also renamed as Damodar Rao, as his heir. Lord Dalhousie, the Governor General of India, refused to recognize the adopted heir and annexed Jhansi in accordance with the Doctrine of Lapse. An agent of the East Indian Company, was posted in the small kingdom to look after administrative matters. When she was informed of this she cried out " I shall not surrender my Jhansi”. In March 1854, Rani Lakshmi Bai was ordered to leave the palace and the fort by the Administrator.

She returned to Jhansi, when the First War of Independence started in May 1857. From August 1857 to January 1858, Jhansi under the Rani's rule was at peace. The British who was fighting the rebellion could do nothing. They summoned their greatest war hero, General Sir Hugh Rose to fight against the Queen. Sir Hugh Rose commanding the British forces, demanded the surrender of the city , and threatened if this was refused it would be destroyed. Rani refused and said that after due deliberation she proclaimed, "We fight for independence”. She defended Jhansi against British troops when Sir Hugh Rose besieged Jhansi on 23 March 1858.

The company’s forces surrounded the fort of Jhansi, and a fierce battle raged. Offering stiff resistance to the invading forces, Lakshmi Bai did not surrender even after her troops were overcome and the rescuing army of Tatya Tope, was defeated at the Battle of Betwa. Lakshmi Bai managed to escape from the fort with a Damodar Rao, tied to her back on her horse Badal, and is still in our memory. A small force of palace guards left with her and headed eastward, where other leaders joined her.

Tatya Tope and Lakshmi Bai then mounted a successful assault on the city-fortress of Gwalior, and the Scindia, the ruler ran away to London. The treasury and the arsenal were seized, and Nana Sahib, a prominent leader, was proclaimed as the Peshwa. After taking Gwalior, Lakshmi Bai marched east to Morar to confront a British counterattack led by Sir Rose. Dressed as a man, she fought a fierce battle and was killed in combat on 18 June 1858, in Kotah-ki-Serai near the Phool Bagh in Gwalior.

The British captured the city of Gwalior, after three days of her martyrdom. Sir Hugh Rose commented “personable, clever and beautiful" and she is "the most dangerous of all Indian leaders”. Colonel Malleson said “Whatever her faults in British eyes may have been, her countrymen will ever remember that she was driven by ill-treatment into rebellion, and that she lived and died for her country, we cannot forget her contribution for India.”

In 2019, to honor the great Queen, the great actress of modern times Kangana Ranaut, made a blockbuster movie “ Manikarnika, Queen of Jhansi”, which grossed more than 100 crores. Kangana as Manikarnika acted brilliantly and won the National Award for best actress.  The film was selected for the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival. I cannot count how many times I have seen the movie. Whenever I feel low, I still watch the movie and full of energy.

Subhadra Kumari Chauhan, a great poetess wrote “Khub ladi mardani, woh to Jhansi wali Rani thi”.  On the 164th year of  her martyrdom, let us remember her and others like Bhagat Singh, Khudiram Bose, Netaji Subhash Bose, Veer Savarkar, and Sardar Patel, who sacrificed their lives so that we could be a free nation. But are we forgetting them in our busy lives?

Sat, 19 Jun 2021 00:34:15 +0530
Railways approves operation of 660 more trains

New Delhi, June 18

Keeping in view the demand and unlock in several states with the Covid cases dropping below one lakh in last 12 days, the Indian Railways on Friday said that it has given the approval to operate 660 more trains in a graded manner.

The Railway Ministry, in a statement, said that with the flattening of the coronavirus curve, Indian Railways is enhancing the number of special trains to facilitate the travelling public, to provide trains for the movement of migrant labour and to clear the waiting list in various origin destination clusters.

It said that during pre Covid, an average of about 1,768 Mail and Express trains were operating daily, and as of June 18, 983 Mail and Express trains are being operated daily which is about 56 per cent of the pre-Covid level.

The number of trains is being enhanced gradually as per demand and commercial justification, it said, adding that as on June 1, about 800 Mail and Express trains were in operation.A

"During the period June 1 to June 18, Railways has approved to operating 660 additional Mail and Express trains to the Zonal Railways," it said.

It said that Zonal Railways are advised to restore trains in a graded manner keeping in view local conditions, tickets demand situation and Covid cases in the region.

The Railways has suspended the operation of several trains amid the second wave of Covid which struck India hard.

ians
 

Fri, 18 Jun 2021 22:20:46 +0530
As people get ready to eat out and shop 3rd Covid wave may come sooner than anticipated

New Delhi, June 18

Thirty-one per cent of citizens plan to visit a restaurant, while 29 per cent plan to visit malls in the next 60 days, according to a survey conducted by LocalCircles.

In addition, 75 per cent of Indian households expect visitors like domestic help, service providers etc. to their homes in the next 30 days. As many as 43 per cent are expecting visits from friends and relatives who do not stay with them, while 27 per cent are expecting friends, neighbours and colleagues to visit them in the next 30 days.

According to LocalCircles, given the known air-borne transmission of the SARS-COV2 strains, all the above activities without adhering to the guidelines, both by the business owners and the citizens, are likely to accelerate the spread of Covid and a possible third wave may be coming sooner than anticipated.

"The government's Covid task force has stated that it is premature to presume that the country is out of danger as the possibility of a third wave is high. The doctors have warned that we cannot be fully out of danger till most of the population is vaccinated, which is a long way away given that only 250 million doses have been administered in a nation with a population of 1.4 billion," the survey said.

The findings indicate that the majority of Indian households are likely to have service providers, domestic help and extended family visit them in the next 30 days.

India experienced difficult consequences for its negligence in April and May with almost 60 per cent individuals having someone in their social network getting impacted by the second wave of the pandemic, the survey said.

ians

Fri, 18 Jun 2021 20:01:25 +0530
WTC final First day s play called off due to rain

Southampton, June 18

The first day's play of the World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand at the Hampshire Bowl here has been called off due to incessant rain. The match can still be a five-day affair since there is a reserve day on June 23.

"Day 1 has been called at the Hampshire Bowl. A brief period without rain after lunch but it's back now and the Match Officials have called things. 98 overs now scheduled for tomorrow with a 10-30am local start. #WTC21," tweeted New Zealand Cricket on Friday.

Earlier, the umpires had decided to inspect the field at 7.30 pm IST on Friday.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)also tweeted the information, "UPDATE - Unfortunately, play on Day 1 has been called off due to rains. 10.30 AM local time start tomorrow."

ians
 

Fri, 18 Jun 2021 19:43:18 +0530
Hyundai Motor hopes to beef up SUV sales with Alcazar

 

Chennai, June 18

India's second largest car maker Hyundai Motor India Ltd is hoping to notch up good sales volumes in its sport utility vehicle (SUV) segment with the launch of 6/7 seater Alcazar, said a senior official.

Nearly 45 per cent of the company's sales volume is contributed by its SUVs. The SUV sales volume is expected to go up further with the launch of premium SUV 6/7 seater Alcazar, he added.

Last fiscal, the company logged a total sales (domestic and exports) of 575,877 units.

Launching the company's new premium SUV 6/7 seater, Alcazar on Friday, Tarun Garg, Director, Marketing and Sales told reporters that 45 per cent of company's sales is contributed by SUVs (Venue, Creta, Kona and Tucson) and the numbers will go up with Alcazar coming into play.

Presently the company commands 25 per cent market share in the SUV segment.

Garg said with Covid-19 happening people are preferring personal mobility and with vaccination going on, economic growth projected in double digit the prospects are good.

As regards the waiting period, Garg said it may come down as the third shift at the factory near here will start operating from Monday onwards.

The new model has a waiting period of 6-8 weeks.

The Alcazar available in 6/7 seater, petrol/diesel, manual/automatic transmission modes is priced between Rs 16.30 lakh to Rs 19.99 lakh depending on the model.

Garg said the company has followed only three trims for Alcazar and there is no base model and is positioned between Creta and Tucson.

Hyundai Motor has received about 4,000 bookings for Alcazar with all the models getting equal bookings.

According to Garg, Alcazar is developed mainly for the Indian market and may also be exported to some countries.

Queried about the status of mass market electric car project, Garg said it will be launched in three years' time.

ians
 

Fri, 18 Jun 2021 19:12:35 +0530
30 al Shabab terrorists killed in Somalia

Mogadishu, June 18

The Somali National Army (SNA), backed by regional forces, killed 30 al-Shabab militants and injured 24 others in an operation in the country's Middle Shabelle region, an official confirmed on Friday.

SNA spokesman Ali Hashi said the operation was conducted in the Jalable area where the militants were planning attacks against government forces, reports Xinhua news agency.

"The militants attempted to resist the army, but our forces managed to kill 30 of them and injured 24 others," Hashi told SNA radio.

He noted those killed in the operation included Jama Dhere, a senior leader of al-Shabab in the Middle Shabelle region.

The latest operation comes amid sustained efforts by the Somali army against al-Shabab in the southern and central regions where militants still control swathes of rural areas, conducting ambushes and planting landmines.

Meanwhile, Chief of Defense Forces Odowaa Yusuf Rageh confirmed that four government soldiers were injured on Friday morning in a suicide car bomb attack outside a military base in Biyo Adde, also in the Middle Shabelle region.

Odowaa said the suicide bomber, who was in an explosive-laden vehicle, was shot dead before he could reach the army base.

Al-Shabab, which has been fighting to topple the internationally-backed government, claimed responsibility for the latest attack, saying its forces killed 10 soldiers and injured a military commander in the bombing.

ians
 

Fri, 18 Jun 2021 18:31:37 +0530
Indian American chemist Sumita Mitra wins European Inventor Award 2021

New Delhi, June 18

Indian-American chemist Sumita Mitra has won the European Inventor Award 2021, one of Europe's most prestigious innovation prizes, in the "Non-European Patent Office countries" category for her application of nanotechnology in dentistry.

Mitra was the first to successfully integrate nanoparticles into dental materials to produce stronger, durable and more aesthetically pleasing fillings. Her innovation has been successfully commercialised and used in more than 1 billion tooth restorations by dentists around the world.

"Sumita Mitra took an entirely new path in her field, and demonstrated how technological innovation, protected by patents, can transform a sector, and in this case bring benefits to millions of dental patients," said Antonio Campinos, President at the European Patent Office (EPO), on Thursday.

"Her invention remains commercially successful nearly 20 years after its launch -- another reason why she is an inspiration to the next generation of scientists," he added.

The 2021 European Inventor Award ceremony was held digitally and, for the first time, was open to the public who tuned in to the event from around the world. The Award, one of Europe's most prestigious innovation prizes, is presented annually by the EPO to distinguish outstanding inventors from Europe and beyond who have made an exceptional contribution to society, technological progress and economic growth. The finalists and winners in five categories (Industry, Research, SMEs, Non-EPO countries and Lifetime achievement) were selected by an independent international jury.

"Curiosity and exploration are the essential points of starting an innovation. It is something that we really need to cultivate in our children," Mitra said.

Sumita Mitra is a partner at Mitra Chemical Consulting, LLC, which advises companies on new technology development, product design, commercialisation, mergers and acquisitions.

She was named the American Chemical Society Hero of Chemistry in 2009, inducted into the US National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2018 and elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2021 for her work related to inventions in nanotechnology for use in dental materials.

ians
 

Fri, 18 Jun 2021 18:01:38 +0530
Marykom to skip Italian training stint due to personal reasons

New Delhi, June 18: Olympic Games bound women boxer MC Marykom will skip a short training stint in Assisi, Italy, that starts on Monday, and will instead continue to train in Pune, said a national boxing coach.

"Due to personal reason Marykom has decided to train at home and skip the tour," said a senior official of the Boxing Federation of India.

A coach said that Marykom would continue to train in Pune.

"Elite boxers who have qualified for the Olympics will leave for Italy early on Saturday for a three weeks exposure tour in preparation for the Olympics. But Marykom will skip the tour," a coach told IANS.

"She will continue to train at the Army's Sports Institute in Pune. But other three women boxers Simranjeet, Lovlina and Pooja, who have qualified for the Olympics, are going for European exposure tour. We hope to benefit from the Italian tour as there are good sparring partners at the boxing training center in Assisi," said a boxing coach with the women's camp.

Nine Indian boxers, including women, have achieved quota places for the July 23-August 8 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The 2012 London Olympic Games bronze medallist, Marykom (51kg), also a six-time world champion, Simranjeet Kaur (60kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69 kg) and Pooja Rani (75 kg) have qualified in the women's category.

Amit Panghal (52 kg), Manish Kaushik (63 kg), Vikas Krishan (69kg) Ashish Kumar (75 kg) and Satish Kumar (91 kg) are the male boxers who will compete in the Olympic Games.

Last month Indian boxing team won 15 medals, including two gold, at the Asian Boxing Championships in Dubai.

ians
 

Fri, 18 Jun 2021 17:24:59 +0530
World Test Championship final a technology spin

 

The cricketing world has been waiting with baited breath for the start of the maiden World Test Championship final on June 18. There have been reams of written and plenty of verbal analysis done on both the Indian and New Zealand teams. The pluses and minuses are in plentiful. However, the team that displays better mental strength on the day will be the winner. A Test match for teams is strategised through sessions whereas for an individual the target is much smaller.



Ajinkya Rahane puts it brilliantly by saying that he plays through every five minutes when he is batting. Every player focusses differently in order to succeed. The importance of run rate and strike rate takes a back seat. Test cricket is a true battle between the bat and the ball and the skills of the bowler versus the batsman. The smaller battles that ensue between players during the five gruelling days is what makes Test cricket exciting to watch. These tussles are what finally win a team the war.

New Zealand's recent series win against England has put them ahead on the scale as favourites. However, the aura that a final match entails has no certain gains or advantage for any side. The famous line in a song sung by Whitney Houston "one moment in time" is what every cricketer involved would be dreaming of achieving in his or her respective goals.

Cricket at the present time has evolved from being a simple, straight forward encounter between two teams. Technology, research, and planning have become important factors. Analysing every aspect of the game with many layers of data on players and team performances in the past has become the base of how the coaches and support staff plan their strategies.

The India versus New Zealand final will be a technology spin. Each team has had plenty of time to study each other's players thoroughly. The core players from both the sides are known. The only change that may arise depends on the weather conditions on the morning of the match. A hot sunny start would have a spinner, whereas, a wet cloudy morning an additional seamer. And, as it actually happened, and the first session of play was washed out on Friday.

The weather in England is always a major influencer in a game of cricket. Southampton, the venue of the match, has created a typical situation that will have both sides in a quandary. The weather has been exceptionally hot the past few days. However, the weather for the match has been forecast as rainy and cloudy conditions on most of the days. The covers on the wicket does tend to make the wicket drier but a bout of heavy rain could make all the difference.

England in the recent series against New Zealand erred in not including a genuine spinner and this did cost them dearly. India have two front-line spinners in Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, the two 'Ravi's', and one hopes they play both of them. The duo is also handy with the bat and if India go in with a four-pronged pace attack, their batting will suffer as none of the four pace bowlers are dependable batsmen.

This could become a major issue if India loses a few early wickets. New Zealand batsmen have in the past struggled against good spin bowling and, therefore, spin is the best way forward. The Kiwis tend to play the seam bowlers more comfortably as the conditions in New Zealand are very similar to what one encounters in England. The batsmen play the ball late and are much better than the players from the Asian continent in leaving the ball outside the off stump.

The computer analysts from both sides accompanying them would have scrutinised every innings or ball bowled or faced by every player expected to play and therefore technology will play a major part in the match. Seeing strategies being enforced by both the Indian and New Zealand sides will be the most interesting aspect of the finals. The issue that may arise, however, is in the implementation as cricket has always brought a hint of uncertainty and this is more so in the unpredictable weather of England.

The majority of the players from both India and New Zealand have been exposed to and experienced the playing conditions in England but one still needs time to adjust and feel comfortable in order to do so. The Indian batting comprises some exceptional stroke-players in Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant.

However, they will need to choose the right delivery to do so as the ball tends to deviate off the wicket, at times. Patience is a very important factor in order to succeed for both the batsmen and the bowlers. The conditions can in a session change drastically to favour anyone of them and exploiting it when it matters will be essential for a team's progress.

Close-in catching will play a most significant part in the outcome of the match. "Catches win matches" may be a cliche. However, it will hold the key to this encounter. New Zealand, having played two Test matches recently, have shown that they are a good close catching and fielding side. The Indian slip fielders will need to adapt and adjust quickly to the conditions to do well .

The month of June has favoured India in England in the past. On the June 25 in 1983 India won the One-day International World Cup.

Billions of good wishes and blessings, sunshine and lady-luck are what India requires. India does boast of having a superior back-end technology. This one feels will favour India to win through a technical knock-out.

By Yajurvindra Singh 

Fri, 18 Jun 2021 17:20:11 +0530
Mamata vs Suvendu Nandigram poll result hearing deferred

Kolkata, June 18

 The Calcutta High Court on Friday deferred to June 24 the hearing on the petition filed by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee challenging BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari's Nandigram win in the 2021 Assembly polls.

The Chief Minister had filed a petition against her one-time aide and now the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Leader of Opposition, Adhikari, in the Calcutta High Court challenging his win in the election from Nandigram and prayed to the court for declaring the election null and void. Banerjee had contested and lost the election from Nandigram against Adhikari.

In her petition, Banerjee alleged that Adhikari has committed corrupt practices as envisaged under Section 123 of the Act, including offences of corrupt practices of bribery, undue influence, spreading enmity, promotion of hatred and enmity amongst the citizens of India, seeking votes on the basis of religion, taking the assistance of the government officials for furtherance of the prospects of the respondent's election and booth capturing.

The plea said that there were several discrepancies and malpractices in the counting process conducted by the Returning Officer on 2 May 2021. Accordingly, Banerjee and her party colleagues had sought a recount of votes. However, such requests were rejected without due cause and the Returning Officer signed the Form 21C, declaring the elections in favour of Adhikari, the petition read.

The petition also said that upon a review of the Form 17C (Account of votes recorded and Result of counting) Banerjee discovered glaring discrepancies and non-compliances in the same.

"The election in Nandigram has been conducted in complete contravention to the constitution and the laws governing elections in India. Suvendu Adhikari has engaged in several corrupt practices that have enhanced his winning chances and materially altered Mamata Banerjee's chance of success in the election. Therefore, there are substantial grounds for declaring the aforesaid election of Nandigram (AC- 2010) null and void in accordance with Section 100 of the Representations of People Act, 1951," the petition said.

The election results for the West Bengal Assembly poll were declared on May 2, more than a month ago. As per the Election Commission, Adhikari, who joined the BJP after quitting the Trinamool, defeated Mamata Banerjee by 1,956 votes. While Adhikari had polled 1,10,764 votes, Banerjee had got 1,08,808 votes. Adhikari's vote percentage stood at 48.49 while that of Banerjee was 47.64.

Justice Kausik Chanda, who was supposed to hear the case on Friday, deferred the case till June 24.
 

 

ians

Fri, 18 Jun 2021 13:43:37 +0530
NSUI IYC to hold free vax camp on Rahul s birthday

New Delhi, June 18

 Even as former Congress President Rahul Gandhi has said that he will not celebrate his birthday, the National Students Union of India (NSUI) and the Indian Youth Congress (IYC) has planned to organise free Covid vaccination drive at its office for the people.

NSUI National President Neeraj Kundan said that the organisation is organising a free vaccination drive on the birthday of Rahul Gandhi on June 19.

He said that our leader Rahulji believes that rather than chasing virus we should get vaccinated so that virus cannot chase us.

"Rahul ji has said that vaccination is the best possible way to safeguard people amidst pandemic," Kundan added.

NSUI National secretary Lokesh Chugh said that the vaccination camp at its office will start on Saturday morning.

He said that the NSUI workers will help the people to get them registered at the Cowin site and get them vaccinated free of cost.

Similarly, IYC will be holding vaccination drive across the country for the senior citizens, daily workers and frontline workers who have not been vaccinated.

IYC media incharge, Rahul Rao said, "On the birthday of Rahul Gandhiji we have planned to distribute ration kits, sanitisers, face masks among the people across the country."

He said that the IYC will also organise vaccination camp at several places across the country for the senior citizens, daily workers, front line workers.

He further said that if people are not registered on Cowin, the IYC activists will help the people in getting them registered.

The IYC leader further said that it will also provide medicines for the Covid patients across the country.
 

 

Fri, 18 Jun 2021 13:35:12 +0530
N Korea should be ready for dialogue with US Kim Jong un

Seoul, June 18

 North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said that the country should be ready for a dialogue, as well as a confrontation with the US, state media reported on Friday.

This is the first time Kim has spoken of the US since President Joe Biden took office in January, the Seoul-based Yonhap news Agency reported.

During a key Workers' Party meeting, Kim "made detailed analysis of the policy tendency of the newly emerged US administration toward our Republic and clarified appropriate strategic and tactical counteraction and the direction of activities to be maintained in the relations with the U.S. in the days ahead", Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said in a report.

"The General Secretary stressed the need to get prepared for both dialogue and confrontation, especially to get fully prepared for confrontation in order to protect the dignity of our state and its interests for independent development and to reliably guarantee the peaceful environment and the security of our state," it said.

Kim also called for "sharply and promptly reacting to and coping with the fast-changing situation and concentrating efforts on taking stable control of the situation on the Korean peninsula", the KCNA added.

The Biden administration has recently completed its months-long review of its North Korean policy and said it would pursue a "calibrated, practical approach" toward the goal of the complete denuclearization of the Peninsula.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Biden met at a bilateral summit last month and agreed to pursue diplomacy to resolve the North's nuclear issue.

Kim's message also comes as the new US special representative for North Korea, Sung Kim, is set to travel to Seoul later this week for trilateral talks with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts, reports Yonhap News Agency.
 

 

ians

Fri, 18 Jun 2021 13:16:57 +0530
TN CM Stalin meets Sonia Rahul

New Delhi, June 18

 Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on Friday met Congress interim Chief Sonia Gandhi and party leader Rahul Gandhi here for the first time after the Assembly poll results were declared on May 2.

Stalin had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday.

The DMK leader along with his wife arrived at the residence of Sonia Gandhi on Friday morning at 10 Janpath.

During the meeting, Rahul Gandhi was also present.

The meeting lasted for over 40 minutes.

Party sources said that the leaders discussed several issues for the development of the state.

After the meeting, Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter and wrote, "Congress President Sonia Gandhi and I had the pleasure of meeting Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin and Durgavathy Stalin earlier today. We will keep working with the DMK to build a strong and prosperous state for the Tamil people."

The Congress had contested the Tamil Nadu Assembly polls in alliance with the DMK.
 

ians

Fri, 18 Jun 2021 13:01:57 +0530
Yogi govt makes record payment to cane growers

Lucknow, June 18

 The Uttar Pradesh government has made a record payment of Rs 1.37 lakh crore to more than 45 lakh sugarcane farmers.

The payment is twice the amount that was made by the erstwhile Bahujan Samaj Party government and 1.5 times more than the Samajwadi Party government.

Cane farmers were paid Rs 52,131 crore during the BSP government and Rs 95,215 crore during the Akhilesh regime.

The government spokesperson said that the Yogi Adityanath government has also cleared arrears worth Rs 10,661 crore, pending since the Akhilesh government, to cane farmers.

Sugar mills that got shut during the previous governments were revived by the Yogi Adityanath government and the state now ranks first in sugar production in the country.

The spokesperson said that the state government's initiatives have changed the fate of sugarcane farmers and also the industry.

The state government has crushed more than 4,000 lakh tons of sugarcane and produced a record 476 lakh tonnes of sugar in the four crushing seasons.

In another record production, a total of 280 crore litres of ethanol has been produced in the state through 54 distilleries between 2017 and January 2021, said the spokesperson.

For the first time in 25 years, licenses were issued for setting up 267 new Khandsari units, out of which 176 units have been operationalised.

With an investment of Rs 388 crore in these units, about 20,000 people will get employment opportunities.

Today, 47 per cent of the sugar production in the country is being produced in Uttar Pradesh.

The sugarcane sector contributes 8.45 per cent to the state's GDP and 20.18 per cent to the GDP of the agriculture sector.

While State-of-the-art sugar mills were set up in Pipraich town of Gorakhpur and Mundera town of Basti, the capacity of the closed Ramala Sugar Mill was increased and made operational.

The closed sugar mills of Sambhal and Saharanpur have also been reopened. A cogeneration plant has been set up by increasing the capacity of Baghpat Sugar Mill.

Apart from this, the capacity of 11 private mills was also increased. Venus, Daya and Wave sugar mills that were closed for eight years have also been restarted. Ethanol plants were also set up in Sathiaon and Najibabad cooperative mills, said the spokesperson.
 

ians

Fri, 18 Jun 2021 12:52:26 +0530
Indian origin Judge nominated to Canada SC

Toronto, June 18 : Indian-origin Justice Mahmud Jamal has become the first non-white person to be nominated to the Supreme Court of Canada.

He has been elevated from the Court of Appeal for Ontario where he has served since 2019.

Justice Jamal was born in 1967 in Nairobi where his family had migrated from India a generation earlier.

The family later moved to the UK in 1969.

He came to Canada in 1981 with his family and studied at the University of Toronto for his degree before going to McGill University and then Yale University to study law.

"I am pleased to announce the nomination of Justice Mahmud Jamal to the Supreme Court of Canada. Respected around the world, Canada's Supreme Court is known for its strength, independence, and judicial excellence," Prime Minister Trudeau said while nominating Justice Jamal to the apex court.

"Justice Jamal, with his exceptional legal and academic experience and dedication to serving others, will be a valuable asset to our country's highest court."

Fluent in English and French, Justice Jamal has appeared in 35 appeals before the Supreme Court on civil, constitutional, criminal, and regulatory issues.

Justice Jamal is married to Goleta who fled to Canada as a teenager refugee to escape persecution of her Baha'i faith after the 1979 Revolution in Iran.

He converted to the Baha'i faith after their marriage.

News and Pic courtesy: IANS

Fri, 18 Jun 2021 12:22:16 +0530
Puducherry s Mahe gives 1st vax jab to 90 population

 

Puducherry, June 18: Mahe district in the Union Territory of Puducherry has injected the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to 90 per cent of its population, officials said on Friday.

With this achievement, Mahe district has become second in the country to administer the first dose to 90 per cent of its population after South Delhi.

Mahe has a population of nearly 45,000. Of this, the targeted population for vaccination is much less as the under 18 age group were excluded.

Of the 20,908 adult population above the age of 45, 90 per cent have been given the first dose of the vaccine, according to the Mahe regional health department officials.

Twenty-three per cent of this population above the age of 45 was given the second dose of the vaccine as well, officials said.

Other than this, approximately 85 per cent of the 13,050 people between the age group of 18-44 have also been given the first dose of the vaccine.

Shivraj Meena, Regional Administrator, Mahe, told IANS: "When I took charge, there was confusion and people were a bit reluctant to take the jab fearing side effects. Immediately I called upon a meeting of political parties, religious leaders and other concerned people and explained to them the need to expedite the process of vaccination for the betterment of society.

"I also told that if we don't vaccinate the second wave is going to hit us badly and luckily for me, people understood the gravity of the situation and we could carry out the vaccination drive properly."

He also said that meticulous planning was behind the success of the vaccination drive in the Mahe area.

News and Pic Courtesy: IANS

Fri, 18 Jun 2021 12:18:12 +0530
Gujarat board s 50 25 25 evaluation plan for Class 12

Gandhinagar, June 18

 Following the Supreme Court's acceptance of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) merit formula for Class 12, the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB) too has announced its plan for the students and the results will be declared by the third week of July.

According to the CBSE evaluation criteria, Class 12 results will be evaluated on the basis of 30:30:40 ratio. This involves the performance in Class 10 -- 30 per cent of the best three performing subjects, Class 11 -- 30 per cent based on final exams and Class 12 -- 40 per cent based on unit tests/ pre-board/midterm exams.

The GSHSEB however, not going along with the CBSE format, has formed its own evaluation policy which has been framed by a committee of 11 educationists. According to the committee's recommendations, the GSHSEB will take into account the results of Class 10, 11 and 12 in the ratio of 50:25:25 respectively.

The GSHSEB on late Thursday night, declared the policy where the total of 100 marks will be divided by giving highest weightage of 50 marks to Class 10 board results and 25 each to internal unit tests of Class 11 and 12.

The GSHSEB also announced the dates for preparation and declaration of results. For the Class 12 science stream, the results will be declared in the second week of July followed by the general stream in the third week of July. Distribution of mark sheets and certificates will be done at the end of July.

Based on this evaluation criteria, the schools will evaluate students between July 19 and 25, followed by uploading the results on the board's website between June 25 and July.

For Class 10 students, who were declared to be mass-promoted, the assessment has been divided between Class 9 and Class 10 unit tests. The government has not specified whether the term mass promotion will be applied to the Class 12 students or not.

A day after the CBSE cancelled its Class 12 exams, the Gujarat government led by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, too, had decided to scrap Class 12 state board exams on June 2.
 

ians

Fri, 18 Jun 2021 12:17:49 +0530
Gujarat board s 50 25 25 evaluation plan for Class 12

Gandhinagar, June 18 :Following the Supreme Court's acceptance of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) merit formula for Class 12, the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB) too has announced its plan for the students and the results will be declared by the third week of July.

According to the CBSE evaluation criteria, Class 12 results will be evaluated on the basis of 30:30:40 ratio. This involves the performance in Class 10 -- 30 per cent of the best three performing subjects, Class 11 -- 30 per cent based on final exams and Class 12 -- 40 per cent based on unit tests/ pre-board/midterm exams.

The GSHSEB however, not going along with the CBSE format, has formed its own evaluation policy which has been framed by a committee of 11 educationists. According to the committee's recommendations, the GSHSEB will take into account the results of Class 10, 11 and 12 in the ratio of 50:25:25 respectively.

The GSHSEB on late Thursday night, declared the policy where the total of 100 marks will be divided by giving highest weightage of 50 marks to Class 10 board results and 25 each to internal unit tests of Class 11 and 12.

The GSHSEB also announced the dates for preparation and declaration of results. For the Class 12 science stream, the results will be declared in the second week of July followed by the general stream in the third week of July. Distribution of mark sheets and certificates will be done at the end of July.

Based on this evaluation criteria, the schools will evaluate students between July 19 and 25, followed by uploading the results on the board's website between June 25 and July.

For Class 10 students, who were declared to be mass-promoted, the assessment has been divided between Class 9 and Class 10 unit tests. The government has not specified whether the term mass promotion will be applied to the Class 12 students or not.

A day after the CBSE cancelled its Class 12 exams, the Gujarat government led by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, too, had decided to scrap Class 12 state board exams on June 2.
News and pic courtesy: IANS

Fri, 18 Jun 2021 12:14:54 +0530
Women s Test Breakthrough Indian wickets give England relief

Bristol, June 18: Debutant Sophia Dunkley said it was a "crazy day" for her on Day 2 of the one-off women's Test against India, as after scoring an unbeaten 74 to guide England to 396/9 declared, the pressure to break India's opening stand was too high.

Sophia, who became the black woman to play Test cricket for England, said after the second day's play on Thursday that, "It's a very exciting day for me. (I was) just trying to get the team in a good position. To get fifty was very, very special and nice to have mum in the crowd.

"It's definitely been a crazy day today, getting a half-century on debut is definitely very special for me, and then going into the fielding innings, (Smriti) Mandhana and (Shafali) Verma got a good partnership going and gave us a few chances at times but things didn't really go our way," Sophia told cricinfo.com.

But then, India's wickets fell in a heap, and at stumps on Day 2, the visitors were 187/5 in 60 overs with almost all the scoring being done by Shafali Verma (96) and Smriti Mandhana (78).

"Then we got the breakthrough and five wickets fell and (it was) really exciting going into the evening and a lot of momentum to go into the (Friday) morning with as well," added Sophia.

India lost five wickets in the span of just 16 runs to undo all the good work in the final hour of the day, leaving the visitors 209 short of England's first-innings total.

On her batting, Sophia, who had resumed on 12 on Thursday morning, said, "I was just thinking about getting the team in a good place really. It was all a bit of a blur. I was very, very happy but my main aim was to try and get us in a good position to go into the afternoon but to get fifty on the way is a very special moment to me and I'll remember this day for a long time."

ians

pic courtesy : ians
 

Fri, 18 Jun 2021 12:11:01 +0530
NZ to focus on fast bowling in WTC final Williamson

 

Southampton, June 18 :Hours before the start of the World Test Championship (WTC) final against India at the Ageas Bowl here, New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson said his team would be focusing on its main strength - bowling - when it takes on the Virat Kohli-led side on Friday.

In a video posted on the International Cricket Council (ICC) website, Williams said on Friday that, "For us we want to focus on the cricket that we want to play. It's important to our team to go out there and enjoy the occasion. A number of guys that have been playing well, same bowlers that have been contributing really well for a period of time, which is great," said Williamson, indicating that the New Zealand fast-bowling battery will come hard at India over the next few days.

"There is some depth in that (bowling) department, which is very important to our team, so there'll be some tricky but good conversations to have in finalising them (bowlers). There's been a lot of growth in our side over a period of time, so many challenges along the way every day and the World Test Championship final is a culmination of that," said Williamson.

During the recently-concluded two-Test series against England, New Zealand bowlers were a handful for the hosts, helping the visitors win 1-0.

While in the first Test at Lord's, New Zealand batsman Devon Conway slammed a double century and Tim Southee took six first-innings wickets, in the second Test at Edgbaston, Trent Boult and Matt Henry took four and three wickets respectively in the first innings to put England on the back-foot.

The duo returned in the second innings to help New Zealand to an eight-wicket win.

Williamson said New Zealand will take India lightly at its own risk.

"We know in cricket anything can happen. This is the final and both teams need to win, so both teams have prepared as well as they could. It is a one-off in cricket and anything can happen. We're really looking forward to the match the players are looking forward to getting involved.

"We'll be realistic, we know India are an incredibly strong side all around the world, and rightly so. (They are) recognised as the best team. You have these (ICC) rankings, all these types of different things. They take slightly different shapes every day, but we know that the challenges are very, very strong against this Indian side," said Williamson, indicating that ICC Test rankings don't matter when playing against a strong opposition like India.

New Zealand are the No. 1 Test team in the world, while India are second.

"For us we want to focus on the cricket that we want to play," added Williamson.

ians

pic courtesy: ians

Fri, 18 Jun 2021 11:56:14 +0530
Kolkata remains waterlogged more rain forecast

Kolkata, June 18 : Kolakta on Friday was still severely waterlogged, even as the MeT Department forecast more rainfall to follow and people splashed through knee- and waist-deep water through city streets.

Several parts of Kolkata and most of the South Bengal districts were still inundated by the incessant rains for the last 48 hours.

Due to high tide and the rising water level in the Hoogly river, Kolkata Police had to close several roads making life miserable for the people of the city.

Though there was less rainfall on Thursday compared to that on Wednesday, the Regional Meteorological Department headquartered here predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall in the next 48 hours till Sunday, forcing the police and the administration to flag yellow alerts for the people of the city.

Adding woe to the situation the Damodar Valley Corporation started releasing water posing threat that several districts like Howrah, Hooghly, East and West Midnapore might get flooded.

"Though on Thursday there has been 48 mm rainfall in the city, that took the total volume of rainfall in the last two days to 217 mm, which is really high for the city.

"More importantly the city along with several parts of South Bengal, including districts like South and North 24 Parganas, East and West Midnapore, Hooghly and Howrah are likely to expect heavy to very heavy rainfall for the next couple of days. This will lead to inundation in several parts," a MeT official said.

The weather department said the situation was likely to improve from Sunday onwards.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who has been monitoring the situation closely said: "We don't have any hands over the weather. West Bengal is like a basin and so the water from the upper region comes and settles here but we have no alternative.

"In addition to this there is high tide and we had to close all the lock-gates. Naturally the water cannot drain out naturally and we will have to pump the water out which is time consuming.

"Several parts of the low-lying areas of South and Central Kolkata are under water. We will have to wait till the rain stops."

Former Mayor and present chairperson of the board of administrators, Firhad Hakim, has been on the roads for the last two days giving instructions to the police and the KMC officials so that the water can be cleared from the roads.

Kolkata Police have closed several roads and diverted traffic in order to avoid any kind of accident.

"We are opening the manholes because only pumps will not help in areas where the density of water is high. Naturally we cannot allow traffic on those roads because it might lead to accidents," a senior police officer said.

Though police and the KMC are putting all their efforts to clear the water, several areas in South Kolkata particularly Behala, Jadavpur, Thanthania, Amherst Street, Lake Gardens, Jodhpur Park are under knee-deep water.

Water has entered into the houses and shops forcing people to come out of their houses and take shelter in high areas.

Vehicle movement is restricted and so people have to walk all their way through.

"It is really difficult. I cannot take out my vehicle. I have to walk four kilometres with the shoes and bag in my hand before I can manage something so that I can go to my office," Soumen Banerrjee, a resident of Behala said.

ians

Fri, 18 Jun 2021 11:50:56 +0530
Sensex tumbles 650 points metal oil gas lead selloff

 

Mumbai, June 18 (IANS) The key Indian equity indices slumped on Friday with the BSE Sensex losing over 650 points.

The across-the-board selloff was led by metal, oil and gas and financial stocks.

Around 11.05 a.m., Sensex was trading at 51,668.59, lower by 654.74 points or 1.25 per cent from its previous close of 52,323.33.

It opened at 52,568.07 and has touched an intra-day high of 52,586.41 and a low of 51,647.90 points.

The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange was trading at 15,470.45, lower by 220.95 points or 1.41 per cent from its previous close.
 

Fri, 18 Jun 2021 11:31:23 +0530
De Bruyne the hero as Belgium rally to beat Denmark 2 1

Copenhagen, June 18  

Kevin de Bruyne was the hero for Belgium as he inspired a second-half fight-back to ruin Denmark's attempts to dedicate a win to Christian Eriksen, who was hospitalised after collapsing during his side's Euro 2020 opener against Finland last Saturday.

De Bruyne helped set up Belgium's equalising goal and scored the winner after Denmark had taken a second minute lead on an emotional evening in Copenhagen.

From the moment the referee blew the whistle for the game to start, it was obvious the Danish players wanted to dedicate a win to Eriksen, who will need a pacemaker installed.

The Danes tore into the Belgians from the start, taking just 90 seconds to open the scoring.

The high pressure from the Danes saw Jason Denayer misplace his pass out of defence and Youssef Poulsen put Denmark ahead with a shot into the far corner.

Denmark were winning every challenge and carved out two more chances in the next five minutes, with Joakim Maehle bringing a smart save from Thibaut Courtois before Daniel Wass could have done better with a far-post header.

The game was interrupted in the 10th minute with a minute of applause from fans, both sets of players and even the officials for Eriksen, who is currently recovering in hospital.

The interruption to the play didn't mean a let-up for the Belgians who were unable to get out of their half for nearly all of the first 45 minutes as the Danes caused them constant problems with their pace, but failed to score a vital second goal.

Bruyne came on for Belgium at the start of the second half for his first appearance since suffering a facial injury in the Champions League final and his return led to an immediate improvement from his side.

Thorgan Hazard equalised in the 52nd minute with a simple finish after a fantastic move which saw Romalu Lukaku surge forward before passing to De Bruyne, who squared the ball for Hazard to score.

Denmark were tiring and the game had totally changed, and as if to underline his influence, De Bruyne put Belgium ahead with a drilled left footer from around 25 metres after a move involving Lukaku and Eden Hazard, who had also come on as a substitute.

Martin Brathwaite saw a shot saved by Courtois, was inches away from getting a vital touch to a cross from the left and then flicked a header onto the top of the bar as Denmark looked to save a draw, but even with Kasper Schmeichel going forward for an injury time corner, the equaliser wouldn't come.

Denmark need to beat Russia in their last game and hope results elsewhere go their way to have a chance of making the last 16.

ians
 

Fri, 18 Jun 2021 11:17:02 +0530
Over 100 Taliban militants killed in fierce Afghan clashes

Kabul, June 18

More than 100 Taliban militants have been killed as fierce clashes continued with the Afghan security forces in the provinces of Faryab, Herat and Farah over the past three days, officials said.

The Taliban militants, since the withdrawal of the US-led forces from Afghanistan on May 1, have stepped up activities and captured over a dozen districts, attempting to overrun the northern Faryab province, an army spokesman said on Thursday.

According to the spokesman, the Taliban's repeated attempts have been foiled and the security forces backed by fighting planes have killed 45 militants and injured over 60 others in Shirin Tagab and Dawlatabad districts of Faryab over the past three days, Xinhua news agency reported.

Dawlatabad district has been changed hand to hand and currently is in government control, the spokesman said, adding that operations are underway to evict the militants from Qaisar district.

The official did not comment on the number of casualties on the security side.

He, however, said the Taliban fighters launched frequent attacks on Shirin Tagab district over the past three days but gained no ground.

According to a local observer, if the Taliban is successful in capturing Faryab province, the group could tighten the noose around Mazar-I-Sharif, the largest city in Afghanistan's northern region which borders Uzbekistan.

Similarly, the Taliban fighters have intensified operations in Herat and the neighbouring Farah provinces bordering Iran.

Taliban attacks on Jwain and Anar Dara districts of Farah have been repulsed and the militants fled after leaving 36 bodies behind.

Taliban militants have surrounded the Obe district of Herat province over the past few days, calling on security personnel to surrender.

However, fighting planes struck Taliban positions on Thursday, killing 11 insurgents and injuring eight others.

In the meantime, hundreds staged a peaceful demonstration in front of Herat's governor office on Thursday to help rescue their sons from the Taliban siege.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid has rejected the claims made by the officials, claiming that the militants have captured 41 districts and would continue to defend their positions.

ians
 

Fri, 18 Jun 2021 11:01:55 +0530
Two Rohingyas held with gold biscuits in UP

Aligarh (Uttar Pradesh), June 18

The Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorist Squad (UPATS) has arrested two Rohingyas, identified as Mohamed Rafique and Mohammed Amin, from Makdoomnagar area under the Kotwali police station of Aligarh.

The arrest was made on Thursday after it was established that they were living in India on forged documents.

The ATS team also recovered six gold biscuits, Aadhar cards and UNHCR cards from their possession.

They ATS arrested the two on a tip-off given by one Noor Alam and Amir Husain, who were arrested in Ghaziabad last week.

ATS sources said the arrested persons were involved in helping other Rohingyas to enter the country through different channels.

Inspector General of police, ATS, GK Goswami, who led the operation, said that for the first time Rohingyas were caught with six gold biscuits weighing 100 gram each.

ians
 

Fri, 18 Jun 2021 10:44:06 +0530
Restart public transport system fully urge B luru unions

Bengaluru, June 18

As many as 10 associations, including the Domestic Workers Rights Union, and the Bengaluru Bus Prayanikara Vedike (Bengaluru Bus Passengers Forum) on Thursday appealed to Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa and Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi to restart the public transport system at its full capacity as the large workforce, returning to work as lockdown eases, depends on it.

The unions working with labourers and workers of different segment also maintained, in the memorandum, that the second Covid wave and two month long lockdown has only exacerbated the economic crisis faced by the labour class and to ease burden for this class, the icket fare must be fixed at flat rate of Rs 5 and Rs 10 and not more as it will help those who have lost jobs and are deprived of income for the last two months.

The BBVP, which shared the detailed memorandum submitted to both Yediyurappa and Savadi, on its Twitter handle, claimed that not allowing the public transport system to operate in its full capacity is a discriminatory move against aged, domestic workers, garment workers, and people who live in slums.

"We would like to point out that not everyone in the city owns a vehicle for their commute, many do not have the luxury of working from home besides this many live far off from their workplaces, hence, Karnataka should act sympathetically towards such people," it read.

The memorandum also stated that lockdown measures had been eased from Monday, June 14 and several industries allowed to function with 50 per cent capacity, guidelines allowing those with private vehicles allowed to travel is itself a discriminatory move.

The BBPV also demanded that commuters have to be compensated for the bus pass in April, as it could not be used because of the road transport workers strike across Karnataka.

It noted that prior to the pandemic hitting Bengaluru, BMTC served a commuter base of 35 lakh while Bengaluru Metro Rail covered the ridership base of 4.5 lakh passengers daily.

BMTC is the lifeline of Bengaluru as a large section of city resident, especially the urban poor and the working class, use it.

ians
 

 

Fri, 18 Jun 2021 10:19:00 +0530
AstraZeneca vax recommended for Australians above 60 yrs

Canberra, June 17

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has advised that the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine be administered to people aged 60 and over, rather than those over 50 years as was previously recommended, Health Minister Greg Hunt said on Thursday.

Adults aged 59 and under will now be offered Pfizer's vaccine based on the updated advice, reports Xinhua news agency.

"The experts at ATAGI have today updated their advice to recommend the Pfizer vaccine be preferred for adults aged 59 and under," Hunt said in a statement.

"The ATAGI advice remains clear that the AstraZeneca vaccine is highly effective in preventing severe disease caused by Covid.

"This updated advice received today is based on new evidence demonstrating a higher risk for the very rare TTS (thrombocytopenia syndrome) condition in the 50-59 year-old age group," he added.

According to the minister, AstraZeneca remains recommended for those aged 60 and over based on the much higher risk of illness and death from Covid in this age group, and the lower risk of this condition.

Despite the change, Hunt said the rollout was on track and that every Australian who wants to be vaccinated will receive at least their first dose by the end of 2021.

The ATAGI's decision came after 12 new cases of "this rare, but sometimes very serious clotting condition" were identified in the last week.

Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said the medical advice was that people who received their first AstraZeneca dose without any adverse effects should get their second dose.

"Anyone who has had a first dose of AstraZeneca without a problem should feel very confident to have their second dose," he said.

ians
 

Fri, 18 Jun 2021 00:55:10 +0530
Women s Test India collapse to 187 5 after solid start vs Eng

 

Bristol, June 17

After making a solid start replying to England's first-innings' 396 for nine wickets declared, India secularly slipped in the third and final session and ended the second day at 187 for five wickets in the one-off Test here on Thursday.

India lost their last four wickets for the addition of just 16 runs to lose the superb launch pad provided by openers, teenaged debutant Shafali Verma (96, 152 balls, 13x4s, 2x6s) and experienced Smriti Mandhana (78, 155 balls, 14x4s). They raised 167 for the opening wicket, raising hopes of a big total.

England, however, came roaring back and captured five wickets in the third and final session. India still trail by 209 runs. The follow-on mark is 247.

After Shafali, who was unlucky to miss a century on debut, and Smiriti, not a single Indian batswoman entered double-digit scores. At close, T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur was batting on four and left-handed debutant Deepti Sharma was yet to open her account.

Experienced captain Mithali Raj managed two, Punam Raut also scored two, and Shikha Pandey failed to score.

Credit is due to English bowlers who came back strongly towards the end of the day and wrested the initiative.

Earlier, at tea interval, India were comfortably placed at 63 for no loss, with Shafali on 35 (73 balls, 5x4s, 1x6) and Smriti on 27 (65 balls, 4x4s). And then the collapse took place in the post-tea session.

England had earlier declared their first innings at 396 for nine wickets, scored in 121.2 overs, in the second session of the second day of the four-day match.

Sophia Dunkley remained unbeaten on 74 (127 balls, 9x4s), though the top scorer was captain Heather Knight with 95. Towards the end of the innings, Anya Shrubsole scored a brisk 47 not out off only 33 balls, and it included six boundaries and a six.

For India, off-spinner Sneh Rana was the top wicket-taker with four for 131 and off-spinning all-rounder Deepti Sharma bagged three for 65.

Brief scores (Stumps, Day 2):

England: 396/9 wkts declared in 121.2 overs (Heather Knight 95, Sophia Dunkley 74 not out, Tammy Beaumont 66, Anya Shrubsole 47, Natalie Sciver 42, Lauren Winfield Hill 35, Sneh Rana 4/131, Deepti Sharma 3/65); India: 187/5 in 60 overs (Shafali Verma 96, Smriti Mandhana 78, Heather Knight 2/1)

ians

Fri, 18 Jun 2021 00:44:19 +0530
Validity of documents related to MV Act extended till Sept 30

New Delhi, June 17

The Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways on Thursday extended the validity of the documents related to Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, and Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989, till September 30.

"In a bid to help citizens in availing transport related services while maintaining social distancing, the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has further extended the validity of documents related to Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, and Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989, till September 30, 2021," the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry had issued five advisories between March 2020 and March 2021 regarding the same.

It was advised that the validity of fitness certificate, permit (all types), licence, registration or any other concerned document(s) might be treated to be valid till June 30, 2021. This has now been extended up to September 30.

This covers all documents whose validity has expired since February 2020 or would expire by September 30, 2021. The enforcement authorities have been advised to treat such documents valid till September 30.

This will help citizens avail transport related services, while maintaining social distancing, the ministry noted.

ians

Thu, 17 Jun 2021 23:06:24 +0530
Govt amends Cable Television Network Rules to address citizens grievances

New Delhi, June 17

The Union Ministry of Information & Broadcasting said in a statement on Thursday that the government has amended the Cable Television Network Rules, 1994, adding a statutory mechanism to redress citizen's grievances/complaints.

The rules have been amended in accordance with the provisions of the Cable Television Network Act, 1995, the ministry said.

It also said that the notification is significant as it paves the way for a strong institutional system for redressing grievances while placing accountability and responsibility on the broadcasters and their self-regulating bodies.

"The Cable Television Network Rules have been amended to provide for a statutory mechanism, which would be transparent and benefit the citizens. At the same time, self-regulating bodies of broadcasters would be registered with the Central government," the statement said.

At present, there is an institutional mechanism in the form of an inter-ministerial committee to address the grievances of citizens relating to violation of the Programme/Advertising Codes under the Rules. Similarly, various broadcasters have also developed their internal self-regulatory mechanism for addressing grievances.

Some broadcasters had also requested for giving legal recognition to their associations/bodies.

While expressing satisfaction over the existing mechanism of grievance redressal set up by the Central government, the Supreme Court in its order in the matter of ‘Common Cause Vs Union of India & Others' in 2000 had advised to frame appropriate rules to formalise the complaint redressal mechanism.

At present, there are over 900 television channels which have been granted permission by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, and all of them are required to comply with the Programme and Advertising Code laid down under the Cable Television Network Rules.

ians

Thu, 17 Jun 2021 22:56:02 +0530
Aus state likely to remain in dark for weeks after severe storms

 

Canberra, June 17

Thousands of residents in the Australian state of Victoria, battered by devastating storms last week, are expected to remain without power for up to three weeks.

The electricity company AusNet said on Thursday that flooding and wild winds on June 9 and 10 had brought down trees and power lines, causing major damage to its network, resulting in a blackout for about 3,000 residents in the Dandenong Ranges, about 35 km east of the capital city, Melbourne, reports Xinhua news agency.

"Our field crews are working as safely and as quickly as possible in challenging conditions," AusNet stated on its website.

"We have back up from interstate crews to help us with the rebuilding efforts and we are providing back-up generation where we can."

The company noted this was the "worst damage to its network in a single incident in memory and there remained a lot of work to be done".

Responding to the crisis on Thursday, Victoria's acting Premier James Merlino announced that households without power were now entitled to a compensatory payment of A$1,680 ($1,282) per week.

"The depth of winter and weeks and weeks without power, this is an unprecedented emergency," he said.

Meanwhile, travel restrictions placed on Melbourne residents due to a Covid-19 lockdown were lifted, but the state's emergency services warned people against visiting the Dandenong, as many roads remain closed due to storm debris and many damaged trees still needed to be removed.

There have also been reports of a sinkhole and collapsed roads in the area and there are concerns that the saturated soil could lead to even more trees coming down.

Merlino told reporters that the government would consider laying power cables underground to avoid such future storm damage but conceded there were no immediate "big infrastructure responses".

"The assessment of the damage is taking place right now, so it's a bit early at this stage to talk about the extent of the damage and what will be done in response," he said.

ians
 

Thu, 17 Jun 2021 22:43:38 +0530
We have our bases covered Virat Kohli

 On the eve of the much-anticipated World Test Championship (WTC) final between India and New Zealand, skipper Virat Kohli termed the event as a positive step in the right direction, and said that the team has its bases covered going into the summit clash.

"We have our bases covered," a calm and composed Kohli told a pre-match press conference on Thursday afternoon, prior to announcing India's playing XI for the final of the inaugural World Test Championship commencing on Friday at the Ageas Bowl, near the English port city of Southampton.

On the lesson the Indian squad learnt after losing to New Zealand in a Test series away in February 2020, Kohli cited "belief in our abilities", while emphasising that "the process matters most to us".

Predictably, the skipper gave little away by way of tactics or strategy for the game. Indeed, he sounded unimpressed by most of the questions put to him, and distinctly irritated with one query.

Asked about the significance of the match, he replied: "It is an occasion that has to be enjoyed; but the mindset remains the same."

He also paid tribute to the concept of World Test Championship and described it as "a very positive step in the right direction". However, he qualified this by saying "more clarity would be helpful".

India's playing XI: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami and Ishant Sharma.

 By Ashis Ray 

Picture Courtesy: IANS

Thu, 17 Jun 2021 22:21:21 +0530
Road to Inaugural World Test Championship India and NZ

By Anupama Nair

In the last two parts, I spoke about history of Test Cricket, advent of Test Cricket in India, India’s journey to greatness in the Test arena, World Test Championship and lastly India’s and New Zealand’s journey to the finals. When Kohli and Williamson take field for the match tomorrow, they will renew a captaincy rivalry, nearly 13 years ago – Under 18 World Cup semi-final in 2008, which incidentally was won by Kohli. Tomorrow, 18th June is a day I am waiting with bated breath – the final of the World Test Championship is about to commence. Is two years of hard work going to pay with Kohli holding the coveted trophy or will it end in tears like the semi-final of the World Cup 2019, or will the famous but unpredictable English rain play spoilsport, only time would tell? I am going to tune in on Star Sports at 2.30 PM to watch the Expert Analysis and then the live match, if the Mumbai rains do not play spoil sport.

After a two-year tough competition between world’s best teams, all that remains are five, or probably six, days at the Hampshire Bowl to crown the inaugural World Test champions. India and New Zealand are possibly the two best Test teams in the world, since the start of the competition in 2019. But who will be crowned the best in a one-off, is it winner takes it all, or a draw?

The match is an important game for a number of reasons for both teams. For New Zealand, the chance to win an ICC trophy is a dream having only won the Champions Trophy. New Zealand's loss in the last two ODI World Cup finals is an added impetus to win the World Test Championship. For India however, it would avenge the World Cup semi-final loss in 2019 and also the heartbreak of losing in two consecutive World Cup semi-finals in 2015 and 2019, even after being the best team in the tournament. It would also be Virat Kohli’s maiden ICC trophy.

When India win an ICC event for the first time it tends to have an epoch-making effect on the game as a whole. India’s famous win at the 1983 World Cup changed their attitude to one-day internationals, and it became the financial gain for both Indian and world cricket. The emergence of the T20 format that led to the money-spinning Indian Premier League, was due to India’s victory over arch rivals Pakistan in the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa in 2007. So, at a time when Test cricket’s long-term future and popularity is concerned, if India became World Test Champions, it could be a significant boost for the sport’s oldest and toughest format. The Indian team agrees with the view. Cheteshwar Pujara said that an “Indian victory will help the format’s survival. Test cricket needs to survive, and a WTC format helps where every Test, every series is important”. “The importance of India’s presence in the final cannot be exaggerated. Such is India’s economic clout, a final without them would arguably have already seen the WTC fall at the first hurdle, but they have made it & with them they bring one billion eyeballs,” said Freddie Wilde, a cricket analyst.

Now let me talk about the rules of the game. Since, Summer rains are common in England, ICC have allotted a reserve day, in case play time is lost. The reserve day will be 23rd June. The ICC has come up with a Reserve Day to ensure full five days of play, and it will only be used if lost playing time cannot be recovered through the normal provisions for each day. During the month of June, England usually receives heavy rainfall as it marks the start of the summer season. So, we might see a lot of stoppage of play during the course of five days and that’s why reserve day would be crucial to get a result. “In the event of time being lost during the match, the ICC match referee will regularly update the teams and media about the way in which the Reserve Day may be used,” ICC said in a statement. The final decision on whether the Reserve Day needs to be used will be announced at the scheduled start of the last hour on the fifth day.

According to playing conditions of the five-day game, one team needs to have a lead of 200 runs, to enforce the follow-on. However, if the first day's play has been washed out then the lead for follow-on rule is reduced to 150 runs. Thus, to enforce a follow India and New Zealand need to have a lead of 200 or more runs. There has been a debate about who will be declared the winner if the final ended in a draw or tie. Ahead of the start of WTC in 2018, ICC has said that if final end in a draw or tie, the  trophy will be shared and in its latest media statement, ICC  clarified the same view. Then India and New Zealand will be adjudged joint winners if their final clash in Southampton ends in a draw or tie.

“The Southampton pitch for WTC final will have pace, bounce and carry thanks to good weather due to a lot of sun in Southampton”, said Simon Lee, the head grounds man of Hampshire Bowl. “The Southampton pitch is likely to favor swing bowling in first two days while it would be perfect for batting on Day 3 and 4. The final day wicket assist spinners and also it seems very tough for batting”. 

What should India’s strategy be? Firstly, luck has to favor in winning the toss, then assess the conditions well. Play the Kiwi seamers sensibly and not lose wickets as the pitch gets batsman friendly later. Avoid getting too aggressive since, a couple of wickets is all it can take to change the course of a Test match especially of Rohit, Pujara or King Kohli.  Indian bowling attack should   use bouncers liberally. The New Zealand batsmen like Latham, Conway, Tom Blundell, BJ Watling, and even Williamson to a certain extent, believe in wearing down the opposition bowlers and then attack. So, for bowlers, the patience is the key. And last but not the least is the contribution of the lower order and youngsters like Pant and Siraj.

England's Richard Illingworth and Michael Gough will be the on-field umpires. Former England opener Chris Broad will be the ICC match referee for the game. Richard Kettleborough a member of the elite panel, will be the TV umpire, and Alex Wharf of the Emirates ICC International Panel of Umpires will be the fourth official, the ICC confirmed in a statement.

Now, let us see, what the former players have predicted. Brett Lee said it is a clash of aggression and calmness. Former English cricketer, Michael Vaughn, predicted Kiwis have an edge as they trashed both India and England in recent tests. Gavaskar, felt India will have an edge.Many other former cricketers, contrasted on the style of the captaincy of both captains -- fire and ice

 

 

India squad for WTC Final:  Virat Kohli (captain) Shubman Gill, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Md Shami Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Siraj, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Umesh Yadav, and Hanuma Vihari.
 
Standby players: Abhimanyu Easwaran, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, Arzan Nagwaswalla
 
New Zealand squad for WTC final: Tom Latham, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson (captain), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Will Young, BJ Watling (wk), Tom Blundell, Colin de Grandhomme, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Ajaz Patel, Trent Boult, Matt Henry.

I hope it is a great match. I wish the Blues all the best. You deserve the trophy.

                                                                                                                                                                               (Picture Courtesy: IANS)

Thu, 17 Jun 2021 22:17:30 +0530
Microsoft Teams unleashes new hybrid work features

 

New Delhi, June 17

With an aim to boost hybrid work, Microsoft on Thursday unveiled its roadmap to bring more new capabilities to its Teams platform to support hybrid work scenarios over the coming months.

"Today we are announcing new innovations -- in Microsoft Teams Rooms, Fluid, and Microsoft Viva -- all designed to empower your people for hybrid work," the company said in a statement.

In May this year, Microsoft circulated a video showing off how hybrid meetings might look and feel in the future, based on Microsoft's research, reports ZDNet.

That video showed off how Teams Rooms capabilities could work in differently sized and scaled spaces, like a focus room, medium space and large space when using intelligent speakers, cameras, and large-screen displays like Teams Panels and Surface Hubs.

The company also shared more Teams Meetings and Teams Room features that will be rolled out over the course of calendar 2021.

These include a new "Front Row" feature in Teams Room that's meant to make meeting interactions between virtual and in-the-room meeting participants more immersive and natural.

Microsoft is moving the video gallery to the bottom of the screen so remote participants are fact-to-face with people in the room. Teams Rooms will use new video layouts that disperse the video gallery across multiple displays when content isn't shared.

The company also showed off its updated digital Whiteboard, which allows all attendees to access the same digital canvas by allowing anyone to bring existing content to the whiteboard for co-authoring.

New templates also are coming that will aim to help groups start creating content more quickly, to follow along with contributors and more.

Microsoft said some of the features coming to the next version of Teams on Surface Hub, its large-screen conferencing system.

The company plans to bring more Teams desktop features to Teams on Surface Hub, such as Together Mode scenes, an updated meeting stage and PowerPoint Live.

ians
 

Thu, 17 Jun 2021 22:15:42 +0530
Road to Inaugural World Test Championship India and NZ

 

By Anupama Nair

In the last two parts, I spoke about history of Test Cricket, advent of Test Cricket in India, India’s journey to greatness in the Test arena, World Test Championship and lastly India’s and New Zealand’s journey to the finals. When Kohli and Williamson take field for the match tomorrow, they will renew a captaincy rivalry, nearly 13 years ago – Under 18 World Cup semi-final in 2008, which incidentally was won by Kohli. Tomorrow, 18th June is a day I am waiting with bated breath – the final of the World Test Championship is about to commence. Is two years of hard work going to pay with Kohli holding the coveted trophy or will it end in tears like the semi-final of the World Cup 2019, or will the famous but unpredictable English rain play spoilsport, only time would tell? I am going to tune in on Star Sports at 2.30 PM to watch the Expert Analysis and then the live match, if the Mumbai rains do not play spoil sport.

After a two-year tough competition between world’s best teams, all that remains are five, or probably six, days at the Hampshire Bowl to crown the inaugural World Test champions. India and New Zealand are possibly the two best Test teams in the world, since the start of the competition in 2019. But who will be crowned the best in a one-off, is it winner takes it all, or a draw?

The match is an important game for a number of reasons for both teams. For New Zealand, the chance to win an ICC trophy is a dream having only won the Champions Trophy. New Zealand's loss in the last two ODI World Cup finals is an added impetus to win the World Test Championship. For India however, it would avenge the World Cup semi-final loss in 2019 and also the heartbreak of losing in two consecutive World Cup semi-finals in 2015 and 2019, even after being the best team in the tournament. It would also be Virat Kohli’s maiden ICC trophy.

When India win an ICC event for the first time it tends to have an epoch-making effect on the game as a whole. India’s famous win at the 1983 World Cup changed their attitude to one-day internationals, and it became the financial gain for both Indian and world cricket. The emergence of the T20 format that led to the money-spinning Indian Premier League, was due to India’s victory over arch rivals Pakistan in the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa in 2007. So, at a time when Test cricket’s long-term future and popularity is concerned, if India became World Test Champions, it could be a significant boost for the sport’s oldest and toughest format. The Indian team agrees with the view. Cheteshwar Pujara said that an “Indian victory will help the format’s survival. Test cricket needs to survive, and a WTC format helps where every Test, every series is important”. “The importance of India’s presence in the final cannot be exaggerated. Such is India’s economic clout, a final without them would arguably have already seen the WTC fall at the first hurdle, but they have made it & with them they bring one billion eyeballs,” said Freddie Wilde, a cricket analyst.

Now let me talk about the rules of the game. Since, Summer rains are common in England, ICC have allotted a reserve day, in case play time is lost. The reserve day will be 23rd June. The ICC has come up with a Reserve Day to ensure full five days of play, and it will only be used if lost playing time cannot be recovered through the normal provisions for each day. During the month of June, England usually receives heavy rainfall as it marks the start of the summer season. So, we might see a lot of stoppage of play during the course of five days and that’s why reserve day would be crucial to get a result. “In the event of time being lost during the match, the ICC match referee will regularly update the teams and media about the way in which the Reserve Day may be used,” ICC said in a statement. The final decision on whether the Reserve Day needs to be used will be announced at the scheduled start of the last hour on the fifth day.

According to playing conditions of the five-day game, one team needs to have a lead of 200 runs, to enforce the follow-on. However, if the first day's play has been washed out then the lead for follow-on rule is reduced to 150 runs. Thus, to enforce a follow India and New Zealand need to have a lead of 200 or more runs. There has been a debate about who will be declared the winner if the final ended in a draw or tie. Ahead of the start of WTC in 2018, ICC has said that if final end in a draw or tie, the  trophy will be shared and in its latest media statement, ICC  clarified the same view. Then India and New Zealand will be adjudged joint winners if their final clash in Southampton ends in a draw or tie.

“The Southampton pitch for WTC final will have pace, bounce and carry thanks to good weather due to a lot of sun in Southampton”, said Simon Lee, the head grounds man of Hampshire Bowl. “The Southampton pitch is likely to favor swing bowling in first two days while it would be perfect for batting on Day 3 and 4. The final day wicket assist spinners and also it seems very tough for batting”. 

What should India’s strategy be? Firstly, luck has to favor in winning the toss, then assess the conditions well. Play the Kiwi seamers sensibly and not lose wickets as the pitch gets batsman friendly later. Avoid getting too aggressive since, a couple of wickets is all it can take to change the course of a Test match especially of Rohit, Pujara or King Kohli.  Indian bowling attack should   use bouncers liberally. The New Zealand batsmen like Latham, Conway, Tom Blundell, BJ Watling, and even Williamson to a certain extent, believe in wearing down the opposition bowlers and then attack. So, for bowlers, the patience is the key. And last but not the least is the contribution of the lower order and youngsters like Pant and Siraj.

England's Richard Illingworth and Michael Gough will be the on-field umpires. Former England opener Chris Broad will be the ICC match referee for the game. Richard Kettleborough, a member of the elite panel, will be the TV umpire, and Alex Wharf of the Emirates ICC International Panel of Umpires will be the fourth official, the ICC confirmed in a statement.

Now, let us see, what the former players have predicted. Brett Lee said it is a clash of aggression and calmness. Former English cricketer, Michael Vaughn, predicted Kiwis have an edge as they trashed both India and England in recent tests. Many other former cricketers, contrasted on the style of the captaincy of both captains.

India squad for WTC Final:  Virat Kohli (captain) Shubman Gill, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Md Shami Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Siraj, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Umesh Yadav, and Hanuma Vihari.
 
Standby players: Abhimanyu Easwaran, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, Arzan Nagwaswalla
 
New Zealand squad for WTC final: Tom Latham, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson (captain), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Will Young, BJ Watling (wk), Tom Blundell, Colin de Grandhomme, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Ajaz Patel, Trent Boult, and Matt Henry.

I hope it is a great match. I wish the Blues all the best. You deserve the trophy.

                                                                                                                                                                                            (Picture Courtesy: IANS)

 

 

 

 

 

India squad for WTC Final:  Virat Kohli (captain) Shubman Gill, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Md Shami Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Siraj, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Umesh Yadav, and Hanuma Vihari.
 
Standby players: Abhimanyu Easwaran, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, Arzan Nagwaswalla
 
New Zealand squad for WTC final: Tom Latham, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson (captain), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Will Young, BJ Watling (wk), Tom Blundell, Colin de Grandhomme, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Ajaz Patel, Trent Boult, Matt Henry.

I hope it is a great match. I wish the Blues all the best. You deserve the trophy.

 

Thu, 17 Jun 2021 22:09:57 +0530
Akshita Mudgal finds airport proposals so romantic

Mumbai, June 17

Actress Akshita Mudgal, who plays the lead role of Ishqi in the show "Ishq Par Zor Nahi", says her dream proposal would be one made at the airport.

In the show, the male protaganist Ahaan has finally realised his love for Ishqi and is set to confess his feelings for her.

"Every girl dreams of receiving a memorable proposal from her beau. It's one of the nicest moments in her life. Personally, I feel airport proposals are so romantic. We have grown up watching them in movies as well, where the hero goes to any length to make his feelings known to the ladylove of his life. To experience this in real life, too, must be equally exciting and thrilling. We have loved shooting for this sequence," says Akshita.

Talking about how the two characters have developed in the show, Akshita says the audience has been anticipating their love story.

"Ahaan has finally made his feelings clear to Ishqi. It's lovely to see both show their vulnerable side to each other. The audience have waited for this moment, and we have been inundated with messages from fans who want to know if they will end up with each other in the long term," says the actress, of her role and show that airs on Sony Entertainment Television.

ians
 

Thu, 17 Jun 2021 22:05:16 +0530
Road to Inaugural World Test Championship India and NZ

In the last two parts, I spoke about history of Test Cricket, advent of Test Cricket in India, India’s journey to greatness in the Test arena, World Test Championship and lastly India’s and New Zealand’s journey to the finals. When Kohli and Williamson take field for the match tomorrow, they will renew a captaincy rivalry, nearly 13 years ago – Under 18 World Cup semi-final in 2008, which incidentally was won by Kohli. Tomorrow, 18th June is a day I am waiting with bated breath – the final of the World Test Championship is about to commence. Is two years of hard work going to pay with Kohli holding the coveted trophy or will it end in tears like the semi-final of the World Cup 2019, or will the famous but unpredictable English rain play spoilsport, only time would tell? I am going to tune in on Star Sports at 2.30 PM to watch the Expert Analysis and then the live match, if the Mumbai rains do not play spoil sport.

After a two-year tough competition between world’s best teams, all that remains are five, or probably six, days at the Hampshire Bowl to crown the inaugural World Test champions. India and New Zealand are possibly the two best Test teams in the world, since the start of the competition in 2019. But who will be crowned the best in a one-off, is it winner takes it all, or a draw?

The match is an important game for a number of reasons for both teams. For New Zealand, the chance to win an ICC trophy is a dream having only won the Champions Trophy. New Zealand's loss in the last two ODI World Cup finals is an added impetus to win the World Test Championship. For India however, it would avenge the World Cup semi-final loss in 2019 and also the heartbreak of losing in two consecutive World Cup semi-finals in 2015 and 2019, even after being the best team in the tournament. It would also be Virat Kohli’s maiden ICC trophy.

When India win an ICC event for the first time it tends to have an epoch-making effect on the game as a whole. India’s famous win at the 1983 World Cup changed their attitude to one-day internationals, and it became the financial gain for both Indian and world cricket. The emergence of the T20 format that led to the money-spinning Indian Premier League, was due to India’s victory over arch rivals Pakistan in the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa in 2007. So, at a time when Test cricket’s long-term future and popularity is concerned, if India became World Test Champions, it could be a significant boost for the sport’s oldest and toughest format. The Indian team agrees with the view. Cheteshwar Pujara said that an “Indian victory will help the format’s survival. Test cricket needs to survive, and a WTC format helps where every Test, every series is important”. “The importance of India’s presence in the final cannot be exaggerated. Such is India’s economic clout, a final without them would arguably have already seen the WTC fall at the first hurdle, but they have made it & with them they bring one billion eyeballs,” said Freddie Wilde, a cricket analyst.

Now let me talk about the rules of the game. Since, Summer rains are common in England, ICC have allotted a reserve day, in case play time is lost. The reserve day will be 23rd June. The ICC has come up with a Reserve Day to ensure full five days of play, and it will only be used if lost playing time cannot be recovered through the normal provisions for each day. During the month of June, England usually receives heavy rainfall as it marks the start of the summer season. So, we might see a lot of stoppage of play during the course of five days and that’s why reserve day would be crucial to get a result. “In the event of time being lost during the match, the ICC match referee will regularly update the teams and media about the way in which the Reserve Day may be used,” ICC said in a statement. The final decision on whether the Reserve Day needs to be used will be announced at the scheduled start of the last hour on the fifth day.

According to playing conditions of the five-day game, one team needs to have a lead of 200 runs, to enforce the follow-on. However, if the first day's play has been washed out then the lead for follow-on rule is reduced to 150 runs. Thus, to enforce a follow India and New Zealand need to have a lead of 200 or more runs. There has been a debate about who will be declared the winner if the final ended in a draw or tie. Ahead of the start of WTC in 2018, ICC has said that if final end in a draw or tie, the  trophy will be shared and in its latest media statement, ICC  clarified the same view. Then India and New Zealand will be adjudged joint winners if their final clash in Southampton ends in a draw or tie.

“The Southampton pitch for WTC final will have pace, bounce and carry thanks to good weather due to a lot of sun in Southampton”, said Simon Lee, the head grounds man of Hampshire Bowl. “The Southampton pitch is likely to favor swing bowling in first two days while it would be perfect for batting on Day 3 and 4. The final day wicket assist spinners and also it seems very tough for batting”. 

What should India’s strategy be? Firstly, luck has to favor in winning the toss, then assess the conditions well. Play the Kiwi seamers sensibly and not lose wickets as the pitch gets batsman friendly later. Avoid getting too aggressive since, a couple of wickets is all it can take to change the course of a Test match especially of Rohit, Pujara or King Kohli.  Indian bowling attack should   use bouncers liberally. The New Zealand batsmen like Latham, Conway, Tom Blundell, BJ Watling, and even Williamson to a certain extent, believe in wearing down the opposition bowlers and then attack. So, for bowlers, the patience is the key. And last but not the least is the contribution of the lower order and youngsters like Pant and Siraj.

England's Richard Illingworth and Michael Gough will be the on-field umpires. Former England opener Chris Broad will be the ICC match referee for the game. Richard Kettleborough, a member of the elite panel, will be the TV umpire, and Alex Wharf of the Emirates ICC International Panel of Umpires will be the fourth official, the ICC confirmed in a statement.

Now, let us see, what the former players have predicted. Brett Lee said it is a clash of aggression and calmness. Former English cricketer, Michael Vaughn, predicted Kiwis have an edge as they trashed both India and England in recent tests. Many other former cricketers, contrasted on the style of the captaincy of both captains.

India squad for WTC Final:  Virat Kohli (captain) Shubman Gill, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Md Shami Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Siraj, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Umesh Yadav, and Hanuma Vihari.
 
Standby players: Abhimanyu Easwaran, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, Arzan Nagwaswalla
 
New Zealand squad for WTC final: Tom Latham, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson (captain), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Will Young, BJ Watling (wk), Tom Blundell, Colin de Grandhomme, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Ajaz Patel, Trent Boult, Matt Henry.

I hope it is a great match. I wish the Blues all the best. You deserve the trophy.

Thu, 17 Jun 2021 22:03:45 +0530
HSBC India pledges Rs 15 cr Covid relief for Mumbai s Dabbawalas

New Delhi, June 17

HSBC India on Thursday announced that it is pledging financial assistance to the tune of Rs 15 crore to support dabbawalas in Mumbai.

This support will be provided in association with United Way Mumbai and aimed at providing relief to dabbawalas who have been significantly impacted due to the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, said a company statement.

As part of the support and relief packages, each dabbawala will be provided ration and hygiene material supplies for three months. Financial protection in the form of life insurance cover will be provided through tie-ups with insurance providers.

Additionally, educational tabs and access to digital resources will be provided to school-aged children or grandchildren of dabbawalas whose education has been impacted due to a lack of smartphones at home to facilitate online learning. With schools likely to continue classes virtually for few more months, this support will be crucial in bridging the learning gap, said the statement.

Further, the dabbawalas will also be provided cycles, their primary mode of transport, to resume their services once the lockdown restrictions are lifted.

HSBC India interim CEO Hitendra Dave said: "The dabbawalas have defined the grit and spirit of the city of Mumbai. An integral part of the city's workforce and community, they have been hit hard by the pandemic with loss of livelihood. Our support to the dabbawalas is in line with our endeavour of supporting the communities where we operate."

Nutan Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers Charity Trust President Ulhas Muke said: "The Dabbawala service has never been shut in the past 130 years. But since March 2020, it has come to a total standstill. With no earnings over the past 14 months, dabbawalas are in financial crisis and it has been difficult for them to feed their families."

He added that HSBC India's initiative will help the families cope with these very difficult times.

ians


 

 

Thu, 17 Jun 2021 21:49:18 +0530
Indian Schools should be taught about Our FAUJI Heroes

Shirley Udaykumar

www.mediaeyenews.com

Most Indians would have heard the name of Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw who led India to victory in 1971, defeating Pakistan and making 90,000 Pakistan soldiers’ prisoners of war. This victory paved the formation of Bangladesh. It is very essential to remember and celebrate our war heroes as it fosters nationalism and a sense of pride amongst our growing minds to derive inspiration for our Motherland. The supreme sacrifice our soldiers make in keeping peace and maintaining our sovereignty has to be appreciated by all Indians.

In the five wars that India had fought with its neighbours in 1947 Pakistan, 1962 China, 1965 Pakistan, 1971 Pakistan, and Kargil 1999, we have always defeated Pakistan, our lamented cousin. China was the only exception in 1962, because of political mistakes. But behind such war victories is the bravery and gallantry of many officers and soldiers of the Indian Armed Forces consisting of the Army, Navy, and Air Force. It takes the blood and sweat of our soldiers to keep the flag of the Republic of India fluttering at all times in peace and war. Many get killed in action and many others are wounded and disabled. 

Some of our war heroes are: Major Som Nath Sharma, PVC (Army 1947); Lt Col Dhan Singh Thapa, PVC (Army 1962); Havildar (CQMH) Abdul Hamid, PVC (Army 1965); Squadron Leader Denzil Keelor (Airforce 1965); Capt. MN Mulla, MVC (Navy 1971); Flying officer Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon, PVC (Airforce 1971); Major Kuldip Singh Chandpuri, MVC (Army 1971); Lance Naik Albert Ekka, PVC (Army 1971); Capt. Vikram Batra, PVC (Army 1999); Grenadier Yogendra Singh Yadav, PVC (Army 1999); Major General Ian Cardozo (1971 Army), the first disabled officer and won Ati Visisth Seva Medal;  Brigadier Muhammad Usman, MVC (1948 Army); Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat MVC (Army 1961), who singlehandedly fought the Chinese and killed himself to prevent being caught by the Chinese; Second Lieutanant Arun Kshetrapal, PVC (Army 1971); Naik Jadunath Singh, PVC (Army 1948); Subedar Karan Singh, PVC (Army 1948); Major Ramaswamy Paremeswaran, PVC (Army 1987 Sri Lanka operations). Wonder, only a handful of students would have heard of them.

