Agricultural labourer Ganga Ram was happy that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath visited the BRD Government College and Hospital on Sunday as, “with him came everything in order”. Family members of several children admitted to different wards, with whom the U.P. CM spoke, maintained, “He came, he saw, he asked us a few lines and he moved away with everything in order.”“He [the CM] asked if there any problem, if there was a lack of oxygen, how our child was now, and then moved to the next bed,” said Ganga Ram, whose 1.5-year-old grandchild Ankesh Kumar was admitted in the room housing bed numbers 25 to 38 in the 100-bed ward of the hospital’s encephalitis block. Coming from Faizabad, Ganga Ram’s grandchild was admitted in the hospital on August 10 but, he says, “by God’s grace, he was not on the list of the 30 children that died.” Anjana Devi, who hails from the from Ballia village, and whose nine-month-old baby girl Aaradhya is admitted in the same ward for the past one week, echoes similar views. “Today, with the coming of the CM, doctors and nurses became more active and attentive…for us, it is all like a Godsent,” she told The Hindu. The CM asked her how her child was, she said, adding that he also asked, “Oxygen mil raha hai bacche ko? (is your child is getting oxygen?).”
The CPI(M) sees foul play in the decision of the Election Commission to conduct repolling in six polling stations following the malfunctioning of the EVMs and VVPATs during the Assembly elections in Tripura on February 18.The party’s State secretary, Bijan Dhar, wondered why the EC ignored the demand for repolling in three booths in the Takarjala Assembly constituency, but opted for places where the exercise was not demanded by any political party.Reelection would take place in one polling station each in Sonamura, Dhanpur, Teliamura, Sabroom, Ampinagar and Kadamtala-Kurti Assembly constituencies on Sunday. In a communiqué signed by its secretary Arvind Anand, the commission said the schedule was declared after considering reports and material circumstances.Mr. Dhar described the decision partisan and an attempt to “boost the morale of the BJP till the counting on March 3”.“We believe the commission’s directive was based on reports from the State’s Chief Electoral Officer. He and his subordinate officials were fully responsible for this distress,” he said, adding that the decision smacked off a conspiracy.He sought a response from the ECI on the party’s demand to conduct a repolling in three polling stations in Takarjala. The ruling party has alleged that workers of the IPFT, an election ally of the BJP, resorted to “unprovoked attacks” and issued threats to its supporters in the tribal reserved constituency.
A special court on Thursday granted bail to former Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh, his wife and three others in a ₹7-crore money laundering case.Special Judge Arvind Kumar granted the relief to Mr. Singh and his wife Pratibha Singh, who were present in the court in response to the summons issued against them on the last date of hearing.The court also granted bail to Universal Apple Associate owner Chunni Lal Chauhan, besides other accused Prem Raj and Lawan Kumar Roach.All the accused got the relief on furnishing a personal bond of ₹50,000 and one surety of the same amount each.During the proceedings, ED counsel Nitesh Rana opposed their bail plea, seeking judicial custody for them.The court, however, granted them bail considering they were not arrested by the ED during investigation.The court had, on February 12, issued summons against the accused saying there was enough prima facie evidence against them.
The Rajasthan government’s Cooperative Department on Friday set in motion the scheme for loan waiver up to ₹50,000 each for farmers, announced by Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje in this year’s Budget. Special camps will be organised across the State for distributing loan waiver certificates to small, marginal and other farmers.Cooperative Minister Ajay Singh Kilak said here that about 2.8 million farmers would benefit from the scheme, which would be applicable to the loans obtained from cooperative banks and institutions. “The outstanding loans as on September 30, 2017 are covered in the scheme. The lists of eligible small, marginal and other farmers will be released shortly,” he said.According to the norms laid by the Cooperative Department, the marginal farmers are those who have land holdings measuring up to one hectare, while the small farmers have land holdings of one to two hectares. Other farmers, who own land holdings measuring above two hectares, will get the debt waive-off in decreasing proportion to every additional hectare of land.e-mitra centresMr. Kilak said the farmers eligible to get the relief under the scheme could authenticate their loan as well as waiver amount at e-mitra centres. Besides, the district level committees will scrutinise the lists to ensure that they are free of error.The Minister said a grievance redressal committee and a monitoring committee had been appointed to ensure the scheme’s implementation in a transparent manner. The nine-member monitoring committee will be headed by Additional Chief Secretary, Finance Department.
