Former Gujarat Chief Minister Shankarsinh Vaghela set to join NCP

first_imgFormer Gujarat Chief Minister Shankarsinh Vaghela is set to join the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), the state unit of the Sharad Pawar-led party said on Thursday. The 78-year-old Kshatriya strongman had left the Congress before the 2017 Gujarat assembly elections. He had then helped the BJP in the Rajya Sabha polls. “Former Chief Minister of Gujarat Shankarsinh Vaghela will join NCP in presence of party president Sharad Pawar and senior leader Praful Patel,” Gujarat NCP president Jayant Patel alias Boski said. “Vaghela ji is a dynamic leader who knows the pulse of state and the country. I welcome his entry into the NCP and it will give a boost to the party in the state,” he said. The former Union Minister is likely to join the NCP on January 29, the party sources said. However, Mr. Vaghela has so far neither confirmed nor denied that he will join the NCP. Mr. Vaghela’s entry into the NCP can lead to a three-way fight on a few Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat if the Congress fails to enter into a pre-poll alliance with Mr. Pawar’s party. The State has 26 Lok Sabha seats and all of them were won by the BJP in the 2014 general elections.Mr. Vaghela had left the Congress before the 2017 state assembly polls, after he and a few MLAs supporting him voted against Congress candidate for the Rajya Sabha, Ahmed Patel and backed BJP nominee Balwantsinh Rajput.Mr. Vaghela, however, did not join the ruling BJP and put up independent candidates in the state assembly elections held in December 2017. All his candidates had lost polls. Recently, Mr. Vaghela had toured various places, including Delhi, and declared that he will fight for removal of the BJP-led government at the Centre in 2019. In 2017, the Congress and the NCP had fought assembly elections separately. The NCP was able to win just one seat in the 182-member assembly. If in 2019, both the parties fail to reach a seat- sharing agreement, then it will be a three-way fight on some Lok Sabha seats where Vaghela and his supporters will contest as NCP candidates, the party sources said.Mr. Vaghela is a prominent OBC leader, who started his political career with the BJP. After the BJP came to power in 1995 in Gujarat and chose to make Keshubhai Patel Cheif Minister instead of him, Mr. Vaghela engineered a split in the saffron outfit and became the Chief Minister in 1996 with outside support of the Congress. Later, he joined the Congress and served as Textile Minister in the Manmohan Singh government. While in the Congress, he also served as its State unit president and Leader of Opposition in the Gujarat assembly.last_img read more

Top Stories: Shutdown Science, Stormy Sex, and Snooty Books

first_imgScience and the ShutdownThe U.S. government ground to a halt on Tuesday after Congress failed to pass a spending bill to finance the government for the 2014 fiscal year. The only agencies and staff members still working are those deemed essential for public safety and national security. Follow our continuing coverage to find out how the shutdown is affecting science and research; which researchers, agencies, and projects have been hit; and how scientists are reacting.Want to Read Minds? Read Good BooksSign 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(*)Fifty Shades of Grey may be a fun read, but it’s not going to help you probe the minds of others the way War and Peace might. That’s the conclusion of a new study, which finds that, compared with mainstream fiction, highbrow literary works do more to improve our ability to understand the thoughts, emotions, and motivations of those around us.Quantum Computers Check Each Other’s WorkQuantum computers can solve incredibly complex problems in a fraction of the time it would take a normal computer. But how can we be sure that they’re getting the answers right? Scientists have come up with a neat solution: Use a simpler quantum computer—whose results humans can actually check—to verify the results of other dramatically more powerful quantum machines.Sex Before the StormThere’s lots to do before a storm rolls in—close the windows, bring the washing in, batten down the hatches. Cucurbit beetles have a different priority: sex. When the bugs sense the change in air pressure that usually precedes bad weather, they forgo their usual courtship rituals and go in for a quickie.Invasion of the Nostril TicksA scientist who inadvertently brought a tick home from Uganda—in his nose—may have discovered a new species of parasite that preys on primates. The “nostril tick” belongs to the genus Amblyomma, which is known to carry diseases that can infect mammals ranging from cows to people. This particular individual may have evolved to live in the noses of chimpanzees, and hopped to the researcher when he got too close.last_img read more