Let me narrate an initiative that I have started as a co-curricular activity in my school at Powai English High School to educate my students about our Fauji Heroes. Just before the pandemic lockdown, I launched ‘Shirley’s Tryst with Faujis’ – Kahani Mere Veer Jawano Ki Mastano Ki. In this event, we bring a celebrated FAUJI guest online and speak to him of his heroics who has seen action. We give a small presentation in the beginning and then teachers and students ask questions to him. It is mostly of an hour’s duration and some 300 students come online.


PIC: Major DP Singh in uniform and later as amputee soldier with blade (artificial leg) running the marathon

Though it may not pertain to the syllabus as such, let me assure you our students are charged up after the motivation talk. Recently, we got Major DP Singh a 1999 Kargil war disabled soldier. His one leg had to be amputated as it developed gangrene after a mortar attack on him. He was almost declared dead. But luck favoured him and he was saved. Today, he is India’s first Blade runner. His heroics are acknowledged internationally for running Marathons and para-jumping on one leg. He is a much sought-after motivational speaker too.

Such military legends living amidst us are a true inspiration for our Indian youth, whose daunting spirit to face the odds and brave challenges will surely motivate a whole new generation. It is for these reasons, our school children need to learn about them to build an inspired generation. They will surely become better human beings and be part of an awakened India which is advancing as a Super Power. Indeed, a small step for them, but a giant step in India’s civilization.

(The author is the Headmistress of Powai English High School. Recently, she campaigned to garner funds from corporate CSR, NGOs, and individuals and raised Rs 40 Lakhs for fee-sponsorship of pandemic-affected students).

Thu, 17 Jun 2021 20:48:17 +0530
Aus state likely to remain in dark for weeks after severe storms

Canberra, June 17 :Thousands of residents in the Australian state of Victoria, battered by devastating storms last week, are expected to remain without power for up to three weeks.

The electricity company AusNet said on Thursday that flooding and wild winds on June 9 and 10 had brought down trees and power lines, causing major damage to its network, resulting in a blackout for about 3,000 residents in the Dandenong Ranges, about 35 km east of the capital city, Melbourne, reports Xinhua news agency.

"Our field crews are working as safely and as quickly as possible in challenging conditions," AusNet stated on its website.

"We have back up from interstate crews to help us with the rebuilding efforts and we are providing back-up generation where we can."

The company noted this was the "worst damage to its network in a single incident in memory and there remained a lot of work to be done".

Responding to the crisis on Thursday, Victoria's acting Premier James Merlino announced that households without power were now entitled to a compensatory payment of A$1,680 ($1,282) per week.

"The depth of winter and weeks and weeks without power, this is an unprecedented emergency," he said.

Meanwhile, travel restrictions placed on Melbourne residents due to a Covid-19 lockdown were lifted, but the state's emergency services warned people against visiting the Dandenong, as many roads remain closed due to storm debris and many damaged trees still needed to be removed.

There have also been reports of a sinkhole and collapsed roads in the area and there are concerns that the saturated soil could lead to even more trees coming down.

Merlino told reporters that the government would consider laying power cables underground to avoid such future storm damage but conceded there were no immediate "big infrastructure responses".

"The assessment of the damage is taking place right now, so it's a bit early at this stage to talk about the extent of the damage and what will be done in response," he said.

IANS

Thu, 17 Jun 2021 16:46:11 +0530
China launches 1st crewed mission for space station construction

Beijing, June 17

China on Thursday successfully launched the crewed spacecraft Shenzhou-12, which is expected to send three astronauts to its space station core module Tianhe for a three-month mission.

It is the seventh crewed mission to space and the first during the construction of China's space station, reports Xinhua news agency.

It is also the first in nearly five years after the country's last manned mission.

The spacecraft, atop a Long March-2F carrier rocket, was launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in the Gobi Desert at 9.22 a.m. (Beijing Time), according to the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA).

The three astronauts are commander Nie Haisheng, a 56-year-old veteran who participated in the Shenzhou-6 and Shenzhou-10 missions; Liu Boming, 54, who was part of the Shenzhou-7 mission; and Tang Hongbo, 45, who is in his first space mission.

The three astronauts are expected to set a new record for China's manned space mission duration, exceeding the 33 days kept by the Shenzhou-11 crew in 2016.

The Shenzhou-12 spaceship will conduct a fast autonomous rendezvous and docking with the in-orbit space station core module Tianhe, forming a complex with Tianhe and the cargo craft Tianzhou-2.

The astronauts will be stationed in the core module.

Their work will be more complicated and challenging than previous crewed missions, according to CMSA director Hao Chun.

China launched its space station core module Tianhe on April 29 and cargo craft Tianzhou-2 on May 29.

The two completed a computer-orchestrated rendezvous and docking on May 30, waiting for the first crewed mission to unpack the cargo.

According to the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST), more than 160 large and small packages, including supplies for astronauts and space-science equipment, were delivered by Tianzhou-2 in late May.

The Tianzhou-3 cargo craft and the Shenzhou-13 manned spaceship will also be launched later this year to dock with Tianhe, and another three astronauts will then begin their six-month stay in orbit, according to the CMSA.

ians

Thu, 17 Jun 2021 16:42:47 +0530
AstraZeneca vax recommended for Australians above 60 yrs

Canberra, June 17 : The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has advised that the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine be administered to people aged 60 and over, rather than those over 50 years as was previously recommended, Health Minister Greg Hunt said on Thursday.

Adults aged 59 and under will now be offered Pfizer's vaccine based on the updated advice, reports Xinhua news agency.

"The experts at ATAGI have today updated their advice to recommend the Pfizer vaccine be preferred for adults aged 59 and under," Hunt said in a statement.

"The ATAGI advice remains clear that the AstraZeneca vaccine is highly effective in preventing severe disease caused by Covid.

"This updated advice received today is based on new evidence demonstrating a higher risk for the very rare TTS (thrombocytopenia syndrome) condition in the 50-59 year-old age group," he added.

According to the minister, AstraZeneca remains recommended for those aged 60 and over based on the much higher risk of illness and death from Covid in this age group, and the lower risk of this condition.

Despite the change, Hunt said the rollout was on track and that every Australian who wants to be vaccinated will receive at least their first dose by the end of 2021.

The ATAGI's decision came after 12 new cases of "this rare, but sometimes very serious clotting condition" were identified in the last week.

Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said the medical advice was that people who received their first AstraZeneca dose without any adverse effects should get their second dose.

"Anyone who has had a first dose of AstraZeneca without a problem should feel very confident to have their second dose," he said.
 

IANS

 

Thu, 17 Jun 2021 16:42:05 +0530
India walk into Hampshire Bowl with the edge of experience

Southampton, June 17 : India may not have played a Test match in England in the lead up to the World Test Championship final, unlike opponents New Zealand. They, however, surely have more experience of playing at the Hampshire Bowl here than their opponents.

India have featured in two Test matches in Southampton, both against England, and although they lost both of them, the experience could hold them in good stead against the Kiwis, who have not played a single match at the venue.

This is also the first time the two teams will face each other at a neutral venue. While New Zealand have an experience of playing in neutral venues, mostly against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates, the Indians have never played a Test at a venue that is not home to either of the two contesting teams.

Overall, India have a superior record against New Zealand in Test cricket. The two teams have played 59 Test matches with India winning 21 and losing 12. But 16 of India's wins have come at home, in 34 Tests. In New Zealand, India have lost 10 and won only five of the 25 Tests they have played.

The English conditions that suit swing bowlers and are similar to those in New Zealand could offer some help to the Kiwis. However, the spinners may also likely come into play since the wicket is expected to be drier than usual unless it rains.

As New Zealand pace bowler Tim Southee and India vice-captain pointed out on Wednesday it is a one-off Test, so both teams will have to be on guard all the time.
IANS

Thu, 17 Jun 2021 16:38:12 +0530
Italy first to enter knockouts in Euro 2020

 

Rome, June 17 : Italy became the first side to enter knockout stages of Euro 2020 thanks to a 3-0 win over Switzerland here late on Wednesday.

The result means they will now fight for the top spot in Group A in their final league game against Wales, who beat Turkey earlier in the day.

Manuel Locatelli was Italy's hero with two goals as Roberto Mancini's side displayed assured and attacking football, Xinhua reports.

In Group A's other match at the Olympic Stadium in Baku, Aaron Ramsey and Connor Roberts scored a goal each for Wales as they won 2-0 against Turkey.

Both sides traded attacks in the first half, but Wales looked more dangerous in front of the goal and scored the opener in the 42nd minute when Ramsey chested down Gareth Bale's chip into the box before tapping the ball past Turkey goalkeeper Ugurcan Cakir.

Turkey's Burak Yilmaz should have restored parity early in the second half, but the captain wasted a golden chance from close range following a corner. At the hour mark, Wales were awarded a penalty but Bale put the spot-kick over the bar.

IANS
 

Thu, 17 Jun 2021 16:34:19 +0530
Williamson strategic smart while Kohli is passionate Smith

Southampton, June 17 : The World Test Championship (WTC) final between Virat Kohli-led India and Kane Williamson-led New Zealand will be a battle of two contrasting captaincy styles, say former international captains.

"Kane is very reserved, excellent player. He is very smart and strategic. Virat brings passion and leads from the front. Kane and Virat, as players, are two of the best batters in the world. Let us see how they manage themselves in the big stage like that," said former South Africa skipper Graeme Smith who predicted New Zealand as winners.

"I am going to probably back New Zealand in England conditions to do well," said Smith.

Former Australia leg-spinner Shane Warne, who is the second highest wicket-taker in Test cricket, said, "I am looking forward to the contrast in captains."

Ex-Australia Test skipper Ian Chappell said it won't just be a battle between Williamson and Kohli on captaincy front but also on batting front.

"We are going to be fortunate to find two of the world's finest batsmen going head to head in the World Test Championship final. Kane Williamson is a very effective batsman, Kohli a more flamboyant player. He has a tendency to do good things in big games," said Chappell.

Former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd called this New Zealand side as one of the best they have had in their cricket history.

"It is one of the best sides they have had as far as their fast bowling is concerned, their bats are concerned and spinners are concerned. They are now a complete side," said Lloyd.
IANS

Thu, 17 Jun 2021 16:29:20 +0530
India walk into Hampshire Bowl with the edge of experience

Southampton, June 17 : India may not have played a Test match in England in the lead up to the World Test Championship final, unlike opponents New Zealand. They, however, surely have more experience of playing at the Hampshire Bowl here than their opponents.

India have featured in two Test matches in Southampton, both against England, and although they lost both of them, the experience could hold them in good stead against the Kiwis, who have not played a single match at the venue.

This is also the first time the two teams will face each other at a neutral venue. While New Zealand have an experience of playing in neutral venues, mostly against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates, the Indians have never played a Test at a venue that is not home to either of the two contesting teams.

Overall, India have a superior record against New Zealand in Test cricket. The two teams have played 59 Test matches with India winning 21 and losing 12. But 16 of India's wins have come at home, in 34 Tests. In New Zealand, India have lost 10 and won only five of the 25 Tests they have played.

The English conditions that suit swing bowlers and are similar to those in New Zealand could offer some help to the Kiwis. However, the spinners may also likely come into play since the wicket is expected to be drier than usual unless it rains.

As New Zealand pace bowler Tim Southee and India vice-captain pointed out on Wednesday it is a one-off Test, so both teams will have to be on guard all the time.

IANS
 

Thu, 17 Jun 2021 16:25:17 +0530
Akshay Kumar donates Rs 1 cr for school building in J K s LoC village

Srinagar, June 17  

Bollywood star Akshay Kumar on Thursday donated Rs 1 crore for a school building in remote Tulail village along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir's Bandipora district.

The actor reached Neeru village by a helicopter around noon and thereafter started interaction with locals and the deployed security forces.

"Akshay Kumar has donated Rs 1 crore for the construction of the school building in Neeru village of Tulail.

"He visited the area to boost the morale of the deployed army soldiers and the BSF troopers with whom he interacted for a long time.

"He also danced with the locals in the village who turned out to see and meet the actor. The function was organised by BSF troopers posted on an LoC post in Neeru village.

"He has appreciated the army, BSF and the locals for leading hardy lives in the area braving heavy snowfall and extreme inaccessibility", sources said.

ians
 

 

Thu, 17 Jun 2021 16:22:18 +0530
Williamson strategic smart while Kohli is passionate Smith

Southampton, June 17 (IANS) The World Test Championship (WTC) final between Virat Kohli-led India and Kane Williamson-led New Zealand will be a battle of two contrasting captaincy styles, say former international captains.

"Kane is very reserved, excellent player. He is very smart and strategic. Virat brings passion and leads from the front. Kane and Virat, as players, are two of the best batters in the world. Let us see how they manage themselves in the big stage like that," said former South Africa skipper Graeme Smith who predicted New Zealand as winners.

"I am going to probably back New Zealand in England conditions to do well," said Smith.


Former Australia leg-spinner Shane Warne, who is the second highest wicket-taker in Test cricket, said, "I am looking forward to the contrast in captains."

Ex-Australia Test skipper Ian Chappell said it won't just be a battle between Williamson and Kohli on captaincy front but also on batting front.

"We are going to be fortunate to find two of the world's finest batsmen going head to head in the World Test Championship final. Kane Williamson is a very effective batsman, Kohli a more flamboyant player. He has a tendency to do good things in big games," said Chappell.

Former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd called this New Zealand side as one of the best they have had in their cricket history.

"It is one of the best sides they have had as far as their fast bowling is concerned, their bats are concerned and spinners are concerned. They are now a complete side," said Lloyd.

IANS

Thu, 17 Jun 2021 16:19:06 +0530
CM Uddhav Thackeray greets to Governor Koshyari on 79th birthday

President of India Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu and Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari over the telephone and greeted him on his 79th birthday.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray met Governor Koshyari at Raj Bhavan and greeted the Governor on the latter’s birthday.

Leader of the Opposition Devendra Fadnavis, Minister of Public Health Rajesh Tope, Mayor of Mumbai Kishori Pednekar, Chairman of Rest of Maharashtra Development Board Yogesh Jadhav, Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte, Commissioner of Police Hemant Nagrale, Vice Chancellor of University of Mumbai Suhas Pednekar, SNDT Women’s University Vice Chancellor Shashikala Wanjai also met the Governor and greeted him.

Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Teerath Singh Rawat, former Chief Minister Narayan Rane, MP Arvind Sawant also conveyed their greetings to the Governor.  

Thu, 17 Jun 2021 16:04:39 +0530
Google Cloud VMware Engine now available in India

New Delhi, June 17

Google Cloud VMware Engine is now available in India for enterprises looking to migrate their VMware environments to the cloud and advance their digital transformation journeys, the company announced on Thursday.

With this service, customers can migrate or extend their on-premises workloads to Google Cloud in a jiffy by connecting to a dedicated VMware environment directly through the Google Cloud Console.

Running VMware workloads on Google Cloud, reduces operational burden while benefiting from scale and agility, and maintains continuity with the organization's existing tools, policies, and processes, the tech giant said in a statement.

"We look forward to working with VMware to empower organizations to adapt to changing times and digitally transform themselves with the power of the cloud," said Bikram Bedi, Managing Director, Google Cloud India.

Enterprises can also modernise existing IT investments and leverage on-demand self-service provisioning of VMware private clouds with integrated connectivity to Google Cloud services such as BigQuery, Cloud Operations, Cloud Storage, Kubernetes, and Cloud AI.

"With this partnership our customers can now deploy Google Cloud VMware Engine and seamlessly migrate their existing VMware-based applications to Google Cloud without refactoring or rewriting them," said Pradeep Nair, Vice President and Managing Director, VMware India.

In addition to its native capabilities, VMware users value the platform for its rich third-party ecosystem for disaster recovery, backup, monitoring, security — or any other imaginable IT needs.

"Google Cloud VMware engine will complement our overall technology and business strategy to scale our infrastructure as well as optimise costs," said Ashu Kakkar, Vice President, HCL Technologies.

ians
 

Thu, 17 Jun 2021 16:03:01 +0530
CM Uddhav Thackeray greets to Governor Koshyari on 79th birthday

President of India Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu and Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari over the telephone and greeted him on his 79th birthday.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray met Governor Koshyari at Raj Bhavan and greeted the Governor on the latter’s birthday.

Leader of the Opposition Devendra Fadnavis, Minister of Public Health Rajesh Tope, Mayor of Mumbai Kishori Pednekar, Chairman of Rest of Maharashtra Development Board Yogesh Jadhav, Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte, Commissioner of Police Hemant Nagrale, Vice-Chancellor of University of Mumbai Suhas Pednekar, SNDT Women’s University Vice-Chancellor Shashikala Wanjai also met the Governor and greeted him.

Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Teerath Singh Rawat, former Chief Minister Narayan Rane, MP Arvind Sawant also conveyed their greetings to the Governor.  

Thu, 17 Jun 2021 15:53:25 +0530
CII pegs India s FY22 GDP growth at 9 5

New Delhi, June 17 - Industry body CII on Thursday pegged India's GDP growth rate for 2021-22 at 9.5 per cent.

Thu, 17 Jun 2021 15:49:03 +0530
CII pegs India s FY22 GDP growth at 9 5

 

New Delhi, June 17

Industry body CII on Thursday pegged India's GDP growth rate for 2021-22 at 9.5 per cent.

"Ultra-high frequency indicators strongly presage growth recovery following the second wave of the pandemic," said T.V. Narendran, CEO and Managing Director of Tata Steel, who took charge as President CII on May 31, 2021.

"With recent uptick in mobility indicators, traffic congestion index and daily railway passenger movement, we believe that 9.5 per cent growth rate can be achieved this year."

According to Narendran, growth needs to pick up to 9 per cent by 2024-25 with public expenditure, reforms and vaccination as key levers.

"The cumulative impact of the two waves on incomes and consumer sentiment, coupled with the increase in household medical expenses in the second wave, is likely to affect consumer demand for some time."

"As the economy reopens post the second wave, a dual-pronged Government strategy is required to boost consumption and support industry till demand is well-entrenched."

Besides, he called for a strong fiscal stimulus and government's expenditure programme.

"CII estimates that there is fiscal headroom of up to Rs 3 lakh crore and this amount can be channelised towards direct cash transfers to the vulnerable people, higher allocation for 'MNREGA, short-term GST' rate cuts and lower excise duty on fuel."

Furthermore, he said that demand can be revitalised through a time bound tax concession of interest rate subvention for home buyers, a LTC cash voucher scheme as done last year and extending the Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana till March 31, 2022.

Additionally, CII urged for expansion in the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) balance sheet to meet the demand exigencies of the pandemic.

In addition, Narendran called for support to industry through increase in 'Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme' (ECLGS) to Rs 5 lakh crore along with extension of the scheme to March 31, 2022 and inclusion of more distressed sectors such as retail.

ians

Thu, 17 Jun 2021 15:44:02 +0530
Amazon Covid test kit now available online

San Francisco, June 16

E-commerce major Amazon has started selling its own test kits for Covid-19. The test kit is on sale for $39.99 on the e-commerce platform and has one-day shipping through Prime in some areas of the US, the Verge reported.

Results from the test will appear on an Amazon diagnostics website, originally designed for use by Amazon employees.

To use the test, a person needs to take a swab from his/her own nose at home and place it in a box with a prepaid shipping return label. The swabs are then sent to a centralised lab.

Amazon got the US Food and Drug Administration's approval on its Covid-19 test kit in March and planned to use it for its onsite employee testing programme.

Amazon also offers a Covid-19 testing kit made by the genomics company DxTerity and a rapid 10-minute testing kit made by Quidel. They sell for $99 and $24.95, respectively, the report said.

The in-house Covid-19 test kit is the latest in Amazon's expansion into the healthcare segment. In March, the company had started offering its telehealth and at-home healthcare programme to other employers.

It is also offering six-month prescriptions for common medications starting at $6 through its Amazon Pharmacy programme, it added.

ians
 

Wed, 16 Jun 2021 19:03:43 +0530
Net direct tax collections for FY22 grows over 100 till mid June

 

New Delhi, June 16

The net direct tax collections for the financial year 2021-22 have grown at a robust pace despite the disruptions caused by the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy.

According to the Finance Ministry, tax collections for FY22 up to June 15 have registered a growth of over 100 per cent at Rs 1,85,871 crore, compared to Rs 92,762 crore over the corresponding period of the preceding year.

The net direct tax collections include corporation tax (CIT) at Rs 74,356 crore (net of refund), and personal income tax (PIT), including security transaction tax (STT), at Rs 1,11,043 crore (net of refund).

The gross collection of direct taxes (before adjusting for refunds) for FY22 stands at Rs 2,16,602 crore compared to Rs 1,37,825 crore in same period of the previous year.

This includes corporation tax at Rs 96,923 crore and personal income tax, including security transaction tax, at Rs 1,19,197 crore.

Minor head-wise collection comprises advance tax of Rs 28,780 crore, tax deducted at source of Rs 1,56,824 crore, self-assessment tax of Rs 15,343 crore, regular assessment tax of Rs 14,079 crore, dividend distribution tax of Rs 1,086 crore, and tax under other minor heads of Rs 491 crore.

The Finance Ministry said that despite the extremely challenging initial months of the new fiscal , the advance tax collections for the first quarter of FY22 stands at Rs 28,780 crore against advance tax collections of Rs 11,714 crore for the corresponding period of the preceding fiscal, showing a growth of approximately 146 per cent. This comprises corporation tax at Rs 18,358 crore and personal income tax at Rs 10,422 crore.

This amount is expected to increase as further information is received from the banks, the Finance Ministry statement said.

What is encouraging is that the high tax collection numbers have come even though refunds amounting to Rs 30,731 crore have also been issued during the period under review.

The improved performance on direct tax should be encouraging for the government that is looking at various measures to bring the economy back on rails after the adverse impact of the second wave of the pandemic wanes.

For the government, indirect tax collections till May this year has already brought cheers as April numbers of GST reached record high levels since the introduction of the new tax system, while May numbers have not been that bad, remaining above the Rs 1 lakh crore mark.

Improved revenues are key for the government to maintain fiscal discipline and contain the country's fiscal deficit within manageable limits.

ians
 

Wed, 16 Jun 2021 18:56:21 +0530
Three killed in plane crash in Congo

Kinshasa, June 16

Three people were killed in a plane crash at Kavumu airport in South Kivu province in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on Wednesday, according to Radio Okapi, a UN-run radio station.

The three killed in the plane crash were two crew members and one passenger, said Radio Okapi in a tweet.

According to Radio Okapi, the plane crash happened at Kavumu airport at around 12 noon (local time), Xinhua reported.

The plane, which was leaving the Kavumu airport for Shabunda, crashed after takeoff, according to local media reports, citing sources on the spot.

ians
 

Wed, 16 Jun 2021 18:48:00 +0530
Kumar Sanu to daughter Shannon K Happy you re grown up sad you ll go away after marriage

Mumbai, June 16

Singer Kumar Sanu took to social media on Wednesday to wish his daughter, US-based singer Shannon K, on her birthday.

Hinting at his daughter's wedding, the singer also mentioned that he is feeling sad that she will leave after her marriage.

Sharing a photograph of Shannon on Instagram, Sanu wrote: "Happy birthday to my little gudiya @shannonksinger Happy that you're grown up independent girl but sad about you'll go away after marriage. You're not only an obedient daughter who respects her parents but a kind human being too! May God bless you beta with all the happiness. Kya betiya sach me parayi hoti hai…"

Shannon responded to her father's post with the note: "Thank you dad. Love ya."

Commenting on Kumar Sanu's post, singers Abhijeet Bhattacharya, Alka Yagnik and his fans and followers

ians

Wed, 16 Jun 2021 18:11:26 +0530
India to have 330M 5G smartphone subscriptions in 5 years

New Delhi, June 16

There will be nearly 330 million 5G smartphone subscriptions in India in next five years, representing around 26 per cent of mobile subscriptions in the country, a report showed on Wednesday.

Globally, 5G mobile subscriptions will exceed 580 million by the end of 2021, driven by an estimated one million new 5G mobile subscriptions every day, according to a report by Swedish telecommunications giant Ericsson.

The average traffic per smartphone user in India has increased from 13GB per month in 2019 to 14.6GB per month in 2020.

The average traffic per smartphone in the India region stands second highest globally and is projected to grow to around 40GB per month in 2026, according to Ericsson Mobility Report.

"COVID-19 has accelerated India's digital transformation as more and more consumers rely on digital services -- be it digital payments, remote health consultations, online retail or video conferencing – to fulfil their business or personal needs," said Nitin Bansal, Head of Ericsson India.

"The average traffic per smartphone in the India region stands second highest globally and is projected to grow to around 40GB per month in 2026," added Bansal, also Head of Network Solutions for South east Asia, Oceania and India, Ericsson.

5G subscriptions with a 5G-capable device grew by 70 million during the first quarter of 2021

About 3.5 billion 5G subscriptions and 60 percent 5G population coverage are forecast by the end of 2026.

However, the pace of adoption varies widely by region.

Europe is off to a slower start and has continued to fall far behind China, the US, Korea, Japan and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) markets in the pace of 5G deployments, the report noted.

5G is expected to surpass a billion subscriptions two years ahead of the 4G LTE timeline for the same milestone.

"Key factors behind that include China's earlier commitment to 5G and the earlier availability and increasing affordability of commercial 5G devices. More than 300 5G smartphone models have already been announced or launched commercially," the report added.

ians
 

Wed, 16 Jun 2021 17:50:45 +0530
IT Minister blasts Twitter says it failed to comply with new guidelines

New Delhi, June 16

 A day after micro-blogging platform Twitter said that it has appointed a Chief Compliance Officer, Union Electronics and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday said that the US-based company has failed to comply to the new intermediary guidelines.

In a series of tweets, the minister came down hard on the platform over its reluctance to comply with the new norms.

"There are numerous queries arising as to whether Twitter is entitled to safe harbour provision. However, the simple fact of the matter is that Twitter has failed to comply with the Intermediary Guidelines that came into effect from the 26th of May," Prasad said.

He also said that Twitter was given multiple opportunities to comply with the same, however it has "deliberately chosen" the path of non-compliance.

Observing that the culture of India varies like its large geography, he said in another tweet: "In certain scenarios, with the amplification of social media, even a small spark can cause a fire, especially with the menace of fake news. This was one of the objectives of bringing the Intermediary Guidelines."

"What happened in UP was illustrative of Twitter's arbitrariness in fighting fake news. While Twitter has been over enthusiastic about its fact checking mechanism, it's failure to act in multiple cases like UP is perplexing & indicates its inconsistency in fighting misinformation," he said.

Prasad said that it is astounding that Twitter which portrays itself as the flag bearer of free speech, chooses the path of deliberate defiance when it comes to the intermediary guidelines.

"Further, what is perplexing is that Twitter fails to address the grievances of users by refusing to set up process as mandated by the law of the land. Additionally, it chooses a policy of flagging manipulates media, only when it suits, its likes and dislikes," he said.

Further, in another development, official sources have said that Twitter has lost its status as intermediary platform in India as it has not complied with new guidelines.
 

ians

Wed, 16 Jun 2021 12:49:37 +0530
India exports Rs 619 cr banana during 2020 21

New Delhi, June 16

 India's banana export is expected to continue its growth this year in terms of volume as well as value. A total of 1.91 lakh tonne worth Rs 619 crore has been exported so far, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said on Wednesday.

The latest figure shows an increase in export of 1.34 lakh metric tonne banana (valued at Rs 413 crore) in 2018-19. India exported 1.95 lakh metric tonne banana valued at Rs 660 crore in 2019-20.

"India's banana export has been rising sharply because of adoption of farm practices as per the global standards," the Ministry said in a statement.

India is the world's leading producer of bananas with a share of around 25 per cent in total output. Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh contribute more than 70 per cent of the country's banana production.

Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export and Development Authority (APEDA) promotes exports of agricultural and processed food products by providing assistance to the exporters under various components of its scheme such as Infrastructure Development, Quality Development and Market Development.

In addition, APEDA also conducts international Buyer Seller Meets, Virtual trade fairs with importing countries to promote agricultural and processed food products.

Apart from this the Department of Commerce also supports exports through various schemes like Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme, Market Access Initiative, etc.

In a major boost to exports of Geographical Indications (GI) certified agricultural produce, a consignment of fibre and mineral rich 'Jalgaon banana' has been exported to Dubai, said the statement.

"The twenty-two metric tonnes of GI certified Jalgaon banana were sourced from progressive farmers of Tandalwadi village, part of Jalgaon district of Maharashtra, a banana cluster identified under Agri Export Policy," it added.

In 2016, Jalgaon Banana got GI certification which was registered with Nisargraja Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) Jalgaon.
 

ians

Wed, 16 Jun 2021 12:44:06 +0530
Israel strikes in Gaza after arson attacks

 

Gaza, June 16

 Israel has launched air strikes against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip, after incendiary balloons were launched from the territory.

Explosions were heard in Gaza City in the early hours of Wednesday.

Several balloons were sent from Gaza into Israel earlier on Tuesday, which caused multiple fires, according to the Israeli fire service, the BBC reported.

It is the first major flare-up since 11 days of fighting between the two sides ended in a ceasefire on 21 May.

It followed a march by Jewish nationalists in occupied East Jerusalem on Tuesday, which had drawn threats from Hamas, the militant group that runs Gaza.

In a statement, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said its fighter jets had hit military compounds operated by Hamas in Khan Yunis and Gaza City.

It said "terrorist activity" took place in the compound, and that the IDF was "prepared for all scenarios, including the resumption of hostilities, in the face of continued terror acts from the Gaza Strip".

It is not immediately clear if the air strikes have caused any injuries.


A Hamas spokesperson said in a statement on Twitter that Palestinians would continue their "valiant resistance" and defend their rights "until the occupier is expelled from our entire land".

Israel's fire service said the incendiary balloons launched earlier from Gaza had caused at least 20 fires in fields by communities in southern Israel.

This is the first violent exchange since Israeli's new coalition government came to power last weekend, headed by Naftali Bennett and drawing an end to Benjamin Netanyahu's 12-year run as prime minister.

 

ians
 

Wed, 16 Jun 2021 12:39:07 +0530
Dozens feared missing in Nepal s floods landslides

Kathmandu, June 16

 Over four dozen people are feared missing as floods and landslides wreaked havoc in Helambu and Melamchi areas in Sindhupalchok district of Nepal following incessant rains on Tuesday and Wednesday.

As per the Sindhupalchok District Administration Office, over four dozen people have gone missing in the disasters as the Melamchi and Indrawati rivers inflated owing to heavy monsoon rains, the himalayantimes reported.

Of the missing, 40 people were currently working at the Melamchi Drinking Water Project, it has been reported.

Minister of Health and Population Sher Bahadur Tamang, an elected lawmaker from the district, had also shared the news of more than 50 people missing in the floods.

"Over 50 people are missing in the Melamchi and Indrawati rivers' flooding. The floods have also caused damages to the dam in Melamchi drinking water project, Timbu Bazaar, Chanaute Bazaar, Talamarang Bazaar and Melamchi Bazar. Additionally, Nakote bridge, Timbu bridge, Phatte bridge, Melamchi bridge, Bahunepati bridge have been swept away by the floods," Tamang said.

Timbu, Chanaute, Talamarang and Melamchi are covered in mud and debris.

The floods swept away three bridges in Helambu alone and one in Melamchi while many roads that connected the district to other areas have been destructed.Helicopters have been flown in to the district while security personnel have been mobilised for the rescue operations.

Meanwhile, it has been learnt that Speaker of the House of Representatives Agni Prasad Sapkota and Tamang, both of whom hail from and are elected to the House from the district, have made preparations to reach the disaster affected areas.
 

ians

Wed, 16 Jun 2021 12:31:05 +0530
Cauvery water management authority to meet on June 22

Chennai, June 16

 The Cauvery Water Management authority's first meeting for the current year will be held on June 22. Tamil Nadu chief minister M.K. Stalin had written to union minister of Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat to ensure the state's share of water.

Stalin in his letter to the Union Jal Shakti Minister has requested him to take steps to advise the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) to ensure that Tamil Nadu is supplied of its share of water. "The water to Tamil Nadu be supplied according to the monthly schedule prepared by the Supreme Court of India," Stalin pointed out in the letter.

According to the schedule of the Supreme Court, the state is to get 9.19 million cubic feet (tmcft) and till July 31, the state is to get 24 tmcft.

As per a statement issued by the chief minister's office, the Cauvery water regulation authority will meet online on June 17 and discuss the finer points to be presented in the Cauvery Water Management authority's meet on June 22.

Both the meetings will be held online and with the onset of South West Monsoon, the meetings are necessary and important as Cauvery water sharing has been a major issue in South India.
 

ians

Wed, 16 Jun 2021 12:20:36 +0530
Tensions rise in South China Sea Rajnath calls for negotiations

 

New Delhi, June 16

 Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday said that the Code of Conduct negotiations will lead to positive outcomes in the South China Sea as tension escalated in the waters, causing concern all the nations in the region and beyond.

The minister asserted that India supports freedom of navigation, over flight, and unimpeded commerce in these international waterways.

Singh was referring to escalating territorial tensions in the South China Sea in recent weeks. China lays claim to nearly all of the South China Sea while other countries also claim parts of the region leading to territorial disputes in the region.

China's sweeping claims of sovereignty over the sea have antagonized competing claimants Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

Earlier this month, Malaysia scrambled jets to intercept Chinese aircraft it accused of breaching its airspace.

The persistent presence of Chinese vessels in its economic zone, Philippines has protested. Seeing threats from China, Vietnam expanded its maritime forces and Indonesia decided to bolster its Navy.

Addressing the 8th meeting of defense ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Singh said India calls for a free, open and inclusive order in the Indo-Pacific, based upon respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of nations, peaceful resolution of disputes through dialogue and adherence to international rules and laws.

The ministers gathered online for a meeting hosted by Brunei, this year's ASEAN chair.

"India has strengthened its cooperative engagements in the Indo-Pacific based on converging visions and values for promotion of peace, stability, and prosperity in the region," the minister said.

Premised upon the centrality of ASEAN, India supports utilization of ASEAN-led mechanisms as important platforms for implementation of our shared vision for the Indo-Pacific, he asserted.

India's engagement with the South East Asian region, of which ASEAN has been a primary component, is based on its 'Act East Policy' announced by Prime Minister Narender Modi in November 2014.

Key elements of this policy are to promote economic cooperation, cultural ties and develop strategic relationships with countries in the Indo-Pacific region through continuous engagement at bilateral, regional and multilateral levels.

"Maritime security challenges are another area of concern to India," the minister said.

The Sea lanes of Communication are critical for peace, stability, prosperity and development of the Indo-Pacific region. In this regard, developments in the South China Sea have attracted attention in the region and beyond, Singh said.

"India supports freedom of navigation, over flight, and unimpeded commerce in these international waterways," he said.

India hopes that the Code of Conduct negotiations will lead to outcomes that are in keeping with international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and do not prejudice the legitimate rights and interests of nations that are not party to these discussions.

The minister also spoke about terrorism and cyber threats during his address to his counterparts.

Talking about terrorism, Singh said terrorism and radicalization are the gravest threats to peace and security that the world is facing today.

India shares global concerns about terrorism and believes that, in an era when networking amongst terrorists is reaching alarming proportions, only through collective cooperation can the terror organizations and their networks be fully disrupted, the perpetrators identified and held accountable, and strong measures be undertaken against those who encourage, support and finance terrorism and provide sanctuary to terrorists.

"As a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), India remains committed to combat financing of terrorism,a the minister said.

Cyber threats loom large as demonstrated by incidents of ransomware, Wannacry attacks and crypto currency thefts and are a cause of concern.

A multi-stakeholder approach, guided by democratic values, with a governance structure that is open and inclusive and a secure, open and stable internet with due respect to sovereignty of countries, would drive the future of cyberspace.

He also said that India shares a deep connect with ASEAN and has continued its active engagement in many areas contributing to regional peace and stability, particularly through ASEAN led mechanisms.
 

ians

Wed, 16 Jun 2021 12:08:35 +0530
2 kids among 9 killed in a truck car collision in Gujarat

Gandhinagar, June 16

In a tragic incident in Gujarat's Anand district, a car collided head on with a truck on Wednesday morning, killing nine members of a family, including 2 kids.

"The accident took place on the state highway connecting Tarapur in Anand district to Vataman in Ahmedabad district at around 5 a.m. in the morning. Total nine persons including five men, two women and two children around 4-5 years of age were killed. All the deceased were taken to the Tarapur Referral hospital and the police is carrying out the identification process," said an official of the Tarapur police station.

The Tarapur police has registered a case and is investigating the matter.

Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani has offered condolences to the victims and assured appropriate compensation for the kin.

The EECO vehicle containing eight passengers was going from Surat to Bhavnagar, while an oncoming speeding truck driving on the wrong side smashed it near Duravat factory, Indranaj village in Gujarat's Anand district on Wednesday morning, the police said.

"The entire Ajmeri family is from Bhavnagar and were returning from Surat," said one of the relatives of the family who rushed to the spot.

As soon as the accident happened, the local police and the 108 emergency services ambulance reached the spot.

The official informed that both the driver and the cleaner of the truck fled from the spot after the accident.

According to the police, the truck is having registration of neighbouring state, Madhya Pradesh.

Chief minister Vijay Rupani had a telephonic conversation with the Anand district officials and instructed them for appropriate action.
 

ians

Wed, 16 Jun 2021 12:00:39 +0530
No poverty zero hunger gender equality Key priorities for urban Indians

New Delhi, June 16

 Poverty alleviation, achieving zero hunger and gender equality are the major priorities among the 'Sustainable Development Goals' (SDG) for urban Indians, according to a World Economic Forum-Ipsos survey.

The survey also found that good health and wellbeing is among the top priorities for urban Indians, said an Ipsos statement.

Further the top three SDG priorities of global citizens for 2021 were, zero hunger, no poverty and good health and well-being.

Amit Adarkar, CEO, Ipsos India noted that the pandemic and lockdowns have largely impacted livelihoods and the top three goals only support tiding over the rough patch of ensuring that people are fed, financially supported and the healthcare system is stepped up to provide treatment and vaccination.

Government has also geared its focus on these three areas, until the virus is contained, he added.

"Though for a country like India where majority are steeped in poverty, these are long term goals. Gender Equality too has been identified a key area of focus by netizens. With work from home, job losses, kids at home, health issues etc there is more pressure on women post pandemic. So, gender equality has become more salient in India," he said .

"A comparison with similar ranking done in 2019 shows that long term impact SDG goals such as sustainable consumption, sustainable economic growth and sustainable use of natural resources have been over-shadowed by immediate sustenance related goals such as zero hunger and health & wellbeing, clearly as a result of the pandemic playing on people's mind."
 

ians

Wed, 16 Jun 2021 11:55:22 +0530
Race for Kerala Police chief turns murky

Thiruvananthapuram, June 16

 With just two weeks left for a new Kerala Police chief to take over and the name yet to be decided, things appeared to have turned murky after a complaint against one of the front runners to the coveted post proved to be fake.

Incumbent state police chief (SPC) Loknath Behera is to superannuate on June 30 and before that his successor has to be named. This has to be done by the Pinarayi Vijayan government from a three-member list which has to come from the UPSC.

According to sources, ranked first in the list is Arun Kumar Sinha, presently heading the SPG in Delhi. Other names doing the rounds are of Tomin J. Thachenkery, who is posted in the Kerala State Human Rights Commission and then Sudheesh Kumar, the head of the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau, here.

Sinha is most unlikely to return to Kerala and hence Thachenkery, who is regarded as the close confidant of Vijayan, was all set to get the post, but then a complaint against him by a Kochi resident to the UPSC has set the cat among the pigeons.

However, a probe by the authorities has found the complaint to be fake and the complainant is understood to have died five years ago.

Irked by this, Thachenkery has now approached the higher ups to probe the false complaint and urged them to take appropriate action as he feels that 'this was the handiwork of his detractors in the force, who are against him and are trying everything to prevent him from occupying the prized post'.

A source in the know of things said that as per the present set of rules, the state government sends a list of names according to the seniority to the Centre, who first makes a screening on the track record of each person and then sends back the list to the state. The state government then can choose anyone from that list.

According to the rules only those who have a minimum of two years service left can be appointed and here too Thachenkery qualifies and hence Vijayan, who will be the final decision maker, is certain to go for him as their close relationship began since the mid nineties, sources said.

 

ians

Wed, 16 Jun 2021 11:46:00 +0530
Farmer commits suicide at protest site in Haryana

Chandigarh, June 16

 Perturbed over the fate of the agitation of farmers against three contentious farm laws, a 55-year-old marginal farmer on Wednesday allegedly committed suicide by consuming poisonous substance at a protest site in Jind district of Haryana.

The victim, Zile Singh, had been actively involved in serving food to farmers at the protest site on the Khatkar toll plaza for several months.

He is survived by his wife and three children.

Farmers at the protest site told the police that Zile Singh was under depression for the past few days over the fate of the agitation.

District BKU leader Azad Singh said Zile Singh was alone at the protest site when he committed the suicide at night.

In the morning when farmers arrived at the protest site they found him lying on the bed in an unconscious condition. A bottle of poison was recovered from there, he added.
 

ians

Wed, 16 Jun 2021 11:38:08 +0530
Messi Vargas on target in Argentina Chile stalemate

Rio de Janeiro, June 15  

Eduardo Vargas extended his impressive Copa America scoring run with a second-half header that earned Chile a 1-1 draw with Argentina.

Lionel Messi gave Argentina the lead at Rio de Janeiro's Olympic Stadium on Monday by curling a free-kick over the wall and into the top right corner just after the half-hour mark.

Argentina threatened to score again, laying siege to Claudio Bravo's goal, but the two-time world champions were unable to capitalise on their superiority, reports Xinhua.

Vargas made them pay when he nodded home in the 57th minute, reacting fastest after Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez kept out Arturo Vidal's spot-kick.

The Atletico Mineiro forward has now scored 13 Copa America goals and sits joint sixth on the tournament's list of all-time highest scorers.

"We lacked tranquility," Messi said after the match.

"The (state of the) pitch did not help. We were unable to control possession and play faster, which they did. I did not see the penalty but it changed the game.

"I think that the (result) gives them more peace of mind than us. They started to pass the ball around and to keep it off us and the game became difficult. We wanted to start with a win but we came up against a very tough opponent."

Argentina's next match will be against Uruguay in Brasilia on Friday while Chile faces Bolivia in Cuiaba on the same day.

ians
 

Tue, 15 Jun 2021 20:05:49 +0530
Subhrak the faithful horse who killed Qu ub ud D n Aibak

 

Anupama Nair

www.mediaeyenews.com

The topic I am going to write about will shock most of you, especially those who are proud of Bharat and Bharat Maa and her great history, culture and for those whom she is the mother too. As it is said “Janani Janmabhumishcha Swargadapi Gariyasi” which means “mother and motherland are superior even to heaven” in Dev Bhasha Sanskrit, from our great epic Ramayana. I believe in this motto and think my mother and Bharat maa are superior to heaven.

Now put you thinking cap and think have you heard about a loyal horse Subhrak. Ninety percent would say no. He was also loyal like Chetak of Maharana Pratap and Badal of Rani Lakshmibai. What do our history books teach us about Quṭub-ud-Dīn Aibak, he fell from his pet horse, while playing polo. After Independence, due to the fact that our history is written by Left-oriented historians, they never forgot to glorify our invaders from Ghori to Aurangazeb. What is more shocking is, station where you alight to visit the Nalanda University is named as Bhaktiyarpur after the fiend Bhaktiyar Khilji, who burned the world-famous University, and our capital Delhi has streets named after all these invaders. What have we become?

Like the great and loyal sons and daughters of Bharat Maa, even our animals like horses are faithful and willing to sacrifice their lives for their masters. Subhrak was the horse of the hero of this story. I am confident our books have never mentioned him as I have never heard any mention of him – Kuar Karan Singh, the great Prince of Mewar. Subhrak saved his master’s life and took him to Mewar and sacrificed his life instead!

Now let us talk about Quṭub-ud-Dīn Aibak who was the founder of the Mamluk dynasty and the first sultan of the Delhi Sultanate. He was born in Turkistan and was a slave. When his master died, he was sold by his master’s son to Muhammad of Ghor, who made him the Amir-i-Akhur (Master of Slaves). Over the years, he joined Ghori’s military and rose to become the general of Muhammad of Ghor.

Samar Singh Deva was the Rawal of Chittorgarh. He had two wives. His first wife was Prithabai who was the sister of one of Bharat Maa’s greatest sons -- Prithviraj Chauhan. His other wife was Kurma Devi, the daughter of Nayaki Devi. Prithviraj Chauhan fought Muhammad Ghori, and was martyred, but killed Ghori too. But do you know that Nayaki Devi had defeated Muhammad Ghori fourteen years before Prithviraj Chauhan had even first fought Ghori? Nayaki Devi was a Solanki (Gujarat) Queen, and was from Gomantak (Goa). Nayaki Devi’s daughter Kurma Devi defeated Qutub ud-Din Aibak. Bharat Maa has given birth to many great daughters and, Nayaki Devi and her daughter were one of them. There is falsehood women were not treated well in Bharat, it  may be true in the modern world, but in the ancient period, women were equal to men and treated well. Women were well versed in archery and known for their bravery. Think about the great daughters of this land. I had written a series of articles about great queens of India. We were anything but regressive!

Unfortunately, Samar Singh and his eldest son were killed in the Second  Battle Of Tarain (1191-92 AD) that was fought between Prithviraj Chauhan and Muhammad Ghori. After the war Ghori returned to Multan and left Qutub-ud-din in charge of Delhi. Kurma Devi had to look after her young son Karan Singh. After a couple of years, Kurma Devi led her army with nine other kings and eleven Rawats, in her march towards Delhi to seek revenge against the man who had killed her husband, and kill him -- Qutub-ud-Din Aibak.

Kurma Devi and her army encountered Qutub-ud-Din Aibak and his army near the old Amber Fort. She herself confronted Aibak and challenged him in a duel. What a brave woman to challenge a sultan! In the duel, this brave queen managed to bury her sword deep into Qutub-ud-Din’s flesh, and he was so severely wounded that he tumbled from his horse. Aibak’s army believed he was dead, and the cowards that they were, instead of fighting back they fled from the battlefield. Kurma Devi thought that she had avenged the death of her dead husband with the death of Qutub-ud-din and she returned to Chittorgarh.

But unfortunately, Aibak was not dead. He recovered and decided to take vengeance. He declared himself the Sultan of Bharat. He destroyed the temple of Vishnu, which also had Vishnu Dhwaj. (later named as Qutub Minar in Delhi.) He attacked Mewar and captured Karan Singh. He looted all the wealth of Mewar and also took Karan Singh as captive and his loyal horse Shubhrak. When they reached Lahore, Karan Singh tried to escape but unfortunately, he was caught. In anger, Qutub-ud-din ordered to behead Karan Singh. He declared that he would play a polo match with the dead king’s head. The next day, Qutub-ud-din arrived at the venue, riding on Shubhrak. But as they say you pay for your evil deeds and now that is what happened.

As I said before animals of Bharat are very intelligent and loyal to their masters, whether it is our horses, elephants or cows. Shubhrak, immediately recognized his master Karan Singh and started crying. When he saw that his master was released from his chains so that he could be beheaded, Shubhrak suddenly became uncontrollable and threw Qutub-ud-din on the ground. Next, Shubhrak stomped on Aibak’s chest and head with his mighty hooves continuously. Hit by such powerful hooves, Qutub-ud-din died on the spot. But this was not it. Before the army could capture it, Shubhrak ran towards his master Karan Singh and saved his life. Karan Singh mounted the horse and escaped and Shubhrak ran for several days and nights till it reached the palace of Udaipur. There, Karan Singh got down, and patted his beloved horse … but after acknowledging the pat from its master, Shubhrak fell to the ground and died.

When I think of such valiant souls, I  bow my head with reverence to those who had protected Bharat Maa and our Dharma from avaricious hordes of invaders. Now think about what you were taught in history books and what was the reality? Isn’t it the time we rewrite our history books and invaders shown in their true colors and our cities and streets named as they were before these invaders whose only intention was to loot the “sone ki chidiya” and not work for the benefit of the country? Hope the time comes soon! I for sure would like to see that in my life time. Vande Mataram!

Tue, 15 Jun 2021 19:53:22 +0530
Regeneron s antibody cocktail made dramatic difference Sangita Reddy

Hyderabad, June 15

 Apollo Hospitals Group Joint Managing Director, Dr Sangita Reddy has said that she received Regeneron's monoclonal antibody cocktail and this made a "dramatic difference".

She revealed that she tested positive for Covid-19 on June 10 and was hospitalised with high fever. Sangita Reddy said she took the antibody therapy within the early window period.

"After 500 days of dodging Covid-19, I tested +VE on June10th My initial reaction was of shock & dismay - Why me? I was careful & vaccinated Hospitalized with high fever I took the cocktail Regeneron therapy within the early window period & it has made a dramatic difference," she tweeted.

Sangita Reddy, who is also a former President of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), wrote on the micro blogging platform that while vaccines don't prevent Covid, they help keep symptoms mild.

According to her, timely diagnosis and treatment are key to quick recovery. On her discharge from hospital, she conveyed her heartfelt gratitude to nurses, doctors and entire scientific community.

She said that she will remain under self-isolation under medical supervision through telemedicine.

"Feeling fine. Thank you all for your good wishes. Prayers. Jokes. Words of encouragement. Truly appreciate it The human race is indeed a single tribe. Our bonding makes us stronger take care n stay well," Sangita Reddy tweeted again responding to messages by her well wishers.
 

ians

Tue, 15 Jun 2021 19:08:29 +0530
Marathi actor nabbed for vile posts against Maha minister

Thane (Maharashtra), June 15

 A small-time Marathi actor has been arrested in Thane for allegedly posting objectionable posts on the Facebook page of Maharashtra Urban Development Minister Eknath Shinde, officials said on Tuesday.

The accused, identified as Mayuresh Kotkar, who has acted in some Marathi serials and films, was nabbed following a complaint lodged by Shiv Sena corporator Yogesh Jankar.

Jankar, in his complaint last Friday, said that Kotkar posted allegedly defamatory and inciteful content on the Facebook page of the minister which could have triggered violence between communities.

Following the plea, the Shreenagar police station investigated the matter and nabbed Kotkar. He was produced before a Thane court which sent him to judicial custody.

The ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi has been criticised over Kotkar's arrest by several prominent personalities on social media.

The posts pertained to the proposal for the naming of the upcoming Navi Mumbai International Airport after the Shiv Sena founder-patriarch, Balasaheb Thackeray, who passed away in 2012.

Local villagers, comprising the Agri community, are strongly opposed to the proposal and have demanded that the airport should be named after a prominent local leader, Peasants & Workers Party (PWP) senior functionary and parliamentarian, Dinkar B. Patil, who had passed away in 2012.

Last week, the villagers protested by forming a 12-km-long human chain and have now threatened to lay a siege of the Konkan Bhavan on June 24 if their demand is not conceded.

Kotkar had joined the Agri protests and had also made several posts on social media networks, but after the Sena complaint, police deleted some of the objectionable content.
 

 

ians

Tue, 15 Jun 2021 19:02:29 +0530
Shopping malls eateries to open in UP from June 21

Lucknow, June 15

With Covid cases declining steadily in Uttar Pradesh in the recent weeks, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has decided to further ease restrictions from June 21.

According to a government spokesman, shopping malls and restaurants will be allowed to open from June 21 with 50 per cent capacity and strict adherence to Covid protocols.

Parks will also be open from June 21 while street vendors will be allowed to do business as usual. However, a Covid helpdesk will be set up at all these places.

Adityanath also said that the night curfew hours will be reduced from June 21 onwards, from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m.
 

ians

Tue, 15 Jun 2021 18:53:42 +0530
Bihar clocks anomalies in Covid test reports

Patna, June 15

 Falsification of Covid-19 tests have emerged in Bihar with 1,131 such persons found having irregularity in their registered mobile numbers entered by the data operators.

A maximum of 595 such distorted Covid reports have appeared in Patna.

Patna Civil Surgeon, Vibha Kumari, has terminated three data operators for their negligence.

Such an irregularity was found during the first wave of Covid-19 pandemic as well when large numbers of test reports were found having '0000000000' entered as mobile numbers.

Kumari has confirmed the development as action has been taken at the ministerial level.

Sources have said the alleged data operators were forced to add '0000000000' as mobile numbers on the reports of Covid tests of several people.

The departmental enquiry further revealed that the operators have maintained registered mobile numbers of Covid patients in the register but they did not fill the same data on the computer.

Such an irregularity was investigated by a senior Health official of the sub-division hospital. The alleged operators have been identified as Megha Kumari, Vivek Kumar and Manish Kumar, all of whom are contractual employees working under different outsourcing companies.

The health ministry has issued strong advisory for other data operators to work efficiently and avoid callous attitude at workplace.

Besides, the ministry has also threatened to cancel the contract of the company if irregularities were detected in future.
 

ians

Tue, 15 Jun 2021 18:47:22 +0530
Ousted as LJP chief Chirag convenes parallel executive to expel 5 rebel MPs

New Delhi, June 15

Hours after Chirag Paswan, son of late Union Minister and party founder Ram Vilas Paswan, was removed as LJP President in an emergency meeting on Tuesday by the five rebel MPs, he held a parallel executive committee meeting virtually where it was decided to expel the five MPs for anti-party activities.

Earlier in the day, Chirag Paswan was removed from the post of LJP President in an emergency meeting, party sources said.

The principle of "One Man, One Post" was invoked by the rebels, led by his uncle Pashupati Kumar Paras, to remove him from the post, the sources said.

The removal of Chirag Paswan from the top party post came a day after five of six party MPs -- Paras, Chandan Singh, Chaudhury Mehboob Ali Kaiser, Beena Devi, and Prince Raj -- undertook a coup and removed him as the LJP leader in the Lok Sabha.

Sources said that Suraj Bhan will function as working President until a new President is elected in a national executive meeting, which is expected soon in the coming days.

The parallel executive, chaired by Chirag Paswan, passed a resolution expelling the five MPs.

"The National Executive Committee has unanimously decided to remove Pashupati Kumar Paras, Beena Devi, Chandan Singh, Chaudhary Mehboob Ali Kaiser and Prince Raj from the primary membership of LJP with immediate effect," said the resolution, according to a release by LJP General Secretary Abdul Khaliq said.

"The National Oresident of LJP Chirag Paswan is authorised to take all decisions in the coming assembly elections on behalf of the party,"it said.

Earlier in the day, Chirag Paswan likened the party to a mother who should not be "betrayed".

In an emotional tweet in Hindi, he said, "I made efforts to keep the party founded by my father Ram Vilas Paswan and my family together but failed. People are above all else in a democracy. I thank those who had faith in the party."

Paswan also shared a six page letter he had written to Paras, the youngest brother of his father, on March 29 in which he had highlighted his uncle's unhappiness over a number of issues, including his elevation as the party President.

He also discussed how Paras did not attend the party functions despite being invited and was not available for any suggestions.

The LJP was founded by Chirag Paswan's father Ram Vilas Paswan, who passed away in October last year.

Chirag Paswan had taken over the reins of the party after the demise of his father ahead of the Bihar Assembly elections last year.

Following the high drama on Monday, Chirag Paswan drove to his uncle's house for talks, but had stayed in his car and even Paras did not come out to greet him either. Chirag Paswan drove out an hour later without having met him.

Chirag Paswan had decided to contest the Bihar elections outside the NDA and had led an aggressive campaign, questioning Nitish Kumar's governance model in the state. His decision saw the ruling Janata Dal-United in Bihar receiving a massive blow as it lost on several seats due to the triangular contests.
 

ians

Tue, 15 Jun 2021 18:40:22 +0530
Elon Musk elaborates on Tesla s new electric motor

 

San Francisco, June 15

Elon Musk has elaborated on details of Tesla's new electric motor -- the Plaid carbon-wrapped motor -- and even teased an even crazier higher RPM version coming to the new Roadster.

The CEO mentioned a brand-new battery pack without going into new details.

However, he did unveil Tesla's new Plaid carbon-wrapped motor and discussed a few details about the new technology, which allows for smaller, more powerful and efficient motors.

During the presentation, Musk briefly touched on the fact that this new motor is only possible thanks to a new machine that Tesla developed to be able to build it.

In a new series of tweets yesterday, the CEO elaborated on that machine:

"Fiber is wound over rotor at high tension load. Machine to do this was made by Tesla Automation. Carbon sleeve must put copper rotor in compression or it loosens at low temp due to differential thermal expansion. Preload is also helpful for maintaining precise gap to stator," the Tesla CEO said.

Musk also expanded on the advantages of the new motor over its predecessors.

"Main advantage of this is a much stronger EM field compared with a rotor that is held together by metal (usually high strength steel). Other advantage is that rotor can go to higher RPM, as carbon sleeve (mostly) stops copper rotor from expanding due to radial acceleration," Musk said.

In short, the new carbon-wrapped rotor enables Tesla to push its new motors to a higher level of performance.

Again in the same series of tweets, Musk claimed that Tesla's new motor is "arguably the most advanced motor on Earth," but he teased that the automaker is working on something even more powerful for the new Roadster.

"The Plaid carbon-wrapped motor is arguably the most advanced motor on Earth outside of maybe a lab somewhere. We have to keep some secrets! We have a few ideas for increasing torque and max rpm even further for new Roadster. Definitely fun & exciting engineering ahead!"

Previously, Musk had discussed Tesla using the same tri-motor powertrain found in the new Model S for the new Roadster, which could achieve greater performance based on the smaller form factor alone, but now it looks like Tesla could be improving the powertrain technology, too.

The CEO has recently said that the engineering of the new Tesla Roadster will be completed this year to enter production in 2022.

Tesla is supposed to have new engineering prototypes of the new electric hypercar this summer.

ians

Tue, 15 Jun 2021 18:29:47 +0530
https mediaeyenews com media detailmedia preview 67502

Mumbai, June 15 

The Akshay Kumar-starrer spy thriller "Bell Bottom" has now been scheduled for a theatrical release on July 27.

Akshay posted a video on Instagram on Tuesday to announce the news.

The film was earlier scheduled for an April 2021 release but was pushed due to the second wave of Covid-19 in the country.

"I know you have patiently waited for the release of #Bellbottom. Couldn't be happier to finally announce the release of our film. Arriving on the big screens worldwide #BellBottomOn27July," Akshay captioned the video.

Directed by Ranjit M. Tewari, "Bell Bottom" stars Akshay alongside Vaani Kapoor, Huma Qureshi and Lara Dutta.

ians
 

Tue, 15 Jun 2021 18:19:50 +0530
VOC Port the gateway for windmill component exports

 

Chennai, June 15

A sizable volume of windmill components like blades, frames have been shipped out through V.O. Chidambaranar (VOC) Port or popularly known as Tuticorin Port.

During the current fiscal 423 windmill blades and frames were handled while the number for the last fiscal was 4,462 windmill blades and towers, VOC Port said.

According to T.K.Ramachandran, Chairman of the port, the size of windmill rotor blades are getting longer off late and congratulated the exporters and others for their patronage to make the port a gateway for export of windmill blades and towers.

Recently VOC Port handled a single export consignment of 24 windmill blades of length 77.50 metres, the longest of its kind handled through the port.

Similarly, the Port had handled 84 windmill blades of length 74.90 metres in a single consignment. It was shipped by Vestas.

ians
 

Tue, 15 Jun 2021 18:09:37 +0530
California braces for this yr s 1st major heatwave

 

Los Angeles, June 15

California is bracing for its first major heatwave of the year this week and the extreme drought conditions could cause more wildfires, authorities have warned.

High pressure building over the Southwest would increase temperatures and it get even hotter as the week goes on, Xinhua news agency quoted the National Weather Service (NWS) as saying on Monday.

Temperatures could reach as high as 44.4 degrees Celsius in Antelope Valley in northern Los Angeles County this week.

"Tuesday through Thursday should be the hottest, when highs between 37-41 degrees and minimum humidities between 5 and 15 per cent will be common over most mountains and lower mountains," the NWS tweeted.

Temperatures would soar in the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys in northern California by Thursday, the NWS Sacramento said.

Highs were supposed to range from 37.8 degrees Celsius to 45 degrees in the mountain area near the capital city of the state.

The heatwave would worsen the extreme drought hitting several areas in the Golden State.

Last week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warned of "extreme and exceptional drought" conditions in northern and central California, as well as along the central California coast.

Moreover, the heat wave and drought conditions could lead to more wildfires as hundreds of acres continued to burn across California on Monday.

There are currently four active wildfires of interest in the state, including the Beale Fire, the Goose Fire, the Flats Fire and the Farm Fire, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

As of Monday, Cal Fire reported that 17,273 acres had been scorched in 3,151 incidents so far this year.

Red flag warnings would be in effect Monday evening through Wednesday morning along the south Santa Barbara County coast and critical fire weather conditions were also expected in southeastern California.

ians
 

Tue, 15 Jun 2021 17:57:43 +0530
Antilia SUV case NIA nabs two suburban residents

 

Mumbai, June 15

The National Investigation Agency has arrested two more persons in connection with the probe into the sensational cause of an SUV planted with gelatin sticks near the Antilia building and the murder of its owner, officials said here on Tuesday.

The duo has been identified as Santosh Atmaram Shelar and Anand Pandurang Jadhav, both residents of the Kurar village, a slum pocket in Malad east suburb.

Arrested four days ago, they were produced before a Special NIA Court and remanded to the agency's custody till June 21.

Though the extent of their involvement and their exact role is being ascertained in the two cases, both Jadhav and Shelar are suspected to be part of the overall conspiracy of the cases which sparked off a massive row in Feb this year.

Earlier, the NIA has arrested a total of five persons including ex-police personnel like Sachin Vaze, Riyazuddin Kazi, Sunil Mane, a convicted former cop Vinayak Shinde besides a cricket bookie Naresh Gor, and with two more nabbed, the total number of arrested accused has gone up to 7 now.

The fresh arrests came shortly after the Special NIA Court granted a two-month extension to the agency to file its chargesheet in the case.

It may be recalled that on Feb. 25, the mystery SUV with 20 gelatin sticks and a threat note to India's premier businessman Mukesh Ambani and his family was found near his Antilia home.

A week later on March 5, the body of the SUV owner and Thane businessman Mansukh Hiran was recovered from the marshes of Thane Creek, as the twin cases triggered a nationwide political furor.

ians

Tue, 15 Jun 2021 17:37:31 +0530
Bringing grandma s remedies to daily life

New Delhi, June 14

 The pandemic has left a lasting impact on lifestyles across the country, including a reconnection with the Ayurvedic way of life. According to Swati Sutaria Vakharia, an entrepreneur who aims to bring back age-old ayurvedic remedies using Grandma's 'nuskha' (tips and tricks) in people's lifestyles, Indian grandparents had plenty of such recipes which worked well for our well-being and healthy upbringing.

With this pandemic, people recollected our roots and the power of ayurveda. It is a 5,000-year-old asset and gift to India that our ancestors have given us, by using herbs and plants in recipes to live healthy with purity. With time we shifted to other chemical based products due to comfortable packaging, accessibility and time. I think the ease of the usage and convenience had a major role in shifting us to low quality products, Swati said explaining the power of natural recipes.

"When we talked to our grandmothers, we heard about this and followed many such "Nuskhe" in our lives to get rid of the issues. Child, spread this 'hing ka lep' around your navel if you have stomach ache, it will get cured in minutes. Apply turmeric with cream on your skin and it will glow. But in the current age, we are unable to get the right quality ingredients," she adds.

In India, there are multiple cultures and religions, and every group has their own home remedies, she notes.

The Ayurveda enthusiast says: Many healing remedies and herbs are present in our kitchen, but we are not aware of the real usage for the same.

"Nuskha is willing to bring those age-old recipes into our lives again by manufacturing them in a lab with effective formulation and ingredients to heal with the power of Ayurveda! We are willing to modernise our ancient way of healing to take them back into our new-age lifestyle," she says.

Nuskha has a range of products, including raw forest honey, ayurvedic and natural oral care kits. They also have a three-drop therapy for belly button oils.

 

ians

Mon, 14 Jun 2021 17:09:56 +0530
Samsung to supply 5G network solutions to Vodafone in UK

Seoul, June 14

 Samsung Electronics said on Monday it will supply its latest 5G network solutions to Vodafone, a London-based telecommunications giant, a move that will expand its presence in Europe.

Under the deal, the South Korean tech giant will provide its commercial virtualized radio access network (vRAN) solutions and open radio network (O-RAN)-compliant 5G radios to Vodafone UK. The value of the deal was not disclosed.

It marks the first major deal whereby Samsung will supply its cloud native vRAN solutions to the European market, reports Yonhap news agency.

"This is a major step forward, as more operators are transitioning into new RAN technologies to prioritize user experience and efficiency," said Paul Kyungwhoon Cheun, head of networks business at Samsung.

Its fully-virtualised RAN is software-based that operates on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) servers that can deliver equivalent performances to traditional hardware-based equipment, according to Samsung. Virtualized RAN and O-RAN are considered key technologies for the next-generation 5G services.

Samsung has been trying to expand its presence in the network equipment market in recent years as industry leader Huawei has been slapped with U.S. sanctions over security reasons.

Samsung has inked 5G equipment contracts in countries like Canada, New Zealand and Japan.
 

ians

Mon, 14 Jun 2021 17:04:05 +0530
Vidya Balan Want to do work that s an extension of my beliefs

 

Mumbai, June 14

 Actress Vidya Balan, who is gearing up for the release of her new film "Sherni", says she wants to do work that is an extension of her belief.

"Honestly, it's not like I plan to do it but I always wanted to do work that meant something to me, I want to do work that is an extension of my beliefs, work that would excite me and fulfil me. Therefore, I went ahead and made the choices that I made," Vidya said.

She added: "I was at the right place at the right time and not only did it work for me but it began to change something for Hindi cinema, but I cannot take the credit for any of that. But yes, it's been an exciting and fulfilling journey so far and I hope it only gets better from here."

Vidya will be essaying the role of an upright forest officer on the lookout for a man-eating tigress.

Sharat Saxena, Mukul Chadha, Vijay Raaz, Ila Arun, Brijendra Kala and Neeraj Kabi essay pivotal roles in "Sherni", directed by the award-winning filmmaker Amit Masurkar.
 

ians

Mon, 14 Jun 2021 16:59:27 +0530
Adani Ports denies reports on NSDL freezing accounts of foreign funds

New Delhi, June 14

 Adani Ports has clarified that media reports on freezing of accounts of foreign funds is done to "deliberately mislead the investing community".

In a stock exchange filing, Adani Ports was clarifying on reports that NSDL has frozen the accounts of 3 foreign funds- Albula Investment Fund, Cresta Fund and APMS Investment Fund holding shares in Adani Group Companies.

"We regret to mention that these reports are blatantly erroneous and is done to deliberately mislead the investing community. This is causing irreparable loss of economic value to the investors at large and reputation of the group," Adani Ports said.

"Given the seriousness of the article and its consequential adverse impact on minority investors, we requested Registrar and Transfer Agent, with respect to the status of the Demat Account of the aforesaid funds and have their written confirmation vide its e-mail dated 14th June, 2021, clarifying that the Demat Account in which the aforesaid funds hold the shares of the Company are not frozen," the company said.

Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy has sought an investigation for money laundering. He said in a tweet, "I have seen evidence of the violations by the Trapese Artist Adani of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, a matter for the Enforcement Directorate to prosecute. But PM Modi must get a background check of ED top officials before ED prosecution is launched to avoid sabotage."
 

ians

Mon, 14 Jun 2021 16:53:58 +0530
B desh actress sues businessman 5 others over attempted rape murder

Dhaka, June 14

 Top Bangladeshi film star Pori Moni has filed a case against businessman Nasiruddin Mahmud and five other individuals alleging that they attempted to rape and murder her.

Shamsunnahar Smrity, popularly known as Pori Moni, is one of the top Bangladeshi film stars, and was recently included in the Forbes list of 'Asia-Pacific's Most Influential Celebrities' on Social Media.

The case was filed on Sunday night at the Savar police station located in the outskirts of Dhaka under the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act and Penal Code 307, Additional Superintendent of Police, Abdullah Hil Kafi said.

Addressing a press conference before filing the case, the actress alleged that Mahmud had assaulted and threatened to murder her at the Uttara Boat Club on the night of June 9, adding that she was rescued by the staff at the facility.

She added that at one point, the businessman forced her to drink by putting the neck of a bottle into her mouth, beat her up and tried to rape her at the same time.

Pori Moni also claimed that she tried to file a case in the Banani police station shortly after the incident but it was denied, adding that no one had helped her.

"I can't commit suicide, if you get any news of my death, for sure, I'll be killed by these guys, anytime, as I'm threatened by Nasiruddin," she said.

In a Facebook post addressing Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, she said: "I was about two and a half years old when my mother died. Today, I need a mother. Please save me.

"I have asked for help from so many people. They always listen and say that they'll 'look into it'. But no one has helped me yet, I haven't found justice in the last three or four days. I feel helpless right now."

An official from the Savar police station, Kazi Mainul Islam said several teams of the law enforcement agencies are trying to nab the culprits.

 

ians

Mon, 14 Jun 2021 16:45:43 +0530
Pak SC stops demolition of Hindu dharamshala

Islamabad, June 14

 The Pakistan Supreme Court has barred the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) from demolishing a Hindu dharamshala in Karachi and leasing it out to an individual.


A three-judge bench issued the order in the case related to the implementation of a 2014 judgment on minorities rights.

Ramesh Kumar, the co-opt member of the one-man commission on minorities, upraised the court that the property, located in the heart of Saddar town in Karachi city and measuring about 716 square yards, was a dharamshala.

Kumar also submitted photographs of the building and told the Supreme Court that the ETPB had leased the property to the individual for the demolition and allowed construction of a commercial plaza.

The Supreme Court's order in the case, maintained: "The very photograph apparently shows that the building is of a dharamshala constructed in the year 1932, which can be read from the marble slab affixed on the building and must be protected heritage building."

The court issued a notice to the Sindh provincial secretary heritage, asking for a report on the building and barred authorities from demolishing it.

"In the meantime, no demolition activity of the said building shall be conducted by anyone and possession of the building and the land shall be taken over by the Commissioner Karachi, who shall manage the same and not allow any person to enter upon it," the order added.

The court noted that the one-man commission has also requested for allocation of more funds for clearance of outstanding liabilities and also for allocation of budget for the year.

"In the meantime, the amount of 14.994 million PKR be disbursed to the commission. For allocation of a new budget, let a proper response be filed by the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony."

ians

Mon, 14 Jun 2021 16:37:14 +0530
Mass vaccination site in Tokyo to offer jabs to police

Tokyo, June 14

 The Japan government on Monday announced that mass Covid-19 vaccination site in Tokyo will offer jabs to the police, fire fighters, Coast Guard officials, in addition to the elderly in a bid to speed up the country's inoculation drive.

"We are targeting officials in charge of crisis management such as disaster response as a temporary measure to effectively utilise inoculation capacity," a Defence Ministry official was quoted by local media as saying.

At large, at state-run vaccination sites in Tokyo and Osaka, numerous slots have been left open by elderly people eligible to be vaccinated and people who have made reservations yet not turning up, Xinhua news agency reported citing local media reports as saying.

In a bid to not waste the slots, the government will from Monday in Tokyo open up the slots to Self-Defense Forces (SDF) personnel, members of the National Police Agency, Fire and Disaster Management Agency and the Japan Coast Guard.

The Tokyo centre is capable of administering 10,000 jabs per day, while its equivalent in Osaka can give out 5,000 shots.

The mass vaccination sites will also start allowing vaccination reservations from people aged under 65 with pre-existing health conditions if the take-up at the large venues remains slow, top government spokesperson Katsunobu Kato said on Monday.

Local reports said that over 60 per cent of the slots at the mass vaccination centres run by the SDF remain vacant for two weeks through June 27.

Meanwhile, companies and universities are also gearing up to pitch in.

The government, under heavy criticism for being the slowest among a number of advanced economies to rollout its vaccination drive, said that it has so far received applications for more than 9 million people to be vaccinated at 1,821 companies or universities.

Kato has said the new inoculation campaign is aimed at speeding up the country's vaccination rollout and help reduce the burden on local municipalities.

He said that the workplaces and universities will be in charge of deciding who gets vaccinated, although recommended that the elderly and those with underlying health conditions be given priority.

The companies and universities will also be in charge of sourcing their own medical personnel to administer the jabs amid the nation's dire lack of qualified medical personnel, he added.
 

ians

Mon, 14 Jun 2021 16:33:04 +0530
Former Telangana minister Eatala Rajender joins BJP

Hyderabad/Delhi, June 14

Former Telangana minister Eatala Rajender on Monday joined opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

He along with his followers joined the party in New Delhi in the presence of central minister Dharmendra Pradhan, BJP's incharge for Telangana Tarun Chug, union minister of state G. Kishan Reddy, BJP national vice president D.K. Aruna and state BJP chief Bandi Sanjay.

Along with Rajender, former MP Ramesh Rathod, former MLA Ravinder Reddy, former Zilla Parishad chairperson of Karimnagar district T. Uma, TSRTC employees' union leader Ashwathama Reddy and some leaders of Osmania University Student's Joint Action Committee (JAC) also joined the BJP.

Pradhan welcomed Rajender into the party by offering him membership and party 'kandva'. Speaking on the occasion, the central minister said, Rajender has a special place in Telangana politics.

Pradhan said whenever elections are held in Telangana, BJP is sure to form the government. He said after Karnataka, Telangana would become the second state in the South to have BJP government.

Rajender said he and his followers would try to live up to the expectations of the BJP leadership by strengthening the party in the state. He predicted that many more leaders from all districts in the state would join the BJP in coming days.

Bandi Sanjay recalled that Rajender played a key role in Telangana movement. He said the former minister has come from Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) which is run in an autocratic style.

The BJP state chief claimed that only BJP can defeat the TRS. He said BJP has become a platform of leaders who participated in the Telangana movement.

Rajender was dropped from Telangana Cabinet by Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhara Rao early last month following allegations that he encroached lands of farmers in Medak district for a poultry unit run by his family. He was handling the health portfolio.

The TRS government also ordered two more inquiries against Rajender and his followers for allegedly encroaching endowment lands in Medchal Malkajgiri district.

Rajender later ended his nearly two decade old association with the TRS and last week also resigned from the State Assembly.

He was one of the founding members of TRS floated by Chandrasekhar Rao in 2001 to revive the movement for statehood to Telangana.

Rajender, a four-time MLA, had led TRS in the Assembly of undivided Andhra Pradesh.

He served as finance minister in the first TRS government (2014-2018). After TRS retained the power in 2018, Rajender was made health minister.

His resignation from Huzurabad Assembly constituency will lead to a by-election and he plans to contest as BJP candidate this time.

Rajender has been representing Huzurabad constituency since 2009.
 

ians

Mon, 14 Jun 2021 16:26:52 +0530
Algal bloom in Ganga treated with German chemical

Varanasi, June 14 -  A German chemical has been arranged with the help of the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and a drive has been launched to clean the Ganga water from algae.

The drive aims to clean the algal bloom in the river water, especially at the Ghats, where people throng for bathing on auspicious occasions.

According to the District Magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma, "We had forwarded a request to the NMCG New Delhi on Saturday to find a solution against the algal bloom in river Ganga in Varanasi.

Taking a serious note of it, the NMCG sent a consignment of 15 litre of German chemical, which can be mixed in 1,000 litre of water for treatment of algae in several square kilometre area."

With the arrival of this chemical, he said, experimental treatment of algae was done at Assi and Dashaswamedh ghats on Sunday.

"After the confirmation of its effectiveness and also that it was harmless for aquatic lives, we decided to use it," he said.

The drive aims to ensure removing algae from river water at the prominent ghats by Ganga Dussehra which falls on June 20.

The algae first appeared in the river around 20 days ago, which made the river waters turn green.

It was initially examined by the officials of the pollution control board.

Later, the District Magistrate constituted a team of officials and asked them to submit their report on the origin of the algae.

This team submitted its report after conducting a survey from Varanasi to Mirzapur for three days. In the survey, it was found that the algae flowed into the Ganga with the STP's treated effluent through Basvariya drain and later grew further in the Ganga.

According to the investigation report, the 4-MLD capacity STP is based on conventional system.

It seems that the algal bloom originated from the STP at Vindhyachal. The flow of water is minimum and the temperature is also conducive for the growth of algae in the river.

Besides, the nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, urea and DAP coming from farming fields through drains significantly helped the algae to grow. The untreated waste waters from Mirzapur and Chunar also contribute to the algal bloom.

The report recommended the modernization of Vindhyachal STP and suggested proper maintenance of all the STPs.

The construction of a new STP in Mirzapur, and maintaining flow in the river was also recommended, Besides, a study on the impact of algae on aquatic life by the experts of Banaras Hindu University was also recommended in the report.
 

ians

Mon, 14 Jun 2021 16:17:34 +0530
Audit Covid deaths probe Goa O2 shortage deaths Bombay HC told

Panaji, June 14

The Goa government needs to conduct an audit of the nearly 3,000 Covid-19 deaths which occurred in the state and also appoint a judicial commission to probe the deaths of nearly 100 patients due to oxygen shortage, the Bombay High Court was informed on Monday.

The demands were made by a group of petitioners who had pointed to various shortcomings in the Goa government's Covid management efforts, and had been directed by the High Court's Goa bench on June 11 to list out issues which required judicial intervention.

"The State Government should set up a committee, comprising of professionals like doctors and statisticians to carry out a complete audit of the COVID-19 deaths in the State of Goa. Underreporting of deaths during the pandemic has been a global phenomenon occurring due to human error under the enormous pressure exerted on the system by the pandemic," the petitioners said.

"Such an audit will not only reveal the exact number of COVID-19 deaths but also serve to help the concerned authorities to save lives during the impending third wave of COVID-19," the petitioners also said.

The petitioners have also urged the Bombay High Court bench to set up an enquiry commission headed by a retired HC judge along with a magistrate, two independent doctors and police officials under the Commission of Inquiry Act, 1952 to probe the deaths which occurred at the Goa Medical College, the apex health facility in the state, due to oxygen shortage.