The North Goa police on Wednesday arrested nine tourists from Pune for molesting a minor girl, assaulting her minor brother and rioting at Baga. Inspector Jivba Dalvi, in charge of Calangute police station, said, “The tourists were sitting in a shack when they saw the boy and girl on the beach and started to take the girl’s pictures. When the siblings objected to this, the tourists beat them up.” Ramesh Kamble, Sanket Bhadale, Krishna Patil, Satyam Lambe, Aniket Gurav, Rishikesh Gurav, Akash Suvaskar, Sunny More and Ishwar Pangare, were caught while attempting to escape. “We have sent the mobile phone from which the photos were taken for forensic examination,” Mr. Dalvi said.
Former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee (88) has been admitted to the critical care unit of a private hospital in Kolkata following a brain clot.Sources in the Belle Vue clinic said a hemorrhagic stroke resulted in the medium-sized clot and his condition was not unstable but improving.He was admitted to the hospital on Monday for speech and motion impediment. A CT scan that was scheduled for Thursday has been postponed due to additional ailments concerning his lungs, liver and urinary tract.Hospitas CEO Pradeep Tandon said Mr. Chatterjee was visited by MLA Biman Bandopadhyay, and CPI(M) members Shyamol Chakraborty and Sujan Chakraborty.Mr. Chatterjee was the Speaker in the first five-year term (2004-2009) of the United Progressive Alliance government.
Commuters in Odisha’s Berhampur had a harrowing time on Monday as private buses did not ply for the second consecutive day.The Ganjam District Private Bus Operators’ Association has decided to extend its strike indefinitely after its talks with the district administration on Sunday remained inconclusive. The private bus operators are protesting against the shifting of the bus stand from the heart of the city to Haladiapadar on the outskirts. Around 628 private passenger buses registered with the Ganjam District Private Bus Operators’ Association have remained off the roads since Sunday. This has affected passenger transportation from and to Berhampur from different parts of the State and adjoining Andhra Pradesh.Limited State buses Limited number of Odisha State Road Transport Corporation buses continue to play from Berhampur. Transportation to areas near Berhampur like Hinjli, Gopalpur and Chatrapur was not affected that badly because 28 city buses which ply to the areas continued their operations. But passengers wishing to travel to interior pockets of the district and other districts that do not have train communication were stranded at Berhampur bus stand.The district administration decided to shift the passenger bus terminus of Berhampur to a recently constructed bus stand at Haladiapadar on the city’s outskirts from July 1.According to the decision, buses coming to Berhampur from other districts of the State and from outside Odisha were to go straight to the Haladiapadar terminus. Only buses plying within the district were to ply from the bus stand within the city. This decision was not acceptable to the private bus operators who resorted to strike, demanding a withdrawal of the order.
