Month: December 2019

HC sets aside conviction of man for wife’s suicide

first_imgThe Bombay High Court has set aside the conviction of a man in a case of abetment of suicide of his wife. “Merely because suicide was committed within seven years of a marriage, it would not automatically give rise to the presumption that suicide had been abetted by the husband,” the bench observed. A single bench of Justice A.S. Chandurkar was hearing an appeal filed by 24-year-old Sheshrao Dange, a labourer and agriculturist, against his conviction under section 306 (abetment of suicide) and 498 A (husband or relative of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) of the Indian Penal Code.Father filed complaintMr. Dange married Meena in April 2000 and the couple had a child. Meena died in April 2002 and soon thereafter, her father lodged a complaint alleging that his daughter had committed suicide because of demand for dowry. Mr. Dange, his parents and his sister were tried for the offences. While Mr. Dange was convicted, the others were acquitted.On August 26, 2003, Mr. Dange was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for five years under Section 306 and one year under Section 498 A of IPC. The additional public prosecutor in the case submitted that the death of the wife occurred within seven years of the marriage and there was, therefore, a presumption under the provisions of The Evidence Act.After examining the facts of the case, the Court concluded that the prosecution failed to prove its case against Mr. Dange beyond reasonable doubt.last_img read more

It’s 2018, but still tough to get online in the Andamans

first_img Airtel and Vodafone, the private players in the islands, provide patchy 2G services in urban pockets. Their VSAT-based bandwidth adds up to only about 30-40 Mbps. BSNL is the sole provider of telecoms to the Nicobar islands in the south.Unlike Car Nicobar, Kamorta and Great Nicobar (which hosts the INS Baaz naval base) manage with 2G. The less populated Katchal and Teressa have only voice service.On October 31, 2017, BSNL withdrew unlimited download plans enjoyed by its pre-2015 users. Now, its offers start at 2 GB of data for ₹350. But, without good bandwidth, the Andamans remains mostly offline. Visitors from the mainland are at first perplexed and then frustrated when they cannot ‘stay connected’ in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. A strong Internet connection is rare here, data services for smartphones are almost non-existent even in Port Blair and voice calls drop frequently. Islanders face difficulty in banking and buying online, and GST returns are often filed late.Poor connections can potentially be disastrous. In October 2017, a bus with 39 students on its way to Billyground from a college in Mayabunder was gutted in a fire. There were no casualties, but Fire Services personnel reached late because mobile phones did not work at the site.“I have been staying at Diglipur since January 2017. Internet is almost non-existent and even the phone network doesn’t work for more than 15 days in a month,” says Dr. Punam Tripathi, author of Routledge’s forthcoming book, The Vulnerable Andaman and Nicobar Islands: A Study of Disasters and Response. The National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN), envisioned to cover 26 States and Union Territories in 2011, is yet to connect the Andaman islands, which rely on expensive satellite bandwidth. “Do you have BSNL?” is thus a frequently heard query. BSNL sources its bandwidth from the Indian Space Research Organisation’s GSAT 16 and GSAT 18 satellites. It has hired 24 transponders for 72 base transceiver stations (BTS) for 3G and 160 for 2G across the islands, and also has 52 landline exchanges and 480 leased circuits.Landline-linked broadband Internet is the most reliable data service here. Government authorities, banks and institutional users get 2 Mbps leased VSAT (very small aperture terminal) Internet lines. WhatsApp does work in areas where 3G coverage is not available, but is a lot slower. A plan to nearly double satellite bandwidth to 2 Gbps was approved by the Department of Telecommunications, but expansion has been hit by problems like unsuitability of old technology. Approximately 10% of the 1,300 MHz bandwidth that BSNL gets from ISRO is ‘lost in transmission’.Cost of service“Low-cost high-speed data services available in mainland India cannot be offered here because bandwidth is procured and maintained at very high cost,” BSNL’s Chief General Manager—A&N Islands, V. Jagadeesan, told The Hindu. Infrastructure overheads, like costly modems, are one limiting factor. The slow inter-island shipping services also add to costs, said Dr. Tripathi.Not all vessels can call at Car Nicobar, and ferry services are erratic, so it can take a month to move batteries and heavy equipment.last_img read more