"Persons admitted in the Government Hospitals have lost their lives only due inadequate supply of oxygen. Some of these victims were the sole bread-winners of the family, some children have lost both their parents, etc. These victims need to be identified and their dependents/kin have to be adequately compensated depending upon their situation," the petitioners said.

"The Commission should not only trace the victims and the dependents but also determine the quantum of compensation to be individually paid to the dependants. The Commission be also tasked with identifying government officials, if any, who have acted in a negligent manner which has resulted in inadequate supply of oxygen," the petitioners further said.

Nearly 100 persons have reportedly died at the top hospital when the pandemic was at its peak in Goa last month. While the Health Minister Vishwajit Rane has claimed that the deaths have occurred due to oxygen shortage, the state administration has said that the 100 odd deaths could not be linked to lack of oxygen supply to the patients.
 

ians

Mon, 14 Jun 2021 16:09:08 +0530
Delhi AIIMS to begin Covaxin trial on children from Tuesday

New Delhi, June 14

 The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) is learnt to have started screening of children aged 6-12 years for the clinical trials of India's first indigenously developed Covid-19 vaccine, Bharat Biotech's Covaxin.

Sources said that the recruitment and clinical trials of the children aged 6-12 years will start from Tuesday. The trial on children aged 6-12 has already started at AIIMS Patna.

Participants would be given the vaccine after their screening report comes. The trial would ensure if the Bharat Biotech jab is suitable for children.

Delhi AIIMS has decided to start the trial drive after the recruitment and clinical trial for single-dose Covaxin for 12-18 age group is over.

After the recruitment of 6-12 year-old children, AIIMS Delhi will be conducting trials for the age group 2-6 years of children. The trials are taking place at 525 centres.

The screening of children for the trial of single-dose Covaxin among those aged between 2 and 18 years started at the AIIMS in New Delhi on June 7 after India's drug regulator had granted permission for conducting the Phase 2 and 3 clinical trials of Covaxin in the age group 2 to 18 years on May 12.

AIIMS Patna, Mysore Medical College and Research Institute in Karnataka have also been selected to conduct clinical trials on children.

Covaxin is being used on adults in India's ongoing Covid-19 vaccination drive since January 16 this year. The government last week cautioned that even though Covid-19 has not taken a serious shape among children till now, its impact can increase among them if there is a change in virus behaviour or epidemiology dynamics, and said preparations are being strengthened to deal with any such situation.

A national expert group has been formed to review Covid-19 infections in children and approach the pandemic in a renewed way to strengthen the nation's preparedness, NITI Aayog Member (Health) V.K. Paul had said at a press conference.

"The group has examined signs which were not available four-five months before."
 

ians

Mon, 14 Jun 2021 16:02:45 +0530
Online music learning platform Muzigal logs 20 growth in remote era

New Delhi, June 14

 Online music learning platform Muzigal on Monday said that it is now growing at 20 per cent month-on-month in revenue and new learners and aims to empower music teachers to scale their music classes globally amid the remote learning times.

With more than 10,000 learners from 10 countries, 400 teachers and 120 employees now on board, the company was launched in July last year by Dr Lakshminarayana Yeluri to connect students, instructors, professional musicians and music enthusiasts for online lessons.

Muzigal which raised an undisclosed amount of funds from Kalaari Capital in February this year, said in a statement that it has conducted over 40,000 classes in subjects ranging from Indian classical to western music in over 20 specialisations in vocal and musical instruments categories.

"The total offline music learning market is around $500 million in India, and Muzigal is establishing leadership in the online segment of this market. We always knew that there is an immense potential in online music learning, which was largely unorganised," said Dr Yeluri.

It launched its operations in August 2020 in the US to help non-resident Indians to learn music virtually with authentic and native language speaking music teachers from India.

The startup aims to empower more than 20,000 music teachers in the next four years and launch its marketplace in the US by September this year for the American citizens too.

"Certain segments like music are still nascent but growing fast. We are privileged to partner with Dr Yeluri and look forward to seeing Muzigal become the leading online learning platform in the segment of music education," said Vamshi Reddy, Partner at Kalaari Capital.

The students can learn vocal classes like Carnatic and Western music and musical instruments like guitar, piano, sitar, keyboard, and violin, among many others.

Around one lakh students have been counselled, 25,000 students have taken free trial classes to experience the platform and over 10,000 students from 10 different countries have enrolled for classes, the company informed.
 

ians

Mon, 14 Jun 2021 15:56:23 +0530
TN govt reclaims temple land worth Rs 160 cr in Chennai

Chennai, June 14

 The Tamil Nadu government has reclaimed land worth Rs 160 crore of the Kancheepuram Ekambareswar temple from a trust that ran the Seetha Kingston House Matriculation Higher Secondary School.

The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) department on Sunday took possession of the 32 ground property on Poonamalle High Road at Kilpauk in Chennai. This land is a part of a 141 ground land of the Kancheepuram Ekambareswar temple.

The trust had leased 44.5 grounds of the temple of which 12.5 grounds was returned to the temple.

Ground is a measure used in Tamil Nadu, where one ground equals 2.5 cents of land.

The HR & CE Minister P.K. Sekar Babu and the Department Commissioner J. Kumaragurubaran received the papers of the temple property from the trust officials on Sunday.

Babu told IANS, "We have taken steps to retrieve the remaining area from other tenants who had even sub-leased the property. There is litigation over two properties and we are expecting to retrieve the land within six months."

The HR&CE said in a statement that the Calavala Cunnan Chetty Charities trust had taken 44.5 grounds of the land of the Ekambareswar Temple on Poonamalle High Road, Kilpauk for a 99-year lease and was running the Seetha Kingston school there.

The HR&CE department moved the court for the retrieval of the land and the Madras High Court ruled in favour of the HR&CE department.

The value of the remaining 96.5 grounds of land is estimated to be Rs 483 crore and the department, according to the minister will go in for litigation and will retrieve the land within six months.

Subletting of temple properties was rampant in Tamil Nadu and the DMK government after assuming office had called upon the HR&CE department to take steps for the retrieval of the temple land given on lease.

There is a loss of around 40,000 acres of temple land across Tamil Nadu when the land details of 1984-85 were compared with that of 2019-20.

The government has ordered to upload all details of the temple properties including land and other assets online so that it comes in the public domain.
 

ians

Mon, 14 Jun 2021 15:51:02 +0530
Fearing arrest by police film personality Ayesha seeks anticipatory bail

Kochi, June 14

 After the Kavaratti Police served a notice to leading Lakshadweep film personality Ayesha Sulthana to appear before it on June 20 in connection with her remarks made on a Malayalam TV channel about the spread of Covid on the island, she filed a plea for anticipatory bail in the Kerala High Court on Monday which will be heard on Tuesday.

In her petition, she said she is seeking anticipatory bail because she fears arrest if she appears before the Kavaratti Police.

"I don't think I have done any wrong to be charged under charges of sedition. I took part in the TV channel discussion and later I apologised for my remarks," says her petition.

The notice that has been served on Sulthana by Sub Inspector Ameer Bin Mohammed contains charges under 124 A and 153 B of the CrPC, both of which are non-bailable offences.

The complaint was registered by Lakshadweep BJP unit president Abdul Khader following the TV channel debate on June 7, where she had alleged that the 'Centre used biological weapons for the spread of Covid in Lakshadweep', which according to the complainant is anti-national.

Following this action by Khader, several BJP leaders and workers on the island have resigned from the party.

Sulthana hails from Chelath Island in Lakshadweep, and is based here. Besides being a model, she has worked in numerous films in Malayalam.

Ever since the new administrator Praful Khoda Patel took charge, the Congress and the ruling Left here have been up in arms and have alleged that Patel is trying to implement the Sangh Parivar agenda in the otherwise calm and peaceful island.

The Kerala Assembly earlier this month saw an unanimous resolution being passed demanding the removal of Patel.
 

 

ians

Mon, 14 Jun 2021 15:45:21 +0530
NCPCR seeks report over posts seeking adoption of children

New Delhi, June 14

The National Commission For Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has sought a report from WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and Telegram regarding posts on these social networking sites offering illegal adoption of children orphaned amid ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The apex child rights body has directed these four social media entities to submit their report within 10 days, and also warned them to take strict action against them if they fail to report about such posts.

In a letter written to these social networking sites, the NCPCR suggested if any person posts any kind of such posts, an immediate report should be sent to the commission or law enforcement authorities or state commission with detailed IP address of the user.

NCPCR chairperson Priyank Kanoongo wrote the letter on Sunday, saying "it is requested that in cases where such posts are posted on your online social media platforms, information about the same must be reported to the law enforcement authorities and/or National Commission or State Commission of the State/UT concerned and provide the details of the IP address, origin of the post and other such relevant details".

The Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act, 2015, provides for a jail term of up to three years, or a fine of Rs 1 lakh for illegal adoptions of children as it violates the procedure laid down under the Act. It also punishes sale or purchase with jail of up to five years or fine of Rs 1 lakh or both.

The Supreme Court also ordered states and Union Territories (UTs) last week to take stringent action against private individuals and NGOs who invited people to illegally adopt children orphaned during the pandemic.

The apex court also stated that no adoption of affected children should be permitted contrary to the provisions of the JJ Act, 2015.
 

ians

Mon, 14 Jun 2021 15:37:49 +0530
How excess sugar consumption causes fatty liver

Mandi, June 14

A team of researchers from IIT Mandi has identified the underlying biochemical relationship between the consumption of excessive sugar and the development of afatty liver', medically known as Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD).

NAFLD is a condition in which excess fat deposits in the liver. The disease starts silently, with no overt symptoms for as much as two decades. If left untreated, the excess fat can irritate the liver cells, resulting in scarring of the liver (cirrhosis), and in advanced cases, can even lead to liver cancer. The treatment of advanced stages of NAFLD is difficult.

One of the causes for NAFLD is the overconsumption of sugar -- both table sugar (sucrose) and other forms of carbohydrates. The consumption of excess sugar and carbohydrates causes the liver to convert them into fat in a process called hepatic De Novo Lipogenesis or DNL, which leads to fat accumulation in the liver.

The molecular mechanisms that increase hepatic DNL due to overconsumption of sugar, which is is key to developing therapeutics for the NAFLD, have not been clear yet, said lead scientist Prosenjit Mondal, Associate Professor, School of Basic Sciences, IIT Mandi.

The team used a complementary experimental approach involving mice models, and identified the unknown link between the carbohydrate-induced activation of a protein complex called NF-KB and increased DNL.

"Our data indicates that the sugar-mediated shuttling of hepatic NF-KB p65 reduces the levels of another protein, sorcin, which in turn activates liver DNL through a cascading biochemical pathway," explained Mondal. The findings are published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

The team showed that drugs that can inhibit NF-KB can prevent sugar-induced hepatic fat accumulation. They have also shown that the knockdown of sorcin reduces the lipid-lowering ability of the NF-KB inhibitor.

The finding that NF-KB plays a key role in lipid accumulation in the liver opens up a new avenue of therapeutics for NAFLD. NF-KB also plays a role in other diseases that involve inflammation, such as cancer, Alzheimer's disease, atherosclerosis, IBS, stroke, muscle wasting and infections.

The research comes at a time when India has included NAFLD in the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS).

India is the first country in the world to identify the need for action on NAFLD and with good reason. The prevalence of NAFLD in India is about 9 per cent to 32 per cent of the population, with the state of Kerala alone having a prevalence of 49 per cent and a staggering 60 per cent prevalence among obese school-going children.

The study has conclusively shown that excessive sugar intake leads to a fatty liver. This should offer incentive to the public to reduce sugar intake to stop NAFLD in its early stages, the team said.

ians

Mon, 14 Jun 2021 15:28:23 +0530
Sensex down 300 points finance auto stocks lead selloff

Mumbai, June 14

The key Indian equity indices declined on Monday morning tracking mixed cues from the Asian market along with profit booking by traders after the indices scaled new highs last week.

The across-the-board selloff was led by auto, finance and banking stocks.

Around 9.45 a.m., Sensex was trading at 52,166.60, lower by 308.16 points or 0.59 per cent from its previous close of 52,474.76.

It opened at 52,492.34 and touched a high of 52,542.66 and a low of 51,936.31 points.

The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange was trading at 15,676.60, lower by 122.75 points or 0.78 per cent from its previous close.

The major losers on the Sensex so far were State Bank of India, HDFC and NTPC, while the top gainers were Infosys, Tata Steel and Tata Consultancy Services.

ians
 

Mon, 14 Jun 2021 15:19:33 +0530
13 people dead 16 wounded in S Sudan clashes

 

Juba, June 14

Inter-communal clashes have left 13 people dead and 16 others injured in South Sudan's restive region of Lakes state, local police said.

Elijah Mabor Makuach, police spokesperson in the state, said on Sunday they have deployed soldiers to restore calm following fighting which started on Saturday between the Gony and Theyieth communities.

"The fighting started on Saturday morning leading to 13 people killed and 16 wounded. The situation is now calm following the deployment of security forces," Makuach told Xinhua news agency.

He disclosed that the two communities have for a decade been fighting each other.

The violence is often characterized by cattle raiding and revenge killings.

Lakes state is awash with illegal guns in the hands of the civil population.

Several attempts by state authorities to disarm civilians have not borne fruits, leading to casualties on both civilians and soldiers.

"The main challenge facing us in the state is the presence of arms in the hands of civilians; there are arms everywhere in lakes state. Civilians are in possession of arms in villages and cattle camps," said Makuach.

President Salva Kiir last week appointed former head of military intelligence Rin Tueny Mabor as governor of Lakes State, replacing Makur Kulang, following a rise in communal violence and armed attacks on aid workers.

ians

Mon, 14 Jun 2021 15:06:20 +0530
Global Covid 19 caseload tops 175 8mn

Washington, June 14

The overall global Covid-19 caseload has topped 175.8 million, while the deaths have surged to more than 3.79 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

In its latest update on Monday morning, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed that the current global caseload and death toll stood at 175,884,287 and 3,799,649, respectively.

The US continues to be the worst-hit country with the world's highest number of cases and deaths at 33,461,575 and 599,768, respectively, according to the CSSE.

In terms of infections, India follows in the second place with 29,439,989 cases.

The other worst countries with over 3 million cases are Brazil (17,412,766), France (5,802,314), Turkey (5,330,447), Russia (5,148,499), the UK (4,581,779), Italy (4,244,872), Argentina (4,124,190), Colombia (3,753,224), Spain (3,733,600), Germany (3,723,295) and Iran (3,028,717), the CSSE figures showed.

In terms of deaths, Brazil comes second with 487,401 fatalities.

Nations with a death toll of over 100,000 are India (370,384), Mexico (230,150), the UK (128,168), Italy (127,002), Russia (124,314) and France (110,553).

ians
 

Mon, 14 Jun 2021 09:28:31 +0530
Global Covid 19 caseload tops 175 8mn

Washington, June 14

The overall global Covid-19 caseload has topped 175.8 million, while the deaths have surged to more than 3.79 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

In its latest update on Monday morning, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed that the current global caseload and death toll stood at 175,884,287 and 3,799,649, respectively.

The US continues to be the worst-hit country with the world's highest number of cases and deaths at 33,461,575 and 599,768, respectively, according to the CSSE.

In terms of infections, India follows in the second place with 29,439,989 cases.

The other worst countries with over 3 million cases are Brazil (17,412,766), France (5,802,314), Turkey (5,330,447), Russia (5,148,499), the UK (4,581,779), Italy (4,244,872), Argentina (4,124,190), Colombia (3,753,224), Spain (3,733,600), Germany (3,723,295) and Iran (3,028,717), the CSSE figures showed.

In terms of deaths, Brazil comes second with 487,401 fatalities.

Nations with a death toll of over 100,000 are India (370,384), Mexico (230,150), the UK (128,168), Italy (127,002), Russia (124,314) and France (110,553).
 

Mon, 14 Jun 2021 09:23:54 +0530
BSESENSEX lifetime high achieved market trend unclear

Mumbai - 14 June,

Markets were on an uptrend last week and the long awaited and overdue lifetime high on BSESENSEX was finally achieved. BSESENSEX gained 374.71 points or 0.72 per cent to close at 52,474.76 points while NIFTY gained 129.10 points or 0.82 per cent to close at 15,799.35 points. The broader indices saw BSE100, BSE200 and BSE500 gain 0.93 per cent, 1.10 per cent and 1.30 per cent, respectively. BSEMIDCAP gained 1.85 per cent while BSESMALLCAP fared much better gaining 3.52 per cent. The action is certainly in the midcap and Smallcap space and is borne out by the number of stocks hitting 52 weeks high on a daily basis.

The India Rupee lost 7 paisa and was down 0.10 per cent to close at Rs 73.07 to the US Dollar. Dow Jones began the week with losses for the first three days and managed to recover partially, gaining on the remaining two days but closed with losses of 276.79 points or 0.80 per cent to close at 34,479.60 points. Dow Jones is looking tired after a spectacular rally and one should not get surprised if one sees the same correcting in the coming days ahead.

BSESENSEX finally managed to hit a lifetime high and did so on Friday touching 52,641.53 points. This crossed the previous high made on February 16 of 52,516.76 points. Incidentally NIFTY had made a lifetime high on May 28 and it took a fortnight for the BSESENSEX to achieve the same, something which has not happened in a very long time.

Trading in shares of DHFL has been suspended with effect from Monday June 14 on account of the resolution plan of the NCLT which has approved and ascribed no value to the shares of DHFL. While the step of suspension is appreciated, something of this nature should have been acted upon much earlier, as many proposals in NCLT have resolution plans where the listed shares have zero value. Once things become clear, such shares should be suspended from trading on the bourses and small investors hard earned money should be preserved.

Monsoon has advanced into Mumbai and Maharashtra and the onset was led by a sharp downpour this time. Coinciding with the monsoon arrival, one is also seeing a deluge of primary market issues with four companies tapping the markets in the week beginning June 14. There would be two issues opening on Monday and closing on Wednesday the 16th of June while the remaining two would open on Wednesday the June 16 and close on June 18. Difficult to understand why such a bunching of issues has happened other than the fact that there was a hiatus in primary issuances for the last 10 weeks or so during April-May to mid June.

Shyam Metalics and Energy Limited is tapping the capital markets with its primary issue and offer for sale. The issue consists of a fresh issue of Rs 657 crs and an offer for sale of Rs 252 crs in a price band of Rs 303-306. The issue opens on Monday the 14th of June and closes on Wednesday the 16th of June. The company is a steel producer and has capacities to make pellets, sponge iron, billets, TMT Bars and ferro alloys. The total capacity is 5.71 million tons per annum with a saleable steel capacity of 3 mtpa. The same is being expanded over the next three to three and a half years to double at 11.6 mtpa and a saleable steel capacity of 6 mtpa. In this capacity the company would be adding ductile pipes and aluminium foil as well.

The company enjoys healthy margins at the EBITDA and PAT levels as compared to its peers. The EBITDA margins for the year ended March 2020 were at 14.5 per cent while they were at 6.5 per cent at the PAT level. In the first nine months ended December 2020, the same EBITDA has improved to 18.2 per cent and PAT to 11.5 per cent. The total income of the company which was at Rs 4,400 crs for the year ended March 2020 have improved to Rs 4,000 crs in the nine months ended December 2020.

The EPS for the year ended March 2020 is Rs 14.57. The same has increased significantly to Rs 19.53 for the nine months ended December 20. The price earnings multiple based on March 20 numbers is at Rs 20.80-21 times. The same PE multiple, based on nine months annualised numbers for the year ended March 2021 would be 11.63-11.75.

The share is attractively priced and offers appreciation for flippers-, medium- and long-term players as well.

The remaining three issues which would be covered during the course of the week are from Sona BLW Precision Forgings Limited which has an issue size of Rs 5,550 crs. The next issue is from Dodla Dairy Limited which has an issue size of Rs 520 crs. The fourth and final issue is from Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences Limited of Rs 2,144 crs.

On the Covid-19 front the world saw 17,64,22,387 patients, 38,10,952 deaths and 16,03,96,300 patients recovering. In India we saw 2,94,39,989 patients, 3,70,407 deaths and 2,80,43,446 patients recovering. Compared to the previous week, the world saw 26,95,291 new patients, 74,543 deaths and 37,90,303 patients recovering. In India we saw 6,30,650 new patients, 23,623 deaths and 10,58,665 patients recovering. The number of deaths in India seems much higher than normal because many of the states have corrected their number of deaths for earlier periods. About 25 cr vaccinations have been done in the country so far and hopefully the pace of vaccination would continue to pick up going forward.

Coming to the markets in the week ahead, the immediate objective of a lifetime high on the BSESENSEX has been achieved. In the past, one has experienced euphoria once such a feat is achieved. The same is missing this time around. Whether it will happen in the week ahead or will give a miss this time around is unclear. The strategy for investors would be to continue to buy on sharp dips and sell on rallies. Secondly ensure that the quality of stocks one invests in has fundamentals and are not those which consist of just momentum. Markets have not had a correction for a long time and whenever they begin could be long and deep in terms of time and value. Prepare for the same and be nimble footed in the marketplace.

ians
 

Mon, 14 Jun 2021 08:06:40 +0530
Road to Inaugural World Test Championship India and NZ

 

Anupama Nair

www.mediaeyenews.com

In the last part I spoke about history of Test Cricket and advent of Test Cricket in India, and India’s journey to greatness in the Test arena. In this part, I am going to talk about World Test Championship and India’s and New Zealand’s journey to finals.

For many years, Test lovers bemoaned the fact, that there was no World Cup or similar tournaments in Test Cricket. Thus, the Word Test Championship was born. The idea was developed soon after the World Cup in 2019 in England. It’s a campaign that had started when the world would have never imagined a mere virus and it’s waves would cause devastation for nearly 18 months. “It was a time when the pandemic was a distant nightmare” and now it is about to end at a time when the world is a different world with social distancing, sanitizers and masks and also maybe crowd free matches, thanks to China and Corona. After a process that nearly lasted for two years, Kohli is set to lead India against Williamson’s New Zealand side in the final match held from June 18-22 in Southampton. If history is to believed till now India has never won in Southampton. Hope this time they do.

The ICC inaugurated the maiden Test Competition in August 2019. The main idea was to infuse life and increase greater audience interest in the format at a time when T20 has become the most popular and prime-time friendly. However, Test series like the Ashes between Australia and England or the Border-Gavaskar Trophy where India take on Australia , or any India matches are widely followed, but the same cannot be said about all the Test  matches played around the world. Nine of the ICC’s twelve full member countries — Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, Pakistan, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies — were in the race to lift the Cup and be the best Test side. The Championship started off in magnificent fashion with the Ashes and the games between Sri Lanka and New Zealand before India joined the race in West Indies.

Each team play six other opponents, three at home and three away. Each series comprise between two and five matches. Therefore, all the  participants do not play the same number of Tests, but play the same number of series. At the end of the league stage the top two teams play in the final. Each match is for a duration of five days. After Corona forced many matches to be cancelled, ICC changed the points system to account for the variation in the number of series played per team and Percentage of Points or PoP was adopted. Only India, England and Sri Lanka completed its six Test series and India topped the table with a 72.2% PoP. Out of the possible 720 points that Kohli’s men could win, they succeeded in getting 520 points. New Zealand on the other hand were second with 420 points out of a possible 600, or 70% PoP.

India’s WTC outing began in August 2019 with the team tasting success with its tour of West Indies with a 2-0 result. Then India hosted the Proteas and won 3-0 whitewash. Then came two Tests against Bangladesh in India that ended 2-0 again. Then came India’s only loss in the WTC as New Zealand handed out a 0-2 result. We are facing the same rivals in the finals, but the stadium full of Indian supporters is a plus point. The next series created history as an injury-ridden team defeated the mighty Aussies in their own backyard in two consecutive series 2-1. Their journey ended when they defeated England 3-1 at home.

Unlike India, New Zealand’s road to the World Test Championship final got off to a  disastrous start in Sri Lanka. They luckily managed a 1-1 result after losing the first match. Then they had a horror tour of their neighbors Australia and the result was 3-0. New Zealand did not have to wait too much longer for more points though, beating Virat Kohli’s India 2-0 at home. Then they did not play, any matches for nearly ten months and was placed fourth in the table. But they bounced back with the series against the West Indies 2-0 being the result, followed by defeating Pakistan with the same result. They got 420 points as a result and Australia’s loss to India ensured their place in the finals.

If you see the journey of the two teams, India definitely had an upper hand. However, we need to remember it is how we play in the finals and the result that count. Yes, we have miles to go before we sleep…

In the next part I will be talking more about the championship and what experts feel about the match.

(to be continued..)

 

 

 

 

Sun, 13 Jun 2021 22:49:40 +0530
New Zealand win 2nd Test clinch series in England after 22 years

Birmingham, June 13

 New Zealand defeated England by eight wickets in the second Test on Sunday and won the two-match series 1-0 - their first series triumph in England in 22 years. The win pushed New Zealand back to the No.1 spot in Test rankings.

The win is New Zealand's first at Edgbaston in five attempts, and is only their sixth out of the 56 Tests they have played in England.

Set a target of 38 to win on the fourth day, after England were all out for 122 in their second innings, the Kiwis reached the target losing just two wickets, with opener and stand-in skipper Tom Latham scoring an unbeaten 23 off 32 deliveries.

Devon Conway and No.3 Will Young, who replaced injured captain Kane Williamson for this Test, were the batsmen dismissed.

Earlier, England were bowled out at their overnight score of 122 when they lost the last wicket of Olly Stone off the first ball of the day, with the pace bowler edging a Trent Boult delivery to wicketkeeper Tom Blundell.

Although the Kiwis lost Conway early for three, Latham ensured they reached home without much drama.

This was the first Test series defeat for England at home since the 2014 series loss to Sri Lanka.

It was also New Zealand's first series in England in 22 years.

They had last won a Test series in England in 1999, under Stephen Fleming's captaincy.

Brief scores:

England: 303 and 122 (Mark Wood 29, Ollie Pope 23, Neil Wagner 3/18, Matt Henry 3/36, Ajaz Patel 2/25, Trent Boult 2/34); New Zealand: 388 and 41/2 (Tom Latham 23 not out)

Man of the Match: Matt Henry
Man of the Series: Devon Conway
 

ians

Sun, 13 Jun 2021 20:42:37 +0530
NASA finishes assembling Artemis moon mission rocket

London, June 13

 US space agency NASA has assembled the first of its powerful Space Launch System (SLS) rockets, which aims to return astronauts to the Moon.

The engineers at Florida's Kennedy Space Center have finished lowering the 65m tall core stage in between two smaller booster rockets, the BBC reported on Saturday.

It is the first time all three key elements of the rocket have been together in their launch configuration, the report said.

The SLS, which is part of the agency's Artemis programme that will carry humans to the Moon this decade, will be launched later this year.

The Artemis-1 mission will send an uncrewed Orion spacecraft onboard SLS to the Moon, while Artemis II will fly with a crew in 2023.

The SLS consists of the giant core stage, which houses propellant tanks and four powerful engines, flanked by two 54m long solid rocket boosters (SRBs). They provide most of the thrust-force that propels the SLS off the ground in the first two minutes of flight.

Over Friday and Saturday, teams at Kennedy Space Center used a heavy-lift crane to first hoist the core stage, transfer it from a horizontal to a vertical position, and then lower it into place between the SRBs on a structure called the mobile launcher, the report said.

The mobile launcher allows access to the SLS for testing, checkout and servicing. It will also transfer the giant rocket to the launch pad.

Stacking operations began on November 19 last year, with engineers transporting a booster segment from the Rotation, Processing and Surge Facility to the Vehicle Assembly Building.

On the other hand, the core stage was attached to a test stand in Mississippi, undergoing a comprehensive programme of evaluation known as the Green Run.

In March, the core stage engines were fired successfully for around eight minutes -- the time taken for the SLS to get from the ground to space -- in the Green Run's final and key test.

After refurbishment, the core was taken by barge to Kennedy Space Center.

NASA said that SLS is the only rocket that can send the Orion spacecraft, astronauts, and supplies to the Moon on a single mission.

The exploration of the Moon with NASA's Artemis programme includes preparations to send astronauts to Mars as part of America's Moon to Mars exploration approach.
 

ians

Sun, 13 Jun 2021 20:32:50 +0530
Tiger Shroff posts video dancing with Disha Patani on her birthday

Mumbai, June 13

 Bollywood actor Tiger Shroff took to social media on Sunday to wish his rumoured ladylove, actress Disha Patani on her 29th birthday in a special way.

What can be said as a visual treat to Tiger and Disha's fans, the actor shared a video where the two of them are dancing together.

Wishing Disha on her birthday, Tiger wrote: "Happy bday villainnn @dishapatani."

Even though Tiger and Disha are rumoured to be dating for quite some time, the two actors have refrained from speaking about their relationship status.

Tiger's mother Ayesha Shroff also took to Instagram on Sunday to wish Disha a happy birthday.

Ayesha shared a couple of photographs of Disha, one with herself and the other one where the actress is playing with a calf.

"Happpppppyyyy birthday deeeeeshu!! Everyone sees the glamorous you but I love this side the most!! @dishapatani," Ayesha wrote.

Commenting on her post, Disha replied: "Awww love you so much auntyy. You're the best."

On the work front, Disha features alongside Salman Khan in his latest film "Radhe : Your Most Wanted Bhai", which also stars Jackie Shroff in a key role.
 

 

ians

Sun, 13 Jun 2021 20:26:53 +0530
US based Molekule plans investment for R D in India

New Delhi, June 13

San Francisco-headquartered air-purification technology company Molekule plans to invest in research and development in India

As the company enters India, Dilip Goswami, Co-founder, President and CTO of Molekule, said that its research team has entered into partnerships with India's top research institutes.

On the question of R&D investment into, Goswami said: "Absolutely. Molekule is first and foremost a science company bringing scientific innovation out of academic research to solve the challenges of air pollution. Our team conducts extensive research and rigorous testing."

In addition to its team of dedicated scientists and internal testing labs, the company also works with some of the world's top independent labs, to test its PECO technology.

"As we expand into India, our research team, led by Jaspreet Dhau is continuing these partnerships with some of India's top research institutes," he said.

He said that the goal is to help advance the science of clean air and bring the best technology can offer to solve global air pollution.

Talking of the company's investments in India, Goswami said that it has a two-fold strategy for the Indian market.

Noting that in India there is a need for effective air purification technology, not just in homes, but in all environments, he said: "Our investments in India will be two-fold: first we are building a team to bring our products to homes today and help address the air quality issues people are facing immediately, and secondly, we are developing partnerships to explore radical solutions for all of the environments where clean air is critical beyond the home."

Regarding the efficiency of Molekule's products in terms of viruses, he said that in 2020, tests were done to check the PECO technology's (Photo ElectroChemical Oxidation) ability to inactivate viruses from air that passes through the device.

The test demonstrated that Molekule's PECO air purification technology inactivates coronavirus strains (bovine and porcine strains) and the H1N1 flu virus by up to 99.99 per cent in single-pass experiments.
 

ians

Sun, 13 Jun 2021 20:22:58 +0530
Reliance Power board approves preferential issue of shares warrants to Reliance Infra

New Delhi, June 13

 The Board of Directors of Reliance Power Limited has approved preferential issue of up to 59.5 crore equity shares and up to 73 crore warrants convertible into equivalent number of equity shares of the company at an issue price of Rs 10 each by conversion of debt, aggregating up to Rs 1 ,325 crore to Reliance Infrastructure Limited, a listed promoter company.

The Board of Directors of Reliance Infrastructure Limited (Reliance Infra) at its meeting on Sunday approved the subscription of the preferential issue.

This will reduce Reliance Power standalone debt by Rs 1 ,325 crore and along with planned debt reduction in subsidiaries, Reliance Power consolidated debt will reduce by Rs 3,200 crore in FY22.

Reliance Infrastructure and other promoter holding in Reliance Power will increase up to 25 per cent after issue of equity shares and will further increase to over 38 per cent on conversion of warrants, benefitting - 8 lakh shareholders of Reliance Infrastructure.

The Board also approved seeking enabling authorisations of members for issuance of (i) foreign currency convertible bonds; and (ii) securities through qualified institutions placement.

The Board approved seeking approval of the members of the Company for the above through Postal Ballot. The above shall be subject to all requisite permissions, sanctions and approvals as may be necessary.

Reliance Power Limited, a part of the Reliance Group, is India's leading private sector power generation and coal resources company.

The company has one of the largest portfolios of power projects in the private sector in India, based on coal, gas and renewable energy, with an operating portfolio of 5,945 megawatts.

The Board of Directors of Reliance Infrastructure Limited (Reliance Infra) at its meeting held today approved the subscription of preferential issue of up to 59.5 crore equity shares and up to 73 crore warrants convertible into equivalent number of equity shares of Reliance Power Limited (Reliance Power), by conversion of outstanding debt including interest aggregating up to Rs. 1,325 crore.

Reliance Infrastructure Limited (Reliance Infra) is one of the largest infrastructure companies, developing projects through various Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) in several high growth sectors such as power, roads and metro rail in the infrastructure space and the defence sector.

Reliance Infra is a major player in providing Engineering and Construction (E&C) services for developing power, infrastructure, metro and road projects.

Reliance Infra through its SPVs has executed a portfolio of infrastructure projects such as a metro rail project in Mumbai on build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT) basis; nine road projects on build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis. Reliance Infra is also a leading utility company having presence in Power Distribution Business in Delhi.
 

ians

Sun, 13 Jun 2021 20:17:28 +0530
How Covid pandemic led to higher levels of allergens at homes

London, June 13

 While outdoor pollution level appeared to drop during Covid-induced periods of lockdown, particulate matter (PM) 2.5 levels were on average 23 per cent higher indoors, according to a new study of 10 global cities.

The cities included London, Paris, Berlin, Milan, New York, Toronto, Manila, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Seoul.

Particle pollution was found to be high indoors in most cities even after the lockdown had lifted.

British home appliance maker Dyson collected data during the first phases of lockdown between March and May, while post-lockdown data was collected between June and September, when many countries had loosened Covid restrictions.

As Covid restrictions now continue across the globe, higher levels of indoor particulate matter can once again be expected, the study warned.

The reason could be attributed to new habits incurred during lockdown. For example, the year 2020 saw a significant uplift in pet ownership. Pet dander, pollen and other organic material may be significant sources of both PM2.5 and PM10, which are likely increasing indoor pollution and allergen levels.

"Before the pandemic, indoor PM2.5 generated indoors by normal human functions would be spread between the home, the office and other indoor spaces. Instead, it all builds up in our homes now. Lockdown is like a perfect storm -- the growing indoor plants trend, uplift in pet ownership and increase in flower deliveries can all increase allergen levels in indoor air, when we're spending more time at home than ever," said Alex Knox, Vice-President of Engineering for Environmental Care, in a statement.

Further, actions like frying food in the kitchen can increase PM2.5 levels by five times. The combustion process while cooking releases particulates into the air, likely contributing to this increase, the study noted.

Usage of common household items like deodorants, perfumes, aerosols and cleaning sprays also increases the concentration of volatile organic compounds within our homes.

With homes now also doubling up as offices, schools and gyms, increased indoor allergens may cause greater disruption than in previous years on working, studying and exercise, as well as normal, indoor activities like sleeping and relaxing, the study maintained.

The study also emphasised that cleaning indoor surfaces and vacuuming carpets isn't always enough to prevent the inhalation of allergens and that attention should be paid to the indoor air quality.
 

 

ians

Sun, 13 Jun 2021 20:13:45 +0530
8 Afghan policemen killed in insider attack

Kabul, June 13

 Eight Afghan policemen have been confirmed dead in an alleged insider attack at a police checkpoint in Lashkar Gah, the capital of the troubled Helmand province on Sunday.

The incident took place early Sunday when "a Taliban infiltrator disguised himself as a policeman" opened fire on the policemen inside the checkpoint in Qalai Bast area, killing eight on the spot, and escaped quickly, a top provincial official said.

In the meantime, Mohammad Zaman Hamdard, the spokesman for Helmand police has confirmed the incident but didn't provide details, reports Xinhua news agency.

The fire exchange between the police and the Taliban rebels in Qalai Bast area inflicted casualties on both sides, he said.

The Taliban outfit, which is active in parts of Helmand province, is yet to make a comment.

 

ians

Sun, 13 Jun 2021 20:09:46 +0530
Covid Common diabetes drug may help treat lung inflammation

New York, June 13

 Blood sugar-lowering drug Metformin can prevent pulmonary or lung inflammation, a major factor in Covid-19 severity and mortality, researchers have found in studies of mice infected by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

Metformin is often used as an early therapy for Type-2 diabetes. It works by lowering glucose production in the liver, reducing blood sugar levels that, in turn, improve the body's response to insulin. But scientists have also noted that metformin possesses anti-inflammatory properties, though the basis for this activity was not known.

A multi-institution team led by researchers at University of California San Diego identified the molecular mechanism for the anti-inflammatory activity of metformin.

The researchers focussed on a mouse model of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a life-threatening condition in which fluids leak into the lungs, making breathing difficult and restricting oxygen supply to essential organs.

ARDS is triggered by trauma and by bacterial or viral infections. It is a frequent cause of death in patients hospitalised with Covid-19.

The findings published online in the journal Immunity showed that metformin administered to mice prior to or after exposure to bacterial endotoxin, a surrogate for bacterial pneumonia, resulted in the inhibition of ARDS onset and lessening of its symptoms. Metformin also produced a marked reduction in mortality in endotoxin-challenged mice and inhibited IL-1beta production and inflammasome assembly within alveolar macrophages -- immune cells found in the lungs.

IL-1beta, along with IL-6, are small proteins called cytokines that cause inflammation as an early immune response. Their amounts are often highly elevated in persons infected by SARS-CoV-2, creating "cytokine storms" in which the body starts attacking its own cells and tissues. They are signs of an acute immune response gone awry.

Production of IL-1beta depends on a large protein complex called the inflammasome, whose presence in lung tissue is found to be highly increased in deceased Covid-19 patients, researchers said.

The authors said the findings suggest metformin may have therapeutic potential for treating a variety of neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases in which inflammasome activation is a factor.
 

ians

Sun, 13 Jun 2021 20:05:56 +0530
L G should put an end to wastage of food grains by the Kejriwal govt

New Delhi, June 13

 The Delhi BJP on Sunday appealed to the Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal to put an end to the wastage of tonnes of food grains by the Chief Minister-led Arvind Kejriwal government which had been allocated by the Narendra Modi government.

Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly, Ramvir Singh Bidhuri led a protest of BJP MLAs in the city food grains godown in Siraspur.

The saffron party claimed that the food grains found stored there that were allotted to the Kejriwal government during the 2020 lockdown for distribution among the poor were now decaying in these godowns.

"The food grains had turned so bad that they were not fit for human consumption nor for the animals. We demand that a thorough probe should be ordered to probe this criminal wastage of food grains and responsibility should be fixed. We urge L-G Baijal to personally inspect the godowns and find out bungling in ration distribution," Bidhuri said.

BJP MLAs Vijendra Gupta, Mohan Singh Bisht, Om Prakash Sharma, Jeetendra Mahajan, Anil Vajpayee, Abhay Verma and Ajay Mahavar participated in the protest led by Bidhuri.
 

 

ians

Sun, 13 Jun 2021 20:00:58 +0530
58 Covid deaths over 6K new cases in Andhra

Amaravati, June 13

 Andhra Pradesh has logged 6,770 new Covid cases and 58 deaths during the 24 hour period ending 9 a.m. on Sunday.

A total of 1,02,876 samples were tested during the period and of them, 6,770 were found positive. With this, the cumulative number of cases jumped to 18,09,844.

The fresh fatalities pushed the cumulative death toll to 11,940. According to the daily media bulletin issued by the state command control room, Chittoor district accounted for 12 deaths during the 24-hour period.

Seven people each succumbed to the virus in East Godavari and West Godavari, followed by six in Srikakulam, four each in Visakhapatnam and Anantapur, three each in YSR Kadapa, Krishna, Prakasam, and Vizianagaram, and two each in Guntur, Kurnool, and Nellore districts.

During the last 24 hours, East Godavari reported a maximum number of cases at 1,199. According to the bulletin, 968 new cases were traced in Chittoor, 765 in West Godavari, 530 in Anantapur, and 491 in Visakhapatnam.

With the testing of 1,02,876 samples, the authorities have so far conducted 2,04,50,982 tests so far.

The 24-hour period also saw 12,492 people recovering. With this, the cumulative number of recovered people rose to 17,12,267

The number of active cases stands at 85,637.
 

 

ians

Sun, 13 Jun 2021 19:56:46 +0530
T gana farmers to get Rs 7 509 cr investment support from June 15

Hyderabad, June 13

 Telangana government will provide Rs 7,509 crore as investment support to over 63 lakh farmers for cultivation during Kharif season under Rythu Bandhu scheme.

Agriculture Minister S. Niranjan Reddy said on Sunday that the government has made all arrangements to credit the amount at the rate of Rs 5,000 per acre to the bank accounts of the farmers from June 15 to 25.

This year farmers who received landholding (pattadar) passbooks and registered their details through CCLA on the Dharani portal by June 10 will be eligible to receive Rythu Bandhu assistance.

The Minister said CCLA has submitted a list of 63,25,695 beneficiaries to the agriculture department.

The departments estimated that an amount of Rs 7,508.78 crore is required for assistance under the scheme for cultivation on 150.18 lakh acres across the state.

An additional 66,311 acres have been brought under Rythu Bandhu this year. This will benefit 2.81 lakh farmers.

First time beneficiaries will have to submit their pattadar passbooks, aadhaar cards and bank details to the agriculture extension officers concerned to avail the benefit.

The Minister clarified that the amount will also be deposited in accounts for which IFSC codes may have changed due to merger of some banks.

He said the farmers need not have any worried over this.

Among 34 district, Nalgonda district has highest number of beneficiaries (4,72,983). They hold 12.18 lakh acres of land and the district needs Rs 608.81 crore.

Medchal Malkajgiri district has least number of beneficiaries (39,762). They own 77,000 acres of land and will get an assistance of Rs 38.39 crore under the scheme.

The state government made an allocation of Rs 14,800 crore for Rythu Bandhu in 2021-22 budget. Under the scheme, Rs 10,000 investment support is being provided for every acre every year.

The government is crediting the amount in two installments for two crop seasons.

It was in 2018 that the government had launched the scheme with announcement of Rs 8,000 investment support per acre per crop. In 2019, the amount was enhanced to Rs 10,000.
 

ians

Sun, 13 Jun 2021 19:53:24 +0530
Delhi snatching case solved within 4 hours with CCTV aid

New Delhi, June 13

 CCTV footage turned out to be a key input in solving a crime, with Delhi Police cracking a snatching matter within a record four hours -- from registration of the case to arrest of the criminals.

Scrutinising CCTV footage and the inputs developed with local intelligence led the police to solve the daylight snatching case that occurred outside Ghitorni Metro Station on Friday.

Sandeep Lamba, whose mobile phone was taken, is a research scholar, pursuing his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from IIT Delhi. He was also engaged in developing an app related to women safety issues.

Police accelerated their inquiry after the complainant informed them that robbed mobile phone contained valuable and important data related to studies which was crucial for his career as well as the project in pipeline, related to women safety.

A dedicated investigating team, comprising Sub-Inspector Rishikesh, Assistant Sub-Inspector Raj Kumar, Head Constable Ram Karan, Constables Sita Ram, Yogesh, Niranjan, Sandeep and Khushi Ram, under supervision of Station House Officer, Fatehpur Beri, Inspector Kuldeep Singh and overall guidance of ACP, Mehrauli, Ranbir Singh, was set up soon after the complaint was filed.

"During the course of investigation, CCTV cameras installed at nearby place of occurrence and surrounding area were checked. Local informants were contacted and briefed about the incident. After rigorous efforts, the team finally zeroed down upon accused persons," said the police.

The accused, identified as Abhishek, 21, and Rupak Kumar Pandey, 22, were caught with the help of CCTV footage and local intelligence, said the police, adding "the culprits were arrested within 4 hours of incident".

The robbed mobile phone, as well as the motorcycle used in the crime, was recovered from the possession of the accused.

During interrogation of the snatchers, the police claimed to have solved another similar snatching case. Investigation of the case and interrogation regarding other offences committed by accused persons is in progress.
 

 

ians

Sun, 13 Jun 2021 19:48:12 +0530
Dead bodies continue to be dumped into the Ganga in Bihar

Patna, June 13

 The relatives of a man, who died due to snakebite in Bihar's Bhagalpur district, dumped his body into the Ganga on Sunday, despite objections of the local residents.

The locals made video clips of the incident, which occurred in Kahalgaon block under Bhagalpur.

Mithilesh Kumar died due to snake bite in his native village Nawada Bazar in Banka district. His family members took his body to the Barari Ghat in Bhagalpur but the Dom Raja of the Ghat demanded Rs 1 lakh to allow them to dump it in the Ganga.

In Bihar, there is a tradition that the last rites of someone who died of snake bite are doing by putting the body into the Ganga, along with a banana tree trunk.

The family members negotiated with Dom Raja and the latter agreed to Rs 11,000 but as they did not even have that money, they took the dead body to Kahalgaon, some 50 km away from Bhagalpur city.

They negotiated with the Dom Raja of Kahalgaon Ghat for Rs 1,500, and also contacted a boat owner, and set a deal for Rs 2,500. Then they took the dead body to the middle of Ganga, tied it to a banana tree trunk and dumped it in the river.

Local residents claimed that the District Magistrate had deployed a judicial magistrate at every cremation ground when the corona infection was at peak but these were withdrawn from June 1.

Contacted for comments, R.P. Sharma, a duty officer of Kahalgaon police station, said: "We have received a complaint pertaining to this case and we are trying to contact the deceased's family."

During the severe second wave of corona, people in several districts such as Buxar, Bhojpur, Patna, and Bhagalpur dumped a large number of dead bodies into the Ganga.
 

ians

Sun, 13 Jun 2021 19:43:36 +0530
Social distancing TN govt officials inspect auto plants

Chennai, June 13

If the social distancing norms are to be followed strictly at car plants, then no vehicle can be rolled out. The companies have to consider the workers as frontline warriors, said union officials at different factories.

Senior officials of Tamil Nadu's Directorate of Industrial Safety and Health have inspected the car plants of Renault Nissan Automotive India, Ford India, Hyundai Motor India to arrive at the uniform social distancing norms at the shopfloor level.

The Madras High Court had on June 8 ordered the Directorate of Industrial Safety to visit the Renault Nissan Automotive's factory and also other comparable passenger vehicle makers located near here to arrive at a uniform guideline.

"The officials from the Directorate of Industrial Safety inspected the plant in the evening after 4.30 p.m. when we were not there. We wanted to voice our views to the inspecting team," M. Moorthy, General Secretary, Renault Nissan India Thozhilalar Sangam (RNITS), told IANS.

According to him, the management is not talking with the union despite the requests and hence the court case.

"No automobile plant can function if the social distancing norms are strictly followed. For instance, when one person loads the wheel another worker near him will tighten the bolts. Similarly, when seats are fixed inside," a worker in Ford India preferring anonymity told IANS.

"Officials from the Directorate of Industrial Safety had visited the plant but didn't hold any discussion with the union officials," a union official in Ford India told IANS.

Similarly, the state government officials had inspected Hyundai Motor India's mega car plant, a union leader told IANS.

Incidentally the production capacities of all the three plants vary largely.

Hearing the case filed by the RNITS against Renault Nissan Automotive for non-adherence to the Covid-19 safety protocol while operating the plant, the court had issued its order.

Early this month, the company and the worker's union RNITS had signed an agreement on maintaining social distancing at the shopfloor level.

The two parties had agreed for the empty pitch ratio of 3:1 in the trim and chassis and body shop.

"Simply put, after three cars in the conveyor belt, one slot will be empty so that a worker need not move to the next workstation to complete his work," RNITS President K. Balaji Krishnan had told IANS.

While Renault Nissan Automotive has two production lines, it initially implemented the 3:1 scheme in line 2 and contended with the workers that it is not applicable to line 1 where models like Sunny, Kicks and Duster are assembled.

After the court categorically said that the management was in breach of the agreement signed with the workers union, the management decided to abide by the agreement.

Moorthy said the production was reduced by only 25 per cent.

However, during the hearing on June 8, the counsel for Renault told the court the company is being singled out as none of the other automotive units -- Hyundai Motor, Ford India, BMW, Daimler and others -- located near here or in the country like Maruti are maintaining the 3:1 empty pitch.

This resulted in the court ordering the visit of a senior official of the Directorate of Industrial Safety and Health to the automobile plants to come out with a uniform guideline for maintenance of social distance in factories.

Senior officials of other car makers declined to comment on Renault Nissan Automotive's strategy of linking their operations to their case, which is an indication of their being a bit upset.

"As per our information other car makers are not happy at linking them to the case resulting in inspection of their plants by officials of the Directorate of Industrial Safety," Moorthy said.

"The inspection may bring out violations of other laws," he added.

The next hearing of the case will be on June 14.

ians
 

Sun, 13 Jun 2021 12:07:23 +0530
No more trading in DHFL shares starting Monday

New Delhi, June 13

The BSE and NSE have decided to suspend trading in the shares of Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd (DHFL) from Monday.

The development follows the approval of the resolution plan of Piramal Capital & Housing Finance Ltd to acquire the bankrupt company.

Delisting of the shares has been done as part of the resolution plan of the Piramal Enterprises' subsidiary.

"In pursuance of Regulation 3.1.2 of the National Stock Exchange (Capital Market) Trading Regulations Part A, and for reasons mentioned above it is hereby notified that the following security will be suspended from trading w.e.f. June 14, 2021 (i.e. closing hours of trading on June 11, 2021)," said an NSE circular.

It noted that the company through announcement dated June 9, 2021, stated that no value was attributable to the equity shares as per the liquidation value of the company estimated by registered valuers appointed under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Insolvency Resolution Process for Corporate Persons) Regulations, 2016.

On June 7, the Mumbai bench of NCLT approved the resolution plan of Piramal Capital & Housing Finance Ltd for DHFL.

Piramal Capital & Housing Finance Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Piramal Enterprises.

The approval came after the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) on May 25 stayed the NCLT order directing DHFL's Committee of Creditors (CoC) to consider the settlement of its former promoter Kapil Wadhawan.

On Friday, shares of DHFL on the BSE closed at Rs 16.70, lower by 9.97 per cent from its previous close.

ians
 

Sun, 13 Jun 2021 11:56:09 +0530
Allahabad HC grants bail in love jihad case

 

Prayagraj, June 13

The Allahabad High Court has granted bail to a man from Mahoba district in an alleged case of abduction, rape and unlawful religious conversion of a woman by marriage.

Justice Rahul Chaturvedi passed the order, allowing the bail application of Munna Khan.

An FIR was registered at the Kotwali Nagar police station in Mahoba on March 4 against Khan and his sister in connection with the alleged abduction, rape and conversion of the woman by marriage under sections 3, 5(1) of the UP Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020.

The FIR also said that the alleged victim and Khan resided in the same locality of Mahoba.

The applicant had taken certain obscene photographs and videos of the victim and used them for blackmail to maintain a physical relationship with her for the last four years, it was further alleged in the FIR.

ians
 

Sun, 13 Jun 2021 11:48:22 +0530
Amazon India introduces machine learning summer school

Bengaluru, June 13

Amazon India on Sunday announced the launch of ML Summer School which will provide an integrated learning experience for students to gain applied Machine Learning (ML) skills.

A batch of students from select tech campuses in India will be presented with the opportunity to engage through virtual classroom tutorials followed by interactive Q&A sessions with scientists at Amazon.

For students with prior exposure to certain areas of ML, the programme can act as a refresher course, while additionally providing a practical perspective on ML applications in industry, the company said in a statement.

"With the pace of advancements in ML, we are proactively helping students to learn about the latest trends in the field of ML and apply them to solve real-world problems," said Rajeev Rastogi, VP, India Machine Learning at Amazon.

"Our aim is to prepare students for science roles -- this will help to reduce the gap between the growing demand for ML roles across companies and the talent pool with applied ML skills," he added.

ML Summer School is open to engineering students in their pre-final/final year of Bachelors, Masters or PhD studies across select tech campuses in 2021.

Participants of ML Summer School will be identified through an online assessment.

They will also have access to the Amazon Research Days (ARD) conference where they can learn about technology trends in industry through presentations from renowned ML leaders around the world.

The curriculum of ML Summer School will cover the fundamental concepts in ML while linking them to practical industry applications through an immersive three-day course.

Students will get to learn first-hand on how advanced ML techniques such as Deep Learning and Probabilistic Graphical Models can be leveraged to solve specific business problems in the e-commerce domain such as demand forecasting, catalogue quality, product recommendations, search ranking and online advertising.

ians

Sun, 13 Jun 2021 11:40:59 +0530
India handed over 577 intruders to B desh since 2018

 

New Delhi, June 13

In a gesture of mutual cooperation and emphasis on the well-being of the border populations of both the countries, India has handed as many as 577 Bangladeshi intruders to the neighbouring country since 2018, and the numbers this year have been quite good in the first five months, with over 100 people returned to their country.

Officials in the Border Security Force (BSF) said these intruders were caught and handed over to the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) -- the border guarding force of the neighbouring country, which shares 4,096 km borders with India.

As the India-Bangladesh border is considered to be the most peaceful International Border, both the countries ensure to maintain their relations and such good will gestures are shown from both sides during the flag meetings of the border guarding forces of the two nations.

Of these 577 Bangladeshi intruders, there were women, children and men belonging to the villages located near to the borders.

Most of the times, these illegal infiltrators sneaked into the Indian territory by crossing the International Boundary (IB) in search of jobs.

The villagers could sneak into the Indian territory, as most portions of the India-Bangladesh border, the fifth-longest land border in the world, are porous.

The India-Bangladesh border connects 262 km in Assam, 856 km in Tripura, 318 km in Mizoram, 443 km in Meghalaya, and 2,217 km in West Bengal.

As per the data, 480 of these intruders had entered into the Indian territory through West Bengal, 71 through Tripura, 18 via Meghalaya and eight through Assam.

All the 577 intruders were handed over to Bangladesh between January 1, 2018 and May 21 this year.

As many as 129 Bangladeshis were held by the BSF this year till May 21 and were handed over to the BGB. Of these, 116 had entered into India through West Bengal, nine via Tripura, three through Meghalaya and one through Assam.

The figures this year so far indicate that illegal entry may touch or cross the maximum of 262 illegal infiltrations noted in 2018.

In 2020, 116 Bangladeshis were caught and handed over to the BGB. Of them, 91 had entered through West Bengal, 17 through Tripura, five via Assam and three through Meghalaya.

In 2019, 70 intruders were held and handed over to Bangladesh, the lowest. Of these, 38 illegal entries were noted through West Bengal, 19 via Tripura, 12 through Meghalaya and one through Assam.

A total of 262 Bangladeshis were returned back to their country in 2018, the highest so far. Of them, 235 had entered into the Indian territory through West Bengal, 26 through Tripura and one through Assam.

Earlier this month, the BSF had sent back a Bangladeshi teenager who had strayed into the Indian territory. The 12-year-old youth, identified as Hasanur Jamal Abhik, was handed over to the BGB during a flag meeting between the two border guarding forces at the BSF Border Outpost Dawki and BGB Border Outpost Tamabil.

A resident of Savar area in Dhaka district, the Bangladeshi teenager was found roaming in Dawki village on June 6 by the locals, who handed him over to the police. He was handed over to the BGB on June 7.

To overcome this problem, as well as to prevent illegal trafficking of cattle, humans, drugs, fake Indian currency notes (FICN) and many more things, the Ministry of Home Affairs had in 2017 decided to employ a technological solution, besides the physical presence of BSF personnel.

In January 2018, the information and technology wing of the BSF undertook project BOLD-QIT (Border Electronically Dominated QRT Interception Technique), under the Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS), and completed it in record time with the technical support of various manufacturers and suppliers.

BOLD-QIT is a project aimed to install technical systems under the CIBMS, enabling the BSF to equip the Indo-Bangla border in the unfenced riverine areas of the Brahmaputra and its tributaries with various kinds of sensors.

Now, the entire span of the Brahmaputra has been covered with the data network generated by Microwave communication, OFC cables, DMR communication, day and night surveillance cameras and intrusion detection systems.

These modern gadgets provide feeds to the BSF control rooms along the borders and enable the paramilitary force's quick reaction teams to thwart any possibility of illegal border crossing and crimes.

At various places, it is not possible to erect border fences due to geographical barriers, and the Indian government is taking help of electronic gadgets like these to secure the India-Bangladesh border from illegal infiltraion.

ians

Sun, 13 Jun 2021 11:31:13 +0530
Recoveries remain more than new Covid cases in Karnataka

Bengaluru, June 13

As a further evidence of breaking the chain, with 21,614 patients discharged, recoveries were more than 9,785 new Covid cases in a day across Karnataka, said the state health bulletin on Saturday.

"With 21,614 patients discharged across the state during the day, recoveries shot up to 25,32,719, while 9,785 new cases registered on Friday increased the state's Covid tally to 27,57,324, including 1,91,796 active cases," said the bulletin.

As epicentre of the pandemic in the state, Bengaluru reported 2,454 fresh cases, taking its Covid tally to 11,95,340, including 88,795 active cases, while recoveries rose to 10,91,260, with 5,398 patients discharged during the day.

The infection claimed 144 lives, including 21 in Bengaluru, taking the state's death toll to 32,788 and the city's toll to 15,284 since the pandemic broke out in mid-March a year ago.

Out of 1,48,027 tests conducted across the state during the day, 26,999 were through rapid antigen detection and 1,21,028 through RT-PCR method.

Positivity rate was 6.61 per cent and case fatality rate 1.47 per cent across the state on Friday.

Meanwhile, 1,58,572 people, including 64,681 above 45 years and 88,323 in the 18-44 years age group were vaccinated across the state during the day.

"Cumulatively, 1,67,13,328 beneficiaries, including senior citizens above 60 years, healthcare workers and frontline warriors received the jab since the vaccination drive was launched in the southern state on January 16," added the bulletin.

ians
 

Sun, 13 Jun 2021 09:51:44 +0530
Finland claim historic win over Denmark after Eriksen collapses

Copenhagen, June 13

Joel Pohjanpalo's 59th minute header gave Finland a 1-0 win over Denmark and their first ever triumph in the final stage of a major football tournament on Saturday night in Copenhagen, but the opening game for both teams in the European Championships will almost certainly be remembered for another reason.

The match was dominated by a single incident which had football fans all around the world in shock after Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen collapsed on the pitch in the 42nd minute of the game.

Eriksen passed out minutes before half time and his shocked team-mates formed a shield around him as a member of their medical staff appeared to perform CPR on him. The 29-year-old received treatment for around 10 minutes before being carried from the pitch, with his team-mates holding sheets to shield him, reports Xinhua.

Simon Kjaer and Kasper Schmeichel were seen comforting his distraught partner, Sabrina Kvist Jensen.

A photo published online shortly afterwards showed Eriksen to be conscious and both UEFA and the Danish FA confirmed that the player was "awake" and that his condition had "been stabilsed," although he will need to undergo tests in hospital.

UEFA later reported that after a meeting between both teams and referee Anthony Taylor both sides had asked to finish the match, with the Danes saying they wanted to win it for their companion.

Until Eriksen's collapse, Finland goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky had been the man of the match with saves from Jonas Wind, Eriksen and Pierre-Emile Hjobjerg, as Denmark dominated with Teemu Pukki isolated in attack for Finland.

The game restarted with the remaining minutes of the first half played ahead of a five-minute break before the second half kicked off.

Denmark completely controlled the ball but failed to test Hradecky again, although they had chalked up 19 shots by the time Joel Pohjanpalo managed Finland's first. Such is football that Pohjanpalo's header, following Jere Urenon's cross from the left, ended up in the back of the net as Schmeichel was unable to get down on time and the Finns took the lead.

Denmark controlled the game but without threatening to score until the 72nd minute when they were given a penalty following Paulus Arajuuri's clumsy challenge on Yussef Poulsen. Hojbjerg stepped up to take it, but his timid spot kick was easily saved by Hradecky.

Under normal circumstances, Eriksen would have taken the penalty, but what happened earlier in the game shows there are many things worse than a missed penalty.

ians

Sun, 13 Jun 2021 09:41:00 +0530
Finland claim historic win over Denmark after Eriksen collapses

Copenhagen, June 13

Joel Pohjanpalo's 59th minute header gave Finland a 1-0 win over Denmark and their first ever triumph in the final stage of a major football tournament on Saturday night in Copenhagen, but the opening game for both teams in the European Championships will almost certainly be remembered for another reason.

The match was dominated by a single incident which had football fans all around the world in shock after Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen collapsed on the pitch in the 42nd minute of the game.

Eriksen passed out minutes before half time and his shocked team-mates formed a shield around him as a member of their medical staff appeared to perform CPR on him. The 29-year-old received treatment for around 10 minutes before being carried from the pitch, with his team-mates holding sheets to shield him, reports Xinhua.

Simon Kjaer and Kasper Schmeichel were seen comforting his distraught partner, Sabrina Kvist Jensen.

A photo published online shortly afterwards showed Eriksen to be conscious and both UEFA and the Danish FA confirmed that the player was "awake" and that his condition had "been stabilsed," although he will need to undergo tests in hospital.

UEFA later reported that after a meeting between both teams and referee Anthony Taylor both sides had asked to finish the match, with the Danes saying they wanted to win it for their companion.

Until Eriksen's collapse, Finland goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky had been the man of the match with saves from Jonas Wind, Eriksen and Pierre-Emile Hjobjerg, as Denmark dominated with Teemu Pukki isolated in attack for Finland.

The game restarted with the remaining minutes of the first half played ahead of a five-minute break before the second half kicked off.

Denmark completely controlled the ball but failed to test Hradecky again, although they had chalked up 19 shots by the time Joel Pohjanpalo managed Finland's first. Such is football that Pohjanpalo's header, following Jere Urenon's cross from the left, ended up in the back of the net as Schmeichel was unable to get down on time and the Finns took the lead.

Denmark controlled the game but without threatening to score until the 72nd minute when they were given a penalty following Paulus Arajuuri's clumsy challenge on Yussef Poulsen. Hojbjerg stepped up to take it, but his timid spot kick was easily saved by Hradecky.

Under normal circumstances, Eriksen would have taken the penalty, but what happened earlier in the game shows there are many things worse than a missed penalty.

ians

Sun, 13 Jun 2021 09:36:51 +0530
Hot on OTT Coming up this week June 13 June 20

New Delhi, June 13

Here's a look at highlight films, shows and series that are scheduled to drop in the digital space this week.

KHWABON KE PARINDEY, Season 1 (Series on Voot, June 14)
Cast: Asha Negi, Mrinal Dutt, Manasi Moghe, Tushar Sharma; Direction: Tapasvi Mehta

The drama series is about three friends and a stranger, and unfolds in Australia. It is a story of realisations in life through a journey of love, friendship, hope, despair, joys and sorrows.

THE REPUBLIC OF SARAH, Season 1, (Series on Voot, June 14)
Cast: Stella Baker, Luke Mitchell, Megan Follows, Ian Duff; Created by: Jeffrey Paul King

When the greedy ways of a mining company starts destroying a town, high school teacher Sarah Cooper unearths an obscure cartographical loophole to declare independence.

WORKIN' MOMS, Season 5 (Series on Netflix series, June 15)
Cast: Catherine Reitman, Dani Kind, Juno Rinaldi, Jessalyn Wanlim; Created by: Catherine Reitman

Season five of the popular Canadian sitcom, created by Catherine Reitman, brings back Reitman along with co-stars Jessalyn Wanlim, Dani Kind and Juno Rinaldi as the working mom buddies who face a new set of challenges.

LET'S EAT, Season 1 (Series on Netflix series, June 15)
Cast: Apinya Sakuljaroensuk; Mawin Taweephol; Direction: Sarawut Wichiensarn

Not to be confused with the hit Korean show of the same name, this Thai show is a new rom-com about a food-blogging insurance agent who meets an old school friend and soon becomes her sidekick.

RHYME TIME TOWN, Season 2 (Series on Netflix, June 15)
Voice cast: Annabelle Westenholz-Smith, Luke Amis; Developed by: Dan Berlinka

The popular children's animation show returns in its seacond season. The pre-school series is about Daisy and Cole who solve problems in a town full of nursery rhyme characters.

THE SILVER SKATES (Film on Netflix, June 16)
Cast: Fedor Fedotov, Sofya Priss, Kirill Zaytsev; Direction: Michael Lockshin

The Russian period adventure film is inspired by "Romeo And Juliet" and the novel "Hans Brinker, Or The Silver Skates". Set in Saint Petersburg during the winter of 1899it tells the story of romance that blooms between Matvey the courier and Alisa the aristocrat.

PENGUIN TOWN, Season 1 (Series on Netflix, June 16)

Documentary Series set in South Africa, where an endangered group of penguins flock to find mates, raise families and mix with the locals.

KATLA (Series on Netflix; June 17)
Cast: Guorun Yr Eyfjoro, Iris Tanja Flygenring; Created by: Sigurjón Kjartansson and Baltasar Kormakur

The Icelandic sci-fi thriller series is about how a catastrophic eruption of the sub-glacial volcano Katla turns a nearby community's world upside down as mysteries begin to emerge from the ice.

SHERNI (film on Amazon Prime Video, June 18)
Cast: Vidya Balan, Vijay Raaz, Sharat Saxena; Direction: Amit Masurkar

'Newton' director Amit Masurkar presents Vidya Balan as as a forest officer who must lead a team of trackers and locals intending to capture an unsettled tigress, while battling intense obstacles and pressures, both natural and man-made.

JAGAME THANDIRAM (Film of Netflix, June 18)
Cast: Dhanush, Aishwarya Lekshmi, James Cosmo; Direction: Karthik Subbaraj

The Tamil action thriller is about a clever gangster who is hired by a crime lord to take down a dangerous rival.

LUCA (Film on Disney+ Hotstar, June 18)
Voice cast: Jacob Tremblay, Jack Dylan Grazer, Emma Berman; Direction: Enrico Casarosa

Pixar's new animation film is set in the 1950s, in a seaside town on the Italian Riviera. A young boy Luca shares adventures with his new best friend Alberto. They are hiding a secret from each other -- they are both sea monsters.

ELITE, Season 4 (Series on Netflix, June 18)
Cast: Itzan Escamilla, Miguel Bernardeau, Danna Paola; Created by: Carlos Montero

Season four of the Spanish suspense drama series is about a group of middle-class students who have an altercation with their wealthy and influential classmates in the elite school they enrol, which leads to a horrific murder.

THE RATIONAL LIFE, Season 1 (Series on Netflix, June 18)
Cast: Bao Wen Jin; Calvin Li, Lan Qin; Direction: Hsu Fu Chun

The Chinese romantic drama series is about a career-driven young woman balancing workplace tension with a love triangle and a nagging mother at home.

A FAMILY (Film on Netflix, June 18)
Cast: Go Ayano, Naoyuki Fernandez, Hayato Ichihara; Direction: Michihito Fujii

The Japanese action drama is about Kenji, whose father died from using a stimulant drug, followimng which he joins a crime syndicate and Kenji discovers a new concept of the family.

MOUCHAK (Series on Hoichoi, June 18)
Cast: Monami Ghosh, Kanchan Mallick, Sourav Chatterjee, Apratim Chatterjee; Direction: Sayantan Ghosal

The Bengali comedy series marks the OTT debut of popular television star Monami Ghosh, as the friendly neighbourhood 'boudi' or sister-in-law.

EL CORAZON DE SERGIO RAMOS: LA LEYENDA DE SERGIO RAMOS (Series on Amazon Prime, June 18)

Documentary series on Spain and Real Madrid captain, the legendary defender Sergio Ramos. The series narrates the incredible story of the football superstar who has garnered popularity the world over.

CHIVAS: EL REBENO SAGRADO, Season 1 (Series on Amazon Prime Video; June 18)
A documentary series for Latin American football buffs, about the unforgettable season of Mexico's homegrown club, the Chivas of Guadalajara, as it resurrects the legendary team after five consecutive seasons of failure.

NEVERTHELESS, Season 1 (Series on Netflix, June 19)
Cast: Song Kang, Han So-hee; Direction: Kim Ga-ram

The Korean teenybopper drama is about a cynical youngster who is drawn into a friends-with-benefits arrangement by his flirtatious art school classmate.

ians
 

Sun, 13 Jun 2021 09:25:35 +0530
14 injured in mass Texas shooting suspect arrested

Washington, June 13

At least 14 people were injured in a mass shooting in the US state of Texas, authorities said, adding that a suspect have been arrested in connection with the incident.

The shooting took place on Saturday in the state capital of Austin.

Addressing the media, Austin Interim Police Chief Joseph Chacon said two of the injured were in critical condition, adding that all the 14 wounded persons were "innocent bystanders", CNN reported.

The police received their first emergency call shortly before 1.30 a.m., followed by several more calls of shots fired, Chacon said.

"As shots rang out, officers on the block were able to immediately respond," CNN quoted the Interim Police Chief as saying.

There was no immediate information on the suspect who was arrested but according to Chacon, the police have identified two male perpetrators responsible for the shooting.

He added that authorities were reviewing CCTV footage from multiple sources, "including the city's system of video surveillance cameras".

Condemning the incident, Austin Mayor Steve Adler tweeted on Saturday: "The uptick in gun violence locally is part of a disturbing rise in gun violence across the country as we exit the pandemic.

"APD and the City Council have initiated multiple violence prevention efforts in response but this crisis requires a broader, coordinated response from all levels of government.

"One thing is clear - greater access to firearms does not equal greater public safety."

ians
 

Sun, 13 Jun 2021 09:01:47 +0530
Global Covid 19 caseload tops 175 5mn

Washington, June 13

The overall global Covid-19 caseload has topped 175.5 million, while the deaths have surged to more than 3.79 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

In its latest update on Sunday morning, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed that the current global caseload and death toll stood at 175,567,564 and 3,791,126, respectively.

The US continues to be the worst-hit country with the world's highest number of cases and deaths at 33,457,378 and 599,664, respectively, according to the CSSE.

In terms of infections, India follows in the second place with 29,359,155 cases.

The other worst countries with over 3 million cases are Brazil (17,374,818), France (5,799,459), Turkey (5,325,435), Russia (5,133,938), the UK (4,574,445), Italy (4,243,482), Argentina (4,111,147), Spain (3,733,600), Colombia (3,724,705), Germany (3,722,295) and Iran (3,020,522), the CSSE figures showed.

In terms of deaths, Brazil comes second with 486,272 fatalities.

Nations with a death toll of over 100,000 are India (367,081), Mexico (230,097), the UK (128,160), Italy (126,976), Russia (123,961) and France (110,540).

ians
 

Sun, 13 Jun 2021 08:48:33 +0530
Road to Inaugural World Test Championship India and NZ

 

Anupama Nair

www.mediaeyenews.com

Cricket is my favorite sport and for many in the British Commonwealth countries, as it was invented by the British, and became popular in the countries ruled by them. Test cricket is the form of the sport of cricket with the longest match duration i.e., five days and is considered the toughest, and true test of a batsman or bowler’s caliber for the entire five days. Each team plays two innings each, and the best wins… not always, you can drag a match to a boring draw too. In the long history of Test Cricket, for the first time, a World Test Championship will be held this year on June 18 – 22 between old rival India and… oops not Pakistan but our nemesis New Zealand. That is correct, New Zealand, always a thorn in India’s path. My memory takes me to the 2019 World Cup match between India and New Zealand and our shameful exit. I can remember, many more ICC tournaments, but that is like putting salt in my wounds. My dream is seeing Virat Kohli holding the coveted trophy. It is the venue England, famous for June rains, will it play spoilt sport, only time will tell. Cricket is controlled by the International Cricket Council (ICC), and each country has their own board. BCCI controls Indian cricket.

Now I am going take you down memory lane to the history of Test Cricket. India is country where cricket is very popular and cricketers are treated as Gods. Cricket is most popular in India and Pakistan. With the World Test Championship in June 2021, I thought I will take you on a journey on the cricket history in the Subcontinent. The movie Lagaan was a super hit because of the Cricket theme and villagers defeating the mighty British. The first officially recognized Test match took place between 15 and 19 March 1877 and was played between England and Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), Australia, with Aussies winning the match comfortably. In those days even United States and Canada played cricket.

Cricket was introduced to India by the British East India Company in the 18th Century. The first Cricket Club was established in 1792.  In 1848, the Parsi community in Bombay, formed the Oriental Cricket Club, the first cricket club to be established by the Indians. After slow beginnings, the Europeans eventually invited the Parsi’s to play a match in 1877. By 1912, people of all religions of Bombay played a quadrangular tournament with the Europeans every year. In the early 1900s, some Indians went on to play for the England cricket team. Some of these, such as Maharaja Ranjit Singh and Duleep Singh were greatly appreciated by the British and in 1911, an Indian team went on their first official tour of the British Isles, but only played English county teams and not in the England cricket team.

India's national cricket team did not play its first Test match until 25 June 1932 under the Captain C.K Naidu at Lord’s becoming the sixth team to be granted test cricket status. India hosted its first Test series in the year 1933. England was the visiting team that played 2 Tests in Bombay and Calcutta. The visitors easily won the series 2–0. The Indian team continued to improve throughout the 1930s and 40s but did not achieve an international victory during this period. In the early 1940s, India didn't play any Test Cricket due to the War. The team's first series as an independent country was in late 1947 against Sir Donald Bradman's Invincible (a name given to the Australian team then). It was also the first Test series India played against a different opponent. Australia won the 5-match series 4–0, with Bradman tormenting the Indian bowling in his final Australian summer. India subsequently played their first Test series at home, but against the West Indies in 1948. West Indies won the  5-Test series 1–0.  India recorded their first Test victory, in their 24th match, against England at Madras in 1952, which was a great achievement for a newly independent India.

In its first fifty years of international cricket, India was one of the weaker teams, winning only 35 of the first 196 Test matches it played. The team, however, gained strength in the 1970s with the emergence of players such as batsmen Gavaskar, Vishwanath, Kapil Dev and the spin bowler’s like Bedi and Prasanna and Chandrashekar.

India maintained their unbeaten home record against Australia in Test series after victory in 2001. The series is ever there in our minds and all Indians remember the match with pride. The series was famous for the Kolkata Test match, in which India became only the third team in the history of Test Cricket to win a Test match after “following on”. Australian Captain Steve Waugh labelled India as the "Final Frontier" because of his side's inability to win a Test series in India. Victory was only possible due to epic innings of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman and great bowling of Harbajan Singh. Victory in 2001 against the Australians marked the beginning of a dream run for India till now, winning Test series in Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, West Indies, Pakistan and Australia. Only South Africa, England  and New Zealand are the “final frontiers”. We will soon conquer that peak too any time.

Now there are twelve Test playing countries recognized by ICC – England (1877), Australia (1877), South Africa (1889 and banned later because of Apartheid and later in 1992), West Indies (1928), New Zealand (1930), India (1932), Pakistan (1952), Sri Lanka (1982), Zimbabwe (1992), Bangladesh (2000), Ireland and Afghanistan (2018). India currently tops the Test table with New Zealand and England following closely.

There is a common perception that Test cricket may be losing popularity, particularly in the face of the advent of  One Day International (ODI), and the wham bam T20. Pink Ball Test matches have been floated as one way to address this problem. India has won two of her three Pink Ball Tests played, the only loss to Australia in the infamous 32 all out, in Adelaide. However, this fall in popularity has been disputed, with the famous Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) poll showing that 86% of all cricket fans support Test cricket, more than any other format. This is a great sign for Test Cricket.

There has been no World Cup for Test cricket conducted ever. However, a league competition for Test cricket began in  the period 2019-2021. The schedule for this Championship is a set of typical bilateral series in various countries, where one team is the host and other team is the visitor. The length of each series varies between two and five match series. Ireland, Zimbabwe and Afghanistan are not competing in this competition. India leads the World Test Championship table, with New Zealand in the second spot.

In the next part I will be talking about the World Test Championship journey of  India and New Zealand. All the best India.

(To be continued….)

 

Sat, 12 Jun 2021 23:10:57 +0530
Indian Schools should be taught about Our FAUJI Heroes

www.mediaeyenews.com

 SHIRLEY UDAYKUMAR

Most Indians would have heard the name of Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw who led India to victory in 1971 defeating Pakistan and making 90,000 Pakistan soldiers prisoners of war. This victory paved the formation of Bangladesh.

It is very essential to remember and celebrate our war heroes as it fosters nationalism and a sense of pride amongst our growing minds to derive inspiration for our Motherland. The supreme sacrifice our soldiers make in keeping peace and maintaining our sovereignty has to be appreciated by all Indians.

In the five wars that India has fought with its neighbours in 1947 Pakistan, 1962 China, 1965 Pakistan, 1971 Pakistan, and Kargil 1999, we have always defeated Pakistan, our lamented cousin. China was an exception in 1962, because of political mistakes.

But behind such war victories is the bravery and gallantry of many officers and soldiers of the Indian Armed Forces consisting of the Army, Navy, and Air Force. It takes the blood and sweat of our soldiers to keep the flag of the Republic of India fluttering at all times in peace and war. Many get killed in action and many others are wounded and disabled. 

Some of our war heroes: Major Som Nath Sharma, PVC (Army 1947); Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat, MVC (Army 1962); Lt Col Dhan Singh Thapa, PVC (Army 1962); Havildar (CQMH) Abdul Hamid, PVC (Army 1965); Squadron Leader Denzil Keelor (Army 1965); Capt. MN Mulla, MVC (Navy 1971); Flying officer Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon, PVC (Army 1971); Major Kuldip Singh Chandpuri, MVC (Army 1971); Lance Naik Albert Ekka, PVC (Army 1971); Capt. Vikram Batra, PVC (Army 1999); Grenadier Yogendra Singh Yadav, PVC (Army 1999); these are only a couple of our Armed Forces heroes. Wonder, only a handful of students would have heard of them.

Let me narrate an initiative that I have started as a co-curricular activity in my school at Powai English High School to educate my students about our Fauji Heroes. Just before the pandemic lockdown, I launched ‘Shirley’s Tryst with Faujis’ – Kahani Mere Veer Jawano Ki Mastano Ki. In this event, we bring a celebrated FAUJI guest online and speak to him of his heroics who has seen action. We give a small presentation in the beginning and then teachers and students ask questions to him. It is mostly of an hour’s duration and some 300 students come online.