The Bharat bandh called by Congress and the call for a 12-hour strike by the Left parties in protest against the rising prices of petroleum products had little impact in West Bengal on Monday. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) has made it clear that they will oppose the bandh but will hit the streets in protest over the same issue. Public life and vehicular movement in Kolkata and most of the districts are normal on Monday morning. The two nerve centres of Kolkata and Howrah district-Sealdah and Howrah Stations- witnessed regular crowd of passengers in the morning. Bus services around the two two key rail stations is also normal. Large police contingent have been deployed at the two rail stations to prevent any untoward incident. There was usual movement of traffic in key areas of the city such as Esplanade in central Kolkata, Tollygunge in south Kolkata and Shyambazar in north Kolkata, Public life also remained normal in most of the districts. However, there was some traffic congestion in Howrah district where workers of Left parties staged a road blockade. A scuffle took place between Left cadres and police when they tried to lift the blockade.In a bid to keep vehicular traffic normal on Monday, the TMC government has deployed 4,000 government buses in the State. Extra trams have also been deployed in Kolkata. The State government has already issued a notification instructing its employees to report for duty on Monday.As to why they are not supporting the strike, TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee said that “40 lakh work days were lost due to strikes in the Left Front era. We do not want anymore strike in Bengal now. But we will take out protest marches across the State against the rising prices of petrol and diesel.”The TMC’s stand over the issue drew sharp criticism from both the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and Congress. While CPI(M) State Secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra said that “if Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s opposition against the Centre is genuine then her party should support the strike”, State Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury asked the TMC to “make its stand clear.” The party should clarify whether they are against the BJP-led government at the Cenrtre or are supporting it, he said.
Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT), a tribal party in Tripura, is contemplating to file a writ petition in the Supreme Court for implementation of National Register of Citizens in the state, a top party leader said on Friday.INPT general secretary Jagadish Debbarma told PTI that the party is also considering to organise ‘dharna’ in Delhi in November on the issues like NRC, more autonomy to the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council, implementation of inner line permit in TTAADC areas and inclusion of Kokbarak language of the state in the eight schedule of the Constitution.“Tripura is a bordering state and we are facing the problem of infiltration. So we are contemplating to file writ petition in the apex court for implementation of the NRC. We are likely to file the petition in November,” Mr. Debbarma said.The INPT general secretary said the party was facing fund crunch and was trying to raise funds for going to Delhi to organise the dharna. Mr. Debbarma also demanded repeal of the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016.He said the party would organise movement in the hilly areas for permanent solution of the drinking water crisis and improvement of health care system in the tribal council areas. The TTAADC constitutes two third of the state’s territory.
When thousands of hockey fans were cheering for home team India in the high voltage quarter final of the 14thMen’s World Hockey tournament held in Kalinga Stadium here, 30 special guests became the cynosure of all on Thursday.As part of a mission to mainstream left wing extremists who have surrendered at different points of time, 30 former Maoists (20 from Malkangiri and 10 from Koraput district) were brought to Bhubaneswar to witness the match.“I had joined the in CPI (Maoist) organization in Malkanagiri district in 2007. I was active for three years. The movement, however, did not result in any development. It is a welcome step that the administration is giving us exposure as to what is happening outside our district,” said Ramesh Madkami, a former left wing extremist.The surrendered Maoists were seen sitting near Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik who was also present in the stadium. They also greeted Mr. Pantaik. Some of these former extremists were carrying lakhs of rupees on their head before turning to lead normal lives.“The surrendered Maoists expressed their keenness to watch the hockey match. So we facilitated their entry into the stadium. Moreover, they would be taken to different places of tourist interest,” said Jagamohan Meena, Superintendent of Police, Malkangiri.