Infection scare after cataract surgeries

first_imgFive patients who underwent cataract surgeries at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Chhattisgarh’s capital city Raipur were shifted to the MGM Eye Hospital, also in Raipur, on Saturday.“The operations took place on April 5. The consultant re-examined the cases on the next day and some infection was found in the eyes of the operated patients. All precautionary measures were taken and out of five patients, three were nearly normal. But there was doubt in one case and the patient could have needed the Vitreous Procedure Chamber surgery. Since this facility is not available in AIIMS-Raipur, we contacted the hospital where it was available. It was decided to shift all five patients to the MGM Eye hospital in order to save their vision, even if there is any minor complaint,” Dr. Ajay Dani, medical superintendent, AIIIMS Raipur, told The Hindu.When asked if there was any lapse on the part of doctors or hospital staff leading to these infections, Dr. Dani said, “This doesn’t appear to be a case of negligence but it will have to be investigated. It is very difficult to say something immediately.”last_img read more

Hardik Patel, two aides sentenced to 2 years in jail

first_imgA court in Gujarat on Wednesday sentenced Patidar quota leader Hardik Patel and his aides, Lalji Patel and A.K. Patel, to two-year imprisonment in a rioting case.The Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader and his aides were found guilty of rioting, arson, damage to property and unlawful assembly when they attacked BJP legislator Rushikesh Patel’s office in Visnagar on July 23, 2015 during the quota stir that rocked the State. The three have also been fined Rs 50,000 each. The court, however, granted bail to them with a direction that they will have to file an appeal in the Gujarat High Court within a month. In a complaint lodged against 18 persons, Hardik had been named as key accused as he led a rally of a group of around 500 people from the Patel community that turned violent, resulting in damage to property and assault on some media persons..last_img read more

Arunachal flash flood death toll rises to 4

first_imgWith the recovery of one more body from neighbouring Assam, the toll in the flash floods of Arunachal Pradesh has mounted to four while two others are still missing, an official said on Saturday. Triggered by incessant rain in the past few days, flash flood and landslides affected normal lives in several places of Itanagar, Capital Deputy Commissioner Prince Dhawan said. Twenty-six houses have been washed away while over 60 were fully or partially damaged at affected sites such as Modirijo, the Donyi Polo area, Chandra Nagar, Lobi, GSS Police colony, Press colony, Mr. Dhawan said.“The body of one person was recovered on Saturday from Dikrong river near Harmutty in Assam’s Lakhimpur district,” he said. The flash flood also claimed three other lives, while two persons have been missing. Mr. Dhawan said five teams of NDRF and four from SDRF were undertaking search and rescue operation since morning to trace the two missing persons. The approach road to Modirijo has been washed away while half of the culvert has been reported to be damaged in Donyi polo area. A few cars and bikes have also been reportedly swept away in the flood river. Mr. Dhawan said many schools in the capital complex have been designated as temporary relief shelters. Land protection wall of several nallahs and rivulets in the state capital have been badly damaged. The water plants at Poma and Itanagar were damaged causing disruption in water supply to people. PHED sources said minor repair works on the pants could be completed within two days while major repair works would take several days.last_img read more

Armed criminal nabbed

first_imgA hardcore criminal, Siva Shankar Panigrahi alias Jitu Kana, was nabbed after an exchange of fire with police at the Purunagada bypass near Jeypore in Odisha’s Koraput district on Tuesday.According to the police, a countrymade revolver along with live ammunition was seized from him. No one was injured in the incident although Panigrahi fired two rounds at the police.Acting on a tip-off, a police team tracked down Panigrahi and his associate near the bypass around 4.45 a.m. The duo was travelling on a motorbike. In a bid to escape they fired at the police. While Panigrahi was nabbed, his accomplice managed to escape. Panigrahi is named in a number of criminal cases. He was among the dacoits who had managed to escape following an exchange of fire with the police at Gopabandhu Nagar in Jeypore on August 18.last_img read more

