Flash floods kill four in Assam, water receding

first_imgIn almost a repeat of last year, the tributaries of the Brahmaputra have started rising with the advent of south west monsoon. At least half a dozen tributaries on both banks of the river have risen and officially four persons have been reported dead in flash floods. Many areas in Guwahati city were inundated, but the water fortunately has been receding from most parts since Wednesday night, locals said. Officials said Brahmaputra’s north bank tributaries — Beki, Rangnadi, Subansiri — and the ones on the south bank — Dikhow, Desang and Dhansiri — are rising.In the Barak valley in south Assam, the Barak and Kushiyara could touch the danger levels when the monsoon becomes more vigorous. Officials said about 15,000 people have already been rendered homeless in at least four districts — Lakhimpur, Darrang, Kamrup and Hailakandi — in upper, central and south Assam. Few relief camps have been opened. Assam had one of its worst floods in many years in 2016. Scores of people died, lakhs lost their homes and hundreds disappeared. While the residents returned to resettle later that year, their lives had changed permanently. Korshed Molla of Darrang district, a farmer in his 70s, has moved his home and family thrice in the last couple of decades. “Even our identity is questioned, as every time we resettle in a new village people think we have come from Bangladesh,” he said. The children’s schooling is severely affected due to the constant shifting, he said.Assam is perhaps the most flood and erosion prone State in the country. Its main river, the Brahmaputra, routinely swallows up huge landmass. The Water Resources Department of Assam has described the erratic nature of its main river and its tributaries as “a most acute and unique” problem. About 40% of the total land area of Assam, nearly 79 lakh hectares, is flood prone and, since 1950, some 4.37 lakh hectares [7.4%] of its has been lost to the Brahmaputra.last_img read more

Five die after drinking toddy in UP; three policemen suspended

first_imgAs many as five persons died and six were taken ill after allegedly consuming illicit liquor in Kewathiya village here, prompting Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to suspend three policemen. The incident took place on Thursday night after the victims consumed toddy, police said on Friday.Stern action The bodies have been sent for post mortem, Superintendent of Police Ajay Kumar Shahni said. Taking strong exception to the incident, the Chief Minister ordered immediate suspension of police station in-charge of Raunapar, SI in-charge and beat constable. He also ordered stern action against the Excise Department staff and issued directives to the department officials, DMs and SPs to carry out drives and ensure such tragedies did not recur.last_img read more

AITUC, Goa, to stir for jobs for Goans

first_imgThe All India Trade Union Congress(AITUC), Goa, on Friday declared plans to launch a state-wide struggle in support of their demands to protect jobs, employment and livelihood of the people of Goa.Addressing a press conference here on Friday, Goa General Secretary, AITUC, Christopher Fonseca criticised the Goa and the Central governments and said they must protect the livelihood of self-employed transport operators including truck operators, taxi operators, rickshaw operators, small hoteliers, shack owners, hawkers and market vendors.The present governments have not fulfilled their promises made to the people. Price rise, corruption, unemployment and crimes are increasing by the day.The Government at the Centre, and States take great pleasure in destroying the livelihoods of the poor in decimating and evicting the farmers, hawkers, vendors, meat and vegetable traders, and so on. Thousands of workers have already lost jobs due to closures, lay-offs and retrenchments. The demonetisation has further resulted in closure of many factories and industries rendering thousands of workers jobless. The working people are worst affected by recent sweeping changes to the existing labour legislations. Many BJP-ruled States have already made sweeping changes to the existing labour laws in favour of the employer lobby, said a statement released by the AITUC leader.“For the last five years trade unions and other mass organisations are on continuous struggles opposing this oppressive and exploitative polices of the Government. Despite of protests on streets, the Government is pursuing the anti labour and anti-people policies, said Mr. Fonseca.On behalf of AITUC he demanded that the state government immediately revise the minimum wages for all schedules of employment to ₹18,000 per month to unskilled workers linked with dearness allowance.The AITUC demanded that all those working in various hotel industry in the state be paid 75% wages during the off-season. Similarly, he demanded that all hotel employees be paid 10% service charges on the total bill without any discrimination.last_img read more