Cost Skyrockets for United States’ Share of ITER Fusion Project

first_imgITER, the international fusion experiment under construction in Cadarache, France, aims to prove that nuclear fusion is a viable power source by creating a “burning plasma” that produces more energy than the machine itself consumes. Although that goal is at least 20 years away, ITER is already burning through money at a prodigious pace. The United States is only a minor partner in the project, which began construction in 2008. But the U.S. contribution to ITER will total $3.9 billion—roughly four times as much as originally estimated—according to a new cost estimate released yesterday. That is about $1.4 billion higher than a 2011 cost estimate, and the numbers are likely to intensify doubts among some members of Congress about continuing the U.S. involvement in the project.The United States and ITER share a complicated history. The project was first proposed in 1985 as a joint venture with the Soviet Union and Japan. The United States backed out of that effort in 1998, citing concerns over cost and feasibility—only to jump in again in 2003. At the time, ITER was envisioned to cost roughly $5 billion. That estimate had grown to $12 billion by 2006, when the European Union, China, India, Japan, Russia, South Korea, and United States signed a formal agreement to build the device. The United States agreed, essentially, to build 9% of the parts for the reactor, at whatever price was necessary.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(*)ITER was supposed to start running by 2016. Since then, however, the project has been plagued by delays, cost increases, and management problem. ITER is now expected to cost at least $21 billion and won’t turn on until 2020 at the earliest. And a recent review slammed ITER’s management.The cost of the U.S. contribution has increased, too, although by how much has been unclear. Officials with U.S. ITER had not released an updated cost profile for several years, until Ned Sauthoff, project manager for U.S. ITER at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, did so yesterday. Speaking to a meeting of the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee in Rockville, Maryland, Sauthoff reported that the total cost of the U.S. contribution would be $3.9 billion by the time the project is done in 2034. The schedule assumes that ITER won’t start running until 2024 or 2025. In comparison, an April 2011 funding profile pegged the cost of U.S. ITER at $2.5 billion.The reason for the difference lies mainly in the timing. The 2011 cost profile would have seen spending on U.S. ITER plateau at $350 million per year from 2014 through 2016. However, in 2013, DOE officials decided (as part of their budget request for the following year) to cap spending on ITER at $225 million per year to prevent the project from consuming the entire budget of DOE’s fusion energy sciences program. Stretching out the budget invariably increases costs, researchers say. This year, the fusion program has a total budget of $505 million, including the $200 million Congress ultimately decided to spend on ITER. Sauthoff stresses that ITER researchers are making concrete progress in construction. “There is very strong progress in the fabrication of components around the world,” he said in an e-mail after the meeting. “US components needed for the construction sequence are being completed for delivery in 2014 and 2015.”The new numbers appear to be giving some members of Congress heartburn. In a separate hearing yesterday on the proposed 2015 budget for DOE, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the chair of Energy and Water Development Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, said that a review by DOE officials suggested that the cost of U.S. ITER could rise as high as $6 billion—more, if the concerns over ITER management are not addressed. “I’m really beginning to believe that our involvement in ITER is not practical, that we will not gain what we hope to gain from it, and instead this money could be much better be spent elsewhere,” Feinstein said.Could the United States really back out of ITER? The Obama administration conceives of the U.S. commitment to ITER as being on a par with a treaty agreement, one Washington insider says, so the administration simply cannot walk away from that commitment. But one Senate staffer who works for the Democratic majority says that’s only the administration’s position. In fact, the staffer says, the administration seems to be split, with officials at the State Department arguing that the U.S. commitment to ITER is inviolable and officials at DOE indicating that they’d be just as happy without the project on their hands. The staffer suggests that the conflict explains why the administration requested only $150 million for ITER next year instead of the supposed maximum of $225 million it had set earlier.The Senate staffer suggests that if administration officials can’t make up their minds about ITER, Congress could do it for them in the next several months, as they write annual spending bills. “Our intention is make a decision for ourselves in our markup [of the 2015] budget,” the staffer says. “They won’t have a choice.”last_img read more

Data check: U.S. producing more STEM graduates even without proposed initiatives

first_imgThe United States appears to be on pace to meet the Obama administration’s goal of churning out more college graduates in the so-called STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields.That conclusion, based on an analysis by ScienceInsider of recent education statistics, may surprise many people. And it is unlikely to cause scientific organizations to hold a ticker tape parade or the White House to issue a self-congratulatory press release.That’s because the growth has occurred despite the failure of Congress to approve most of the new programs and hefty federal investments recommended by high-profile panels and requested by the White House. The news also comes with a caveat: The goal has been a moving target, and the total includes those with a 2-year degree. So some may take issue with the analysis that follows.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(*)U.S. academic and business leaders have long argued that the country needs a larger tech-savvy workforce to maximize economic growth. The current campaign began in earnest in 2005 when a coalition of pro-research organizations issued a report titled Tapping America’s Potential (TAP). It called for a doubling, by 2015, of the number of STEM bachelor’s degrees awarded annually by U.S. institutions.The doubling would mean an increase from 200,000 a year to 400,000, the report explains. Curiously, it chose 2001 as its baseline year—meaning the decadal doubling would actually occur over 14 years (remedial math, anyone?). If the number rose at a steady pace, by 2015 there would be 1.1 million more STEM graduates than would have been the case under previous production levels.Six months later, a prestigious panel assembled by the National Academies warned Congress that retaining U.S. global competitiveness would require more and better STEM teachers. Its report, called Rising Above the Gathering Storm (RAGS), resulted in a 2007 law that promised to augment STEM teacher training (as well as double research funding in the physical sciences). Congress didn’t keep its promise, however. And RAGS didn’t address whether additional STEM-trained workers were needed, although it said that the 10,000 additional elementary and secondary school STEM teachers that would be trained would touch “10 million minds.”The Obama administration saw a link, however, and its President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) issued two related reports that, together, recommended increasing both the number of STEM teachers and the number of STEM graduates. In particular, its 2012 report, Engage to Excel, called for producing “one million additional college graduates with bachelor or associate degrees in STEM fields” over the next decade.For PCAST, the clock started in 2010, when the number of such graduates stood at 300,000. President Barack Obama has cited the reports frequently in lobbying Congress for increasing federal investments in STEM education, including a mention in his 2011 State of the Union address of the need for more STEM teachers.Neither the PCAST report nor the TAP report explains how or why it chose a particular number of additional STEM graduates as a goal. And both reports are supply-driven rather than demand-driven; that is, they address the production of STEM graduates but not the likelihood of their finding good jobs. That’s a sore point for those who argue that the nation is actually producing too many graduates in many STEM fields, which keeps wages low and creates underemployment.Leaving aside those points, however, an analysis of data compiled by the National Science Foundation (NSF) shows strong evidence of the desired growth despite the general lack of action on the reports. Specifically, the number of degrees awarded annually in the natural sciences and engineering—NSF’s equivalent of what is normally defined as a STEM field—grew from 241,000 in 2000 to 355,000 in 2012 (see graph). In absolute terms, the 2012 figure is 114,000 more than the 2000 figure. Even if that number grows no larger for the rest of the decade—an extremely conservative estimate, most would say—the additional number of STEM graduates in the overall workforce would exceed the 1 million goal set explicitly by the PCAST report and implicitly by TAP.(Those who think the augmented number of graduates should be based on a strict 10-year span may want to start with the 263,000 STEM graduates produced in 2002. Using that base year, the size of the expanded pool falls just shy of the 100,000-a-year level needed to add 1 million over a decade.)To be sure, these totals use PCAST’s definition of a college degree, which encompasses both the bachelor’s and associate level. The split is roughly six or seven to one: In 2012, for example, there were 53,000 associate degrees in STEM fields out of the total of 355,000 graduates. (Four-fifths of the 2-year STEM degrees awarded were in computer science.)The PCAST report does not suggest what rate of growth is preferred. In particular, it doesn’t opine on whether spikes and troughs matter. However, front-loading the increase makes it much easier to achieve the overall goal.For example, a surge of 100,000 graduates in the first few years—say, an extra 40,000 the first year, and then an additional 60,000 in the second year—would then require only miniscule increases in subsequent years to achieve the target. In contrast, flat production for the first several years would require a huge leap in output in the latter years of the decade.It turns out that the steady rise in actual production over the past decade may also get you where you want to go. Based on the NSF data, that seems like a reasonable bet—even if it runs counter to the conventional narrative. For whatever reason, it appears, U.S. students are finding their own way to a STEM degree.last_img read more

