Barack Obama Announces Another 12 billion for Energy RD

first_img Monday, President Obama announced that money would be provided for research at the national laboratories for the Department of Energy. Additionally, grants will be available for those wishing to do research in renewable energy. Areas such as wind, solar, biofuels and hydrogen will be encouraged. Even nuclear energy and questions about storing carbon dioxide underground will be eligible for grant funding under the new rules. The funding is in addition to tax credits and spending approved in the recently passed economic stimulus package.Some of the technologies and companies that are like to benefit from energy R&D funding include:* Serious Materials, which uses energy efficient materials to make energy-draining process of mixing raw materials in a wet slurry and then using outside energy to dry it, the company has a recipe that makes use of chemicals — and their reactions — for the drying heat necessary.* Solyndra, a solar power start-up. This company is receiving the first Department of Energy loan given out in years. Instead of using silicon, Solyndra manufactures soalr cells out of copper, indium, gallium and selenide (CIGS) and shapes them into cylinders that are placed on panels. The efficiency of Solyndra’s solar panels is between 12 an 14 percent — a number boosted by a special reflective coating on the roof below the panel.* 1366 Technologies is on a quest to make solar energy cheaper than coal. The company is associated with Emanuel Sachs, who is on leave from MIT right now. The company claims it cracked the $1 barrier using cadmium telluride for its thin-film cells. But further advances in chemistry and physics are needed to reach that sort of cost-efficiency using silicon.* Winsupply, a company that offers geothermal, wind and solar equipment, could use tax credits and other funding to make its products more widely available.* Universities might also receive some funding. MIT is one of the hottest places right now for developing technology that can boost energy efficiency. Additionally, projects like those at different universities to use LED lights as wi-fi access points could also bring energy use dollars to higher education institutions languishing due to the economic crisis. The biggest needs in green technology R&D involve using scientific breakthroughs to make renewable energy cost-efficient. Until science and technology can give us energy that costs less than fossil fuels, renewable/green energy will be limited. But this funding may put energy R&D on that track.© 2009 Explore further Solar energy development could get boost. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. U.S. announces solar energy initiative ( — One of the more interesting areas of technological development in the coming years is likely to be energy development — specifically green energy development. With new advances in physics allowing for such items as organic thin-film solar cells, it appears that energy technology could be one of the uses for cutting edge scientific advancements. U.S. President Barack Obama is hoping to spur further advancements in energy technology through increased funding for research and development. Citation: Barack Obama Announces Another $1.2 billion for Energy R&D (2009, March 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from read more

Lithiumion battery with new chemistry could power electric vehicles

first_img The researchers, Jusef Hassoun, Ki-Soo Lee, Yang-Kook Sun, and Bruno Scrosati, from the University of Rome Sapienza in Rome, Italy, and Hanyang University in Seoul, South Korea, have published their study on the advanced lithium-ion battery in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.Their study builds on the team’s previous research involving the development of novel, advanced lithium-ion battery chemistries. The key to the high performance lies in the battery’s electrode materials. Here, the scientists use a tin-carbon anode and a cathode made of lithium manganese oxide doped with nickel and cobalt. As far as the researchers know, a lithium-ion battery with this unique electrode combination has never been reported before.“The battery is based on a new combination between a high-voltage cathode and a nanostructured anode material,” Scrosati told “The battery operates with a very stable capacity at high discharge rates with no significant capacity losses throughout the entire cycling test.”The new electrode materials provide certain advantages for the overall battery. As the researchers previously demonstrated, the tin-carbon anode has a high cycling life of several hundred cycles without a reduction in capacity, as well as discharge-charge efficiency approaching 100%. By applying a surface treatment to the anode, the researchers could further improve the capacity.As for the new manganese-based cathode materials, they are more abundant, less expensive, more environmentally friendly, and have a higher stability at low temperatures compared to the lithium cobalt oxide cathode used in conventional lithium-ion batteries. Also, in designing the new cathode, the researchers carefully optimized the composition, particle size, shape, morphology, and tap density.“The battery has: 1) a high volumetric and gravimetric energy density; 2) a high rate capability due to the nano-structured characteristics of the electrode materials; 3) an excellent cycle life; and 4) low cost, due to the use of electrode materials based on abundant elements,” Scrosati said.The cathode’s high voltage and high capacity provides the new battery with a higher energy density (170 Wh/kg at average discharge voltage of 4.2 volts) than conventional lithium-ion batteries.“The conventional lithium-ion batteries have an energy density of about 120-150 Wh/kg, depending on the used cathode material,” Scrosati said. “Generally, commercial lithium battery cells using layer structure cathode materials, for instance, NCA and NMC, deliver from 100 to 150 Wh/kg.”Altogether, the high energy density, stable cycle life, and high rate capacity suggest that the battery looks very promising for powering electric vehicles.“In summary, with respect to those using conventional lithium-ion batteries, electric vehicles using our battery may assure: 1) a longer driving range (210 km/charge vs. 150 km/charge due to the higher energy density; 2) a higher top speed; 3) a lower cost; and 4) better overall performance especially at low temperatures,” Scrosati said. Citation: Lithium-ion battery with new chemistry could power electric vehicles (2011, February 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Lithium-air batteries’ high energy density could extend range of electric vehicles More information: Jusef Hassoun, et al. “An Advanced Lithium Ion Battery Based on High Performance Electrode Materials.” Journal of the American Chemical Society. DOI:10.1021/ja110522x Explore further ( — While car companies race to develop electric and hybrid electric vehicles, one of the biggest challenges they face is finding a suitable energy storage system. Lithium-ion batteries, which currently power a variety of smaller consumer electronics devices, could ideally fill this role. But at the moment, they require further improvements in terms of energy density and power density in order to be used effectively in electric vehicles. Now in a new study, researchers have developed a novel type of lithium-ion battery with an anode and cathode that involve new, advanced battery chemistries, greatly improving the battery’s performance and likely making it suitable for electric vehicles. Copyright 2010 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of Images of the cathode, which is made of lithium manganese oxide doped with nickel and cobalt, as seen under a field emission scanning electron microscope. Image credit: Jusef Hassoun, et al. ©2011 American Chemical Society. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Study shows powerful corporations really do control the worlds finances

