Pune court allows extension of Rohit Tilak’s bail in rape case

first_imgIn a relief to Congress leader Rohit Tilak, a local court here on Thursday allowed the extension of the bail application granted to him in a rape case, while quashing the 41-year-old lady complainant’s application of perjury against the politico. Additional Sessions Judge Lata Yenkar, while passing the ruling, directed Mr. Tilak – a descendant of ‘Lokmanya’ Bal Gangadar Tilak – to cooperate fully with the police investigation.“We are disappointed with the ruling as not enough emphasis was given to section 313 in our complaint (causing miscarriage consent) against the accused (Tilak),” said Advocate Tosif Shaikh, representing the complainant.Mr. Shaikh said the complainant was planning to move the Bombay High Court against the order.Earlier, the complainant had moved the Pune Sessions to transfer the case to another court, but her plea was dismissed by the principal district judge (PDJ) Shriram Modak.In fact, she has filed no less than three applications in the Pune Sessions Court in the past week, including one for cancellation of Mr. Tilak’s anticipatory bail and another demanding medical examination of the accused.After her application seeking transfer of case was rejected, the complainant reportedly took to Twitter and alleged that ‘political influence’ has resulted in Mr. Tilak escaping arrest and claimed that medical evidence has been destroyed.Mr. Tilak (37), was booked on July 17 under sections 376 (rape), 377 (unnatural sex), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) 504, 506 (criminal intimidation) 507 (criminal intimidation by anonymous communication), but was granted interim anticipatory bail on July 20.The complainant, in her petition, has accused Mr. Tilak of categorically portraying himself as ‘unmarried’ while indulging in sexual intercourse with her. She has also accused the Congress leader of “emotional blackmail” and repeated assault and extracting a sum to the tune of ₹58 lakh from her.However, Mr. Tilak’s advocate, Nandu Phadke, while questioning the merits of the original rape case, argued that despite the reams of possible evidence submitted by the lady, who is a law practitioner herself, only selective portions had been submitted.last_img read more

‘Yashwant Sinha’s criticism of BJP biggest surgical strike’

first_imgThe Congress on Friday said senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha’s hard-hitting criticism of the NDA government’s economic policy failures was the “biggest surgical strike of all”.Addressing a press conference at Congress House, AICC Secretary Girish Chodankar said Mr. Sinha’s criticism had exposed the Centre’s half-witted economic policies. “This is the biggest surgical strike. It has revealed the ground reality and the direction in which the country is heading.”last_img

Padmavati, triple talaq and halal feature in M.A History exam paper in BHU

first_img While many modern historians have said that the historicity of Padmavati was unproven, the BHU professor said it was important to get the correct information about the raging subject to the students.“Students ask a lot about things that are relevant and contemporary. It is important to tell students about these issues, which become controversial. Many issues in medieval era are disputed. Under such circumstances if we don’t tell students about the correct history, they will not be able to narrate the correct things,” Mr. Srivastava said.The professor further said that it was important to cover issues related to Islamic society and culture in the medieval era. “Islam is not an Indian religion. It came from outside. It brought both good and negative aspects. Both Islamic and Hindu cultures are taught in history, as they both had an impact on each other,” he said.The history paper comes after students sitting for the political science examination recently were asked to write what Kautilya, the advisor to emperor Chandra Gupta Maurya, thought of GST and Manu on globalization.The history paper also had a short question asking students the location of the Taj Mahal and a long-answer question on the role played by saints in “Hindu-Muslim unity” in the medieval era.  Professor Tabir Kalam of the history department confirmed the content of the paper but said he could not pinpoint who set the questions. “It was set by three-four different persons,” he said.Assistant Professor Rajiv Srivastava, also of the medieval history department, was not available on telephone but while talking to a news agency he justified the questions as being relevant.Issues featuring in the question paper “automatically become a part of the syllabus when you teach medieval history and history of Islam,” he said.Also Read Politics and Padmavati The subject of a raging controversy, Queen Padmavati who is the protaganist of 16th century poem by a Sufi poet, has found her way into the question paper for M.A. history examination in the Banaras Hindu University.“What do you mean by Johar tradition? Describe Rani Padmavati’s Johar in the period of Allaudin Khalji,” a question in the medieval history paper asked.The question carried 10 marks.The paper also featured a question on the contentious triple talaq issue. “Discuss about teen talaq and halala as a social evil in Islam,” the paper read.As part of the semester paper on Society and Culture in Medieval India, the students also had the option of describing the “position of Muslim women in the Sultanate Age”.Also Read An absurd canvas: on Padmavatilast_img read more