BJP MP’s son arrested for consuming liquor in Bihar

first_imgRahul Kumar Manjhi, the son of a BJP MP from Gaya, has been arrested and sent to jail for consuming liquor in the dry State.While BJP MP Hari Manjhi cried “conspiracy by the local police”, ruling alliance party Janata Dal (United) leaders said “there was rule of law in the State”. The Opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal asked why only Scheduled Caste and poor people were being “targeted and arrested” under the new stringent liquor law.The police said Rahul Kumar was arrested after he was caught consuming liquor along with his friends at Nama village under the Gaya Medical College police station on Sunday. Two of his friends too have been arrested and sent to jail.“He was taken for a medical test and was found to have consumed liquor… we arrested him under the new excise and prohibition law and produced him in a local court today, which later sent him to the Gaya Central Jail,” Inspector Lal Bihari Paswan told journalists.Earlier case tooEarlier on December 13, 2016, too Rahul Kumar, 18, was caught in an inebriated condition at the Gaya Medical College gate and the police had lodged a case against him.However, Mr. Manjhi accused the police of hatching a conspiracy to falsely implicate his son. “Earlier, I had informed the Deputy Inspector General of Police of Magadh Range about the illegal liquor trade going on in and around Nama village in nexus with the local police. The local police, instead of acting on my information, falsely implicated my son,” alleged Mr. Manjhi.But, JD(U) leaders maintained there was rule of law in the State and it was one and equal for everyone. “The rule of law does not discriminate on power and position in the Nitish Kumar government…whoever is caught consuming liquor in the State, the law will take its own course irrespective of his caste, creed or position,” said JD(U) leader and party spokesperson Neeraj Kumar.But the Opposition RJD leaders took on the government and asked why only Scheduled Caste and poor people were being targeted. “Over 90% of those being arrested and sent to jail under the new liquor law are either from the Scheduled Castes or poor people. Does it mean that only Dalits and poor people are consuming liquor in Bihar illegally?” said senior RJD leader Shivanand Tiwari.‘No fear of the law’Party MLA and spokesperson Bhai Birendra said: “The arrests of people and seizure of liquor bottles every day in the State shows that people are consuming liquor without any fear of the prohibition law.”Recently, a local BJP leader from Sitamarhi had mowed down nine schoolchildren allegedly under the influence of liquor.last_img read more

Cyclone Titli leaves behind a trail of misery in Odisha

first_imgOver 40 lakh people were affected in Odisha by the heavy rain that pounded 12 districts post Titli cyclonic storm since Wednesday afternoon.Incessant rain triggered floods in Ganjam, Rayagada, Kandhamal and Gajapati districts on Thursday, and water-logging in at least eight other districts left eight persons dead and thousands homeless till Friday evening.As many as 3,25,644 persons were evacuated and sheltered in 1,162 relief centres caused by cyclone and subsequent floods. Local administration in affected districts rescued 1,27,262 people stranded at different places on Friday and they were put up in 963 relief centres.Grim situationAs the flood situation looked grim in Ganjam and Gajapati, the State government urged the Centre to provide choppers for rescue and relief operations. Two Navy helicopters reached Gopalpur in the afternoon.Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik held a review meeting at the State Secretariat and directed the administration to shift people stranded in vulnerable areas to safer places. He cancelled Dussehra holidays of all government employees in view of the emergency situation.Heavy rain forecastThe storm weakened into a deep depression and lay centred over Odisha about 80 km southwest of Keonjhar by Friday evening. It is likely to continue to move northeastwards towards Gangetic West Bengal and weaken into a well-marked low pressure area during the next 18 hours. The Bhubaneswar Meteorological Centre warned of heavy rain at isolated places in the State during next 24 hours.Titli left behind a trail of destruction. As per initial estimates, 1,514 houses were damaged in Ganjam, Kandhamal and Puri districts.last_img read more

Panel to probe green breach by 2 U.P. colleges

first_imgFollowing a plea alleging dispute over demarcation, the National Green Tribunal has constituted a committee to decide whether two private engineering colleges have been constructed inside the Soor Sarovar bird sanctuary in Agra. Observing that there was a conflicting view on the issue, a Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said, “On the one hand, the stand of the Agra District Magistrate is that the area is covered by the notification, on the other hand, without demarcation of the same, the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority has granted environmental clearance… thereby permitting the institutions to continue.” The committee, comprising of Principal Secretaries of the Revenue and Forest departments, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and the Chief Wildlife Warden of Uttar Pradesh, has been directed to ascertain whether the engineering colleges are within the area of wildlife sanctuary, as notified in March 1991. The directions came while the green panel was hearing a plea that challenged the construction of Anand Engineering College, Agra, and Hindustan Institute of Management and Technology within the Soor Sarovar Bird Sanctuary in Agra. The plea further sought demolition of the “illegal structure”, quashing of the environmental clearances granted and restoration of the area.last_img read more