first_imgNetwork topology with a zoom on some major transnational corporations in the financial sector. Image from arXiv:1107.5728v1 [q-fin.GN]. ( — For many years conventional wisdom has said that the whole world is controlled by the monied elite, or more recently by the huge multi-national corporations that seem to sometime control the very air we breathe. Now, new research by a team based in ETH-Zurich, Switzerland, has shown that what we’ve suspected all along, is apparently true. The team has uploaded their results onto the preprint server arXiv. Jill Brown on why corporations get branded as ‘evil’ Citation: Study shows powerful corporations really do control the world’s finances (2011, August 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Using data obtained (circa 2007) from the Orbis database (a global database containing financial information on public and private companies) the team, in what is being heralded as the first of its kind, analyzed data from over 43,000 corporations, looking at both upstream and downstream connections between them all and found that when graphed, the data represented a bowtie of sorts, with the knot, or core representing just 147 entities who control nearly 40 percent of all of monetary value of transnational corporations (TNCs).In this analysis the focus was on corporations that have ownership in their own assets as well as those of other institutions and who exert influence via ownership in second, third, fourth, etc. tier entities that hold influence over others in the web, as they call it; the interconnecting network of TNCs that together make up the whole of the largest corporations in the world. In analyzing the data they found, and then in building the network maps, the authors of the report sought to uncover the structure and control mechanisms that make up the murky world of corporate finance and ownership.To zero in on the significant controlling corporations, the team started with a list of 43,060 TNCs taken from a sample of 30 million economic “actors” in the Orbis database. They then applied a recursive algorithm designed to find and point out all of the ownership pathways between them all. The resulting TNC network produced a graph with 600,508 nodes and 1,006,987 ownership connections. The team then graphed the results in several different ways to show the different ways that corporate ownership is held; the main theme in each, showing that just a very few corporations through direct and indirect ownership (via stocks, bonds, etc.) exert tremendous influence over the actions of those corporations, which in turn exert a huge impact on the rest of us.The authors conclude their report by asking, perhaps rhetorically, what are the implications of having so few exert so much influence, and perhaps more importantly, in an economic sense, what the implications are of such a structure on market competitiveness. Explore further © 2011 More information: The network of global corporate control, Stefania Vitali, James B. Glattfelder, Stefano Battiston, arXiv:1107.5728v1 [q-fin.GN] structure of the control network of transnational corporations affects global market competition and financial stability. So far, only small national samples were studied and there was no appropriate methodology to assess control globally. We present the first investigation of the architecture of the international ownership network, along with the computation of the control held by each global player. We find that transnational corporations form a giant bow-tie structure and that a large portion of control flows to a small tightly-knit core of financial institutions. This core can be seen as an economic “super-entity” that raises new important issues both for researchers and policy makers.Via This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Two of Milky Ways globular clusters found to have halo stars