Misfit marmots save the day

first_imgA peaceful community of yellow-bellied marmots (Marmota flaviventris) should be grateful for its outcasts. When they notice a slinking coyote or circling hawk, loners are most likely to sound the alarm and alert the colony, according to a new study of marmot social networks. Each summer since 2002, researchers have tracked the alarm calls and social behavior of tagged marmots from six colonies near the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Colorado. They jotted down each friendly encounter—nose rubs, cuddles, and playful tussles—to reconstruct the social network linking 142 of the cat-sized mountain squirrels. The researchers rated each marmot for qualities such as social influence and vulnerability based on the number and strength of its relationships. They suspected that the most socially adept animals would be first to alert their cliques to danger, but in fact, unpopular marmots whistled alarm calls most frequently, the team reports online this month in Behavioral Ecology. Socially vulnerable marmots may call out predators because they can’t rely on strong social networks for protection, the researchers speculate. But standing guard could also be a way to gain access to the in crowd.last_img read more

India begins talks with Russia for Rs 39,000 cr Triumf missile shield deal

first_imgIndia has now begun final contract negotiations with Russia for the Rs 39,000 crore (over $5.5 billion) acquisition of five advanced S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems+ , which can detect, track and destroy hostile strategic bombers, stealth fighters, spy planes, missiles and drones at a range of up to 400 km and altitude of 30 km.India wants to conclude the major deal in the 2018-19 financial year, with the first S-400 surface-to-air (SAM) missile system, with its associated battle-management system of command post and launchers, acquisition and engagement radars, and all-terrain transporter-erector-launcher vehicles, slated for delivery two years after the contract is inked.“All the five S-400 systems, which can even take on medium-range ballistic missiles, apart from cruise missiles, will be delivered in 54 months. The force-multiplier will change the dynamics of air defence in the region,” a defence ministry source said.Read it at Times of India Related Itemslast_img read more

Indian Students Refuse The Lure of US Education; Admissions Drop by 28%

first_imgIt seems that the great American Dream is crumbling, and the US no longer is the #1 destination for young students, seeking quality education.As per latest data revealed, it has been found that US Student visa for Indians has dropped by 28% in 2017 as compared to 2016.And not just India, student visa for from other countries have also dropped.Read it at Trak Related Itemslast_img

Miniso Planning to Source Indian Products to Australia, US

first_imgJapanese retail brand Miniso plans to source India-made products for its stores in the US and Australia, said a top company official.Miniso India is also investing to set up its own warehouses in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru to cater to its expanding network. Read it at Economic TImes Related Itemslast_img