PIC: Major DP Singh in uniform and later as amputee soldier with blade (artificial leg) running the marathon

Though it may not pertain to the syllabus as such, let me assure you our students are charged up after the motivation talk. Recently, we got Major DP Singh a 1999 Kargil war disabled soldier. His one leg had to be amputated as it developed gangrene after a mortar attack on him. He was almost declared dead. But luck favoured him and he was saved. Today, he is India’s first Blade runner. His heroics are acknowledged internationally for running Marathons and para-jumping on one leg. He is a much sought-after motivational speaker too.

Such military legends living amidst us are a true inspiration for our Indian youth, whose daunting spirit to face the odds and brave challenges will surely motivate a whole new generation.

It is for these reasons; our school children need to learn about them to build an inspired generation. They will surely become better human beings and be part of an awakened India which is advancing as a Super Power. Indeed, a small step for them, but a giant step in India’s civilization.

The author is the Headmistress of Powai English High School. Recently, she campaigned to garner funds from corporate CSR, NGOs, and individuals and raised Rs 40 Lakhs for fee-sponsorship of pandemic-affected students.

Sat, 12 Jun 2021 21:52:47 +0530
Indian Schools should be taught about Our FAUJI Heroes

www.mediaeyenews.com

SHIRLEY UDAYKUMAR

Most Indians would have heard the name of Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw who led India to victory in 1971 defeating Pakistan and making 90,000 Pakistan soldiers’ prisoners of war. This victory paved the formation of Bangladesh.

It is very essential to remember and celebrate our war heroes as it fosters nationalism and a sense of pride amongst our growing minds to derive inspiration for our Motherland. The supreme sacrifice our soldiers make in keeping peace and maintaining our sovereignty has to be appreciated by all Indians.

In the five wars that India has fought with its neighbours in 1947 Pakistan, 1962 China, 1965 Pakistan, 1971 Pakistan, and Kargil 1999, we have always defeated Pakistan, our lamented cousin. China was an exception in 1962, because of political mistakes.

But behind such war victories is the bravery and gallantry of many officers and soldiers of the Indian Armed Forces consisting of the Army, Navy, and Air Force. It takes the blood and sweat of our soldiers to keep the flag of the Republic of India fluttering at all times in peace and war. Many get killed in action and many others are wounded and disabled. 

Some of our war heroes: Major Som Nath Sharma, PVC (Army 1947); Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat, MVC (Army 1962); Lt Col Dhan Singh Thapa, PVC (Army 1962); Havildar (CQMH) Abdul Hamid, PVC (Army 1965); Squadron Leader Denzil Keelor (Army 1965); Capt. MN Mulla, MVC (Navy 1971); Flying officer Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon, PVC (Army 1971); Major Kuldip Singh Chandpuri, MVC (Army 1971); Lance Naik Albert Ekka, PVC (Army 1971); Capt. Vikram Batra, PVC (Army 1999); Grenadier Yogendra Singh Yadav, PVC (Army 1999); these are just a few of our heroes of the Armed Forces. Wonder, only a handful of students would have heard of them.

Let me narrate an initiative that I have started as a co-curricular activity in my school at Powai English High School to educate my students about our Fauji Heroes. Just before the pandemic lockdown, I launched ‘Shirley’s Tryst with Faujis’ – Kahani Mere Veer Jawano Ki Mastano Ki. In this event, we bring a celebrated FAUJI guest online and speak to him of his heroics who has seen action. We give a small presentation in the beginning and then teachers and students ask questions to him. It is mostly of an hour’s duration and some 300 students come online.

https://ibb.co/JQbBmjM

PIC: Major DP Singh in uniform and later as amputee soldier with blade (artificial leg) running the marathon

Though it may not pertain to the syllabus as such, let me assure you our students are charged up after the motivation talk. Recently, we got Major DP Singh a 1999 Kargil war disabled soldier. His one leg had to be amputated as it developed gangrene after a mortar attack on him. He was almost declared dead. But luck favoured him and he was saved. Today, he is India’s first Blade runner. His heroics are acknowledged internationally for running Marathons and para-jumping on one leg. He is a much sought-after motivational speaker too.

Such military legends living amidst us are a true inspiration for our Indian youth, whose daunting spirit to face the odds and brave challenges will surely motivate a whole new generation.

It is for these reasons; our school children need to learn about them to build an inspired generation. They will surely become better human beings and be part of an awakened India which is advancing as a Super Power. Indeed, a small step for them, but a giant step in India’s civilization.

The author is the Headmistress of Powai English High School. Recently, she campaigned to garner funds from corporate CSR, NGOs, and individuals and raised Rs 40 Lakhs for fee-sponsorship of pandemic-affected students.

Sat, 12 Jun 2021 21:04:58 +0530
Hurrah its World Gin Day

 

New Delhi, June 12

 Falling on the 12th of June, World Gin Day, gives you a reason to stay at home and make some delicious cocktails for a hot summer afternoon. IANSlife spoke to experts at Pernod Ricard for the best gin based cocktail recipes, so go ahead and sip on these coolers today:

Pomegranate Negroni

Flavours

* Bitter, Tart, Herbal

Occasion

* Candle-lit occasions, Cocktail moments

Ingredients

* 40 ml Beefeater London Dry Gin

* 30 ml Campari

* 25 ml Lillet blanc

* 10 ml pomegranate juice

* 2 dashes orange bitters

To Garnish

* Orange twist

Glass

Rocks/ Coupe

Method

* Add all ingredients into a mixing glass and add ice

* Stir until chilled

* Strain into glass and ice

* Garnish



Tropic Collins

Flavours

* Fresh, Fruity, Tart

Occasion

* Summer parties, Cocktail parties, Aperitif

Ingredients

* 50ml Beefeater Dry

* 20ml Honey syrup

* 25ml Fresh Pineapple juice

* 20ml Lemmon juice

* 3 mint leaves

* Soda

To Garnish

* Lemon wheel and mint

Glass

Highball



Method

* Add beefeater honey syrup, lemon and pineapple juice and mint into a shaker

* Shake and strain into a glass

* Top with soda and stir to combine

* Garnish



Green Goddess

Flavours

* Green, Complex, Herbaceous

Occasion

* Summer parties, Brunch parties, Aperitif

Ingredients

* 35ml Beefeater Dry

* 45g Fresh cucumber

* 20ml fresh lime juice

* Large basil leaves

* 15ml honey syrup

* 100g crushed ice

To Garnish

* Salt and pepper � rim, basil leaf

Glass

Glass bottle and punch cup

Method

* Blend all of the ingredients (excluding gin) together, pass through sieve and skim. Pour into airtight bottle and store in fridge

* Serve in presentation bottle with punch cup filled with chipped ice, garnish and a measure of Beefeater dry

* Garnish



Marmalade Daiquiri

Flavours

* Citrus, Fresh, Sour

Occasion

* Aperitif. Sun downers, Pre-dinner refreshment

Ingredients

* 50ml Beefeater Dry

* 1 bar spoon orange marmalade

* 25ml lime juice

* 20ml agave syrup

To Garnish

* Lime wheel

Glass

Coupe/martini

Method

* Add Beefeater gin , marmalade, lime juice and agave into a shaker

* Add ice and shake until chilled

* Fine strain into a chilled glass



Kombucha Kiss

Flavours

* Fruity, Tangy, Citrus

Occasion

* Aperitif. Sun downers, Post-dinner refreshment

Ingredients

* 35ml Beefeater Dry

* 10ml dry Vermouth/ Lillet Blanc

* 50ml cloudy apple

* 25ml lemon

* 15ml agave syrup

* 75ml kombucha

To Garnish

* Dehydrated apple slice

Glass

Highball

Method

* Shake all ingredients except kambucha in a shaker with ice

* Double strain into a chilled Collins/ highball glass filled with ice

* Top with kambucha

* Garnish



Matcha Pina Colada

Flavours

* Complex, Green, Fruity

Occasion

* Aperitif. Sun downers, Pre-dinner refreshment

Ingredients

* 50ml Beefeater Dry 0r 24

* Bar spoon matcha tea

* 30ml fresh pineapple juice

* 10ml fresh lemon juice

* 50ml coconut milk

* 40ml soda water



To Garnish

* Matcha dusting

Glass

Highball

Method

* Blend all ingredients together except for soda water until smooth

* Pour soda water into glass then add the blended mixture and dust the top with matcha

* Nb: this is not a frozen drink, so take care not to add too much ice

 

ians

Sat, 12 Jun 2021 20:40:24 +0530
Your digital life may soon be stored on DNA data files

New York, June 12

 As the world produces humongous amount of data -- there is now about 10 trillion gigabytes of digital data on earth -- scientists have shown that a technique for labelling and retrieving DNA data files from a large pool could help make DNA data storage feasible in the near future.

Every day, humans produce emails, photos, tweets and other digital files that add up to another 2.5 million gigabytes of data.

Much of this data is stored in enormous facilities known as exabyte data centres (an exabyte is 1 billion gigabytes), which can be the size of several football fields and cost around $1 billion to build and maintain.

Many scientists believe that an alternative solution lies in the molecule that contains our genetic information: DNA, which evolved to store massive quantities of information at very high density.

A coffee mug full of DNA could theoretically store all of the world's data, says Mark Bathe, a professor of biological engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

"We need new solutions for storing these massive amounts of data that the world is accumulating, especially the archival data," Bathe said in a paper appeared in the journal Nature Materials.

DNA is a thousandfold denser than even flash memory, and another property that's interesting is that once you make the DNA polymer, it doesn't consume any energy.

"You can write the DNA and then store it forever."

Scientists have already demonstrated that they can encode images and pages of text as DNA.

Bathe and his colleagues have now demonstrated one way to do that, by encapsulating each data file into a 6-micrometer particle of silica, which is labeled with short DNA sequences that reveal the contents.

Using this approach, the researchers demonstrated that they could accurately pull out individual images stored as DNA sequences from a set of 20 images.

Given the number of possible labels that could be used, this approach could scale up to 1020 files.

DNA has several other features that make it desirable as a storage medium: It is extremely stable, and it is fairly easy (but expensive) to synthesise and sequence.

Also, because of its high density -- each nucleotide, equivalent to up to two bits, is about 1 cubic nanometer -- an exabyte of data stored as DNA could fit in the palm of your hand.

One obstacle to this kind of data storage is the cost of synthesising such large amounts of DNA. Currently it would cost $1 trillion to write one petabyte of data (1 million gigabytes).

Bathe estimated that the cost of DNA synthesis would need to drop by about six orders of magnitude.

According to him, this will happen within a decade or two, similar to how the cost of storing information on flash drives has dropped dramatically over the past couple of decades.

"While it may be a while before DNA is viable as a data storage medium, there already exists a pressing need today for low-cost, massive storage solutions for preexisting DNA and RNA samples from Covid-19 testing, human genomic sequencing, and other areas of genomics," Bathe noted.
 

ians

Sat, 12 Jun 2021 20:34:35 +0530
YouTuber Bhuvan Bam loses parents to Covid

Mumbai, June 12

 YouTube star Bhuvan Bam took to social media on Saturday evening to share the sad news that he has lost his parents to Covid-19 in the last one month.

Mourning the demise of his father Avnindra Bam, who passed away on May 11, and mother Padma Bam, who breathed her last on June 10, Bhuvan shared in an Instagram post: "Lost both my lifelines to covid. Aai aur Baba ke bina kuch bhi pehle jaisa nahi rahega. Ek mahine mein sab bikhar chuka hai. Ghar, sapne, sab kuch. Meri aai mere pass nahi hai, baba mere saath nahi hain. Ab shuru se jeena seekhna padega. Mann nahi kar raha. (Nothing will be the same without Aai and Baba. Everything has been shattered in the past one month. My home, my dreams everything. My aai is not with me, neither is baba. Now I will have to learn from the beginning how to live and I don't feel like.)"

"Was I a good son? Did I do enough to save them? I'll have to live with these questions forever. Can't wait to see them again. I wish the day comes soon," he added.

A statement issued on behalf of Bhuvan's family reads: "In loving memory of Bhuvan's beloved father Avnindra Bam (11.05.21) and mother Padma Bam (10.06.21), we are saddened to announce their passing within one month of each other, due to Covid-19. We mourn the loss of these two gentle yet brave souls whose beautiful lives deserve to be beautifully remembered."

"The past few months have been trying for the family, and we seek everyone's prayers, support, and sensitivity during this time of grief. To Bhuvan's fans and well-wishers, we request that you allow him time and space to grieve this immense loss. We carry Aai and Baba's blessings in our hearts forever." the statement further says.
 

ians

Sat, 12 Jun 2021 20:30:15 +0530
India to require 400k charging stations for 2 mn EVs by 2026 Report

New Delhi, June 12

 India needs about 400,000 charging stations to meet the requirement for two million Electric Vehicles (EV) that could potentially ply on its roads by 2026, said a report on Saturday.

The Grant Thornton Bharat-Ficci report said for India to reach its vision of 100 per cent EVs by 2030, factors such as increasing government support, decreasing cost of technology, and distressing pollution levels, would be key to accelerate this transition.

As per EV industry body - Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles - there are 1,800 charging stations in India as of March 2021 for approximately 16,200 electric cars, including the fleet segment.

"Overall, the EV infrastructure is tightly coupled with the EV and charging station characteristics, battery technologies, and electricity markets," the report said.

"More than half of the stakeholders, as part of a survey in the report, have also recommended involvement of discoms in Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) deployment and classification of EV charging infrastructure as corporate social responsibility."

Besides, the survey suggested design simplifications, partnership during transition, and optimisation of urban mobility as effective cost reduction levers for bringing down EV costs in India.

"Global manufacturers have spent millions to improve the availability and efficacy of EV chargers, and as a result the fastest ones today take no more than 15 minutes to recharge a vehicle."

"The global sales of EVs in 2020 increased by 39 per cent y-o-y to 3.1 million units, whereas the total passenger car market declined 14 per cent."

In addition, the report mentioned about the impact of the pandemic on emergence of a new consumer who is eager to be healthy, breathe clean air and build a better, more resilient world for the next generation.

"The year 2020 has presented a great responsibility and opportunity to fast track the development of electrification and electric vehicles (EV) by utilising the strengths available globally through a collaborative and integrated effort," said Saket Mehra, Partner, Grant Thornton.
 

ians

Sat, 12 Jun 2021 20:25:07 +0530
Indian origin man charged with cyber attack on US hospital

Washington, June 12

 The US Department of Justice has filed charges against Indian-origin Vikas Singla, a former cybersecurity official, for a cyber-attack on a hospital in the state of Georgia in 2018.

According to the indictment, Singla, 45, the chief operating officer of a metro-Atlanta network security company Securolytics that served the health care industry, allegedly conducted a cyberattack on Gwinnett Medical Center that involved disrupting phone service, obtaining information from a digitising device, and disrupting network printer service.

Singla is charged with 17 counts of intentional damage to a protected computer, each of which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years' imprisonment, and one count of obtaining information by computer from a protected computer, which carries a maximum penalty of five years' imprisonment.

The indictment further alleges that the cyberattack was conducted, in part, for financial gain, the Justice Department said in a statement.

"Cyberattacks that target important infrastructure, like health care, pose a serious threat to public health and safety," said Acting US Attorney Kurt R. Erskine for the Northern District of Georgia.

"In this case, Singla allegedly compromised Gwinnett Medical Center's operations in part for his own personal gain."

"This cyberattack on a hospital not only could have had disastrous consequences, but patients' personal information was also compromised," said Special Agent in Charge, Chris Hacker, of the FBI's Atlanta Field Office.

The FBI is currently investigating this case.

According to media reports, the hospital probed a security breach in 2018 after some of its patients' data started surfacing online.

 

ians
 

Sat, 12 Jun 2021 20:21:08 +0530
Google team uses AI to create next gen chips faster than humans

New Delhi, June 12

 As the world faces acute semiconductor or chip shortage, a team of Google researchers is working on to design next-generation artificial-intelligence (AI) chips, and has created an AI model that allows chip design to be performed by artificial agents with more experience than any human designer.

The new AI method utilises past experience to become better and faster at solving new instances of the problem.

"Our method was used to design the next generation of Google's artificial intelligence (AI) accelerators, and has the potential to save thousands of hours of human effort for each new generation," the team wrote in a paper appeared in the scientific journal Nature.

"Finally, we believe that more powerful AI-designed hardware will fuel advances in AI, creating a symbiotic relationship between the two fields", they noted.

In about six hours, the model could generate a design that optimises the placement of different components on the chip.

To achieve this, the Google team used a dataset of 10,000 chip layouts for a machine-learning model, which was then trained with reinforcement learning.

"Our RL (reinforcement learning) agent generates chip layouts in just a few hours, whereas human experts can take months," Anna Goldie, research scientist at Google Brain, who took part in the research, said in a tweet.

"These superhuman AI-generated layouts were used in Google's latest AI accelerator (TPU-v5)!" She added.

Google has used the model to design its next generation of tensor processing units (TPUs), which run in the company's data centres to enhance the performance of various AI applications.

Chip floor-planning is the engineering task of designing the physical layout of a computer chip.

Despite five decades of research, chip floor planning has defied automation, requiring months of intense effort by physical design engineers to produce manufacturable layouts.

"In under six hours, our method automatically generates chip floor plans that are superior or comparable to those produced by humans in all key metrics, including power consumption, performance and chip area," according to the Google AI team.
 

ians

Sat, 12 Jun 2021 20:15:14 +0530
5 children drown to death in Bihar s Saharsa

Saharsa (Bihar), June 12

 A pall of gloom descended on Bihar's Saharsa district on Saturday morning after five children died due to drowning in the Basti area of the district.

The children had gone to take bath in a pond when they slipped into deep water and drowned. All the children were aged between 8 and 14 years.

A police officer said that five children had gone to a nearby pond to take bath. While taking bath, one of them slipped into deep water and started drowning. The others too went into deep water in order to save him, but unfortunately all of them drowned.

Sadar police station in-charge Sanjeev Kumar said that the deceased have been identified as Golu, Arif, Israfil, Mohammad Gulab and Abu Bakr.

He said the police reached the spot after getting information about the incident. With the help of local people, all the bodies have been fished out of the pond and sent for post-mortem.

 

ians

Sat, 12 Jun 2021 20:10:55 +0530
Man held for facilitating slain gangsters in Kolkata

Chandigarh, June 12

 Punjab police on Saturday arrested a man whose credentials and documents were used to hire a flat for the hideout of slain gangsters-turned-drug smugglers Jaipal Bhullar and Jaspreet Singh in Kolkata.

The arrested person was identified as Sumit Kumar, a resident of Meham in Haryana.

The development comes three days after Bhullar and Jassi were neutralised by the West Bengal police, after they fired on them when they had raided their flat in Kolkata.

Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Counter Intelligence and Organised Crime Control Unit (OCCU) Amit Prasad said they have arrested Sumit, a close associate-cum-business partner of Bharat Kumar, who helped Bhullar and Jassi in escaping from Morena in Gwalior and arranged hideout for them in Kolkata after they killed two ASIs Bhagwan Singh and Dalwinderjit Singh in Jagraon on May 15.

Bharat was arrested with 30 bore pistol and Honda Accord car from near Shambhu Border in Rajpura area on June 9 and on his disclosures, Punjab police gave information to the West Bengal police that the duo gangsters were holed up in a rented apartment in Kolkata.

The ADGP said that preliminary investigations had found that both Sumit Kumar and Bharat Kumar, who were business partners since 2015, were involved in illegal sale of fancy mobile numbers, including mobile numbers of foreign-based telecoms, purchased from different countries and other states, and they used to sell them in Punjab and Haryana at exorbitant rates.

He said Bharat was also found to be in possession of an official identity card of constable Amarjit Singh, which was being used to evade toll plazas while escaping from Gwalior.
 

ians

Sat, 12 Jun 2021 20:06:43 +0530
Deadlock continues between Raj and Punjab over flow of contaminated water into IGCP

Jaipur, June 12

 It's been years that untreated water from Punjab has been flowing into the Indira Gandhi Canal Project (IGCP) in Rajasthan, posing a threat to scores of people residing near the canal who quench their thirst with this chemical-laden water.


However, this time the water in the canal has turned dark black in colour, alarming the ruling Congress government in the desert state.

The project covers an area measuring 600 km in length and 45 km in width in the north west of Rajasthan.

The Rajasthan government led by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot recently shot a letter to the concerned Punjab officials, urging them not to release untreated water from its industries into the IGCP, as it is leading to the flow of contaminated water in Rajasthan.

The move came following reports of release of black water from the tanneries in Punjab into the IGCP, making its water unfit for use.

This problem of untreated water flowing into the IGCP is continuing for the past several years, and has become a bone of contention between the two neighbouring states.

This toxic water, as per the information, quenches the thirst of the people of 10 districts in Rajasthan, who are now faced with a direct health threat.

These districts are Bikaner, Sri Ganganagar, Hanumangarh, Nagaur, Jaisalmer, Barmer, Jodhpur, Churu, Jhunjhunu and Sikar.

This toxic water can lead health hazards such cancer, Alzheimer's, heart attack and kidney failure, among other diseases, say the experts.

Even BJP state president Satish Poonia has alleged that poisonous water is flowing in the Indira Gandhi Canal Project and Bhakra Nangal irrigation system of Rajasthan due to the release of contaminated water from the Harike barrage in Punjab.

Also, the contaminated water is killing fish and other aquatic animals.

Poonia has written a letter to Gehlot regarding the situation arising in about 10 districts of the state due to the contaminated water flowing in from Punjab.

In the letter, Poonia said, "Black contaminated water is being released from the Harike barrage in Punjab, due to which the water is turning poisonous in the Indira Gandhi Canal Project and the Bhakra Nangal irrigation system in Rajasthan. Far from drinking, even irrigation with such poisonous water is proving fatal. This water is supplied for drinking water to about two crore people of 10 districts."

At a time when common people are ravaged by the Covid pandemic, the contaminated water in the Indira Gandhi Canal Project is proving fatal for the people of these 10 districts.

Poonia also urged Gehlot to take suo motu cognizance of this matter and make efforts to get the problem resolved at the earliest, so that the people of these 10 districts get to drink pure water during this summers.

ians

Sat, 12 Jun 2021 19:58:40 +0530
Guinness record holder on a mission to make India hale hearty

Gurugram, June 12

 At a time when the Covid-induced lockdowns are weighing heavily on health and fitness activities, as people are staying indoors to keep the pandemic at bay, M.A. Murtoza, who had created a Guinness Record two years ago, is on a mission to make India as fit as a flea.

Murtoza, 42, made the country proud by setting the Guinness World Record for most full-contact knee strikes in one hour (team) -- 55,475 -- on July 14, 2019 in Gurugram.

The Guinness record holder is also a fitness trainer and is batting for his ‘Fit India' mission. He has been working relentlessly on it for over a decade now.

In the fitness training world, Murtoza has earned his achievements in a very short period of time.

"My aim behind attempting the world record was to make the society aware about the importance of health and fitness in today's hectic life. Fit India is not just a mission. It's my passion to encourage people to adopt a healthy and fit lifestyle," he said.

The fitness freak is presently working with a Manesar-based firm, and after his job hours, he starts working on his passion by providing fitness training to the students, youth and others. He trains students and youth on martial arts, self-defence, physical and mental health.

Along with training and physical fitness, Murtoza's research on physical fitness has also been published in some journals, including the International Journal of Engineering Science and Computing (IJESC) and International Journal of Innovation in Engineering Research & Management (IJIERM), among others.

He has also lent a helping hand to the society to cope up with the Covid-hit challenges.

"Exercise is a must during the pandemic or even at normal times. Doing daily physical exercise is a way to tackle health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, joint pain and other ailments and lifestyle disorders. It's never too late to start your fitness journey. Age is just a number when it comes to fitness," said Murtoza.

"In today's scenerio, people need fitness inspiration and proper guidance, and I am happy to be contributing to it. I feel that every citizen needs to adopt the concept of fit India, which is the key to hale and hearty society," he added.
 

 

ians

Sat, 12 Jun 2021 19:49:51 +0530
Covid TPR in Kerala falls but deaths remain high

Thiruvananthapuram, June 12

 For the first time in the last few weeks, the Covid test positivity rate (TPR) in Kerala fell to 12.72 per cent, but the death tally continues to be high, said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in a statement on Saturday.

Vijayan's statement said that 13,832 people turned Covid positive after 1,08,734 samples was tested in the past 24 hours, while there were 1,29,488 active cases across the state.

The TPR last month rose as high as 30 per cent following which Vijayan announced a statewide lockdown, which will be in force till Wednesday.

Saturday also saw 18,172 people turn negative taking the total recoveries to 25,75,769.

Among the 14 districts, Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday recorded the highest tally of 2,234 cases.

The day saw 171 Covid deaths taking the total death tally to 10,975.

Across the state there were 5,45,000 people under observation at various places which includes 31,103 at hospitals.

There were 880 hot spots in the state.

Saturday and Sunday are being observed as a triple lockdown with the police increasing their checking and those who are out without a valid reason are being fined and vehicles confiscated.

On the vaccination front, the Kerala IT Parks and Technopark Employees Cooperative (TEC) Hospital in collaboration with the IT companies on Saturday launched a Covid 19 vaccination drive for the state's IT professionals and their family members from more than 450 companies.

This will be extended to the entire IT workforce at the Infopark in Kochi and Cyberpark in Kozhikode in the coming weeks.
 

ians

Sat, 12 Jun 2021 19:44:29 +0530
Gurugram to kick off sero survey from June 15

Gurugram, June 12 (IANS) Gurugram health department is fully prepared to undertake the sero surveillance survey from June 15, officials said on Saturday.

The health authorities said that the purpose behind such study is to monitor the population of Stork-Cove 2 infection in the district.

Under the survey, the rural and urban areas of the district have been divided into 20 clusters. Samples will be collected for IgG antibody test to detect whether people have developed antibodies or not, they added.

Civil Surgeon Virendra Yadav said that in Gurugram, sero surveillance survey is being conducted on people of 20 different clusters, out of which 8 clusters are in urban and 12 clusters in rural areas. The study will be conducted on 400 people of the district.

"20 people will be taken from each cluster, out of which 12 samples above the age of 18 years, 6 samples in the age group of 10 to 17 years and 2 children in the age group of 6 to 9 years will be taken," Yadav said.

"With this test, we can figure out if any person was infected with Covid and later got recovered. It will also be known whether antibodies to Covid infection have been developed in his body or not," District Surveillance Officer Jai Prakash told IANS.

Meanwhile, Gurugram on Saturday reported 17 new Covid cases, pushing the tally to 1,80,475. The toll has climbed to 870 in the district.
 

ians

Sat, 12 Jun 2021 19:40:30 +0530
Indian cricket team begins England trip with intra squad practice tie

Southampton, June 12

India cricketers, who are serving a 10-day quarantine period here ahead of the World Test Championship (WTC) final, began their England sojourn with a two-day intra-squad practice match here at Hampshire Bowl.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) released pictures as well as a video on Saturday with the highlights of first day's play on Friday.

India captain Virat Kohli is seen batting, defending and clipping the ball off his toes, as also Shubman Gill and wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, who is seen hammering a big shot.

Pace bowlers Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Siraj are seen bowling. Newcomer Arzan Nagwaswalla is also seen in action. Spinner R Ashwin is also seen rolling his arm over.

Pant apparently reached a milestone as he is shown lifting his bat in celebration.

The Indian team is on a three-and-a-half month tour of England where it plays the WTC final against New Zealand from June 18 and then a five-Test series in August-September.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, India are not allowed to play any local club or county team unlike in the past.

Even New Zealand played an intra-squad warm-up game last month on arrival in Southampton.

However, unlike the Indian cricket board, New Zealand Cricket passed on the details of the match especially the outstanding performances from the day's play.

The Indians had reached Southampton on June 3. Their workload increased gradually as directed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) which is hosting the WTC final.

ians

Sat, 12 Jun 2021 16:31:35 +0530
Indian SIM cards used in China for frauds under lens

New Delhi, June 12

Indian agencies are engaged in getting details of 1,300 SIM cards as they were being used by a gang of Chinese to hack accounts and commit financial frauds, a suspected activity of a Chinese intelligence agency.

All the telecom operators are learnt to have been directed to report to the agencies concerned soon after they find any suspicious link related to any SIM cards being operated from outside India, said a source.

As per the information, the agencies have sought from these telecom operators to make a list of all Indian SIM cards being operated form China since 2010.

The move comes after the agencies learnt that 1,300 SIM cards were used to hack accounts and to commit other financial frauds. The revelation comes after Han Junwe, a Chinese intruder arrested on Thursday, told the agencies about it during his interrogation.

Revealing the shocking fact, Han, a 36-year-old Chinese national who has been a wanted criminal in India, informed the agencies that he has so far taken around 1,300 Indian SIM cards to China using fake documents from India since 2010.

Han, through his associates, used to hide the SIM cards in undergarments and send these to China. "These SIM cards were used to hack accounts and to do other financial frauds," said the Border Security Force (BSF) who arrested the suspected Chinese spy who allegedly sneaked into Indian territory crossing India-Bangladesh border in West Bengal's Malda district.

"The purpose was to cheat people using SIM cards to get their money out of money transaction machines," said the BSF, which is responsible to guard 4,096 km India-Bangladesh border.

The agencies have also raided the hotel of the Chinese national which he has been running from Gurugram named "Star Spring" where some of his colleagues from China were working.

Han, who is now under West Bengal Police custody for further legal proceedings along with seized items, was held under Border Outpost Malik Sultanpur when he was trying to illegally cross India-Bangladesh International Boundary (IB).

A resident of Chinese city of Hubei, Han entered Bangladesh on June 2. From interrogation and his recovered passport, it was learnt that Han reached Dhaka on June 2 on a business visa and stayed there with a Chinese friend.

On June 8, he came to Sona Masjid in Chapainawabganj district (Bangladesh) and stayed in a hotel there, the statement said, adding he was trying to enter Indian territory today (Thursday) when he was caught by the BSF troopers.

During interrogation, the Chinese said that even before this he has come to India four times. He had come to Hyderabad in 2010 and Delhi-Gurugram thrice after 2019. He visited India more than four times.

On further questioning, Han said when he had gone to his hometown Hubei, one of his business partner Sun Jiang used to send him 10-15 numbers of Indian mobile phone SIMs after a few days, which were received by him and his wife. But a few days ago, his business partner was caught by the Anti-Terrorist Squad from Lucknow.

He said that a case has been registered against him and his wife after his business partner revealed his name to the ATS, and due to this, he did not get an Indian visa in China and got visa for Bangladesh and Nepal to come to India.

Soon after Han's business partner was arrested by ATS Lucknow on several charges, the process of issuance of a Blue Corner Notice against him was initiated as per the procedure.

An Apple Laptop, two iPhone mobiles, a Bangladeshi SIM, an Indian SIM, two Chinese SIMs, two pen drives, three batteries, two small torches, five Money Transaction Machines, two ATM and Master Cards, US dollars, Bangladeshi takas and Indian currency were recovered from his possession. The agencies are scrutinising the gadgets recovered from the possession of the Chinese.

ians

Sat, 12 Jun 2021 16:25:15 +0530
Karishma Kotak Mandala is extremely therapeutic

Mumbai, June 12

 Actress Karishma Kotak is making the most of lockdown. With shoots stopped owing to the pandemic, she has started taking mandala sessions and online psychology classes.

"I took to mandala course online recently and I must say it's extremely refreshing and therapeutic. The work from this form of art seems so intriguing and difficult but they break it down to simple steps and it's quite easy. I am loving the sketching and drawing. I am also taking psychology classes online. The human brain has always interested me. I always think why we do what we do. So, it was only eventual I decided to learn more on it, " she tells IANS.

The actress encourages people to follow their hobbies.

"Let's take up our hobbies and start working on them if we haven't already. Let's get vaccinated whenever the opportunity comes and stay safe everyone, " she says.

Karishma is currently seen on her YouTube channel with the legendary fast bowler Sir Curtly Ambrose in the "Curtly And The Karishma show".

ians
 

Sat, 12 Jun 2021 16:14:47 +0530
CG Power plans Rs 135 cr capex to close some overseas subsidiaries

Chennai, June 12

CG Power Industrial Power Solutions Ltd has planned a capex of Rs 135 crore this fiscal, the company said.

The capex to be funded out of internal accruals will be on balancing, debottlenecking and modernising the facilities at the plants for productivity improvement.

CG Power also said barring four wholly owned overseas operating subsidiary companies in Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands and the US, rest of the subsidiaries are being closed or in the process of being wound up.

Entities which are under investigation, would be closed after obtaining necessary approvals of the authorities, the company said.

CG Power said it is ensuring business continuity during Covid-19 pandemic by working with extended and staggered shifts in the plants and digital transformation through online customer inspections, online service advice, sharing pictorial procedures with onsite customer personnel, remote support for testing equipment.

The company closed last fiscal with a total income of Rs 2,568.06 crore and a net loss of Rs 208.93 crore down from a total income of Rs 3,226.36 crore and a loss of Rs 1,799.20 crore registered in FY20.

However CG Power has posted a net profit of Rs 673.77 crore during the last quarter of last year.

Last year CG Power was acquired by Murugappa Group's Tube Investments of India Ltd.

Under the one time settlement scheme, the entire debt of Rs 2,160 crores were settled at Rs 1,000 crore -- (Rs 650 crore in cash and the rest by recognising a new debt of Rs 150 crore and issue of zero coupon non-convertible debentures aggregating to Rs 200 crore).

The company's account was classified as "standard" and the company availed new lines credit from State Bank of India.

Operational creditors (suppliers, contractors) dues aggregating to Rs 650 crore were paid and employee salary arrears of Rs.42 crore were also settled, the company said.

According to CG Power, it has to receive an aggregate sum of Rs 2,948 crore from the erstwhile promoter entities/connected parties - while recovery steps are continuing, the company has provided for the entire amount.

The recasting of accounts for the 5 year period as directed by the ANCLT is underway and the company is confident of completing the same in the current financial year.

ians

Sat, 12 Jun 2021 16:10:08 +0530
Cong s 1st love is Pak BJP on Digvijaya s leaked chat

New Delhi, June 12

Pointing to alleged leaked 'Clubhouse' chat of former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh, the BJP on Saturday said that Congress' first love is Pakistan.

In leaked Clubhouse chat, Singh was found telling a Pakistani journalist that Congress would reconsider decision of revoking Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir once they are in power.

Union Minister Giriraj Singh said that Pakistan is the first love of Congress. In a tweet, Singh said, "Congress' first love is Pakistan. Digvijaya Singh conveyed Rahul Gandhi's message to Pakistan. Congress will help Pakistan in grabbing Kashmir."

BJP National Spokesperson Dr Sambit Patra tweeted, "Digvijaya Singh on being questioned by a Pak Journalist, on getting rid of 'Modi' and on Kashmir policy, says that if Congress comes back to power they would have a rethink on Article 370 and may restore it. He also talks about Hindu fundamentalists. The Congress is a Clubhouse of anti-nationals."

BJP National IT and Social Media In-charge, Amit Malviya said, this is what Pakistan wanted. "In a Clubhouse chat, Rahul Gandhi's top aide Digvijaya Singh tells a Pakistani journalist that if Congress comes to power they will reconsider the decision of abrogating Article 370. Really? This is what Pakistan wanted," Malviya tweeted.

The chat was released on Twitter by a handle @LeaksClubhouse (ClubHouse Leaks). Interestingly, Twitter profile of Clubhouse Leaks mentioned that the handle has been treated today.

In the chat, Singh said, "Decision of revoking 370 and reducing statehood of Jammu and Kashmir was an extremely sad decision and the Congress party would certainly relook the decision."

The Saffron party claimed that Singh was replying to Pakistani journalist Shahzeb Jillani.

ians
 

Sat, 12 Jun 2021 16:00:41 +0530
Cong s 1st love is Pak BJP on Digvijaya s leaked chat

New Delhi, June 12

Pointing to alleged leaked 'Clubhouse' chat of former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh, the BJP on Saturday said that Congress' first love is Pakistan.

In leaked Clubhouse chat, Singh was found telling a Pakistani journalist that Congress would reconsider decision of revoking Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir once they are in power.

Union Minister Giriraj Singh said that Pakistan is the first love of Congress. In a tweet, Singh said, "Congress' first love is Pakistan. Digvijaya Singh conveyed Rahul Gandhi's message to Pakistan. Congress will help Pakistan in grabbing Kashmir."

BJP National Spokesperson Dr Sambit Patra tweeted, "Digvijaya Singh on being questioned by a Pak Journalist, on getting rid of 'Modi' and on Kashmir policy, says that if Congress comes back to power they would have a rethink on Article 370 and may restore it. He also talks about Hindu fundamentalists. The Congress is a Clubhouse of anti-nationals."

BJP National IT and Social Media In-charge, Amit Malviya said, this is what Pakistan wanted. "In a Clubhouse chat, Rahul Gandhi's top aide Digvijaya Singh tells a Pakistani journalist that if Congress comes to power they will reconsider the decision of abrogating Article 370. Really? This is what Pakistan wanted," Malviya tweeted.

The chat was released on Twitter by a handle @LeaksClubhouse (ClubHouse Leaks). Interestingly, Twitter profile of Clubhouse Leaks mentioned that the handle has been treated today.

In the chat, Singh said, "Decision of revoking 370 and reducing statehood of Jammu and Kashmir was an extremely sad decision and the Congress party would certainly relook the decision."

The Saffron party claimed that Singh was replying to Pakistani journalist Shahzeb Jillani.

ians
 

Sat, 12 Jun 2021 15:57:59 +0530
UK GDP grows 2 3 as lockdown eases

London, June 12

The UK GDP is estimated to have grown by 2.3 per cent in April, the fastest monthly growth since July 2020 as the Covid-19 lockdown eased, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

In April, the service sector grew by 3.4 per cent month-on-month, whereas output in the production and construction sector fell by 1.3 per cent and 2.0 per cent respectively, the ONS said on Friday.

Meanwhile, April's GDP remained 3.7 per cent below the pre-pandemic level seen in February 2020, Xinhua news agency reported citing the ONS as saying.

"Services have been the main contributor to GDP's recovery in recent months, following large falls in January because of coronavirus restrictions," said the ONS.

Meanwhile, analysts have voiced their optimism for the British economy in the coming months due to further easing of restrictions and vaccine roll-outs.

ians
 

Sat, 12 Jun 2021 11:01:30 +0530
China s Mars rover sends 1st selfie touring group photos

 

Beijing, June 12

China has revealed new images from its Zhurong rover on Mars, including a beautiful selfie of the rover next to its landing platform.

The first batch of scientific images of the rover, the panoramic view of the landing site, the topography of Mars were released by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) on Friday, calling it "tour group photos".

Zhurong joined NASA's Perseverance on Mars, making China the second country to land and operate a rover on the Red Planet.

The picture of the "touring group photo" shows the rover travelling about 10 metres south of the landing platform, releasing the separate camera installed at the bottom of the vehicle, and then retreating to the vicinity of the landing platform.

"The separate camera took pictures of the movement of the rover and the photo of the rover and the landing platform. The image is transmitted to the rover through wireless signals, and then relayed back to the ground by the rover through the orbiter," CNSA said in a statement.

China landed a probe on a planet other than Earth for the first time on May 15.

The Zhurong robot is due to study the planet's surface rocks and atmosphere. It will also look for signs of life, including any subsurface water or ice.

The six-wheeled solar-powered Zhurong rover, resembles a blue butterfly and has a mass of 240 kg. It also has an expected lifespan of at least 90 Martian days (about three months on Earth).

Barely a week after its arrival, Zurong also sent back first footage from Mars -- two photos and two videos.

ians
 

Sat, 12 Jun 2021 10:49:19 +0530
Swimming Australia says star s pervert allegations very concerning

Canberra, June 12

Swimming Australia (SA) said on Friday the allegations by star swimmer Maddie Groves were "very concerning" after she withdrew from the Olympic trials saying she wants to send a message to "all misogynistic perverts in sport."

Groves, a two-time silver medallist at the 2016 Olympics, announced she was withdrawing from Australia's Olympic trials, which begin in Adelaide on Saturday, ending her hopes of competing at the delayed Tokyo Games.

In a statement posted on social media on Thursday, she made allegations of "mistreatment" by an unnamed person involved in the sport, reports Xinhua.

"Let this be a lesson to all misogynistic perverts in sport," Groves said. "You can no longer exploit young women and girls, body shame or medically gaslight them and then expect them to represent you so you can earn your annual bonus."

Responding on Friday, SA president Kieren Perkins -- a gold medallist at the 1992 and 1996 Olympics -- described the allegations as "very concerning" and called for Groves to come forward with more information.

"We have had an ongoing dialogue that has been generated by Maddie through social media, we reached out with her in September 2020 to try to engage with her on these concerns she has," he told Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) radio.

"Unfortunately at this point, we have not been able to have a direct conversation with Maddie to understand exactly what her concerns are, who the people involved are so that we can investigate it and deal with it.

"All sports have to make sure their athletes are well supported and protected in their environment, and unfortunately we have just not been able to do that, because Maddie hasn't engaged with us directly yet."

The Australian Swimming trials will be held over six days from June 12-17.

ians

Sat, 12 Jun 2021 09:15:54 +0530
Global Covid 19 caseload tops 175mn

Washington, June 12

The overall global Covid-19 caseload has topped 174.7 million, while the deaths have surged to more than 3.78 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

In its latest update on Saturday morning, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed that the current global caseload and death toll stood at 175,181,504 and 3,780,592, respectively.

The US continues to be the worst-hit country with the world's highest number of cases and deaths at 33,437,110 and 599,175, respectively, according to the CSSE.

In terms of infections, India follows in the second place with 29,274,823 cases.

The other worst countries with over 3 million cases are Brazil (17,296,118), France (5,795,487), Turkey (5,319,359), Russia (5,120,578), the UK (4,566,891), Italy (4,241,760), Argentina (4,093,090), Spain (3,733,600), Germany (3,720,811), Colombia (3,694,707) and Iran (3,013,078), the CSSE figures showed.

In terms of deaths, Brazil comes second with 484,235 fatalities.

Nations with a death toll of over 100,000 are India (363,079), Mexico (229,823), the UK (128,148), Italy (126,924), Russia (123,568) and France (110,506).

ians
 

Sat, 12 Jun 2021 09:04:13 +0530
Kashmiri Pandit Kevin Kishore Kaul readying for California Guv race

New York, June 12

Kevin Kishore Kaul, a Kashmiri Pandit who arrived in South Dakota on a student visa 30 years ago is wading into a crowded field of candidates betting that California will likely hurtle into a recall election for Governor in 2021.

Kaul, an electrical engineer from Regional Engineering College in Warangal, Andhra Pradesh, who made his millions as an entrepreneur in the US West Coast, is upbeat about his chances - if the recall election happens.

"I have a good shot at it" he told IANS over phone from Long Beach, Los Angeles. "We've got commitments for more than $1 million." Kaul said he filed his documents in late May, signalling intent to enter the gubernatorial race.

Weeks ago, California officials announced that current Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom would face an almost certain recall election that could send him packing. Newsom's tough virus restrictions that shuttered schools and sunk businesses sparked calls for the recall last year. California, the most populous state in the US, is one of nearly 20 states that provides for the recall of elected state officials.

By April 2021, recall advocates had cobbled together more than the necessary 1.6 million petition signatures to put the election on the ballot. The review process is now on to certify the recall for the ballot.

In the election, likely this Fall, voters would be asked whether Newsom should be recalled and who should replace him. If their answer to the first question is a yes, the candidate with the most votes becomes the next Governor. More than 20 Republican challengers are preparing to take on first term Governor Newsom, a dear friend of Vice President Kamala Harris.

Kaul's LinkedIn profile lists him as Founder and Chairman of US Global Business Forum. Before travelling to the US, Kaul worked with the Indian Navy and at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust in Navi Mumbai.

Drawn by the appeal of a quickie MBA in South Dakota, Kaul says he came to the United States in September 1991. He found the place "too cold", dropped out of his MBA and headed further west. Kaul got some early breaks with big construction projects; his business website is splashed with pictures of him with the Obamas, Clintons and other A-listers.

Kaul plans a "big launch" for his Governor run on his 60th birthday, this August.

ians

Sat, 12 Jun 2021 08:44:52 +0530
Karnataka court allows CCI probe against Amazon Flipkart

Bengaluru, June 11

Quashing the petitions of the e-tailers, the Karnataka High Court on Friday allowed the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to probe the alleged violations of the competition law by Amazon and Flipkart.

Justice P.S. Dinesh Kumar dismissed the petitions, which challenged the CCI probe into the e-commerce firms, and allowed the watchdog to investigate the reported violations by them.

"CCI can go ahead with a probe against Amazon and Flipkart for alleged anti-competitive practices," said the single-judge bench in its order.

The judge did not agree with the petitioners' contention that the probe was in violation of the Competition Act after the CCI counsel said that an inquiry by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) did not bar the watchdog from the probe.

The US-based e-tail giant Amazon and Flipkart's owner Walmart in February 2020 had sought a stay against the CCI order, which asked the director-general to investigate its anti-competitive means in selling smartphones online at heavy discounts.

The CCI ordered the probe after the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) and the Delhi Vypar Mahasangh (DVM), representing micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and traders, accused the e-commerce firms of unfair trade practices.

The court had earlier stayed the probe through an interim order when Amazon and Flipkart had challenged the CCI order against them in February 2020.

During the hearings, which lasted for 40 days over the months, on their petitions in the high court, Amazon and Flipkart had denied any wrongdoing.

Welcoming the court order, CAIT national president B.C. Bhartia said the CCI should begin its probe into the unfair trade practices of Amazon and Flipkart.

"The court decision vindicates our stand that Amazon and Flipkart's business models are in violation of the FDI (foreign direct investment) policy, rules and other laws," said Bhartia in a statement from New Delhi.

CAIT secretary-general Praveen Khandelwal said the CCI found a prima facie case for investigation against Amazon and Flipkart for violating competition law and distorting the level-playing field in January 2020.

"The central and state governments should act against the e-tailers violating the law and take speedy action against them," asserted Khandelwal.

The CAIT also urged Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal to issue a new press note, replacing press note number 2 of the FDI policy, blocking escape routes for foreign funded e-commerce firms.

The traders' apex body (DVM) had alleged in October 2019 that the e-tailers were giving preferential treatment to select vendors with indirect control on their operations, especially in launching smartphones in the country.

ians

Fri, 11 Jun 2021 22:12:40 +0530
Radha Binod Pal Forgotten in India but Japan s hero

Anupama Nair

www.mediaeyenews.com

Radha Vinod Pal—I am sure many of you must not have heart about him. It was my good fortune, I read about him few days ago, and so I thought it is time to tell his story today and why he is a Hero in Japan. Very few of us remember Radha Binod Pal. To the measly numbers, few thousands may have been added recently after watching the 2016 miniseries Tokyo Trial, available on Netflix, starring the late actor Irfan Khan. The question is do we need a movie to remember a hero of the "Tokyo Trials"?

Radha Vinod Pal (27 January 1886 – 10 January 1967) was a British Indian judge who was a member of the United Nation’s International Law Commission from 1952 to 1966. He was one of three Asian judges appointed to the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE). The lesser-known  IMTFE was created in Tokyo, Japan, pursuant to a 1946 proclamation by U.S. Army General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers in occupied Japan. This tribunal was held to judge the Japanese war crimes during the Second World War. Among all the judges of the tribunal, he was the only one who submitted a judgment which insisted all defendants were not guilty.

Before talking about the hero, let me take you down the memory lane to the Second World War (1939-1945).Thirty countries took part in the war.  Most of these countries threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities for the war, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. For the first time Aircrafts were used in a war. The Allied Powers included United States, England, Russia, France etc., while Axis Powers had Germany, Japan, and Italy. Till date it was the bloodiest war in history killing millions across the globe and wounding many more. The War was famous for  genocides (including German Holocaust ), starvation, massacres etc. After the defeat of Axis Powers Germany and Japan were occupied and war crimes tribunals were conducted. This was mostly the norm after any war, the losing side has to pay for the losses and winner takes it all.

What we need to understand is the War was the result of the ambition of one-man Adolf Hitler, and the world paid the price. War began, when Hitler started attacking country after country in Europe. England and France retaliated by declaring war on Germany. The war in Europe ended with the surrender of Germany after Hitler’s suicide in 1945. Japan wanted to dominate Asia and joined the Axis Powers. The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor (Hawaii, US) on December 7, 1941. A furious United States retaliated by dropping Atom Bomb in the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (August 6th  and 9th 1945). On September 2, 1945, the War ended when U.S. General Douglas MacArthur accepted Japan's formal surrender aboard the U.S. battleship Missouri, anchored in Tokyo Bay along with a armada of more than 250 Allied warships.

Once the War ended the victorious Allied governments established the first International Criminal Tribunals to prosecute high-level political officials and military authorities for “war crimes and other wartime atrocities”. The four major Allied powers—France, the United Kingdom,  Russia and the United States set up the International Military Tribunal (IMT) in Nuremberg, Germany, to prosecute and punish “the major war criminals of the European Axis”. The lesser-known IMTFE was created in Tokyo, Japan in 1946. Our hero was in the IMTFE.

Similar to the IMT, the IMTFE had jurisdiction to try individuals for Crimes Against Peace, War Crimes, and Crimes Against Humanity, and the definitions were nearly letter-perfect to those contained in the Nuremberg Charter. The IMTFE nonetheless had jurisdiction over crimes that occurred over a greater period of time, from the 1931 Japanese invasion of Manchuria to Japan’s 1945 surrender. The Tokyo War Crimes Trials took place from May 1946 to November 1948. The IMTFE found all remaining defendants guilty and sentenced them to punishments ranging from death to seven years’ imprisonment; two defendants died during the trial.

Now, there is a twist in the story, Radha Binod Pal opposed the trial verdict as wrong. He was asked to represent India as a member of the tribunal of judges officiating at the Tokyo Trials in 1946. In deliberations with judges from 10 other countries, Pal was highly critical of the prosecution's use of the legal concept of conspiracy in the context of pre-war decisions by Japanese officials. He also maintained that the tribunal should not retrospectively apply the new concept of Class A war crimes – waging aggressive (also known as crimes against peace and against humanity). Therefore, he dissented from the tribunal's verdicts of guilt in the cases of defendants charged with Class A war crimes. His reasoning also influenced the judges representing the Netherlands and France, and all three of these judges issued dissenting opinions. However, under the rules of the tribunal, all verdicts and sentences were decided by a majority of the presiding judges. He said “ I would hold that every one of the accused must be found not guilty of every one of the charges in the indictment and should be acquitted on all those charges”, and called “ sham employment of legal process for the satisfaction of a thirst for revenge”.

Pal quoting Jefferson Davis said, “when time shall have softened passion and prejudice, when Reason shall have stripped the mask from misrepresentation, then Justice, holding evenly her scales, will require much of past censure and praise to change places”.

Pal was born in 1886 in Kushtia (Bangladesh). He was highly educated and along with teaching, he practiced law also. Pal was a major contributor to the formulation of the Indian Income Tax Act of 1922. The British Government appointed Pal as a legal advisor in 1927. He worked as professor at the Law College of the University of Calcutta from 1923 till 1936. Pal became a judge of the honorable Calcutta High Court in 1941 and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calcutta in 1944. So, he was selected as a jury of the “Tokyo Trial”. He visited Japan in 1966 and stated he had always admired Japan as the only country in Asia to rebel against the West. The Emperor of Japan conferred the First Class of the Order of the Sacred Treasure. Pal is revered by Japanese nationalists and a monument that was dedicated to him, stands on the grounds of the Yasukuni Shrine, erected after Pal's death.

On 23 August 2007, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met Pal's son, Prasanta, in Calcutta, during his day-long visit to the city. Prasanta Pal presented prime minister Abe with four photographs of his father, of which two photographs were of Radha Binod Pal with Abe's grandfather, former Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi. Shinzo Abe paid tributes to his country’s hero Radha Binod Pal, who died in 1966 and said  “Justice Pal is highly respected even today by many Japanese for the noble spirit of courage he exhibited during the International Military Tribunal for the Far East”.

In recent years, Japanese historians used sections of Pal’s judgement to strengthen their argument that the Japanese were not aggressors or invaders in the Second World War. But Pal would not have been happy as  he had never supported what Japan had done during the War. What he had said then was “that Japan could not and should not be singled out for its imperialist lust”. In fact, in a speech he delivered at Hiroshima in 1952 he said “If Japan wishes to possess military power again, that would be a defilement against the souls of the victims we have here in Hiroshima". During the War, our Netaji Subash Chandra Bose formed the Indian National Army to fight for Independence. After the War was over, trials were held in India against INA heroes, Shah Nawaz Khan, Gurbaksh Singh Dhillon and Prem Kumar Sahgal in 1946. They were sentenced to death, but fearing the mood of the public they were freed. Mr. Pal was awarded the Padma Vibhushan for his service to two nations.

I admire his courage and integrity, as he stood by his values and refused to give in to the tremendous pressures he must have faced from his fellow judges on the tribunal, especially the Americans.

Fri, 11 Jun 2021 21:54:30 +0530
Smokeless chulhas help Bijapur villagers save their forests

Bijapur (Chhattisgarh), June 10

 In this Chhattisgarh district known for its dense forests, tribal villagers are embracing an innovative and cost-effective technique to burn less firewood while cooking.

In Bijapur, a severely Naxal-affected district in Chhattisgarh's Bastar division, a silent revolution is taking place, entirely driven by the villagers. Locals in the area have decided to move from traditional chulhas (stoves) to smokeless ones in a bid to save their green cover.

The movement, started by a single villager, gained the sanction of residents in a dozen villages, and today, over 1,980 smokeless chulhas (clay stoves) have been successfully set up in households, and 166 smokeless chulhas function in schools and anganwadis (rural child care centres).

The initiative not only cuts down the need for firewood but also reduces indoor air pollution, thus improving the health of the women using these stoves.

The beginning of a transition

The Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh is spread over more than 6,500 square kilometres, a majority of which is either dense or open forest. Of the 2.5 lakh people who live in the district, 85 per cent comprise indigenous tribal, forest-dwellers whose survival is solely dependent on the forests.

The tribes earn their livelihood by collecting and selling minor forest produce like chironji, tendu patta, mahua, tora, tamarind etc.

"The locals of Bijapur cut timber from the forests and use it as firewood in chulhas. This is used to cook food, boil water and meet other household needs. But as more and more timber was used for firewood, the depleting trees began to concern villagers and a few officials.

"The amount of firewood consumption has increased over the years, which is a worrying trend," said a district official who wished to remain anonymous.

The PM Ujjwala Yojana, which was set up to distribute LPG cylinders to Below Poverty Line families, has been slow to pick up in Bijapur. Out of the 48,000 eligible households, only 25 per cent have been covered under this scheme.

However, the lack of motorable roads makes it logistically challenging to bring the rest of the deserving households under the scheme. Refuelling of the cylinders is a huge problem when people have to travel dozens of kilometres on bad or no roads to reach ration shops and cylinder distributors.

Anil Kawre, a local who has been a part of several programmes with the Department of Health, recalls how the idea of smokeless chulhas came about.

"When we saw the depleting forests, we thought of starting something so that the load on the forests is reduced. We know the locals heavily rely on forest wood to be used as firewood in chulhas, but we thought we have to find a way to minimise the input of firewood and maximise the output," he  said.

Kawre learnt about the smokeless chulha a few years back, through the Phulwari scheme launched by the Chhattisgarh Health Department to battle malnutrition in children and reduce indoor air pollution.

The smoke released in traditional stoves was causing many ailments like asthma, pneumonia, cancer, chronic restrictive lung disease and other respiratory health issues. In fact, indoor air pollution has been termed as the silent killer of the rural kitchen.

While the Phulwari scheme is inactive now, the memory of the smokeless chulha stayed with Kawre, who had also been part of the project.

He began talking to the women in his village, telling them about the smokeless chulha and its many benefits. Many women were keen to make the shift from traditional chulhas and readily agreed.

Smokeless chulhas were introduced in their homes and as the word spread, more and more women came forward to make the shift.

The smokeless chulha and its benefits

The smokeless chulha is built using bricks, an iron rod and a pipe for the outflow of smoke. According to a report by Sri Sri Institute of Agricultural Sciences & Technology Trust, the smokeless chulha uses up to 50 per cent less firewood than the traditional chulha. It is designed to continuously supply adequate oxygen, thus enabling efficient combustion. This results in up to 80 per cent less smoke production. In addition, since the smokeless chulha has a double mouth, you can cook two items at once.

Kawre explained, "It costs around Rs 300 to set up a smokeless chulha. It reduces cooking time by 50 per cent. It will take you 45 minutes to cook on a smokeless chulha while on a traditional chulha (an open-air structure of mud or stones with a single mouth), the same meal can take one and a half hours to cook."

But the most important benefit is the reduction in firewood requirement, feel the villagers. "A person doesn't need to go to the forest every other day to collect firewood. The amount of wood needed has reduced," said Surti Netam, a local.

Kawre added that the felling of trees has reduced. "The tribals cut down forest trees mainly to use as firewood. They don't use it for commercial purposes. So this has definitely come down," he said.

According to a report by Ramkrishna Muley, Chairman of Sri Sri Institute of Agricultural Sciences & Technology Trust, Bengaluru, "A rural household uses up to 3,000 kg of firewood per annum. The average cost of firewood is Rs 2 per kg. Since the improved smokeless chulha uses 50 per cent less firewood, a rural household using this chulha will save 1,500 kg for firewood in a year."

Muley in his report further states that a pilot exercise demonstrated that saving 1,500 kg of firewood meant the saving of at least three full-grown trees.

"If an entire village of say 200 firewood-burning households adopts the improved chulha, then this village will be saving 600 trees per annum. This is equal to about 1.5 acres of forest area," he wrote

Kawre and his team aim to set up these smokeless chulhas in every household in the district.
 

ians

Fri, 11 Jun 2021 19:28:29 +0530
Aamir khan to play against chess grandmaster Viswanathan Anand in Checkmate COVID Celebrity Editi

New Delhi, June 11

 Indian chess grandmaster and former world chess champion, Viswanathan Anand will play a 'simultaneous exhibition' match against the country's renowned celebrities and businesspersons to raise funds for The Akshaya Patra Foundation's COVID-19 relief feeding efforts.

Checkmate COVID series will have 5-time world champion, Viswanathan Anand, play ten Indian celebrities and business leaders five at one go in one-hour simul games. These include Bollywood celebrities Aamir Khan, Kiccha Sudeep, Riteish Deshmukh, singer Arijit Singh, singer-songwriter Ananya Birla, cricketer Yuzvendra Chahal, Manu Kumar Jain - MD of Xiaomi India, Nikhil Kamath - Co-founder of Zerodha, producer Sajid Nadiadwala and Prachura Padakannaya.



All the proceeds of this charity event will go towards serving individuals and families from vulnerable communities who are at a high risk of hunger during this devastating second wave of the pandemic.

The charity event is a part of Checkmate COVID Celebrity Edition by Chess.com India and Prachura Padakannaya, CEO - Xcetra Talent Management, in association with Akshaya Patra. It will be held on 13 June, 2021, at 5.00 pm, and live-streamed on Chess.com India's official YouTube channel.

Padakannaya said, "Despite being at the forefront in the International chess circuit, India has not received the recognition and prominence it deserves. Events like Checkmate COVID can draw the attention of public and celebrities to the chess fraternity and thereby, support social causes."

Shridhar Venkat, CEO Akshaya Patra, said, "Both, sports and business fraternities have always stepped up to help the people of this country whenever needed. It is heartening to see the stalwarts from both fields once again come together for a cause.

I am immensely grateful to Viswanathan Anand and these distinguished celebrities and businesspersons for understanding the criticality of the situation and extending their support to Akshaya Patra's COVID-19 relief feeding efforts through this charity event. I am also thankful to Chess.com India and Prachura Padakannaya for bringing all these personalities together for a common cause. We, as a country, are going through an unprecedented crisis, and therefore, it is important that all of us work together to ensure that nobody goes hungry even in these difficult times."

Akshaya Patra has been undertaking relief feeding in 19 states and one union territory through its network of kitchens. Since March 2020, the Foundation has served over 128 million meals to people from vulnerable communities who are facing difficulty arranging food for themselves due to the COVID-19 pandemic and containment measures to curb the outbreak.
 

ians

Fri, 11 Jun 2021 19:17:35 +0530
Rakshit Shetty on pan India release of 777 Charlie Good content has universal language

Bengaluru, June 11 -  Kannada actor Rakshit Shetty is all set for the release of his upcoming film "777 Charlie". Besides in Kannada language, the film will also release in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam languages.

"Bearing the vitality and the pertinence of the subject in mind, the making of '777 Charlie' had been wisely planned and executed in a way that the film feels relatable to audiences across borders. Owing to the universality of the subject, the team has conformed to the idea of presenting the film on a pan-India scale," Rakshit said.

He adds: "Good content has a universal language. This has been proven time and again in the last 18 months, as people have been consuming creative content presented from around the world on OTT platforms. Great content always strike the right chords. We are therefore certain that our film will be well received by the audience across the country and beyond." says the actor, who was last seen on screen in Kannada film "Avane Srimannarayana".

"777 Charlie", directed by Kiranraj K., explores the bond between humans and animals. Rakshit, who plays the character of Dharma, reflects on the relationship humans have with their dogs.

"Dogs bring happiness and affection into our lives. Since the pandemic the world has seen a steep rise in the number of adoptions. People have become increasingly open to inviting pet pals into their lives. The story of Dharma and Charlie (his dog) will add to the girth of the profoundness of the relationship that we share with our pets," he says.

While the makers haven't yet finalised the release date yet, the film is expected to be somewhere in September.
 

 

ians

Fri, 11 Jun 2021 19:11:29 +0530
Chennai EOW arrests Ravi Parthasarathy kingpin of Rs 1 lakh cr IL FS scam

Chennai, June 11

 The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Chennai Police said on Friday that it has arrested Ravi Parthasarathy, the former Chairman of IL&FS Group, in the Rs 1 lakh crore scam, which triggered a liquidity crisis in the financial services market in 2018.

EOW DSP Prakash Babu confirmed to IANS that Parthasarthy has been arrested and taken into police custody for 15 days. He added that his bail hearing will come up for hearing on Monday.

Parthasarthy, the kingpin, mastermind and chief architect of the Rs 1 lakh crore IL&FS scam, has been arrested by the EOW in connection with Crime No. 13 of 2020, dated September 20, 2020, the EOW of Chennai Police said in a statement.

"The accused, Ravi Parthasarathy, is the former Chairman and Managing Director of the entire IL&FS Group. The IL&FS Group, which consists of more than 350 group companies, was used as a vehicle to perpetrate fraud by then management of IL&FS Group which was headed by the then Chairman and MD-CEO Ravi Parthasarathy," said the EOW.

The EOW stated that the FIR has been registered in connection with the complaint given by 63 moons Technologies Ltd, which lost a sum of Rs 200 crore. Complaints from various other depositors have also been received by the EOW.

The anticipatory bail petition filed by the accused Parthasarathy in Crl OP No. 2007 of 2021 was also dismissed by the Madras High Court. Aggrieved depositors and investors of IL&FS Transportation Networks India Ltd (ITNL) can forward their claims to EOW, it added.

Notably, Parthasarathy, who is said to be the close confidant of former Finance Minister P. Chidambarm, is accused of fraud with intent to injure the interests of the company, its shareholders and lenders, resulting in wrongful loss to the company.

Under his stewardship, trouble surfaced at IL&FS in the July-September quarter of 2018, when two of its subsidiaries started defaulting on repayment of loans and inter-corporate deposits to lenders.

Subsequent series of defaults caused a systemic problem with many non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) running into financial issues.

On October 1, 2018, the Central government took steps to take control of Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Limited (IL&FS) through a directive by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and arrest the spread of the contagion to the financial markets. A new board under the leadership of banker Uday Kotak was constituted as the earlier board was deemed to have failed to discharge its duties.

The Government of India (GoI) in its petition has mentioned, "Ravi Parthasarathy and his team were responsible for the negligence, incompetency and misleading the public by presenting rosy financial statements. IL&FS was camouflaging its financial statements by hiding a severe mismatch between its cash flows and payment obligations. It was also hiding total lack of liquidity and glaring adverse financial ratios."

Parthasarathy, who was at the helm of IL&FS for over 25 years, is accused of masterminding one of the largest financial frauds and systematically driving a behemoth of a financial institution to financial ruins.

In addition to the premier investigating agency, the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), the Reserve Bank of India, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (Union of India), the Registrar of Companies (RoC), the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Mumbai, along with the Grant Thornton forensic report have made adverse findings against him.

The RoC has observed mismanagement and compromise in corporate governance norms, while there is another FIR registered by the EOW-New Delhi against Parthasarathy and Hari Sankaran under various sections of IPC.

In one of the most damaging findings, the GoI petition mentioned, "IL&FS had created a trust known as the Employee Welfare Trust which was used as an instrument to enrich its directors at the cost of the Company. The said trust was used to perpetrate a fraud on IL&FS and its group companies. The trust owned 12 per cent of IL&FS Limited. Ravi Parthasarathy and certain other senior IL&FS personnel were major beneficiaries of the Trust."

The RBI report, which it submitted on March 22, 2019, underlined that the major role in perpetrating the fraud and financial irregularity was played by Parthasarathy during his tenure as the Group Chairman.

The report pointed out indiscriminate sanctioning of loans, flouting of RBI norms, fraudulent transactions to certain accounts, showing inflated numbers of subsidiaries, conflict of interests, and the concentration of power in the hands of few, which included Parthasarathy.

The SFIO complaint, dated May 30, 2019, named Parthasarathy as the prime accused. The report mentioned that Parthasarathy was the key decision-maker in the IL&FS Group and used the group as his fiefdom.

Being the Chairman of IL&FS Group and Director of its various subsidiaries, the coterie led by Parthasarathy abused its position and diverted funds of its group companies.

It may be noted that the NCLT-Mumbai order to recast the accounts of the IL&FS Group was challenged by Parthasarathy in the Supreme Court, which upheld the GoI decision.

The forensic audit by Grant Thornton also revealed a bevy of illegal practices, bribing of credit rating agencies and other fraudulent practices, indicating clearly the involvement of the then IL&FS Group Chairman Parthasarathy.
 

ians

Fri, 11 Jun 2021 19:06:18 +0530
WHO Unicef declare end of polio outbreak in Philippines

Manila, June 11

 The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Unicef on Friday declared the end of the polio outbreak in Philippines almost two years after the highly infectious disease re-emerged in the Southeast Asian country.

In a joint statement, the UN agencies said the Philippines' Department of Health (DOH) officially stopped the polio outbreak response on June 3 this year, reports Xinhua news agency.

"The decision came as the virus has not been detected in a child or the environment in the past 16 months," the statement said.

The agencies said comprehensive outbreak response actions, including intensified immunisation and surveillance activities in affected areas of the Southeast Asian country, curbed the spread of the poliovirus.

The DOH announced a polio outbreak in the Philippines on September 19, 2019, after 19 years of a polio-free status.

Since then, the Philippine government and the WHO, the Unicef, and other partners mounted nationwide polio campaigns to stop the spread of the virus.

Despite the tremendous challenges to immunisation presented by the simultaneous impact of Covid-19, the DOH had continued robust polio immunization campaigns.

In particular, the Unicef and the WHO lauded the DOH for enhancing training and mobilizing health workers in infection prevention and control, and supplying them with personal protective equipment to enable vaccinating children in their homes and designated health centres -- "a global first in a country experiencing community transmission of Covid"

The WHO supported the country's polio outbreak response by providing technical and operations support on intensifying polio surveillance, planning, preparing for and monitoring immunisation campaigns, infection prevention and control measures, and risk communication.

It also deployed international and national polio experts who provided on-the-ground technical support to the affected regions and local implementers.

"This is a major win for public health and is an excellent example of what collective efforts can attain, even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic," Rabindra Abeyasinghe, WHO representative to the Philippines, said.

The Unicef supported the DOH through vaccine procurement and delivery, development of immunisation guidelines, social mobilisation, engaging community members and influencers, and building the capacity of DOH and local government units nationwide to plan and ensure that all children are inoculated.

"The success of the polio immunization in the Philippines is proof that when we come together for children, great things happen," Unicef Representative to the Philippines Oyunsaikhan Dendevnorov said.

Polio is a highly infectious, crippling, and sometimes fatal disease that can be avoided with a vaccine.

Children under the age of five are particularly vulnerable.

The WHO said the disease remains endemic now in the only two countries of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
 

ians

Fri, 11 Jun 2021 19:02:00 +0530
Ripples in Maha as poll strategist PK meets Sharad Pawar

Mumbai, June 11

 Maharashtra politics saw a flutter on Friday as much sought-after polls mastermind Prashant Kishor called on Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar and the duo broke bread over lunch here.

After the luncheon, both Pawar and Prashant Kishor, oft referred to as 'PK' in political circles, kept mum on their meeting, further fuelling speculation.

However, senior NCP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar brushed aside all gossip, noting that Kishor has already made it clear he will not be designing poll strategies for political parties in future.

Similarly, Shiv Sena Chief Spokesperson and MP Sanjay Raut said many political leaders are in contact with Kishor while other NCP and Congress leaders feigned ignorance over the discussion menu or the outcome.

This morning, Kishor called on Pawar at the latter's Mumbai residence around 11 a.m. and the duo was closeted for nearly 3 hours before the NCP chief saw off his high-profile visitor.

The meeting triggered guesswork whether this could signal a preparation for the 2024 Lok Sabha and Maharashtra Assembly elections amid calls for putting up a united front of all Opposition parties to tackle the Bharatiya Janata Party challenge.

This was Kishor's first meeting with a prominent Maharashtra leader after his poll strategies succeeded in handsome victories in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu for the Trinamool Congress and the DMK respectively, particularly since the NCP and Sena had thrown their weight behind Mamata Banerjee.

Kishor had met the Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray here shortly before he became the Chief Minister and enjoys close rapport with several leaders across parties in the state.
 

ians

Fri, 11 Jun 2021 18:57:13 +0530
Andhra CM requests Centre to stop Vizag steel plant sale

New Delhi/Amaravati, June 11

 Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy met Union Petroleum, Natural Gas and Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on the second day of his Delhi tour on Friday and requested him to stop the sale of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP).

Reddy appealed to Pradhan to consider the alternatives suggested by the state government earlier to revive the steel plant.

"Thirty two people have laid down their lives to set up the plant in Visakhapatnam where nearly 20,000 people are employed and thousands more are having indirect employment," he said, emphasising the importance of the steel plant to the southern state.

According to Jagan Mohan Reddy, the VSP performed well between 2002 and 2015 raking in good profits but went through a rough patch after taking loans to expand, compounded by a slump in the international market.

"The organisation fell into debt with increasing operational costs and lack of own mines," he said, highlighting that the plant is currently buying iron ore from NMDC Bailadila mines at a market price of Rs 5,260 per metric tonne (MT) of steel.

The Chief Minister said many of its competitors have captive mines for more than 60 per cent of their requirement and buy only the rest from NMDC while Steel Authority Of India Limited (SAIL) has its own captive mines with reserves of iron ore sufficient for another 200 years.

"This excess cost of iron ore has cost implications of more than Rs 3,472 crore for the plant and it is essential to have an allotment of captive mines in order to overcome the cost disadvantage," said Reddy asking for the allotment of captive mines in Odisha which will help in reviving VSP.

The VSP is burdened with a debt of Rs 22,000 crore which is being repaid at a high interest rate of 14 per cent, prompting Reddy to suggest converting these loans into equity and listing the entity on the stock exchange.

Reddy said that these steps and monetising VSP's 19,700 acre of land during this crisis would help in saving the steel plant.

The Chief Minister told Dharmendra Pradhan that the steel plant did yeoman service during the second wave of coronavirus by supplying more than 7,000 MT of oxygen, saving precious lives.

Similarly, he asked for reducing the viability gap funding (VGF) of Rs 975 crore per year from the state for the Kakinada Petro Complex promised as part of united Andhra Pradesh bifurcation.

Reddy said the detailed project reports (DPR) have been prepared for the special economic zone project by Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) and GAIL for the petro complex of 1 million metric ton at a cost of Rs 32,900 crore.

He informed Pradhan that members for the working group on behalf of the state government for the project have already been nominated and asked the Centre to issue immediate directions to start the project.

Reacting to the Chief Minister's requests, Pradhan said the petro complex will definitely be set up in Andhra Pradesh.

He told Reddy that a meeting will be scheduled next week with the Chief Secretary and other petroleum department officials to finalise the procedures.
 

 

ians

Fri, 11 Jun 2021 18:53:19 +0530
Dont t cite problems implement one nation one ration card SC to Bengal

New Delhi, June 11

 The Supreme Court on Friday asked the West Bengal government to immediately implement the 'one nation one ration card' scheme.

A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and M.R, Shah said no excuse will be considered and the state must implement the scheme, as the state government counsel submitted that there are Aadhaar seeding issues. The bench said: "You cannot cite one or the other problem. This is for migrant workers."

The top court was hearing the suo moto case addressing the problems and miseries of migrant workers amid the Covid pandemic. Senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for the petitioners, submitted that there were nearly 2.8 crore migrants without ration cards, and they are under serious difficulty as they would not be covered under the PM Garib Kalyan Yojana.

The bench noted that the scheme has been extended till November, but Dave said the scheme will benefit only those who have ration cards.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta pointed out that 80 crore have been identified under the Garib Kalyan scheme.

As the bench queried what scheme will cover the people who don't have ration cards, Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati replied that the latitude has been left to the states and it is for the states to have schemes for those who do not have ration cards.

The bench noted that the Centre is ready to distribute food grains, and it has to see what mechanism can be adopted. Dave, however, argued that the Centre is trying to pass the burden on states.

The bench said that there are states that don't have such schemes, and can the Garib Kalyan scheme be temporarily extended to also those who don't have the ration cards. To this, Mehta said that the Centre's officials can have talks with the Secreatries concerned in the states and come back after a week. "Nobody is leaving them to die. There are schemes to help them," he said.

During the hearing, counsel for the Maharashtra and Punjab governments informed the court that they follow the one nation one ration card scheme. At this stage, the West Bengal government counsel submitted that the state has not implemented the scheme yet and the bench said that it has to implement it when the others have.

The top court asked the states to file short response in the matter and reserved the judgment.

It also expressed dissatisfaction over the delay in the development of software by Centre for registration of unorganised workers. "You initiated it in August 2020, and it is still not over," it said, adding that the Centre is not conducting any survey but only creating a module so that data can be fed into the mechanism. Mehta replied that court's concerns are right, and he will take instructions in the matter.

At this, the bench said that this can't be left to bureaucracy anymore. "Your officers have done nothing. Just because your directors etc don't have time, this can't be put on hold forever," said the bench pulling up the Centre.

Mehta requested the court not to pass order on extension of the scheme, as it may have financial ramifications. The bench responded that it understands the matter.

The top court was hearing an application by activists Harsh Mander, Anjali Bhardwaj, and Jagdeep Chhokar, seeking directions to ensure that migrant workers are not deprived of ration and food security, and they should also be able to travel back to their homes at nominal cost.
 

 

ians

Fri, 11 Jun 2021 18:46:48 +0530
Govt considering plea for Rs 4 lakh to Covid victims SC told

New Delhi, June 11

 The Centre on Friday informed the Supreme Court that it was considering a plea to provide monetary compensation of Rs 4 lakh to the family members of those who have died due to Covid-19.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, submitted before a bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and M.R. Shah that the issue raised in the PILs is important, and the government would file its response in the matter.

Mehta said that the government is contemplating a national policy, and sought two weeks to file its reply.

As the bench queried why two weeks were needed, Mehta replied: "As your lordships are aware, the entire machinery is occupied with certain other pressing issues."

A counsel appearing in the matter submitted that the death happening because of the black fungus is also result of Covid, therefore, the death certificate must mention this reason. To this, Mehta replied: "Your case is genuine, and it will be addressed by the Central government."

After a brief hearing in the matter, the bench said: "The Centre seeks time to file a reply. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta says issues are under consideration and a reply will be filed.., List these petitions on June 21."

Two PILs were filed by advocates Gaurav Kumar Bansal and Reepak Kansal seeking court's intervention for payment of Rs four lakh ex-gratia amount to Covid victims' families.

On May 24, the court had sought a response from the Centre on the plea, and also asked it to inform whether there was a uniform policy on issuance of death certificates, when cause of death was Covid. The bench had noted that said many time reasons given in a death certificate can be heart attack or lung failure, but these could be triggered by Covid-19.

Bansal cited Section 12 (iii) of the Disaster Management Act (DMA) providing for ex gratia monetary compensation for the families of those who died during a notified disaster.

"It is respectfully submitted that as per Section 12 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 it is the fundamental duty of National Disaster Management Authority to provide minimum standards of relief to persons affected by disaster....," said his plea.
 

ians

Fri, 11 Jun 2021 18:41:08 +0530
Bihar s big NDA allies in dilemma over issues raised by smaller parties

Patna, June 11

 Larger parties like the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Janata Dal United JD(U) which are part of the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in Bihar are in a dilemma over the issues raised by smaller allies like Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) and the Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP).

By raising such issues, the tension between the parties which are part of the NDA is quite evident. There is already a tussle between HAM and the BJP, the largest constituent party in the NDA. HAM Chief and former Bihar Chief Minister, Jitan Ram Manjhi, has put the Bihar government in a spot by advising it on various issues.

Now another smaller NDA alliance partner VIP has also created problems for the Bihar government by demanding a refund of the money collected from the members of the Legislative Assembly and the Bihar Legislative Council.

Manjhi's HAM has said that some BJP leaders are trying to destabilise the Bihar government. The HAM has demanded the formation of a coordination committee for the NDA.

Manjhi demanded a caste-based census on Friday. Manjhi tweeted from his official Twitter account, "Census of the country is necessary in the present situation but due to Covid-19 pandemic, the census work has been put on hold. Why avoid caste-based census when elections are held in the country?"