first_img(—Australian astronomers have uncovered evidence of halo stars in two globular clusters residing in the Milky Way galaxy. According to a new study published on June 21 on the arXiv pre-print server, the globular clusters known as Messier 3 and Messier 13, have extratidal halo stars. The new findings suggest that both clusters could be surrounded by extended stellar halos. Citation: Two of Milky Way’s globular clusters found to have halo stars (2016, June 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from © 2016 Explore further Mount Lemmon SkyCenter image of Messier 3. Credit: Adam Block/Mount Lemmon SkyCenter/University of Arizona This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Messier 3 and Messier 13, containing 500,000 and 300,000 stars respectively, are among the best known globular clusters. However, previous studies focusing on finding extratidal stars in these clusters haven’t delivered any promising results so far. Now, a team of researchers led by Colin Navin of the Macquarie University in Australiahave analyzed the available data about the two clusters in order to reveal new insights on their structure.For their research, the scientists used data from the Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fibre Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST) survey of the Northern hemisphere, which utilizes the Xinglong Observatory in China to obtain the spectra of about 10 million objects, including stars, galaxies and quasars. They chose LAMOST, as this survey covers a number of Northern hemispheric globular clusters and therefore has potential to search for extratidal stars.”We find candidate extratidal stars in wide halos around the globular clusters Messier 3 and Messier 13 in the LAMOST Data Release 1,” the researchers wrote in the paper.First, the team identified the characteristics of globular clusters that were likely to have member stars in the Data Release 1 Catalog. Spatially, they had to be within the survey area of LAMOST; then, the researchers chose to use globular clusters that had relatively high heliocentric radial velocities. After eliminating clusters that only had small numbers of candidate stars, they were left with Messier 3 and Messier 13 as likely candidates to search for extratidal stars.Finally, they found eight candidate extratidal cluster halo stars in Messier 3 at distances up to about 10 times the tidal radius, and in Messier 13, they identified 12 candidate extratidal cluster halo stars at distances up to approximately 14 times the tidal radius.The scientists noted that if the status of these stars is confirmed, they would support previous studies that both clusters are surrounded by a halo of extratidal stars or exhibit tidal tails. However, in order to validate their status, high-resolution spectroscopic observations of the chemical abundances are required.”High-resolution spectroscopic observations of the candidate extratidal cluster halo stars would be valuable in confirming their origin, and hence provide constraints for theoretical studies,” the paper reads.According to previous studies, a significant fraction of stars in the bulge and halo of the Milky Way originated in globular clusters. It is believed that a minimum of 17 percent of the present-day mass of the stellar halo originally formed in globular clusters. Notably, the tidal debris of globular clusters also act as indicators of a host galaxy’s gravitational potential as the extratidal stars spread out in a stream that traces the orbit of its progenitor.The researchers hope to find more candidate extratidal stars in Messier 3 and Messier 13, and possibly in other globular clusters, as the dataset grows. Meanwhile, they recommend that future observations focus on known photometric members of clusters. Image: Hubble stares into the crammed center of Messier 22 More information: New halo stars of the Galactic globular clusters M3 and M13 in the LAMOST DR1 Catalog, arXiv:1606.06430 [astro-ph.GA] and M13 are Galactic globular clusters with previous reports of surrounding stellar halos. We present the results of a search for members and extratidal cluster halo stars within and outside of the tidal radius of these clusters in the LAMOST Data Release 1. We find seven candidate cluster members (inside the tidal radius) of both M3 and M13 respectively. In M3 we also identify eight candidate extratidal cluster halo stars at distances up to ~9.8 times the tidal radius, and in M13 we identify 12 candidate extratidal cluster halo stars at distances up to ~13.8 times the tidal radius. These results support previous indications that both M3 and M13 are surrounded by extended stellar halos, and we find that the GC destruction rates corresponding to the observed mass loss are generally significantly higher than theoretical studies predict.last_img read more