No move to question Digvijaya: Pune police

first_imgThe Pune City police on Monday refuted a report suggesting that senior Congress leader and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh could be questioned in connection with his alleged links to banned Maoist outfits and the Bhima-Koregaon clashes of January 1 this year. Shivaji Pawar, Assistant Commissioner of Police, the investigating officer in the Bhima-Koregaon case, told The Hindu that no such move had been mooted. Mr. Pawar was reacting to a report in an English daily.Mr. Singh’s mobile phone number had allegedly surfaced in one of the alleged Naxal communications seized by the Pune City police in its raids on the homes of activists on June 6, in relation to the ‘Elgaar Parishad’-Bhima Koregaon clashes.last_img read more

A modern makeover for the traditional hat

first_imgBabula Gouda, a Class IX student from the remote Khajuribania village in Odisha’s Ganjam district, has improvised the traditional ‘Talari’ hat used by farmers with some modern technology. He has named his innovation ‘smart-Talari’. ‘Talari’ is a large hat made of bamboo or cane that protects agricultural labourers from the sun and rain when they work in the fields. His ‘smart-Talari’ generates solar power to run gadgets added to it. Using less than ₹500, with support and guidance of his science teacher Raghunath Behera, he has transformed the traditional ‘Talari’ to ‘smart-Talari’. Only locally available materials and gadgets were used for his innovation. Babula studies in Merikote High School of Surada block. He hails from a family of farmers. During free time he helps his parents in agricultural work. According to him, the idea to use ‘Talari’ for several other purposes came to him while in the fields. He used to play songs on a small mobile phone while keeping a watch on the grazing cattle. The battery of the mobile used to discharge fast and he had no charging facility nearby. So, he added a small solar power panel from a rechargeable torch on top of the ‘Talari’. The power generated could recharge his mobile phone.When he told about it to his teacher, Mr. Behera, the teacher-student duo decided to develop the ‘smart-Talari’. Now the solar powered ‘smart-Talari’ has two small fans to cool working farmers and a light to help at night. It also has a FM radio and audio player kit for entertainment and weather forecast.last_img read more

Bareilly jail authorities want Atiq shifted

first_imgDays after mafia-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed was shifted from Deoria jail to Bareilly jail, authorities at the prison here have sought his transfer somewhere else, citing security reasons. District Magistrate Virendra Kumar Singh requested the State government to shift Atiq out of Bareilly jail, citing security reasons and “shortage of staff”Atiq was shifted from Deoria jail to Bareilly jail on Monday after a businessman accused the ex-MP of getting him abducted and assaulting him inside the prison.last_img read more

SP, BSP agree ‘in principle’ on alliance for 2019 Lok Sabha polls

first_imgSamajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav with Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati. File  Opportunistic alliance: BJPThe BJP dubbed the coming closer of the two parties opportunistic. “This is an opportunistic alliance and it is completely anti-people. The BJP will register massive wins in Uttar Pradesh in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections,” party’s State spokesperson Hero Bajpai told reporters in Lucknow.Uttar Pradesh sends 80 MPs to the Lok Sabha. The opposition parties defeated the ruling BJP in three Lok Sabha bypolls in 2018.In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP won 71 seats, securing 42.63% of the votes. The BJP’s ally, Apna Dal, bagged two. The SP won five seats with a vote share of 22.35%. The BSP did not win any seat while securing 19.77% of the votes. The Congress won two seats, bagging 7.53% of the votes. The Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have agreed in principle to form an alliance in the coming Lok Sabha elections and a formal announcement on the gathbandhan (alliance) between them may take place later this month, SP’s national spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary told PTI on January 5.SP president Akhilesh Yadav and BSP chief Mayawati had given their “in principle approval” to the alliance after a series of meetings. They met on January 4 too in Delhi, Mr. Chaudhary said.“Talks are on to accommodate some smaller parties in the alliance,” Mr. Chaudhary said. He admitted that the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), which has a presence in western U.P., is among these parties.When asked about the possible inclusion of the Congress in the alliance, he said, “This will be decided by Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati.” But the alliance would not field candidates in Amethi and Raebareli, leaving the two Lok constituencies for Congress president Rahul Gandhi and United Progress Alliance chief Sonia Gandhi.center_img | Photo Credit: PTIlast_img read more