The HAM Chief wrote demanding that the government must start a 10-year census along with a caste-based census without any further delay.

Earlier, Manjhi had put pressure on the Central government by demanding a special status for Bihar.

VIP Chief and cabinet minister, Mukesh Sahani, has advised the NDA government to stop internal feuds but has raised the promise of providing employment to 19 lakh people in Bihar.

Sahani tweeted from his official Twitter account, "Requesting all NDA colleagues to refrain from making unnecessary rhetorical statements. All of us must come together with the people of Bihar and work on the promise of generating 19 lakh jobs."

The VIP Chief has written to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar demanding return of the money taken from the members of the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council.

Sahani wrote in his letter that since 2020 till now the development work for the people in each area has come to a standstill. Now that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced to give vaccines free to the states, the Chief Minister should give power to the MLAs to use the amount of the voluntary fund under the regional development head so that the latter will be able to do development work in their areas and help to improve medical facilities.

In view of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the Nitish Kumar government has taken Rs 2 crore each from the funds of MLAs and MLCs.

However, after the demands made by the smaller NDA allies, problems have increased for the Bihar government. The opposition Grand Alliance has also been targeting the NDA government raking up these issues. Now the NDA is in a dilemma after many questions were raised by the parties which are part of the government.
 

ians

Fri, 11 Jun 2021 18:37:01 +0530
Tesla unveils Model S Plaid with new motor tech faster charging

San Francisco, June 11

Elon Musk-owned electric vehicle company Tesla has officially unveiled the new Model S Plaid at a delivery event in Fremont.

The Model S Plaid starts at $130,000 after a recent $10,000 price increase this week.

The company is claiming 0-60 mph in 1.99 seconds, quarter-mile in 9.23 seconds, and a 200 mph top speed, The Verge reported on Friday.

"To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that there has been a production electric motor with a carbon over-wrapped rotor," the CEO was quoted as saying during the presentation.

The CEO also briefly mentioned the fast-charging capacity of the new Model S at 187 miles of range in 15 minutes.

The bigger radiator in front will also reportedly allow for better repeatability of high performance and of course, the performance to repeat is quite incredible to start with.

Tesla's new v3 Supercharger is limited to 250 kW, but Musk hinted at ramping up to "280 kW, 300 kW, and eventually 350 kW" without specifying a timeline.

Musk announced that he expects Tesla to hit the lowest probability of injury in any car ever tested with the Model S Plaid, which would mean beating its record.

The rest of the presentation focused on the interior of the new Model S, which was already unveiled but Musk explained some changes in more detail.

The company completed the presentation with the first 25 deliveries of the new Model S Plaid and Musk said that Tesla should be producing a few hundred units per week and ramp up to 1,000 units per week

inext quarter.

ians

Fri, 11 Jun 2021 18:23:33 +0530
Astronomers spot a blinking giant near Milky Way

London, June 11

An international team of astronomers has spotted a giant 'blinking' star towards the centre of the Milky Way, more than 25,000 light years away.

The star, VVV-WIT-08, decreased in brightness by a factor of 30, so that it nearly disappeared from the sky. While many stars change in brightness because they pulsate or are eclipsed by another star in a binary system, it is exceptionally rare for a star to become fainter over a period of several months and then brighten again, the team said.

The researchers believe that VVV-WIT-08 may belong to a new class of "blinking giant" binary star system, where a giant star 100 times larger than the Sun is eclipsed once every few decades by an as-yet unseen orbital companion.

The companion, which may be another star or a planet, is surrounded by an opaque disc, which covers the giant star, causing it to disappear and reappear in the sky. The study is published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

"It's amazing that we just observed a dark, large and elongated object pass between us and the distant star and we can only speculate what its origin is," said Sergey Koposov from the University of Edinburgh.

Since the star is located in a dense region of the Milky Way, the researchers considered whether some unknown dark object could have simply drifted in front of the giant star by chance. However, simulations showed that there would have to be an implausibly large number of dark bodies floating around the galaxy for this scenario to be likely.

One other star system of this sort has been known for a long time. The giant star Epsilon Aurigae is partly eclipsed by a huge disc of dust every 27 years, but only dims by about 50 per cent. A second example, TYC 2505-672-1, was found a few years ago, and holds the current record for the eclipsing binary star system with the longest orbital period -- 69 years -- a record for which VVV-WIT-08 is currently a contender.

The UK-based team has also found two more of these peculiar giant stars in addition to VVV-WIT-08, suggesting that these may be a new class of "blinking giant" stars for astronomers to investigate.

There now appear to be around half a dozen potential known star systems of this type, containing giant stars and large opaque discs.

ians
 

Fri, 11 Jun 2021 18:18:21 +0530
The Last Hour actor Karma Takapa My focus is on being a filmmaker

 

Mumbai, June 11

Karma Takapa gained fandom as an actor with his portrayal of a shaman named Dev in the recent web series "The Last Hour" but, more than acting, it is filmmaking that interests him.

Talking about what's next after "The Last Hour" and if he plans to step into Bollywood, Karma told IANS: "I am actually a filmmaker. The next thing is that I am in a post-production of a film that I am doing. So, my focus is majorly being a filmmaker."

"I will see what happens on that front because I haven't thought about what's next in terms of movies, but I am focussed on directing the film that I have shot and hopefully it turns out fine for everybody to watch," he said.

Karma has graduated from the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune. "The Last Hour" marked his debut in acting.

The show, which has been shot in Sikkim, revolves around an investigating officer probing a mysterious death. He takes the help of Dev, a man with supernatural power, to crack the case. The series streams on Amazon Prime Video.

ians
 

Fri, 11 Jun 2021 18:12:49 +0530
Sensex Nifty climb new highs end at record closing levels

Mumbai, June 11

The Indian stock market continued its bull run on Friday and again settled at record closing highs.

Both the BSE Sensex and Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) touched their all-time intra-day highs of 52,641.53 and 15,835.55 points, respectively.

Healthy buying was witnessed in metal and IT stocks.

Sensex closed at 52,474.76, higher by 174.29 points, or 0.33 per cent, from its previous close of 52,300.47.

It had opened at 52,477.19 and touched an intra-day low of 52,388.95 points.

The Nifty50 closed at 15,799.35, higher by 61.60 points, or 0.39 per cent, from its previous close.

The top gainers on the Sensex were Dr Reddy's Laboratories, Power Grid, and Tata Consultancy Services, while Larsen & Toubro, IndusInd Bank, and Bajaj Finserv lost the most.

ians
 

Fri, 11 Jun 2021 18:06:48 +0530
IIT K improves ranking in world s best varsity list

Kanpur, June 11

The Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IIT-K) has climbed to an astounding 73 notches over its previous year's ranking amongst the best universities in the QS World University Ranking-22.

This year, IIT-K has been ranked as the 277th position in the list of world's best university compared to the 350th position in the last edition.

"No other Indian University has been able to achieve such a significant growth in this year's rankings. Amongst the best universities in India, IIT-K has been ranked number 4, improving its performance by a rank.

According to last year's survey, IIT was ranked number 5," according to release issued by the institute.

Further, IIT-Kanpur is among top 100 universities of the world in terms of citations per faculty, where it bagged 93rd position in QS World University Ranking-2022 and India's 4th best university in terms of the employer reputation as judged by 2021 ranking survey.

QS 'Quacquarelli Symonds' is the world's leading provider of services, analytics, and insight to the global higher education sector, whose mission is to enable motivated people anywhere in the world to fulfil their potential through educational achievement, international mobility, and career development.

The QS Intelligence Unit - QS's research and professional services division - provides universities across the world with spoke comparative performance analysis according to metrics central to each institution's mission: teaching, research impact, reputational standing, student employability and internationalization.

ians
 

Fri, 11 Jun 2021 17:58:44 +0530
Governor condoles demise of industrialist social worker Rani Poddar

Mumbai, June 11

The Governor of Maharashtra Bhagat Singh Koshyari has expressed condolences on the demise of noted industrialist and social worker Smt Rani Poddar.

In a condolence message, the Governor said, “I was saddened to know about the demise of entrepreneur and social worker Smt Rani Poddar. As founder of ‘Puncham’, she set up water kiosks in the city. She was always in the forefront of the work of women empowerment, Beti Bachao and organization of eye check-up camps for the poor. Rani Poddar also did a lot of good work during the COVID-19 pandemic period. I pay my respects to the departed soul and convey my condolences to the members of the bereaved family.”

The Governor of Maharashtra Bhagat Singh Koshyari has expressed condolences on the demise of noted industrialist and social worker Smt Rani Poddar.

In a condolence message, the Governor said, “I was saddened to know about the demise of entrepreneur and social worker Smt Rani Poddar. As founder of ‘Puncham’, she set up water kiosks in the city. She was always in the forefront of the work of women empowerment, Beti Bachao and organization of eye check-up camps for the poor. Rani Poddar also did a lot of good work during the COVID-19 pandemic period. I pay my respects to the departed soul and convey my condolences to the members of the bereaved family.”

Fri, 11 Jun 2021 14:02:43 +0530
San Francisco to fully reopen on June 15

 

San Francisco, June 11

Staring from June 15, the city of San Francisco will fully reopen and eliminate capacity limits, according to an announcement by Mayor London Breed.

Based on the draft guidelines that the state had released in advance, San Francisco has determined that it will fully align with the state plan with some limited exceptions of extremely large events and specific institutional settings with heightened risk, such as acute care hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and jails, Xinhua news agency quoted Breed as saying on Thursday.

"On June 15, we will be taking an incredible step forward by aligning our reopening with the state. I'm excited that the city is coming alive again and I can't wait to see what lies ahead for San Francisco," she said, urging residents to continue to get vaccinated.

Except for schools, childcare and youth activities, San Francisco will lift much of its health order sector-specific restrictions and rescind all business sector directives.

With the impending elimination of the state's tiered reopening system and local health directives for industry sectors, it is expected that many aspects of San Francisco businesses will return to usual operations for attendees, customers, and guests.

"Most notably, health order changes include the elimination of local capacity limits as well as local requirements for physical distancing, masking, and operational procedures and protocols in almost all instances," the announcement said.

"With much of the health risk contained, the most important thing we can be doing now is supporting the economic recovery and revitalisation of our commercial and downtown corridors and the city," said Kate Sofis, the city's director of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development.

Currently, 79 per cent of San Francisco residents eligible for Covid-19 vaccination have received at least one dose.

As of June 7, the city's case rate was 1.5 per 100,000, 25 per cent lower than the state and representing a 96 per cent decrease in San Francisco Covid-19 diagnoses since January.

ians

Fri, 11 Jun 2021 10:01:21 +0530
Vidya Balan I did not set out to break stereotypes

New Delhi, June 11

Vidya Balan has time and again challenged Bollywood stereotypes with her roles, living out her characters with power-packed performances. The actress says it was not something that she did consciously.

Ever since she made her Bollywood debut with "Parineeta" in 2005, Vidya has wowed the Hindi audience with her work in films such as "Bhool Bhulaiyaa", "No One Killed Jessica", "The Dirty Picture", "Paa", "Kahaani", "Ishqiya", "Mission Mangal", "Tumhari Sulu" and "Shakuntala Devi". She will next be seen in "Newton" maker Amit Masurkar's "Sherni", which casts her as a forest officer.

"I did not set out to break stereotypes but I think through my experiences in life, especially as an actor, I have realised I am not going to let anything come in the way of me being an actor," said Vidya, who has been feted with a National Award and a Padma Shri.

The 42-year-old actress added: "So if you tell me, I am too short to be an actor, too fat to be an actor, I am too bold to be an actor, I am too brazen or too intelligent or whatever, I am just saying random things, I cannot change who I am but I can still find my way."

"My passion for what I do has seen me through because I really can't change anything about myself, so I did not set out to break stereotypes. I just said if it doesn't work, too bad it has to work, because I am going to make it work. It has to work because I want to be an actor," she added.

The actress, who at the age of 16, starred in the sitcom "Hum Paanch" and essayed the role of the bespectacled Radhika in the sitcom, "did not challenge the stereotype with a conscious mind".

"So, I think those stereotypes were challenged not consciously but probably unconsciously," she said.

Currently, she awaits the release of "Sherni", where she plays an upright forest officer battling social barriers set by the patriarchal society and lackadaisical attitudes within her department.

"Each of us is a Sherni, but it feels wonderful to be called one!" she smiled, and added: "They are all women who derive their identities from the work they do. They are very passionate about the work they do, because I feel I am that woman, too. So, therefore, I steer towards these characters. I like women with purpose and therefore I tend to choose them."

Vidya added: "The more I look around me, more and more of us are finding that purpose, are living out our dreams. I think it is also a reflection of what's happening in the world around us because cinema is a reflection of reality."

"Sherni" is scheduled for a digital release on June 18 on Amazon Prime Video.

ians

Fri, 11 Jun 2021 09:46:20 +0530
Global Covid 19 caseload tops 174 7mn

 

Washington, June 11

The overall global Covid-19 caseload has topped 174.7 million, while the deaths have surged to more than 3.76 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

In its latest update on Friday morning, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed that the current global caseload and death toll stood at 174,759,974 and 3,769,088, respectively.

The US continues to be the worst-hit country with the world's highest number of cases and deaths at 33,427,481 and 598,728, respectively, according to the CSSE.

In terms of infections, India follows in the second place with 29,183,121 cases.

The other worst countries with over 3 million cases are Brazil (17,210,969), France (5,791,608), Turkey (5,313,098), Russia (5,108,217), the UK (4,558,926), Italy (4,239,868), Argentina (4,066,156), Spain (3,729,458), Germany (3,718,617) and Colombia (3,665,137), the CSSE figures showed.

In terms of deaths, Brazil comes second with 482,019 fatalities.

Nations with a death toll of over 100,000 are India (359,676), Mexico (229,580), the UK (128,131), Italy (126,855), Russia (123,178) and France (110,432).

ians
 

Fri, 11 Jun 2021 09:01:57 +0530
WHO says 47 African countries could miss vax target

 

Nairobi, June 11

Nine out of ten African countries could miss the target of vaccinating 10 per cent of their population against Covid-19 by September, dimming hopes of containing the pandemic in the continent, a World Health Organization (WHO) official said on Thursday.

Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, said that nearly 90 per cent or 47 out of 54 African countries are off-track in terms of inoculating 10 per cent of their population against the virus in the next three months even as they grapple with surging infections, Xinhua reported.

"As we close in on five million cases and the third wave in Africa looms, many of our most vulnerable people remain dangerously exposed to COVID-19," Moeti said in a statement.

Statistics from African Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) indicate the continent had acquired 54.9 million vaccine doses and administered 35.9 million as of June 7.

According to Africa CDC, the top five African countries that have led in COVID-19 vaccination include Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria, Ethiopia and South Africa.

Moeti said that Africa required 225 million doses to achieve the 10 percent vaccination target, adding that the continent is banking on donations and replenishing the COVAX facility to ramp up inoculation targeting high-risk groups.

According to WHO, 20 countries in Africa have used less than 50 percent of vaccine doses they received under the COVAX facility while 12 have more than 10 percent of AstraZeneca doses at risk of expiry by the end of August.

"We need to ensure that the vaccines that we have are not wasted because every dose is precious," said Moeti, adding that some African countries have registered success in vaccine roll-out amid sound planning.

ians

Fri, 11 Jun 2021 08:08:17 +0530
French Open It s Barbora vs Anastasia in women s final

 

Paris, June 11 (IANS) Unseeded Czech Barbora Krejcikova pulled off a remarkable upset by outlasting No.17 seed Maria Sakkari 7-5, 4-6, 9-7 in a French Open women's semi-final match to reach her first Grand Slam final on Thursday.

Barbora saved a match point at 5-3 in the third set and went on to win the titanic battle in three hours and 18 minutes.

Barbora will play first-time Grand Slam finalist No.31 seed Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who defeated world No.85 Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia 7-5, 6-3 in one hour and 34 minutes in an earlier semi-final encounter.

On an 11-match winning streak, Barbora needed five match points over two games. She duly subdued the challenge from the Greek player and improved to 3-0 in their head-to-head rivalry.

Earlier, Anastasia, 29, became the first woman to play more than 50 major tournaments before reaching a final, having made her Grand Slam debut as a 15-year-old wildcard entrant at the Wimbledon in 2007.

Italian Roberta Vinci, who was the 2015 US Open runner-up in her 44th main draw, held the previous record.

This tournament is the 52nd time that Anastasia has made the main draw of a Grand Slam event.

Anastasia will meet the winner of the second semifinal to be played between Maria Sakkari of Greece and Czech Republic's Barbora Krejcikova.

Anastasia is the first Russian woman to advance to a Grand Slam final since 2015, when Maria Sharapova reached the title round of the Australian Open where she lost to Serena Williams of the US.

The win takes Anastasia into her 21st career final. Her last entry in a final was in 2019 in Moscow. Her first entry into a final was at Monterrey in 2010, where she defeated Slovak Daniela Hantuchova to win the title.

If Anastasia wins, it will be her first title since winning the 2018 Strasbourg tournament. In all, she has won 12 career titles.

Anastasia has been the 'junior' opponent to No. 3 Aryna Sabalenka, No. 15 Victoria Azarenka and No. 21 Elena Rybakina in her earlier matches. And now she is the 'senior' pro left in the contest.

Anastasia's career-high ranking has been world No.13, achieved in July 2011. She has reached the quarterfinals in six majors.

Tamara, on the other hand, is the first player from Slovenia to reach the last four stage of a Grand Slam.

ians
 

Fri, 11 Jun 2021 08:02:13 +0530
Sony India unveils new BRAVIA TV at Rs 139 990

New Delhi, June 10

 With an aim to power users with the latest technologies, Sony India on Thursday unveiled a new cognitive intelligence TV series, with the launch of BRAVIA 55X90J.

Priced at Rs 139,990, the new TV is available across all Sony Centers, major electronic stores and e-commerce portals in India.

With the help of Cognitive Processor XR, the TV series behaves like the human brain and understands how humans see and hear, delivering a realistic and immersive experience to the viewer, the company said in a statement.

The processor delivers an intelligence reflecting human cognitive characteristics, which detects the viewer's focal points and cross-analyses numerous image quality elements to produce a picture that is more natural and closer to human memory.

The company claims it to be a new processing method that goes beyond conventional artificial intelligence (AI).

The new X90J series is available in 189 cm (75-inch), 165 cm (65-inch) and 140 cm (55-inch) sizes. However, the company said that the 189 cm (75) and 165 cm (65) will be announced soon.

The series comes integrates Google TV that allows user to browse more than 700,000 movies and TV episodes from across streaming services.

The XR signal processing technology enables the TV series to reproduce multi-dimensional sound for a truly immersive experience.

The XR Surround creates surround sound from the sides and vertically so you can experience 3D audio without the need for in-ceiling or up-firing speakers.

The minimalist design of X90J maximises the screen and minimises the bezel, the company said.

ians

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 22:41:19 +0530
Idris and Sabrina Elba launch six part podcast

London, June 10

Actor Idris Elba and his wife, model-entrepreneur Sabrina Dhowre Elba, have ventured into podcast domain.

The celebrity power couple have launched an original podcast show, "Coupledom With Idris And Sabrina Elba", a six-part series that will see the husband-wife team talk about what makes successful relationships and partnerships work.

Lined up to chat with the Elbas over six parts of the podcast are Kris Jenner and Kim Kardashian West; Ben and Jerry; Christian Louboutin and Mika; Nadiya and Abdal Hussain; Tommy and Codie Oliver; and Mary and Sharon Bishop Baldwin.

The podcast aims at examining the power of successful relationships and partnerships, and the challenges of maintaining them. Idris and Sabrina Elba aim to engage in free and frank discussions that focus on first-hand experiences of arranged marriage, discrimination and representation.

Apart from hosting the podcast, the Elbas also executive-produce the podcast. Amanda Jones has created an original score for the show in collaboration with Idris Elba, who is a rapper and DJ, too.

Sabrina Elba summed up: "'Coupledom', to myself and Idris, means the realm of shared experiences between two partners in life or business, creating extraordinary outcomes. In our Audible Original podcast, we've truly been able to explore 'coupledom' through some of the world's most interesting duos for honest, unguarded discussions about all the complexities of living a shared life. I've taken so many lessons from our guests' unique partnerships, and I hope listeners of the podcast will be just as inspired as I have been."

The podcast will be available to download from June 24.

ians
 

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 22:28:25 +0530
70 CEOs ask G7 leaders to support net zero commitments

Geneva, June 10

Over 70 CEOs on Thursday said they stand ready to work with leaders around the world to reduce emissions.

Members of the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders signed an open letter championing public-private cooperation ahead of the G7 summit in order to supercharge net-zero commitments, polices and actions.

The signatories are looking for governments to accelerate the transition to net-zero before COP26 in order to accelerate even more action from the private sector. The letter emphasises public-private collaboration as vital and welcomes transformative policy change.

"It is an important and significant move for this many CEOs to put their names forward for deeper collective collaboration," World Economic Forum Managing Director Dominic Waughray said.

"It sends a clear signal to policy-makers that many global business leaders are ready to make the transition to a net-zero future. As we move towards COP26, public-private collaboration will be key to unlocking investment, setting more ambitious targets to reduce emissions, and turning this ambition into action."

The Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders is the only CEO-led community open to all companies worldwide that want to make clear commitments and work to transition to net-zero.

Members believe the private sector has a responsibility to actively engage in global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to help lead the global transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy.

The World Economic Forum hosts the alliance.

ians

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 22:14:49 +0530
Elon Musk s Starlink plans to put faster Wi Fi on commercial airplanes

San Francisco, June 10

Tech billionaire Elon Musk's satellite Internet service -- Starlink -- is in talks with "several" airlines for in-flight Wi-Fi, media reports said.

Since 2018, SpaceX has launched nearly 1,800 Starlink satellites out of the roughly 4,400 it needs to provide global coverage of broadband internet, primarily for rural homes where fibre connections aren't available.

Starlink is now being expanded to airlines, as SpaceX races to open the broadband network commercially later this year, the Verge reported.

"We're in talks with several of the airlines," Jonathan Hofeller, SpaceX's VP of Starlink and commercial sales, was quoted as saying at the Connected Aviation Intelligence Summit on Wednesday.

"We have our own aviation product in development... we've already done some demonstrations to date, and looking to get that product finalised to be put on aircraft in the very near future," he added.

Hofeller said the design for SpaceX's airline antennas will be very similar to the technology inside its consumer terminals, but "with obvious enhancements for aviation connectivity", the report said.

The aviation hardware will be designed and built by SpaceX, he noted. The airborne antennas could link with ground stations to communicate with Starlink satellites.

Last year, SpaceX filed plans to test Starlink on five Gulfstream jets. And in March, it sought US Federal Communications Commission approval to use Starlink with vehicles that receive a signal, including cars, trucks, ships and aircraft.

Early last month, Elon Musk also announced that the new Starlink internet service will make web access more affordable for people in remote areas worldwide, including in India.

The satellite broadband company will double the internet speed to 300 Mbps this year.

The company currently promises speeds between 50 and 150 Mbps for the Starlink project that plans to deliver high-speed internet through a network of about 12,000 satellites. The company has already put over 1,200 of its Starlink satellites in orbit.

SpaceX is currently offering the beta version of Starlink on pre-orders in India for a fully refundable deposit of $99.
 

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 22:02:30 +0530
Heavy Rains for 2 days bring Maximum City to a standstill

 

Anupama Nair

www.mediaeyenews.com

June 10, Mumbai: Mumbai or maximum city as it is known was bought to standstill from yesterday as unrelentless rain continue to lash on the city.  The monsoon season is the favorite season after winter for many of us including me. The sweet sound of the raindrops falling on the windowpane or on the ground is music to me. But if the very rain causes mayhem, lives become difficult as was seen in the last two days.

The first monsoon rains hit Mumbai with its full wrath for the last two days, hitting road and rail traffic, and flooding low-lying areas like every other year amidst BMC’s claim of Monsoon preparedness and many crores down the drain. Large parts of Mumbai, Thane, Palghar, Raigad witnessed heavy rains just a few weeks after the cyclone Tauktae caused much devastation.

“Mumbai will continue to experience heavy rainfall till June 15”, reported the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD). The IMD placed Mumbai and neighboring districts of Palgarh, Thane and Raigad under a red category storm warning. "Mumbai city and suburbs very likely to experience light to moderate spell of rainfall with possibility of occasional intense spells during next 3-4 hours," said sources from the IMD.

A building in Malad collapsed yesterday killing 11 including 8 children. The honorable CM, Mr. Uddhav Thakre visited the Shatabdi Hospital where, those injured in the building collapse are admitted. The Chief minister was accompanied by the Guardian minister Mr. Aditya Thackeray and BMC Commissioner, Mr. Iqbal Singh Chahal.

Continuous rain battered Mumbai today also, as predicted by the IMD. Orange Alert was issued for today. As precautionary measures the NDRF has deployed 15 teams across Maharashtra. "NDRF teams have been mobilized in the districts of Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri, Palghar and Raigad." There was flooding reported in Sion railway station, King Circle flyover and Chunabatti as per last reports. Malad subway was waterlogged following heavy rainfall in the city.

Isn’t it the same old story every year as BMC blames Railways and vice versa? Political parties play blame game as it is the common citizens who suffer year after year. When will BMC or the Government feel “the buck stops here”. Guess we will have to wait for many more disasters.

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 21:38:05 +0530
Tokyo Games Village may have no alcohol in public areas

Tokyo, June 10

Tokyo Olympic Games could see a ban on alcohol in dining and public areas of the Games Village although athletes will be allowed to consume it inside their rooms.

"In case they were to drink inside their own rooms -- this is equivalent to cases where we are drinking in our own home," Toshiri Muto, CEO of Tokyo Olympic Games Organising Committee, told Japanese media.

"Can we prohibit that (drinking inside own rooms)? That's not conceivable. It would be very difficult to do so."

However, Muto said that alcohol might be banned from dining and public areas in the Games Village.

Tokyo is under a state of emergency till June 20 as a result of which alcohol sales in restaurants and bars are banned as the administration looks to curb Covid-19 cases by discouraging locals from partying.

If emergency is extended, then the local population may get irked seeing or hearing of athletes drinking in public areas of the Games Village while they remain under restriction.

"We have not yet clearly decided on the [alcohol] policy. We hope to do so by the end of this month," said Muto.

The Games, which is facing a lot of opposition from locals, are scheduled to begin on July 23.

ians

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 18:23:23 +0530
Malvika Raaj takes to dancing amid lockdown

 

Mumbai, June 10

Actress Malvika Raaj, who played the young Poo in "Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham", is all set to make her Bollywood debut with the action film "Squad". As shoots remain stalled owing to lockdown, she is utilising the time to hone her dancing skills.

"Dancing has made me happy ever since I was a kid. It's been a long lockdown in different parts. I switch on YouTube and take to any of the dance sessions there. It's a goldmine of content there. Dance helps build rhythm and synchronises our body other than being a great form of working out as well," Malvika said.

She added: "I think it's a great time to experiment with a dance routine and everyone should give it a try. The pandemic is not over yet. We should try and stay within the guidelines. Get vaccinated whenever the opportunity arises."

Malvika's upcoming debut film "Squad" marks the debut of veteran actor Danny Denzongpa's son Rinzing. Seventy per cent of the film has been shot in Belarus.

The action film boasts of stunt co-ordinator Keir Beck of "Mad Max: Fury Road'' fame. Beck is working on the film's action sequences along with stunt crew from six countries and with 400 stuntmen.

ians
 

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 18:16:39 +0530
95 realtors fear project delays due to 2nd Covid wave seek urgent relief

New Delhi, June 10

Over 95 per cent developers in the country expect delays in project completion due to the second wave of Covid-19, according to a survey by the Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Associations of India (CREDAI).

The survey also showed that developers feel relief measures from the government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) are of utmost necessity to avoid delay.

The CREDAI report noted that these delays are attributed to a range of factors, with 92 per cent developers experiencing labour shortage at sites, 83 per cent developers are working with less than half the workforce, and over 82 per cent of developers are facing project approval delays.

Harsh Vardhan Patodia, President, CREDAI National, said: "The real estate sector showed tremendous resilience in bouncing back on a cautious recovery path post the first wave, despite little relief measures."

"However, the second wave has prompted us to reflect and re-evaluate the growth path of the industry, and we felt it was vital to assess the challenges faced by the customers and industry partners in light of the recent developments," he said.

The findings reveal that the second wave has had a more debilitating impact on the real estate sector than the first wave, the CREDAI President said.

Further, factors such as recent spike in construction materials including steel and cement have contributed to more than 10 per cent increase in construction cost for more than 88 per cent developers.

The 'Covid Impact Analysis Report' also showed that various financial constraints and liquidity crunch are further adding to the problem, with 77 per cent developers experiencing issues in servicing of existing loans, 85 per cent developers facing disruptions in planned collection, and 69 per cent are facing issues in disbursement of customer home loans.

Patodia said that the industry body has made a representation to the government citing the survey and requesting the government to infuse urgent financial stimulus and initiate quick progressive measures to assist recovery.

ians
 


 

 

 

 


 

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 18:09:20 +0530
Tackle biodiversity climate crises together Experts

Bonn, June 10

Unprecedented changes in climate and biodiversity, driven by human activities, have combined to increasingly threaten nature, human lives, livelihoods and well-being around the world.

Biodiversity loss and climate change are both driven by human economic activities and mutually reinforce each other. Neither will be successfully resolved unless both are tackled together.

This is the message of a workshop report published on Thursday by 50 of the world's leading biodiversity and climate experts.

The peer-reviewed report is the product of a four-day virtual workshop between experts selected by a 12-person Scientific Steering Committee assembled by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) -- the first-ever collaboration between these two intergovernmental bodies.

The report finds that previous policies have largely tackled biodiversity loss and climate change independently, and that addressing the synergies between mitigating biodiversity loss and climate change, while considering their social impacts, offers the opportunity to maximise benefits and meet global development goals.

"Human-caused climate change is increasingly threatening nature and its contributions to people, including its ability to help mitigate climate change. The warmer the world gets, the less food, drinking water and other key contributions nature can make to our lives, in many regions," said Hans-Otto Portner, co-chair of the Scientific Steering Committee.

"Changes in biodiversity, in turn, affect climate, especially through impacts on nitrogen, carbon and water cycles. The evidence is clear: A sustainable global future for people and nature is still achievable, but it requires transformative change with rapid and far-reaching actions of a type never before attempted, building on ambitious emissions reductions," he said.

The authors also warned that narrowly-focused actions to combat climate change can directly and indirectly harm nature and vice-versa, but many measures exist that can make significant positive contributions in both areas.

Highlighting the significance of the co-sponsored workshop, Hoesung Lee, Chair of the IPCC, said: "Climate change and biodiversity loss combine to threaten society -- often magnifying and accelerating each other. By focusing on synergies and trade-offs between biodiversity protection and climate change mitigation and adaptation, this workshop advanced the debate on how to maximise the benefits to the people and the planet."

ians

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 18:03:30 +0530
Yogi at Shah s residence likely to meet PM and Nadda on Fri

New Delhi, June 10

 Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath reached the national capital on Thursday where he is likely to meet the BJP central leadership.

Adityanath has reached Union Home Minister Amit Shah's residence for a meeting to discuss the political situation in Uttar Pradesh. The UP Chief Minister is expected to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday morning before calling on BJP President J.P. Nadda in the afternoon, sources said.

Preparations for next year's Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh will be the main agenda of Adityanath's meeting with the party's central leadership, sources said.

The sources also said that the handling of the Covid situation during the second wave of the pandemic by the Uttar Pradesh government is also likely to be discussed during the meetings.

While the state's efforts drew flak from the opposition, the BJP leadership had appreciated the works done by the UP government.

Adityanath's visit to New Delhi has fuelled speculation about the possible changes in the Uttar Pradesh cabinet and in the party structure ahead of next year's Assembly polls.

"A possible cabinet expansion or reshuffle is also likely to be discussed in the meetings. Changes in the state BJP unit are also part of the agenda in order to strengthen the party ahead of next year's Assembly elections," a party insider said.

Talks of changes are doing the rounds for the last fortnight ever since BJP national General Secretary (organisation) B.L. Santhosh and state in-charge Radha Mohan Singh visited Lucknow to review the party's preparations for next year's Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.

Santhosh had taken feedback from the state ministers and MLAs, which had fuelled speculation about possible changes in the party's Uttar Pradesh set up.

Sources claimed that based on the feedback collected by the central leadership, it has been decided to go for a reshuffle in the Uttar Pradesh government as well as in the party's state unit.

The sources also said that the role of former Union minister Jitin Prasada, who jumped ship from the Congress to the BJP on Wednesday, will also be discussed during Adityanath's meetings with the central BJP leadership.

A well-known Brahmin face in Uttar Pradesh, Prasada's father Jitendra Prasad was a prominent Brahmin leader in Uttar Pradesh.
ians

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 17:56:48 +0530
Hisense to set up TV manufacturing unit in India

New Delhi, June 10

Consumer electronics and appliance manufacturer Hisense on Thursday announced to set up a manufacturing plant in India and expand its product portfolio with new launches this year.

The company said that it will set up a local manufacturing plant with a capacity to produce two million TVs within the next two years.

"Hisense entered the Indian market last year and got a phenomenal response from the consumers. To meet the growing demand for our television range we are ramping up our local manufacturing capabilities and will be setting up a TV manufacturing plant of 2 million capacity within the next two years," said Rishi Tandon, COO, Hisense India.

The company will launch 70-inch Mega TV, 65-inch and 50-inch Tornado TV with 102W JBL six speaker system in the country this month.

The company will also introduce an array of products including laser TVs, QLED TV, side-by-side refrigerator, washing machines, dishwasher, audio, microwave oven, and kitchen appliances this festive season.

The brand has partnered with EURO 2020 as the official sponsor for the mega sporting event this year. Hisense will also be the official sponsor of Qatar FIFA world Cup 2022.

"The ‘Your Home Your Stadium' campaign starting on June 12 will offer all our consumers a four-year complete warranty on our entire 4K TV range for the promotion period," said Tandon.

Hisense is one of the world's leading TV manufacturers and one of the top TV brands in Australia, the US, Japan, Mexico, and South Africa.

The company has footprint in over 160 countries, along with 14 manufacturing facilities.

ians

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 15:37:04 +0530
Biden Putin summit to take place in lakeside villa

Geneva, June 10

The much-awaited summit between US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin will take place in a stately villa overlooking Lake Geneva on June 16, the Swiss Foreign Ministry announced on Thursday.

The statement confirmed preparations that had been visible for some time as police and the armed forces blocked access to the park on Tuesday, reports dpa news agency.

Workers have erected a high metal fence around the walls of the park, some 2 metres high.

Police are guarding the entrance gate, which is locked.

A sign hanging on the gate states that "the park is closed to the public from Tuesday, June 8, to June 18, inclusive, for a special occasion".

The spacious villa dates back to the 18th century and is situated on a hill.

The terrace offers a view of Lake Geneva and the park contains trees and a meadow.

The city of Geneva rarely uses the house for state occasions; it is closed almost all year round.

The eagerly-awaited summit comes at the end of Biden's first trip to Europe, where he will attend the meeting of the G7 nations and NATO talks in Brussels, among other events.

iana

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 15:30:56 +0530
Rubina Dilaik Life is a beautiful dance

Mumbai, June 10

"Bigg Boss 14" winner and television star Rubina Dilaik engages in random dance therapy in new Instagram photographs she posted on Thursday.

In the set of images, she sports an embellished pastel blouse with a zardozi lehenga. She completes her look with maroon velvet boots.

"Life is a beautiful dance," Rubina captioned the image, which currently has over 157K likes on the photo-sharing website.

Rubina had tested positive for Covid a few weeks back. She was in Shimla and had quarantined herself there. The actress kept her fans updated about her health.

Her husband Abhinav Shukla is currently in Cape Town, shooting for the stunt-based reality show "Khatron Ke Khiladi" season 11.

ians
 

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 15:15:08 +0530
Gionee unveils 3 new smartwatches in India

 

New Delhi, June 10

With an aim to offer unique health, fitness and trendy feature, Gionee on Thursday launched three new smartwatches for Indian consumers.

The new watches -- Stylfit GSW6, GSW7 and GSW8 -- are priced at Rs 6,099, Rs 2,099 and Rs 8,099, respectively.

The watches come loaded with efficient health trackers including an SPO2 monitor, real-time heart rate monitor, calorie meter, sleep quality tracker and other stunning features.

"Being healthy and fit has become more consequential than ever before," Pardeep Jain, Managing Director, JIPL that manages Gionee in India, said in a statement.

"In recent times people have started considering smart wearables as an integral part of the modern lifestyle giving the much-needed boost to India's promising smart wearable market amid the pandemic," Jain added.

Stylfit GSW8 boasts dedicated Bluetooth for calling and music. The device has an impressive built-in speaker and a microphone to talk through the watch when you get a phone call.

It also comes with unique health and fitness features such as a heart rate monitor, menstrual cycle tracker, sleep monitor, pedometer, calorie counter and more.

The smartwatch also supports multi-sport modes such as outdoor run, outdoor walk, indoor run, indoor walk, hiking, stair stepper, outdoor cycle, stationary bike, elliptical, rowing machine and a lot more.

Stylfit GSW6 is feature-rich and power-packed with dedicated Bluetooth for calling and music.

The device has an impressive built-in speaker and a microphone to make calling smarter than ever and take a seamless music experience to the next level.

With this, one can measure blood oxygen saturation level in real-time, monitor heart rate along with other health features such as sleep monitor, pedometer, calorie counter, etc.

GSW7 is an all-rounder fitness companion. Right from SpO2 monitor to heart rate monitor, it has everything to keep a constant health check and ensure a fit lifestyle, the company said.

The devices are also compatible with Android Version 4.4 or above; iOS version 9.0 or above.

ians

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 15:08:40 +0530
ICC to induct 10 former cricketers into Hall of Fame

Dubai, June 10

The International Cricket Council (ICC) will induct 10 former players from five different eras in its Hall of Fame ahead of the World Test Championship final.

"Ten legends of the game who have made a significant contribution to the history of Test cricket will be inducted to join 93 players who are already in the illustrious list of ICC Hall of Famers making the total now to 103," the ICC said in a statement on Thursday.

"The special intake will see two players from each of the following five eras join the ranks of the world's greatest players: Early Cricket Era (pre-1918), Inter-War Cricket Era (1918 -- 1945), Post-War Cricket Era (1946 -- 1970), ODI Era (1971 -- 1995), Modern Cricket Era (1996 -- 2016)," added the statement.

The special edition will be telecast live on June 13 (Sunday) on all ICC digital channels.

The 10 icons who will be inducted were chosen by the ICC Hall of Fame Voting Academy which comprises of living Hall of Fame members, a

FICA (Federation of International Cricketers' Association) representative, prominent cricket journalists and senior ICC figures.

"We are celebrating the history of the game and what better way than to honour some of the greats that founded and played the game across different eras. These are all players with a legacy that will continue to inspire future generations for years to come," Geoff Allardice, the ICC Acting Chief Executive, was quoted as saying in the statement.

ians
 

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 14:58:54 +0530
Auto supplier Sona Comstar IPO to open on Monday

New Delhi, June 9

The initial public offering of automobile technology company Sona BLW Precision Forgings' shares will open on June 14.

As per the company, the IPO will close on Wednesday, June 16.

"The price band for the offer has been determined at Rs 285-Rs 291 per equity share," the company said in a statement.

"The total Offer size is up to Rs 5,550 crore with a fresh issuance of equity shares, aggregating up to Rs 300 crore and an offer for sale of equity shares aggregating up to Rs 5,250 crore, by the selling shareholder, namely, Singapore VII Topco III Pte. Ltd."

The company intends to utilise the proceeds from the fresh issue to repay or prepay approximately Rs 241.12 crore of its identified borrowings, besides general corporate purposes.

At present, the company designs, manufacturers and supplies highly engineered, mission critical automotive systems and components to automotive OEMs across US, Europe, India and China, for both electrified and non-electrified powertrain segments.

ians

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 11:53:16 +0530
Israeli strikes kill 11 military personnel in Syria

Damascus, June 10

 Israeli strikes targeting areas in central and southern Syria overnight killed 11 military personnel, a war monitor reported.

An officer was among the victims as the strikes on Wednesday targeted a scientific research centre and other military positions in Homs province and the countryside of the capital Damascus, reports Xinhua mews agency.

There were no details about the casualties, but the war monitor said the air defenses responded to the attack.

The Israeli strikes are the latest in a string of actions targeting Syrian military positions across the country.

According to a report in The Times of Israel newspaper, The Israeli Defense Force has launched hundreds of strikes in Syria since the start of the civil war in 2011.

The pace of attacks has slowed considerably in recent months, with the last reported strikes taking place May 5 and 6 on sites in Latakia and near Quneitra.

One civilian was reported killed in the May 5 strike, the report added.

ians
 

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 11:42:13 +0530
First mega monsoon tragedy as 11 killed in Mumbai house crash

 

Mumbai, June 10

In the first major monsoon-related tragedy, at least 11 persons were killed and 7 more injured when a two-storied residential building collapsed and crashed on an adjoining tenement in Malad west late on Wednesday, officials said here on Thursday.

The tragedy struck at around 23.30 hrs inside the congested slum colony housed in the New Collectors Compound, Malvani area of Malad west suburb, said the BMC Disaster Control.

So far, 11 persons have perished in the incident, comprising 9 from a single family, and after the locals raised an alarm that a few more may still be trapped under the huge mound of rubble, efforts were made to dig them out.

A majority of the victims killed are minors while another 17 were rescued by the locals, the Mumbai Fire Brigade, SDRF and others in the nightlong operations which continued at daybreak braving intermittent rains.

Mumbai Guardian Minister Aslam Sheikh, who is the local MLA, visited the tragedy site and directed the rescue and relief operations, besides other top police and civic officials.

The victims have been identified as: Arifa Shaikh, 9, Jhoni Irrana, 13, plus nine members of a single family -- Alfisa S. Siddiqui, 18-month old, Afina S. Siddiqui, 6, Sahil S. Sayyed, 9, Alisha S. Siddiqui, 10, Taher S. Siddiqui, 12, Taufik S. Siddiqui, 15, Raisabano S. Siddiqui, 40, Ishratbano S. Siddiqui, 40, and Shafiq M. Siddiqui, 45.

Among the 7 admitted to the Dr BR Ambedkar Shatabdi Hospital, the condition of at least 3 is critical, while one was discharged after treatment for minor injuries this morning.

The IMD has forecast heavy to very heavy rains in Mumbai, Thane, Palghar, Raigad, over the 3-4 days and the state has geared up all agencies to combat any situation.

ians

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 11:26:37 +0530
125 year old man takes jab in Varanasi

Varanasi, June 10

Setting aside all vaccine hesitancy talks, a 125-year-old man had got himself inoculated against Covid-19 in Varanasi.

The man Swami Shivanand reached a vaccine centre in Durga Kund on Wednesday and left the medical staff stunned into silence when he presented his Aadhaar card.

His date of birth on the Aadhar card is mentioned as August 8, 1896, which makes him 125-year-old.

The medical staff showed some hesitancy but Shivanand had none. He insisted on getting the jab and finally got one.

A resident of Kabir Nagar colony in Bhelupur area, Shivanand had reached the vaccine centre alone to get the jab.

He waited for the mandatory half hour at the centre and the went home.

Shivanand told reporters that the reason for his longevity is 'simple food and regular life'.

"I wake up at 3 am and go to the Ganga River for a bath. Then I do Yoga. I eat very simple food with little or no oil and spices. I come from a very poor family and till date, I never had a full diet.I eat only half of my appetite. It keeps reminding me of my humble background," he said.

Shivanand does all his work on his own and does not take help from any family member.

He is now looking forward to taking the second dose of the vaccine next month.

ians
 

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 09:53:36 +0530
Global Covid 19 caseload tops 174 3mn

Washington, June 10

The overall global Covid-19 caseload has topped 174.3 million, while the deaths have surged to more than 3.75 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

In its latest update on Thursday morning, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed that the current global caseload and death toll stood at 174,311,218 and 3,754,914, respectively.

The US continues to be the worst-hit country with the world's highest number of cases and deaths at 33,413,999 and 598,760, respectively, according to the CSSE.

In terms of infections, India follows in the second place with 29,089,069 cases.

The other worst countries with over 3 million cases are Brazil (17,122,877), France (5,787,125), Turkey (5,306,690), Russia (5,096,657), the UK (4,551,687), Italy (4,237,790), Argentina (4,038,528), Germany (3,715,870), Spain (3,715,454) and Colombia (3,633,481), the CSSE figures showed.

In terms of deaths, Brazil comes second with 479,515 fatalities.

Nations with a death toll of over 100,000 are India (353,528), Mexico (229,100), the UK (128,124), Italy (126,767), Russia (122,802) and France (110,364).

ians

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 09:47:00 +0530
Katrina Kaif Vicky Kaushal memes flood internet

Mumbai, June 9

Meme makers had a field day throughout Wednesday as they flooded social media with memes featuring B-Town's rumoured couple Katrina Kaif and Vicky Kaushal.

The hashtags #KatrinaKaif and #VickyKaushal started trending on Twitter on Wednesday after memes featuring the two actors started doing the rounds, with fans talking about their rumoured relationship. While some of the memes are hilarious, some are romantic.

Even though the two actors are rumoured to be dating for quite a while now, they have chosen to keep mum on their relationship status and refrain from making public appearances together.

While sharing memes featuring the two actors, fans shared their love for Vicky and Katrina and even said the two look nice together. Some fans even tweeted suggesting that the two of them should feature in a film together.

The memes started flowing on Wednesday after reports emerged claiming that actor Harsh Varrdhan Kapoor has confirmed in a recent interview that Vicky and Katrina are dating.

In an appearance on Zoom's ‘By Invite Only', Harsh Varrdhan was reportedly quizzed which Bollywood relationship rumour he believes to be true, to which the actor allegedly replied: "Vicky and Katrina are together, that's true... Am I going to get in trouble for saying this? I don't know. I think they're quite open about it."

ians

Wed, 09 Jun 2021 22:05:04 +0530
India s April domestic air pax traffic plunges IATA

New Delhi, June 9

Covid resurgence accelerated the contraction rate of India's domestic air passenger traffic in April 2021.

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the plunge in India's domestic air passenger volume -- measured in revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) -- was one of the largest amongst major aviation markets such as Australia, Brazil, China, Japan, Russia and the US.

In India, RPK growth plunged by 42 per cent in April when compared to the levels in the like period of 2019.

The country's domestic available passenger capacity -- measured in available seat kilometres (ASKs) -- was down by over 15 per cent.

"Total domestic demand was down 25.7 per cent versus pre-crisis levels (April 2019), much improved over March 2021, when domestic traffic was down 31.6 per cent versus the 2019 period," IATA said in its global passenger traffic results for April 2021.

"As with March, all markets except Brazil and India showed improvement compared to March 2021, with both China and Russia reporting traffic growth compared to pre-Covid-19 levels."

According to the report, following an exponential rise of Covid-19 cases, new cases have started to come down in India, but daily cases are still elevated resulting in local restrictions.

In addition, it said that concerns regarding transmission of new variants remains a concern.

ians

Wed, 09 Jun 2021 21:55:57 +0530
Maha s vehicle registration process goes online faceless paperless

Mumbai, June 9  

In a major initiative, the Maharashtra government has made the cumbersome process of vehicle registration process totally online - faceless and paperless - in view of the Covid-19 second wave's compulsions and as part of the Ease of Doing Business policy, officials said on Wednesday.

Transport Commissioner Dr Avinash Dhakane late on Tuesday issued the orders for this end, as per the rules notified by the Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways.

Now, the applicant can submit all documents for vehicle registration online, no physical verification for the first registration of the new two or four wheelers is required, all documents can be e-signed by the dealers using digital signature, and the vehicle numbers shall be auto-generated at the dealerships.

Welcoming the development, Federation of Automobile Dealers' Association (FADA) President Vinkesh Gulati said it will save time of the customers as it eliminates the need for making physical trips to the RTOs.

"FADA aims to make all states implement this online system of vehicle registration. We thank Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Transport Minister Anil Parab, besides Dr Dhakane for their bold decision which will help the 'East of Doing Business' in the big way," said Gulati.

FADA Maharashtra Chairperson Amar Jatin Sheth said that the organisation has been advocating this system since long and finally the time has come when a customer "can walk into a showroom and drive out with a vehicle and a registration number", doing away with many of the hassles linked with vehicle registration and documentation.

ians
 

Wed, 09 Jun 2021 21:43:35 +0530
Kerala gold smuggling case NIA arrests fugitive returning from UAE

 

New Delhi, June 9

In a breakthrough in the Kerala gold smuggling case, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday said that it has arrested fugitive accused Muhammad Mansoor P.H. after his return from the UAE.

An NIA spokesperson said that the agency arrested Mansoor, a resident of Kerala's Kozhikode district, following his arrival at Calicut International Airport from Dubai.

The case pertains to the seizure of 30 kg gold worth Rs 14.82 crore on July 5 last year at Air Cargo complex of the Trivandrum International Airport by the Customs department from the baggage addressed to the Charge D' Affairs of the UAE Consulate, Thiruvananthapuram.

The NIA had registered a case on July 10 last year and had also filed charge sheet against 20 accused persons on January 1 this year.

The official said that during probe, it was revealed that Mansoor, while being in UAE, had conspired with the charge sheeted accused Mohammed Shafi P. and others to facilitate smuggling of gold to India, through import cargo addressed to diplomats at the UAE Consulate .

The NIA Special Court at Ernakulam had issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against Mansoor.

The official said that Mansoor was produced before NIA Special Court at Kochi and sent to five days NIA custody.

ians
 

Wed, 09 Jun 2021 21:37:08 +0530
Won t quit Parliament continue fight for people s rights Farooq Abdullah

Srinagar, June 9

Amid speculation about any possible changes to the status of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, former J&K Chief Minister and National Conference President Farooq Abdullah said on Wednesday that he won't resign as a member of the Parliament and will continue to fight for peoples rights.

He was talking to reporters after a meeting convened by the People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) at the residence of former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti here.

"I won't resign from the Parliament. We will continue to fight for the rights of the people in the Parliament till we are alive," Abdullah said.

To a question on the rumours about a further bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir and the creation of a separate Jammu state with parts of Kashmir Valley in it, he said such rumours keep floating in Kashmir and they have also been hearing the same.

"Rumours always keep floating in Kashmir. Let them do what they want to do, we are holding the rope of Allah and we hope that he will keep our future secure," he said.

The meeting convened by the PAGD, a conglomerate of Kashmir-based political parties, on Wednesday was attended by PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, Farooq Abdullah, Awami National Conference leader Muzaffar Shah and CPI-M leader Yusuf Taragami, among others.

The PAGD was floated for the reversal of the constitutional changes made to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, 2019.

Taragami has been appointed as the new spokesperson of PAGD.

ians
 

Wed, 09 Jun 2021 21:26:01 +0530
Concerns over digital payments fraud grows in India Survey

Mumbai, June 9

Consumers in India are increasingly concerned about digital payments fraud and are exercising greater caution when using digital payments compared to a year ago, according to a new study conducted by YouGov and ACI Worldwide.

Around 71 per cent consumers said they are more concerned about scams and fraud because of Covid-19, compared to 47 per cent consumers last year at the onset of the pandemic, said a statement by ACI Worldwide.

The survey showed that net banking is perceived to be the most secure method of payment and, UPI and eWallet transactions scored higher than card payments, for both for online and offline usage.

It revealed that around 60 per cent respondents would first call their bank to block their account or visit the bank branch to file a written complaint in the event of fraud, indicating that banks continue to be the first point of contact.

When it comes to the potential fraud risks while transacting through UPI or eWallets, almost half of the consumers are most concerned about fake UPI payment links that ask for money transfers through text or e-mail.

On a positive note, the efforts of the government to encourage digital payments have been lauded, with nearly 8 in 10 (78 per cent) consumers agreeing that the government should continue to promote them to maintain safety and social distancing measures during the pandemic.

Usage continues to rise, with digital payments by means of eWallets and UPI being used at least once per day by 37 per cent of consumers, second only to cash (52 per cent).

"The pandemic has been a major catalyst for the adoption and growth of digital payments in India, but transaction growth has been accompanied by the emergence of payments-focused scams, with many first-time users targeted by fraudsters," said ACI Worldwide's Vice President and head of product management, Asia, Middle East and Africa, Kaushik Roy.

He added that consumers are overwhelmingly welcoming of the steps taken by authorities towards digitisation in payments and acknowledge the efforts made by banks concerning consumer awareness of payments fraud.

Roy, however, added that banks will need to continue to lead the way by not only deploying modern and robust enterprise-level fraud management, but also by increasing consumer awareness.

ians

Wed, 09 Jun 2021 20:36:46 +0530
Sonu Sood to set up O2 plants in over 16 states across India

 

Mumbai, June 9

Actor Sonu Sood, who has been relentlessly trying to help people who have been affected by Covid-19, has announced that he will set up oxygen plants across the country in almost 16-18 states.

The actor has revealed that the process has already started with two places being locked in Andhra Pradhesh's Nellore and Kurnool cities. The process will be in full swing by June end and will be completed by September in all the states.

Talking to IANS over phone, Sonu said: "I have tried to cover all the states. The oxygen plants will be set up near the needy hospitals which will have almost 150-200 beds. All these hospitals will never have shortage. The patients have to sometimes travel far to reach the hospitals and in some cases, they lose their lives as well. With this, I hope, such situation will never arise."

Is this his precautionary method to tackle the predicted third wave of Covid-19?

"This will solve the problem forever. Right now there are almost 700 concentrators which we are servicing pan India, but it's a temporary arrangement. With an oxygen plant, no one will ever face a problem. Why wait for a third or fourth wave to happen? Even when the pandemic will be over, the villages and districts nearby will have oxygen supply forever," says the actor.

The actor's work has reached the masses and he often has visitors coming outside his house to meet and discuss their problems with him. He says that helping people only makes him feel more responsible.

"It doesn't make me nervous, but gives me more sense of responsibility. It's raining right now but people are still standing outside and I have requested them to go. I worry for them and there is so much pain across the country. So, the privileged people should come forward and help and do whatever best they can do," says the actor, who will soon be seen in the Telugu film "Acharya" and Bollywood flick "Prithviraj".

ians
 

Wed, 09 Jun 2021 20:32:30 +0530
Indian football team should fight like bees do Captain Chhetri

Doha, June 9

India captain Sunil Chhetri says that "giving everything on the pitch" should be the motto of his team going forward.

India, who defeated Bangladesh 2-0 in the FIFA World Cup 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023 qualifier match here on Monday, will take on Afghanistan on June 15 in their last Group E assignment here.

"I tell the boys to just turn up and give everything on the pitch, and then you will take whatever result comes…you might not get as many moments of individual brilliance and technical play like through balls, but if we can fight like how bees fight by coming together, that's the foundation," said the 36-year-old striker.

"The opponent should think that we will be annoying and fighting and defending as a team; and that is the first step. Slowly, other things will come from there."

India have six points from seven matches and are placed third in the group. They have lost three matches and three games have ended in draws. Qatar, as on Wednesday, lead Group E with 22 points from eight matches, thanks to their seven wins. Oman have 12 points from six matches and are second.

India are only fighting to qualify for the Asian Cup 2023, as they are out of contention for the 2022 World Cup.

Chhetri, who has now taken his international tally of goals to 74 in 117 matches, spoke about the virtues of playing more passes.

"We want to see more passing, as it would mean running less and more one vs one situations. The way forward is to keep the ball more and look to increase the number of passes and organised attacks," opined the striker.

Chhetri, who made his debut against Pakistan in 2005, said he tells youngsters to focus on fitness.

"Doing the right exercises, avoiding the wrong kind of food, taking good sleep -- all these are easy and that is why I demand high fitness."

ians
 

Wed, 09 Jun 2021 20:27:45 +0530
Nanotech based reusable mask can block 99 9 bacteria viruses

Singapore, June 9

Scientists from Singapore's Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have developed a reusable "nanotech mask" that can block 99.9 per cent of bacteria, viruses and particulate matter (PM), as well as kill germs in just 45 seconds, much effective against Covid-19 than the currently used N95 masks.

The mask's novel antimicrobial coating is effective for at least six days and its filtration efficiency surpasses those of N95 masks with 95 per cent filtration of PM0.3.

The new masks can also be washed and reused over 10 times, making it more sustainable than conventional disposable masks, but just as easy to breathe in.

The nanotech mask is made with two key components: an antimicrobial coating made from copper nanoparticles and coated on a non-woven fabric mask which has a unique static-electricity property that draws and traps all nanoparticles and germs.

Both are the two most desired properties needed to fight Covid-19, into a single filter, said Professor Lam Yeng Ming, Chair of NTU's School of Materials Science and Engineering.

"In experiments, our copper nanoparticle coating has an extremely fast and sustained antibacterial activity, with a killing efficiency of up to 99.9 per cent when it meets multidrug resistant bacteria. This coating will help to reduce the spread of bacteria as it kills microbes in droplets trapped by the mask fibres, which provide excellent filtration efficiency. This should give users a double layer of protection compared to conventional surgical masks," Lam said

In experiments, the mask was able to attract and trap a broad range of particulate matter: from PM10 (average particle size of 10 microns) to PM0.3 (0.3 microns - about 0.3 per cent or the diameter of a human hair) with a filtration efficiency of 99.9 per cent.

The nanoparticles are also bonded to the fibres within the mask, so there is no contact with human skin when the mask is worn.

"With our new composite filter, we can achieve up to 99.9 per cent BFE (Bacterial Filtration Efficiency), trapping almost all microbes and particulate matter from smoke or haze. Its filtration efficiency surpasses a N95 mask but allows the wearer to breathe much easier," said Liu Zheng, Associate Professor at the varsity.

ians
 

Wed, 09 Jun 2021 20:22:29 +0530
8 killed in Israeli airstrikes on Syria

Beirut, June 9

At least eight members of the Syrian government forces and their allied militiamen are dead after Israeli airstrikes on central and southern Syria, a monitoring group said on Wednesday.

The Britain-Based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the killed included members of the "National Defence" forces, DPA reported.

It added that the Israeli strikes, which took place shortly before midnight (2100 GMT), hit posts east of the village of Khirbet al-Tin in the countryside of Homs.

The monitoring group said that an ammunition depot thought to belong to the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah was also hit in the same area.

It further said that explosions occurred near the Dabaa Military Airport.

The official Syrian news agency Sana had first reported that Israeli fighter jets hit targets in Syria late on Tuesday night.

The agency cited military sources as saying that the rocket attacks hit central and southern areas of the country, without providing specifics.

According to a Lebanese security source, the Israeli planes used Lebanese airspace to also hit targets south of Damascus.

The Observatory confirmed that loud explosions were heard on the outskirts of Damascus International airport as well as as near the air force battalion in the Dmeir region.

It added that explosions were heard in the provinces of Hama and Latakia.

So far, there has been no official comment from Israel.

Israeli strikes in Syria have been seen as an attempt to prevent Iran, one of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's main allies, from building up its military influence in the region.

ians

Wed, 09 Jun 2021 19:55:50 +0530
Beach Patrol Launch

June 7, Mumbai

There is soon to be excited on the beaches of Mumbai, as we can also witness the beach patrol like beaches abroad! The honorable Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Mr. Uddhav Thakre, flagged off All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV) for helping Mumbai Police, which was inaugurated at a ceremony at Girgaon Chowpatty on June 7th, 2021. The ATVs will be used for Beach Patrol in Mumbai. ATVs are capable of speeds of 50-60 kph over sandy surfaces. These vehicles were donated by Reliance Foundation after the approval of the Government.

The people who attended the meeting along with the CM were Deputy CM, Home Minister, Minister of Tourism and Environment, Guardian Minister of Mumbai, Additional Chief Secretary (Home), DGP, Commissioner of Police, Mayor of Mumbai, and Head of Reliance Foundation.

Wed, 09 Jun 2021 14:15:59 +0530
Ethiopian Gidey breaks 10 000m world record

Hengelo (The Netherlands), June 9

Ethiopia's Letesenbet Gidey clocked 29 minutes 01.3 seconds to break the women's 10,000-metre world record by five seconds during the Ethiopian athletics trials here on Tuesday night.

"I expected to run a world record. I would like to try to break the 29-minute [barrier] in 10,000m in future," the 23 years old said in the post-race interaction.

Last year, Letesenbet set a world 5000m record of 14 minutes 06.62 seconds. The Ethiopian is the first woman to hold both the 5000m and 10,000m world records since Norway's Ingrid Kristiansen who held both the records from 1986 to 1993.

On Sunday, Dutch distance star Sifan Hassan had clocked a world 10,000m record of 29:06.82 on the same track in Hengelo.

The Ethiopian Athletics Federation is holding national selection trials in the Netherlands to select a team for the Tokyo Olympic Games starting July 23.

Trials were held in distances ranging from 800m to 10,000m, including the steeplechase.

But the women's 10,000m race was the highlight of the selection trials. Letesenbet set out at scorching pace passing the first 2000m in 5 minutes 54 seconds and 3000m in 8 minutes 50 seconds. She reached the half-way mark in about 14 minutes and 42 seconds.

She pushed the pace further in the next five laps to clock 20 minutes 32 seconds for 7000m. At the bell, she was a couple of seconds inside 28 minutes, and ran a final lap of about 68 seconds to set a world record of 29 minutes 01.03 seconds.

Tsigie Gebreselama, who clocked 30 minutes 06.01 seconds, was second while Tsehay Gemechu was third in 30 minutes 19.29 seconds.

The women's 5,000m was won by Gudaf Tsegay in 14 minutes 13.32 seconds.

Steeplechase specialist Getnet Wale won the men's 5,000m event in 12:53.28 while Selemon Barega won a close men's 10,000m, clocking 26 minutes 49.51 seconds against 26 minutes 49.73 seconds by Yomif Kejelcha.

Freweyni Hailu won the women's 1500m in a world-leading time of 3 minutes 57.33 seconds

ians

Wed, 09 Jun 2021 14:01:30 +0530
Banking stocks power markets to rise global cues positive

Mumbai, June 9

 Healthy buying in banking stocks as well as positive global cues powered the rise of India's key equities indices during afternoon trade session on Wednesday.

Accordingly, India's benchmark indices had a gap-up opening and continued to maintain their gains.

In terms of sector specific basis, the top gainers were the BSE banking, pharma, energy and realty indices.

At 12.20 p.m., the S&P BSE Sensex traded at 52,417.06 points, higher by 141.49 points, or 0.27 per cent, from its previous close.

On the other hand, the Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange traded at 15,796.40, up by 56.30 points, or 0.36 per cent, from its previous close.

"Markets are on a buying spree when compared to the previous month, this is mostly because of improving mood in the country with reducing Covid cases and positive global cues," said Gaurav Garg, Head of Research at CapitalVia.

"With the growth of India's GDP projection for calendar year 2021 by UN to 7.5 per cent. The Q4 results of 2020-2021 were good that raised markets to these levels."

According to Jay Purohit, Technical & Derivatives Analyst, MOFSL: "Nifty opened positive and after touching yet another record high of 15792 levels in the initial tick, it is now moving in a range."

"It continues forming higher highs from the last five sessions and is taking support at 15700 but facing some resistance at 15800 levels. Volatility trades below 15 levels which supports the bulls to sustain at higher zones. Market breadth remains predominantly in favour of the advancing counters."

ians
 

Wed, 09 Jun 2021 13:48:50 +0530
Samsung unveils latest edition of The Frame TV in India

New Delhi, June 9

Samsung on Wednesday unveiled its much-anticipated "The Frame TV 2021" with stunning and customisable bezel options starting at Rs 61,990 in India.

The TV will be available on Amazon, Flipkart and Samsung's official online store Samsung Shop in four screen sizes -- 43-inch, 50-inch, 55-inch and 65-inch, from June 12.

With the 2021 edition, users can select different colour bezels to complement their surroundings and the 2021 edition of the TV is 46 per cent thinner than the previous model.

"The new edition will surely be a connoisseur's delight, elevating the design of any living space," Sandeep Singh Arora, Senior Director, Online Business, Consumer Electronics, Samsung India, said in a statement.

The TV offers superior picture quality with QLED technology that enables lifelike colours, enhanced contrast and impeccable details with 100 per cent colour volume for exceptional picture quality.

The TV also comes with the company's Quantum Dot technology, powerful Quantum Processor 4K, 4K AI upscaling capabilities, and SpaceFit Sound that auto-optimises sound settings after analysing the environment.

It also includes AI-based auto-curation technology that recommends artwork based on your selections.

The TV now offers increased photo storage space, up from 500 megabytes earlier to 6 gigabytes, so you can store up to 1,200 photos in UHD quality.

"Now curate your personal art collection from growing library of over 1,400 pieces of art. And not only this, you can upload and display your family or travel photographs. You can also customise your pictures with 5 different mat layout options and a palette of 16 different colours to make it more realistic," the company said.

ians

Wed, 09 Jun 2021 13:34:03 +0530
Monsoon storms into Maha Trains traffic hit in Mumbai

Mumbai, June 9

The first monsoon rains hit Maharashtra and Mumbai with full fury on Wednesday, hitting local trains and road traffic, and flooding low-lying areas in the country's commercial capital, officials said here.

Large parts of Mumbai, Thane, Palghar, Raigad witnessed heavy rain, inundating several low-lying areas, barely a fortnight after the city survived the Cyclone Tauktae devastation.

In Mumbai and suburbs several roads were flooded, the Central Railway and Western Railway suburban services were hit on the mainline and harbor lines.

CR Spokesperson Shivaji Sutar said that due to waterlogging near Chunabhatti station all services on the Harbour Line between Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus and Vashi (Navi Mumbai) were suspended.

Similarly, due to flooded tracks near Kurla, the mainline services between Thane-CSMT were suspended, though the CR operated shuttles between Thane-Karjat, Thane-Kasara and Vashi-Panvel sectors.

The WR Spokesperson Sumit Thakur said that due to waterlogging at Wadala station, all Harbour Line trains on the Andheri-CSMT routes were suspended till further notice, and water pumps were deployed to drain out the excess water from the railway tracks.

Stretches of the Eastern Express Highway, Western Express Highway, major roads like SV Road in the west and LBS Marg in the east besides other roads and lanes were flooded hampering vehicular movement and resulting in traffic snarls.

In some parts of Malad, Khar, Kurla water seeped into building compounds or ground floor flats as rain accompanied by thunder, lightning and strong winds lashed the city.

Subways at Andheri, Malad and Kandivali experienced waterlogging though traffic or pedestrian movements had not been hit, as the city will experience a major high-tide of 4.16 metre 11.43 am onwards.

Till Wednesday morning, the BMC recorded around 50-mm rains in the city, 67-mm in eastern suburbs and 49-mm in the western suburbs, with a forecast of cloudy weather with more rains, thundershowers and very heavy rainfall in some areas during the day.

ians

Wed, 09 Jun 2021 13:18:04 +0530
NASA s Juno sends 1st images of Jupiter s largest moon

Washington, June 9

After flying closer to Jupiter's largest moon than any other in more than two decades, NASA's Juno spacecraft has sent back two images offering dramatic glimpses of the icy orb.

During the flyby on June 7, Juno came within 645 miles (1,038 kilometres) of the surface of Jupiter's largest moon Ganymede and took two images from the Jupiter orbiter's JunoCam imager and from its Stellar Reference Unit star camera.

The photos show the surface of Ganymede in remarkable detail, including craters, clearly distinct dark and bright terrain, and long structural features possibly linked to tectonic faults.

"This is the closest any spacecraft has come to this mammoth moon in a generation," said Juno Principal Investigator Scott Bolton of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, in a statement.

"We are going to take our time before we draw any scientific conclusions, but until then we can simply marvel at this celestial wonder," he added.

Using its green filter, the spacecraft's JunoCam visible-light imager captured almost an entire side of the water-ice-encrusted moon. Later, when versions of the same image come down incorporating the camera's red and blue filters, imaging experts will be able to provide a colour portrait of Ganymede. Image resolution is about 0.6 miles (1 kilometre) per pixel.

In addition, Juno's Stellar Reference Unit, a navigation camera that keeps the spacecraft on course, provided a black-and-white picture of Ganymede's dark side (the side opposite the Sun) bathed in dim light scattered off Jupiter. Image resolution is between 0.37 to 0.56 miles (600 to 900 metres) per pixel.

The spacecraft will send more images from its Ganymede flyby in the coming days.

Ganymede is bigger than the planet Mercury and is the only moon in the solar system with its own magnetosphere -- a bubble-shaped region of charged particles surrounding the celestial body.

The solar-powered spacecraft's encounter with the Jovian moon is expected to yield insights into its composition, ionosphere, magnetosphere, and ice shell while also providing measurements of the radiation environment that will benefit future missions to the Jovian system.

ians
 

Wed, 09 Jun 2021 12:12:56 +0530
Raashii Khanna Want people to open their hearts and donate

 

Mumbai, June 9

Actress Raashii Khanna is trying to help the poor, who are the worst affected by the pandemic and its ensuing lockdown, and she requests all to donate towards helping the needy.

"It's really bad out there for a lot of families, and some of them are literally on the brink of starvation. I would really want people to open their hearts and donate because literally, every bit counts. It doesn't have to be an exorbitant amount. We have to realise that we are all in this together and only together can we overcome these difficult times. And together we can be a miracle in someone's life," says Raashii, who runs an initiative called #BeTheMiracle that aims at helping the needy.

"The ground reality of people suffering through the pandemic is heartbreaking. #BeTheMiracle is my way of doing as much as I can for them," she says.

Raashii is associating with organisations like Roti Bank and other volunteers who are also helping oldage homes, besides animals that have been left out with no food or water during lockdown.

ians
 

Wed, 09 Jun 2021 12:06:39 +0530
As India battles Covid World Bank forecasts growth at 8 3

United Nations, June 9

The World Bank has forecast that the Indian economy would grow by 8.3 per cent during the current fiscal year, an increase of nearly 3 per cent from its January projection, but lower than the April estimate by almost 2 per cent.

The Bank's Global Economic Prospects Report released on Tuesday said that India would be the second fastest-growing major economy, behind only China which is forecast to grow by 8.5 per cent.

The report said that India's growth forecast is "supported by plans for higher spending on infrastructure, rural development, and health, and a stronger-than-expected recovery in services."

But it added, "Better growth prospects since January, however, masks significant damage to economic activity from COVID19."

Economic growth is expected to slow to 7.5 per cent during the next fiscal year as "the economy is expected to follow the same, yet less pronounced, collapse and recovery seen during the first wave," it said.

In January, the Bank had forecast a growth of India's gross domestic product GDP) by 5.4 per cent which is 2.9 per cent less than the latest expectation and in April by 10.1 per cent, which was higher by 1.8 per cent.

The report also moderated the shrinkage in India's economy to 7.3 per cent in the last fiscal year, less than the 9.6 per cent projected in January.

The report said that reflecting the "rebounds in some major economies," the global growth in 2021at 5.6 per cent "is expected to reach its strongest post-recession pace in 80 years."

The Bank projected the global growth to slowdown to 4.3 next year and to 3.1in 2023 as the effect of the rebound from the shrinkage of 3.5 per cent in 2020 wears off.

Overall for South Asia, the Bank said, "Growth is projected to rebound to a stronger-than-expected 6.8 per cent in 2021, partly reflecting momentum from the end of last year."

India accounts for most of the upgrade for the region "as strong services sector activity more than offsets the economic effects of the worsening pandemic," it said, adding, "The outlook is underpinned by a rebound in private consumption."

Pakistan's economy is expected to grow by only 2 per cent this fiscal year, Bangladesh's by 5.1 per cent Bhutan by 5 per cent and Nepal by 3.9 per cent, according to the Bank.

The forecasts on a calendar year basis for 2021 is 1 per cent for Afghanistan, 17.1 per cent for the Maldives and 3.4 per cent for Sri Lanka.

The bank, however, warned, "With the recovery in early stages and the pandemic continuing to spread, the outlook is highly uncertain."

"Downside risks stem from high government debt, upward pressure on food prices, financial sector challenges, and the uncertain trajectory of COVID-19 and vaccination," it added.

Reflecting a particular risk for India, the Bank said, "Domestic financial sector stress remains a significant downside risk in the region, as nonperforming loans were high prior to the pandemic in the region's largest economies."

The Bank's projection for India is higher than the 7.5 per cent forecast for this calendar year made by the UN's mid-year World Economic Situation and Prospects report issued last month.

But it is also significantly lower than the International Monetary Fund's projection of a 12.5 per cent growth rate for the current fiscal year that was made in April before the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic brutalised India.

IMF's Chief Economist Gita Gopinath had cautioned at that time that "these numbers precede the current wave of the virus, which is quite concerning."

ians

Wed, 09 Jun 2021 11:57:28 +0530
European firms increasing investment in China after Covid

Washington, June 9

 European businesses have seen higher margin in China than globally and are increasing investment in the country following its quick recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic last year, according to a report.

The proportion of European companies planning to expand China operations in 2021 jumped to nearly 60 per cent from 51 per cent last year, as per the report on Tuesday, citing a survey by the European Chamber of Commerce.

About half of the 585 surveyed respondents reported higher profit margins in China than their global average, while the proportion was 38 per cent last year, Xinhua reported.

Additionally, 73 per cent of the respondents reported a profit last year, with another 14 per cent breaking even. The figures were about the same level as in previous years despite the pandemic disruption, reflecting the speedy recovery of the Chinese economy, the report observed.

"The resilience of China's market provided much-needed shelter for European companies amidst the storm of the Covid-19 pandemic," the survey said.

Meanwhile, a quarter of the surveyed businesses are "onshoring" their supply chains in China, the report added.

"The main point is to develop supply chain as mush as possible here, as far as it's possible, to provide what's needed for the market here," the report quoted Charlotte Roule, a board member of the chamber, as saying.

ians

Wed, 09 Jun 2021 11:38:13 +0530
Kamala Harris runs into stonewall called Joe

New York, June 9

 US Vice President Kamala Harris much hyped tie-breaking vote in a 50-50 Senate is running into a stonewall called Joe (from her own party) whos just not letting the math get to the magic number where Harris can close the deal on President Joe Bidens most ambitious legislative priorities.

Four months out from the time Joe Biden and Kamala Harris took office, panic is creeping into the Democratic Party. Campaign promises remain on the to-do list -- blocked by both Republicans and Democrats.

"We will lose voters for a generation," Democratic lawmakers are warning as Biden's top legislative priorities are on cliff-edge.

Early in the vice presidency, Harris made Joe Manchin furious after a media hit in his home state of West Virginia. Biden had to speak to the other Joe to get him to toe the line on legislative gridlock. But the same pressure isn't working anymore.

Harris has now been publicly handed two tasks - getting a Democrats' sponsored voting rights bill passed and handling the border crisis. Swiftly, the other Joe delivered two blows.

Manchin declared he will be voting against the party's flagship voting rights bill which was floated in response to new voting laws being passed in Republican-led states, pumped up by former president Donald Trump. Manchin has also repeatedly refused to vote to simplify the long standing status quo of 60 Senate votes needed to pass most major legislation. Both are priorities for Democrats. As things stand in a 50-50 Senate, at least 10 Republicans would need to cross party lines to help Democrats pass any of their major bills.

The stakes are high and Biden has begun explaining why his agenda is stalling. At a Tulsa rally, he said, "I hear all the folks on TV saying, 'Why didn't Biden get this done?' Well, because Biden only has a majority of, effectively, four votes in the House and a tie in the Senate with two members of the Senate who vote more with my Republican friends."

If the other Joe stands firm, Vice President Harris won't get a chance to bung in the tie-breaking vote in the Senate - from where she ascended to the White House. Also, Harris is already polling well below Biden's strong numbers after the first 100 days.

On Tuesday, Biden ended talks with Republican senators on a $1.7 trillion infrastructure proposal for rebuilding the country's roads, bridges, highways, Veterans Affairs hospitals and care centers. Biden is now reaching out to the Senators who have leverage, including Manchin, whose vote will be crucial in the evenly split Senate.

Right now, the Washington spotlight is firmly on the two most powerful Joes in American politics - Joe Biden and Joe Manchin.

ians
 

Wed, 09 Jun 2021 09:36:59 +0530
Class 5 student hails SC s steps against Covid 19 CJI says beautiful letter

New Delhi, June 8

 A Class 5 student from Kerala has written to the Chief Justice of India, Justice N. V. Ramana, saying she is happy that the Supreme Court has intervened effectively in the sufferings and death of ordinary people in the fight against Covid-19.

The 10-year-old Lidwina Joseph from Kerala's Thrissur district, wrote in the letter, "I am happy and feel proud your honourable court has moved orders for supply of oxygen and saved many lives. I understood your honourable court has initiated effective steps in bringing down Covid-19 infection and death rate in our country, especially in Delhi. I thank your honour for this. Now I feel very proud and happy."

Joseph in her hand-written letter said she was very worried about deaths in Delhi and other parts of the country due to coronavirus, and felt happy to see the top court making vital interventions to alleviate the suffering of the people in the unprecedented health crisis unleashed by the pandemic.

The letter was accompanied by a colourful illustration showing a bespectacled judge using his gavel to deliver a blow on the head of coronavirus. Joseph also drew a portrait of Mahatma Gandhi, which was hung on the wall behind the judge.

Chief Justice Ramana replied to Joseph, saying, "I have received your beautiful letter along with a heart-warming illustration of the judge at work." The Chief Justice said he was very impressed with the way Joseph kept track of the happenings in the country and also appreciated the concern she has displayed for the well-being of people in the wake of the pandemic.

Chief Justice Ramana wrote, "I am sure you will grow up into an alert, informed and responsible citizen who will contribute immensely towards nation-building." He also sent her a signed copy of the Indian Constitution.
 

ians

Tue, 08 Jun 2021 18:53:56 +0530
US Supreme Court to hear Muslim surveillance post 9 11

Islamabad/Washington, June 8

 A top court in the US has agreed to hear a case seeking to block a civil rights lawsuit filed by three Muslim men, accusing the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for conducting surveillance on them after the 9/11 attacks.