Justice Indira Banerjee to head inquiry panel to probe allegations of impropriety against sitting HC judges

first_imgThe Chief Justice of Madras High Court, Indira Banerjee, has been selected by the Supreme Court for the second time to head an in-house inquiry committee to probe allegations of impropriety against sitting High Court judges in other States.Justice Banerjee will leave for New Delhi on Thursday to chair a committee constituted to probe complaints pending against Justices Indrajit Mahanty and Sangam Kumar Sahoo of the Odisha High Court since 2016.Panel revampChief Justice of India Dipak Misra had recently reconstituted the committee and made Justice Banerjee its chairperson. Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Ravi Shanker Jha of Madhya Pradesh High Court were the other two committee members. In a communication to one of the complainants, Jayanta Kumar Das, Justice Banerjee informed him of the committee’s decision to meet for the first time at Tamil Nadu House on Thursday and asked him to be present there to explain his complaints against the two judges since April 15, 2016.This is the second time that the CJI had appointed Justice Banerjee as the chairperson of an in-house inquiry committee. She had earlier headed a committee which found Justice S.N. Shukla of Allahabad High Court guilty of having acted in a manner unbecoming of a judge while dealing with a case related to medical admissions.In the Odisha issue, Justice Mahanty is accused of running a hotel in Cuttack in violation of the code of ethics for judges. Justice Sahoo is accused of misusing public funds by spending money for renovating his official residence.The committee had to be reconstituted since its former chairman S.F. Vazifdar had retired as Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court on May 3. Similarly former member T. Vaiphei too had retired as Chief Justice of Tripura High Court on February 28.last_img read more

Meghalaya bypolls a race to become single-largest party

first_imgThe byelections to two Assembly seats in Meghalaya on Thursday will be a race between the ruling National People’s Party (NPP) and the Opposition Congress to become the single-largest party. It will also decide if Conrad K. Sangma remains the Chief Minister of the hill State.Mr. Sangma, an MP representing the Tura Lok Sabha seat, needs to win the South Tura Assembly seat for a berth in the 60-member House. His sister and former Union minister Agatha K. Sangma had vacated the seat for him. South Tura in West Garo Hills district is one of two Assembly constituencies going to the polls on Thursday. The other is Ranikor in West Khasi Hills district. The Ranikor seat had fallen vacant after five-time winner Martin K. Danggo resigned as a Congress MLA. He is now contesting as an NPP candidate from this seat, where local authorities have engaged young athletes as runners for relaying messages between at least five remote polling centres and the returning officer 6-40 km away.The Congress has 20 seats in the State Assembly while the NPP, which heads the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government that includes the BJP, has 19. The NPP needs to win both seats to have the psychological advantage of becoming the single-largest party.last_img read more

Why are floods necessary in Kaziranga?