Letting Go Of Superkids

first_imgMy friend’s daughter, a sixth grader, came home, at the end of her school year, with a straight A report card. “Did the FAME results come out?” her mother inquired, “Who won the first prize?”The girl looked down and mumbled the name of the winner. She had tried hard, spent many nights on her essay, but had failed to “win.”“Oh,” said, her mother, looking disappointed. Somehow, I had the feeling that the excellent report card was a bare minimum expectation. The real unasked question was, “What else do you excel at?”Many times, I’ve done the same thing — greeted my son’s attempts with regret or disappointment, simply because he didn’t “win.” But watching someone else gave me a new perspective. High expectations from parents are nothing new to me. After all, I’m Indian. I was expected to work hard in school and get good grades, period. No excuses. But that expectation seems to pale in comparison to what the current generation of Indian American kids goes through. It’s not just about academics anymore. Every child is expected to be highly talented, nothing short of a prodigy.We see Superkids all around us. And as parents, we start to worry if we’re not on this bandwagon. We relentlessly seek membership in the Superkid club, pushing our kids to achieve. If our sons and daughters are not chess champions or tennis aces, we can’t look people in the eye.Who are these Superkids, you wonder? You see them everywhere, but you may not spot them. On the surface, they look like, well, kids. Their lives however, are anything but kid-like. They work longer and harder than the average adult. They compete in Math Olympiads and take advanced piano lessons. They play soccer in the fall, and learn web design in the summer. And in between, they work hard to move up through the zillion belts in Taekwando.This is not to say that it’s all bad. You can’t contain real talent, or mask true genius. There will always be kids who were born to do calculus in the 5th grade or play the violin like a pro at 8. And they have our admiration, no doubt. But what about the rest of us?What if our children do not want to learn piano, let alone excel at it? What good can come from forcibly turning them into maestros? Will they derive any pleasure from it?What if a child’s talents lie elsewhere? What if she was meant to help animals or fly airplanes or save rainforests? This part of her will never be discovered. She will never get a chance to find out who she is, or what she loves to do.There’s my son’s friend who sometimes comes over to play table tennis in our garage. As they play, I can hear them talking and laughing about books they’ve read, people they’ve met. I can tell he’s a bright kid. But somehow, Math does not seem to be his forte. “You need to work harder,” his mom pesters him, “look at Abhay, I barely ever see him come out. He gets a perfect 600 on his Star testing!”This boy doesn’t talk back, but I can see his expression, “Yes I suck at Math.”But what if he were to change that over time to “Yes I suck (in general)?”Why do we parents do this to our kids? We love them, that’s for sure. But somehow, somewhere, we’ve managed to shut down our antennae to their signals.These children have already altered their goals in life. To them, the goal is to make others happy; it’s no longer about discovering how they can make a unique contribution to the world. What if our children were taught to enjoy their hobbies, rather than work at them, what if they are encouraged to explore their interests, rather than being handed them down? Imagine their life, if they succeed at what they choose to do because they enjoy it. This success will give them confidence, which in turn breeds more success.Every kid can be a super kid and achieve her potential, once she knows what motivates her. But as a parent, you need to give her a chance to find out.My son came home very excited one day and announced that he had to pick a planet for his science project. “Go with Venus!” I suggested.“Why?” he asked.“Because it’s so interesting. It’s about the same size as Earth, but has a very hostile environment. Sulphuric acid clouds, extreme pressure and temperatures, extreme greenhouse effect…..”“I want to do Pluto,” he said sullenly.“But we know the least about Pluto. And some scientists don’t even consider it a planet.”“That’s why I want to do it. We know very little about it. It’s the most mysterious one.”“But it may be hard to get a good grade, if you don’t have enough material …..”He began to walk away, with his head down, his shoulders drooping.I reluctantly let him choose Pluto. It wasn’t easy for me. I’m always telling him what he needs to do. He was so excited about it. He worked hard on it, needed no reminders, and when he finally presented, he did so with passion, confidence, and style. I even learnt a thing or two about Pluto.Recently I found him browsing in the library. To my surprise, he was reading a book about Venus. “Mom, isn’t it funny that Venus is the Roman Goddess of love? And it is the brightest and most beautiful object in the night sky …. and yet, this is in sharp contrast to its harsh environment?”“Yes, that’s true!” I said, delighted at his observation.He was opening up to my ideas, because I had opened up to his!It was the right thing to do — letting him choose — even if I haven’t always done it. I’m still learning.   Related Itemslast_img read more