Meghalaya coal mine mishap: 45 days later, second body detected

first_imgBody of miner Amir Hussain being handed over to his kin.  | Photo Credit: Special Arrangment  “The body was detected by the Navy around 3 am,” district’s Deputy Commissioner Federick M. Dopth said after the local authorities handed over the body of first victim – identified as Amir Hussain (35) – to his widow and uncle at district headquarters Khliehriat.The mine at Khloo Ryngksan, or Ksan, is about 40 km from Khliehriat.Though the Navy and private agencies with sophisticated water-draining pumps and underwater detection devices started working at Ksan from December 30, the National Disaster Response Force and the State Disaster Response Force have been at it since December 14.Also Read  An officer of one of the rescue agencies said locating the maze of rat-holes and the bodies became faster after they contacted Saheb Ali, one of the five survivors of the mishap, at his village in western Assam’s Chirang district.“He provided us diagrams of the mine as well as a fair idea of the depth and length of the rat-holes,” the officer said.Ali and four others, including the sirdar (mine-man manager) and the khatamaster (record-keeper) had clambered up the wires of pump to escape the water that flooded the shaft. Ali had told The Hindu that he had checked with the khatamaster and found there were 17 men down the mine that day, not 15 as officially acknowledged.They were mining illegally since the National Green Tribunal had banned rat-hole coal mining since April 17, 2014. Meghalaya’s rat hole traps center_img An underwater robot engaged by the Indian Navy has detected a second body from a rat-hole tunnel out of a flooded 355 ft coal mine in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district where 15 miners were trapped on December 13.The second body was detected on Saturday by an underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV), equipped with an electronic eye and mechanical arms, at a distance of 280 ft in the rat-hole where the first body was detected.  In the 45 days since disaster struck when the miners hit the walls of an adjoining water-filled abandoned mine, the search and rescue personnel detected 26 lateral rat-hole tunnels branching out of the man shaft of the mine “like veins of a leaf”.Hussain’s body was detected more than a week ago from “rat-hole 26” lying 210ft inside a rat-hole from a depth of 160ft of the vertical shaft. The body had fallen from the grip of the ROV to the bottom of the shaft, but was it extracted on Thursday.The body was identified from two amulets around his neck. He was given the amulets for “divine protection” before he left his village Nijdamugaon three months ago.last_img read more

Closure of National Highway causes problems in Kashmir Valley

first_imgAbdul Rehman Ganai, 61, a chronic post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) patient from south Kashmir’s Anantnag, who lost his son during a street protest in 2016, is likely to miss his check-up with the Valley’s leading psychiatrist, Dr. Arshad Hussain, this Sunday, as the ban on the movement of civilian traffic on the 271-km National Highway 44 in Kashmir will be enforced for convoy movement. Dr. Hussain is among many leading doctors of the Valley who meet patients on Sundays in towns located on the flanks of the highway. “Due to my week-long busy schedule in Srinagar, I was available only on Sundays to patients in Anantnag town. Many people from far-flung areas, who could not otherwise make it to Srinagar, would come for consultations. We have decided to stop the practice for the time being,” Dr. Hussian, Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College, Srinagar, told The Hindu. The doctor said he sees over 100 patients on Sundays as, “Kashmir is witnessing a multi-fold increase in patients with mental health disorders in the face of heightened violence in recent years.”The closure of the highway on Sundays and Wednesdays, as a preventive measure against suicide bombing attacks after the Pulwama incident, is likely to impact the State’s tourism, horticulture and education sectors, apart from patient care, according to locals. Families need permission from police authorities for any inter-district movement on the days of the closure. “My daughter’s wedding season is on Wednesday. I am not sure about the process that will allow safe and unhindered passage of groom from Anantnag to Pulwama,” said Shahnawaz Ahmad Dar, an orchardist from Pulwama. Meanwhile, in a formal order issued by the Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC), Anantnag, a family has been given permission for vehicular movement towards the bride’s home in Jammu’s Doda for the coming Wednesday. “Danish Ali, son of Showkat Ali Bhat from New Qazi Bagh Anantnag, accompanied by 12 persons be allowed to move from Anantnag to Doda in connection with their marriage ceremony on April 6-7 after proper frisking and security check. The permission is valid for two days only,” reads the order. Facing condemnation from political parties and civil society groups, Divisional Commissioner-Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan, has offered “permission to movement of the emergency vehicles, including ambulances, school buses and other essential services,” for what is becoming a poll issue in south Kashmir. “Unsatisfied” with Mr. Khan’s assurances, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader M.Y. Tarigami demanded complete revocation of the order. “The highway is the only road link that connects Kashmir with the rest of the country. This is completely choking the freedom of movement for lakhs of residents. It is unheard of in recent history,” Mr. Tarigami said.“It’s a measure of collective punishment of the people,” said Justice Hasnain Masoodi, National Conference’s (NC) candidate for Anantnag seat, calling the decision “anti-people.”last_img read more