Selfpropelled mindless tiny robots work together to move a corral

first_img Citation: Self-propelled mindless tiny robots work together to move a corral (2018, May 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Play Roach-bots in a fixed corral segregate into two populations: one that buzzes around like a gas and another that clusters along the boundary, but individuals continually switch between the two. Credit: A. Deblais et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. (2018) Such studies, the team notes, help to explain how insects or microbes carry out complex maneuvering. They might also lead to the design of micro-robots that are able to move around in biological systems. A team of researchers at the University of Bordeaux in France has found that tiny, mindless robots are able to work together to move a corral. In their paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters, the group describes their experiments and what they found. Journal information: Physical Review Letters PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Collections of small, simple bots may someday perform useful tasks like exploration, so researchers want to learn about their basic principles of operation. Credit: A. Deblais et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. (2018) Prior research has shown that small, self-powered robots with no computer control tend to behave like molecules in a gas, wandering aimlessly when confined to a given space. In this new effort, the team in France took this work further by adding more robots.The robots were tiny, battery-powered and rod-shaped bits of colored plastic, each approximately four centimeters in length. They were actually toys that look like beads with tiny legs on the bottom. Placed on a surface, they vibrate, which propels them forward at approximately 30 centimeters per second. Putting a bunch of them into a confined ring, the researchers found, resulted in what looked oddly similar to gas molecules in a confined space. The robots zig-zagged around the ring with random abandon. But when they added more of the robots to the ring, they found that the robots started to form two groups at the edges of the corral. They noted also that the membership of the groups constantly changed as the tiny robots careened about.The researchers next replaced the hard-walled ring with one that was flexible and found that doing so moved the whole ring (corral) around on a flat surface. A collection of robots pressing against a single part of the ring moved it in that direction. Intrigued, they set up a course for the robot-propelled corral and found that the tiny robots could actually manipulate their way through. At one point, the team of robots squeezed their corral through a small aperture eerily resembling a bacterium invading a cell. The researchers even found that the robots could also maneuver their corral around round objects.center_img PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Robots that can learn like humans © 2018 Tech Xplore Explore further Play In a mobile corral, the bots can collectively drive their enclosure forward and push it through a small hole. Credit: A. Deblais et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. (2018) More information: A. Deblais et al. Boundaries Control Collective Dynamics of Inertial Self-Propelled Robots, Physical Review Letters (2018). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.120.188002ABSTRACTSimple ingredients, such as well-defined interactions and couplings for the velocity and orientation of self-propelled objects, are sufficient to produce complex collective behavior in assemblies of such entities. Here, we use assemblies of rodlike robots made motile through self-vibration. When confined in circular arenas, dilute assemblies of these rods act as a gas. Increasing the surface fraction leads to a collective behavior near the boundaries: polar clusters emerge while, in the bulk, gaslike behavior is retained. The coexistence between a gas and surface clusters is a direct consequence of inertial effects as shown by our simulations. A theoretical model, based on surface mediated transport accounts for this coexistence and illustrates the exact role of the boundaries. Our study paves the way towards the control of collective behavior: By using deformable but free to move arenas, we demonstrate that the surface induced clusters can lead to directed motion, while the topology of the surface states can be controlled by biasing the motility of the particles.last_img read more

Study of diversity training suggests it doesnt lead to much change

first_img Citation: Study of diversity training suggests it doesn’t lead to much change (2019, April 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from © 2019 Science X Network Credit: CC0 Public Domain Explore further Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Survey shows more work needs to be done on diversity and inclusion in workplacescenter_img Diversity training has been in the news a lot lately—though it is not clear how well it works. At its core, diversity training involves classes meant to teach employees the rules involved in treatment of people that are different from them—how to not be racist or how to not treat women as second-class citizens, for example. In this new effort, the researchers sought to determine if diversity training actually results in changes in the workplace.The researchers designed their own diversity training program and sent it out to willing organizations —in all, they got 3,016 employees to volunteer for the training in 63 countries. The training was focused on highlighting stereotypes and how they can lead to certain behaviors, and ways employees could overcome biases. The researchers then followed up by measuring changes that resulted due to the training.The researchers found little evidence of behavior change in any of the organizations where employees had taken the diversity training program. In the program geared toward reducing biases against women, the researchers found that employees were willing to admit such biases, they just were not willing to do anything about them. They also found employees not in the U.S. described themselves as more supportive of women after the training. In the U.S., the only change was that female employees expressed more willingness to mentor other women.In the part of the study focusing on racial bias, the researchers found that employees were willing to admit having racial biases, but no measurable changes in behavior were seen during follow-up. They also found that disadvantaged employees were more willing to mentor others.The researchers conclude by suggesting that organizations need to partner with research organizations to find ways to improve diversity training and to actively follow up to see if it does any good. More information: Edward H. Chang et al. The mixed effects of online diversity training, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2019). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1816076116 A team of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School has found through experimentation that diversity training does not generally result in much change in work environments—though it might lead women and minorities to strengthen mentoring programs. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes their study, which involved giving a training program to 3,016 employees in 63 countries and the impact it had on them. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

These 5 FireBreathing Books Will Warm The Hea

first_imgThese 5 Fire-Breathing Books Will Warm The Hearts Of Dragon… by NPR News Jason Heller 8.30.19 7:00am The end of Game of Thrones — not to mention the long gap between installments of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire — has left a smoldering, dragon-shaped hole in the hearts of fantasy fans. Dragons have been a staple of fantasy literature since The Lord of the Rings, and everyone from Ursula K. Le Guin and Anne McCaffrey to Robin Hobb and Naomi Novik have expanded upon the collective mythology of our favorite giant lizards. There’s something primal about the appeal of dragons: their beauty, their majesty, their mystique, their bottomless symbolism. But what will fill the current void in dragon fandom? Luckily, this year so far has seen a raft of new, dragon-centric novels that explore these creatures on an epic scale — sometimes traditionally, sometimes radically, but all with fire-breathing fabulousness.Jason Heller is a Hugo Award-winning editor and author of the new book Strange Stars: David Bowie, Pop Music, and the Decade Sci-Fi Exploded. He’s on Twitter: @jason_m_hellerCopyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.last_img read more