Predators Abroad

first_imgAfew years back, when the Tatas took over Jaguar Land Rover for $2.3 billion, the Birlas bought Canada-based Novelis for $6 billion and the Bharti group acquired telecom company Zain for $10.7 billion, experts predicted a rash of Indian takeovers of global assets. It didn’t happen that way as, in a number of deals, the targets proved difficult to assimilate. There was a hiatus. Now, however, Indian companies seem to be back on takeover trail.In mid-October, the $100 billion Tata Group announced a fresh bid for Orient-Express Hotels. The bid valued the New York-listed Orient-Express at $1.86 billion, and the offer was at a 40% premium over the October 17 stock price. In 2007, the Tatas had mounted a raid on the company but were rebuffed by the management. They still hold a 7% stake in Orient-Express from that abortive attempt. “We are very excited at the prospect of bringing the two great companies and brands together,” says R.K. Krishna Kumar, vice-chairman of Indian Hotels, the Tata Group’s hospitality arm.The first response from Orient-Express was to say that the offer had significantly undervalued the company. But observers feel this is only the opening gambit. The deal will have to be sweetened further for shareholders to bite. The Tatas are believed to have readied an additional warchest for the acquisition. They have also promised to keep the Orient-Express operations separate from their own Taj franchise.Many More DealsWhile the Tatas worked out new numbers in Mumbai, the Hinduja group announced the takeover of US-based specialty chemicals maker Houghton International Inc for $1.05 billion. In Hyderabad in South India, the little-known Rain Commodities Ltd. informed the Bombay Stock Exchange on October 21 that it had signed an agreement for the purchase of a 100% stake in Rutgers of Belgium. Rutgers manufactures coal tar pitch, and the deal is worth $917 million.Also in the South, on October 2, the Hyderabad-based pharma major Dr Reddy’s announced that it had reached an agreement with OctoPlus NV, a Netherlands-based specialty pharmaceutical company, for around $35 million. In neighboring Bangalore, leading IT player Infosys had acquired Zurich-based management consultancy Lodestone Holdings AG for $350 million just a couple of months earlier. More targets are being identified as the company tries to buy growth in a difficult market. Infosys is sitting on a cash pile of $4 billion.Others have announced their intentions of going shopping. Mid-sized IT company Hexaware has been talking about an acquisition in manufacturing software, and consumer products manufacturer Dabur is looking at foreign companies in the healthcare domain.The Numbers Add UpThese may not be very large takeovers. But it all adds up. If one were to look at just the four major takeovers mentioned earlier, the bill is upwards of $4 billion. This is quite a change from the situation just a few months ago. According to the Ernst & Young (E&Y) Transactions Quarterly report, M&A activity declined 20% in the July-September quarter compared to the corresponding period in 2011. There were 161 deals against 202 deals. Deal value was down even more sharply: $3.4 billion against $6.9 billion. If these four deals go though, it will completely change the picture.The recent UNCTAD World Investment Report 2012 — “Towards a New Generation of Investment Policies” — gives a mixed picture: “Outflows from India increased from $13.2 billion in 2010 to $14.8 billion in 2011. However, Indian TNCs [transnational corporations] became less active in acquiring overseas assets. The amount of total cross-border M&A purchases decreased significantly. The drop was compensated largely by a rise in overseas greenfield projects.”The greenfield option has been preferred because too many acquisitions have caused firms considerable headaches. In 2006, Dr Reddy’s bought Betapharm of Germany for $560 million and it had an adverse impact on the company’s finances for several years. In Bolivia, Naveen Jindal’s Jindal Steel and Power has exited the El Mutun iron ore project amid a lot of acrimony. The Karuturi group, once a world leader in cut flowers, is mired deep in trouble in agricultural projects in Africa. And, to use an extreme example, Silverline Technologies, at one time one of India’s top 10 IT companies, went bankrupt after a takeover of Internet company SeraNova. “Everything went against us,” says Silverline chairman Ravi Subramanian. Meanwhile, the company had taken on too much debt, a failing noticed in many Indian takeovers.Most Big-Ticket Deals Have WorkedBut these, some feel, are the normal casualties of the M&A business. “I don’t think all the big-ticket M&As have been bad,” says Amit Khandelwal, national director and partner (transaction advisory services), E&Y India. “The only issue is that they were not yielding the results that were anticipated. Some may still be in the process of turning good. The slowdown in the U.S. and the debt crisis in Europe have had an adverse impact on these acquisitions. We need to give them time. These are strategic acquisitions and may not be profitable or work the way we think they should from day one. They are done with long-term objectives.” It is useful to note that takeovers by bigger business houses have, by and large, worked while smaller companies swallowing smaller prey have run into trouble.“Some of the earlier cases of overseas acquisitions have not been very positive,” agrees Sanjeev Krishnan, executive director of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) India. “But in many cases it was in companies where the balance sheet did not support the acquisition. Many of the mid-market companies financed their overseas acquisitions through a large proportion of debt, and that didn’t always work out well.”But what explains the resurgence in outbound foreign direct investment (FDI)? First, the climate at home is not conducive to investment. Interest rates are too high, and the economy has slowed down perceptibly. “When hard cash does not find attractive organic growth venues, it leads to inorganic growth initiatives,” says S. Raghunath, professor of corporate strategy and policy at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore.Plenty of OpportunityBesides, there is opportunity. “The weakening economy in the U.S. and Europe has made acquisitions more attractive to Indian companies intending to expand their market base,” says Raghunath. “There are many small and medium sized companies that are private equity-owned, and they are looking for exits.” Adds Khandelwal: “Indian firms are not facing too much of a liquidity issue to buy firms at a price that they think is right from a long-term objective.” Companies like Infosys have a lot of money on their balance sheets.The weak rupee — which makes acquisitions more expensive — has not been too much of a disincentive. “While the rupee may be weak, the assets are also available at better prices,” says Krishnan.And, finally, the imperatives of globalization mean that you must foray abroad or remain a bit player in your own country. “With increasing globalization, it is virtually impossible for any company that wants to be a significant player to not be present globally,” says Krishnan. “So, companies have no option but to go in for overseas acquisitions. Until even a few years ago, Indian firms used to be rather hesitant about the overseas acquisition process, and sellers used to be doubtful if the deals would actually go through. But that has changed now, and Indian firms are a lot more comfortable about their moves.” Sums up Khandelwal: “If you want to become a global company, then you definitely need to have a global footprint.”Is everybody cheering Indian companies on their shopping trips overseas? There are the malcontents of liberalization: left-leaning political parties, labor, right-wing isolationists – the list is long. And even the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) may be joining the list of those looking to protect domestic interests. In March this year, RBI deputy governor Harun R. Khan told a chamber of commerce meeting that “the level of net outward FDI flows recorded a sharp uptrend at $74.3 billion during 2005-2006 to 2009-2010 as compared to $8.2 billion in the first half (2000-2001 to 2004-2005)…. It needs to be ensured that overseas investments by Indian companies do not crowd-out domestic investments.” If the action starts heating up, expect a new rulebook. Related Itemslast_img read more

Two Suspects Arrested in Miami Over Indian Student’s 2015 Murder

first_imgTwo suspects have been arrested over the murder of an Indian American student in 2015, according to the Miami police.Brandon Figueroa, 23, and Jonathan Rivera-Gunera, 21, were arrested for alleged first degree murder of Schiharia Aila Sai Kiran, who was shot and later died on June 14, 2015.Both the suspects were arrested on Aug. 7 and have been held without bond, Miami Herald reported.Gunera has been in custody since April for multiple criminal charges, including assaulting a pregnant woman, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and mask, written threats to harm a person, and possession of marijuana.The murder took place three years back when Sai Kiran, 22, was outside his home, taking a phone call when the suspects attacked him in the Little Havana area.The case was called “Antarctic Cold” until recently, detective Ezra Washington said, according to the publication. About three weeks ago, the police received a tip about the Sai Kiran’s murder. Shortly afterwards, the suspects were arrested and later confessed to the crime, the report cited detectives as saying. Both of them have blamed the other person for shooting Sai Kiran.“They pointed the finger at each other,” Washington was quoted as saying by the publication.According to the police, the shooting occurred after the suspects demanded the mobile phone from Sai Kiran. The person who was in a call with the Indian student confirmed hearing a voice saying “give me your cellphone” before the call got disconnected.Sai Kiran was taken immediately via Miami Fire Rescue to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center in an extremely critical condition, but died shortly afterwards.The motive behind the killing is believed to be robbery, according to the police.Figueroa has confessed to the murder, Patch reported, citing court documents.“After the defendant confessed, he apologized and said that he didn’t mean for any of this to happen,” court documents stated, according to Patch.Sai Kiran moved from Hyderabad to Miami a month before the shooting to pursue a master’s degree in information technology from Atlantis University. Related Itemsmiamilast_img read more