first_imgEvery year, the Brahmaputra takes away chunks of land from Kaziranga National Park that on paper is 1,030 sq km in area. The park now measures 884 sq km and is shrinking. But the river gives more to the address of the world’s largest population of one-horned rhinos than it snatches from – mostly hog deer, swamp deer, wild boar and a few other animals that fail to reach higher ground in time. This year, though, the 117-year-old park – a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985 – hasn’t been inundated, and this is worrying for the park authorities.Why are floods necessary?Floods, Central Water Commission data say, cost Assam an average ₹128 crore annually. The deluge happens up to four times a year between April and October. Unlike farmlands across the Brahmaputra floodplain, monsoon floods are essential to Kaziranga’s ecosystem. The national park’s vast grasslands and beels (wetlands) are revitalised annually by the Brahmaputra’s overflow. According to park director Akashdeep Baruah, Kaziranga’s plant and animal life are intrinsically linked to the floods that help recharge its wetlands and deposit mineral-rich alluvial soil to facilitate growth of grass and shrubs that are the main source of fodder for herbivores. Besides, the floodwaters, while receding, flush out aquatic weeds and unwanted plants from 92 permanent and about 250 seasonal beels besides Difolu, a stream almost bisecting the portion of the park on the southern bank of the Brahmaputra. The beels together account for 5.6% of Kaziranga’s total area.What are the challenges?Park officials say Kaziranga experiences a relatively dry spell or insufficient rainfall every four years. The floods that hit the park in 2016 were said to be the worst in a decade but 2017 was worse with more than 85% of Kaziranga inundated, displacing thousands of animals. Some 400 animals, including 31 rhinos, perished in last year’s deluge. The Brahmaputra appeared threatening in May, but the flow was not sustained mainly because Arunachal Pradesh upstream has had 40% less rainfall this year. It takes two days for the Brahmaputra to inundate the Kaziranga region after its tributaries in Arunachal Pradesh overflow. Assam, too, has had 35% less rainfall, though it has been just enough for the park’s channels and wetlands – watering holes for the animals – to be filled up. At this rate, 25-30% weeds (primarily water hyacinths) and animal wastes are expected to be flushed out naturally. Officials are keeping their fingers crossed, as “there’s still time till September and early-October” for floods to drain out the “natural trash”. If not, the Kaziranga landscape could face a problem vis-à-vis regrowth of vegetation, specifically in the grasslands that cover 60% of the park. An added worry has been the poor burning of grass around spring this year due to pre-monsoon rainfall. The burning is necessary for creating space for fresh grass.Where is the real threat from?During the not-so-devastating floods, animals in Kaziranga flee to higher grounds within the park. These include 111 highlands built in the late 1990s, each 12 ft high and large enough to accommodate up to 50 large animals. There are 33 more being built, each 16 ft high, with a total area of 22 hectares. But when 70-80% of Kaziranga is under water, the animals usually flee to the hills of Karbi Anglong south of the park beyond a National Highway running along its edge. Speed of vehicles is regulated during floods, but some animals invariably get killed. Of greater worry for wildlife officials and green activists is the destruction of the hills because of indiscriminate stone quarrying. An assessment by officials reveals some of the major quarries are on animal corridors and thus affect the movement of Kaziranga’s denizens. The quarrying has increased over a year, and extracted materials have been dumped at 38 sites along a 10 km stretch adjoining the park. If the floods happen in the next few weeks, Kaziranga’s animals could find their escape route blocked or altered.last_img read more

Pro-talks ULFA faction seeks extension of NRC claims deadline

first_imgThe pro-talks faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom has followed the Assam government and some minority organisations in seeking an extension of the deadline for filing claims and objections for the inclusion of names of genuine Indian citizens in the final updated National Register of Citizens. The last date for this phase of the NRC exercise is December 15.Representing Sompreeti, an organisation formed by the pro-talks ULFA and Bongobhashi Asomiya Samaj, the faction’s general secretary, Anup Chetia, said that the panchayat elections in Assam robbed many people of valuable time to file their claims. “They deserve an extension because the claims and objections process was adversely affected by the rural polls,” he said.The two-phase rural polls ended on Sunday. Mr. Chetia also demanded a high-level probe to ensure that the names of illegal foreigners are not included in the NRC. State NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela had some time ago told the Supreme Court, which is monitoring the exercise, that legacy data had been purchased and sold.Legacy data refers to a set of documents such as the 1951 NRC and electoral rolls up to March 24, 1971. A requisite for applicants was to establish linkage with people whose names figure in these documents.Glare on NRC centresGuwahati-based human rights activist and senior advocate Debashis Sur said most NRC Seva Kendras have not been accepting documents of people despite a directive from the apex court. “The NRC officials are not accepting the documents of people excluded from the completed draft. This is a crime, since officials at the Seva Kendras are not competent to verify the authenticity of the documents,” he said.Mr. Sur urged the Assam government and the NRC authorities to accept the claims and objection forms being submitted.So far, about 10 lakh of the 40.07 lakh people excluded from the draft NRC have re-applied. Officials said some 230 objections (to the inclusion of names in the NRC) have been submitted.last_img read more