Creating magic and miracle on stage

first_imgReminiscing the story of Indian theatre from 1850s to 1990s, theatre veterans and enthusiasts gathered for the launch of Amal Allana’s book, The Act of Becoming- a century of Indian Theatre, on Friday evening. The book encapsulates the theatrical journey through the eyes of twenty-two critically acclaimed actors, who have talked about their lives, aspirations, their in-depth training and lasting stage careers.Celebrating the role of actors, Govind Nihalani, the director of films like Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Hazaar Chaurasi ki Maa and Ardhsatya, took the audience down the memory lane and shared his insights on actors he has worked with.’I love my actors’, declared Nihalani, in the first few minutes of his speech. But why? He explains, ‘With a natural bias, being a director, I was intrigued to know why is Allan’s book only about actors.’ Debating it on his own, he came to a conclusion. Though a director and a playwright have a significant role in an act. It’s the actor whom we all see on the stage. ‘An actor is the one who creates meaning, magic and miracle on stage’. He hailed Allan’s book for giving the center stage to the actor. In his perspective, ‘It is a history and biography rolled into one, to get into the soul of an actor.’ Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixWith an anecdote from his second film Ardhsatya, he shared how the climax was decided by an unprepared dialogue between Smita Patil and Om Puri during one of the rehearsals. The gesture with which Smita takes up her hand but doesn’t touch Puri was a defining moment towards the end of the movie. Nihalani cherishes that rehearsal that played on the instincts of a well trained theatre actor Om Puri and the untrained yet supremely talented Smita Patil. ‘What I wanted was a gesture, but I didn’t know how to end the scene, Smita’s gesture did it for me,’ added Nihalani. In the words of his viewers and critics, Nihalani’s work went through a shift from art cinema to mainstream with films like Dev and Thakshak. The director says that it’s too simplistic an approach towards his work. He doesn’t demarcate it that way. Even his first film Aakrosh, back in 90s had a song in it. How can a song and dance sequence change the genre of filmmaking?On the sidelines, we asked Nihalani about his current projects. ‘Going by the nature of my work, I have always been impacted by the social environment around me. That forms the base of my current project too. For now, this is all I can say about it,’ commented Nihalani. Allana elaborated on her decade old research into Indian theatre and its background to put forth the evolution of modern Indian theatre, putting actors at the forefront. The stalwarts of Indian theatre who will make the readers walk through the corridors of history include Binodini Dasi, Bal Gandharva, Fida Husain, Zohra Segal, Utpal Dutt, Manohar Singh, Uttara Baokar, Naseerudin Shah, Heisnam Sabitri, and Maya Krishna Rao, among many others. Through a slideshow, she talked about the changing faces of Indian theatre along with excerpts from her book.last_img read more

Modis Rs 745 crore falls short of Kashmirs expectations

first_imgNaeem Akhtar, chief spokesman of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), told IANS here: ‘What Modi announced on Thursday (Thursday) is actually an interim relief of Rs.745 crore and not the package everybody here had in mind.’‘This is not a relief and rehabilitation package. The real relief and rehab package has to be much larger, which should be all-encompassing.’‘The Prime Minister has announced relief for damaged homes and hospitals, which in itself means the real thing should now follow,. he added’Devender Rana, a senior leader of the ruling National Conference, told IANS: ‘…the goodwill generated by Modi by coming here on Diwali can be translated into permanence by sanctioning the relief and rehabilitation package submitted by the state to the central government much before the onset of winter here.’ The Congress for understandable reasons said the visit was politically motivated with an eye to the forthcoming assembly elections. Ali Muhammad Bhat, a Congress leader, said: ‘The prime minister came for a photo ops session which went well so far as the intention of adding some seats to his party’s kitty is concerned.’‘There is nothing like a relief and rehabilitation package in Modi’s announcements as we had been given to understand by the media on the eve of this visit,’ said Bhat, a former legislator.Political parties apart, the common man here does not seem to be enthused by Modi’s announcement.‘Rs.745 crore is not what we expected. We thought the package would be much larger and would be aimed at rehabilitating the people and their livelihoods. That has not happened so far,’ said Ali Muhammad Dar, 54, a businessman here. Others say perhaps the state government and political parties have not been able to convince Modi that he needs to move beyond emotional integration with the people affected by the recent floods.Nisar Hussain, 63, said: ‘We had been told he would visit some flood-ravaged areas in the city. That would give him some idea about what has happened here.’‘Perhaps the state government and the mainstream politicians could not convince the Prime Minister to move out personally and see what is happening to the flood affected families,’ said Hussain, a retired engineer.Modi, however, made it clear that the relief announced by him is in addition to what would finally be announced for the relief and rehabilitation.last_img read more