Uttar Pradesh Lok Sabha election results 2019: highlights

first_imgIt was a big advantage to the BJP late on Thursday, winning 22 seats and leading in 40 out of a total of 80 constituencies. The BSP had won just four seats and the INC and SP winning one each. Uttar Pradesh saw the Bharatiya Janata Party coming to power in the State in 2017, after 15 years. The party made massive gains in the Assembly elections — from a mere 47 seats to 325 seats. While the ruling party in the State hopes to translate these gains into parliamentary seats, the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party have joined hands to beat the BJP.The State has 80 Parliamentary constituencies, with 71 of them being held by the BJP. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is contesting from Varanasi again, and Home Minister Rajnath Singh is looking to retain his Lucknow seat. Minister for Textiles Smriti Irani is pitted against Congress president Rahul Gandhi for the second time. SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav has held the Mainpuri seat for four consecutive terms.An average of 59% of voters turned up to exercise their right in the State over seven phases.Here are the live updates: Trends as of 3 p.mAccording to data available as of 3 p.m, the BJP continues to lead in the state in 59 constituencies, followed by the BSP with 12 seats. The SP and Congress are leading in 6 and 1 constituencies respectively.The trends thus far are favouring the BJP, with the alliance between the SP, BSP and RLD still trailing the ruling BJP by several seats. Mahagathbandhan helps BSP to stay in the gameBSP leader Mayawati’s decision to forge a Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) with the Samajwadi Party has paid off for the party.The BSP failed to win any seat in 2014 Lok Sabha elections. In the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections the party’s tally was reduced to 19 from 80 in the previous Assembly. This election mattered to Ms. Mayawati the most as the BSP would have lost the national party status and the elephant symbol, if the party hadn’t performed well.The BSP-SP alliance contested in 78 out of 80 seats after talks for an alliance with Congress failed. It, however, didn’t field any candidate in Amethi and Rae Baraeli.The Samajwadi Party too has increased its tally to eight from five in 2014. Trends as of 12 noonAccording to official data available as of 12 noon, the BJP continues to lead in the State in 57 constituencies, followed by the BSP with 11 seats. The SP and Congress are leading in 8 and 1 constituencies respectively.The trends thus far are favouring the BJP, with the alliance between the SP, BSP and RLD still trailing the ruling BJP by several seats. Battle for BundelkhandThe BJP looks set to sweep the Bundelkhand region in Uttar Pradesh, repeating its performance of 2014 as well as the 2017 Assembly polls when it won all the 19 Assembly segments here.  Bundelkhand is considered a strong region for the BJP as the Muslim population here is below the state average of 19.5%. The non-Yadav OBC, non-Jatav Dalit and upper caste vote segments kick in for the BJP in this region known for its drought and quarry mining. As per latest figures provided by the Election Commission of India, the BJP is comfortably placed in Jhansi, Hamirpur, Banda and Jalaun. Jalaun is a reserved seat.Read more   Rahul Gandhi trails in AmethiCongress President Rahul Gandhi is trailing behind BJP’s Smriti Irani in the Gandhi family’s bastion, Amethi.The Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party alliance in Uttar Pradesh has not fielded any candidates from Amethi, leaving the field open for a face-off between the Minister for Textiles Smriti Irani and Rahul Gandhi.The BJP in an aggressive campaign in Amethi has accused Rahul Gandhi, the sitting three-time MP from the constituency, of being a “missing MP” who ignored its residents. In 2014, in a close contest with Irani, Rahul Gandhi won the seat by a margin of a little more than one lakh votes.The BJP has claimed that Gandhi’s candidature from a second seat in Wayanad is out of fear of losing Amethi.The Amethi seat was contested by Sanjay Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi till Rahul Gandhi took over in 2004.  Trends as of 11 a.mAccording to data available as of 11 a.m, the BJP is leading in the state in 57 constituencies, followed by the BSP with 12 seats. The SP and Congress are leading in 8 and 1 constituencies respectively.The trends thus far are favouring the BJP, with the alliance between the SP, BSP and RLD still trailing the ruling BJP by several seats.last_img read more

Gujarat SAI campus to get centre for para athletes, says Kiren Rijiju

first_imgThe Sports Authority of India campus in Gandhinagar will get a global standard high performance training centre for para athletes with focus on athletics, power-lifting, badminton and swimming, Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju said on Saturday. Facilities for regular athletes will also be improved by way of infrastructure and training facilities, Mr. Rijiju told reporters in Gandhinagar. “We saw many para athletes at SAI centre. For high performance training, we are going to open a centre at SAI Gandhinagar with a special focus on para athletes. The centre will focus on performance enhancement of para athletes in four disciplines – athletics, power-lifting, swimming and badminton,” Mr. Rijiju said. “Facilities of regular athletes (at the SAI centre) will be improved by way of infrastructure and training facilities. We have also sanctioned two hostels, each with a capacity of 300. We will lay foundation stone for a hostel in a month and half. Another hostel will also come up soon,” Mr. Rijiju said after visiting the SAI campus. The Union Minister said India’s potential in world sports is “much higher than the number of medals we win”, adding that a lot needed to be done at policy, administrative and ground levels to enhance the potential. He said the Central government is working on ensuring that more players qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the country gets more medals. “India’s position in world sports and where we have reached in international sports competition is known. But I believe India’s potential is much higher than the number of medals we win. Much needs to change at policy, administrative and ground levels to teach, train and take forward the potential,” he said. “We have before us a subject as to how many players can qualify and how many medals we can win in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. We are working on it professionally, through review meetings and all else that need to be done,” he said. Mr. Rijiju also said the government has decided to provide opportunities to maximum number of players in international competitions so that they get exposure. He said effort was on to identify talent at a young age and nurture them. Mr. Rijiju is also scheduled to watch the Indian football team take on Korea DPR in an Inter-continental Cup match being held at Transtadia in Ahmedabad. He said he will inspect the stadium and see if this can be replicated in other parts of the country.last_img read more