The US Supreme Court will hear the appeal filed by the FBI against a lower court's 2019 ruling, which led to various claims made by the three Muslim men, taking the case into litigation.

As per details, the 2011 lawsuit accuses the FBI of infiltrating mainstream mosques in Southern California and targeting Muslim Americans for surveillance.

The lawsuit accused the agency of engaging in religious discrimination in violation of the US Constitution's First Amendment by targeting Muslims, as well as violating the Fourth Amendment prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures.

The petitioners of the lawsuit include Yassir Fazaga, an imam at the Orange County Islamic Foundation in Mission Veijo, Ali Uddin Malik, who attended the Islamic Centre of Irvine, and Yasser Abdel Rahim, a permanent resident of the US from Egypt.

The three petitioners are represented by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The lawsuit highlights a period of at least 14 months between 2006 and 2007 when FBI was gathering information of Muslims as part of the post-September 11, 2001 counter-terrorism investigations.

As per the claims by the petitioners, Craig Monteilh, an informant for the FBI, adopted a Muslim name and said that he wanted to convert to Islam. Monteilh then recorded conversations and conducted surveillance of the Muslim community.

The petitioners claim that Monteilh's spy game got busted when he started making statements about wanting to take violent action, and community members reported him to the local police, following which the FBI obtained a restraining order against him.

After judgments by federal judges, various accusations and claims by the petitioners were rejected. However, some claims related to the legality of surveillance and how the government conducts electronic surveillance are still under contemplation.

Now, the Supreme Court will be considering whether the claims should be rejected based on the government's state secret privilege, a legal doctrine, at times used when national security interests are invoked.

The case holds importance as reports of many American Muslims being interrogated and checked by the US intelligence agencies have surfaced. Several Muslim American families living in the US have complained of being harassed by police officials, while many reports of hidden surveillance have also surfaced.

The September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centre (WTC) were the most horrific terror attack in the US history that prompted an all out offensive against pro-Taliban and Al-Qaeda outfits.

ians

Tue, 08 Jun 2021 18:48:18 +0530
Essential steps to catching Covid symptoms early in children

New Delhi, June 8

 During the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, many cases of children getting infected from the deadly virus have been reported. It starts off with milder symptoms in kids but it gets severe if it's not taken seriously. Therefore, it's essential that parents be aware of the symptoms and seek medical help immediately.

Nishant Bansal, Consultant Neonatologist, Motherhood Hospital, Noida, lists down some signs and symptoms of Covid-19 in kids:

Covid-19 has a range of symptoms including

* fever

* cough

* trouble breathing

* symptoms of a cold such as a sore throat, congestion, or a running nose

* chills

* muscle pain

* headache

* a loss of taste or smell in children above 8 years of age

* nausea or vomiting

* diarrhoea

* tiredness



Even inflammation throughout the body remains a major concern even sometimes several weeks after they were infected with the virus. This is called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). Doctors are still trying to find out how these symptoms are related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Bansal shares symptoms of MIS-C can include:

* fever

* belly pain

* vomiting or diarrhoea

* a rash

* neck pain

* red eyes

* feeling very tired

* red, cracked lips

* swollen hands or feet

* swollen glands (lymph nodes)



If your kid is suffering from MIS-C, she or he might have trouble breathing, pain or pressure in the chest, bluish lips or face, confusion, or trouble staying awake. Such symptoms should not be ignored and the kid should be taken to the hospital. It has been observed that those kids get better with hospital care, sometimes ICU admissions, he points out.

If a child has symptoms, what to do? Answers the expert:

Seeing and examining the condition of the child, the doctor will then decide how to go about it: If it can be treated at home, if one should come in for a visit, or if one can have a video or telehealth visit.

How to keep other members safe if the child has symptoms?

Bansal says: "It's essential that all the family members stay at home until their test reports arrive. Make sure that people and pets in the house are away from your child as much as possible. Ensure that only one person in the family is handling the care of the sick child. If the infected child is above two-years-old then he/she should wear a mask at least for the time when the caregiver is in the room. Don't leave the child alone for a long time by putting on his/her mask. If the sick child is using the same washroom then wipe down the bathroom with disinfectant after he/she uses it. Other family members should sanitize their hands at regular intervals."

However, the family should not panic. Covid-19 vaccines are now available for people who are 18 and older. Even the doses for infants are on trial currently. Everyone should get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible.

ians

Tue, 08 Jun 2021 18:41:37 +0530
Karan Kundrra on shooting amid protocol People at home need to enjoy

Mumbai, June 8

Actor Karan Kundrra says it is important to ensure entertainment reaches people at a time they are locked in due to the pandemic, which is why it is important to continue shooting amidst strict protocol.

"We all are striving to ensure that the show keeps on going and people who're stuck at home during the pandemic have something to enjoy in their lives," he said.

The actor is currently shooting for the show "Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai" amid strict hygiene protocols.

"The shoots are happening around the Gujarat border outside Silvassa for quite some time now. We all are staying in a bio-bubble and following Covid-19 protocols as per government directives. There are not many people outside. The cellphone networks are weak here and there are times when we are totally unable to contact anyone, even our parents," Karan said.

The actor recently joined hands with Uday Foundation to help people during the pandemic. He helped people with wellness kits, oximeters, oxygen cylinders, and even medicines related to Covid-19.

ians

Tue, 08 Jun 2021 18:32:50 +0530
Don t let taxpayers down FM tells Infosys over issues on ITR e filing portal

New Delhi, June 8

 Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday called out Infosys and its Co-Founder Nandan Nilekani for the problems faced by taxpayers while using the newly launched ITR e-filing portal.

Citing complaints on her Twitter timeline the Finance Minister said that ease of compliance for the taxpayer should be or higher priority.

"The much awaited e-filing portal 2.0 was launched last night 20:45hrs. I see in my TL grievances and glitches," she said in a tweet.

"Hope @Infosys & @NandanNilekani will not let down our taxpayers in the quality of service being provided. Ease in compliance for the taxpayer should be our priority."

Infosys has developed the next-generation income tax filing system to reduce processing time for returns from 63 days to one day and expedite refunds.

The software major had also developed the government's GST Network (GSTN) portal, used for GST payment and return filing, which also had faced initial over glitches on the website.
 

ians

Tue, 08 Jun 2021 18:27:59 +0530
Car makers worker unions welcome Madras HC order

Chennai, June 8

 The worker unions in two major foreign automobile makers have welcomed the Madras High Court's order to the Directorate of Industrial Safety and Health to inspect auto units and arrive at a uniform guideline on maintenance of social distancing at the shop floors.

"We welcome the High Court's order. There could be only two reasons for the Covid-19 infection to spread amongst factory workers viz the safety guideline of the state government is insufficient or the safety guidelines are not implemented by the companies," a union official in Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) said.

"The inspection will also bring out the unlawful labour practices followed by companies. Other automobile units may be upset with Renault Nissan Automotive for linking them in this case," Moorthy, General Secretary, Renault Nissan India Thozhilalar Sangam (RNITS) said.

The court made the order while hearing the case of Renault Nissan India Thozhilalar Sangam versus Renault Nissan Automotive India Private Ltd.

The company had submitted to the court that it is being singled out to follow the 3:1 empty pitch at its assembly lines while none of the other automobile makers near here or in India follow that.

"Simply put, after three cars in the conveyor belt, one slot will be empty so that a worker need not move to the next workstation to complete his work," RNITS President K. Balaji Krishnan said.

When the case came up for hearing on Tuesday, the counsel for Renault Nissan Automotive said none of the other automotive units -- Hyundai Motor, Ford India, BMW, Daimler and others -- located near here or in the country like Maruti are maintaining the 3:1 empty pitch.

This resulted in the court ordering the visit of a senior official of Directorate of Industrial Safety and Health to the automobile plants and come out with a uniform guideline for maintenance of social distance in factories.

At Hyundai Motor, the night shift has been stopped and to that extent about 4,000 workers will not be attending work that shift. Other than that, there is no change in the production/conveyor line, the union official said.

According to him, the Hyundai Motor factory near here rolls out about 55 cars per hour.

Twelve Hyundai Motor workers have died due to Covid-19 and over 800 were infected with coronavirus, the official added.

He hoped the inspection by the state government would result in maintenance of social distancing at the factory level.

"If the production level per hour is reduced by 50 per cent, then social distancing could be maintained at the shopfloor level," said.

Worker union officials said that it is only they who know how to manage the production by maintaining social distance and not the management.

An active dialogue between the two would result in smooth operations.

The Ford India union official said many of the issues raised by RNITS were flagged at his company a year back and were sorted out.

"May be one or two aspects that may be very difficult to address at the production line are pending," the official added.

Further compared to Hyundai Motor production volumes, the number of cars rolled out by Ford India is far low.

The per hour production at Ford India plant is about 30 units down from 36 units earlier.

According to him, the company has provided goggles in addition to masks so that two workers can work safely in close proximity in some stations.
 

ians

Tue, 08 Jun 2021 18:24:01 +0530
Fire breaks out in Mata Vaishno Devi shrine complex

Jammu, June 8

 A fire broke out at the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine complex in Katra on Tuesday in which one building of the complex was completely gutted, though no casualty occurred during the blaze.

Police sources said the fire broke out at the Kalika Bhavan building in the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine complex, which has been brought under control.

"No casualty took place in this fire incident which happened most probably due to a short circuit. One building housing a counting centre was completely gutted," sources said.
 

ians

Tue, 08 Jun 2021 18:17:07 +0530
Senior Karnataka BJP legislator Udasi passes away

Bengaluru, June 8

 Bharatiya Janata Party's senior Karnataka legislator and former minister C.M. Udasi passed away at a private hospital here due to age-related issues, a party official said on Tuesday. He was 85.

"Udasi died around 2.50 p.m. at Narayana Health hospital where he was under treatment for age-related symptoms over the last 15 days," his secretary Govinda Raju said.

He is survived by wife Neelambika, son and sitting MP Shivakumar Chanabasappa and daughter Jayashree.

Udasi was an 8-time legislator from Hangal Assembly constituency in Haveri district. He was a cabinet minister in the BJP's 2008-13 government.

Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa mourned Udasi's death and expressed condolences to his bereaved family.

"Udasi was a gentleman and a dynamic politician. The works he undertook as a PWD Minister is noteworthy. He was always committed to solving people's problems and worked for the betterment of society," he said in a statement here.
 

ians

Tue, 08 Jun 2021 18:12:59 +0530
Kejriwal urges Modi to allow Delhi govt to provide free rations

New Delhi, June 8

 Amid the escalating political fight over the controversial 'ration at doorstep' scheme following the Centre's objections, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to draw his attention to the matter. The Centre has blocked the scheme launched by the Delhi government to help provide subsidised foodgrains at home.

Kejriwal, who is also the National Convener of the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), wrote a fresh letter two days after he had requested Modi to allow his government to distribute subsidised foodgrains and items in packed bundles at the doorstep of people in Delhi. During a press conference on June 6, Kejriwal asked, "If pizza can be delivered at home, why not ration."

Kejriwal on Saturday reiterated that he has been fighting against the 'ration mafia' for the last 17 years and had faced difficulties. He had said the 'ration mafia' in Delhi has strong connections and they have again stopped door-to-door ration delivery scheme so he requested Modi to support his flagship scheme.

"Till today I have supported you in all your work in national interest. You should also support us in this. This is also a matter of national interest. We are ready to make any changes in the ration delivery plan that the Central government needs," Kejriwal urged Modi in his letter.

"It is important that this scheme be implemented -- not just in Delhi but the whole country -- during the coronavirus pandemic," the letter added.

On Saturday, Kejriwal had accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Central government of blocking his flagship scheme again that would benefit 72 lakh people suffering economic hardships and loss of jobs and wages as a result of the lockdown.

The fresh controversy over this issue has emerged after Delhi Lieutenant Governor, Anil Baijal, returned the Delhi government's file citing lack of the Central government's approval and an ongoing court case.

Kejriwal on Saturday had told the media that he has written five letters to the Central government seeking its approval to run this scheme.

"The Delhi government did not require the Centre's approval for the implementation of the ration scheme but it sought permission five times to avoid any dispute. We have written as many as five letters to the Centre to seek approval. What kind of approval does the Delhi government need from the Centre?" Kejriwal said during a press conference.

The AAP government in Delhi had cleared the proposal to allow home delivery of ration in July last year. It was one of the promises made by the party in the run-up to the 2020 February Assembly polls.
 

ians

Tue, 08 Jun 2021 18:06:55 +0530
More harmful algal bloom impacts emerge amid rising seafood demand

New Delhi, June 8

 A first-ever analysis of harmful algal blooms (HAB) -- 9,500 recorded globally over 33 years -- shows the harm rising in step with the aquaculture industry, marine exploitation and coastal development launched by UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission on Tuesday.

The seven-year study by 109 scientists in 35 countries says reported HAB events have increased in some regions, decreased or held steady elsewhere, and creates the world's first baseline against which to track future changes.

The study, 'Perceived global increase in algal blooms is attributable to intensified monitoring and emerging bloom impacts', published in the Nature journal Communications Earth & Environment, creates the world's first baseline against which to track future shifts in the location, frequency and impacts of HABs, which differ depending on which of the 250 harmful marine algae species is involved and where, requiring assessment on a species-by-species and site-by-site basis.

The scientists mined both the global Harmful Algae Event Database (HAEDAT), consisting of 9,503 events with one or more impacts on human society, and the Ocean Biodiversity Information System (OBIS) database, containing seven million microalgal observation records, including 289,668 toxic algal species occurrences.

The study found that regionally-recorded HAB events, after being corrected for higher levels of monitoring effort, have increased in Central America and Caribbean, South America, Mediterranean and North Asia.

They have decreased in West Coast America, Australia and New Zealand. And no significant change has been recorded in East Coast America, South East Asia and Europe.

For the most part, however, the impacts were confined to shellfish harvesting area closures; rarely to human poisonings. The exception: Ciguatera event records are almost exclusively based on medical reports of human poisonings.

Eight of nine regions used in the study showed increases in reports logged via HAEDAT of harmful events per year, of which six were statistically significant.

The OBIS dataset, meanwhile, generally showed an increase in sampling effort in five of the nine regions.

When all information was combined, the researchers could find no statistically significant global trend overall.

They also found, however, that aquaculture production increased 16-fold from a global total 11.35 million tonnes of seafood in 1985 to 178.5 million tonnes in 2018, with the largest increases occurring in Southeast Asia and South America, Caribbean and Central America, with North America and Europe stabilising.

The number of recorded harmful algal bloom events over time was strongly correlated with intensified aquaculture production in all regions with data suitable for the study.

However, lead author Gustaaf M. Hallegraeff of the University of Tasmania, said: "Intensified aquaculture clearly drives an increase in HAB monitoring efforts essential to sustaining the industry and protecting human health.

"And, just as clearly, a secondary effect of aquaculture is nutrient pollution. But a major data gap exists here. Conducting a meta-analysis of HABs vs aquaculture we had data on HAB monitoring efforts using OBIS records as a proxy but data on nutrient pollution is inadequate.

"The relationship between aquaculture-related nutrients and HABs therefore represents an important direction for further research."

The study revealed a four-fold increase from 1985 to 2018 in observations of organisms mainly responsible for Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning (84,392 OBIS records).

It records a seven-fold increase in observations of organisms mainly responsible for Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning (128,282 OBIS records) and a six-fold increase in observations of organisms mainly responsible for Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (9,887 OBIS records).

In each case, the clear increase in the number of observations of problematic organisms paralleled an increase in records of associated toxic syndrome impacts.

They also found that the presence of toxic HAB species doesn't always accurately predict cases of human shellfish poisonings, which the study credits to the food safety risk management strategies in many affected countries.

Some 11,000 non-fatal events related to Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning were reported worldwide, mostly from Europe, South America and Japan, with impacts consisting mostly of shellfish harvesting area closures.

Also, the study says, despite widespread distribution of the responsible algal species, there have been no human fatalities from Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning since the original 1987 incident in Prince Edward Island in Canada (150 illnesses, three fatalities).

But ASP-associated mortalities of important marine mammals are of growing concern in Alaska and other parts of western North America, and ASP toxins have been linked to marine mammal calf mortalities in Argentina.

Of the world's 3,800 human Paralytic Shellfish Poisonings from 1985 to 2018, the largest number (2,555 from 1983 to 2013, including 165 fatalities) occurred in the Philippines, which depends strongly on aquaculture for human food protein.
 

ians

Tue, 08 Jun 2021 18:03:06 +0530
Congress gets new Kerala chief K Sudhakaran succeeds Ramachandran Lead

Thiruvananthapuram, June 8

 Congress veteran K. Sudhakaran was on Tuesday appointed as the party's new Kerala unit President.

"Rahul Gandhi called up and conveyed the news," a beaming Sudhakaran told the media here.

"I see this as a huge responsibility and I accept the challenge and that is to bring back the Congress party in a big way. For this, I will seek the help and cooperation of all the leaders in our party and am sure I will be able to get their help and support," he said.

Incumbent Mullapally Ramachandran had put in his papers after the party's debacle in the April 6 Assembly polls.

Reacting to the news, senior leader and former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said now that the decision has been made, all the Congress leaders and workers will abide by the high command's decision and will work together with Sudhakaran.

The 73-year-old Sudhakaran has been a four-time legislator and is presently in his second term as Lok Sabha member from Kannur -- the citadel of the CPI-M, and home of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan

Known for his tirades against the CPI-M, he is seen as a Congress leader that the CPI-M dreads.

His battle with the CPI-M has become a byword in Kannur and the scene gets enlivened when the well-built Sudhakaran arrives at any place where there is a commotion between CPI-M and Congress cadres. There are also plenty of videos showing him taking on the police force.

Known for keeping himself fit, Sudhakaran daily spends more than an hour working out at his personal gym.

A media critic, speaking on condition of anonymity, contended that said under normal circumstances, Sudhakaran might be a wrong choice to lead the otherwise sober grand old party.

"But today the situation is different, as the party is at its lowest ebb and when Congressmen across the state were expecting to ride to victory in the April 6 Assembly polls, the party ended at the receiving end, humbled by Vijayan, who wrote himself into record books by retaining power.

"The party is passing through its worst times and the grassroots of the party appears to have vanished. If the party has to at least put up a fight, then there is none better than Sudhakaran, who can really pump in the much needed adrenalin to motivate the cadres. He is the one person who has taken the battle into the CPI-M camp for long and that in itself is his advantage and disadvantage because, if he does not maintain calm at crucial situations, he might be a liability more than an asset," said the critic.

One reason why the party high command, despite knowing what stuff Sudhakaran is made of, decided to go for him is that they have realised that the formidable factions in the party led by Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala have to be reined in. Even after Chennithala was seen as the first choice for a second term as Leader of Opposition, the leadership brought in V.D. Satheesan and hence, it was more or less clear that Sudhakaran might get the nod.

If Sudhakaran's battlefield was hitherto Kannur, the scene is all set for a change as he moves to the state capital to take on his arch rival, the all powerful Chief Minister Vijayan, who very well knows that Sudhakaran is no push-over.

As part of rebuilding the Congress by bringing in new faces, the high command first brought in Satheesan, and now Sudhakaran. Now, all eyes are on to see who the new UDF Convenor will be and as things stand it could be no-nonsense veteran Congress legislator P.T. Thomas.
 

 

ians

Tue, 08 Jun 2021 17:57:34 +0530
Bombay HC cancels ex filmstar MP Navneet Kaur Rana s caste certificate

Nagpur, June 8

In a huge jolt, the Bombay High Court, Nagpur Bench on Tuesday struck down the caste certificate issued to Amravati Lok Sabha MP and ex-filmstar Navneet Kaur Rana on the grounds that it was obtained fraudulently using fabricated documents.

A division bench comprising Justice R. D. Dhanuka and Justice V. G. Bisht ordered her to surrender it within 6 weeks and imposed a fine of Rs 200,000 to be paid to the Maharashtra Legal Services Authority within a fortnight.

Rana is the wife of independent MLA from Badnera, Ravi Rana, the founder of the Yuva Swabhiman Party (YSP) and is a relative of yoga guru Baba Ramdev.

The judges noted that Rana's claims of belonging to the 'Mochi' caste' for obtaining a Scheduled Caste certificate itself was fraudulent and made with the intention to obtain various benefits available to a candidate from such a category despite knowing that she does not belong to that caste.

Navneet Kaur is a former model and actress who fought the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from Amravati (SC-reserved) constituency defeating veteran Shiv Sena leader Anandrao Adsul.
 

ians

Tue, 08 Jun 2021 17:53:30 +0530
Apple paid millions to woman after explicit photos posted on FB

San Francisco, June 8

Apple has paid millions to a woman in the US after it found after an investigation that iPhone repair technicians uploaded explicit content from her phone to her Facebook account.

According to a report in The Telegraph, while the iPhone was being repaired at Pegatron's California facility, two technicians uploaded sexually explicit photos and a video from Oregon college student Jane Doe's phone to her Facebook account in 2016.

Apple has also confirmed the incident in a statement to The Verge.

"Court documents say the files were uploaded in a way that suggested Doe had posted them herself, and her attorney asked Apple for $5 million in compensation for the resulting emotional distress," the report said.

The exact amount of an agreement wasn't revealed but it amounted to a "multimillion-dollar" deal.

According to court documents, Apple performed an "exhaustive investigation" of the facility and the two employees responsible for the incident were fired.

"We take the privacy and security of our customers' data extremely seriously and have a number of protocols in place to ensure data is protected throughout the repair process," an Apple spokesperson said in a statement.

"When we learned of this egregious violation of our policies at one of our vendors in 2016, we took immediate action and have since continued to strengthen our vendor protocols," the company spokesperson was quoted as saying,

Taiwanese electronics manufacturing company Pegatron reportedly reimbursed Apple for the settlement and then sued its own insurance provider for refusing to cover the payment.

According to the report, Apple got its name removed from the court filings but the identity was revealed in an unrelated case involving Apple and Pegatron, where lawyers said the customer was "clearly Apple."

ians

Tue, 08 Jun 2021 16:06:21 +0530
Big B Even though conditions on Covid may decline please do not be lax

Mumbai, June 8

Amitabh Bachchan has reminded netizens that they should not be lax about Covid protocols even if restrictions are being eased.

"Even though conditions on CoviD, in some locations may be seeing a decline .. PLEASE DO NOT be lax .. keep the protocol .. Wash hands, wear masks, keep the distance, control travel to the very essentials, and follow the time limits .. and get VACCINATED," Amitabh Bachchan tweeted on Tuesday.

A day before, Big B blogged about the subject, too. "Keep safe .. do not feel that the relaxation of the conditions means that all is clear .. NO .. far from it .. we must continue to take all the necessary precautions .. wash hands , wear the mask keep the distance .. if work is permitted get the vaccinations, but be in precaution .. obey the directions given by the medical fraternity," Bachchan mentioned in a blog post late on Monday.

"The front line warriors stand steadfast and strong .. the voluntary services having stepped forward are bringing succour to the needy .. each individual realising their duty to do , have all been put to good use , and a graph that looked deserted and in remorse, now begins to show a glowing light -- albeit distant," he further wrote.

The veteran actor also shared his prayers for those who are suffering.

He wrote: "Yes for those that suffer and have suffered our prayers are relentless .. the loss is immeasurable and beyond repair .. and the concern for them shall continue in whatever way we can. We are a caring society .. we shall prevail .. so help me God."

ians
 

Tue, 08 Jun 2021 15:56:41 +0530
Central banks continue to remain positive on gold WGC Survey

 

New Delhi, June 8

Central banks continue to be positive on gold and around 21 per cent of the central banks around the globe intend to increase their gold reserves over the next 12 months, according to a survey jointly undertaken by the World Gold Council and YouGov.

The '2021 Central Bank Gold Reserves (CBGR)' survey also noted that central banks are also increasingly valuing gold's performance during periods of crisis as this attribute now tops their rationale for holding gold.

"These results come amid ongoing uncertainty stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic, a situation which has added significant complexity to central bank reserve management," said the report.

It noted that this year's CBGR survey indicates continuing central bank interest in gold. Potentially driving this interest is a growing recognition of gold's financial characteristics, particularly during periods of crisis, said the report.

"At the same time, ongoing concerns about global market volatility and the path of the post-pandemic economic recovery continue to inform central banks' views of gold. These same factors may also be clouding respondents' opinions on the overall direction of central bank gold holdings despite having more certainty on their own plans for gold," it added.

Looking ahead, the World Gold Council report said that central banks will need to balance financial and geopolitical uncertainty with a potentially strong pickup in global growth.

"We believe that central banks will continue to be net buyers of gold, although total purchase volumes may not be as large as in the previous decade."

The slightly stronger conviction towards gold amongst respondents in this year's survey may suggest that central banks have a clearer picture of their plans for the coming year, and is supportive of continued gold purchases from the official sector, it added.

Several of the survey's findings point to a growing complexity. Around 84 per cent of respondents report that uncertainty over the post-Covid economic recovery is relevant for their reserve management decisions.

The same proportion of respondents say that negative rates -- the most relevant factor in last year's survey -- continues to inform their investment decisions.

The continuation of expansive monetary and fiscal policies, now combined with the prospect of rising inflation, will likely be at the forefront of central bankers' concerns for the foreseeable future, said the report.

ians

Tue, 08 Jun 2021 15:50:37 +0530
Equity indices in red metals stocks fall

Mumbai, June 8 (IANS) The key Indian equity indices declined on Tuesday, with heavy selling pressure on metal and finance stocks.

Healthy buying in IT stocks, however, limited the losses.

Around 11.20 a.m., Sensex was trading at 52,262.50, lower by 66.01 points or 0.13 per cent from its previous close of 52,328.51.

It opened at 52,428.72 and has so far touched an intra-day high of 52,432.43 and a low of 52,135.04 points.

The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange was trading at 15,727.80, lower by 23.85 points or 0.15 per cent from its previous close.

Manish Hathiramani, technical analyst with Deen Dayal Investments said: "The markets are seeing some selling pressure at higher levels which is normal. However, this does not alter the viewpoint that we are in bullish terrain and the markets are headed to higher levels. Since we are eyeing 16,000 as the next potential target, any dip or correction should be utilized to initiate long positions."

The top gainers on the Sensex so far were Tech Mahindra, HCL Technologies and Infosys, while the major losers were State Bank of India, ICICI Bank and UltraTech Cement.

ians
 

Tue, 08 Jun 2021 15:41:15 +0530
Death toll from Pakistan train collision reaches 62

 

Islamabad, June 8

The death toll from the collision between two passenger trains in Pakistan's Sindh province has increased to 62, a government official said on Tuesday.

The death toll rose after rescue teams pulled out more bodies from the damaged compartments of the trains, Commissioner of Sukkur Shafiq Ahmed Mahesar told Xinhua news agency.

He said that over 100 people sustained injuries in the accident and they are being treated at various hospitals of Pano Aqil, Ghotki and Mirpur Mathelo in the province, adding that the condition of at least 15 people is critical.

The accident took place on Monday morning when a Sir Syed Express Train, which was en route from Lahore to Karachi, collided head on with the Sargodha-bound Millat Express train near Dharki city in Ghotki district.

At least 13 compartments of the two trains were derailed and overturned, and seven to eight were completely destroyed in the accident, sources from the Pakistan Railways told Xinhua.

Police sources in the area told Xinhua that special teams are still in the process of investigating the exact cause of the accident, however, they believe that multiple problems in the railway track and signal systems are possibly behind the accident.

Meanwhile, the authorities have also cleared the railway track and train service which was halted since early Monday morning resumed operations.

ians
 

Tue, 08 Jun 2021 15:32:19 +0530
How Jessica Alba and Cameron Diaz inspired Payal Ghosh

 

Mumbai, June 8

Payal Ghosh is honing a lot of skills for her upcoming role in the film "New York To Haridwar", it seems. After recently saying that she was taking lessons in pole dancing for the film, she now claims she is trying a hand at taekwondo for the role.

If she claimed she watched Jennifer Lopez in "Hustlers" to fine-tune her pole dancing skills, she says she would watch films like "Charlie's Angels" and "Fantastic Four" and draw inspiration from Cameron Diaz and Jessica Alba and Cameron Diaz to ace the stunts.

"Taekwondo is refreshing. It's a great way to keep in shape. I would watch movies like Charlie's Angels, Fantastic Four and was so inspired to see the likes of Jessica Alba and Cameron Diaz ace their action moves. I have got an opportunity now and I jumped onto it," Payal declared.

She added: "I read their interviews and I understood that they learnt a form of martial arts and mostly Taekwondo. It's a great mix of strength and agility and involves movement of both hands and feet. (I am) Absolutely loving it."

She has been taking online sessions and would take sessions in person once lockdown lifts for the Rajeev Chaudhari directorial.

ians
 

Tue, 08 Jun 2021 12:05:08 +0530
French Open Swiatek enters quarters with win in straight sets

Paris, June 8

Eighth seed Iga Swiatek beat Marta Kostyuk in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4, to enter quarter-finals of French Open late on Monday night.

The 20-year-old Swiatek proved to be the superior player although her 18-year-old opponent stretched her.

The Polish player was a break down early in the second set before she bounced back to beat the Ukrainian in 92 minutes.

Swiatek won 74 percent first serve points as against 57 percent by her opponent. She also converted four out of the 12 break-points she got. Kostyuk could convert only two out of seven break-points.

The Ukrainian was also guilty of committing four double faults as against one by Swiatek who will now face Greek Maria Sakkari in the quarter-finals on Wednesday.

Sakkari, who became the first Greek woman to enter quarter-finals, had scalped world No.5 Sofia Kenin 6-1, 6-3 on Monday.

In Tuesday's first women's singles quarter-final, Slovenian Tamara Zidansek will face Paula Badosa Gibert of Spain. In the second quarter-final on Tuesday, 21st seed Elena Rybakina will take on 31st seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia.

Swiatek's match on Wednesday will be preceded by the third women's singles quarter-finals between American Coco Gauff and Czech Republic's Barbora Krejcikova.

ians
 

Tue, 08 Jun 2021 11:57:22 +0530
Samsung aims to expand 7th gen V NAND chip for heavy workloads

Seoul, June 8

Samsung Electronics aims to expand the use of its seventh generation V-NAND chip solutions, a senior executive said on Tuesday, as the South Korean tech giant eyes to bolster its technology prowess in the memory sector.

In the second half of the year, the world's leading memory chip maker will introduce a new consumer solid state drive (SSD) product based on its seventh generation V-NAND chip that boasts the smallest cell size yet in the industry, according to Song Jai-hyuk, head of Samsung's flash memory products.

"The company's solution will be optimised for multitasking huge workloads, such as simultaneous 3D modelling and video editing," Song said in an editorial posted on the company's website.

"Samsung is also planning to expand the use of its 7th generation V-NAND to data centre SSDs."

V-NAND refers to Samsung's NAND flash solution vertically stacking memory cells in a 3D structure.

Samsung is the first chipmaker to commercialize such a memory solution, having unveiled its first 3D V-NAND in 2013, reports Yonhap news agency.

A NAND flash is a type of non-volatile memory that stores data even if there is no power.

In the NAND industry, more memory cell layers in a chip mean better capacity with enhanced bit density, but as the product's height gets taller, Song said the company came up with solutions to reduce the cell volume.

Song said Samsung has already secured a working chip of its eighth generation V-NAND solution featuring over 200 layers and plans to introduce the product after analyzing market situations and consumer demand.

Samsung is the world's largest NAND flash vendor with a 33.5 percent revenue share in the first quarter, according to market researcher TrendForce.

Its NAND business logged US$4.97 billion in the first three months of 2021, up 7 percent from a quarter earlier.

ians

Tue, 08 Jun 2021 11:50:17 +0530
Israeli Parliament to vote on approving new govt by June 14

 

Tel Aviv, June 8

The Israeli Parliament will vote on approving a new government that could oust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by June 14.

Parliament Speaker Yariv Levin, a lawmaker with Netanyahu's Likud party and his close associate, declined to set a specific date for the vote, reports Xinhua news agency.

Levin made the formal announcement to Parliament on Monday, noting that opposition leader Yair Lapid informed the President last week that a coalition deal had been agreed.

Hesaid a vote to approve the new government will be held within a week, in accordance with the Israeli law.

"An announcement regarding a date for the session to establish the 36th government will be conveyed down the line to MPs," the Speaker said during the session.

Lapid, leader of the centrist Yesh Atid party, announced last week that he reached a deal to form a coalition government with nationalist Naftali Bennett, leader of the pro-settler party of Yamina, and six additional small parties.

The coalition has a slim majority of 61 out of 120 seats in the Knesset.

It also includes Ra'am, an Islamist party headed by Mansour Abbas, marking the first time for an Arab party to be part of a coalition in Israel.

According to a rotation agreement, Bennett will initially become premier and be replaced by Lapid two years later.

This would be the first time in 12 years that a government has been formed without the right-wing conservative head of government Netanyahu.

For the unusual coalition to begin its work, a simple majority of the 120 legislators must vote in favour of it.

The coalition paves the way to the end of the rule of Netanyahu, the longest-serving Israeli Prime Minister who has been facing a criminal trial over corruption charges in three separate cases.

ians

Tue, 08 Jun 2021 11:28:40 +0530
Mumbai Unlock 2 from June 8

June 8, Mumbai

 Mumbai has been allowed to “unlock 2” from June 8th.  The doctors are concerned, about the “unlock” procedure in the country as they fear the deadly virus has not yet been eradicated.

There was an awareness campaign for children. People were dressed as Mickey Mouse, and played with the children and told them the importance of social distancing, sanitization and urged them to take care not to get infected. Masks, sanitizers were distributed at Five Gardens, Matunga, Mumbai.

Tue, 08 Jun 2021 10:57:26 +0530
At 86K new cases India s daily count dips 1st time below 1L after 2 months

New Delhi, June 8

India on Tuesday logged 86,498 new Covid infections in 24 hours, less than one lakh cases for the first time in past 66 days, the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry said.

It is also the lowest number of cases since April 2 when the country logged 89,129 new cases.

In the past 24-hour, 2,123 more people succumbed to the pandemic.

On Monday, India had reported 1,00,636 cases, lowest spike since April 6.

India's overall tally of Covid-19 cases now stands at 2,89,96,554 with 13,03,702 active cases and 3,51,309 deaths so far.

Over the last few days, India's fresh Covid cases have seen downward trend, maintaining over one lakh infections every 24 hours, while the deaths have also remained below the 3,000 mark. After battling a brutal second wave for weeks, fresh Covid cases came down below the three lakh-mark for the first time on May 17 after touching record high of 4,14,188 on May 7.

In the last three weeks, India has recorded over 90,000 deaths. India registered record fatalities due to Covid-19 on May 21 with 4,529 deaths -- the highest from Covid infection in any country in a day since the coronavirus outbreak was reported in China's Wuhan in December 2019. It surpassed 4,468 deaths in the US on January 12, 2021, and 4,211 in Brazil on April 6, 2021.

According to the Health Ministry, a total of 1,82,282 people have been discharged in the last 24 hours, taking the total discharge to 2,73,41,462 till date.

The Health Ministry said that a total of 23,61,98,726 people have been vaccinated so far in the country, including 33,64,476 who were administered vaccines in the last 24 hours.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, 36,82,07,596 samples have been tested up to June 7 for Covid-19. Of these 18,73,485 samples were tested on Monday.

ians
 

Tue, 08 Jun 2021 10:45:14 +0530
Five story pucca house in Razzak Chali collapsed

June 07, Mumbai

This shocking incident took place at around 1.30 AM on Monday when a five-story pucca house in Razzak Chali in front of Behrampada Golden Bakery in Bandra East collapsed on five more houses. One person, Riaz Ahmed Mustakim (28) died on the spot, while Nurul Haq Haider Ali Syed (21), Salman Atik Khan (24), Rahul Mohan Khot (22), Rohan Mohan Khot (20), and Lata Mohan Khot (48) were injured.

Some of the injured are undergoing treatment at Bhabha and VN Desai Hospitals in Bandra, while Lata Khot was hit in the head and was rushed to KEM Hospital. Raees, who lives in Razzak Chali in Bandra East, had started building the fifth floor of his four-story old house in the last few days for the sake of money. He started the work by mounting an iron angle on the fourth floor, without giving any support to the old four-story house. The erection of the iron girdles of the fifth floor was almost complete.

There was a loud noise at midnight on Sunday when the housekeeping contractor, as well as the artisan, went home after work as usual. A five-story house in Chincholya Street collapsed on five adjoining houses, tearing down the walls and triggering a single uproar. Hearing a loud noise, the neighbor woke up. He immediately rushed to the house and contacted the control room. MLA Jishan Siddhiki, local police, and fire brigade rushed to the spot. Until then, a young man named Maqsood Khan, who lived in the area, risked his life and with the help of the fire brigade, immediately pulled out the wounded found in a mound of mud in a nearby house. Meanwhile, locals rushed the injured to a nearby hospital. In the darkness of the night, the fire brigade launched a rescue operation on the battlefield, as some people were likely to be trapped under the mound.

The work was suspended for some time due to the interruption of rains. The accident happened as the four-story old house could not bear the load of the iron angle on the fifth floor. Luckily the owner had vacated four floors of the house before doing the housework. Otherwise, a big accident would have happened. Maqsood Khan said no one in the nearby house was missing. With the onset of monsoons, the collapse of houses has caused panic among the people.
Rescue operation started. Police assistance has been increased at the spot and the power supply has been cut off. Chincholi street, in the darkness of the night, the occasional rain showers were causing a big difficulty in the relief work.

 Municipal Corporation employees had been called for help. The rescue operation was underway with the help of locals as the mound is large. The help of locals has been taken to get out the people trapped under the pile and ambulance service had been kept ready. The local MLA Jishan Siddhiki was stationed at the spot and Mumbai Police Commissioner visited and inspected the spot.

 

Tue, 08 Jun 2021 00:15:50 +0530
Remembering Prithviraj Chauhan the last Hindu King of Delhi and Ajmer

 

By Anupama Nair

www.mediaeyenews.com

Our great Prime Minister Modi inaugurated the Amrit Mahotsav or celebration of Bharat’s 75th year of Independence. We will be celebrating this event till 2022. I am going to write a feature on all those great men and women who fought against foreign invasion not just against the British, but from the beginning of history as we know.

Seventh of June is the birth day of Bharat Maa’s “Veer Putra” Pritviraj Chauhan who was born on the 12th day of Jyeshta lunar month. Today I am going to tell the story of Prithviraj Chauhan who tried valiantly to stop the invasion of Muhammad Ghori and sacrificed his life in the process. His defeat at the Second Battle of Tarain paved the way for the Delhi Sultanate and subsequent Islamic stronghold in Medieval Bharat.

Prithviraj III (1178–1192 AD), popularly known as Prithviraj Chauhan was a king from the Chauhan dynasty. He ruled over Sapadalaksha, the traditional Chauhan territory located in present-day north-western India. He controlled much of the present-day Rajasthan, Haryana, and Delhi and some parts of Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. His capital was located at Ajayameru (Ajmer), The medieval folk legends described him as the king of Bharat’s political center Delhi and portrayed him as the last great representative of the pre-Islamic Indian power.

Prithviraj was born to the Chauhan king Someshwara and queen Karpuradevi. Both Prithviraj and his younger brother Hariraja were born in Gujarat, where their father Someshvara was brought up at the Chalukya court by his maternal relatives. The medieval biographies of Prithviraj suggest that he was highly educated. The Prithviraj Raso claimed that he was well-versed in a number of subjects, including history, mathematics, medicine, military, painting, philosophy, and theology. He was proficient in archery.

Prithviraj moved from Gujarat to Ajmer, when his father Someshvara was crowned the Chauhan king. After the death of his father, in 1177 AD, when still a minor, ascended the throne with his mother as the regent. The Hammira Mahakavya (a 15th century book written by Naya Chandra Suri) claimed that Someshvara himself installed Prithviraj on the throne, and retired to the forest. However, there are no records to prove this theory.

Prithviraj was a great conqueror and his kingdom at the greatest extent included vast regions of northern India. His name and fame spread across the subcontinent and Afghanistan as well. Many lesser kings were envious and wary of his power, particularly Raja Jaichand of Kannauj. Jaichand's daughter, Samyukta, who was known for her beauty, is said to have fallen in love with Prithviraj as his reputation dazzled her. She desired nobody but him.  Prithviraj had heard about Samyukta's loveliness and fell in love with her too.

Prithviraj and Jaichand were rivals and on finding out about the affair, Raja Jaichand was outraged that a romance had been budding behind his back. Jaichand decided to insult Prithviraj and arranged a swayamvar (wedding) for his daughter in 1185 AD. He invited royal princes from far and wide to the ceremony, each and every eligible prince and king, except Prithviraj. He then commissioned a clay statue of Prithviraj, which served as a dwarpal or doorman to Jaichand's court.

Prithviraj Chauhan, on hearing about the impending swayamvar, devised a plan to elope with Samyukta. On the day of the ceremony, Samyukta walked through the court holding the ceremonial garland, and ignored the gazes of her ardent suitors. She passed through the door and put the garland around the neck of Prithviraj's statue, declaring him to be her husband. Prithiviraj, meanwhile was hiding behind the statue, caught Samyukta up in his arms, set her on his horse, and whisked her away to Delhi, enraging Raja Jaichand. This led to a rift between Delhi and Kannauj, weakening both the kingdoms, in the years to come and fall to Muhammad Ghori, sultan of Ghurid Empire.

Prithviraj's predecessors had faced multiple raids from invaders that had captured the north-western areas of the Indian subcontinent by the 12th century. By the end of the century, the Ghazni-based Ghurid dynasty controlled the territory to the west of the Chauhan kingdom. While Prithviraj was still a child, in 1175 AD, the Ghurid ruler Muhammad Ghori crossed the Indus River and captured Multan. In 1178 AD, he invaded Gujarat, which was ruled by the Chalukyas (Solankis). During its march to Gujarat, the Ghurid army appeared to have passed through the western frontier of the Chauhan kingdom. Ghori’s invasion was repulsed by Queen Naiki Devi somewhere in Anhilwara and the invader had to flee from the battle without any accomplishment Naiki Devi’s victory was chronicled by both Hindu and Muslim chronicles.

Following his defeat, Ghori began concentrating elsewhere. Over the next few years, he consolidated his power in the territory to the west of Chauhan’s kingdom, conquering Peshawar, Sind and Punjab. He shifted his base from Ghazni to Punjab, and made attempts to expand his empire eastwards, which brought him face-to-face with Prithviraj.

While Hindu accounts of the Prithviraj Chauhan’s encounters with Ghori proclaim that Prithviraj fought several battles with Ghori, defeating him each time, except the last one. As per recorded history both the kings met face-to-face twice at the Battles of Terrain in 1191 and 1192. In the first battle Prithviraj along with Govind Raj the ruler of Delhi defeated Ghori with Ghori barely escaping with his life. “Following his defeat Ghori began preparations” for another showdown and succeeded in the battlefield where he tasted defeat a year ago. Prithviraj was defeated, imprisoned and later killed, although his death is shrouded in mystery with various theories.

The Prithviraj Raso claimed that Prithviraj was taken to Ghazni as a prisoner, and blinded. On hearing this, the poet Chand Bardai traveled to Ghazni as well, and tricked Ghori into watching an archery performance by the blind Prithviraj. During this performance, Prithviraj shot the arrow in the direction of Ghori’s voice and killed him. Shortly after, Prithviraj and Chand Bardai killed each other.

To commemorate this brave heart, a movie has been made starring Akshay Kumar and Sonu Sood. The love story of Prithviraj and Samyukta is very famous especially among romantic couples. I bow to such a great king who tried to save his country from invaders.

What we need to remember is the defeat and death of Prithviraj was the beginning of nine hundred years of slavery which ended on 15th August 1947. What we need to think, is was our Independence merely against the British or seven hundred years before them – Ghaznvi, Khiljis, Mughals etc., and what we do is most of Delhi streets are named after the Mughals, and the place where the remains of Nalanda university exist is named Bhaktiyarpur after Bhaktiyar Khilji the man who burned the university!  I urge each one of the people to think about it.

 

Mon, 07 Jun 2021 23:51:07 +0530
Tathagata Roy hits out at Amartya Sen over schizophrenia reamrk

Kolkata, June 7

 A couple of days after Nobel laureate Amartya Sen said that Narendra Modi government's ‘schizophrenia led to Covid ravages in the country, former Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy hit back at the economist on Monday and asked him to ‘stick to his own job instead of speaking on everything in the society.

Taking to Twitter, the BJP hardliner wrote, "Amartya Sen, after winning the Nobel in Economics, has been poking his nose into every subject except his own. The latest is psychiatry - he has detected schizophrenia in Modi ji!".

Roy went on to say, "Dr Sen, recall the Banquet speech of your peer Friedrich von Hayek: ‘There is no reason why a man who has made a distinctive contribution to economic science should be omnicompetent on all problems of society — as the press tends to treat him till in the end he may himself be persuaded to believe'. Take Dr. Hayek's advice. Stick to Economics."

At a programme in Mumbai on Saturday, Sen had said, "India's ‘confused' government is focused on taking credit for its actions, rather than working to restrict the spread of Covid-19, resulting in schizophrenia that led to massive troubles.
"India could not play on its strengths because of a poor response to the crisis due to confusion in the government. The government seemed much keener on ensuring credit for what it was doing rather than ensuring that pandemics do not spread in India. The result was a certain amount of schizophrenia."

The state BJP had also protested against Sen's remarks, alleging that the comments were politically motivated.

State BJP spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya had said that he (Sen) cannot keep on criticising the government in front of the entire world.

"I'm not that arrogant to state that Sen has grown old and requires counselling. But we must not forget his comments before Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister. Whatever he has spoken against the PM and the Central government is purely political," Bhattacharya had told reporters.

"He can give suggestions, as well as say things as everyone has that right in a democratic country," the BJP leader had said.
 

ians

Mon, 07 Jun 2021 19:20:50 +0530
Queen delighted as Prince Harry Meghan announce birth of baby girl

London, June 7

Britain's royal family has expressed delight over the news of the birth of Prince Harry and Meghan's daughter Lili. Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles and Camilla, and Prince William and Kate have been informed of the birth and are "delighted", a spokesperson for the Buckingham Palace said.

Harry and Meghan's press secretary and foundation announced earlier on Sunday that the Duchess of Sussex gave birth to her second child, Lilibet 'Lili' Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, on Friday in California, DPA news agency reported.

Lili is named after her great-grandmother, whose family nickname is Lilibet, while her middle name is that of Harry's mother, Diana, the late Princess of Wales.

Diana died in a car crash when Harry was 12 years old.

"She is more than we could have ever imagined, and we remain grateful for the love and prayers we've felt from across the globe," Harry and Meghan said.

Lilibet is the Queen's 11th great-grandchild.

According to a leading British media outlet, the baby is eighth in line to the throne, coming after Archie, who is seventh, even though her parents stepped down as senior working royals in March 2020.

Both mother and child are healthy and well after the delivery in Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in California.

Harry and Meghan had previously revealed in a high-profile interview with TV host Oprah Winfrey in March that they were expecting a girl.

The couple, who live in California together, already have a 2-year-old son named Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.
 

ians

Mon, 07 Jun 2021 19:17:05 +0530
Covid 19 pandemic spiked postpartum mental health visits by 30

Toronto, June 7

 Mental health visits for new mothers were 30 per cent higher during the Covid-19 pandemic than before it, particularly in the first three months after giving birth, revealed a new research.

Postpartum mental illness affects as many as one in five mothers and can have long-term effects on children and families if it becomes chronic.

The study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, revealed that mental health visits to both family physicians and psychiatrists were higher than before the pandemic, especially among parents with anxiety, depression, and alcohol and substance use disorders.

"Increased visit rates began in March 2020, although the state of emergency was declared only midway through the month, suggesting that distress related to the pandemic translated into an increased need for care very quickly," said researchers including Simone Vigod, chief of psychiatry at Women's College Hospital (WCH) in Canada.

For the study, the researchers looked at mental health visits by 137,609 people in Ontario during the postpartum period (from date of birth to 365 days after) from March to November 2020 and collected data on age, number of children.

About 85 per cent of postpartum mental health visits were conducted virtually in April 2020, compared with only 3.1 per cent of visits in the pre-pandemic period.

The increased use of virtual care may have removed barriers to postpartum mental health support, such as the need to travel, find childcare for older children, or manage erratic schedules, enabling more people to seek care, the researchers noted.

They recommend targeted approaches to providing mental health support.

"Health systems should focus proactively on patients from high-risk groups, monitor waiting lists for care, and explore creative solutions to expand system capacity, with special attention to postpartum patients who may be experiencing barriers to care," they advised.
 

ians

Mon, 07 Jun 2021 19:13:35 +0530
five story pucca house in Razzak Chali collapsed

Mumbai, June 07

The shocking incident took place at around 1.30 am on Monday when a five-story pucca house in Razzak Chali in front of Behrampada Golden Bakery in Bandra East collapsed on another five houses.

Riaz Ahmed Mustakim (28) died on the spot while Nurul Haq Haider Ali Syed (21), Salman Atik Khan (24), Rahul Mohan Khot (22), Rohan Mohan Khot (20), and Lata Mohan Khot (48) were killed. Are injured. He is undergoing treatment at Bhabha and VN Desai Hospitals in Bandra. Lata Khot was hit in the head and was rushed to KEM Hospital. Raees, who lives in Razzak Chali in Bandra East, had started building the fifth floor of his four-story old house in the last few days for the sake of money. While climbing the fifth floor of a four-story house, he started the work by mounting an iron angle on the fourth floor without giving any support to the old four-story house. The erection of the fifth-floor iron girdles was almost complete.

There was a loud noise at midnight on Sunday when the housekeeping contractor, as well as the artisan, went home after work as usual. A five-story house in Chincholya Street collapsed on five adjoining houses, tearing down the walls and triggering a single uproar. Hearing a loud noise, the neighbor woke up. He immediately rushed to the house and contacted the control room. MLA Jishan Siddhiki, local police, and fire brigade rushed to the spot. Until then, a young man named Maqsood Khan, who lived in the area, risked his life and with the help of the fire brigade, immediately pulled out the wounded found in a mound of mud in a nearby house. Meanwhile, locals rushed the injured to a nearby hospital. In the darkness of the night, the fire brigade launched a rescue operation on the battlefield, as some people were likely to be trapped under the mound.

The work was suspended for some time due to the interruption of rains. However, at dawn, the fire brigade and Municipal Corporation employees, with the help of local residents, started worshiping the mound. The accident happened as the four-story old house could not bear the load of the iron angle on the fifth floor. Luckily the owner had vacated four floors of the house before doing the housework. Otherwise, a big accident would have happened. Maqsood Khan said no one in the nearby house was missing. With the onset of monsoons, the collapse of houses has caused panic among the people.
Rescue operation started
1) Police assistance has been increased at the spot and the power supply has been cut off. Chincholi street, the darkness of the night, the occasional rain showers falling in it is a big difficulty in the relief work.
2) Municipal Corporation employees have been called for help. The rescue operation is underway with the help of locals as the mound is large.
3) The help of locals has been taken to get out the people trapped under the pile and ambulance service has been kept ready. MLA Jishan Siddhiki is stationed at the spot and Mumbai Police Commissioner visited and inspected the spot.

Mon, 07 Jun 2021 19:11:19 +0530
Two illegal arms supplier held in Gurugram

Gurugram, June 7

 The police in Gurugram have claimed to have arrested two arms smuggler and seized from them 11 pistols, 22 magazines and 15 live ammunition which were supposed to be supplied to local criminals and gang members.

"Kuldeep, also known as 'CM', 27 and Mukesh Kumar, 24 a resident of Muthra in Uttar Pradesh, were arrested from Maharaja Agrasen Bhawan, Sohna in Gurugram on Sunday following a tip-off. The duo had come from Uttar Pradesh to supply arms to his contacts and criminals in Gurugram," Assistant Commissioner of Police (Crime), Preet Pal Sangwan said on Monday.

"The duo were carrying an illegal weapons consignment in one big black bag. The accused were on their motorcycle when they were nabbed by a team of crime branch unit Sector-17. They culprits had brought the weapons from Uttar Pradesh for Rs 15-16 thousands per weapon and used to sell it in Rs 50-60 thousands to their potential customers," Sangwan said.

During interrogation, the culprits disclosed that earlier they had supplied weapons in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Hodal and Palwal. It was their first attempt to sell these illegal weapons in Gurugram but they were nabbed.

"Kuldeep is a physically challenged person and used to work in a mobile shop whereas Mukesh works in a Faridabad based company," the police officer said.

A case under relevant sections of the IPC was registered against the culprits at Sohna city police station.
 

 

ians

Mon, 07 Jun 2021 19:09:04 +0530
Mumbai gets state of the art all terrain vehicles for beach patrolling

 

Mumbai, June 7

 Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday dedicated All Terrain Vehicles for patrolling at Mumbai beachess to safeguard tourists and citizens, officials said here.

The state of the art ATVs can operate on land, sand, swamps or other terrain to render immediate help in case of emergencies and will be stationed initially around the beaches at Chowpatty, Juhu and others which attract hordes of locals and tourists daily.

Having a capacity of 570cc, the ATV is a fast vehicle manned by four security personnel and equipped with facilities like vehicle ropes or floating hooks to render assistance.

The 10 ATVs, donated by the Reliance Foundation, were flagged off by Thackeray in the presence of Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, Ministers Dilip Walse-Patil, Aditya Thackeray, and Aslam Sheikh, Mayor Kishori Pednekar, Director General of Police Sanjay Pandey, Mumbai Police Commissioner Hemant Nagrale, MP Arvind Sawant, MLA M.P. Lodha, RF's Shirin Kotwal and other officials.

Similar ATVs are used for beach patrolling by the police in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, while the Mumbai Police has other specialised vehicles for monitoring the security on the dozen-odd popular beaches dotting the west coast of the city.
 

ians

Mon, 07 Jun 2021 19:04:14 +0530
Lakshadweep daylong hunger strike total say protesters

 

Thiruvananthapuram, June 7

The "entire" Lakshadweep was, on Monday, undergoing a 12 hour hunger strike against the Union Territory administration and Administrator Praful Khoda Patel who was bringing in "anti-people" policies, protesters said.

Talking  from the island, a 60-year-old resident, who did not want to be identified, said this is the first time in his entire life he is seeing such a protest.

"Monday is being observed as a complete lockdown and all shops, and private establishments are closed while the vehicles are also off the road. All of us are sitting in our homes and are on a day long hunger strike since morning," he said.

Even BJP workers had joined the protest, he said.

"We are not at all against any sort of development. All what we are saying is every place in the world cannot be made into a modern day Singapore. Coral reef is something that has to be protected... we and our forefathers have been preserving it for ages. Don't we know what we want or is it someone who comes from elsewhere decides what development we need," asked the angry islander.

Another islander said the development the new administrator is talking about is "doubtful".

"I know there are so many projects that have been proposed in the past which will bring in development. Wish to know why such projects which are sustainable in nature are not taken up and only the ones that are now proposed will be good. This attitude is what we oppose," said the islander on condition of anonymity.

According to the 2011 Census, the islands have a population of 65,000.

However District Collector S. Asker Ali said that all the state government offices were open and functional.

Meanwhile, parlimentarians of the Congress-led UDF staged a protest in front of the district office of Lakshadweep at Kochi as a mark of support to the islanders' day-long hunger strike.
 

ians

Mon, 07 Jun 2021 18:59:44 +0530
30K children orphaned abandoned or in other distress amid Covid SC told

New Delhi, June 7

 The National Commission for Protection of Children's Rights (NCPCR) told the Supreme Court that as many as 3,621 children were orphaned, 274 were found abandoned and 26,176 lost either parent since April 1, 2020 and June 5, 2021, amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The child rights panel, in an affidavit, said it is presenting the number of children who have lost either their mother or father or both parents, based upon the information uploaded on "Bal Swaraj" portal up to June 5. It said there are 30,071 children, who need care and protection, after collecting data from the states and Union Territories, on the portal.

Among the states, Maharashtra recorded highest number (7,084) children under distress, which included 217 children who became orphans, 6,865 who have lost either of their parents and two were abandoned.

In Uttar Pradesh, there were 3,172 children, followed by Rajasthan with 2,482 children, who have either orphaned or lost either parent during the Covid-19 pandemic. In Madhya Pradesh, 706 children were orphaned, and 226 children were abandoned during the pandemic.

In Karnataka, 99 children were orphaned, and six were found abandoned during this period, while 555 kids lost a parent. In Delhi, five children were orphaned and 12 lost a parent amid the pandemic.

The commission's response came on a direction issued by the top court seeking information on status of children amid the pandemic. "The Commission is also concerned to note that several NGOs are seeking monetary support in the name of children impacted by Covid. However, there is no disclosure to authorities regarding actual beneficiaries, as mandated under the JJ Act, 2015," it said in the affidavit.

The commission said considering that the children in distress situations are wards of state, it is imperative for all concerned to immediately inform the statutory authority about any such child noticed by them

It urged the top court to direct the NGOs, if they find a child in need of care and protection, then state/district authorities must be alerted in consonance with the government's instructions to states.

"It is most humbly submitted that the states/UTs may be directed to create State Juvenile Justice Fund under Section 105 of JJ Act, 2015 and the bank account details, name of the account holder, IFSC code and other such requisite details of State Juvenile Justice Fund or any other fund created under Section 105 of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015," the NCPCR affidavit said, adding that the identity of the child must not be disclosed.
 

 

ians

Mon, 07 Jun 2021 18:52:04 +0530
Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana extended till Diwali

New Delhi, June 7

 In a relief to over 80 crore Indians, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday announced to extend the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) till Diwali.

In this time of pandemic, the Prime Minister, while addressing the nation, said the government is standing by the poor with every need as their partner.

"Today, the government has decided that the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana will now be extended till Diwali. That is, by November, free food grains will be available in fixed quantity every month to more than 80 crore countrymen," the Prime Minister said.

The PMGKAY scheme is a food security welfare scheme announced by the government of India in March 2020 during Covid-19 pandemic.

The programme is operated by the Department of Food and Public Distribution under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution. The scheme aims to feed the poorest citizens of India by providing grain through the Public Distribution System, to all the priority households (ration card holders and those identified by the Antyodaya Anna Yojana scheme).

Under the PMGKAY, 5 kg of rice or wheat (according to regional dietary preferences) per person and 1 kg of pulse to each family holding a ration card is provided. The scale of this welfare scheme makes it the largest food security programme in the world.
 

 

ians

Mon, 07 Jun 2021 18:47:03 +0530
Himachal seeks financing assistance from Centre

New Delhi, June 7

 Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Monday called on Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman here and sought the financial assistance as recommended by the 15th Finance Commission.

"Himachal Pradesh lacks the resources for investment in infrastructure projects, especially for the Kangra and Mandi airports," an official statement quoting the Chief Minister said.

He said the financial assistance is of great significance for state's development.

Thakur further apprised the Union Minister that a tourism project of Rs 1,892 crore proposed to the ADB for funding is awaiting approval. He requested for according speedy approval to the project.

The Chief Minister also urged for GST compensation due from the government of India for fiscal 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-2020. He also urged the minister to expedite the negotiations with the World Bank for funding of hydropower and renewable power development.

The Chief Minister also held discussions for allowing ropeway connectivity as an alternate mode of connectivity under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY).

While discussing about the Bhanupali-Bilaspur rail line, the Chief Minister also requested to consider all rail projects of state of national importance and funded entirely by the government of India keeping in view the weak resource base of the state.

The Union Minister assured all possible assistance to the state, added the statement.
 

ians

Mon, 07 Jun 2021 18:43:41 +0530
Two killed as pickup truck runs amok in Telangana

Hyderabad, June 7

 Two women, including a sanitation worker, were killed when a pickup truck ran amok in Telangana's Sangareddy district on Monday, police said.

Four shops were also damaged when the vehicle rammed into them after knocking down the two women.

The incident, which occurred at Ryakal Road in Naraynkhed town between 5.30 a.m. and 6 a.m., was caught on CCTV camera.

The driver, who was allegedly under the influence of alcohol, lost control over the vehicle, leading to the accident. The speeding pickup truck is seen first hitting two women, and then ramming into the shops.

Both the victims died on the spot. They were identified as Chandramma (45), working as a sweeper with tge Narayankhed Municipality, and Patnam Vittam (44). The bodies were shifted to Area Hospital Narayankhed for autopsy.

The accident occurred when sanitation workers were busy sweeping the road while shops were opening for the day.

The driver was arrested. Police suspect that he was drunk, which led to the disaster.

Municipal Commissioner Malla Reddy, along with police officials, visited the spot. He assured all support to the family of the sanitation worker.
 

ians

Mon, 07 Jun 2021 18:39:37 +0530
This journalist writes his own newspaper

Muzaffarnagar (UP), June 7

In this digital age, a handwritten newspaper seems archaic but it is still relevant in one corner of Muzaffarnagar district.

Dinesh, owner and editor of 'Vidya Darshan' newspaper, does not own a printing press, does not employ any staff and does not even have a typewriter.

In art paper sheets, he writes out the news and makes sketches.

After writing the newspaper, her gets it photocopied and then goes to the various vantage points in the city and pastes his newspapers.

"I have been writing my own newspaper since the past 17 years. It takes me about three hours to write the news", said Dinesh, who is in his late fifties.

A resident of Gandhi Nagar colony, he owns a worn-out bicycle and cannot even afford a change of clothes every day.

"People read my newspaper because I highlight local issues and incidents. Since I do not earn anything from the newspaper, I sell ice-cream in the evening for a living," he said.

Happiness for Dinesh is when he sees people flocking around his newspaper to read it.

Journalism is a passion for Dinesh. "I do not earn a penny from journalism. I have never got any advertisement or government support but my work gives me immense satisfaction," he said.

Moreover, Dinesh said that he freely expressed his opinion in his newspaper which compelled people to introspect.

"I rarely write on politics. I prefer to write on incidents that have a social relevance. Anyone who reads my newspaper, knows what exactly is happening in the district," he said.

ians
 

Mon, 07 Jun 2021 15:41:04 +0530
Parle Products enters branded atta portfolio with Parle G Chakki Atta

Mumbai, June 7

Biscuits, snacks and confectionary manufacturer, Parle Products, is expanding its portfolio by entering into the flour category with the launch of 'Parle G Chakki Atta'.

By tapping into the new category, the company aims to capture urban and rural markets with 100 per cent wheat atta. The distribution of atta has already begun in northern and western parts of the country.

Branded atta segment has gained momentum since the pandemic outbreak. With movement restrictions in place, Parle's venture into the new category is in the lines of being agile on marketing strategies while also capitalizing on hygiene and convenience factors that has become a priority in today's environment, a company statement said.

Being a staple in most households, the atta is being launched under the popular brand name 'Parle G'. The company aims to build on this established faith by consumers and enable them to feel secure about their buying decisions.

Parle G Chakki Atta is currently being launched in the north and west zones of the country under 3 SKUs - 2kg, 5kg and 10kg with competitive pricing.

Commenting on the campaign, Mayank Shah, Sr. Category Head, Parle Products, said, "Branded wheat flour is one of the largest segments in the foods industry and the majority of the demand is currently being met by local mills or neighbourhood chakkis. The urban markets lead in the consumption of packaged atta making it largely an urban phenomenon. But with the onset of the pandemic, the need for hygienically ground wheat flour and an assurance of trusted brand is driving consumers in the Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities to switch to Branded Atta."

"We aim to reach the remotest household in the country to provide hygienically ground atta and help consumers switch to healthy options."

Since 1929, Parle has grown to become India's leading manufacturer of biscuits, snacks and confectionery. It is thr maker of the world's largest selling biscuit, Parle-G.

ians

Mon, 07 Jun 2021 15:19:16 +0530
Evelyn Sharma surprises fans with wedding photos from Australia

Mumbai, June 7

 Model-actress Evelyn Sharma took to social media on Monday to surprise fans with photographs from her wedding. Evelyn tied the knot with longtime beau Tushaan Bhindi in Australia, reportedly last month. 

The actress shared photographs on Instagram on Monday where she is dressed as a bride with groom Tushaan posing beside her. Evelyn chose a white lace bridal gown and minimal makeup while Tushaan wore a blue suit.

"Mr & Mrs Bhindi.. Big big thank you to everyone who made this small wedding the very best day of our lives!" the actress wrote.

Evelyn also shared a photo embracing the groom, which she captioned: "Forever".

Tushaan is an Australia-based dental surgeon and entrepreneur. Evelyn and Tushaan had got engaged in 2019 and tied the knot last month in an intimate ceremony in Brisbane. A lavish wedding was avoided owing to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. 

On the work front, Evelyn, who was last seen in Telugu superstar Prabhas' 2019 film "Saaho", will next be seen in the upcoming film "X Ray: The Inner Image".

ians
 

Mon, 07 Jun 2021 15:02:38 +0530
G 7 Summit Reality and expectations

7 June,

The upcoming G7 Summit in Cornwall, UK from June 11 to 13 is perhaps the first international event, in the backdrop of the continuing Covid pandemic, when the leaders from the worlds wealthiest countries -- the US, Japan, Germany, the UK, France, Italy and Canada -- will be meeting with leaders from India, Australia, South Africa and South Korea face to face for the first time in the last one-and-a-half year.

The leaders from the most advanced nations of the G7 meet regularly to try to determine the course the world will follow, with their own interests taking a backseat.

Expectations from the summit

There is a lot of optimism ahead of the gathering in Cornwall. US and UK government sources have briefed that the G7 will demonstrate that "the West ain't over just yet". The optics are bound to be promising. For the US it'll give a chance to prove that 'America is back', while for the UK it'll help to give a boost to its ‘Global Britain' strategy.

On the agenda are the autocratic challenge from Russia and China, climate change, the global vaccine rollout and trade. In addition Myanmar, Indian democracy and its minorities, instability in Sahel region, Israel-Palestinian conflict and change of guard in Israel are also expected to occupy the agenda.

A move, spearheaded by US President Joe Biden, to set a minimum global corporate tax rate to help states reclaim resources lost to tax havens seems promising. Also the British proposal to transform the G7 into a "D10" of democracies has been achieved, the participation of guests from India, Australia, South Korea and South Africa will reinforce a sense that the West is open to alliance-building again.

Meanwhile, the G7 finance ministers reached a "historic" deal on taxing multinational companies, last week in London. They agreed to counter tax

avoidance through measures to make companies pay in the countries where they do business., besides ratifying a global minimum corporate tax rate to counter the possibility of countries undercutting each other to attract investments. UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak described these as "seismic tax reforms" and said that it will help create a fairer tax system fit for the 21st century.

Preparations for the summit

The foreign ministers from D-10 met face-to-face for the first time in two years in May earlier, following a coronavirus-extended pause, to prepare for the summit and in the communique issued after the meeting listed 82 points which will try to grab the attention of G7 or D10 leaders. In addition the issues discussed were NATO's withdrawal from Afghanistan, Iran, China and the threat posed by Russia.

Meanwhile, Britain's Foreign Office has said a key part of the June summit will be plans to boost girls' education and women's employment after the Covid pandemic would be a key topic.

G7 nations are expected to sign up to new global targets that aim to get 40 million more girls into school in low and lower-middle-income countries by 2026. The aims also include getting 20 million more girls reading by the age of 10. The countries are setting up a $15-billion fund, to be administered by developing countries over the next two years.

However, the trade unionists and the wider environment movement in the UK have sounded the bugle against G7's inability to take any concerted action on climate change. In a statement they asserted that the vaccine apartheid response to the Covid threat might be replicated in their approach to the climate crisis.

They further assert that if the world's wealthiest countries continue to move too slowly to curb their own carbon emissions, continue to invest in and boost fossil fuel energy and production, fail to make a just transition at home while denying the global South the resources it needs to deal with climate impacts, their pretensions to "global leadership" will fail the test.

A $100 billion a year transfer to the developing world to make transition possible was pledged at Copenhagen and built into the Paris Agreement to be met by 2020. But it has not been done.

They further assert that this commitment is a tiny fraction of the $3.8 trillion that global banks have invested in fossil fuels since the Paris Agreement, and less than a tenth of the combined G7 military budget of $1,043bn last year.

Post-summit scenario

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to use the G7 Summit to increase cooperation between the world's democratic and technologically advanced nations. Between them, the 10 leaders represent more than 60 per cent of the people living in democracies around the world.

The UK will also host several meetings throughout the year between government ministers from the G7, both virtually and in different locations across Britain. These meetings will cover economic, environmental, health, trade, technology, development and foreign policy issues.

Observers are of the view that post-summit the western world may be transformed into one where it may lose its supremacy and China may pull ahead of the West technologically and economically, secondly the West could reassert itself by investing in green industries to renew its economies and societies in the backdrop of the lessons learnt from the Covid pandemic and thus China might be neutralised, thirdly a more Eurasian Europe may emerge, due to the eclipse of both the US and UK and it'll be drawn towards Asia's growing economic influence.

For India, the summit offers a chance to further reinforce its relationship with the UK by signing a trade treaty and for Mr Modi to establish a rapport with Biden to ensure a fruitful bilateral relationship, and to some extent this seems possible.

Mon, 07 Jun 2021 14:35:06 +0530
Tripura HC forms SIT to probe couple s death by suicide

Agartala, June 7

The Tripura High Court has constituted a three-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the suicide of a young lady who took the extreme step after allegedly subjected to public humiliation and assault while her husband also subsequently committed suicide.

A High Court official on Monday said that a division bench comprising Chief Justice Akil Kureshi and Justice Subhashish Talapatra after taking the case suo-motu has constituted the three-member (all women) SIT headed by woman IPS officer Lucky Chowhan, Commandant, Central Training Institute.

The other two members of the SIT are Sub-Divisional Police Officer Soumya Debbarma and Babita Bhattacharjee, an official of Tripura Human Rights Commission.

The court asked the SIT to submit its report by June 25.

A Police official of south Tripura district said that after the alleged illicit relations of a 25-year-old woman with a man at Sabroom in southern Tripura, some people called a meeting of "khap panchayat" and reportedly publicly humiliated and assaulted her last month.

"The woman subsequently committed suicide early last month and few days later her husband also took the extreme step. We have arrested nine local people so far in connection with the incident," the official told IANS over phone on Monday.

ians
 

Mon, 07 Jun 2021 14:23:15 +0530
Debina Bonnerjee a diehard SRK fan wishes to work with Ranveer Singh

Mumbai, June 7

Actress Debina Bonnerjee says she is "a forever Shah Rukh Khan fan" and that Ranveer Singh would be an interesting actor to collaborate with. She regrets that her wish of working with the late National Award-winning filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh will remain unfulfilled.

"One of my favourite filmmakers that I always wanted to work with is Rituparno Ghosh. Such a talented storyteller Ritu da was. So, when he passed away, I was heartbroken like anything! From the time I became an actress, Rituparno Ghosh was at the top of the list of directors I wanted to work with. That wish will remain unfulfilled," she told IANS.

Debina added: "In Bollywood I would love to work with Sanjay Leela Bhansali because of the larger-than-life world that he creates. Also, I would like to work with Kaushik Ganguly. He is a National Award-winning filmmaker and I worked with him as a teenager in Kolkata, when I did not know what acting is all about."

Asked about her parameters to choose a script, Debina said: "I always look forward to a new challenge in my role. I became popular for playing a mythological character like Sita followed by a girl like Mayuri in 'Chidiya Ghar'.

"I again played a Goddess, but an antagonist Poulomi Maa in the show 'Santoshi Maa'. When I was doing 'Vish', the character had a supernatural element and I did that convincingly. But playing an urban character is becoming a comfort zone for me. So, I want to play something that would take me out of it, maybe a character from rural India? Yes, that would be challenging for me."

So, who is her favourite co-star? Debina replied, "I am a forever Shah Rukh Khan fan. From the new bunch of actors, I would say Ranveer Singh is such an interesting actor to collaborate with!"

ians

Mon, 07 Jun 2021 12:15:05 +0530
Debina Bonnerjee a diehard SRK fan wishes to work with Ranveer Singh

Mumbai, June 7

Actress Debina Bonnerjee says she is "a forever Shah Rukh Khan fan" and that Ranveer Singh would be an interesting actor to collaborate with. She regrets that her wish of working with the late National Award-winning filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh will remain unfulfilled.

"One of my favourite filmmakers that I always wanted to work with is Rituparno Ghosh. Such a talented storyteller Ritu da was. So, when he passed away, I was heartbroken like anything! From the time I became an actress, Rituparno Ghosh was at the top of the list of directors I wanted to work with. That wish will remain unfulfilled," she told IANS.

Debina added: "In Bollywood I would love to work with Sanjay Leela Bhansali because of the larger-than-life world that he creates. Also, I would like to work with Kaushik Ganguly. He is a National Award-winning filmmaker and I worked with him as a teenager in Kolkata, when I did not know what acting is all about."

Asked about her parameters to choose a script, Debina said: "I always look forward to a new challenge in my role. I became popular for playing a mythological character like Sita followed by a girl like Mayuri in 'Chidiya Ghar'.

"I again played a Goddess, but an antagonist Poulomi Maa in the show 'Santoshi Maa'. When I was doing 'Vish', the character had a supernatural element and I did that convincingly. But playing an urban character is becoming a comfort zone for me. So, I want to play something that would take me out of it, maybe a character from rural India? Yes, that would be challenging for me."

So, who is her favourite co-star? Debina replied, "I am a forever Shah Rukh Khan fan. From the new bunch of actors, I would say Ranveer Singh is such an interesting actor to collaborate with!"

ians

Mon, 07 Jun 2021 12:12:33 +0530
French Open Zverev beats Nishikori to enter quarters

Paris, June 7

Sixth seed Alexander Zverev thrashed Kei Nishikori in straight sets 6-4, 6-1, 6-1 to enter French Open quarter-finals here at Roland Garros late on Sunday.

This was German Zverev's fifth win over the Japanese and his 16th win in the clay-court Grand Slam event.

Zverev, who defeated the likes of Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem and Matteo Berrettini on way to victory in Madrid Open last month, was in impeccable form as he did not allow Nishikori to get into a position of challenging him.

Coming into his fourth round match, Nishikori had won two five-setters. However, he struggled to take the German to the distance.

Zverev, who became only the second German after Boris Becker in the Open Era to reach French Open quarter-finals thrice, hammered five aces against Nishikori and won 73 percent of his first service points against 61 percent by his opponent.

He also won 75 percent of his second service points and converted eight of the 11 break-points.

As against him, Japanese Nishikori converted only two out of four break-points her got and won only 47 percent of his points on second serve. He could not hit an ace.

The sixth seed will now meet Alejandro Davidovich Fokina after the 22-year-old Spaniard defeated Federico Delbonis in four sets -- 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 earlier in the day.

Earlier on Sunday, second seed Russian Daniil Medvedev took another step closer to world No.1 rank as he defeated 22nd seed Chilean clay-court specialist Cristian Garin 6-2, 6-1, 7-5 to enter the quarterfinals of the French Open here.

Roger Federer, on the other hand, did not turn up for his fourth round match due to fitness concerns, giving a walkover to ninth seed Matteo Berrettini.

ians

Mon, 07 Jun 2021 11:52:30 +0530
Equity indices trade marginally higher auto stocks rise

Mumbai, June 7

The key Indian equity indices traded marginally higher on Monday morning with healthy buying in auto, capital goods and metal stocks.

Around 10.10 am., Sensex was trading at 52,137.85, higher by 37.8 points or 0.07 per cent from its previous close of 52,100.05.

It opened at 52,231.38 and has so far touched an intra-day high of 52,279.55 and a low of 52,054.76 points.

The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange was trading at 15,702.95, higher by 32.70 points or 0.21 per cent from its previous close.

The top gainers on the Sensex so far were Power Grid, NTPC and L&T, while the major losers were Bajaj Finance, Bajaj Finserv and HDFC.

ians

Mon, 07 Jun 2021 11:45:13 +0530
119 people killed in 2 days in Afghanistan

Kabul, June 7

As the level of violence remains high in Afghanistan despite efforts to jumpstart the stalled peace process, a total of 119 people were killed in clashes and security incident in just two days, June 3-4, an official said here.

The official, on the condition of anonymity, said that 196 security personnel were injured also during this period, TOLO News reported on Sunday.

According to the official, 54 people were killed on June 3, while there were 65 casualties the next day.

Of the 119 victims, 102 were members of the security forces.

There were also 17 civilian casualties in the two days, while 55 were wounded, the official added.

Meanwhile, the Defence Ministry figures revealed that 183 Taliban were killed in Afghan defensive operations in eight provinces on June 3, and 181 militants were reports dead across six provinces on June 4.

The Taliban has however, rejected the figures.

Afghan civilians continue to bear the brunt of armed conflicts as more than 2,950 civilians were killed and over 5,540 others wounded due to fighting in the country last year, according to the country's independent human rights commission.

The agency has attributed 53 per cent of civilian casualties to the Taliban and 15 per cent to pro-government security forces over the period, while 25 per cent were caused by unknown perpetrators and the rest 7 per cent were blamed on other reasons.

Out of total casualties, 330 women and 565 children were killed in separate attacks last year, according to figures of the independent human rights commission.

ians
 

Mon, 07 Jun 2021 11:37:39 +0530
Global Covid 19 caseload tops 173 1mn

 

Washington, June 7

The overall global Covid-19 caseload has topped 173.1 million, while the deaths have surged to more than 3.72 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

In its latest update on Monday morning, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed that the current global caseload and death toll stood at 173,197,944 and 3,726,107, respectively.

The US continues to be the worst-hit country with the world's highest number of cases and deaths at 33,362,471 and 597,627, respectively, according to the CSSE.

In terms of infections, India follows in the second place with 28,809,339 cases.

The other worst countries with over 3 million cases are Brazil (16,947,062), France (5,774,361), Turkey (5,287,980), Russia (5,067,246), the UK (4,532,802), Italy (4,232,428), Argentina (3,955,439), Germany (3,708,782), Spain (3,697,981) and Colombia (3,571,067), the CSSE figures showed.

In terms of deaths, Brazil comes second with 473,404 fatalities.