I am excited to work with Tabu Manoj Bajpayee

first_imgActor Manoj Bajpayee says he is looking forward to working with Tabu in his upcoming film and calls her a ‘wonderful actress’. ‘I am excited to work with Tabu. she is a wonderful actress,’ the actor told IANS.‘I will start shooting with her in my next which will be co-produced by myself. I am thrilled about this project. I can’t reveal the plot of the film but it’s an out and out thriller film,’ he added.The yet-to-be titled film will be directed by debutant Mukul Abhyankar. The film will be co-produced by Neeraj Pandey. Meanwhile, Manoj is busy promoting his next film ‘Tevar’, produced by Boney Kapoor, and says he has lot of expectation from this film.‘I have a grey shade in Tevar and I have enjoyed the role. I have worked with Boney before in Bewafa which didn’t work well at the box office but I am expecting a lot from this film,’ he said.last_img read more

CT Scan machine approved for Darjeeling District Hospital

first_imgDarjeeling: There are good tidings for the people of Darjeeling. On the heels of the dialysis units, the Darjeeling District Hospital is all set to get a CT Scan machine.”A few days back we got the news that the government has given its approval for a CT Scan machine for Darjeeling District Hospital,” stated Dr Saikat Pradhan, Superintendent, Darjeeling District Hospital.The Darjeeling Hospital recently got a dialysis unit too. It was inaugurated by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee from Kalimpong on May 30. “The dialysis is free of cost. The patient has to pay only for an injection that costs Rs 374,” the Super added. On April 1, 2017, an MRI machine had been installed at the District Hospital in Darjeeling costing around Rs 10.28 crore. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsIncidentally, before April 1, 2017, there were no MRI or CT Scan facilities in the Hills both in government and private units. In case of emergencies, especially during accidents, patients had to travel to Siliguri. Many did not survive the 76 km long journey through rough terrain. “There is a hitch regarding the MRI machine. It had become non-functional owing to technical problems. It was repaired. Again a few days ago the same problem arose. We have asked the company to send a technical person and station him in Darjeeling at least for a week. The MRI has to be constantly functional. Thousands of lives depend on this in the Hills,” added Pradhan.last_img read more

Ishrat case takes curious turn

first_imgThe Ishrat Jahan case took a strange turn today. Relief for Intelligence Bureau officers – Rajinder Kumar and two others -came in an unexpected way. The Ministry of Home Affairs has refused prosecution sanction in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case. According to IH Syed, who appeared for Ishrat’s mother Shamima Kausar, as the MHA did not grant sanction to the investigative agency, charges cannot be framed against the officials, including Rajinder Kumar along with other sleuths.  Also Read – Working on improving tiesLegally speaking, this is because since permission under Section 197 of the CrPC (a mandatory and prior permission to prosecute any government servant in an offence) has not been granted, charges against the accused (IB officers) cannot be framed, According to the previous Central bureau of Investigation (CBI), the killing of Jahan and three others in a fake encounter in 2004 was result of joint conspiracy of Gujarat police and the IB. BJP spokespersons have stated that there was no evidence against Rajinder Kumar.  Also Read – Political parties and our RepublicAs it happens the man is now a BJP MP. Without jumping to the usual hyperbole, accusations and counter accusations surrounding the case it must be noted that this surely is the biggest case of conflict of interest that the Home Ministry has so easily dismissed.  On July 3, 2013, the CBI, the prosecuting agency of the encounter case, had filed a chargesheet and stated that Mumbra-based college girl Ishrat Jahan, Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Zeeshan Johar and Amjad Ali Rana were gunned down in a fake encounter on June 15, 2004 in a joint operation of IB and Gujarat Police.  During the course of the investigation the testimony by another officer claimed that Kumar met the 19-year-old woman, Ishrat Jahan while she was in illegal police custody before being killed. Another testimony by a cop claims that an AK-47 assault rifle, which the police said belonged to those killed, had actually been sourced from the Gujarat unit of the IB, to which Kumar belonged then, and planted on the four dead bodies. Ishrat Jahan’s family is likely to challenge the Union Home Ministry’s decision not to prosecute four IB officials in the alleged encounter case. It is indeed perplexing as to why the Home Ministry would try to stone wall the resolution of this vexed investigation. The CBI is not above board in this as well. Unfortunately, the CBI works in a way that raises the suspicion that, probably, it has arrived at a pre-conceived conclusion. Any evidence that comes contrary to that is brushed aside as inconsequential. Very remote and non-corroborative evidence is accepted by them. We have not heard the last of this case.last_img read more