Podcast: The Top ScienceNOWs of 2013

first_imgAt the end of every year, we here at ScienceNOW pick some of our favorite and most popular stories of the last 12 months. Here’s an audio wrap-up of some of them.Listen to the full Science podcast.Hear more podcasts.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

NIH Looking to Kick-Start Biotech Startups

first_imgLast fall, microbial ecologist Kei Fujimura took time away from her lab work to hunt down people with inflammatory bowel disease on Facebook. The postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), was doing a bit of market research, in hopes of starting a company that would offer people with Crohn’s disease and colitis personalized microbiome sequencing data that could help them manage their conditions. She and a fellow postdoc “thought we had a pretty good shot” at commercializing the idea, she says.To help find out, Fujimura had applied to—and won a place in—a special 7-week entrepreneurship boot camp offered by UCSF. Step one, she learned: gauge interest in her product by interviewing 100 potential customers. That meant identifying people by means of social media willing to share their reactions to her pitch.Soon, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) hopes to have a lot more biomedical researchers following Fujimura’s path. Earlier this month, the agency announced that it will, for the first time, offer certain grantees a chance to participate in boot camps like the one offered by UCSF. The goal: to see if a bit of training can help wannabe entrepreneurs make the leap from science to the market and increase the economic impact of the federal government’s investment in research.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The NIH move marks the latest expansion of an increasingly popular training approach begun 3 years ago by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Known as the Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program, it offers a startup crash course, along with $50,000, to research teams wanting to learn how to think about commercializing their NSF-funded research. Each team typically consists of a principal investigator, a graduate student who is expected to lead the effort, and a mentor with experience in industry. Nearly 300 NSF-funded teams have gone through the training, which is based on a “Lean LaunchPad” course developed at Stanford University in 2011 by serial entrepreneur Steve Blank.I-Corps generated buzz in the media and academic circles, and the curriculum—driven by the mantra that researchers must “get out of the building” and discover the potential customer base early in the development process—has since spread to other government agencies. For example, grantees of the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy can now apply for I-Corps training.But some, including Blank himself, were skeptical that the I-Corps model would work for life sciences. That’s because market-oriented bioscientists face hurdles other would-be entrepreneurs don’t necessarily face, says Stephanie Marrus, director of the entrepreneurship center at UCSF. Candidate pharmaceuticals and medical devices, for example, must wend their way through a complicated regulatory system to approval, often propelled by billions of dollars in investment. Entrepreneurs have to anticipate how hospital purchasing systems might respond to their inventions, and explore whether health insurers—who cover a major share of health spending—will be willing to foot the bill. “It’s a level of complexity that hadn’t been contemplated in the initial [Lean LaunchPad] framework,” she says.Still, Marrus lobbied Blank and the I-Corps leadership to tweak the I-Corps formula and offer it to UCSF’s biomedical researchers. The teams would pay a small fee to participate, and would get the same I-Corps lessons in how to find the target market and use feedback from potential investors, partners, and customers. But unlike previous programs, they would also attend breakout sessions with health industry experts that focused on one of four specific biomedical markets: therapeutics, diagnostics, devices, or digital health tools. The “Lean LaunchPad for Life Sciences & Healthcare” pilot program launched in October 2013, enrolling Fujimura’s team and 27 others.For Fujimura, the training bore an exotic whiff of the nearby Silicon Valley. “We’re basic scientists, so we didn’t really know much about” entrepreneurship, she says. “It was kind of like pearls before swine.”Ultimately, the hunt for a market brought frustrating news for Fujimura’s team. Patients they interviewed were “lukewarm” about their idea, she says. “At that point, we realized our technologies weren’t advanced enough to really help them.” And Fujimura is far from alone: Of 296 NSF-funded teams that have gone through the curriculum, 173 decided not to start companies for now, says NSF I-Corps chief Rathindra DasGupta.Still, he says, even teams that abandon their ideas get value from the program. I-Corps-educated principal investigators can explain the importance of their research by keeping the end user in mind and can better advise their students on the realities of commercialization. And graduate students have a head start on launching future startups or finding jobs in industry. Fujimura agrees the experience was far from a bust. “You do this so that you don’t waste millions of dollars and millions of hours of sweat equity,” she says.Hoping to impart the same wisdom on its grantees, NIH announced they would adopt the I-Corps concept in a 7 April press release tied to a White House event promoting innovation. But the NIH version won’t initially target bench scientists. Instead it will focus on grantees already involved in one of the agency’s programs aimed at commercializing biomedical discoveries.Specifically, NIH will start with about 25 grantees, many of them small companies, which have received early, “phase 1” grants of up to $150,000 from its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. (SBIR money comes from a “tax” on agency research budgets and is aimed at ushering technologies through the early stages of commercialization.) It will then expand the offer to researchers funded through two other programs: the commercialization-focused National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s NIH Centers for Accelerated Innovations program.“We want to put some of our companies through [I-Corps] to see how it works for them,” says NIH’s Matthew Portnoy, who coordinates the SBIR program. “Does it work as well as we’ve heard the regular version of the I-Corps has been working?” And if the SBIR grantees that have been through I-Corps fare better than average in later phases of the commercialization process, he says, the agency may consider further scaling up its I-Corps offerings.Blank, who has made the life science-friendly I-Corps his pet project, believes NIH is making the right move. “The NIH model for translational medicine is now ripe for the next step,” he told ScienceInsider at an 11 April meeting of the I-Corps leadership in Bethesda, Maryland. The features unique to a biotech startup’s business model “are really important, but they’re understandable, and they’re teachable, and the PIs need to know them.”*Clarification, 24 April, 1:40 p.m.: Although many teams decide not to start a company at the end of the I-Corps curriculum, many of them start companies later on. This version clarifies that 173 teams decided not to start companies for now.last_img read more