Goa Lokayukta seeks report on govt acquiring land from former MLA Subhash Shirodkar

first_imgA complaint was filed on Monday with Goa Lokayukta against former Shiroda MLA Subhash Shirodkar over alleged irregulaties over land acquisition to the tune of ₹70 crore. Mr. Shirodkar resigned as Congress MLA and joined BJP along with another MLA Dayanand Sopte last week upon which the issue of his land acquisition surfaced in public domain.Besides Mr. Shirodkar, complainant — activist-advocate Aires Rodrigues — has named Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and the Chief Secretary of Goa as respondents.Goa Lokayukta Justice P.K.Misra on Monday issued notice to the Chief Secretary seeking a report from him while also directing him to place the entire records of the said land acquisition and has fixed the matter for hearing on November 14. Mr. Rodrigues in his complaint has alleged that Mr. Shirodkar has “benefitted from a massive land scam in collusion with the Goa government’s gross act of maladministration.”Pointing out that in a “blatant illegality” the Goa Government has acquired 1,83,524 sq.m. of orchard land in Shiroda in South Goa from Mr. Shirodkar for a whopping ₹70 crore, Mr. Rodrigues has stated that “this deal was to deceptively reward Mr. Shirodkar for politically flirting with the BJP.”The complaint has stated that Vedanta Real Estate Developers owned by Mr. Shirodkar and his three brothers Amit, Umesh and Sattesh had purchased that land on October 19, 2006 for a mere ₹45/sq m, which the government has now acquired for a price of ₹3,500/ sq m.Mr. Rodrigues, in his complaint, also claimed that another land owner had by a letter dated April 5, 2018 addressed to the Chief Secretary had offered the government 1,40,650 sq.m. of his land in Shiroda for a mere ₹350/sq.m. and that a copy of that letter had been also sent to the then Cabinet Advisory Committee comprising ministers Sudin Dhavalikar, Francis D’Souza and Vijai Sardesai.Stating that any land acquisition by the Government is always for a particular purpose, the complaint claimed Mr.Shirodkar’s land was acquired by the State Industries department without having any plan in place for what purpose the acquired land would be used.Mr. Rodrigues also said the government has not taken any action till even even though he raised the issue with the Chief Secretary on May 29.last_img read more

Chandigarh cracks the whip on violators

first_imgThirty-seven people were arrested in Chandigarh as revellers in cities across Punjab and Haryana flouted the Supreme Court order which had limited the bursting of crackers to between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Diwali, the police said on Thursday. In Ludhiana, one of the most polluted city in the country, 14 cases were registered for flouting the apex court’s time frame on bursting crackers. In Chandigarh, altogether 38 cases were registered for violation of the apex court order. The cases were registered under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code for disobedience of an order promulgated by public authorities. The Air Quality Index (AQI) at several places in the two States was recorded as ‘poor’ and ‘very poor’ on Thursday morning after Diwali night. The pollution-regulating authorities, however, said the air quality after this Diwali remained better than the last year’s.“We have registered 14 cases so far against unknown persons in connection with the violation (of the Supreme Court order),” Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner of Police Ashwani Kapoor said on Thursday. He said the police had appealed to the people before Diwali to adhere to the apex court’s 8-to-10 p.m. time frame for bursting crackers, adding as soon as the violators are verified, their names will be added in the FIR. The order was flouted at many places in the two States as people started bursting crackers well before 8 p.m. and continued beyond 10 p.m. The pollution level rose at several places in two States on Thursday morning.Poor AQI In Punjab, AQI on Thursday morning was found to be 221 in Ludhiana, 266 in Jalandhar, 221 in Amritsar, 271 in Patiala, 223 in Mandi Gobindgarh and 215 in Khanna. The AQI range between 201 and 300 falls under “poor” category. Before Diwali, the AQI in Punjab hovered around moderate to poor category. In Haryana, the AQI after Diwali reached 300 in Rohtak and 353 in Gurugram which is in ‘poor to very poor’ category. In Faridabad, the AQI was 401, just touching the ‘severe’ category. In Chandigarh, the AQI was 155, which is in the ‘moderate’ category, the officials said. The pollution level was about 25% to 30% less this year if compared with the air quality level during the last year’s Diwali. This year, the air quality was much better, Punjab Pollution Control Board’s Chief Environmental Engineer Karunesh Garg said. The AQI in many parts of Punjab after Diwali normally used to be beyond 300, Mr. Garg said, adding that the apex court order has helped a lot in creating awareness about disadvantages of bursting firecrackers.last_img read more