Nations with a death toll of over 100,000 are India (346,759), Mexico (228,754), the UK (128,173), Italy (126,523), Russia (121,171) and France (110,160).

ians

Mon, 07 Jun 2021 11:26:16 +0530
24 60 crore vaccine doses provided to states UTs Centre

New Delhi, June 6

Amid reports of vaccine shortage in some states, the Centre on Sunday said that 24.60 crore Covid vaccine doses have been provided to states/UTs till date.

It said that it has so far provided, both through the free of cost category and through direct state procurement category, more than 24 crore vaccine doses (24,60,80,900) to states/UTs, and of this, total consumption, including wastages, is 22,96,95,199 doses (as per data available at 8 a.m. on Sunday).

More than 1.63 crore vaccine doses (1,63,85,701) are still available with the states/UTs to be administered, it added.

The Central government said that it has been supporting the states and UTs by providing them Covid vaccines free of cost, and in addition, has also been facilitating direct procurement of vaccines by them.

Vaccination is an integral pillar of the comprehensive strategy of government for containment and management of the pandemic, along with Test, Track, Treat and Covid Appropriate Behaviour, it said.

ians

Sun, 06 Jun 2021 23:21:35 +0530
1st Test vs NZ Chasing 273 England 56 2 wkts Tea

London, June 6

Chasing a target of 273 runs in 75 overs, England were 56 for two wickets in 32 overs at the tea interval on the fifth and final day of the first Test against New Zealand at Lord's here on Sunday. England now need 217 runs in the final session of play.

At the tea break, captain Joe Root was batting without a run and Dominic Sibley was on 19.

Earlier in the day New Zealand declared their second innings at 169 for six wickets, and asked England to score an average of 3.64 runs per over for victory. Tom Latham was the top scorer of New Zealand's second innings with 36 while Ross Taylor scored 33. For England, Ollie Robinson was the top wicket taker with three for 26.

In England's second innings, New Zealand's Neil Wagner dismissed first-innings' centurion Rory Burns for 25 in the 24th over and Tim Southee accounted for Zak Crawley in the 31st over.

Brief scores:

New Zealand 378 all out and 169 for 6 wkts declared (Tom Lathan 36, Ross Taylor 33, Ollie Robinson 3/26); England 275 all out (R. Burns 132, J. Root 42, Ollie Robinson 42, Tim Southee 6/43, Kyle Jamieson 3/85) and 56/2 wkts (Rory Burns 25, Dominic Sibley batting 19, Joe Root batting 0)

ians
 

Sun, 06 Jun 2021 23:10:35 +0530
Chandni Bhagwanani Tough for female artist to continue playing lead on TV

Mumbai, June 6

Actress Chandni Bhagwanani, who is currently seen in television show "Imlie", feels that it gets tougher for a female artist to continue playing lead roles.

Sharing her thoughts on the career span of leading female actors, Chandni tells IANS: "I feel it's pretty difficult to get a lead role, for an female artist on TV who has already played lead in past for two three times. As the makers wants to get on board fresh faces these days.

There also arise a question for payment, as new artists signs in a small budget. But someone who is already popular sounds expensive for them."

The actress played lead roles in shows like "Amita Ka Amit", "Jhalli Anjali Ke Tootey Dil Ki Amazing Story", "Tum Hi Ho Bandhu Sakha Tumhi" and "P.S. I Hate You".

She also feels that earlier when social media was not given that importance, it was difficult for an artists to break their onscreen image.

"I started my career in showbiz as child artist. Then in my teen age, I got to play lead roles. At that period of time social media was not given that importance like today. So audience would only connect to us with our onscreen characters.

Apart from all that, the audience characterise an artist to the popular role they have already essayed on screen. So at times breaking that image and coming up with something new was a big deal, " shares the actress.

ians

Sun, 06 Jun 2021 23:05:19 +0530
Delhi reports 381 new Covid cases 34 deaths

New Delhi, June 6

 Delhi reported 381 new Covid cases in the last 24 hours, the lowest since March 10, when the city had reported 370.

The daily positivity rate, which has been below 1 per cent for over a week, was at 0.50 per cent, according to the health bulletin. The daily Covid positivity rate on March 10 was reported at 0.52 per cent.

However, there has been huge difference in number of daily Covid deaths between the two dates - with 34 deaths reported on Sunday, several times high against than the three deaths were reported on March 10.

In the same time, 1,189 Covid infected people recovered, taking the total recovery in the city, so far, to 13,98,764.

Delhi's cumulative Covid deaths have risen to 24,591, according to Delhi government's health bulletin.

However, there are still nearly 6,000 (5,889) active cases in the national capital, of which 2,327 patients are in home isolation.

The national capital, which has been under strict lockdown since April 19, will see markets, and movement of people will restart from Monday again with certain restrictions.
 

ians

Sun, 06 Jun 2021 19:13:49 +0530
Chandni Bhagwanani Tough for female artist to continue playing lead on TV

Mumbai, June 6

 Actress Chandni Bhagwanani, who is currently seen in television show "Imlie", feels that it gets tougher for a female artist to continue playing lead roles.

Sharing her thoughts on the career span of leading female actors, Chandni  said: "I feel it's pretty difficult to get a lead role, for an female artist on TV who has already played lead in past for two three times. As the makers wants to get on board fresh faces these days.

There also arise a question for payment, as new artists signs in a small budget. But someone who is already popular sounds expensive for them."

The actress played lead roles in shows like "Amita Ka Amit", "Jhalli Anjali Ke Tootey Dil Ki Amazing Story", "Tum Hi Ho Bandhu Sakha Tumhi" and "P.S. I Hate You".

She also feels that earlier when social media was not given that importance, it was difficult for an artists to break their onscreen image.

"I started my career in showbiz as child artist. Then in my teen age, I got to play lead roles. At that period of time social media was not given that importance like today. So audience would only connect to us with our onscreen characters.

Apart from all that, the audience characterise an artist to the popular role they have already essayed on screen. So at times breaking that image and coming up with something new was a big deal, " shares the actress.
 

ians

Sun, 06 Jun 2021 19:10:00 +0530
Rs 10l Assam Rifles compenation police probe continue into civilian s death in Manipur

Imphal, June 6

 Amid strong public protests and tension that erupted over the killing of a civilian in Manipur's Kangpokpi district on Friday night, the civil societies, Assam Rifles and the state police have signed an agreement that announced a police probe into the incident and compensation of Rs 10 lakh by the central para-military force, police said on Sunday.

A police official said that according to the tripartite agreement the present company of 44 Assam Rifles at the Banglabung outpost would be removed or replaced at the earliest after approval from the Army Headquarter in New Delhi.

A fully functional armed police station would be set up in the area with a minimum of 40 in strength at the earliest.

The agreement, jointly signed by Commander of the 22 Sector Assam Rifles Brigadier P.S. Arora, Additional Director General of Manipur Police, Sub-Divisional Officer and three leaders of the local civil societies.

The agreement was signed after the widespread public protest into the incident that took place at Chalwa in Kangpokpi district of Manipur on Friday night.

Police said that an Assam Rifles Major reportedly shot dead a villager Mangboilal Lhouvum, 30, at Chalwa village triggering massive outrage among the locals, including women, as they torched two Assam Rifles vehicles, two AK 47 rifles and also ransacked the force's camps and furniture.

Police said that the Assam Rifles Major accompanied by four jawans in civil uniform raided the house of Lhouvum on Friday night, dragged him out of his room and then shot at him.

The victim, who subsequently succumbed to his bullet injuries at a hospital, is a daily wage earner and father of two children.

The police after taking the Assam Rifles Major in their custody for a brief period have registered a case and begun a probe.
 

ians

Sun, 06 Jun 2021 19:05:03 +0530
B wood continues getting into the skin of roles a tad too darkly

Mumbai, June 6

 Samantha Akkineni just gave a fabulous performance in "The Family Man 2", if you choose to overlook the make-up slip about her antagonist, the Tamil terrorist Raji. On the show, Samantha's face was 'browned up' more than necessary, to pass her off as the Sri Lankan Tamil character she plays. The outcome was not quite what one would have hoped for. The brownface syndrome had struck in Bollywood again, this time on the OTT screen.

The term brownface generally refers to lighter-skinned actors getting drastic darkening make-up to pass off as darker-skinned characters. We have seen it happen in Indian showbiz many times, and more often than not, like Samantha, the outcome has come across as a gaffe on screen. Several actors have gone a shade too many deeper while browning up for a role.

In the past, you could think of Shreeram Lagoo's face being almost painted black in "Souten", or Radhika Sarathkumar's character Chando in "Naseeb Apna Apna" starting off as an overtly made-up dark woman because it was a tale of a rustic ugly duckling metamorphosing into the pristine swan.

Rajendra Kumar had a double role as twins in "Gora Aur Kala", where one brother, born with a blood disorder, has dark skin -- reason enough for the make-up department to unleash bootpolish therapy on his face. Sunil Dutt played the brownfaced farmer-turned-bandit Birju in "Mother India". Dharmendra had shades of the black-brown daubed on himself that hardly seemed authentic, while essaying the Abyssinian slave Yakut Jamaluddin in "Razia Sultan".

Quality of everything including make-up has become more sophisticated in our film industry -- so they say. Yet, when it comes to browning or blackening of actors, we still tend to go over the top.  looks at a few recent examples.

SAMANTHA AKKINENI in THE FAMILY MAN 2

South star Samantha made her debut in the digital space with a brilliant performance in season two of the series. She portrays the antagonist Raji, a Sri Lankan Tamil terrorist. To make her look the role, she is made to wear a dark skin shade that would seem twice her actual skin colour. It's the only unbelievable thing about her otherwise authentic portrayal.

HRITHIK ROSHAN in SUPER 30

Bollywood superstar Hrithik Roshan came under the scanner during "Super 30" where he played the role of Anand Kumar, the math whiz from Bihar who revolutionised preparation for entrance exams by crafting an affordable but effective education model. Kumar is far from Hrithik's Greek God looks, and while the actor couldn't do anything about the glaring disparity in physical built, he liberally had his face bronzed to get his ultra-fair complexion a few shades closer to Kumar's darker heartland hue.

BHUMI PEDNEKAR in BALA

Bhumi Pednekar went brown with vehemence for the Ayushmann Khurana starrer "Bala", to essay a dark-skinned girl. The film dealt with several issues, one being about dark-skinned women getting a raw deal in the marriage scene owing to skin colour. Bhumi was natural as ever playing the role, her made-up skin was not.

RANVEER SINGH in GULLY BOY

Ranveer Singh was loved as Murad, an aspiring rapper in the slums of Mumbai. "Gully Boy" raked in crores at the box-office, but critics and fans alike were quick to notice that Ranveer had gone a few shades darker. The makeover had absolutely no connection with the storyline or his character in the film.
 

ians

Sun, 06 Jun 2021 18:52:45 +0530
Cool off with these refreshing summer cocktails

New Delhi, June 6

 Just like we move turtleneck sweaters to the back of the closet, it's time we retire liquor and bring on clear spirits, fruit juices and crushed ice. The hot season demands refreshing drinks, alcoholic or not, served in tall, frosted glasses.

Here are some signature summer cocktails from Jack Daniel's to try out:

THE WASHINGTON

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 parts Jack Daniel's Single Barrel

4 parts water, divided in half

2 spoonfuls of sugar

4 black tea bags

1 part fresh mint leaves

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Juice of 1/2 a lime

Mint sprig

INSTRUCTIONS:

In a saucepan, boil 2 parts of water with the sugar. Remove from heat and add tea bags. Steep for 8 minutes, then discard bags. Add the remaining cups of water. Transfer to a pitcher and chill. Add mint and crush with a wooden spoon until fragrant. Stir in remaining ingredients. Serve in a glass filled with ice. Garnish with mint sprigs.

THE TENNESSEE BREEZE

INGREDIENTS:



2 parts Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey

1 part cranberry juice

1 part orange juice

1 spritz of tonic water

2 parts ice
INSTRUCTIONS:
In a blender, combine ice, juices and Tennessee Honey. Blend until desired consistency is achieved. Pour contents into chilled rocks glass, top off with chilled tonic water and enjoy.

SWEET TEA SMASH

INGREDIENTS:

1 part Jack Daniel's Gentleman Jack

1 1/2 parts unsweetened iced tea

1 part cane syrup

3 lemon wedges

6 mint leaves

INSTRUCTIONS:

Add 4 mint leaves and two lemon wedges to the tea and steep for 15 minutes. Muddle the remaining mint leaves, lemon wedges and cane syrup in the whiskey. Add ice, and shake well. Pour into glass and top off with tea. Garnish with lemon wedge.

TENNESSEE MULE
INGREDIENTS:
1 part Jack Daniel's Old No. 7
2 to 3 parts ginger beer
Lime wedge

3 ice cubes

Mint to rub into the glass
Mint garnish
INSTRUCTIONS:
Squeeze then place lime wedge into a copper Mule mug or Collins glass. Add ice cubes. Pour in Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey and fill with chilled ginger beer. Stir well, garnish with mint and enjoy.
JACK HONEY LEMONADE

INGREDIENTS

1 part Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey

3 parts lemonade
INSTRUCTIONS
Combine ingredients in a tall glass over ice and garnish with a cherry.
WOODFORD RESERVE MINT JULEP
INGREDIENTS

2 oz Woodford Reserve Bourbon

1 tbsp Sugar
3 Fresh Mint Leaves
Crushed Ice 1 oz
Water
INSTRUCTIONS
Muddle 3 mint sprigs, sugar and water in the bottom of a julep cup. Fill glass with crushed ice, add bourbon and stir. Garnish with more ice and fresh mint leaves.
 

ians

Sun, 06 Jun 2021 18:46:17 +0530
New Zealand set England 273 in 75 overs to win first Test

London, June 6 -  New Zealand set England a target of 273 runs in 75 overs -- an average of 3.64 runs/over -- to win the first Test on the fifth and final day on Sunday, after declaring their second innings at 169 for six wickets.

Tom Latham was the top scorer of New Zealand's second innings with 36 while Ross Taylor scored 33. For England, Ollie Robinson was the top wicket taker with three for 26.

Brief scores:

New Zealand 378 all out and 169 for 6 wkts declared (Tom Lathan 36, Ross Taylor 33, Ollie Robinson 3/26); England 275 all out (R. Burns 132, J. Root 42, Ollie Robinson 42, Tim Southee 6/43, Kyle Jamieson 3/85)
 

ians

Sun, 06 Jun 2021 18:37:06 +0530
Southwest monsoon advances further covers entire northeast

 

New Delhi, June 6

 The southwest monsoon on Sunday further advanced into central Arabian Sea, thus covering further parts of the country, including the entire northeastern region.

The monsoon, which hit Kerala two days ago, has advanced into most parts of sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim, some more parts of Maharashtra, the entire Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, some more parts of Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh, central Bay of Bengal and northeast Bay of Bengal, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

Due to strengthening of southwesterly winds and a cyclonic circulation over sub-Himalayan West Bengal and neighbourhood in lower tropospheric level, the IMD predicted fairly widespread to widespread rainfall activitywas very likely over northeastern states and adjoining east India during next 4-5 days.

Isolated heavy rainfall is very likely over Arunachal Pradesh on Sunday and Tuesday; over Assam and Meghalaya and sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim on Tuesday and Wednesday; over Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura on Sunday and Monday; over Odisha on Tuesday and Wednesday; and over Gangetic West Bengal on Thursday.

Isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall is also very likely over Assam and Meghalaya and sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim on Sunday and over Odisha on Thursday, the IMD said.

Under the influence of the offshore trough at mean sea level from north Maharashtra coast to north Kerala coast and a cyclonic circulation over Konkan and Goa in lower tropospheric levels, scattered to widespread rainfall accompanied with thunderstorm, lightning and gusty winds is very likely over parts of south peninsular India and the west coast with isolated heavy rainfall on Sunday and reduction in intensity thereafter.
 

ians

Sun, 06 Jun 2021 18:33:45 +0530
Nigeria Twitter ban is temporary says Prez

Lagos, June 6

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday said that a state-wide ban on Twitter which prompted international condemnation over the weekend was only a temporary measure in response to misinformation.

Many Nigerians, who use mobile networks to access Twitter, found they were unable to access the social media platform on Saturday, reports dpa news agency.

The Information Ministry's announcement that it had suspended access to Twitter came days after the micr-blogging platform removed one of the President's tweets where made a reference to the country's 30-month civil war in 1967-1970, warning "those who wanted the government to fail" to desist from fomenting trouble.

"Many of those misbehaving today are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of lives that occurred during the Nigeria civil war. Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand," the President tweeted on June 1.

Twitter said it had deleted the Buhari tweet because it violated the site's rules against abusive behaviour.

The US technology giant also suspended the account for 12 hours.

Buhari said on Sunday that the suspension of Twitter was not just a response to the removal of his own tweet.

"There has been a litany of problems with the social media platform in Nigeria, where misinformation and fake news spread through it have had real world violent consequences," Buhari said.

"All the while, the company has escaped accountability."

The President added in his statement that the removal of his tweet was "disappointing" and that "the censoring seemed based on a misunderstanding of the challenges Nigeria faces today".

There was widespread criticism of the Twitter ban, domestically and abroad, with the EU, US, Canada and the UK expressing disappointment in a joint statement on Saturday.

Banning systems of expression is not the answer, the statement said.
 

ians

Sun, 06 Jun 2021 18:30:02 +0530
West Bengal Governor Dhankar faces Mahua Moitra s fire for nepotism

Kolkata, June 6

Relations between West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar and the state's ruling Trinamool Congress could not get any worse.

On Sunday, the party raised serious allegations of nepotism against the Governor himself.

Trinamool MP Mahua Moitra, in a tweet, named eight relatives of the Governor whom, she said, had been appointed as Officers-on-Special Duty or OSDs after Dhankar occupied the Raj Bhavan in Kolkata.

Addressing Governor as "Uncleji", she asked him to go and "take your extended family with you" as she tweeted a list of those who are related to the Governor and have been appointed OSDs.

Earlier Trinamul MP Kalyan Banerjee had asked party supporters to file cases against the Governor.

Banerjee said it may not be possible to prosecute him while he is Governor but "he can be dragged to court once he is not Governor anymore".

Dhankar has been highly critical of the Trinamool Congress government, blaming it for failure to control post-poll violence .

He not only raised the issue at the swearing-in ceremony of the new ministers but also went on a tour of north Bengal and Assam to meet victims of post-poll violence.

The Trinamool is also upset with him after he granted permission for prosecution of two current ministers, one former minister and one former Mayor in the Narada scam that considerably embarrassed Mamata Banerjee's government.

Maitra's charges are seen as the latest fusilade against the Governor, whose immediate removal has been demanded by the Chief Minister.
 

ians

Sun, 06 Jun 2021 18:24:42 +0530
The youth from West Bengal who unearthed the origin of SARS Cov 2

Kolkata, June 6

 He prefers to be called 'The Seeker'. To protect his anonymity, he communicates through Twitter handle '@TheSeeker268', with the logo of a little-known tribal art of Bankura or Birbhum but this West Bengal man, who is in his late 20s and probably from Kolkata, has been responsible for challenging the conventional theory that SARS-Cov-2 was a spillover from animals and to show how it was a lab leak from Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).

A member of DRASTIC (Decentralised Radical Autonomous Search Team Investigating COVID-19, "The Seeker" is neither a scientist nor a scientific researcher but this former teacher of science is an avid internet data miner who managed to learn the weird but painstaking technique of searching the back alleys of the web, far beyond the well-lit places patrolled by Google, and there, stumbled upon some obscure documents that perhaps could become the biggest revelations of the 21st century.

In a series of mails, 'The Seeker' explained what prompted him to look beyond the conventional Chinese "Animal-to-Human" theory that the world had started to believe.

It was in early 2020 when the "The Seeker" posted one paper on Canadian Yuri Deigin's theory on Reddit, which promptly suspended his account permanently. This aroused his curiosity and led to delve deep into the investigation.

"It was a Medium post by the Canadian longevity entrepreneur Yuri Deigin that discussed RaTG13, a virus Shi Zhengli had revealed to the world in a February 3 paper in the journal Nature. In that paper, Shi presented the first extensive analysis of SARS-CoV-2, which had seemed to come from nowhere - the virus was unlike any that had been seen before, including the first SARS, which had killed 774 people from 2002 to 2004. In her paper, however, Shi also introduced RaTG13, a virus that is similar in genetic makeup to SARS-CoV-2 but never mentioned where RaTG13 had come from.

"He (Deigin) wondered if SARS-CoV-2 might have emerged through some genetic mixing and matching from a lab working with RaTG13 or related viruses. His post was cogent and comprehensive and I posted the theory on Reddit after which my account was permanently suspended. This aroused my suspicion further," 'The Seeker' wrote.

After a lot of trial and error, 'The Seeker' stumbled upon exactly what he was looking for: a master's thesis written by a Chinese doctor. The document contained an account of six cases of "severe pneumonia caused by unknown viruses" in workers who had been cleaning an abandoned copper mine in Yunnan, China, in 2012. The patients' symptoms seemed eerily similar to those of Covid-19. Three of the patients, it said, died from the mystery illness.

"It was a 60-page master's thesis in 2013 titled 'The Analysis of 6 Patients with Severe Pneumonia Caused by Unknown Viruses'. In exhaustive detail, it described the conditions and step-by-step treatment of the miners. It named the suspected culprit: 'Caused by SARS-like (coronavirus) from the Chinese horseshoe bat or other bats," he wrote.

"Finding it, at that moment, felt big... like a homicide detective solving a cold case," 'The Seeker', who presently works with diverse elements like architecture, painting, and filmmaking, wrote.

'The Seeker' dropped the link, without fanfare, on May 18, 2020, then followed up with a second thesis from a PhD student at the Chinese CDC, confirming much of the information in the first. Four of the miners had tested positive for antibodies from a SARS-like infection. And the WIV had been looped in to test samples from them all.

Shortly after 'The Seeker' posted the theses, China changed the access controls on CNKI so no one could do such a search again.

The Yunnan mine and its resident bats, 'The Seeker' knew, had been sampled by researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. He'd uncovered a missing puzzle piece: an association between the closest known relative of the coronavirus and research conducted at the institute in Wuhan, China.

Though a majority of scientists and experts agree that the coronavirus emerged after jumping from a wild animal to humans somewhere in or around Wuhan, where the first cases appeared in 2019 but an alternative theory posits that the pandemic began after SARS-CoV-2 leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan, potentially the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which needs further investigation.

Though there are lots of grey areas regarding the origin of the virus but thanks to DRASTIC and particularly 'The Seeker', from whom it is now known that the Wuhan Institute of Virology had an extensive collection of coronaviruses gathered over many years of foraging in the bat caves, and that many of them -- including the closest known relative to the pandemic virus, SARS-CoV-2 -- came from a mineshaft where three men died from a suspected SARS-like disease in 2012.

It is now known that the WIV was actively working with these viruses, using inadequate safety protocols, in ways that could have triggered the pandemic, and that the lab and Chinese authorities have gone to great lengths to conceal these activities.

Asked whether he faced any pressure after these things came to light, 'The Seeker' only said: "I want you to focus on the facts, not me. It's an article. Write about my findings."
 

ians

Sun, 06 Jun 2021 18:18:56 +0530
Jailed godman Ram Rahim tests positive for Covid 19

Chandigarh, June 6

 Controversial Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who is serving a 20-year jail sentence in Haryana for raping two of his disciples, was on Sunday tested possitive for Covid-19, jail authorities said.

He was taken to Medanta Hospital in Gurugram where he was diagnosed coronavirus positive.

Earlier, he had undergone tests at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS) in Rohtak after he complained of abdominal pain.

Ram Rahim (53) is currently lodged at the high-security Sunaria jail in Rohtak, 250 km from Chandigarh.

Last month, he was hospitalised at the PGMIS after he complained of low blood pressure. But he had refused a Covid-19 test in the hospital.

The self-styled godman was sentenced to 20 years in jail in August 2017 for raping two women.

A special CBI court in Panchkula in January 2019 also sentenced him and three others to life imprisonment for the murder of a journalist over 16 years ago.
 

 

Sun, 06 Jun 2021 18:10:51 +0530
Musk blasted by Anonymous hackers after cryptic crypto tweets

San Francisco, June 6

SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk has reportedly been the latest target of a notorious group of hackers called "Anonymous".

According to the New York Post, the politically charged hacker group posted a video blasting Musk for "constantly trolling" cryptocurrency markets.

"For the past several years you have enjoyed one of the most favourable reputations of anyone in the billionaire class because you have tapped into the desire that many of us have to live in a world with electric cars and space exploration," a person with a digitally altered voice said in the video, posted to Twitter on Saturday.

"Recently people are beginning to see you as another narcissistic rich due who is desperate for attention," it added.

The message came after Musk posted yet another cryptic tweet about Bitcoin that devalued the asset on Friday.

"Millions of retail investors were really counting on their crypto gains to improve their lives," the figure in the video said.

"Of course, they took the risk upon themselves when they invested, and everyone knows to be prepared for volatility in crypto, but your tweets this week show a clear disregard for the average working person," it added.

Anonymous, which has been linked to cyber attacks on police departments, politicians, financial companies and religions, went on to issue what appeared to be a vague warning to the tycoon.

"You may think you are the smartest person in the room, but now you have met your match. We are Anonymous! We are legion. Expect us," the person said.

Musk did not address the thinly veiled threat directly, but about 20 minutes after the group's post, Musk tweeted; "Don't kill what you hate, Save what you love."
 

 

ians

Sun, 06 Jun 2021 18:05:35 +0530
Fiat plans to become EV only automaker by 2030

Rome, June 6

Automotive giant Fiat has announced that it plans to move entirely to electric vehicles by 2030 and plans to phase out combustion engine vehicles starting in 2025.

"It is our duty to bring to market electric cars that cost no more than those with an internal combustion engine, as soon as we can, in line with the falling costs of batteries," Olivier Francois, CEO, Fiat, was quoted as saying by Engadget.

"We are exploring the territory of sustainable mobility for all: this is our greatest project. Between 2025 and 2030, our product line-up will gradually become electric-only. This will be a radical change for Fiat," he added.

Fiat has just released an electric version of its 500 city car in some regions. At least for the time being, the standard 500 will still be available as well, the report said.

As Autocar notes, Fiat wants to help improve access to EVs, charging infrastructure and air quality, it added.

"The decision to launch the new 500, electric and electric alone, was actually taken before Covid-19," Francois said in a discussion with architect Stefano Boeri.

"Even then, we were already aware that the world could not take any more compromises," Francois added.

Several auto brands are planning to go all-electric in the next decade or are at least rumoured to be doing so.

Mini, Volvo and Ford (at least in Europe) are looking to make the switch by 2030. Honda has set 2040 as its timeline for making the shift.

ians
 

Sun, 06 Jun 2021 17:22:50 +0530
Ashwin better than Lyon as the Aussie hasn t done well of late Chappell

 

Sydney, June 6

India's R Ashwin is a better off-spinner than Nathan Lyon because the Australian's strike rate since the start of 2018 is below par and he gets hit through on-side by right-handers which shouldn't happen, said former Australia captain Ian Chappell.

"I think Ashwin is a better bowler than Nathan Lyon. Have a look at Nathan Lyon's strike rate, you are talking in the 70s and I am going back to 2018," said Chappell.

Since 2018, Lyon has taken 113 wickets in 27 Test matches with a strike rate of 72.5 and an average of 33.43. Although he has six five-wicket hauls, as many as four of them have come against two teams -- India and New Zealand. His only 10-wicket haul has come against the Kiwis.

Lyon's strike rate (85.8) against India has been worse than his rate against others in this phase.

"I think runs get scored through the onside when he (Nathan Lyon) is bowling to the right-handers and that really just shouldn't happen. Yes, he is a fine bowler but I think Ashwin is a better bowler," Chappell said on espncricinfo.com.

Lyon, who has played 100 Test matches, is just one short of 400 wickets while Ashwin has taken 409 wickets in 78 Test matches.

The Aussie off-spinner could pick only nine wickets in four Tests in the recent home series against India.

Ashwin hasn't picked too many wickets overseas. The bulk of his wickets have come in India. As many as 70 per cent of his wickets are on Indian soil -- 286 wickets of his 409 scalps are in India. Often, he has had to miss overseas Tests due to injuries.

But Chappell said that the Indian bowling attack as a whole has been doing so well of late that wickets have been shared and it hasn't allowed Ashwin to take too many wickets overseas.

"I think, particularly of late, I find that the Indian attack has been so strong that the wickets are being shared around more. And the other point I would make is because of Ashwin's reputation I think the England players probably concentrated more on keeping Ashwin out and with Axar Patel, well, let's be blunt about it, they didn't have a bloody clue," Ian Chappell added.

Ashwin though ended as the top wicket-taker in the recent home series against England, picking 33 wickets and earning the player-of-the-series award.

ians

Sun, 06 Jun 2021 17:17:06 +0530
Jagame Thandhiram actress Aishwarya Lekshmi s post gets great response

Chennai, June 6

Actress Aishwarya Lekshmi, who will soon be seen in the Tamil film "Jagame Thandhiram", had uploaded a beautiful, artistic picture on her Instagram on Wednesday.

The sensual picture has garnered over three lakh likes within just four days.

The aesthetically beautiful picture, which played which lights on a beautiful way, showed Aishwarya posing, what appears topless in the frame.

She had captioned the image as: "How You doin".

The post welcomed flattering compliments from her followers with many praising her beauty.

Directed by Karthik Subbaraj, the film features Dhanush in leading role with Aishwarya as the leading lady. The film also stars Kalaiyarasan and Joju George in pivotal roles, and marks the Indian debut of Scottish actor James Cosmo.

The film is set to release on June 18 on a leading OTT platform.

ians

Sun, 06 Jun 2021 17:09:34 +0530
FPIs return invest nearly Rs 8k cr in Indian equities last week

Mumbai, June 6

Amid robust fourth quarter earnings and declining daily cases of Covid-19, foreign portfolio investors (FPI) have made a comeback in June and invested nearly Rs 8,000 crore during May 31-June 4.

FPIs made a net investment of Rs 7,967 crore during the week, as per NSDL data.

The surge in foreign funds have also led the Indian stock market to touch new highs. The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange recorded a record high of Rs 15,733.60 during the week.

The inflow comes after two consecutive months of outflow.

In April and May, FPI's net selling stood at Rs 9,659 crore and Rs 2,954 crore in Indian equities, respectively.

The aggregate net investmemt of FPIs into indian equities so far in 2021 stands at Rs 51,096 crore.

ians

Sun, 06 Jun 2021 16:56:53 +0530
FPIs return invest nearly Rs 8k cr in Indian equities last week

Mumbai, June 6

Amid robust fourth quarter earnings and declining daily cases of Covid-19, foreign portfolio investors (FPI) have made a comeback in June and invested nearly Rs 8,000 crore during May 31-June 4.

FPIs made a net investment of Rs 7,967 crore during the week, as per NSDL data.

The surge in foreign funds have also led the Indian stock market to touch new highs. The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange recorded a record high of Rs 15,733.60 during the week.

The inflow comes after two consecutive months of outflow.

In April and May, FPI's net selling stood at Rs 9,659 crore and Rs 2,954 crore in Indian equities, respectively.

The aggregate net investmemt of FPIs into indian equities so far in 2021 stands at Rs 51,096 crore.

ians
 

Sun, 06 Jun 2021 16:47:28 +0530
Al Jazeera journo arrested during E Jerusalem protest

 

Jerusalem, June 6

A correspondent for the Qatar-based Al Jazeera news channel was arrested during a protest in the Arab neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem.

The Palestinian Liberation Organization's (PLO) Xavier Abu Eid accused Israeli police forces of attacking the TV crew on Saturday and destroying their equipment, dpa news agency reported.

A spokesman for Israeli police said the correspondent had physically attacked security forces while they were trying to break up the demonstration and that she had refused to identify herself.

However, video footage of the incident shows that Givara Budeiri was wearing a vest with the word "Press" on it.

According to police, residents pelted security forces with stones and firecrackers during the protests.

In a statement, Al Jazeera said that the journalist was released from custody hours after her arrest.

The broadcaster said that one of its cameramen also had his equipment destroyed during the incident.

"They came from everywhere, I don't know why, they kicked me to the wall," Al Jazeera cited Budeiri as saying following her release late on Saturday.

"They kicked me inside the car in a very bad way, they were kicking me from everywhere," she added.

"We condemn the actions of the Israeli occupation forces in the strongest terms. The systematic targeting of our journalists is in total violation of all international conventions," Al Jazeera Media Network acting director general Mostefa Souag said in a statement.

"Today's violent actions by Israeli occupation forces against Givara Budeiri and Nabil Mazzawi are in total disregard for the fundamental human rights of journalists."

Conflict over the possible evictions of Palestinian families in the neighbourhood have exacerbated tensions recently. It has been the focus of attention for decades because of property disputes.

Both Israeli settlers and Palestinians claim ownership.

Protests continue in Sheikh Jarrah even after a May 21 ceasefire was reached between Israel and the Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip.

A court decision on the forced evictions had been postponed.

ians

Sun, 06 Jun 2021 16:14:27 +0530
Tropical storm leaves Philippines with 9 dead

Manila, June 6

Tropical storm Choi-wan moved away from the Philippines after leaving at least nine people dead and one other missing.

Choi-wan dissipated into a tropical depression after lashing several regions in the Philippines starting Tuesday, the state weather bureau said on Saturday.

It added that the tropical depression "is now outside the Philippine area of responsibility".

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said the storm affected nearly 94,000 people in nine regions in the main Luzon Island, the central and southern Philippines.

The storm caused over 86 million pesos ($1.8 million) in damage to agriculture and 53.7 million pesos ($1.1 million) in damage to infrastructure, the agency added.

Typhoons and tropical storms regularly batter the Philippines, claiming hundreds of lives and cause billions of dollars in damages.

ians

Sun, 06 Jun 2021 09:06:27 +0530
Cinema of Satyajit Ray in the time of pandemic

6, June

When "Ray", a four-story anthology based on stories by late Satyajit Ray, drops on OTT later this month, it will be an interesting attempt by a set of new-age artistes and filmmakers at exploring the thought process of an auteur who passed away nearly three decades ago, but who continues to topline any discussion on world cinema if it involves India.

For the record, the anthology has two films directed by Srijit Mukherji, and one each by Abhishek Chaubey and Vasan Bala. These are filmmakers who've garnered enough plaudits for displaying finer aesthetics in their works. Still, it could be a challenge bringing to life the writings of Ray -- legions of admirers would settle for nothing less than flawless, and that's something even the maestro's son, the undeniably gifted Sandeep Ray, would vouch for from experience.

Yet, at one level, the essence of Ray doesn't seem like something that is detached from contemporary realities. His cinema actually highlights many 'isms' that occupy the mindspace of the world today, long before it became socially fashionable to discuss these topics. Many conversations that have opened up now have found resonance in Ray's cinema, directly or indirectly.

We look at a few raging points of discussions in the world today, and how the cinema of Satyajit Ray touched upon these ideas in his era.

THE PANDEMIC

Ray couldn't have possibly foreseen what the world is going through currently, as there was no virus outbreak of the proportion of Covid between 1955 and 1992, the time span when he made 29 feature films, five documentaries, and two short films.

Yet, two films resonate the idea, in different ways. His 1973 film "Ashani Sanket" is a fiction based on the Bengal Famine of 1943, when an estimated two to three million died of disease and starvation, even as World War II raged on in the West. While the film's premise is war-induced famine in British India, the horrors it portrays are not far from newspaper images and news TV vignettes that have dominated over the past year.

The second film is "Ganashatru", his 1990 release adapted from Henrik Ibsen's 1882 play "An Enemy of the People". Ray's Indianised plot is set in a small town, where the major draw is a temple that attracts local devotees and tourists alike. A doctor discovers that the rise in jaundice cases in the town could be linked to the contaminated water being distributed as the 'charanamrita' (holy water) that devotees consume.

The film links the perils of blind faith with mass spread of disease, even as temple and civic authorities prefer to stay quiet because acknowledging the peril could dent the image -- hence, commercial prospects -- of tourist attraction. The attention is deftly diverted, the doctor is blamed, and the frenzy continues. One finds a likeness in the Covid era. Many incidents of religious and mass hysteria were allowed to go on for commercial gains, at the cost of the pandemic situation worsening.

FASCISM

At a time when many nations are run by right wing governments, and the shadow of dictatorship keeps rearing its ugly head, Ray's 1980 film "Hirak Rajar Deshe" could make for an interesting watch. Billed primarily as a family entertainer, the sequel to the 1969 release "Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne" actually unfolds a layered narrative about a fictional dystopian world.

This is a world where fascism -- portrayed by a mighty king -- uses science (symbolised by a scientist who invents a machine that can brainwash people) to bring the masses under his control. Everyone speaks in rhyme, symbolising that thought process is curbed to sound nice and politically correct, except the teacher, who represents education that sets off free will and, hence, free speech.

Goopy the singer and Bagha the drummer represent the power of art, which ultimately joins forces with science and education to bring down fascism.

WOMEN'S EMPOWERMENT

Every female protagonist that Ray portrayed in his stories was a celebration of empowerment, long before cinema seriously trained its lens on the trait. We could look at three prominent examples.

The first would be Karuna Banerjee as Apu's mother Sarbojaya in "Pather Panchali" (1955) and its sequel "Aparajito" (1956). She holds her family together against every storm, and is a classic template of the quintessential mother who cares and protects.

Sarbojaya strikes a contrast to Ray's most unforgettable female protagonist -- Madhabi Mukherji as the titular "Charulata" in the filmmaker's 1964 gem of the same name. Based on a Rabindranath Tagore story titled "Nashtanir", "Charulata" highlights a traditional housewife of a conservative, upper-class Bengali household in pre-Independent India, whose desire to break free the shackles of her mind and existence is triggered when the young, handsome cousin of her husband comes visiting. The film was ahead of its time, and the poignancy with which Ray sketched Charulata on screen remains unparalleled.

Madhabi Mukherjee also stars as the remarkable Arati in Ray's 1963 film "Mahanagar". Widely acknowledged as a celebration of feminism, the film narrates the story of a middle-class Kolkata couple. Arati takes up a job and her husband agrees, mainly because they could do with the money to meet burgeoning expenses. Things get complicated when he loses his job. The film was outstanding in its understanding of a woman's sense of freedom as an entity that's equivalent to that of a man's, at a time when the idea of women going out to earn was not wholly permissible in society.

You could write books about the women in Ray's cinema and empowerment, each female character would merit her chapters. Random recall would highlight Sharmila Tagore as Dayamoyee in "Devi" (1960) or Tutul in "Seemabaddha" (1971), as well as Swatilekha Chatterjee as Bimala in "Ghare Baire" (1984), among others.

The truth is that the work of a genius will always echo in every coming generation, which is why such efforts stand the test of time. It is a reason Ray's cinema quite simply relates to the cerebral audience even today. It is also something that made Japanese legend Akira Kurosawa famously say: "Not to have seen the cinema of Satyajit Ray means existing in the world without seeing the sun or the moon."

ians

Sun, 06 Jun 2021 08:59:25 +0530
Global Covid 19 caseload tops 172 8mn

Washington, June 6

The overall global Covid-19 caseload has topped 172.8 million, while the deaths have surged to more than 3.71 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

In its latest update on Sunday morning, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed that the current global caseload and death toll stood at 172,859,512 and 3,718,408, respectively.

The US continues to be the worst-hit country with the world's highest number of cases and deaths at 33,357,080and 597,377, respectively, according to the CSSE.

In terms of infections, India follows in the second place with 28,694,879 cases.

The other worst countries with over 3 million cases are Brazil (16,907,425), France (5,769,291), Turkey (5,282,594), Russia (5,058,221), the UK (4,527,577), Italy (4,230,153), Argentina (3,939,024), Germany (3,706,934), Spain (3,697,981) and Colombia (3,547,017), the CSSE figures showed.

In terms of deaths, Brazil comes second with 472,531 fatalities.

Nations with a death toll of over 100,000 are India (344,082), Mexico (228,568), the UK (128,099), Italy (126,472), Russia (121,365) and France (110,135).

ians
 

Sun, 06 Jun 2021 08:52:27 +0530
Options being explored to further sweeten BPCL privatisation deal

New Delhi, June 6

The Central government proposes to further sugarcoat the BPCL strategic sale deal for the interested investors by giving few more clarifications through a new set of frequently asked questions (FAQ).

Sources said that the Department of Promotion of Investment and Internal Trade (DPIIT) may soon issue a clarification that the BPCL under new private sector owners would be free to bring in foreign direct investments (FDIs) to the tune of the entire 100 per cent equity of the company without conditions.

Also, after privatisation, BPCL would be free to exercise its right to stay or come out of the joint venture company that plans to build the world's largest 60 million-tonne integrated refinery-cum-petrochemicals complex in Maharashtra's Ratnagiri district at an estimated cost of Rs 3 lakh crore.

Moreover, the government is also looking to allow BPCL to sell its stake in Petronet LNG and Indraprastha Gas Ltd, where the oil refiner is one of the promoters, before its own strategic sale.

This will prevent new owners of BPCL from making mandatory open offers to the shareholders of these companies, an exercise that could increase the cost for the new investors by up to Rs 20,000 crore.

"The aim is to conclude the BPCL strategic sale this year. We have also received decent interest from the investors for whom the company's data room has been opened before the financial bids are invited. A few more clarifications would make the sale process even more attractive for the investors and provide higher valuations for the government stake," said an official source not willing to be named.

The government is selling its entire 53.29 per cent stake in BPCL to a strategic investor to mobilise over Rs 52,000 crore as disinvestment receipt. Though started in 2019 when its disinvestment got nod, BPCL's disinvestment has been postponed on numerous occasions due to the pandemic related disruptions.

It is understood that along with domestic oil and gas and metal company Vedanta, Apollo Global Management and Think Gas (promoted by I Squared Capital) are reportedly among the interested parties.

Though the government says that multiple bids have been received, major energy giants, including Reliance Industries, Saudi Aramco, the UAE's Adnoc and the UK's BP, have not placed interest for the state-run oil major so far.

This has made the task difficult for the Centre, which is looking to retain investor interest to conclude the deal this year.

The proposal to clarify 100 per cent FDI permission for the new owners of BPCL is required as the refiner is a PSU company right now where only up to 49 per cent FDI is permitted.

Experts say that this clarification is essential as the government already allows 100 per cent FDI in the oil and gas sector and the case for BPCL should be no different after it gets converted into a private entity.

The freedom to decide investment in the proposed Ratnagiri refinery could allow the bidders to place aggressive bids as it would reduce liabilities for the new owners who could decide the future of BPCL on their own terms.

The most important decision would be to allow BPCL to exit PLL and IGL before sale and save almost Rs 20,000 crore for the new owners.

Some of the interested qualified investors have also sought exemption from open offer to the shareholders of BPCL post its privatisation. This could save another Rs 25,000-30,000 crore for the investors.

But no call has been taken in this regard so far, sources said.

BPCL operates four refineries in Mumbai, Kochi, Bina (Madhya Pradesh) and Numaligarh (Assam), but the facility in Assam has been hived off.

The company accounts for 15 per cent of India's refining capacity of close to 250 million tonnes.

The public sector company also owns 15,177 petrol pumps, 6,011 LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) distributorships and 51 LPG bottling plants.

BPCL distributes 21 per cent of the petroleum products consumed in the country and owns a fifth of the 250 aviation fuel stations in India.

The government targets Rs 1.75 lakh crore through disinvestments during FY 2021-22, with BPCL expected to provide a large portion of this amount.

Despite being a good takeover target, the company sale plan had to be postponed on several occasions since March 2020. The concern now is that the pandemic should not result in distress sale of this valuable

government asset.

ians

Sun, 06 Jun 2021 08:40:29 +0530
Myanmar forces clash with villagers in delta region 20 dead

Kolkata, June 6

Villagers in Myanmar fought security forces with catapults and crossbows in the Ayeyarwady river delta region, with local media reporting that 20 lives were lost in the violence.

State television claimed three "terrorists" had been killed and two arrested at the village of Hlayswe, where the security forces were trying to nab a wanted man on Saturday.

Junta spokespersons refused to take calls from media which was trying to get their version on the violence that occurred at Kyonpyaw township.

Angry crowds set ablaze ASEAN flags in Mandalay after a meeting between junta leader Min Aung Hlaing and envoys from the bloc on Friday.

Clashes broke out before dawn on Saturday at Hlayswe, some 150 km northwest of the main city of Yangon, when soldiers said they had come to search for weapons, local media outlets and residents said.

"The people in the village only have crossbows and there are a lot of casualties on the people's side," a resident said on the condition of anonymity.

Khit Thit Media and the Delta News Agency said 20 civilians had been killed and more wounded.

They said villagers had tried to fight back with catapults after soldiers assaulted residents in what they said was a search for arms.

MRTV state television said security forces had come under attack with compressed air guns and darts. After the shootout, the bodies of three attackers had been found, it said.

If confirmed, the toll given by the local media would be the highest in one day in nearly two months.

Some 845 people had previously been killed by the army and police since the February 1 coup, according to an activist group. The junta challenges that figure as exaggerated.

It was some of the worst violence since the coup in the Ayeyarwady region, an important rice growing area that has large populations of both the Bamar majority ethnic group, from which much of the army is drawn, and the Karen minority.

Post-coup flareups have been reported from the borderlands where 25-30 ethnic rebel armies have been waging insurgencies for decades. The junta has also been faced by daily protests and paralysing strikes.

The anti-junta Shwegu People's Defence Force said it had attacked a police station in northern Shwegu late on Friday together with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA).

KIA claims heavy police casualties but did not specify how many.

In eastern Myanmar, the Mobye People's Defence Force said it had clashed with the army on Friday and claimed four soldiers had been killed.

Despite the turmoil, Myanmar's army has shown little sign of heeding calls from its opponents to relinquish its hold.

This week, the junta received its first high-profile foreign visitors - the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the two ASEAN envoys.

An underground opposition government set up by opponents of the junta said after the envoys' visit on Friday it had lost faith in ASEAN's attempts to end the crisis - the main international effort to resolve it.

ians

Sun, 06 Jun 2021 08:28:43 +0530
World Environment Day celebrated for clean environment

 

Anupama Nair

www.mediaeyenews.com

With the world ravaged by a ‘mere virus’ for nearly eighteen months, the world is celebrating World Environment Day on June 5th like we do every year. The United Nations started celebrating this day from 1974. The purpose of World Environment Day is to spread awareness about the threat to the environment  due to rising pollution levels and climatic change in the world. Pakistan is the global host for the day this year in partnership with the UN Environment Program (UNEP).

“We cannot turn back time. But we can grow trees, green our cities, rewild our gardens, change our diets and clean up rivers and coasts. We are the generation that can make peace with nature. Let’s get active, not anxious. Let’s be bold, not timid”. This is the sentiment of the youth. Last year due to the Lockdown, the environment was “pollution free” for the first time in a century. The moot point is do we need a lockdown to keep our environment pollution free?

For too long, we have been exploiting and destroying our planet’s ecosystems. Every three seconds, the world loses enough forest  to cover a cricket ground and over the last century we have been responsible for destroying our forests, rivers, seas and even atmosphere and even the ozone layer that saves the earth from harmful ultra violet rays of the sun. Where are we heading to? Are we destroying our precious planet?

Global warming is threat to the planet earth. What is global warming? Global warming is the long-term heating of Earth's climate system which was observed since the pre-industrial period due to human activities, primarily fossil-fuel burning, which increases heat-trapping greenhouse gas levels in Earth's atmosphere. What is the result? Planet has been getting hotter. Example is, Europe’s summer temperature was always around 18 to 25 degrees. Now, every year it is around 37 to 40 degrees, The glaciers are melting everywhere, leading to rising sea levels.

Climate change includes not only rising average temperatures but also extreme weather change, shifting wildlife populations and habitats,  and a range of other impacts. All of those changes are emerging as  humans continue to add heat-trapping greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, changing the rhythms of climate that all living things have come to rely on.

Pakistan the host of this year’s World Environment Day, stated that it will host World Environment Day 2021 in partnership with the UNEP. This year’s observance of World Environment Day will be on the theme of ‘ecosystem restoration’ and focus on resetting our relation with nature. It will also mark the formal launch of the  UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030.

Making the announcement on the margins of the virtual Fifth UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-5), Pakistan’s Adviser to Prime Minister and the Minister of Climate Change, Malik Amin Aslam, joined the UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen, to acknowledge the urgency of preventing, halting and reversing the degradation of ecosystems worldwide and especially in Pakistan.

Led by the Prime Minister Imran Khan, the Government of Pakistan in one of the world’s most ambitious afforestation efforts planned to expand and restore the country’s forests through a “10 billion tree Tsunami “ within a period over 5 years. The campaign included restoring mangroves and forests, as well as planting trees in cities, including schools, colleges, parks and green belts. Pakistan had launched an Ecosystem Restoration Fund to support nature-based solutions to climate change and facilitate the transition towards environmentally resilient, ecologically targeted initiatives covering afforestation and biodiversity conservation. "We are honored to host this year's World Environment Day and lend our support to global restoration efforts" stated Aslam. It is an ambitious project indeed.

Inger Anderson, the Executive Directive of UNEP stated “2020 was a year of reckoning, facing multiple crises, including a global pandemic and the continued crises of climate, nature and pollution. In 2021, we must take deliberate steps to move from crisis to healing: and in so doing, we must recognize that the restoration of nature is imperative to the survival of our planet and the human race”. “Pakistan has shown real leadership in efforts to restore the country’s forests; we are grateful for their commitment to host World Environment Day 2021 and lead the charge for all nations to restore our damaged ecosystems through the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration,” she added.

On World Environment Day, PM Modi said ” India is emerging as leader of climate justice. The focus on ethanol is having a better impact on the environment as well as on the lives of farmers. Today we have resolved to meet the target of 20 percent ethanol blending in petrol by 2025,"  Many celebrities like Malaika Arora, Pratik Gandhi and Día Mirza pledged their support for the campaign “stop the melt”. A film will be made to create environment awareness and stop plastic usage.

What will we do—what can we do—to slow this human-caused warming? How will we cope with the changes we've already set into motion? While we struggle to figure it all out, the fate of the Earth as we know it—coasts, forests, farms, and snow-capped mountains—hangs in the balance.

Sat, 05 Jun 2021 23:19:21 +0530
World Environment Day celebrated for clean environment

 

Anupama Nair

www.mediaeyenews.com

With the world ravaged by a ‘mere virus’ for nearly eighteen months, the world is celebrating World Environment Day on June 5th like we do every year. The United Nations started celebrating this day from 1974. The purpose of World Environment Day is to spread awareness about the threat to the environment  due to rising pollution levels and climatic change in the world. Pakistan is the global host for the day this year in partnership with the UN Environment Program (UNEP).

“We cannot turn back time. But we can grow trees, green our cities, rewild our gardens, change our diets and clean up rivers and coasts. We are the generation that can make peace with nature. Let’s get active, not anxious. Let’s be bold, not timid”. This is the sentiment of the youth. Last year due to the Lockdown, the environment was “pollution free” for the first time in a century. The moot point is do we need a lockdown to keep our environment pollution free?

For too long, we have been exploiting and destroying our planet’s ecosystems. Every three seconds, the world loses enough forest  to cover a cricket ground and over the last century we have been responsible for destroying our forests, rivers, seas and even atmosphere and even the ozone layer that saves the earth from harmful ultra violet rays of the sun. Where are we heading to? Are we destroying our precious planet?

Global warming is threat to the planet earth. What is global warming? Global warming is the long-term heating of Earth's climate system which was observed since the pre-industrial period due to human activities, primarily fossil-fuel burning, which increases heat-trapping greenhouse gas levels in Earth's atmosphere. What is the result? Planet has been getting hotter. Example is, Europe’s summer temperature was always around 18 to 25 degrees. Now, every year it is around 37 to 40 degrees, The glaciers are melting everywhere, leading to rising sea levels.

Climate change includes not only rising average temperatures but also extreme weather change, shifting wildlife populations and habitats,  and a range of other impacts. All of those changes are emerging as  humans continue to add heat-trapping greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, changing the rhythms of climate that all living things have come to rely on.

Pakistan the host of this year’s World Environment Day, stated that it will host World Environment Day 2021 in partnership with the UNEP. This year’s observance of World Environment Day will be on the theme of ‘ecosystem restoration’ and focus on resetting our relation with nature. It will also mark the formal launch of the  UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030.

Making the announcement on the margins of the virtual Fifth UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-5), Pakistan’s Adviser to Prime Minister and the Minister of Climate Change, Malik Amin Aslam, joined the UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen, to acknowledge the urgency of preventing, halting and reversing the degradation of ecosystems worldwide and especially in Pakistan.

Led by the Prime Minister Imran Khan, the Government of Pakistan in one of the world’s most ambitious afforestation efforts planned to expand and restore the country’s forests through a “10 billion tree Tsunami “ within a period over 5 years. The campaign included restoring mangroves and forests, as well as planting trees in cities, including schools, colleges, parks and green belts. Pakistan had launched an Ecosystem Restoration Fund to support nature-based solutions to climate change and facilitate the transition towards environmentally resilient, ecologically targeted initiatives covering afforestation and biodiversity conservation. "We are honored to host this year's World Environment Day and lend our support to global restoration efforts" stated Aslam. It is an ambitious project indeed.

Inger Anderson, the Executive Directive of UNEP stated “2020 was a year of reckoning, facing multiple crises, including a global pandemic and the continued crises of climate, nature and pollution. In 2021, we must take deliberate steps to move from crisis to healing: and in so doing, we must recognize that the restoration of nature is imperative to the survival of our planet and the human race”. “Pakistan has shown real leadership in efforts to restore the country’s forests; we are grateful for their commitment to host World Environment Day 2021 and lead the charge for all nations to restore our damaged ecosystems through the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration,” she added.

On World Environment Day, PM Modi said ” India is emerging as leader of climate justice. The focus on ethanol is having a better impact on the environment as well as on the lives of farmers. Today we have resolved to meet the target of 20 percent ethanol blending in petrol by 2025,"  Many celebrities like Malaika Arora, Pratik Gandhi and Día Mirza pledged their support for the campaign “stop the melt”. A film will be made to create environment awareness and stop plastic usage.

What will we do—what can we do—to slow this human-caused warming? How will we cope with the changes we've already set into motion? While we struggle to figure it all out, the fate of the Earth as we know it—coasts, forests, farms, and snow-capped mountains—hangs in the balance.

Sat, 05 Jun 2021 23:13:52 +0530
As monsoons loom Goa shuts beaches for visitors

Panaji, June 5

Beaches and water sports activity in Goa have been shut down for visitors from Saturday, amid the impending arrival of the south west monsoons.

According to an advisory issued by Drishti Marine, a private lifeguard agency which mans the state's beaches, wading into the sea has been banned, while people have been advised against visiting rocky areas and cliffs by the sea.

"Pre-monsoon showers have already hit Goa. Over the past few days light showers were witnessed along the coastal stretch. We have put up red flags at all the beaches which means that the area is not meant for swimming," Navin Awasthi, operations head of Drishti Marine said in a statement on Saturday.

"Curfew is currently still on in Goa, so we advise visitors not to venture onto the beach. Even wading into the waters is not advisable. Our team of lifesavers present along the coast are monitoring the weather conditions. The team is trained to carry out rescues even in rough weather," he also said.

The advisory also said that the seas off Goa were rougher than usual in wake of the Cyclone Tauktae which wreaked havoc in the state last month.

"After the recent Cyclone Tauktae the sea profile near the beaches has changed resulting in more areas where rip currents are observed. These rip currents can pull a person inside the sea making it difficult to swim," the statement said adding that red flags have been posted across all beaches under Drishti Marine's surveillance indicating that these are strictly non-swim zones.

"Drishti advises visitors to avoid rocky areas, cliffs and hills on the shoreline. These are very slippery during monsoon season and also wave height, intensity and frequencies are very high and one can easily get washed out. All rocky areas around the fort areas in Anjuna, Vagator and Tiracol are out of bounds during monsoons," the statement also said.

ians
 

Sat, 05 Jun 2021 22:55:03 +0530
Vitamin D may not protect against Covid Study

New York, June 5

While previous research early in the pandemic suggested that vitamin D cuts the risk of contracting Covid-19, a new study finds there is no genetic evidence that it works as a protective measure against the coronavirus.

According to the researchers, including Guillaume Butler-Laporte from McGill University, vitamin D supplementation as a public health measure to improve outcomes is not supported by this study.

Most importantly, the results suggest that investment in other therapeutic or preventative avenues should be prioritised for Covid-19 randomised clinical trials.

"Most vitamin D studies are very difficult to interpret since they cannot adjust for the known risk factors for severe Covid-19 such as older age or having chronic diseases, which are also predictors of low vitamin D," said Butler-Laporte.

For the study, published in the journal PLOS Medicine, the researchers conducted a Mendelian randomisation study using genetic variants strongly associated with increased vitamin D levels.

They looked at genetic variants of 14,134 individuals with Covid-19 and over 1.2 million individuals without the disease from 11 countries.

The researchers found that among people who did develop the disease, there was no difference between vitamin D levels and a likelihood of being hospitalized or falling severely ill.

ians

Sat, 05 Jun 2021 22:37:58 +0530
Emily Blunt finds real sense of purpose in helping people who stutter

Los Angeles, June 5

British actress Emily Blunt says she finds "a real sense of purpose" helping out those who stutter. Given the fact she overcame a stammer and went onto become a Hollywood star, the 38-year-old actress feels it is her duty to help others deal with the issue.

Blunt has been associated with the American Institute Of Stuttering, and she says she understands the "anguish" of people who stammer.

"I feel like I have a real sense of purpose with this foundation because it's so personal to me. I understand the anguish that these kids and adults are going through. There's a lot of misinformation out there about stuttering, so it's my job to enlighten people on what it's about -- that it's not anxiety-ridden, it's not that you have a mental disability, and it's not that you have a nervous disposition. It's neurological, it's genetic, and it's nobody's fault, and kids can do nothing about it," Blunt says, according to a femalefirst.com report.

The actress, who stars in the current box office winner "A Quiet Place Part II", adds that she has "so much empathy" for those struggling with stuttering.

"I have so much empathy for them. It's also the kind of thing that you can't explain to people because you cannot speak. You're completely imprisoned by it. I find it incredibly moving, so what I tell the kids and parents who call me is that you just have to learn to wrap your arms around that part of yourself. You have to learn that it's not the whole you, it's just a part of you and everyone's got something they're dealing with," she says.

"I love the fact that I've never met a mean stutterer. Once you have been humiliated, you'll never do it to anybody else, ever," she adds.

Blunt has returned to the screens with her new hit now, but over the past year she got a chance to spend a lot of time home-schooling her daughters -- Hazel, seven, and Violet, four -- whom she has with husband, actor-filmmaker John Krasinski.

"We would try to muddle our way through home schooling just like everyone else, but I think this time at home gave people the ability to notice every detail of your children," Blunt tells OK! Magazine.

ians
 

Sat, 05 Jun 2021 22:31:42 +0530
New taxpayer friendly e filing portal of I T dept to be rolled out on June 7

New Delhi, June 5

The Income Tax Department is launching its new e-filing portal on June 7.

The new e-filing portal www.incometax.gov.in is aimed at providing taxpayer convenience and a modern, seamless experience to taxpayers.

The new taxpayer-friendly portal has been integrated with immediate processing of Income Tax Returns (ITRs) to issue quick refunds to the taxpayers.

All interactions and uploads or pending actions will be displayed on a single dashboard for follow-up action by taxpayer.

Moreover, free of cost ITR preparation software will be available with interactive questions to help taxpayers:

A new call centre will also for taxpayer assistance for promt response to taxpayer queries.

The new tax payment system will be launched on June 18 after the advance tax instalment date to avoid any taxpayer inconvenience.

A mobile application will also be released subsequent to the initial launch of the portal, to enable taxpayers to get familiar with the various features.

ians

Sat, 05 Jun 2021 22:26:45 +0530
Singapore F1 Grand Prix called off due to Covid

Singapore, June 5

 Formula One's Singapore Grand Prix has been called off this year due to coronavirus restrictions, local organiser Singapore GP Pte Ltd have confirmed.

"To cancel the event for a second year is an incredibly difficult decision, but a necessary one in light of the prevailing restrictions for live events in Singapore." said Colin Syn, deputy chairperson of Singapore GP Pte Ltd.

The race was scheduled to take place on October 3.

But organisers said they had no choice given the "unpredictable Covid-19 situation".

They argued that the decision to cancel puts priority on the health of fans, the public and all participants, reports DPA.

"We would not be able to deliver a full event experience [that] fans have come to expect over the years while safeguarding the health of our fans, contractors, volunteers and staff. Ultimately, we have to be responsible, cautious and prudent as safety is our number one concern," said Syn.

Large parts of South-east Asia, which had handled the pandemic well in its first year, are suddenly seeing a spike in case counts, prompting shutdowns across the region and forcing many plans to be changed. Singapore has also not been spared.

While tickets for the 2021 event had not yet been made available, those who had deferred 2020 tickets to 2021 will be contacted for reimbursement.

Formula One reportedly already has options to fill the Singapore slot, but no decision has been taken yet. Recently, the race in Canada was cancelled. Its replacement in Turkey was also called off.

ians

Sat, 05 Jun 2021 20:40:21 +0530
BMW launches iX EV in US starting at 83 200

San Francisco, June 5

Leading German luxury car-maker BMW Group has launched the iX xDrive50, the production version of its iNext concept electric vehicle, in the US.

"BMW is proud to announce the BMW iX xDrive50. Conceived from the outset as purely electric mobility, the iX sees BMW redefining its successful Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) concept," the company said in a statement.

The BMW iX has been created to provide something beyond just mobility -- an exhilarating driving experience combined with a sense of well-being for both drivers and passengers all the while enjoying the journey with safety, security and luxury.

The iX xDrive50 brings together the company's latest developments in the fields of design, sustainability, connectivity, electrification and digital services.

The expertise accumulated by the BMW Group over many years in the area of sustainability has been channeled into the manufacturing of the BMW iX xDrive50.

Key components include closely monitored raw materials extraction, the exclusive use of electricity from renewable sources in the production process and an extraordinarily high proportion of recycled materials.

With a starting MSRP of $83,200, the US market launch is expected in the first quarter of 2022.

ians

Sat, 05 Jun 2021 20:34:39 +0530
Shilpa Shetty All of us being indoors helped ecosystem regain some balance

Mumbai, June 5

Actress Shilpa Shetty Kundra took to social media to express her observations about environment on the occasion of World Environment Day on Saturday.

Taking to Instagram, Shilpa said that human beings staying indoors over the past one year has helped the ecosystem regain some balance. The actress also reminded once things get restored to the 'old normal' as it was before the pandemic, we must not forget to treat nature with respect.

"All of us being indoors has helped the rest of the ecosystem regain some balance over the past year. But, even when we get back to the ‘old normal', we have to remember to treat Mother Nature with respect. Let's collectively learn to take the initiative without being told to do so. Even if you can't personally plant trees, be involved in conversations that need voices to amplify the message," Shilpa wrote in her post.

"Educate yourself on how every individual can help with the #EcosystemRestoration, and spread awareness about it. This is an ongoing battle. They say small acts multiplied by millions of people will make a difference. THE CLIMATE IS CHANGING, WHEN WILL WE?? #WorldEnvironmentDay #MotherNature #ecosystem #OldNormal #NewNormal #OnePlanetOneGoal #RepairAndHeal," she added.

ians

Sat, 05 Jun 2021 20:29:50 +0530
Southwest monsoon advances into many coastal states

New Delhi, June 5

Southwest monsoon, which hit Kerala two days ago, has further advanced into more parts of the central Arabian Sea and many coastal states in the country, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Saturday.

On Saturday, the monsoon has extended in the entire coastal Karnataka and Goa, some parts of Maharashtra, most parts north interior Karnataka, some parts of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, more parts of Tamil Nadu and the central Bay of Bengal and some parts of the northeast Bay of Bengal, the IMD said.

As per the National Weather Forecasting Centre of the IMD, the southwestern monsoon is very likely to advance further into more parts of the central Arabian Sea and other areas during next 24 hours as the northern limit of monsoon passed through latitude 17-degree north and longitude 60-degree east.

The western disturbance as a cyclonic circulation over Punjab and adjoining Haryana at 3.1 km above mean sea level persists. The cyclonic circulation also persists over northwest Rajasthan extending up to 2.1 km above mean seal level.

Similar circulation persists over east-central Arabian Sea off Karnataka and Goa coasts. extending up to 4.5 km above mean sea level.

As per the IMD, the trough from the above cyclonic circulation over east-central Arabian Sea to south Tamil Nadu across Karnataka extending up to 0.9 km above mean sea level persists.

Also, the offshore trough at mean sea level from south Maharashtra coast to south Kerala coast persists.

The IMD said that cyclonic circulation persists over Sri Lanka and the adjoining Comorin area between 3.1 km and 4.5 km above mean sea level.

ians
 

Sat, 05 Jun 2021 20:21:17 +0530
Himachal using plastic waste to build roads

Shimla, June 5

As part of Himachal Pradesh's initiative to use plastic waste to build roads, every year, about 60 tonnes of plastic waste are being collected to melt 190 km of roads, an official said on Saturday.

Speaking at the state-level virtual World Environment Day function, Principal Secretary (Environment, Science and Technology), K.K. Pant, said the state has taken many steps for environment protection, pollution control and climate change adaptation.

"Himachal Pradesh has emerged as the leading state in environment protection," he said.

Pant said that plastic cups, plates, glasses etc. have been banned in the state since 2011. Items made of thermocol such as cups and plates were banned in 2018.

Pant said that plastic waste is being collected through the 'Polythene Hatao, Paryavaran Bachao' (remove polythene, save environment) campaign and it is being used for road construction and as fuel in the cement industry.

He said the state has launched a buyback policy for procuring non-recyclable plastic waste at Rs 75 per kg to tackle the problem arising due to plastic packaging waste. Under the scheme, 135,600 kg plastic has been procured by spending Rs 87 lakh.

He said works on many research projects are in progress for strengthening environment management.

Also, an early warning system for landslides has been developed with the help of IIT Mandi. An air quality monitoring system has also been developed by the Environment, Science and Technology Department.

To mark the occasion, the Principal Secretary released the Climate Risk Assessment Report, a pilot study of Kullu district prepared by the department with technical support from GIZ.

A documentary film by Aarushi Thakur, who is working in the field of environment protection, was also screened on the occasion.

ians

Sat, 05 Jun 2021 20:15:39 +0530
YSRCP MP sends legal notice to AP CID DGP

Amaravati, June 5

The additional director general of police, AP CID has been sent a legal notice by rebel YSRCP MP Raghu Ramakrishna Raju's legal team. The notice has demanded that the the articles seized from Raghu Ramakrishna Raju at the time of his arrest by the AP CID, be deposited with the magistrate.

The legal notice claimed that the CID police personnel had taken a mobile phone from the Narsapur Lok Sabha MP's residence when he was being arrested but is not mentioned in the records. Stating that the seized mobile phone contains valuable information, his lawyer claimed that Raghu Ramakrishna Raju was subjected to custodial torture in effort to make him divulge the phone unlock code.

Stating that the missing phone is required to conduct his official duties, the Parliament member threatened to file civil and criminal charges if the phone is not returned to him. The legal notice was handed to the SHO at Mangalagiri CID office.

Disgruntled YSRCP Member of Parliament from Narsapur Lok Sabha constituency, Raghu Ramakrishna Raju was arrested on May 14, by the Andhra Pradesh CID on sedition charges. Cases under sections 124A, 153A, and 505, were filed against him.

The rebel MP has been in the public eye for regularly baiting his party supremo, and Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy.

The MP was accused of indulging in systematic, schematic effort, through his speeches, to cause tensions among the communities and by attacking various government dignitaries in a way that will cause loss of faith in the government which they represent.

The AP CID had arrested the rebel YSRCP MP from his residence in Hyderabad, on May 14, and transferred him to Guntur for interrogation. The MP claimed he was subjected to torture during his custody.

The Supreme Court had subsequently granted him conditional bail.

ians

Sat, 05 Jun 2021 19:24:16 +0530
Samyukt Kisan Morcha observes Total Revolution Day

Gurugram, June 5

The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) here on Saturday observed the first anniversary of the introduction of the Centre's three contentious farm reform ordinances as "Sampurna Kranti Divas" or "Total Revolution Day", and also burnt copies of these laws near a BJP MLA's office.

SKM president Chaudhary Santokh Singh told IANS that a section of farmers had also assembled in the premises of the civil hospital and raised anti-government slogans.

"The BJP-JJP led Haryana government is fearing the farmers agitation against these three black laws. Following the government's order, a large number of local police personnel were deployed to stop the farmer's reaching the BJP MLA's office in old Gurugram," Singh said.

"We were stopped by the police personnel just around 10-12 meters away from the MLA' office. The farmers had told the police that their protest was peaceful and the Constitution permits peaceful agitation. Even the Supreme Court had also said that farmers can protest peacefully but despite that the peasants were being stopped from reaching the legislator's office," he added.

ians

Sat, 05 Jun 2021 19:16:39 +0530
Oman Cricket in talks with BCCI after ICC approaches for T20 WC

New Delhi, June 5

 International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) are in talks with Oman Cricket over hosting of some of the T20 World Cup matches later this year in the gulf nation, a top Oman Cricket official has confirmed.

The ICC had, earlier this week, given BCCI a month's time to show its readiness to host the tournament in October-November. With India's chances to host it unlikely due to an expected third wave of Covid-19 pandemic, and things not improving drastically over the last few days, the world body has started to look at a venue besides United Arab Emirates (UAE) which is already on standby.

"We have been approached by ICC and the chairman of Oman Cricket, Pankaj Khimji, is in talks with the BCCI which is due to host the tournament," Madhu Jesrani, the Oman Cricket secretary, told IANS from Muscat, the capital of the country.

"The talks with BCCI have just started. The ICC asked us for certain things that they are looking at in a hosting venue and we have given them the details. We have told them that we are ready. We have two turf pitch grounds, including one with floodlights," added Jesrani.

Oman is one of 16 participating nations at this year's T20 World Cup and cricket in the country is run entirely by a business conglomerate, Khimji Ramdas, which is an Indian-origin business family.

Jesrani said both the grounds are inside Muscat.

"The Al Amerat Cricket Stadium has floodlights and it is 15-20 km from the airport," he added.

The ground was established in 2012 and has hosted ICC's lower-division matches.

The BCCI has already announced that the remaining Indian Premier League (IPL) matches will be held in the UAE from mid-September to mid-October, which is the time when the T20 World Cup will start.

While there are concerns the pitches at the three UAE venues won't last two tournaments (76 matches in total), the burden would be eased by shifting some games to another country like Oman.

On Tuesday, the ICC issued a statement saying, "The ICC Board has requested management [to] focus its planning efforts for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 on the event being staged in the UAE with the possibility of including another venue in the Middle East."

Jesrani says they will wait until June 28 when ICC's deadline to BCCI expires.

"We are waiting till June 28 when the ICC deadline ends and a final decision will be made," he said.

ians
 

Sat, 05 Jun 2021 19:09:35 +0530
Oman Cricket in talks with BCCI after ICC approaches for T20 WC

New Delhi, June 5 (IANS) International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) are in talks with Oman Cricket over hosting of some of the T20 World Cup matches later this year in the gulf nation, a top Oman Cricket official has confirmed.

The ICC had, earlier this week, given BCCI a month's time to show its readiness to host the tournament in October-November. With India's chances to host it unlikely due to an expected third wave of Covid-19 pandemic, and things not improving drastically over the last few days, the world body has started to look at a venue besides United Arab Emirates (UAE) which is already on standby.

"We have been approached by ICC and the chairman of Oman Cricket, Pankaj Khimji, is in talks with the BCCI which is due to host the tournament," Madhu Jesrani, the Oman Cricket secretary, told IANS from Muscat, the capital of the country.

"The talks with BCCI have just started. The ICC asked us for certain things that they are looking at in a hosting venue and we have given them the details. We have told them that we are ready. We have two turf pitch grounds, including one with floodlights," added Jesrani.

Oman is one of 16 participating nations at this year's T20 World Cup and cricket in the country is run entirely by a business conglomerate, Khimji Ramdas, which is an Indian-origin business family.

Jesrani said both the grounds are inside Muscat.

"The Al Amerat Cricket Stadium has floodlights and it is 15-20 km from the airport," he added.

The ground was established in 2012 and has hosted ICC's lower-division matches.

The BCCI has already announced that the remaining Indian Premier League (IPL) matches will be held in the UAE from mid-September to mid-October, which is the time when the T20 World Cup will start.

While there are concerns the pitches at the three UAE venues won't last two tournaments (76 matches in total), the burden would be eased by shifting some games to another country like Oman.

On Tuesday, the ICC issued a statement saying, "The ICC Board has requested management [to] focus its planning efforts for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 on the event being staged in the UAE with the possibility of including another venue in the Middle East."

Jesrani says they will wait until June 28 when ICC's deadline to BCCI expires.

"We are waiting till June 28 when the ICC deadline ends and a final decision will be made," he said.

ians
 

Sat, 05 Jun 2021 19:06:17 +0530
S Korea under mega cyber attacks in pandemic driven online era

Seoul, June 5

Reports of ransomware attacks in South Korea have surged in the past year, shutting down hospitals to shopping malls as the coronavirus pandemic led to increased online activities.

On Thursday, a major plastic surgery hospital in southern Seoul posted on its website that its servers had been breached by a ransomware attack and that hackers appear to have stolen personal data of its patients, the latest in a series of reported ransomware attacks here -- a tactic used by cyber criminals to breach businesses' systems and hold their data hostage or lock up their systems until a ransom is paid.

The number of ransomware attack reports here stood at 127 last year, more than tripling from 39 in 2019, according to the Ministry of Science and ICT.

As of Friday this year, there have been 65 cases this year, reports Yonhap news agency.

Ransomware attacks have been aimed at various businesses. Last month, food delivery company Super Hero's operations were paralyzed for hours after a ransomware attack, impacting 15,000 delivery workers nationwide.

In November last year, local fashion and retail giant E-Land Group was breached by hackers, forcing 23 of its 50 branches of NC Department Store and NewCore Outlet to halt their operations.

Cyber security attacks have increased in not only number but also in profile as the pandemic has made online activities essential.

As companies increase reliance on remote work during the pandemic, ransomware attacks have become a greater threat as they can cripple their entire work system, said Kim Seung-joo, a cyber security professor at Korea University.

That has led more companies to pay out the ransom, which encourages even more ransomware attacks. "It's a vicious cycle," said Kim, urging investment into cyber security to ward off the threat in the first place.

The attacks are part of a broader global trend.

Romanian cybersecurity firm BitDefender said in a recent report that global ransomware attacks grew 485 percent last year from 2019.

Recent notable attacks include a hack last month into Colonial Pipeline, a major oil pipeline operator in the United States, which forced the company to pay US$4.4 million in ransom.

South Korea expects ransomware attacks to continue and the ICT ministry last month set up a 24-hour monitoring team to support companies targeted by the attacks.

The government currently provides support to companies that have been targeted by the attacks, such as restoring their systems.

ians

Sat, 05 Jun 2021 18:55:02 +0530
May GST collections beat pandemic blues remain over Rs 1L cr mark

New Delhi, June 5

 India's gross Good and Services Tax (GST) revenue collections remained above the psychological mark of Rs 1 lakh crore, clocking a high of Rs 1,02,709 crore in May 2021, beating all the expectations of lower collections in the wake of the disruptions caused by the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Though the GST revenues in May 2021 are lower than the record Rs 1.41 lakh crore collections made in the previous month, the highest since the introduction of the tax in 2017, they are still significant as most tax experts had feared that the real impact of the pandemic and the lockdowns in different parts of the country would pull down GST collections significantly in May.

"The revenues for the month of May 2021 are 65 per cent higher than the GST revenues collected in the same month last year," the Finance Ministry said in a statement.

"During the month, revenues from import of goods were 56 per cent higher, while the revenues from domestic transaction (including import of services) were 69 per cent higher than the revenues from these sources during the same month last year," it added.

According to the statement, the gross GST revenue collected in May 2021 was Rs 1,02,709 crore of which CGST was Rs 17,592 crore, SGST Rs 22,653 crore, IGST Rs 53,199 crore (including Rs 26,002 crore collected on import of goods) and Cess Rs 9,265 crore (including Rs 868 crore collected on import of goods).

The revenue figures include GST collections from domestic transactions till June 4 since the taxpayers were given various relief measures in the form of waiver or reduction in interest on delayed return filing for 15 days for the return filing month of May in the wake of the second wave of the pandemic.

In May, the government settled Rs 15,014 crore to CGST and Rs 11,653 crore to SGST from IGST as regular settlement, the statement said.

With May collections staying above the Rs 1 lakh crore-mark, it is the eighth month in a row when GST revenues crossed the threshold. The collections are surprising as most of the states have been under strict lockdown due to the pandemic.

In addition, while the taxpayers with a turnover of above Rs 5 crore had to file their returns by June 4, which they would have otherwise filed by May 20, smaller taxpayers with turnover less than Rs 5 crore still have time till the first week of July to file their returns without any late fee and interest. The revenues from these taxpayers are deferred till then.

Thus, the actual revenues for the month of May 2021 would be higher and would be known when all the extended dates expire, the Finance Ministry said.

"The collections for the month of May 2021 are higher than expected. Though most of the businesses were not functioning in April due to the lockdown, the numbers come as a pleasant surprise. The numbers should rise further considering that many small businesses are yet to file their returns considering the Covid related relaxations extended by the government for such businesses," said Rajat Bose, Partner, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co.

"Collections of Rs 1 lakh crore pertaining to the transactions in the month of April 2021 indicate that the economic impact of the lockdowns has been much lower than expected. A close watch is required on the next month's collections to determine the extent of the impact on GST collections in FY22," said M.S. Mani, Senior Director, Deloitte India.

ians
 

Sat, 05 Jun 2021 18:45:28 +0530
Shankara Hindu Mission distributes free rations to Railway porters dabbawallas

K.A.Viswanathan

Due to Lockdown many suffered the loss of income, job and were finding it difficult even for daily food. To mitigate this problem the Shankara Hindu Mission, an NGO started by the Sankaracharya of Kanchi late Sri Jayendra Saraswati in Mumbai, decided to help the needy, poor and cancer patients and now started helping these sections in a phased manner.