5 Amazing Indian Male Chefs Who’ve Taken Our Love For Food To New Heights

first_imgIndian food industry is scaling heights on the world’s culinary map and we have plenty of chefs to credit for the feat. Young, handsome and talented, these chefs have become stars in their own right, boasting of a following that can give some of our hottest Bollywood stars a run for their money. In addition to their kitchens, these brilliant chefs have dominated web and TV shows too! Here’s presenting to you 5 amazing Indian male chefs who are breaking stereotypes, one great dish at a time.Read it at NDTV Related Itemslast_img read more

How Donald Trump Will Spoil Marriage Prospects of Indian Techies

first_imgIndian IT engineers have been prized catches in the marriage market but slowly they are losing their hot status. Layoffs, pay cuts and US visa restrictions have taken the sheen off an Indian software engineer’s job. Now the Donald Trump administration is terminating a provision which will further narrow the marriage prospects of Indian IT engineers. Read it at Economic Times Related Itemslast_img

Three U.S. Citizens Sue TCS Over Alleged Bias Towards Indian Workers

first_imgThree U.S. citizens have sued Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), alleging that the Indian IT company prefers Indians and South Asians over American workers. The three employees of two different companies have asked for jury trial and sought punitive compensations from TCS. Darryl Stacy, Donald Stephan Bradley and Hesham Hafez filed a complaint in the District Court of New Jersey last month, alleging that TCS prefers to bring employees on visa even when trained U.S. citizens are available in the country, the Economic Times reported. They also accused the company of discriminating against them and favoring Indians and South Asians while hiring locally.  “TCS’ president for North America Surya Kant and vice president and head of human resources Narasimhan Srinivasan devised and implemented a nationwide ‘leadership directive’ to utilize TCS’s visa-ready South Asian employees (also known as ‘expats’) to the ‘maximum extent’ when filling US positions,” the complaint said, according to the report.  The company has denied the allegations as “baseless,” saying that it “is confident that it will successfully defend itself,” a TCS spokesperson told ET in an email.“Indeed, the federal court in California previously rejected a class-action for hiring discrimination by the same law firm concerning TCS’ hiring practices, citing the same issues,” the spokesperson added. TCS had earlier got embroiled in a legal battle over alleged discrimination overseas in 2015, when employees of a company named Southern California Edison accused it in an anti-American bias case, which is in pre-trial stages. Another case was filed in 2016, in which a U.S. citizen alleged that TCS discriminates against employees on the basis of race, gender and national origin. This case was dismissed in February 2017.  It is also not the only Indian company facing such allegations. An ex-employee of HCL Technologies in the United States filed a lawsuit last month, accusing the firm of preferring South Asian workers over Americans. Earlier this year, another U.S. citizen accused Indian technology firm Wipro for engaging in a practice of systematic termination of work of its American employees, in favor of Indian workers. These allegations from U.S. workers come at a time when the Trump administration is stressing over its “Buy American and Hire Americans” executive order. It has also enhanced scrutiny over issuing H-1B visas and directed officials to apply the same level of scrutiny for H-1B visa extension requests as the other sought-after visas. Related ItemsTCSUnited Stateslast_img read more