Coalgate Ministry interest in docs leaves CBI stumped

first_imgNoting that it has already provided all the relevant records, CBI said they have received a letter on June 11 from DoPT with reference to five cases in which documents were sent to them in pursuance to the court’s directions for considering according of sanction to try two public servants, K S Kropha and K C Samria, for their alleged roles in coal scam cases.It said in the letter, some documents including FIR, draft charge sheet, statement of witnesses, disclosure statements and other relevant materials were sought by the Ministry of Coal. Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJIThe CBI said that in the DoPT letter certain documents were sought for by Ministry, including “any material which may tilt the balance in favour of the accused.”CBI’s prosecutor told the court that they have sent reply to DoPT’s Secretary that all documents sought have been already sent along with the records and “any further relevant document as were sought for in the letter, can be looked into only after the same are specified”.”It has been thus submitted that in all the five cases referred to in letter dated June 11, 2015 all the documents as were necessary for considering the issue of according sanction to prosecute the two public servants and as have been now sought for were already sent in the necessary proforma to the DoPT on February 11, 2015 itself,” Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar said. Also Read – Health remains key challenge in India’s development: Kovind”It was thus submitted by senior public prosecutor that it was beyond comprehension as to why the communication as referred to above was being made by DoPT or by Ministry of Coal when the entire record was already available with them,” the judge noted in his order.The court was hearing a coal scam case involving Nagpur- based Grace Industries Ltd (GIL) and others.The court had earlier directed CBI to place records of the case before the competent authority so that they could consider according sanction to prosecute Kropha, former Joint Secretary in Coal Ministry, and Vishwas Sawakhande, then Director of Directorate of Geology and Mining in Maharashtra Government, for alleged offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act. During the hearing, the agency told the court that even though all relevant records regarding Sawakhande was sent to the Maharashtra government on February 6, no communication has yet been received on the issue of according sanction.The investigating officer (IO) informed the court that Sawakhande has retired on May 31, 2015 and he would obtain a final report from the state government on the fate of request sent by CBI.last_img read more

Govt pays compensation to pandal collapse victims

first_imgKolkata: The state government on Friday paid money to the injured persons who are receiving treatment at state-run and private hospitals in West Midnapore.The persons received injuries after the pandal collapsed on Monday when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was delivering his speech.Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee visited Midnapore Medical College and Hospital on Thursday and announced that compensation would be given to the injured. She had also talked to the injured persons and the doctors. Shortly after the incident, she had instructed the hospital authorities to treat the injured persons with topmost priority. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe state government paid Rs 1 lakh each to six persons and Rs 50,000 to three persons. An injured police personnel who is receiving treatment at a hospital in Kolkata, also received Rs 1 lakh.Senior state government officials of West Midnapore district, including the district magistrate and the superintendent of police, went to the hospital and handed over cheques worth Rs 1 lakh to two persons who are receiving treatment at the hospital. Another person, who was discharged on Friday, got Rs 1 lakh as well. Six persons receiving treatment at private hospitals received Rs 1 lakh and Rs 50,000. The money was paid from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.It may be recalled that state police has been conducting a probe into the incident. Senior officials from the Ministry of Home Affairs visited the spot and held a meeting with their counterparts in the state government.last_img read more

Man impaled with bamboo pole survives

first_imgA 33-year-old man pierced by a bamboo pole all the way from the groin area to his arm pit had a narrow escape as he suffered no major damage to his internal organs even as doctors had feared the worst. On October 2, Dashrath, a native of Kanpur landed up at the Safdarjung Hospital with an injury to his scrotal region and abdomen extending upto his chest. “When asked how he got it, he told us that he was working at a construction site in Gurgaon when he fell from a height of around 12 feet and landed on a blunt-ended bamboo pole, which penetrated all the way from his groin area and exited through the right arm pit,” said Dr Vimal Bhandari, consultant (Surgery) and Head of Kidney Transplant Department at Safdarjung Hospital. Also Read – Man arrested for making hoax call at IGI airportGiven the horrific nature of the incident, doctors suspected severe injury to his abdomen and other organs like liver, intestine, urinary bladder extending to his chest, injuring his lungs and ribs. Dashrath had carried with himself the five feet long bamboo pole, which was pulled out of his body by one of his colleagues. “The patient was bleeding from lower area, his abdomen was distended and he was restless. We performed an ultrasound which astonishingly revealed that there was no damage to his internal organs.  Also Read – Disqualified AAP MLA Kapil Mishra, women’s wing chief join BJPBut given the severity of the incident, we couldn’t be sure and thus we opened his abdomen to check if there was any damage,” said Dr Bhandari. “The bamboo had made a tract from the scrotal region upto the axilla. But fortunately none of his organs had suffered any injury as the pole had pierced through the fat of the patient’s body and the outer layer covering the organs,” said Dr Aman Chopra, Resident doctor at Surgery department of Safdarjung Hospital. After that Dashrath was treated for his wounds and was admitted in the hospital for 12 days and discharged. “Such cases are one in a thousand. Dashrath was lucky that his organs were not at all injured given the dreadful nature of the accident,” said Dr Ashish, Senior Resident (Surgery). “Such cases are one in a thousand. Dashrath was lucky that his organs were not at all injured given the dreadful nature of the accident,” said Dr Ashish, Senior Resident (Surgery).last_img read more