Two arrested for former Gujarat MLA’s murder

first_imgThe Gujarat Police Criminal Investigation Department (CID-Crime) on Thursday arrested two persons in connection with the murder of former legislator Jayanti Bhanushali, who was killed in a moving train by unidentified assailants on January 7, 2019. According to the police, Mr. Bhanushali was shot dead by Pune-based sharpshooters, who were given a contract to kill by another former legislator and BJP leader Chhabil Patel, who hatched a conspiracy with one Manisha Goswami, a former aide of Bhanushali. “Chhabil Patel and Manisha Goswami hatched a conspiracy to get Mr. Bhanushali killed because personal and professional rivalry,” said ADGP Ajay Tomar. He said a special investigation team (SIT) formed to probe this high profile murder has arrested two persons — Nitin Patel and Rahul Patel — in connection with the crime. “We have also identified sharpshooters: Shashikant alias Dada Kamble, who faces several cases in Yarwada in Maharashtra, and Sheikh Ashraf Anwar, who also faces several cases” Mr. Tomar said, adding that both sharpshooters are currently on the run. Manisha Goswami is also evading arrest, while Mr. Chhabil Patel had already left India on January 3, a few days before the murder. “We have formed several teams to nab the culprits,” Mr. Tomar said, when asked about the arrests of the remaining accused. “So far, our probe has revealed that the murder was a result of personal enmity between Chhabil Patel and Bhanushali. Chhabil Patel and Manisha (Goswami) ganged up against him,” he added. Bhanushali was accused of rape by a Surat-based woman, who subsequently withdrew her complaint. There were also allegations of Bhanushali and sGoswami running a sex racket in Kutch, Gujarat.last_img read more

Campaigning under Kashmir’s moon

first_imgBriefingWe brief you on the latest and most important developments, three times a day. Subscribe Now Already have an account ? Sign in Personalised recommendationsA select list of articles that match your interests and tastes. Unlimited AccessEnjoy reading as many articles as you wish without any limitations. Today’s PaperFind mobile-friendly version of articles from the day’s newspaper in one easy-to-read list. Subscription Benefits Include *Our Digital Subscription plans do not currently include the e-paper ,crossword, iPhone, iPad mobile applications and print. Our plans enhance your reading experience. Faster pagesMove smoothly between articles as our pages load instantly. DashboardA one-stop-shop for seeing the latest updates, and managing your preferences. Sign up for a 30-day free trial. Sign Up You have reached your limit for free articles this month.Register to The Hindu for free and get unlimited access for 30 days.last_img read more

‘Kedarnath trip coverage code violation’

first_imgCongress MP Pradip Bhattacharya on Sunday wrote to the Election Commission, saying the media coverage of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Kedarnath was in violation of the model code of conduct. He said he has requested the EC to take stern action in this regard. “The way he (Modi) ensured media coverage of his trip… is nothing but a violation of MCC. Is this not a way to influence voters ahead of polls,” Mr. Bhattacharya said. The Trinamool Congress has also complained to the poll panel on the issue.last_img read more

ScienceShot: A 520-Million-Year-Old Brain Scan

first_imgSome of the most unusual creatures scuttling across the sea floor 520 million years ago were the “great-appendage” arthropods, which had scissorlike projections sprouting from their heads. Looking only at their general crustaceanlike body plan (inset), paleontologists have long debated where these animals fit within the arthropod family tree, a diverse group that includes insects, spiders, millipedes, and long-extinct trilobites. Now, researchers have gained clues about the creatures’ closest evolutionary kin by blasting fossils of one group of the animals with high-energy x-rays, which caused various elements in the fossils to fluoresce. They also took CT scans. The most useful images, the researchers found, were those produced by fluorescing iron (depicted in magenta, main image) and the CT scans (green). Together, these images denote the creature’s optic nerves (its eyes are the four dark circles at the top of the main image), brain, and the nerve tissue serving eight of its 11 body segments. That arrangement is most like the one seen in a group of modern-day arthropods known as chelicerates, the researchers report today in Nature. Living members of that group include spiders, scorpions, and horseshoe crabs. The finding clears up the picture of the arthropod family tree, which is particularly important because some of these creatures’ features were so unlike those of their presumed kin. If used more broadly, the technique used to analyze these fossils could help paleontologists gain insights into evolutionary relationships among other enigmatic, long-gone species, including many of the unusual animals strolling the sea floor during the same time period.See more ScienceShots.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