Laying foundation stone for completion of the remaining part of North Koel Reservoir which is also known as Mandal Dam project in Palamu district of Jharkhand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday slammed the Opposition Congress led UPA obliquely saying, “today some people are misleading and cheating farmers of the country in the name of loan waive.”“Earlier, they forced farmers to take loan and now playing politics on it…if they would have done this North Koel project, the farmers of this area would not have to take loan and plunge into poverty…they did injustice with the farmers by not caring to complete such irrigation projects,” charged Mr. Modi while addressing people in Palamu.He further added that “my government works for the benefit of farmers, to strengthen them by completing such irrigation projects…most of them are in last stage of completion”.“We’re spending ₹90,000 crore, or about ₹1 lakh crore for several irrigation projects in the country and if I would have to do politics I had distributed all these money among the farmers but, I chose to spend them in irrigation projects so that farmers generation would be benefitted,” added Mr. Modi.He also cited his government’s initiatives to provide roof over heads of 1 crore 25 lakh poor people of the country by the year 2022 through Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna.Altogether 25 thousand poor people of Palamu district too were distributed houses under PM Awas Yojna on the occasion.“Earlier there were reign of middlemen in such welfare projects but our government has ended their role by transferring money directly to the bank account of beneficiaries…earlier, it took 18 months to complete a house, now it takes only 12 months,” said Mr. Modi.Mr. Modi thanked Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and Jharkhand CM Raghuvar Das for taking steps to complete this project unitedly.“Both the governments have strengthened federalism of the country through this irrigation dam,” he said.The North Koel irrigation project would benefit farmers of Palamu and Garhwa districts of Jharkhand and neighboring Aurangabad and Gaya districts of Bihar.“The file of the dam was prepared in 1972 with an estimated cost of ₹30 crore only but now the cost has gone up to ₹2, 400 crore and it all would put burden on people of this country…it’s been a criminal lethargy by the then government,” Mr. Modi said.“It also shows how Bihar and Jharkhand were neglected by the previous governments,” he added further.“Don’t you think Modi should fight against such people?,” he asked from the gathered crowd.
Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Monday made a second plea before the National Investigation Agency “to question him in Srinagar instead of New Delhi”.“The Mirwaiz has reiterated that he is willing to cooperate in the matter but has asked for the venue for examination to be shifted from Delhi to Srinagar. The concerns and apprehensions (over his security outside the State) and regarding travel to Delhi was already expressed on March 10 in a letter addressed to the NIA,” said the Mirwaiz’s counsel in a statement on Monday.“Earlier many persons have been examined by the agency at Humhama Budgam while conducting investigation. The Mirwaiz sees no reason why his client cannot be examined in similar manner,” said the counsel.The NIA had issued a second summon to the Mirwaiz, also Kashmir’s head priest, on March 14 and asked him to report to the agency’s Delhi office on March 18. Earlier, the NIA searched the office and house of Mr. Farooq on March 9 and asked for his personal appearance before the NIA in a case lodged by the agency in 2017 in an “illegal funding” case.
Since the 1960s, marine scientists have puzzled over the strange quacking sounds they often heard in the icy waters of Antarctica’s Southern Ocean. Submarine personnel first described the oddly repetitive call, which is one of the most common sounds in that ocean during the austral winter. They gave it the name “bio-duck.” The sound consists of a series of pulses with a 3.1-second interval between two series. The sound further stumped scientists when they discovered some years ago that it occurred each winter and spring simultaneously in the eastern Weddell Sea and off Western Australia. Now, cetacean researchers are declaring the mystery solved: Antarctic minke whales (Balaenoptera bonaerensis) produce the calls. The discovery is already providing new insights into the behaviors of this little-known cetacean species, which is the primary target for Japanese “scientific” whale hunts. The researchers made their discovery by attaching sensors that collect acoustic data to two of the whales in 2013. One tag recorded for 18 hours, the other for only eight. The tagged whales were traveling with their fellows in groups of five to 40 animals, and feeding almost nonstop. Although the tags registered only 32 clear calls, those were enough for the researchers to conclusively link the sound to the minke whales. The whales made 26 of these calls when close to the surface, sometimes just before diving to feed. The scientists compared their recordings to other bio-duck calls that have been collected over the years, some from recorders mounted at the bottom of the sea, making an unequivocal match, they report online today in Biology Letters. The researchers do not yet know the purpose of the whales’ calls, but say that they should help them unravel other mysteries, including the minke whales’ overall abundance and migration patterns.See more ScienceShots.(Audio credit: Ilse Van Opzeeland and Lars Kindermann/Alfred-Wegener-Institute [AWI], Germany)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(*)