The SHM have distributed one monthly ration which includes rice, Atta, oil and all pulses at the Sri Shankara Mattham, Matunga to railway Porters, Dabbawallas and shoe-polish workers. Last month they had given rations to flower vendors, taxi drivers and housemaids. This will be continued every month to other needy people.

Sat, 05 Jun 2021 16:37:09 +0530
Asmita Sood on Pearl Puri s arrest Hope competent authorities deliver justice

Mumbai, June 5

Television actress Asmita Sood on Saturday reacted to the news of her "Phir Bhi Na Maane... Badtameez Dil" co-star Pearl V. Puri's arrest on the charges of alleged rape of a minor girl.

Asmita had featured together with Pearl in the romantic series which aired in 2015 and the two were said to be quite close back then, although the actress says she has not been in touch with Pearl for "more than half a decade now".

"I woke up to some messages and calls mentioning last night's arrest of actor Pearl Puri. I was not aware of the details of the same, so I took the time to read about the same. I was shocked and appalled at the details. Pearl and me worked together in our first television series in the year 2015, Asmita said in a statement."

"We all know that our industry is a fast-changing one and the dynamics change very quickly here. I am not in touch with Pearl for more than half a decade now. I do not know what has transpired in all these years and what could actually have happened. The Pearl I knew was a career focussed person and was very close to his mother; the two traits which could make anyone believe that he could not have done something that is alleged," she added talking about her ex-colleague."

"Being an independent woman working in this industry -- I know that there are many a challenge we face every day. For the people -- a victim is just a person -- but in such incidents, it is the entire family which suffers. Imagine the fear and the state of mind of parents of young girls after reading such news -- who genuinely want to make a career in this industry," she further stated.

"For all those of us working in the industry – be it actors, directors, production teams, media, etc. it is our responsibility to not accept the unacceptable and create a good landscape for all those who want to join the industry. I hope that the competent authorities investigate the matter at hand in totality and deliver justice," the actress concluded.

ians
 

Sat, 05 Jun 2021 16:03:47 +0530
Kohli s India team not a patch on Windies Australia at peak

New Delhi, June 5

Current Indian team's back-to-back Test series wins in Australia has led to its comparison with world-conquering West Indian and Australian teams of past even though Virat Kohli's men are yet to prove themselves dominant on foreign soil.

Apart from the fact that they are yet to win a Test series in South Africa, New Zealand and England, where they suffered humiliating series loss in 2018, India won series in Australia in 2018-19 and 2020-21 only after close contests. Those wins can't be termed one-sided like the wins scored by West Indies of 1980s and Australia of 1990s and 2000s.

While West Indies swept two series against England 5-0, in England in 1984 and in the Caribbean in 1985-86, they remained unbeaten between 1980 and 1985-86 in 10 out of 11 Test series with the 1981-82 series in Australia as the only draw (1-1).

They also hammered Australia twice during that phase -- 3-0 win in 1983-84 at home and 3-1 win away from home in 1985-86. They also won a Test series 3-1 in Australia in 1988-89.

During the decade 1979-80 to 1988-89, West Indies played 20 series winning 14 and drawing five. Their only series loss came in New Zealand in 1979-80.

Earlier, in the 1970s, they won seven out of 14 series they played during the decade (1970-71 to 1979-80) and drew three series.
The Aussies of 1990s and early 2000s were dominant too.

In the 1990s, though Australia failed to score series wins in India, they were otherwise winning almost everywhere. Out the 31 Tests series they played from 1989-90 till 1999-00, the Aussies won 20 including a few overseas.

In 2000s (2000-01 to 2009-10), Australia played 35 series, winning 28 series in what is termed as the one of the most dominant phases of any team in history of Test cricket.

No wonder former India captain Sunil Gavaskar isn't happy by the comparison. He says India won't be able to dominate as the West Indians or the Aussies of the past did since they are inconsistent.

"I am not too sure they will be able to dominate like West Indies did. They were winning all five Test matches, even Australian were, winning four out of five. I am not too sure if this Indian team can do that because of the fact that while they are actually a supremely talented team, there are at times inconsistencies that you see," said Gavaskar on The Cricket Analyst Show on YouTube.

He, however, said that this team can become unbeatable if it weeds out inconsistencies.

"That is the only thing that makes me hold my breath a little bit. But as far as the potential of this team is concerned, I think sky is the limit," Gavaskar said.

ians
 

Sat, 05 Jun 2021 15:49:54 +0530
Green tea might help tackle Covid Indian origin researcher

London, June 5  

As India continues to be ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic, a team of researchers is investigating how green tea could give rise to a drug capable of tackling Covid-19.

The initial findings suggested that one of the compounds in green tea could combat the coronavirus behind Covid-19, said lead author Suresh Mohankumar, who researched during his time at JSS College of Pharmacy in Ooty before taking up his current role at Swansea University Medical School.

"Nature's oldest pharmacy has always been a treasure of potential novel drugs and we questioned if any of these compounds could assist us in battling the Covid-19 pandemic?" said Mohankumar.

"We screened and sorted a library of natural compounds already know to be active against other coronaviruses using an artificial intelligence-aided computer programme," he added.

Mohankumar emphasised that the research was still in its early days and a long way from any kind of clinical application, in the study published in the journal RSC Advances.

"The compound that our model predicts to be most active is gallocatechin, which is present in green tea and could be readily available, accessible, and affordable," the researcher said.

There now needs to be further investigation to show if it can be proven clinically effective and safe for preventing or treating Covid-19.

"This is fascinating research and demonstrates that natural products remain an important source of lead compounds in the fight against infectious diseases," said Andrew Morris, Professor, Swansea University.

"I am also really pleased to see this international research collaboration continuing now that Mohankumar has joined the Pharmacy team," Morris added.

ians

Sat, 05 Jun 2021 15:37:41 +0530
Black Fungus or Mucormycosis the new killer after Corona

 

Anupama Nair

www.mediaeyenews.com

If Corona Virus, the “mere virus”, that had not held the world in its grasp was not enough, we now have Black Fungus or Mucormycosis to deal with along with the deadly second wave. The last eighteen months was one which saw the destruction for the entire world with millions of positive cases and many millions losing their lives.

What is this Black Fungus? It is a serious fungal infection, usually in people with reduced ability to fight diseases or low immunity. Symptoms depend on the part of the body where the infection occurs. It most commonly infects the sinuses and brain resulting in a runny nose, one-sided facial swelling and pain, headache, fever and tissue death. Other forms of disease may infect the lungs, intestines, and stomach and mainly eyes. If not taken care, a patient can lose his or her vision

It is spread by micro-organisms of molds of the type Mucorales, most often through inhalation, eating contaminated food, or contamination of open wounds. These fungi are common in decomposing organic matter (such as rotting fruit and vegetables), and animal manure. Thankfully it not does spread between human contact like Corona.

Is it connected to Corona? Yes would be the answer.  Doctors believe mucormycosis, that has an overall mortality rate of 50%, may be being triggered by the use of steroids, a life-saving treatment for severe and critically ill Covid-19 patients. Steroids reduce inflammation in the lungs for Covid-19 patients and appear to help some of the damage that can happen when the body's immune system goes into overdrive to fight off the Corona virus. But they also reduce immunity and push up blood sugar levels in both diabetics and non-diabetic Covid-19 patients. Doctors across the world believe that “Diabetes lowers the body's immune defenses, coronavirus exacerbates it, and then steroids which help fight Covid-19 act like fuel to the fire". Doctors believed they were “surprised by the severity and the frequency of this fungal infection during the second wave, compared to some cases during the first wave last year”.

Treatment is generally with  amphotericin B and surgical debridement (a procedure for treating a wound in the skin). Amphotericin B is an antifungal medication used for serious fungal infections.  It is an intra venal injection. Preventive measures for Black fungus include wearing a face mask in dusty areas, avoiding contact with buildings damaged by water, and protecting the skin from exposure to soil when gardening or doing certain outdoor work. It tends to progress rapidly and is fatal in about half of sinus cases and almost all cases of the widespread type. The first case of mucormycosis was possibly one described by  Friedrich Kuchenmeister ( German doctor) in 1855.

This is a ‘black disaster’ hitting the world already ravaged with ‘red corona’. Lord help us from more Pandemics. The only way, we can avoid it is as they say “Prevention is better than cure”.

Sat, 05 Jun 2021 15:28:36 +0530
113 Palestinian protesters injured in West Bank clashes

Ramallah, June 5

A total of 113 Palestinian protesters were injured in clashes with Israeli soldiers in the West Bank, medical sources said.

The clashes broke out on Friday when Israeli soldiers dispersed an anti-settlement rally in the village of Beita, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, Xinhua news agency reported citing the sources as saying.

Witnesses said Israeli soldiers fired teargas, rubber bullets and live ammunition to disperse the protesters who threw stones at the soldiers.

The rally on Friday afternoon at Jabal Sbeih Mountain near the village was held to protest against the Jewish settlers' preparedness to set up a settlement outpost.

The protesters said Israeli settlers set up over 20 mobile caravans on the mountain as a prelude to a complete takeover of the mountain to establish the outpost.

Ahmad Jibril, director of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society's emergency department, told reporters that 16 Palestinians who were injured by live ammunition were evacuated to hospitals, while 20 injured by rubber bullets, four beaten by the soldiers, and 73 suffered from teargas inhalation.

One of them sustained a serious injury after being hit by a live bullet on the neck, Jibril said.

Every Friday, dozens of Palestinians demonstrate in various areas in the West Bank against the Israeli plans of expanding settlements, demolishing homes, and confiscating lands.

ians

Sat, 05 Jun 2021 15:19:26 +0530
Biden rejects new Republican offer to continue infrastructure talks next week

Washington, June 5

US President Joe Biden on Friday rejected a new Republican infrastructure counteroffer, but will continue talks with Republicans next week.

During a phone call with the president Friday, Senator Shelley Moore Capito, the top Republican negotiator, proposed a new offer to increase about $50 billion in spending across a number of infrastructure programs, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.

"The President expressed his gratitude for her effort and goodwill, but also indicated that the current offer did not meet his objectives to grow the economy, tackle the climate crisis, and create new jobs," Psaki said.

"He indicated to Senator Capito that he would continue to engage a number of Senators in both parties in the hopes of achieving a more substantial package," Psaki said, adding the two sides agreed to speak again on Monday, the Xinhua news agency reported.

Republicans had previously offered a $928-billion infrastructure counteroffer, while the White House had lowered the overall price tag of Biden's $2.3-trillion infrastructure plan to $1.7 trillion.

Biden also spoke Friday to Peter DeFazio, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which plans to begin debate on Biden's infrastructure proposal next week.

"The President and Chairman DeFazio agreed on the benefits of continued engagement with Democratic and Republican Senators as the House work on infrastructure advances this coming week," Psaki said.

Biden could pursue a massive infrastructure package with only Democratic votes if bipartisan negotiations ultimately collapse, according to local media.

ians
 

Sat, 05 Jun 2021 09:45:38 +0530
1st England NZ Test No play possible due to rain on Day 3

London, June 5

No play was possible due to rain on the third day of the first England-New Zealand Test here on Friday. Now, the fourth and fifth day's play will have extended play and 98 overs will have to be bowled on each day, weather permitting.

When stumps were drawn on the second day on Thursday, England were 111 for two wickets in their first innings, having recovered from 18 for two wickets. They still trail by 267 runs. Opener Rory Burns (59) and captain Joe Root (42) were at the crease.

Earlier, New Zealand were all out for 378 in their first innings, with debutant opener Devon Conway batting for almost nine-and-half hours for his superb 200 (347 balls, 22x4s, 1x6).

Brief scores: New Zealand: 378 all out (Devon Conway 200, Henry Nicholls 61, Neil Wagner 25, Ollie Robinson 4/75, Mark Wood 3/81) England: 111/2 wkts (Rory Burns batting 59, Joe Root batting 42)

ians
 

Sat, 05 Jun 2021 09:38:29 +0530
How Steven Spielberg s directorial skills helped son Sawyer get up for school

Mumbai, June 5

Actor Sawyer Spielberg has opened up on how his father Steven Spielberg's directing skills helped him get up for school.

"When I was a teenager, I had a hard time getting up for school and one morning he came in and he said, 'Okay, I'm a director, you're an actor, I'm going to barge into your room and I'm going to say action. And you have to get up, brush your teeth and head down for breakfast'. Sure enough, he came in, he said, 'Action', and I got up, brushed my teeth and came down for breakfast and it worked!" Sawyer told host Drew Barrymore on the "The Drew Barrymore Show".

"So, his directing skills have worked in both the cinema and at home," added the actor on Barrymore's chat show that airs on Zee Cafe in India.

ians
 

Sat, 05 Jun 2021 09:32:32 +0530
Karnataka contests Kerala s claim over KSRTC trademark

 

Bengaluru, June 5

Terming the reports in a section of media as "incorrect", a top Karnataka official on Friday contested Kerala's claim that the Central Trade Marks Registry had upheld its appeal on using the abbreviation 'KSRTC' for Kerala State Road Transport Corporation, and not for Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation.

"As no final order has been passed by the Registry in the appeals, media reports on the verdict are factually incorrect. We have not received any such order from the Registry as claimed," Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) Managing Director Shivayogi Kalasad said in a statement here.

The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation had on Wednesday claimed that the Registry had issued an order under the Trade Marks Act of 1999, allotting the abbreviation 'KSRTC' to it in a legal dispute between the two state-run undertakings that began in 2014.

Kerala has all along argued that it has been using KSRTC since 1965 when it began the bus service, while 'Karnataka' came into being after the state's name was changed from Mysore in 1974.

"As the Central government had abolished the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) by an ordinance on April 4, 2021, all such pending applications will be transferred to the high court for adjudication," reiterated Kalasad.

Asserting that there is no legal bar on using the trademark 'KSRTC' for the state-run corporation, Kalasad said Kerala's claim that Karnataka cannot use the trademark for its undertaking is untenable.

"We are consulting our lawyers to take legal steps to protect our rights. If Kerala issues a notice to us, we will respond suitably. We reserve our right to legally defend our claim," added Kalasad.

ians
 

Sat, 05 Jun 2021 09:24:58 +0530
Global Covid 19 caseload tops 172 4mn

Washington, June 5

The overall global Covid-19 caseload has topped 172.4 million, while the deaths have surged to more than 3.70 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

In its latest update on Saturday morning, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed that the current global caseload and death toll stood at 172,449,514 and 3,708,248, respectively.

The US continues to be the worst-hit country with the world's highest number of cases and deaths at 33,342,974 and 596,999, respectively, according to the CSSE.

In terms of infections, India follows in the second place with 28,574,350 cases.

The other worst countries with over 3 million cases are Brazil (16,841,408), France (5,762,637), Turkey (5,276,468), Russia (5,049,210), the UK (4,521,919), Italy (4,227,719), Argentina (3,915,397), Germany (3,704,685), Spain (3,697,981) and Colombia (3,518,046), the CSSE figures showed.

In terms of deaths, Brazil comes second with 470,842 fatalities.

Nations with a death toll of over 100,000 are India (340,702), Mexico (228,362), the UK (128,086), Italy (126,415), Russia (120,974) and France (110,078).

ians

Sat, 05 Jun 2021 09:16:22 +0530
Monsoon enters Karnataka rains in Bengaluru

Bengaluru, June 4

The much-awaited southwest monsoon entered Karnataka with moderate rains in Bengaluru, an official said on Friday.

"The monsoon entered Karnataka with moderate rains and gusty winds in coastal areas and south interior parts of the state, a day after it reached Kerala on Thursday. Conditions are favourable to for it to advance further into the state," an India Meteorological Department (IMD) official told IANS here.

Though rains were scattered and isolated in the coastal areas, they were widespread in the southern region, especially in and around Bengaluru, which recorded 45mm till late evening.

"The monsoon will advance over the next 2-3 days to cover most parts of the state with widespread rains in most parts of coastal, south interior and some parts of north interior regions," said the official.

The weather office has sounded red alert for the coastal areas, warning of heavy to very heavy rain and thunderstorm in the coastal districts - Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttar Kannada during the weekend.

"Moderate to heavy rainfall is likely to occur over Chikkamagalur, Kodagu, Hassan and Shivamogga in the state's central areas (Malnad region), and Ballari, Bengaluru Rural, Bengaluru Urban, Chamarajanagar, Chikkaballapura, Chitradurga, Davangere, Kolar, Mandya, Ramnagar, and Tumakur in the southern region," said the official.

According to the weather bulletin, thunderstorm, accompanied by lightning and gusty winds and moderate spells of rain, will occur many parts of the state's southern, central and northern parts on Saturday.

"Timely onset of southwest monsoon augurs well for the state, as farmers will be able to take up sowing operations in their fields for the kharif crop and catchment areas will be able to fill reservoirs for drinking water and irrigation purposes," the official added.

ians
 

Fri, 04 Jun 2021 22:57:45 +0530
Obesity may increase risk of long term complications of Covid

New York, June 4

Covid-19 survivors who have moderate or severe obesity may have a greater risk of experiencing long-term consequences of the disease, compared to the patients who do not have obesity, showed an observational study.

Obesity is known to weaken the immune system and create a chronic inflammatory state. These conditions can lead to poor outcomes after an infection with SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus that causes Covid-19, as per the study.

"To our knowledge, this current study for the first time suggests that patients with moderate to severe obesity are at a greater risk of developing long-term complications of Covid-19 beyond the acute phase," said Ali Aminian, director of Cleveland Clinic's Bariatric & Metabolic Institute.

The study, published online in the journal 'Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism', showed that compared to patients with normal body mass index (BMI), the risk of hospital admission was 28 per cent and 30 per cent higher in patients with moderate and severe obesity, respectively.A

In patients with a BMI of 35 or greater, the need for diagnostic tests to assess cardiac, pulmonary, vascular, renal, gastrointestinal, and mental health problems was significantly higher. compared with normal BMI patients.

"The observations of this study can possibly be explained by the underlying mechanisms at work in patients who have obesity, such as hyper-inflammation, immune dysfunction, and comorbidities," said Bartolome Burguera, chair of Cleveland Clinic's Endocrinology & Metabolism Institute.

"Those conditions can lead to poor outcomes in the acute phase of Covid-19 in patients with obesity and could possibly lead to an increased risk of long-term complications of Covid-19 in this patient population," Burguera added.

The team included a total of 2,839 patients who did not require ICU admission and survived the acute phase of Covid-19. The normal BMI group was considered as a reference. Obesity is a disease classified as having a BMI of 30 or greater.

ians
 

Fri, 04 Jun 2021 22:48:24 +0530
India s forex reserves rise by over 5 bn

Mumbai, June 4

India's foreign exchange reserves rose by $5.271 billion during the week ended May 28.

According to the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) weekly statistical supplement, the reserves increased to $598.165 billion from $592.894 billion reported for the week ended May 21.

India's forex reserves comprise foreign currency assets (FCAs), gold reserves, special drawing rights (SDRs), and the country's reserve position with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

On a weekly basis, FCAs, the largest component of the forex reserves, edged higher by $5.010 billion to $553.529 billion.

Similarly, the value of the country's gold reserves gained by $265 million to $38.106 billion.

Besides, the SDR value gained by $2 million at $1.515 billion.

On the other hand, the country's reserve position with the IMF inched lower by $5 million to $5.016 billion.
 

Fri, 04 Jun 2021 22:40:39 +0530
Boat carrying Rohingya refugees reaches Acrh after over 100 days

Kolkata, June 4

More than 100 days after they sailed out of Cox's Bazar in the coastal region of Bangladesh, 81 Muslim Rohingya refugees have reached Aceh in Indonesia.

They were stranded in the Andaman islands after their boat developed serious technical snags on February 18, a week after it sailed out of Bangladesh.

Indian coast guards provided food, drinking water and medical attention to the refugees and arranged for repairs on the boat, but did not allow it ashore.

India tried negotiating with Bangladesh to take back these refugees, but since Bangladesh refused to take them back, the authorities in Andaman quietly allowed the repair works and took care of the Rohingyas.

On May 30, the boat was finally ready and it sailed out that afternoon. On Friday, it reached Aceh. Families of the refugees were informed by the shipowner about their safe arrival on Indonesian territory.

"This was the nearest Southeast Asian territory the boat could reach, because the crew was not sure how far they could go," said a source in Andaman, who handled the rescue and relief for the sea-stranded Rohingyas.

The satellite phone of the Rohingya boat was snatched by the Indian coast guards to avoid disclosure of the boat's whereabouts.

Around eight of the 90 Rohingyas who set sail (65 women, 20 men and 5 minors) had already died of diarrhea and dehydration after the boat's engine developed trouble on February 18, a week into the journey towards Southeast Asia.

Eighty-one Rohingyas, mostly women, were on the boat with three Bangladesh crew members when the rights activists lost contact with the boat. The survivors confirmed eight deaths on the boat before they lost contact.

Rights activists thanked the Indian coast guards for providing immediate relief.

"It is good to know that no one on the boat died after it was rescued by the Indian coast guards," said one Thailand-based rights activist.

"Delhi perhaps tried to negotiate the boat's return to Bangladesh with the Rohingyas, but when Dhaka refused, they took care of the refugees and allowed them to proceed to Southeast Asia," the activist said on condition of anonymity on the grounds that he was not authorised to brief the media.

The UN had also requested India in February to take care of the refugees on humanitarian grounds.

The Indian authorities confirmed that 47 Rohingyas on the boat had UNHCR-issued refugee cards given out in Bangladesh.

Rights activists, who were worried over the possibilities of India handing over the Rohingyas to Myanmar, said on Friday they were relieved that the boat had landed in Aceh.

Boats carrying Rohingya refugees have regularly drifted towards India's Andaman islands. The Indian government has not been keen to take them in, hence the temporary relief followed by the onward journey to Southeast Asia.

ians
 

Fri, 04 Jun 2021 22:24:06 +0530
Adani Electricity launches green tariff initiative to switch to renewable energy

New Delhi, June 4

Enabling its consumers to achieve their targets and aspirations for renewable energy along with flexibility, power distribution utility Adani Electricity Mumbai Limited (AEML) is offering a green tariff initiative in the Mumbai suburban area.

Under the initiative, all the company's consumers right from corporates, industrial, commercial, hotels, restaurants and residential users have been given the option to switch to green energy. The switch can be done with the immediate billing cycle and customers will receive a green power certificate on a monthly basis with a separate green colour bill indicating a separate line item -- Green Power Tariff.

Speaking on the option, an AEML Spokesperson said, "Adani Electricity's green tariff initiative offers all its consumers the opportunity to be responsible citizens and together contribute to making the world, the country and Mumbai greener and more sustainable."

This initiative is a step to help electricity consumers to meet their sustainability goals. Under it AEML customers can apply for getting green tariffs. Consumers will have to pay additional 0.66 paise per unit for opting for the new green energy and they will also have the freedom to choose what percentage of their total power consumption should come from green energy.

AEML will issue monthly certificates to such consumers which mentions that they have opted for renewable energy and the colour of the bill will be green.

An AEML statement said that the green tariff initiative is a voluntary programme for existing AEML as well as prospective consumers and has the option to shift both green energy tariff as well as normal within the next billing cycle.

AEML is committed to sustainability and aligned to India's commitment for a rapid transition to a zero carbon economy and is committed to source 30 per cent of its total electricity from renewable sources by 2023, the AEML statement added.

Adani Electricity Mumbai Limited, part of the diversified Adani Group, is an integrated business of power generation, transmission, and retail electricity distribution. AEML owns and operates the largest and the most efficient power distribution network in India. It serves more than three million customers spread across 400 sq. km in Mumbai.

ians
 

Fri, 04 Jun 2021 18:20:35 +0530
Sohail Wasim make comeback to Pakistan s limited overs side

Lahore, June 4

Middle-order batsman Haris Sohail was on Friday in Pakistani ODI side while Imad Wasim made a comeback to the T20I side for the tour of England and West Indies from late June to August.

The selectors have also included uncapped hard-hitting batsman Azam Khan in the T20 squad, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced.

The PCB has also retained leg-spinner Zahid Mahmood, left-arm spinner Nauman Ali and off-spinner Sajid Khan for the West Indies Tests.

Leg-spinner Yasir Shah's inclusion is subject to fitness as he is yet to fully recover from a knee injury that sidelined him from the Zimbabwe Test series.

Pakistan are scheduled to play three ODIs and three T20Is in England starting July 8 in Cardiff, following which they will depart for the Caribbean on July 21 to play five T20Is and two Tests.

Squads:

ODIs: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-capt), Abdullah Shafique, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Afridi, and Usman Qadir

T20Is: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-capt), Arshad Iqbal, Azam Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Wasim Jr, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Shaheen Afridi, Sharjeel Khan, and Usman Qadir

Tests: Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan (vice-capt/wk), Abdullah Shafique, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imran Butt, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Afridi, Shahnawaz Dahani, Yasir Shah (subject to fitness) and Zahid Mahmood

ians
 

Fri, 04 Jun 2021 18:15:21 +0530
Google unveils Pixel Buds A Series at 99

San Francisco, June 4

After accidentally announcing the Pixel Buds A-series on Twitter, Google has now officially unveiled its new TWS earbuds for just $99.

The Pixel Buds A-Series is now available for pre-order in the US and Canada, arriving to customers by June 17.

"To experience the full range of the speaker's capabilities, especially in the low frequencies, a good seal is essential," the company said in a statement on Thursday.

"We have scanned thousands of ears to make Pixel Buds A-Series fit securely with a gentle seal. In order to keep the fit comfortable over time, a spatial vent reduces in-ear pressure," it added.

The new Pixel Buds A-Series come with Adaptive Sound, which increases or decreases the volume based on the surroundings.

This comes in handy when users are moving from the quiet of their home to somewhere noisy like a city street, or while jogging past a loud construction site, the company said.

Pixel Buds A-Series includes up to five hours of listening time on a single charge or up to 24 hours using the charging case.

And with the ability to get a quick charge -- about 15 minutes in the case gives up to three hours of listening time.

Users can just say "Ok Google or Hey Google" and ask a question, get a translation, or have notifications readout.

The company has also taken steps to avoid the connectivity bugs and audio cutouts that still affect some owners of its last earbuds.

"For Pixel Buds A-Series, we wanted to bring back the iconic Clearly White, but added a twist with new gray undertones," the company said.

"For a darker alternative, Pixel Buds A-Series are also available in Dark Olive," it added.

The company said that it uses nature for inspiration in its colours and their design team was looking to create soothing tones that evoke a sense of comfort and relaxation.

ians
 

Fri, 04 Jun 2021 18:10:45 +0530
Risk to consumption employment to be more prolonged

New Delhi, June 4

With restrictions expected to be eased even more gradually than previously assumed, there is an increasing risk that the hit to consumption and employment will be more prolonged, Moodys Analytics said.

On the production side too, labour shortages and sourcing constraints are impediments which will not only weaken domestic supply, but also exacerbate costs and fuel inflation pressures in the short term, it added.

Under these circumstances, the RBI will continue to maintain an accommodative stance as it prioritizes recovery and financial stability, but is unlikely to go significantly beyond mobilizing additional liquidity to support cash-strapped enterprises.

Moody's Analytics said the RBI is therefore likely to maintain the policy rate at 4% until August, but follow up its support with another round of quantitative easing if required and possibly an extension of its current loan restructuring program to contain a sharp decline in asset quality.

The near-term outlook for the Indian economy is still mired in uncertainty. Although daily cases are now on a declining trend (down to under half of its peak at 400,000 cases in early May), most states have extended localized lockdowns by a few weeks.

The RBI, however, cut its growth forecast to 9.5% for the financial year 2021-22 in light of the strong resurgence, which resulted in most states imposing lockdowns. New cases are on a declining trend, but with restrictions likely to be eased only gradually, the sharp slowdown in domestic demand is set to weaken revival beyond the June quarter, Moodys' Analytics said.

ians

Fri, 04 Jun 2021 17:59:39 +0530
CBSE introduces Coding Data Science from current session

New Delhi, June 4

Complying with the recommendations of National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, the CBSE has introduced coding and data science as skill subjects in the schools.

Sharing the information, Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank tweeted: "Under NEP 2020, we promised to introduce coding and data science in schools. Today, I'm happy to see CBSE fulfilling the promise right in the session of 2021 itself.

"In association with Microsoft, CBSE is empowering India's future generations with new-age skills. Kudos."

ians

The CBSE also communicated to all heads of its affiliated Institutions about the introduction of 'coding' and 'data science' as a skill module or skill subject from the current session.

The CBSE wrote that coding is a creative activity that students from any discipline can engage in and it helps to build computational thinking, develop problem solving skills, critical thinking and exposure to real life situations to solve issues in various realms.

"Therefore, coding' is being introduced as a Skill Module of 12 hours duration in Classes 6 to 8. The idea is to simplify the coding learning experience by nurturing design thinking, logical flow of ideas and applying this across the disciplines," its communique said.

Faculty and Student Handbooks have been created with support from Microsoft, so that the students can work on applied projects and integrate coding across multiple subjects and make learning fun.

"Faculty resources will empower the faculty for teaching these concepts. The Handbooks cover real life examples on coding. builds exposure to ethics of coding and provides exercises and applications using the open source MakeCode platform," it said.

Emphasizing importance of data in today's world, the CBSE introduced 'data science' as a Skill Module of 12 hours duration in class VIII and as a Skill Subject in classes IX-XII. Student and faculty handbooks and teaching materials have been created with support from Microsoft.

The NEP -2020 has laid stress on skilling of students and recommended that by 2025, atleast 50 per cent of learners (through the school and higher education system) should have exposure to vocational education, for which a clear action plan with targets and timelines will be developed.

Currently, the CBSE offers nine Skill Modules at middle school level, 18 Skill Subjects at Secondary level and 38 Skill Subjects at Senior Secondary level to upgrade the skills and proficiency of the young generation and explore the various career options available.

More than 20 lakhs students are presently studying Skill Subjects at Secondary and Senior Secondary level in approximately 12,000 schools.

ians

Fri, 04 Jun 2021 17:45:58 +0530
Purchase of indigenous air defence guns ammo worth Rs 6K cr cleared

New Delhi, June 4

In a boost for the air defence system, the Defence Ministry on Friday approved the proposals concerning modernisation of its the Army's air defence guns.

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), in its meeting chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, has approved proposals concerning capital acquisitions of various equipment for modernisation and operational needs of the armed forces amounting to approx Rs 6,000 crore.

Noting that there was a long-pending need of the Indian Army for modernisation of its air defence guns, the Defence Ministry said: "These had been earlier procured only from foreign sources. With the continued thrust of the Ministry of Defence towards 'AtmaNirbhar Bharat' and 'Make in India', an enthusiastic response from about a dozen Indian companies was received."

All of them have expressed their willingness and commitment to manufacture this complex gun system and associated equipment by ensuring technology assimilation in India, it said.

Accordingly, the DAC accorded approval of procurement of air defence guns and ammunition at an approximately cost of Rs 6,000 crore under the Buy and Make (Indian) category.

Further to better equip the armed forces to meet the operational challenges and facilitate faster induction of required arms and ammunitions, the DAC extended the timelines for progressing urgent capital acquisitions under the delegated powers to the armed forces upto August 31, 2021. This will enable the armed forces to complete their emergent and critical acquisitions.

The Defence Ministry had earmarked around 64 per cent of its modernisation funds under the capital acquisition budget for 2021-22 -- a sum of over Rs 70,000 crore -- for purchases from the domestic sector. It was an increase from 2020-21, when a capital budget allocation for domestic vendors was first made. At 58 per cent, this came to an amount of Rs 52,000 crore.

ians

Fri, 04 Jun 2021 17:27:08 +0530
Oldest surviving Hindu painting unveiled

 

Anupama Nair

www.mediaeyenews.com

India is famous for her ancient culture, religion, traditions, medicine, art and literature. You name it and we have it here. She is the “cradle of civilization”. The Indus Valley Civilization is the oldest urban civilization in the world. Hinduism or “Sanatan Dharma” is the oldest religion in the world. The word Hindu is an exonym (a name given to a place by foreigners) – called so by the Persians and Greeks used as a geographical, cultural, and later religious identifier for people living in the Indian Subcontinent around or beyond the Sindhu (Indus) river. Ironically, the name India itself is an exonym used by the Persians and Greeks.

Indian painting has a very long tradition and history, however, due to the climatic conditions very few exist today. The earliest Indian paintings, were the rock paintings of pre-historic times, such as the petroglyphs (a rock carving, especially a prehistoric one) found in places like Bhimbetka rock shelter (Madhya Pradesh). Some of the Stone Age rock paintings  found there, are approximately 10,000 years old. Incredible India it is indeed! India's ancient Hindu and Buddhist literature has many references of palaces and other buildings decorated with paintings, but the paintings of the Ajanta and Ellora Caves are the most noteworthy of the few that still exist.

Indian paintings can be broadly classified as murals, miniatures and paintings on cloth. Murals are large works executed on the walls of solid structures, as in the Ajanta and Ellora Caves and the Kailashnath temple. Miniature paintings are executed on a very small scale for books or albums on perishable material such as paper and cloth. Traces of murals, in fresco-like techniques, survive in a number of sites with Indian rock-cut architecture, around 2,000 years, old, but ones in Ajanta—Ellora Caves are the most significant.

Paintings made on cloth, often produced in a more widespread context, was often used as folk art, used for example by travelling reciters of epic poetry, such as the Bhopas of Rajasthan and elsewhere in the country. We encourage such arts by purchasing them as souvenirs. Though these are not older than 200 years, it is known they are much older than that was believed.

In an epoch-making event marking the revelation of the lost traditions of ancient Indian art, the earliest surviving Hindu painting, photographed and digitally restored by Benoy K. Behl, was unveiled before a global audience in Mumbai last week. “One of the earliest surviving paintings in a Hindu temple – from the world-famous Badami Cave Temples – has been photographed, digitally restored and formally unveiled to a global audience”, said Mr. Behl proudly.

Behl enlightened top international dignitaries over two dozen global ambassadors, historians and art experts, the significance of the Badami Cave Temple and the sixth century painting – “Queen and her attendants” – which was declared  as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Behl explained how “Bharat has a continuous tradition of paintings, coming through ancient and medieval times” and he himself had documented Bharatiya paintings from the 2nd  BC till 13th AD, and the lost ancient “Bharatiya mural painting styles”.

Behl stated, much of the Badami paintings, as described in the 1950s, were lost when he went to photograph them in 2001 AD, and seven years later, the National Geographic magazine could hardly see anything, when its team went there for a major story. “Therefore, this photography (of Badami) and the restoration are of considerable importance in the documentation of the tradition of Indian paintings,” Behl stated proudly.

I did some research on the  painting “Queen and her attendants”, and made me proud of being a part of “Incredible India”. The Badami Caves, home to Hindu and Jain Cave temples are found in Badami (Northern Karnataka) and portray some of the oldest surviving painting depicting the culture of Hinduism. Unfortunately, majority of the paintings have deteriorated to such levels that it is impossible to interpret them.

The paintings of the “Queen and her attendants “ is the oldest of the existing paintings. Mr. Behl had to work hard to restore these paintings while ensuring they are not destroyed. He used revolutionary low-light photographic techniques innovated to capture the “ancient culture of India”. The painting depicts a Queen with her attendants, taking us back to the time when our Queens were famous for their beauty and valor.

Mr. Behl deserves much credit and a pat on his back for restoring the destroyed paintings of the bygone era. Hope he is able to restore more paintings and showcase our culture, tradition, art and literature to the world.

Fri, 04 Jun 2021 17:04:33 +0530
Solar enthusiast Saswat Panda Felicitated by SESI

Hari Sankar

www.mediaeyenews.com

“It’s not just science and technology but the philosophy of life that is going to enable humans towards a sustainable life”, said IIT professor Dr. Chetan Singh Solanki while delivering his address on living a carbon-neutral life. Prof. Solanki felicitated Saswat Sourav Panda, a young solar achiever during a virtual webinar conducted by Solar Energy Society of India (SESI) on 1 June 2021. 

Quoting Gandhi’s philosophy and learnings from the Shastras, Prof. Solanki said that limited consumption and localized production are key areas to be focused upon in today’s world. He said, “As a Professor, I ask questions: today in the name of comfortability what we are achieving ‒ modernity or stupidity?”

Elaborating further he said, “Once holy, the rivers of India are now polluted and poisoned, 33% of the soil globally is degraded. Forest considered the lungs of our planet are being cut. More than science and technology, the philosophy of life will make more sense. If we are not able to change our approach towards life, giving a solution for a problem may only create another problem.”

Prof. Solanki spoke about the infinite possibilities of solar energy. He said that he was happy to felicitate Saswat who has been a step ahead in using solar energy by organizing a carbon-neutral marriage function and what he did required courage.

Saswat Sourav Panda is a mechanical engineer from Odisha who was selected as the winner of the Solar Young Achiever Program Series by SESI. An MBA from the University of Petroleum and Energy, Panda is a clean technology enthusiast, solar project expert and promoter of carbon-neutral lifestyle. He made headlines when he with support from friends and family organized his wedding in a forest as a near carbon-neutral event.

Speaking on the occasion, Saswat said, “When I was doing my solar project, the first book I read was of Dr. Chetan Singh Solanki, and today am humbled to receive the award from the person who committed his life towards renewable energy. I am also thankful to SESI, as well as Prafulla Pathak, President, SESI for motivating youngsters.”

Saswat identified carbon emissions by humans as a sin and stressed for carbon reduction.

Showering praises on Prof. Solanki and Saswat, Prafulla Pathak in his keynote delivery address said that the two individuals are living examples of practicing a carbon-neutral life. Prof. Solanki is undertaking a 11 year old solar energy yatra and his day-to-day life is powered by renewable energy. Then we have Saswat who took his wedding to a different level. Pathak stressed that it is important to handhold youngsters in India towards extensive use of renewable energy and SESI is committed to this cause.

The event was live-streamed in SESI’s official YouTube channel. SESI invites nominations from individuals who bring out innovative products and services in the field of renewable energy to be considered for the Solar Young Achiever Program.

Fri, 04 Jun 2021 16:53:53 +0530
RBI projects retail inflation for FY22 at 5 1

Mumbai, June 4

 The Reserve Bank of India has projected India's retail inflation for the current financial year at 5.1 per cent.

For the first quarter, April-June, the retail inflation or the consumer price index (CPI) inflation has been estimated at 5.2 per cent, followed by 5.4 per cent, 4.7 per cent, and 5.3 in second, third and the fourth quarter, said the RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das in his statement post the Monetary Policy Committee's bi-monthly meeting.

He said that the favourable base effects that brought about the moderation in headline inflation by 1.2 percentage points in April, may persist through the first half of the year, conditioned by the progress of the monsoon and effective supply side interventions by the government.

"Upside risks to inflation emanate from persistence of the second wave and consequent restrictions on activity on a virtually pan-India basis," Das said.

He was of the view that in such a scenario, insulating prices of essential food items from supply side disruptions will necessitate active monitoring and preparedness for coordinated, calibrated and timely measures by both Centre and states to prevent emergence of supply chain bottlenecks and increase in retail margins.

The apex bank has lowered its growth projection for the current financial year to 9.5 per cent from the previous estimate of 10.5 per cent.

Amid the severe second wave of Covid-19 and the lockdowns across states, the RBI has sharply reduced the growth estimate for the April-June quarter to 18.5 per cent. The previous estimate for the period was 26.2 per cent.

The central bank has retained its key short-term lending rates along with the growth-oriented accommodative stance during the second monetary policy review of FY22 on Friday.

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the central bank voted to maintain the repo rate, or short-term lending rate, for commercial banks at 4 per cent.
 

ians

Fri, 04 Jun 2021 13:09:40 +0530
Over 2mn people in Somalia face food crisis UN

United Nations, June 4

 Drought and a rain deficit is pushing more than 2.73 million people in Somalia towards the crisis level of acute food insecurity, Uthe UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.

The annual rains of early spring came late in some parts of the country and were mainly below average, Xinhua news agency quoted an OCHA report published on Thursday as saying.

Subsiding in mid-May, the critical Gu crop planting season was significantly affected.

"Approximately 2.73 million to 2.83 million people across Somalia are expected to face crisis or worse outcomes between April and September 2021, reflecting the deteriorating food security situation in the country," the Office said.

The Somalian government, in consultation with the UN, on April 25 declared a drought.

Moderate to severe drought conditions affected more than 80 per cent of the country.

A few days later, rains started, but only in parts of the country, triggering riverine and flash flooding that affected 400,000 people, of whom 101,300 were displaced, OCHA said.

Humanitarian organisations continue to respond in locations with the highest needs, including distributing water and critical sanitation and hygiene material, non-food items, cash and food supplies, the Office said.

The double climate disaster is in the context of decades of conflict and insecurity in Somalia.

A serious gap in relief funding remains for the humanitarian operation in the country, OCHA said.

The 2021 Somalia Humanitarian Response Plan requires $1.09 billion to assist 4 million people but is currently only 20 per cent funded.
 

ians

Fri, 04 Jun 2021 13:06:07 +0530
World Bank IMF urge action on Covid vax access

Washington, June 4

 The World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have called on countries anticipating excess Covid-19 vaccine supplies in the coming months to release their surplus doses as soon as possible to developing nations.

"The coronavirus pandemic will not end until everyone has access to vaccines, including people in developing countries," World Bank Group President David Malpass and IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said in a joint statement to the G7 industrialised countries on Thursday.

"Worldwide access to vaccines offers the best hope for stopping the coronavirus pandemic, saving lives, and securing a broad-based economic recovery," Xinhua news agency quoted quosted the statement as saying.

They noted that together with the World Health Organization (WHO) and World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Bank Group and IMF have urged international support for $50 billion of financing aimed at achieving more equitable access to vaccines and thus helping to end the pandemic everywhere.

"We are urging developing countries to move quickly to put in place vaccine procurement and distribution plans and communication efforts to convey the life-saving importance of approved Covid-19 vaccinations," the two heads continued.

They also urged vaccine manufacturers to prioritise the scale up of vaccine production, providing increased access for developing countries, adding that their multilateral organisations will work actively to encourage and support greater access.

"Distributing vaccines more widely is both an urgent economic necessity, and a moral imperative."

According to IMF estimates, a faster vaccination rollout could inject the equivalent of $9 trillion into the global economy by 2025, due to a faster resumption of economic activity.
 

ians

Fri, 04 Jun 2021 13:02:37 +0530
UP Seers body to launch campaign against riverside burials

Prayagraj, June 4

 The seers in Uttar Pradesh's Prayagraj have decided to launch an awareness campaign against burial of bodies along the river banks.

The campaign will be launched by the Akhil Bhartiya Akhara Parishad (ABAP), the apex body of saints.

ABAP president Mahant Narendra Giri said, "The seers will travel across the length and breadth of the country, preaching to rural folk as well as poorly educated residents of cities, located on the banks of prominent rivers of the country, against burying their dead along the riverbanks. They will also motivate them to instead go for cremations using eco-friendly electric crematoriums."

He further said, "We want to involve around 2.5 lakh seers who are members of the 13 akhara's that forms ABAP and are spread across different parts of the country, in this nationwide mission which will protect not only river Ganga but all the sacred rivers of the nation from pollution, especially in light of the recent incidences where dead bodies were found floating in the rivers or the same was buried beside the banks of the river."

The ABAP aims to bring down the burials by one third within a year and further cut it down to half in another six months.

ABAP plans to rope in seers and local religious leaders, who are revered and respected by locals, and these seers would preach and convince locals residing in cities and villages located along the rivers like Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Narmada and Kaveri, among others, to cremate their dead using electric crematoriums. This would not only protect these rivers but also save countless trees that are chopped to provide wood for traditional wooden pyre cremations.

ABAP General Secretary, Mahant Hari Giri, who is also chief patron of the Shri Panchdashnaam Juna Akhada, said, "Burying the dead on river banks should be stopped as this results in polluting our scared rivers as when the sand gets displaced with time due to water current or strong winds and these bodies get exposed or drift into the river".

He suggested that even as saints strive to convince people to stop burying dead bodies on the river banks, efforts need to be also made to provide some land near villages to enable Hindus to bury their dead bodies as this too would help is stopping the practice of using riverbanks for this purpose.

The practice of burying dead bodies on riverbanks is an old tradition among many communities and sects of Hindus.

ABAP president Mahant Narendra Giri said that in cases of death owing to some specific reasons like snakebites or certain skin ailments and dead bodies of children are often immersed in the rivers.

"However, the threat of pollution due to these burials on river banks and immersion of bodies in rivers like the Ganga and Yamuna cannot be denied," he said.

ians
 

Fri, 04 Jun 2021 12:56:52 +0530
Rs 20K cr Covid package for Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram, June 4

 Kerala Finance Minister K.N. Balagopal on Friday announced a Rs 20,000-crore-Covid package for the state that has seen nearly 26 lakh cases and over 9,200 deaths so far.

He said vaccines to all above 18 years would be given free and for that Rs 1,000 crore have been set aside in the package.

In his first budget speech, the 57-year-old Balagopal also said: "It would include Rs 2,800 crore for emergency Covid situation; Rs 8,900 crore for those who have had serious issues with their livelihoods; Rs 8,300 crore will be used for providing interest subsidies."

This is the second Covid package that has been announced by the Pinarayi Vijayan government, the first came in March last year which was also to the tune of Rs 20,000 crores.

Balagopal just before leaving his residence with the budget papers in his hands had said his budget would emphasize on tackling the pandemic.

"Covid pandemic has taken a heavy toll of the economy and we have decided to consider health of prime importance," said Balagopal in his speech in the assembly.

Taking a dig of the Centre's vaccine policy, he said the export of vaccines was not done in a professional way.

Rs 635 crore has been set aside to strengthen the health centres across the state besides new blocks will be build in Medical Colleges.

Rs 50 lakh has been set aside to start the preliminary studies for setting up a centre here similar to the US-based Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Balagopal said.

The first case of Covid in the country was identified in Thrissur in the state in January 2020 and presently there are around 1.92 lakhs active cases and the daily test positivity rate for the past three days has been hovering around 15 per cent.

A post graduate in Commerce and a Masters in Law, Balagopal, is a first time legislator.
 

ians

Fri, 04 Jun 2021 12:52:11 +0530
Suicide pact couple of UP out of danger

Jhansi (Uttar Pradesh), June 4

A 20-year-old youth and 15-year-old girl, who had consumed poison in an apparent suicide pact, are now out of danger.

The couple, both from Mahoba, had consumed poison in Lalitpur district, late on Wednesday night when they were being taken back to their families by the police.

The two had been staying in Lalitpur with an acquaintance after running away from their homes.

The couple was rushed to the community health centre (CHC) Talbeth, from where they were referred to Jhansi Medical College where their condition is said to be stable.

The youth, identified as Santosh, had eloped with a minor girl from Charkhari area of Mahoba district a few days ago. They were planning to marry each other.

The parents of the girl had lodged a report of abduction, after which the Mahoba police started a hunt for the girl. They put the mobile of the girl on surveillance and found its location in Lalitpur district.

A team of Mahoba police went to the village on Wednesday and apprehended both of them.

While returning, as the police vehicle carrying them reached Talbeth, the couple somehow managed to consume the poison they were carrying with them. As they started losing consciousness, police got alerted and took them to the nearby CHC, from where they were referred to Jhansi Medical College.

SP Lalitpur Pramod Kumar said they did not know about the presence of Mahoba police that took the couple without informing their counterparts in Lalitpur.

Chief medical superintendent (CMS) of Jhansi Medical College, Dr Harish Chandra Arya said that the boy and the girl had consumed rat poison.

"They are out of danger and will be discharged in a day or two," he added.
 

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Fri, 04 Jun 2021 12:46:54 +0530
3 arrested in Bihar for gang rape murder of Muzaffarpur girl

Patna, June 4

 Police in Muzaffarpur have arrested three liquor mafias accused of kidnapping a young girl from a Bihar village, gang raping her and then mutilating the body before dumping it in river.

The incident appeared in Madhepur village under Maniyara police station on Sunday when the girl along with her mother went to a nearby chemist shop to purchase medicines.

As per the statement of the victim's mother, three persons arrived on a motor bike and kidnapped her at gunpoint.

"We informed the police immediately but they were unable to trace my daughter.

"The next morning, we were informed by the police that a mutilated body was recovered on the bank of Kadane river near Kudhni village," the victim's mother said.

"We immediately rushed to the spot and identified her from the clothes," she said.

"The postmortem confirmed rape. As per the identification of the accused, we raided several places and finally arrested them on the intervening night of Thursday-Friday," said Ravi Kumar Rai, an investigating officer of the case.

"Two out of three have criminal backgrounds. They were also involved in illegal liquor trade in Muzaffarpur," he said.
 

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Fri, 04 Jun 2021 12:40:49 +0530
Indonesia s Merapi volcano erupts 4 times

Jakarta, June 4

 Indonesia's most active volcano Merapi erupted four times with lava flowing as far as 1,500 metres from the crater, according to the Geological Disaster Technology Research and Development Centre.

"In six hours, Merapi also experienced 43 avalanche earthquakes for 10 to 141 seconds and five gust earthquakes for 11 to 27 seconds," the center's Head Hanik Humaida said on Thursday evening.

The mountain situated on the border between Yogyakarta and Central Java provinces was still belching thick white smokes as high as 50 meters above its peak, added Humaida.

Authorities urged people not to be in the danger zone within a 3-km radius of the peak and to avoid rivers originating from Merapi, such as Kuning, Boyong, Bedog, Krasak, Bebeng, and Putih rivers.

The volcano's 2010 eruption killed more than 200 people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes.

Indonesia has 127 active volcanoes and about 5 million people within the danger zones.

ians
 

Fri, 04 Jun 2021 09:03:30 +0530
Go First transports 63 oxygen concentrators to Delhi

New Delhi, June 4

Low-cost carrier Go First, formerly known as GoAir, has ferried 63 oxygen concentrators to Delhi from Mumbai to be distributed across the state.

According to the airline, these concentrators have been provided by IPL franchise 'Punjab Kings', which has tied up with 'Round Table India' for distributing oxygen concentrators to patients with mild to moderate symptoms.

"These concentrators are given free of charge to the patients and after use, they are properly sterilised or sanitised and given to other patients," the airline said in a statement.

"By using the concentrators, patients do not have to depend on oxygen cylinders or go to hospitals for oxygen beds. This means that cylinders and hospital beds can be used for patients with severe Covid symptoms," it added.

Last month, the airline had ferried oxygen concentrators to Patna, in collaboration with the Rotary Club of Ahmedabad.

Recently, the company announced its drive to vaccinate all its employees and bear the cost for the same.

ians
 

Fri, 04 Jun 2021 08:57:25 +0530
Katie Price undergoing treatment to make derriere smaller

Los Angeles, June 4

Former glamour model and singer Katie Price has shared that she is undergoing fat dissolving treatment to make her derriere smaller.

Price shared the news in a YouTube video that she had undergone two colonic irrigations before beginning her fat-dissolving treatment, reports femalefirt.co.uk.

"We've been put under the test today. Literally, top-to-toe is good," she said, adding that she could "actually feel a difference".

"A few more treatments and that'll be good, won't it?" added the mother-of-five.

The model, once by her pseudonym Jordan, is also a singer and author. She launched her album, "A Whole New World" with Peter Andre in 2006 and had a stint on reality TV. She has written 11 bestseller novels, six autobiographical books, two series of children's books, and a book on fashion.

ians

Fri, 04 Jun 2021 08:49:11 +0530
10 man India go down 0 1 to Asian champs Qatar

Doha, June 4

A dominant Qatar beat a 10-man India 1-0 in a FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 preliminary Round 2 qualification match here on Thursday.

Qatar led 1-0 at half-time, Abdel Aziz Hatim making the difference between the two sides, slotting in a 34th minute winner at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium.

The win took Qatar to 19 points, seven ahead of Oman who have two matches in hand and will face Felix Sanchez's side on Monday. India stay on three points from six matches.

Bangladesh and Afghanistan shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw in the other Group E tie on Thursday.

India's other qualification matches are against Bangladesh on June 7 and Afghanistan on June 15. India are bidding to qualify for the 2023 Asian Cup, though they are out of contention for next year's World Cup.

While Qatar are ranked 58th, India are 105th.

The last time the two teams met, in September 2019, India had held the Asian champions to a goalless draw.

Qatar played it amongst themselves right from the kick-off in their effort to find spaces through the Indian midfield.

The Blue Tigers did sniff a counter in the seventh minute when Manvir Singh latched on to a loose ball and laid it off for Bipin Singh on the left flank. But the latter's cross found no one.

The first yellow card of the evening was flashed to Rahul Bheke on the eighth minute for a tackle on rival captain Hassal Al Haydos. Ten minutes later, the impact was larger -- Bheke was given marching orders after receiving his second yellow card of the match for a handball offence. The resultant vicious curler from Haydos was punched away by Gurpreet.

With India down to 10 men, Qatar's domination increased. However, India had their first real chance in the 29th minute when Ashique Kuruniyan managed to slip past his marker and essayed it behind the defensive line for an onrushing Manvir. But the striker's touch let him down from what was a clear chance.

Five minutes later, Qatar surged into the lead. Abdelkarim found Almoez Ali inside the box, who turned and laid it off for Abdel Aziz. The jungle of legs didn't allow the latter to have a clear shot on goal, but he being allowed the luxury of that that extra split second, Abdel Aziz managed to send it past Gurpreet.

However, Gurpreet had a good match. His physical presence, those big hands, reflexes and attitude as he fisted, punched, and even used his legs to maximum effect to thwart Qatar.

In the 68th minute, Lalengmawia 'Apuia' Ralte replaced debutant Glan Martins, and then in the 75th minute Akash Misra came in for Bipin Singh.

Coach Stimac introduced a double substitution in the 84th minute, Abdul Sahal coming in for Ashique and Liston Colaco replacing Suresh.

Qatar had their best chance of the second half with about four minutes of regulation time left on the clock, when substitute Abdullah Alahraq rifled a long-ranger onto the near post. However, the ball ricocheted and went out of play.

Sandesh Jhingan made a one last effort to launch a counter for India in injury time as he charged down the pitch and tried to play Manvir through on goal. But it was futile.

ians

Fri, 04 Jun 2021 08:43:42 +0530
Global Covid 19 caseload tops 172mn

Washington, June 4

The overall global Covid-19 caseload has topped 172 million, while the deaths have surged to more than 3.69 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

In its latest update on Friday morning, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed that the current global caseload and death toll stood at 172,005,004 and 3,698,128, respectively.

The US continues to be the worst-hit country with the world's highest number of cases and deaths at 33,325,514 and 596,395, respectively, according to the CSSE.

In terms of infections, India follows in the second place with 28,441,986 cases.

The other worst countries with over 3 million cases are Brazil (16,803,472), France (5,755,554), Turkey (5,270,299), Russia (5,040,390), the UK (4,515,778), Italy (4,225,163), Argentina (3,884,447), Germany (3,701,692), Spain (3,687,762) and Colombia (3,488,046), the CSSE figures showed.

In terms of deaths, Brazil comes second with 469,388 fatalities.

Nations with a death toll of over 100,000 are India (337,989), Mexico (228,146), the UK (128,075), Italy (126,342), Russia (120,604) and France (109,990).

ians
 

Fri, 04 Jun 2021 08:31:52 +0530
Jagan launches construction of 15L lakh houses

Amaravati, June 3 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Thursday virtually launched the construction works for his ambitious social welfare housing project, YSR Jagananna Colonies.

In the first phase, which was launched on Thursday, construction of 15,60,227 houses will be taking place at a cost of Rs 28,084 crore.

Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said that 30.76 lakh house sites were distributed for the homeless poor, something which no state government has attempted so far.

Referring to the 2011 Census, the Chief Minister said that of the state's total population of 4.95 crore, almost 1.24 lakh people will be having their own house.

Each house is being constructed in a 340 square feet area, complete with a bedroom, hall, kitchen, bathroom and porch. Every house will also be provided with two fans, two tube lights, four bulbs and a water tank.

To monitor the process, the Chief Minister has designated a joint collector in each district, apart from the the existing joint collectors.

The construction of houses will take place in a phased manner, with a total of 28,30,227 houses to be constructed at a cost of Rs 50,944 crore.

In Phase 1, 15.60 lakh houses are to be constructed by June 2022, while 12.70 lakh houses will be constructed by 2023 as part of Phase 2.

ians
 

Thu, 03 Jun 2021 23:44:47 +0530
No foul play in 18 wild elephants death in Assam says probe panel

Guwahati, June 3

Dispelling all speculations, an Assam government probe report, released on Thursday, said that the 18 wild elephants, found dead in Nagaon district on May 12, were killed after being struck by a "massive lightning bolt".

Releasing the 10-member probe committee report, state Environment and Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya said that 18 elephants' death due to lightning has been established with clinching evidence.

"The exhaustive report incorporating post mortem and reports from concerned agencies have proved beyond doubt that lightning caused the death of a herd of elephants," he told the media.

The expert group report said: "The autopsy report suggests that as per in situ spot evidence, the death of the elephants in the herd may not be attributed to any infectious pathological agent or any toxin or poison."

Incorporating reports of various organisations including the North Eastern Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, meteorological data obtained from the North East Satellite Application Centre at Meghalaya's Umiam and other evidences gathered and statement of the fringe communities recorded during the investigation, a detailed report on the elephant deaths was submitted on Thursday to Chief Wildlife Warden M.K. Yadava.

"The investigation report suggests that there does not appear to be any foul play such as conscious attempt of electrocution, revenge killing, poisoning, anthrax outbreak etc. Hence it can be deduced from the evidence available, which point to the cause of death of the 18 elephants by accidental electrocution due to lightning," the report said.

The probe committee was constituted by Assams Wildlife Department to ascertain the actual cause of the death of 18 wild elephants including calves on May 12 night in the mountainous Kandali Proposed Reserve Forest (PRF) in Nagaon district.

Many organisations, experts and environmentalists had earlier termed the death of 18 wild elephants as very "mysterious" and demanded thorough probes by independent agencies and experts.

According to the local people and the forest officials, the carcasses of the elephants were found scattered at different places in the deep forest area.

Yadava said that cases are often reported of lightning striking animals and five elephants had died due to this in West Bengal recently, but the May 12 incident in Nagaon is huge and terrible.

According to the latest census, India is home to 27,312 elephants and of them, Assam is home to an estimated 5,719, many of whom constantly come out of the forests in search of food.

ians
 

Thu, 03 Jun 2021 23:31:00 +0530
Money Heist Part 5 First official images released

New Delhi, June 3

 The first images of the much-hyped finale of "Money Heist" (originally titled "La Casa de Papel") were released on Thursday.

The Spanish heist thriller series started in 2017, and has so far two seasons of two parts each. The upcoming part five will mark the finale of the show.

The Alex Pina series tells the story about a criminal mastermind who goes by the name of The Professor, who plans the biggest heist in history -- to print billions of euros in the Royal Mint of Spain. Helping him in his ambitious plan are a group of specialists who go by names of cities. The group takes hostages to help them in negotiations with authorities are gunning to nab The Professor.

The first images of the finale promise heavy-duty action as The Gang must bring out its toughest side to survive, fuelled by anguish, more weapons and the desperation of not having a plan. As the finale of the Netflix series unfolds.

ians

Thu, 03 Jun 2021 23:20:18 +0530
DoT invites applications for telecom equipment PLI from June 4

New Delhi, June 3

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) on Thursday invited applications for the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for telecom and networking equipment from June 4.

DoT announced the operational guidelines for the scheme and said that the application window will be open up to July 3.

As per the government, the scheme envisages to create global champions out of India who have the potential to grow in size and scale using cutting edge technology and thereby, penetrate the global value chains. Telecom products play an important role in the larger vision of "Digital India", said an official statement.

The PLI scheme will be implemented within the overall financial limits of Rs 12,195 crore only for implementation of the scheme over a period of five years.

The DoT statement said that for MSME category, the financial allocation will be Rs 1,000 crore.

Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has been appointed as the Project Management Agency for the PLI scheme.

The scheme will be effective from April 1, 2021. Investment made by successful applicants in India from April 1 onwards and up to Financial Year (FY) 2024-2025 shall be eligible, subject to qualifying incremental annual thresholds. The support under the scheme shall be provided for a period of five years, from FY 2021-22 to FY 2025-26.

The scheme is open to both MSME and non-MSME companies, including domestic and global companies. Also, manufacturers with products with Indian technology are encouraged to apply, it said.

Applicants will have to satisfy the minimum revenue criteria to be eligible under the scheme. The company may decide to invest in single or multiple eligible products.

The scheme stipulates a minimum investment threshold of Rs 10 crore for MSME and Rs 100 crore for non-MSME applicants. Land and building cost will not be counted as investment. Eligibility shall be further subject to incremental sales of manufactured goods (covered under scheme target segments) over the base year (FY2019-20).

The Department of Telecommunications shall grant approvals to 10 eligible applications each in MSME and non-MSME categories. Out of the 10 applications in non-MSME category, at least three applicants will be eligible domestic companies.

The applications will be shortlisted from highest to lowest on the basis of committed cumulative incremental investment during the scheme period.

It is estimated that full utilisation of the scheme funds is likely to lead to incremental production of around Rs 2.4 lakh crore with exports of around Rs 2 lakh crore over five years. It is also expected that the scheme will bring investment of around Rs 3,000 crore and generate huge direct and indirect employment.

ians
 

Thu, 03 Jun 2021 23:12:30 +0530
Amateur investigators claim to break Wuhan lab secrets

New Delhi, June 3

As the entire world scramble to find answers to the origin of the lethal Covid virus, a group of amateur sleuths called 'DRASTIC', with few resources, has claimed to reveal the dark secrets of the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), the media reported on Wednesday.

DRASTIC stands for "decentralised radical autonomous search team investigating Covid-19" and it has set itself the mission of exploring the origins of SARS-CoV-2.

"Thanks to DRASTIC, we now know that the WIV had an extensive collection of coronaviruses gathered over many years of foraging in the bat caves and that many of them -- including the closest-known relative to the pandemic virus, SARS-CoV-2 -- came from a mineshaft where three men died from a suspected SARS-like disease in 2012," Newsweek reported.

"We know that the WIV was actively working with these viruses, using inadequate safety protocols, in ways that could have triggered the pandemic and that the lab and Chinese authorities have gone to great lengths to conceal these activities," the report added.

According to the report, the first cases appeared weeks before the outbreak at the Huanan wet market that was once thought to be ground zero.

None of this proves that the pandemic started in the Wuhan lab. But the evidence assembled by DRASTIC amounts to what prosecutors call probable cause -- a strong, evidence-based case for a full investigation.

It is not clear that the best efforts of the US and other nations to investigate the lab-leak hypothesis will ever turn up unequivocal evidence one way or another, at least without the full cooperation of China, which is unlikely, the report said.

Meanwhile, the former head of the US Food and Drug Administration recently said that there is less evidence now to show that the novel coronavirus developed naturally -- jumping from an animal to humans, strengthening the argument for Covid-19 originating in a lab.

"The side of the ledger that suggests that this could have come out of a lab has continued to expand, and the side of the ledger that suggests this has come from of a zoonotic source, come out of nature, really hasn't budged, and if anything, you can argue that that side of the ledger has contracted," the New York Post quoted Scott Gottlieb as saying on CBS' "Face the Nation".

Last year, then US President Donald Trump had hit out at China for not stopping the Covid-19 pandemic and used the term "China virus" and urged his supporters not to call it coronavirus, saying the name sounds like a "beautiful place" in Italy.

However, the comment attracted a lot of criticism against Trump.

ians
 

Thu, 03 Jun 2021 23:04:04 +0530
Punjabi man held for murdering wife in Canada

Toronto, June 3

A 64-year-old Punjabi man has been arrested for the alleged murder of his wife in Brampton city in the Toronto suburbs.

Jarnail Randhawa (64) has been arrested for the murder of his wife Dalbir Randhawa, who was also 64 years old. He will be charged with second degree murder, the police said.

The murder took place on Wednesday and it came to light after the police received a call that said an unconscious female was lying on a city trail.

Upon reaching the scene, the police found the woman – later identified as Dalbir Randhawa – suffering from signs of trauma. Paramedics attempted to revive her, but she succumbed to her injuries on the spot.

After investigation, the police found her husband Jarnail Randhawa to be the main suspect and arrested him.

Brampton is home to the largest concentration of Punjabi community in Canada. In fact, Indo-Canadians make up about a quarter of the city's population of almost 700,000.

ians
 

Thu, 03 Jun 2021 22:27:08 +0530
NITI Aayog submits privatisation list Bank of Maha Central Bank top candidates

New Delhi, June 3

NITI Aayog has submitted the names of two public sector banks (PSBs) and one public sector general insurer, which can be sold off under the government's new privatisation policy, to the Core Group of Secretaries on Disinvestment.

Sources said that the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM), and the Department of Financial Services (DFS) will examine the names suggested by NITI Aayog and finalise the list of possible candidates in the financial sector for privatisation this year.

People in the know also said that Bank of Maharashtra and Central Bank are the top two candidates that has been favoured for privatisation, though the Indian Overseas Bank has also found favour for the exercise either this year or possibly later.

Further, according to sources, United India Insurance may be chosen candidate for privatisation among the three general insurers, given its relative better solvency ratio. However, financial sector experts also contend that Oriental Insurance, with the least solvency ratio among the three, may be favoured as it does not have overseas operations and inviting a private investor may be easier for it.

The government had earlier indicated that banks under prompt corrective action (PCA) framework or weaker banks would be kept out of privatisation as it would be difficult to find buyers for them. This would have left three PSBs - Indian Overseas Bank, Central Bank and UCO Bank out of the government's disinvestment plan.

But they could be brought out of PCA as there are visible signs of improvement in some of the key parameters such as profitability and asset quality (in net NPA terms as they have stepped up provisioning) in the last 3-4 quarters. This could allow them to be considered for privatisation.

Besides, both Bank of Maharastra and Central Bank are west focused banks where public sector bank presence is already stronger, allowing for more private sector entry.

Also, it was decided that PSBs part of consolidation exercise should also not be considered for privatisation now. This leaves out five large PSBs - Bank of Baroda, Punjab National Bank, Canara Bank, United Bank of India and Indian Bank along with other PSBs that merged with them under the consolidation exercise. Also, State Bank of India is not being privatised.

This leaves the room open for only six banks - UCO, IOB, Central Bank, Bank of Maharastra, Punjab and Sind Bank, and Bank of India for privatisation. The selection was from among this list.

The government has infused Rs 5,500 capital in the Punjab and Sind Bank. This would make it wait for at least couple of years before considering privatisation. Bank of India is a very large bank that also could create problems in finding a buyer at this time. With UCO Bank, the government may like to have some presence of a state-run bank on the eastern part of the country. So, the candidates have to be from the remaining three banks.

In this year's budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that two state-run banks along with IDBI Bank would be privatised in FY22. She also said that one general insurance company would be sold off in the current fiscal.

Going ahead with the privatisation process of IDBI Bank on May 5, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) gave its in-principle approval for strategic disinvestment along with transfer of management control in the PSB.

The extent of respective shareholding to be divested by the GoI and LIC, shall be decided at the time of structuring of transaction in consultation with the RBI.

The Finance Minister, while delivering the budget speech on February 1, announced a capital infusion of Rs 20,000 crore in state-owned banks for the financial year 2021-2022.

Prior to the privatisation process, the government also undertook merger of the state-run banks, amalgamating weaker banks with the stronger and larger ones. A total of 10 public sector banks were merged with effect from April 1, 2020.

With the merger coming into effect, India currently has 12 public sector banks, down from 27 in 2017.

The government has budgeted Rs 1.75 lakh crore from stake sale in public sector companies and financial institutions. The target, however, may turn out to be ambitious given the global and domestic economic scenario amid the second wave of Covid-19.

ians

Thu, 03 Jun 2021 22:20:40 +0530
Rakul Preet Singh can t wait to get back on set

Mumbai, June 3

Actress Rakul Preet Singh took to social media on Thursday to express that she misses being on film sets, at a time when shooting is mostly stopped owing to the ongoing second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Rakul shared a throwback photograph on Instagram where she flaunts her beautiful hair with a smile on her face.

"Can't wait to get back on set and enjoy good hair day, everyday @im__sal @aliyashaik28 #throwback to normal times," the actress wrote on Instagram tagging her makeup artist and hairstylist.

Rakul recently took to social media to talk about pandemic-related stress, anxiety and offered a solution to people battling these problems.

Sharing a photograph of herself performing Yog Nidra, the actress had written: "No! I am not sleeping off. This is how I relax post workout, with a session of Yog Nidra, as suggested by my wellness expert @munmun.ganeriwal .If the pandemic anxiety is making you sleepless, stressed or if you are recovering post COVID, she suggests giving Yog nidra a shot. And I cannot agree more! #everydaypostworkout."

On the work front, Rakul's latest release is the digital film "Sardar Ka Grandson" co-starring Arjun Kapoor and Neena Gupta.

ians

Thu, 03 Jun 2021 22:02:16 +0530
Explained How oxygen levels decline in Covid 19 patients

Toronto, June 3

SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing Covid-19, infects immature red blood cells (RBC), reducing oxygen in the blood and impairing the immune response, say researchers.

The study, published in the journal Stem Cell Reports, sheds light on why many Covid-19 patients, even those not in hospital, are suffering from hypoxia -- a potentially dangerous condition in which there is decreased oxygenation in the body's tissues. The study also shows why anti-inflammatory drug dexamethasone has been an effective treatment for those with the virus.

"Low blood-oxygen levels have been a significant problem in Covid-19 patients," said study lead Shokrollah Elahi, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at University of Alberta, Canada.

"Because of that, we thought one potential mechanism might be that Covid-19 impacts red blood cell production," Elahi added.

Elahi's team was the first in the world to demonstrate that immature RBCs expressed the receptor ACE2 and a co-receptor, TMPRSS2, which allowed SARS-CoV-2 to infect them.

For the study, the team examined the blood of 128 patients with Covid-19. The patients included those who were critically ill and admitted to the ICU, those who had moderate symptoms and were admitted to hospital, and those who had a mild version of the disease and only spent a few hours in hospital.

The researchers found that, as the disease became more severe, more immature RBCs flooded into blood circulation, sometimes making up as much as 60 per cent of the total cells in the blood. By comparison, immature RBCs make up less than one per cent, or none at all, in a healthy individual's blood.

Further, the team also found the dexamethasone drug suppresses the response of the ACE2 and TMPRSS2 receptors to SARS-CoV-2 in immature RBCs, reducing the opportunities for infection. The drug also increases the rate at which the immature RBCs mature, helping the cells shed their nuclei faster. Without the nuclei, the virus has nowhere to replicate, the researchers said.

ians

Thu, 03 Jun 2021 21:48:20 +0530
SEBI raise overseas investment limit for MFs to 1 bn

Mumbai, June 3

 Mutual funds can now make overseas investments of up to $1 billion within the overall industry limit of $7 billion.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on Thursday raised the investment limit to $1 billion per mutual fund.

In a circular, the capital market regulator said that the decision has been taken post representations from the mutual fund industry.

The SEBI also decided that "mutual funds can make investments in overseas Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) subject to a maximum of $300 million per mutual fund, within the overall industry limit of $1 billion".

In respect of investment limits to be disclosed in the scheme documents at the time of NFO, and the investment limits on ongoing schemes, such limits would henceforth be soft limits for the purpose of reporting only by mutual funds on monthly basis in the format prescribed through SEBI circular dated November 5, 2020, the circular said.

The circular has come into force with immediate effect.

ians
 

 

Thu, 03 Jun 2021 21:38:15 +0530
NASA to study lost habitable world of Venus

Washington, June 3

NASA has selected two new missions to study Venus to understand how Earths nearest planetary neighbour became an inferno-like world when it may have been the first habitable world in the solar system, complete with an ocean and Earth-like climate.

The two missions were selected, based on their potential scientific value and the feasibility of their development plans, from four mission concepts that NASA picked in February 2020 as part of the agency's Discovery 2019 competition.

The project teams will now work to finalise their requirements, designs, and development plans. NASA is awarding approximately $500 million per mission for development. Each is expected to launch in the 2028-2030 timeframe.

The first mission DAVINCI+ (Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry, and Imaging) will measure the composition of Venus' atmosphere to understand how it formed and evolved, as well as determine whether the planet ever had an ocean.

The mission consists of a descent sphere that will plunge through the planet's thick atmosphere, making precise measurements of noble gases and other elements to understand why Venus' atmosphere is a runaway hot house compared to the Earth's.

In addition, DAVINCI+ will return the first high resolution pictures of the unique geological features on Venus known as "tesserae," which may be comparable to Earth's continents, suggesting that Venus has plate tectonics.

This would be the first US-led mission to Venus' atmosphere since 1978, and the results could reshape our understanding of terrestrial planet formation in our solar system and beyond.

James Garvin of Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, is the principal investigator.

The second mission VERITAS (Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography, and Spectroscopy) will map Venus' surface to determine the planet's geologic history and understand why it developed so differently than Earth.

Orbiting Venus with a synthetic aperture radar, VERITAS will chart surface elevations over nearly the entire planet to create 3D reconstructions of topography and confirm whether processes such as plate tectonics and volcanism are still active on Venus.

VERITAS will also map infrared emissions from Venus' surface to map its rock type, which is largely unknown, and determine whether active volcanoes are releasing water vapour into the atmosphere.

Suzanne Smrekar of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California is the principal investigator.

In addition to the two missions, NASA selected a pair of technology demonstrations to fly along with them. VERITAS will host the Deep Space Atomic Clock-2, built by JPL and funded by NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate, while DAVINCI+ will host the Compact Ultraviolet to Visible Imaging Spectrometer (CUVIS) built by Goddard, the agency said.

ians
 

Thu, 03 Jun 2021 14:02:51 +0530
Serena happy her first serves are coming good

Paris, June 3

American tennis star Serena Williams was extremely satisfied with her first serve after overcoming former top-20 player, Romania's Mihaela Buzarnescu, 6-3, 5-7, 6-1 in the French Open second round late on Wednesday evening.

Serena, winner of three French Open titles with the last coming in 2015, won 75 per cent of the points on her first serve and said afterwards, "I felt it was pretty good today. I've been practicing my serve a lot. I've been playing in practice unbelievable on my serve. The other night (first-round match against Romania's Irina Begu) was, wow. I'm glad it came better today.

"My coach told me it's good that I'm doing it well in practice because eventually it will be good in the match. I had some really good chances in the second set to win that if I would have won just one point here or there, like four or five times. It would have been a different second set," Serena told wtatennis.com.

On a day when both players looked evenly-matched, Serena had 26 winners to 27 unforced errors, while opponent Mihaela notched up 25 winners to 28 unforced. What caused the Romanian's downfall was the seven double faults she committed and her inability to smash a few aces.
Serena served five aces and two double faults.

"It was like a dream for a long time to play against her, because since I was young I was following her and her sister," said Mihaela, who entered the French Open on a protected ranking despite being ranked 174th in the world.

"It was always like, let's say, like a goal to play against such a legend. I just think that I had a good match today. It's always tough to play against a player as her with such a tough serve and very powerful shots. I was really a bit disappointed at the end of the match. I couldn't finish some of the points that could have given me more chances in the final set."

ians
 

Thu, 03 Jun 2021 13:55:50 +0530
Nifty record run continues Sensex cross 52K

 

Mumbai, June 3

The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange continued to hit new highs and touched a fresh record high of 15,693.15 points on Thursday morning.

The Indian stock market traded in tandem with its Asian peers.

Around 10.30 a.m., Nifty was trading at 15,655.10, higher by 78.90 points or 0.51 per cent from its previous close of 15,576.20.

Manish Hathiramani, technical analyst with Deen Dayal Investments said: "The Index has opened in fine form this morning. We should be targeting the level range of 15,900-16,000. The overall trend is positive and hence any intra-day correction should be positively utilised to enter into long positions."

"A good support lies at 15,300 and as long as we can hold that, there is no concern on the downside of the Nifty," he added.

The BSE Sensex was trading at 52,120.90, higher by 271.42 points or 0.52 per cent from its previous close of 51,849.48.

It opened at 52,121.58 and has so far touched an intra-day high of 52,240.61 and a low of 52,087.60 points.

The top gainers on the Sensex were Titan Company, Kotak Mahindra and ONGC, while the major losers were Bajaj Auto, IndusInd Bank and State Bank of India.

ians

Thu, 03 Jun 2021 13:45:32 +0530
Eufy by Anker launches smart robotic vaccum cleaner G30 in India

New Delhi, June 3

US-based Eufy by Anker on Thursday expanded its robotic vacuum cleaner line-up with Robovac G30 Hybrid in India.

The G30 Hybrid brings together vacuuming and wet mopping capabilities in one modestly designed robot.

With smart navigation, app control and Amazon Alexa/Google Assistant voice-command support, the robotic cleaner is available for Rs 23,999 on Amazon India, the company said in a statement.

"Amid rising Covid cases and lockdowns, using floor-cleaning robots to reduce human intervention yet maintain hygiene is a wise choice. Robovac G30 Hybrid is a modern wonder with incredible features a 2-in-1 sweep and wet mopping options to make your daily life much easier than beforem," said Gopal Jeyaraj, Country Head and SAARC, Anker Innovations.

The robotic cleaner sets the ‘Boundary Strips' that allow the user, to exclude the areas to clean.

The device uses specialised dual-Hall Sensors to detect the Boundary Strips you set, ensuring it only cleans the areas required.

Robovac G30 runs on the second-generation of ‘BoostIQ', which automatically optimizes 2000pa suction power according to the type of floor it's cleaning or how much dirt it detects, the company said.

With both vacuuming and mopping capabilities, RoboVac G30 Hybrid, G30 also includes disposable and reusable mop cloths for complete cleaning freedom.

G30 supports multiple cleaning modes and auto-clean scheduling that ensures an effortless flow, which can be tracked via ‘Eufy Home App' with a complete control history.

ians

Thu, 03 Jun 2021 13:30:37 +0530
Over 100 internships in Australia for JGU students

 

New Delhi, June 3

More than 100 students