RIMES terms Titli cyclone ‘rarest of rare’

first_imgA vehicle is stuck on a road at Gopalpur, Odisha. The Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (RIMES) for Africa and Asia, a 45-nation international organisation on disaster warning, has termed ‘Titli’, the severe cyclonic storm that devastated Odisha in October, as ‘rarest cyclone’.“More than 200 years of cyclone track history in the Odisha coast reveals that the Titli cyclone is the rarest of rare in terms of its characteristics such as recurvature after landfall and retaining its destructive potential after landfall and recurvature away from the coastal areas for more than two days,” says RIMES in its latest report.Also Read A fisherman caught in the wind and rain as cyclone Titli makes landfall near Gopalpur coast. Cyclone Titli leaves behind a trail of misery in Odisha Fishermen take shelter near Gopalpur coast of Bay of Bengal Sea in Ganjam district of Odisha, 170 km away from Bhubaneswar.  The UN-registered organisation said: “Considering the history of cyclone tracks, no synthetic track projection captures the Titli type of cyclones. The forecast information available lacks actionable early warning information such as no indication of occurrence of secondary hazards, including landslides far away from the coasts.”The severe cyclonic storm left more than 60 people dead, mainly due to land slide in interior Gajapati district. Odisha, which takes immense pride in disaster preparedness, was confounded in the wake of the damage to both life and property caused by Titli in interior districts.Earlier, India Meteorological Department had called the formation of Titli as a ‘rarest of rare’ occurrence. The severe cyclone had changed its path after landfall. A water-logged road in Aska town in Ganjam district of Odisha. Flood affected area of Aska town is seen from a Navy helicopter deployed for relief work in Ganjam district of Odisha.  According to RIMES, the Odisha State Disaster Management Authority faced challenges in anticipating and managing Titli’s impact due to lack of impact-based actionable early warning information and prior experience not only in India but also elsewhere.“The OSDMA, by learning the lessons from Titli cyclone, could evolve measures to minimise impacts in both coastal and non-coastal regions more effectively in future,” it said.The international body said: “The State government actions linked to the cyclone-risk management are also heavily focused on the coastal areas where cyclones cross at their peak intensities. Therefore, coastal areas now have been largely well managed through evacuations and other protocols, leading to zero casualties in these areas.”“The highest number of casualties occurred in a village called Baraghara in Gajapati district due to landslides. People did not evacuate, as the risk is unknown and also not expected. There was no pin-pointed forecast available what will happen where,” it said.The RIMES has recommended that a detailed risk assessment has to be carried out for Odisha to understand the risks in the light of the Titli devastation. A man runs on the Arjipalli beach, Ganjam district. A water-logged road in Aska town in Ganjam district of Odisha. Rain and strong winds caused by the cyclonic storm named Titli, meaning butterfly, near Ganjam district. Rain and strong winds caused by the cyclonic storm named Titli, meaning butterfly, near Ganjam district. Fishermen take shelter near Gopalpur coast of Bay of Bengal Sea in Ganjam district of Odisha, 170 km away from Bhubaneswar. Fishermen leave the beach as Titli lands from the Bay of Bengal. A fisherman caught in the wind and rain as cyclone Titli makes landfall near Gopalpur coast. A vehicle is stuck on a road at Gopalpur, Odisha. A water-logged road in Aska town in Ganjam district of Odisha. Fishermen leave the beach as Titli lands from the Bay of Bengal. Flood affected area of Aska town is seen from a Navy helicopter deployed for relief work in Ganjam district of Odisha. A man runs on the Arjipalli beach, Ganjam district. last_img read more