Criticism Builds of Anna Hazare’s Crusade

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Ahead of ED visit, Sharad Pawar asks NCP workers to maintain peace

first_imgNationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Thursday appealed to his party colleagues to maintain peace and not gather outside the Enforcement Directorate (ED) office, which he will voluntarily visit after a case was registered against him in the Maharashtra State Cooperative (MSC) Bank scam.Mr. Pawar tweeted, “As mentioned during my press conference yesterday, I will be visiting the Mumbai ED office at Ballard Estate tomorrow, Friday, 27 September, at 14.00 hrs. I appeal to all my NCP cadre and supporters not to gather near the ED office premises. Keeping our tradition to honour the Constitution and respect institutions, I request your co-operation with the police and other government agencies. Please take care and make sure that people are not inconvenienced (sic).”The Mumbai Police have imposed prohibitory orders outside the ED office and under the jurisdictions of Colaba, Cuffe Parade, Marine Drive, Dongri, Azad Maidan, J J Marg and MRA Marg police stations.Following reports that the ED filed a case against him in the MSC Bank scam along with former directors of the bank, Mr. Pawar, in a press conference on Wednesday, said he would “voluntarily” go to the ED office. He also said, “Maharashtra has never learnt to bow in front of the Delhi throne,” hinting the investigation is at the behest of the Central government, run by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Meanwhile, former BJP MP Kirit Somaiya on Thursday said the ED action is based on the FIR filed by the Economic Offences Wing of the Mumbai Police in the wake of a Bombay High Court order. “Why is he blaming Delhi for action against him? Just because his name is mentioned in the FIR, it does not mean he is guilty. He should approach the Supreme Court if he is unhappy with the HC order,” Mr. Somaiya said. The BJP leader said instead of blaming his party, the NCP should blame the Congress, as the original inquiry in the scam was ordered by former CM Prithviraj Chavan.last_img read more

Kamlesh Tiwari murder: U.P. police announce reward for nabbing 2 suspects

first_imgThe Uttar Pradesh police on Monday announced a reward of ₹2.5 lakh each for apprehending the two suspects who committed the murder of Hindu Samaj Party leader Kamlesh Tiwari in Lucknow on October 18.Director General of Police (DGP) O.P. Singh said all aspects of the murder case, including a possible terror link, were being investigated by a special investigation team. “We are not ruling out any possibility,” he told reporters.When asked by if he was implying the involvement of a terror group, Mr. Singh said terrorist activities also had several types of modules like self-motivated module and terror outfit module.“We are looking at all aspects and connecting them, be it the Maharashtra module or the Gujarat module or the Haryana module,” he said.The three detained by the Gujarat ATS (Anti-Terrorism Squad) in Surat on suspicion of hatching the conspiracy to murder Kamlesh are being brought to Lucknow on remand for further questioning.So far, five persons have been detained in connection with the case, including two Muslim clerics from Bijnor who have also been named in an FIR.last_img read more

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