Why Late Nights Are Bad for Your Immune System

first_imgJet lag, shift work, and even late nights staring at your tablet or smartphone may be making you sick. That’s because the body’s internal clock is set for two 12-hour periods of light and darkness, and when this rhythm is thrown off, so is the immune system. One reason may be that the genes that set the body clock are intimately connected to certain immune cells, according to a new study.The finding “was a happy accident,” says Lora Hooper, an immunologist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. She and her colleagues were studying NFIL3, a protein that guides the development of certain immune cells and turns on the activity of others. The gene for this protein is mutated in some human patients with inflammatory bowel disease, and mice lacking the gene for NFIL3, the team found, had more so-called TH17 cells in their intestines.These cells are a type of immune cell known as a T cell. They get their name from a signal they produce, called interleukin 17, which tells other T cells to increase the immune response. In normal numbers, TH17 cells, which live in the intestines, help the body fight bacterial and fungal infections. But when there are too many, the immune defense begins to cause illness rather than prevent it. Boosting NFIL3 levels in T cells growing in lab cultures resulted in fewer of them turning into TH17 cells, the researchers found, suggesting that the protein’s job is to prevent T cells from going into that area of specialization. The absence of the protein, the team concluded, leads to runaway TH17 activity.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(*)At this point, the researchers had no reason to suspect a connection to our body’s internal timekeeping system—also known as our circadian clock—which responds to daily cycles of light and dark. But as they continued to explore the connection between NFIL3 and TH17 cells, they found that some of the proteins produced by the body’s “clock genes” attach to the NFIL3 genes. What’s more, cultured cells and mice whose clock genes were experimentally tampered with produced fewer TH17 cells. The researchers surmise that a key protein in the clock network binds to the NFIL3 gene to keep the production of TH17 cells synchronized with periods of light and darkness. And the team found that normal mice produce less NFIL3, and thus more TH17 cells, during the day than at night.In a final experiment, the researchers gave the mice jet lag. “We didn’t fly them anywhere,” Hooper jokes. Instead, the team shifted the rodents’ light/dark cycles by 6 hours every 4 days. “It would be like flying from the U.S. to Europe, India, and Japan and spending 4 days in each country,” she explains. Mice with altered light cycles had nearly twice as many TH17 cells in their spleens and intestines, compared with mice having a normal day, the team reports online today in Science. The jet-lagged mice also mounted a stronger inflammatory response to irritation by an experimental chemical—a test used to gauge immune-system sensitivity that hints the animals may be more prone to inflammatory disease.The finding adds to a growing body of research showing that a healthy pattern of light and dark, sleeping and waking, is essential to keep the immune system in balance, Hooper says. She notes that inflammation is the basis of many chronic disorders, such as heart disease, asthma, chronic pain, and many things ending in “-itis,” like bursitis and dermatitis. Inflammatory conditions are more prevalent in developed countries, where people’s circadian rhythms are chronically disrupted. Even people who don’t work shifts or cross time zones still wake and sleep out of sync with light and darkness, Hooper says. “We all have screwed up light cycles. We stay up late, keep the lights on, look at our lit-up iPhones at 2 a.m.”Immunologist Dan Littman of New York University in New York City finds the results in cultured cells convincing. He cautions, though, that the neatly defined pathway from clock gene to TH17 suppression might not be so tidy in a living animal. “Even if NFIL3 is involved in the way they show, circadian disruption affects many other things.” Stress hormones, gut bacteria, and the actions of other types of T cells may also account for the effects of the experimental jet lag, he says.Littman also notes that the increased inflammation in the jet-lagged animals was a response to an induced chemical irritation, and more research is needed to prove a link to inflammatory or autoimmune disease.Hooper agrees that the present study is probably the tip of the iceberg, and more research will yield deepening insight into the relationship between immune cells circadian rhythms. She is hoping to collaborate with other researchers to determine if TH17 cells are increased in humans with chronically altered light cycles. For now, she says, she tries to keep her own sleeping patterns more aligned with nature, starting by limiting exposure to artificial light at night. “I turn off the lights, I draw the curtains, and I keep my iPhone off.”last_img read more