Pre-poll effort: Cong. builds peace, puts zing in leadership

first_imgThe forming of various committees ahead of the general elections for the Congress’ Maharashtra unit has put three former chief ministers and senior leaders of the party in different committees, ensuring no clashes and smooth functioning of the election campaign in the State. The move is also aimed at revitalising the senior party leadership, which has been sidelined for some time now.Sushilkumar Shinde, Prithviraj Chavan and Ashok Chavan, the three former chief ministers, have been given responsibilities of the campaign, manifesto and election committees respectively. According to party sources, the responsibility of different committees will ensure that there is no clash of ideas and each leader can perform his duty without any interference. “We have ensured every leader gets his due and the party will contest as a unit. Everyone will do their best to fulfill their responsibility,” said a Delhi-based party leader, who is also involved with the Maharashtra unit.Mr. Shinde has been on the back foot, ever since his loss in the 2014 general election from Solapurconstituency. However, he will be contesting the 2019 polls and as chairman of the campaign committee, he will be travelling across the State.Mr. Prithviraj Chavan, who was chief minister in 2014, was criticised within and outside the party over the Congress’ loss in the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls. He has been absent from the national scene for a while. “We will be making rational promises, which our government will fulfill, unlike the BJP,” said the leader from Delhi. Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil has also been tasked with the election committee. Former MLA and former Mumbai president Kripashankar Singh has also been appointed to the committee amid speculation that he will switch to the BJP. He has recently been acquitted in a disproportionate assets case.last_img read more

Birdwatchers flock to Odisha’s Chilika lake

first_imgOrnithologists, bird lovers and photographers from all over the country assembled at the scenic Mangalajodi, on the banks of Chilika lake in Odisha, on Sunday to celebrate the annual congregation of migratory birds. Bird lovers went by boats in the sprawling waters of Chilika and watched birds that had migrated to the famous wintering ground after flying thousands of miles.Photo exhibitions and seminars on birds are the main feature of the two-day National Chilika Bird Festival inaugurated by the State Tourism Minister Ashok Panda on Sunday. Participants are scheduled to visit the Nalbana Bird Sanctuary on Monday. Key role“We are extremely happy to have participants from all over the country. This year we have around one million migratory birds present in Chilika. We are recognising the efforts by the locals in preserving the Chilika Lake and want to empower them by helping them with livelihood in the form of sustainable tourism. Every participant of bird festival is an ambassador of this place and we hope the message spreads,” State Forest and Environment Secretary Suresh Mohapatra said.The National Chilika Bird Festival Award was awarded to Mangalajodi Ecotourism Group for their active involvement in bird protection.“This year Chilika has received record number of birds as a result of removal of illegal gheries [prawn-rearing enclosures] from the lake by the forest department,” said Susanta Nanda, chief executive of the Chilika Development Authority (CDA).Bird count this year in Chilika was 10,47,968 with 181 species (10,21,563 waterfowl of 105 species and 26,405 water dependent birds of 76 species). Last year, it was 8,93,390 of 147 species (8,67,834 waterfowl of 95 species and 25,556 water dependent of 52 species).The CDA also released its book Fish and Shellfish Diversity and its Sustainable Management in Chilika Lake. Around 145 bird watchers from all over India are in attendance for the event.Andrew Sebastian, co-founder of Asian Bird Fair, spoke about the importance of preserving birds and praised the efforts made to organise the bird festival, one of its kind in the country.Major avian stopoverChilika, which lies in the Central Asian Flyway for birds, is a major stopover site for migratory birds from the Arctic and Sub-Arctic regions during their onward and return migration along the east coast. Habitats such as mudflats, floating and submerged vegetation, reed beds, open waters with varying depth and salinity attract a variety of migratory and resident bird species.Chilika Lake has been recognised as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.last_img read more