J&K situation not normal, but peaceful: police chief

first_imgIntelligence inputs warn of terror strike  He said “the situation was not normal but peaceful” as there were no restrictions in place anywhere in the State. “People were cooperative as they had understood that violence doesn’t pay.”The DGP said there was no definite timeframe for the release of political leaders or restoration of mobile phone and Internet services in the Valley.“Detentions are a dynamic process. There are certain areas where youth come and throw stones. Our purpose is to not cause any harm to them… they are subsequently counselled and handed back to their families,” Mr. Singh said.He said some 200 people were retained in jails as they were repeat offenders and multiple cases were registered against them.“There are cases where an entire village would come and give assurance for a boy. A small kid cannot understand the consequences of his acts. But there are repeat offenders, you counsel them but they do not correct themselves. We cannot allow people to commit crime… but now even that number is going down. More and more people are released. Very few are in detention,” he said.Mr. Singh said the police and security forces were exercising restraint and “pellet guns were used in almost zero cases”.“Earlier pellet gun injuries used to be in hundreds. This time only two such incidents have been reported. Look at the kind of pressure we [police] are working under… as many as 90 security force personnel have been injured, some got stitches, a few have fractured limbs … but we are using minimum force,” he said.He said the number of people lodged in jails outside the State was not more than 200 and they were shifted due to acute pressure and lack of space in jails here. Those arrested also include Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association president Mian Qayoom.Regarding Mr. Qayoom’s arrest, the DGP said, “The Bar president is very well known for his past records resulting in certain activities that are prejudicial to maintenance of peace and order…They aligned with the Hurriyat in the past and participated in activities not very conducive to maintenance of peace and order.”He said separatists were under house arrest and so far their conduct has been decent. “There are restrictions on their movement and some are under house arrest. If any one of them does an activity that is unlawful then strict action will be taken against them,” he said.Mr. Singh said the situation was getting better by the day and even shops around the house of separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani were open.He said foreign and local militants were present in equal proportion in the Valley and terrorists belonging to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) have a sizeable presence.He said the Pakistan Army was making all efforts to push in more militants from the Line of Control in Kashmir and International Border in Jammu sector.“A large number of militants have been brought closer to the LoC and that is why there are a large number of ceasefire violations and firing on the border. In a couple of places, they not only tried but succeeded in infiltrating. One such group was caught also. Similar attempts are being made in Gurez, Macchil, Keran, Rajouri and Poonch and also in Hiranagar, RS Pura and Akhnoor sectors of Jammu…Pakistani agencies are making all-out efforts to push in militants and it is most likely that some of them were able to cross over,” he said.He said the possibility of militants moving around in Srinagar cannot be ruled out and that kind of possibility was there as movement of vehicles on a large scale has been allowed. Director-General of Police, Jammu and Kashmir, Dilbag Singh has said there has been 3,000 cases of young men being picked up and released subsequently in the Kashmir Valley since August 5.In an interview to The Hindu, Mr. Singh said the police’s intention was not to cause any harm to the youth in the long term and preventive detentions were a temporary kind of arrangement for the maintenance of law and order.Also Readlast_img read more

Jhansi youth death: Conflicting accounts on encounter add doubt to police version

first_imgWhile the family of Jhansi resident Pushpendra Yadav have alleged that he was killed in a staged encounter, the police version has come under further scrutiny after conflicting statements issued by two district police officers.According to the statement by Jhansi SSP Om Prakash Singh on the night of the incident, the Station House Officer of Moth, Dharmendra Singh Chauhan, was returning to Jhansi from Kanpur in his private car on October 5 after a two-day leave, when he received a call from a local resident, purportedly Pushpendra Yadav. The person on the other end of the phone asked Mr. Chauhan to meet him at an intersection, the SSP said. Mr. Chauhan was “alone” and in plainclothes, the SSP said, adding that as soon as the SHO stopped his car and rolled down the window to look around, the accused fired at him.The SHO’s description of the incident, however, does not tally with the SSP’s statement. Talking to the media from his hospital bed, where he is recovering from injuries allegedly suffered during the encounter, Mr. Chauhan said he had gone out from his police station to patrol and check duty on the night of the incident. He said he was accompanied by a constable, Saurabh, and both of them were in a private car. “At the Bamrauli intersection around 9 p.m., a person waved (at us) and I stopped the car. He came close and pulled out his country pistol and fired,” said Mr. Chauhan, not mentioning any phone call.When asked whether he was returning from his leave, as stated by the SSP, the SHO said he had returned from leave the same day and gone out for patrol. The SHO claimed the accused shot and fled with his mobile phone and vehicle.Meanwhile, amid questions over the authenticity of the encounter, the police released a list of crimes attributed to Pushpendra Yadav to establish his criminal record as an alleged mining mafia member. However, all the five cases listed by the police related to inter-personal disputes, village-level offences or prohibitory action to prevent law and order disturbances. All cases pertain to 2014 and 2015.The charges against Pushpendra Yadav included enticing or taking away or detaining with criminal intent a married woman, criminal intimidation, voluntarily causing hurt and verbal threats. The police also claimed that Pushpendra Yadav’s truck was fined twice in 2018 for illegal mining. It was served a fresh challan on September 29 and seized.Pushpendra Yadav’s body was cremated by police on October 7 night after his family refused to take his body till a murder case is lodged against the police officer who shot him. The family accused the police of cold-blooded murder. His brother, Rabindra Yadav, a CISF jawan, claimed Pushpendra Yadav did not have any criminal record and never owned any weapon.Pushpendra Yadav’s wife Shivangi on October 9 alleged that her husband was killed because he had threatened to expose the local SHO for demanding bribe from him in return for promising to free his seized truck. She said her husband had already paid the police ₹1.5 lakh but they were harassing him for more. Pushpendra Yadav had threatened to make the recordingss of their bribe dealing to go “viral”, she said. “If he was at fault, you could have summoned him or taken him to jail. The police had his phone number,” she said.Ms. Shivangi Yadav further said that if her husband had shot the SHO and escaped with his car, as claimed by police, he would have been shot in the back and not in the head. “They caught hold of him and killed him,” she alleged.Akhilesh demands high-level probeSamajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav, after meeting the family of the deceased, said a probe monitored by a sitting High Court judge would bring out the facts, as he questioned the police version. “This is not an encounter. The police committed a murder,” Mr. Akhilesh Yadav said.“No one believes the police story. Nobody is satisfied with the story and sequence of events narrated by the Jhansi Police administration,” he said.The SP chief also demanded that a murder case be lodged against the SHO, as demanded by the family. “You can estimate how big the conspiracy is when all officials and the government come together to save the station officer,” Mr. Akhilesh told reporters in Jhansi.last_img read more