Evidence for cosmic inflation wanes

first_imgA crumbling claim that appeared to reveal the workings of the big bang may instead say more about how science is done in an age of incessant news coverage. In March, researchers working with a specialized telescope at the South Pole, known as BICEP2, claimed that by studying the afterglow of the big bang—the so-called cosmic microwave background—they had discovered direct evidence that the newborn cosmos had undergone a bizarre exponential growth spurt known as cosmic inflation. Now, researchers from the European Space Agency’s Planck spacecraft have shown that radiation from dust in our galaxy accounts for some, and possibly all, of the BICEP signal. Curiously, the BICEP and Planck teams took very different tacks in publicizing their results. The BICEP team held a press conference and issued a bold press release. The Planck team did not—because they did not want the press to jump to the conclusion that they had definitively proved the BICEP result wrong.For more, see the full story in this week’s issue of Science.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

IPCC reaches finish line, releases major climate change synthesis report

first_imgstrategies to mitigate climate impacts, released in April 2014.It is the product of a sometimes contentious negotiating process over wording and emphasis and draws on the work of more than 800 scientists. The report is designed to make state-of-the-art thinking about climate change available to policy makers and the public.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(*)Although the new report’s “core findings aren’t new, [it] makes them clearer than ever, and they are worth underscoring,” said Bob Perciasepe, president of the Arlington, Virginia–based Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, in a statement. “The core message from the IPCC is the growing urgency of action. … The scientists have done their job. Now it’s up to governments to do theirs.”In particular, advocates for government action on climate change are focusing on a new round of international negotiations on some kind global climate pact. In December, nations meet in Peru to talk over some options, with the goal of arriving at a final agreement at a meeting in Paris in December 2015. It’s unclear, however, whether the new IPCC report can help overcome the political and economic obstacles that have blocked major movement of reducing emissions. potential climate impacts, and ways to adapt and reduced vulnerability, released in March 2014; and Climate change is taking hold and will bring worrying impacts—but there is still time to limit the damage. That, in a nutshell, is the message delivered by a new report that synthesizes the findings of three massive studies issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) over the past year. The Synthesis Report, released today at a meeting in Copenhagen, caps work on the fifth assessment of climate science and mitigation that the IPCC has completed since 1990.The report demonstrates that “we have the means to limit climate change,” said Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the IPCC, in a statement. “The solutions are many and allow for continued economic and human development. All we need is the will to change, which we trust will be motivated by knowledge and an understanding of the science of climate change.”The synthesis report wraps together highlights from the three earlier reports, on:climate science, released in September 2013;last_img read more

IIT Delhi, DU among top 200 universities in world, reveals study

first_imgOnly IIT Delhi and University of Delhi figure in the world’s top 200 universities compared to 49 from the USA, 30 from United Kingdom, 11 from Germany and 8 from China and Australia, according to a study by an industry body. A joint study by ASSOCHAM and Yes Institute said it becomes imperative for the country to learn from global best practices.Read it at Indian Express Related Itemslast_img

Rupee Falls To Lowest In Over A Year Against US Dollar, Breaches Key Level

first_imgThe rupee (INR) fell sharply against the US dollar (USD) today to breach the 67 mark against the greenback. The rupee fell to as much as 67.18 per dollar during today’s trade, its lowest level since February 2017. The rupee had closed at 66.86 per dollar on Friday. The rupee was dragged down by a broad strengthening of the US dollar and a rise in global crude prices, says forex advisory firm IFA Global. Higher domestic equity markets helped provide some support to the rupee at lower levels. The Sensex rose nearly 300 points today. The rupee ended at 67.13 per dollar, its lowest close since February 8, 2017.Read it at NDTV Related Itemslast_img read more