Anna Hazare begins hunger strike over Lokpal

first_imgRebuffing the Maharashtra government’s pleas for restraint, veteran anti-graft activist Anna Hazare on Wednesday commenced on an indefinite hunger strike at his village in Ralegan Siddhi in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district over the Centre’s failure to appoint the elusive Lokpal and resolve farmers’ problems.The octogenarian Mr. Hazare, who has a history of ‘hunger agitations’, hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accusing him of “deceiving the people” with false promises of appointing the Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas across the States.  The activist, who began his fast on the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s death anniversary, has refused to budge until the Modi government immediately came out with an ordinance to appoint ombudsmen at the Centre and the States.Mr. Hazare further demanded that Centre implement the Swaminathan Commission report for agrarian reforms and establish social security measures for farmers.“It has been more than five years since the Lokpal Bill became the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013. Yet, the Act has not been implemented… Narendra Modi has been hoodwinking the people of this country despite the Supreme Court rapping him thrice on this account. But such is the PM’s arrogance that he chooses to ignore even the apex court,” Mr. Hazare said.“The Swaminathan Committee recommendations have been hanging fire till date. Farmers have no security today. They are committing suicide in droves and yet this [BJP] government continues with its hollow promises of loan waiver,” he added.However, Mr. Hazare stated that his fast was not directed towards any individual or political party, but was solely for the benefit of the country and society.Maharashtra amends Lokayukta ActEarlier on Tuesday, the Devendra Fadnavis government, in a bid to preempt Mr. Hazare’s agitation, had amended the 1971 Lokayukta Act to bring the office of the Chief Minister in the ambit of State’s ombudsman, the Lokayukta.However, State Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan, who had successfully placated Mr. Hazare in the past, was forced to cancel his visit to Ralegan Siddhi on Wednesday after the activist refused to meet him.“I have asked him [Mr. Mahajan] not to come this time and waste his time…the keys for resolving this [Lokayukta implementation] imbroglio is in Delhi and he [Girish Mahajan] cannot solve this issue,” said Mr. Hazare.However, speaking in Mumbai, Mr. Mahajan said he was hopeful that the matter would be resolved soon and that Mr. Hazare would be pacified.On January 28, Mr. Hazare had warned Mr. Modi of his intention of going on a hunger strike over the non-implementation of the Lokpal Act.last_img read more

Hindutva leader Milind Ekbote assaulted near Pune

first_imgHindutva leader Milind Ekbote was assaulted near Saswad, on the outskirts of Pune city, on Tuesday night and a case was booked on Wednesday against more than 40 persons, believed to be “gau rakshaks” (cow protectors), in this connection, the Pune Rural Police said.The controversial Mr. Ekbote, who heads the fringe right-wing outfit, ‘Samasta Hindu Aghadi’, has been accused of allegedly orchestrating the Bhima-Koregaon clashes that erupted on January 1, 2018.The assault occurred at Zendewadi (in Purandar taluk) near Saswad, 27 km from the city a little after 9:30 p.m., said police sources.Mr. Ekbote, who is also the western Maharashtra region head of a cow protection outfit called ‘Bharat Krushi Goseva Sanghatana’, had come for a function in Zendewadi, according to the Saswad police.Facebook postIn a Facebook post, he had severely criticised the working of a cow shelter in Zendewadi run by one Pandit Modak. In his post, Mr. Ekbote allegedly accused Mr. Modak of corruption.“After the function, Mr. Ekbote visited a nearby temple to eat prasad [religious offering]. It was then that a gang of men, allegedly on the instigation of Mr. Modak, attacked him and his group. Mr. Ekbote was roughed up, while three of his followers sustained minor injuries,” assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Balasaheb Jagtap of the Saswad Police Station told The Hindu.Mr. Ekbote filed a complaint in the early hours of Wednesday against Mr. Modak and his men. He accused Mr. Modak’s men of attempting to knife one of his followers.The police lodged an FIR against Mr. Modak and 45 others under sections 147 (rioting), 143, 149 (pertaining to unlawful assembly), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 295 (a) [deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion] of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). “This appears to an internecine feud between Ekbote’s supporters and Modak’s group of ‘gau rakshaks’. No arrests have been made so far, and further investigation is on,” Mr. Jagtap said.Mr. Ekbote was arrested in March last year for having allegedly incited the rioting at Bhima-Koregaon and adjoining areas on New Year’s Day that left one person dead and several injured. He, however, was granted bail the next month by the Pune District and Sessions Court.In January last, a local court lifted Mr. Ekbote’s restrictions on holding public rallies and speaking to the media, while relaxing conditions on mandatory appearances at the Shikrapur police station where a case of rioting had been lodged against him during the Bhima-Koregaon clashes.However, the Pune Rural Police had issued prohibitory orders against Mr. Ekbote in a bid to preclude any law and order situation in Bhima-Koregaon village on the eve of the 201st anniversary of the battle, that peacefully concluded on January 1.Protest against court reliefA number of Ambedkarite outfits and prominent leaders and activists across the country have expressed outrage at Mr. Ekbote’s relief granted by the court in connection the Bhima-Koregaon violence, while condemning the arrests and persecution of activists and intellectuals like Sudha Bharadwaj, advocate Surendra Gadling, Shoma Sen and others in this case.In October 2001, the Hindutva leader had come under the police scanner in connection with a rioting incident in Saswad, following which the district authorities mooted action against him under the Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities (MPDA) of Slumlords, Bootleggers, Drug-Offenders and Dangerous Persons Act, 1981.Dalit outfits have alleged that since the Saswad case, Mr. Ekbote had been embroiled in at least 27 cases of rioting.last_img read more