Jose gives it all for Cignal before flying for SEA Games

first_imgView comments Flags of SEA Games countries raised at Athletes Village SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief Read Next Gonzaga, PH look to make most of games left in AVC Despite his unusual arrangement, Jose still makes it a point to show that he’s all in for both teams.And what better way for the former FEU stalwart to prove that for Cignal than with his stellar play in the semifinals, uncorking a game-high 24 points and 11 rebounds off the bench to help his side sweep Marinerong Pilipino, 87-64 in Game 2 to book its ticket to the 2017 PBA D-League Foundation Cup Finals.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“I knew I had to give my best because I’m unable to attend our practices because I had to go to Gilas. So I make it a point that in the games, I’ll really give my all,” he said in Filipino.Even coach Boyet Fernandez admits that with Jose largely out of the team’s practice sessions, his hand is forced to keep the bruiser come off the bench. But that didn’t seem to affect the output of the 6-foot-4 forward, doing it all for the Hawkeyes as he averaged 20.5 points and 9.5 rebounds through the course of the semifinals. LATEST STORIES UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games “I’m really thankful for Raymar. He’s pulling a double duty and he still gives his all no matter what,” said the mentor.Gilas Pilipinas is set to leave for Kuala Lumpur in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games on Friday and with the finals set to start next week, after CEU extended their semis against Flying V, Jose will miss the championship series.center_img Man sworn in as lawyer by judge who sentenced him to prison as a teen 20 years ago Raymar Jose. PBA IMAGESDivided in his attention with Gilas Pilipinas and Cignal HD, Raymar Jose knows that he has to give his all whatever jersey he’s wearing.But the two parties understand that national cause comes first, which meant the hardworking forward missing much of the Hawkeyes’ practices.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games PLAY LIST 03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH00:50Trending Articles01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READlast_img read more

Stern calls for NBA changes of marijuana rules

first_imgMOST READ Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Read Next QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Paranaque cemetery bust: Marijuana seized from minor PLAY LIST 02:11Paranaque cemetery bust: Marijuana seized from minor00:50Trending Articles01:48NBA: Kawhi, George seek more for Clippers than beating Lakers01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games LATEST STORIES CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Kin of Misamis Oriental hero cop to get death benefits, award — PNP Nets overcome James’ triple-double, beat Cavaliers Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 In this Oct. 23, 2013, file photo, NBA Commissioner David Stern smiles during a news conference after an NBA board of governors meeting in New York. The recently retired Stern was elected Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and will be enshrined with the class of 2014. APNEW YORK — Former NBA Commissioner David Stern believes medicinal marijuana use should be allowed, but the league says it won’t allow players to use it for recreational use.Stern was interviewed by ex-NBA player Al Harrington for the website Uninterrupted’s documentary “Concept of Cannabis.” Stern said he thought there was “universal agreement that marijuana for medical purposes should be completely legal.”ADVERTISEMENT Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH View comments Adam Silver, who replaced Stern as commissioner in 2014, has said he is interested in studying more about the safety of medicinal marijuana. But Stern, who spent 30 years as commissioner, seemed ready to go a step further in his interview.“I think we have to change the Collective Bargaining Agreement and let you do what is legal in your state,” he said. “If marijuana is now in the process of being legalized, I think you should be allowed to do what’s legal in your state.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutMarijuana is listed as a prohibited substance on the league’s anti-drug program, and players can be fined or suspended for multiple positive tests.“While Commissioner Silver has said that we are interested in better understanding the safety and efficacy of medical marijuana, our position remains unchanged regarding the use by current NBA players of marijuana for recreational purposes,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said.last_img read more

No. 1 draft pick Fultz out 2 to 3 more weeks for 76ers

first_imgCPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA The No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 draft will continue with physiotherapy as he returns from his soreness and scapular muscle imbalance.Fultz has played only four games this season. He is shooting 33 percent, 50 percent from the free-throw line and has not attempted a 3-point shot all season, all as a reserve.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Markelle Fultz. APPHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia 76ers guard Markelle Fultz will miss another two to three weeks as he recovers from soreness in his right shoulder.The Sixers said Fultz’s return to action will be determined by how the shoulder responds to progressive basketball training and practices in the interim.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Trump says he should have left UCLA players in Chinese jail View comments Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort MOST READ Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Kris Aquino ‘pretty chill about becoming irrelevant’ Read Next Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillionlast_img read more