Recharging Indian Industries

first_imgEmerging economies worldwide are increasingly reaffirming the role of the manufacturing sector as an engine of their economic growth. In Asia, countries such as China, South Korea and Indonesia have formulated strategies to prioritize manufacturing. Manufacturing contributes 30 percent of China’s GDP. India hobbles behind in comparison with only 16 percent of its GDP coming from manufacturing. Aside from some notable exceptions in metal forging and steel production, Indian manufacturing has been lagging.Although India witnessed a boom in the services sector in recent years, less than 25 percent of the country’s 1.2 billion population has the education and skill sets required for knowledge worker jobs. This renders manufacturing as the sector with the greatest potential to absorb the country’s unemployed labor force. The recent approval of the National Manufacturing Policy by India’s Cabinet is a much-needed impetus for the country’s manufacturing sector.Objectives and StrategiesThe National Manufacturing Policy, formulated by India’s Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), which is part of the federal Ministry of Commerce and Industry, targets increasing the share of the manufacturing sector in India’s GDP to 22 percent by 2022. It aims to create 100 million new jobs in the sector within a decade, ensure inclusive and sustainable growth, and transform India into a globally competitive manufacturing hub. The policy proposes the following initiatives for propelling growth in the manufacturing sector:• Setting up National Manufacturing and Investment Zones (NIMZ). The first NIMZ is to be located in the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor.• Focusing on priority sectors, such as employment-intensive, strategic and capital goods industries. Target sectors include textiles, leather, gems and jewelry, food processing, heavy electric, telecom, power, IT, aerospace and pharmaceuticals.• Promoting “green” technology and initiating international partnerships.• Ensuring investor-friendly business environment by simplifying and rationalizing regulations.• Creating “Special Purpose Vehicles” (SPVs) to manage the NIMZs and to be responsible for technical capacity building of workers.• Revising duty structures and reducing border taxes to boost manufacturing and encourage exports.• Promoting domestic manufacturing capabilities by consolidating government procurement needs to generate volumes.ChallengesWhile the National Manufacturing Policy has set ambitious targets based on a long-term vision for India’s economy, it faces several challenges.Traditionally, some of the big barriers to economic growth in India have been red tape and corruption. In addition, for the NIMZs, the authorities will need to surmount issues such as limited availability of suitable land and potential regulatory barriers. Finally, the government must address a question that begs to be asked — will increasing the share of manufacturing in the GDP, on its own steam, drive economic growth. An appropriate strategy would be to complement industrial development with skill creation and capacity building. Ventures such as the National Skill Development Corporation, a government venture to develop skills through vocational training, can play a pivotal role in steering this strategy.The experience of nations that have initiated rapid industrialization in recent years reveals that the first step is a conscious policy effort. From that perspective, the National Manufacturing Policy is a step in the right direction. Its results will depend largely on the extent to which the government succeeds in integrating it into the larger framework of socio-economic development. Gunjan Bagla is author of Doing Business in 21st Century India. Related Itemslast_img read more

Sacked Employee Sues Google, Claims Firm Discriminates Against White Men

first_imgFormer Google employee James Damore who was fired last year for criticizing the tech giant for its diversity policy, has filed a class-action lawsuit against the company claiming that it discriminates against white men.According to a report in ReCode, Damore, in his lawsuit filed in a California court on Jan. 8, said that Google “ostracized, belittled and punished” him and a fellow plaintiff.Damore added that he and others who share his views at Google long have been “singled out, mistreated, and systematically punished and terminated from Google, in violation of their legal rights.”Google’s attempts to hire workers from diverse backgrounds represents a form of “invidious discrimination” on the part of the tech giant, “to the detriment of Caucasian and male employees,” he added.Google is yet to comment.Damore wrote an op-ed titled “Why I Was Fired by Google” in the Wall Street Journal in August after he was ousted for writing a 10-page anti-diversity memo.He said: “Google is a particularly intense echo chamber because it is in the middle of Silicon Valley and is so life-encompassing as a place to work.“Some even live on campus. For many, including myself, working at Google is a major part of their identity, almost alike a cult’ with its own leaders and saints, all believed to righteously uphold the sacred motto of ‘Don’t be evil’.”Google’s Indian-born CEO Sundar Pichai described Damore’s memo as “offensive”.Later, Pichai, while addressing a coding event for girls on the campus, said: There’s a place for you at Google. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You belong here, and we need you.” — (IANS) Related ItemsEmploymentGoogleSilicon Valleylast_img read more