Economists offer new arguments for U.S. research tax break

first_imgAdd another study to the sagging bookshelf of reports suggesting that the United States would benefit from permanently allowing companies to get a tax break for investing in research and development.The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), one of the nation’s largest industrial trade groups, today released a report from three academic economists that reviews the scholarly literature on the economic impact of the so-called R&D tax credit, worth some $7 billion annually in recent years. It concludes that making the credit permanent—a long-sought goal of industry and science groups—could boost the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) by 0.16% annually and add between 36,000 and 38,300 jobs each year.The report marks the renewal of what has become a perennial lobbying campaign in Washington, D.C. For years, many economists and a large bipartisan group of lawmakers in Congress have advocated making the credit more generous and permanent, arguing it is an efficient way of promoting investment in scientific advances. Since the credit was created in 1981, however, Congress has allowed it to lapse six times—most recently in January 2014—and temporarily extended it 16 times. Last month, for example, Congress retroactively extended the credit for 2014.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 credit’s long-term cost is one big reason lawmakers have been so cautious. Analysts estimate making the break permanent would reduce tax revenues by some $100 billion to $150 billion over the next decade, and lawmakers have so far been unable to agree on ways to offset that loss of revenue.It’s almost certain lawmakers will ultimately reinstate the credit for 2015. But NAM and other groups hope Congress will finally agree to make it permanent, perhaps as part of a larger overhaul of the U.S. tax code.Today’s report, titled A Missed Opportunity: The Economic Cost of Delaying Pro-Growth Tax Reform, tries to strengthen the case for taking the plunge. It reviews scholarly studies of the R&D credit and four other business-related elements of tax policy and concludes that proposed reforms could, together, boost annual GDP by 1% and create 500,000 jobs per year. “These estimated impacts are significant and worthy of consideration in the ongoing discussion about the future of pro-growth tax reform,” write the authors, economists Donald Bruce and Matthew Murray of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Tami Gurley-Calvez of the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City. “Additionally, we do not believe they are out of line with the prior literature.”Whether the new numbers will help change the political calculus in Congress, however, won’t be known until lawmakers begin discussing tax policy in earnest, sometime later this year.last_img read more

The science of migraines

first_imgSAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA—If you’ve ever had a migraine, you know it’s no ordinary headache: In addition to throbbing waves of excruciating pain, symptoms often include nausea, visual disturbances, and acute sensitivity to sounds, smells, and light. Although there’s no cure for the debilitating headaches, which affect roughly 10% of people worldwide, researchers are starting to untangle their cause and find more effective treatments. Here today at the annual meeting of AAAS (which publishes Science), Science sat down with Teshamae Monteith, a clinical neurologist at the University of Miami Health System in Florida, today to discuss the latest advances in the field.Q: How is our understanding of migraine evolving?A: It’s more complicated than we thought. In the past, researchers thought of migraine as a blood vessel disorder, in part because some patients can feel a temple pulsation during a migraine attack. Now, migraine is considered a sensory perceptual disorder, because so many of the sensory systems—light, sound, smell, hearing—are altered. During an attack, patients have concentration impairments, appetite changes, mood changes, and sleeping is off. What fascinates me is that patients are often bothered by manifestations of migraine, such as increased sensitivity to light, in between attacks, suggesting that they may be wired differently, or their neurobiology may be altered. About two-thirds of patients with acute migraine attacks have allodynia, a condition that makes people so sensitive to certain stimuli that even steam from a shower can be incredibly painful. One way to view it is that migraineurs at baseline are at a different threshold for sensory stimuli.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(*)Q: What is the most cutting-edge treatment today?A: The mainstay acute treatment for migraines are a class of drugs called triptans, which act on serotonin receptors. Serotonin is thought to be the underlying neurotransmitter involved in migraine, based on a lower than normal level of serotonin (5-HT) which increases during attacks. There’s also a strong relationship between depression [which is linked to abnormal serotonin levels] and migraines: People with depression are more likely to get migraines, and people with migraines are more likely to be depressed. It’s not entirely clear how triptans work, but they are able to abort attacks in some patients. They are wonderful drugs, but not everyone responds. The field is now wide open for new drug targets, especially ones that do not constrict blood vessels like the triptans.Q: What are some promising new treatments?A: One new drug targets a substance called CGRP—calcitonin gene-related peptide—thought to be one of the peptides that’s released during an acute migraine attack. A multicenter, randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled preventive study [in which different doses of the CGRP-targeting drug, telcagepant, were given to people with migraine] showed some liver enzyme abnormalities in a small subset of patients so it failed to pass the safety requirements although the data suggested a potential role. But now there’s an antibody version that has completed the phase II studies and is considered the hottest new thing in the field. It was too small of a trial to really determine effectiveness, but it is still really exciting because it’s the first trial which suggests that a drug which targets CGRP can be safe.Q: To what extent is migraine inherited?A: The genetics need some work because migraine so complicated, but for most patients we’re able to tie it to a family history. As a medical resident in 2008, I learned about three genes associated with hemiplegic migraine, a condition in which people go weak on one side. Now, a number of additional genes have been associated with migraine. Some are associated with glutamate, a neurotransmitter associated with excitatory functioning. A lot of brain systems utilize glutamate—a major excitatory neurotransmitter—so blocking it may have some challenges.Q: What risk factors have you found for migraine?A: Migraine usually presents itself in adolescence or preadolescence; women are more likely to have migraines around their menstrual cycles and the headaches seem to happen in response to hormonal changes in men as well. Low socioeconomic status as well as obesity, and poor sleep also increase the frequency of attacks. Lesions in brain tissue called infarctions are complications of migraine, and risk factors such as smoking and oral contraception may increase the risk. Q: What are some challenges to studying migraine in the brain?A: Right now we’re stuck with animal models that don’t exactly mimic the complexities of the human brain or even a migraine attack. Human brain imaging has a much greater potential and has exciting applications in migraine. With brain imaging, we are able to better understand the structures, connections, and chemicals that are involved in migraine. In addition, postmortem studies of the brains of people who have suffered migraine may be helpful in better understanding the etiology of white matter lesions commonly associated with migraine, currently of unknown etiology. However, it can be difficult to interpret such studies because what caused someone to expire—stroke, cancer, etc.—might change the brain.Check out our full coverage of the AAAS annual meeting.What message would you send into space? Tell us on Twitter and Vine with #msgtospace!last_img read more

Who’s your Shivaji

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India should drag US in WTO over tariff hike decision, say trade experts

first_imgIndia should drag the US in the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) dispute mechanism against the move to hike import duties on steel and aluminium, as the decision will impact exports and it is not in compliance with the global trade norms, experts today said.The decision of the US would not only impact India’s export of these goods to America but also affect global trade, Biswajit Dhar, a professor of economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University, said.Read it at Money Control Related Itemslast_img read more

A Backlash Is Boiling Over An American Traveler Making Millions Off Of Chai Tea

first_imgFor the conscientious traveler, heavy questions loom over every trip: can I witness and even participate in a culture without harming it? Is it okay to take pieces of a culture that I admire and use those pieces in my own life? Is ethical travel possible? And one of the most important questions travelers from developed countries—particularly white travelers—can and should ask themselves is: if I take a piece of this place, am I appreciating or appropriating?Read it at Uproxx Related Itemslast_img read more

Indian Immigrants And The Creation of St James

first_imgOn Wednesday, our country will commemorate 173 years of East Indian arrival to our shores. Incidental to this is the 80-year anniversary of the inclusion of St James into the City of Port of Spain. This historic event took place on June ist, 1938. Since then, the town of St James has developed from a sleepy village into a vital sub-division of the City of Port of Spain.Read it at Trinidad Express Related Itemslast_img

IT Cos Struggle to Hire Skilled US Workforce

first_imgWith the Donald Trump-led US imposing more and more curbs on H1-B visas that allow Indian IT professionals to work in the Land of Opportunities, India IT companies are facing two-fold challenge. These curbs have been preventing Indian companies to take Indian talent to the US, while on the other hand, they are not able to hire local talent due to paucity of skilled workforce.Read it at The Hans India Related Itemslast_img