A story of heroism

first_imgMahesh Bhatt is coming up with his latest release The Silent Heroes which is a is an adventurous and emotional story of 13 real deaf and mute children (who are on a Himalayan mission), their struggle for survival , their courage and their heroism. Everything about this film is fresh as the children were selected from a deaf school and trained specifically for this film, this film was shot in bone chilling weather and remote unexplored locations in Uttarakhand Himalaya with a fresh cast and crew. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The Silent Heroes is world’s first film with real deaf actors and is perhaps the first attempt by a film maker to create story with these special children as Heroes and not as sympathy seeking individuals.The Silent Heroes has been screened at various film festivals and received excellent audience response, Kolkata International children’s film fest , Dehradun international film fest and Prayag international film fest, to name a few.This film is directed by Mr Mahesh Bhatt, who has been working with various national and international television channels on socially relevant stories and adventure stories for more than 2 decades. Singer Sonu Nigam has given his voice to these children in form beautiful songs, ably supported by a fresh music team.last_img read more

Relocating may increase fleeting friendships

first_imgPeople who frequently relocate for work, school or simply to “wipe the slate clean” are more likely to develop an attitude that just as the material objects like furniture and books, social relationships too can be replaced, suggests new research.“We found a correlation between the way you look at objects and perceive your relationships,” said lead study author Omri Gillath, associate professor of psychology at University of Kansas in the US.“If you move around a lot, you develop attitudes of disposability toward objects, furniture, books, devices — basically whatever merchandise you have at home, your car even,” Gillath noted. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’In four separate studies, the researchers tied the view that objects are disposable to an attitude that social relationships also could be replaced. The findings will be published in the journal Personal Relationships.The study participants completed questionnaires measuring willingness to dispose of objects or relationship partners. Some of the participants were primed to imagine scenarios that involved the probability of relocating.Analyses showed that perception of objects as disposable is associated with perceiving friends the same way. A personal history of greater mobility is tied to a higher readiness to dispose of objects and also close social ties like friendships and romantic relationships, the findings showed.last_img read more

31st Edition of India Carpet Expo begins

first_imgIn order to expose the buyers and carpet exporters to an array of carpets from around the world, Carpet Export Promotion Council is organising the 31st edition of Indian Carpet Expo from March 11-14 in NSIC Exhibition Complex, Okhla Industrial Estate in the national Capital. The event, which is being held under the aegis of government of India, aims to promote the cultural heritage and weaving skills of Indian handmade Carpets and other floor coverings amongst the visiting overseas carpet buyers. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’India Carpet Expo will be inaugurated on March 11 by Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Minister of State for Textiles (Independent Charge), government of India in the august presence of Rashmi Verma, IAS, Secretary (Textiles) and Dr K. Gopal, IAS, Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) and other senior government officials from the Central and State governments beside representatives from trade and media.Indian Carpet Expo is one of the largest handmade carpet fairs in Asia with a unique platform for the buyers to source the best handmade carpets, rugs and other floor coverings under one roof. It has become a popular destination worldwide on handmade carpets. India’s unique capability in adapting to any type of design, colour, quality and size as per the specifications of the carpet buyers has made it a household name in the International market. Manufacturers and exporters from Bhadhoi, Mirzapur, Varanasi, Agra, Srinagar and other key areas of India will exhibit their products.   Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe Expo has received an overwhelming response from the Member Exporters and 266 exhibitors are displaying their products in the show. Over the years, the India Carpet Expo has established itself as a great sourcing platform for the carpet buyers from all over the globe. Around 450 Carpet importers from 57 countries mainly from Australia, Brazil, Canada, china, Chile, Germany, Mexico, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, turkey, U.K, USA etc have registered themselves for attending the Expo. It would be worthwhile to mention that buyers from new countries like Bulgaria, Israel, Malaysia, Mauritius, Taiwan, Zimbabwe, Vietnam, Serbia, Colombia and Hungary are also attending the Mega Expo.        India Carpet Expo is an ideal platform for international carpet buyers, buying houses, buying agents, architects and Indian carpet manufacturers and exporters to meet and establish long term business relationships.     This time Carpet Export Promotion Council is subsidising $ 800 to buyers from USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Brazil, Chile and all other LAC (Latin America Countries) and $ 550 to buyers from all other countries towards subsidy on air travel expenses and providing two nights complimentary stay in hotels in the Capital for attending India Carpet Expo.Chairman, CEPC is confident that the Expo will generate good business and requested the media to extend their full support for promotion of this event to encourage the participants for handsome business as the council is taking all possible efforts for success of India Carpet Expo with the active support of Committee of Administration and government of India.last_img read more

Woman gangraped at Khardah no arrests yet

first_imgKolkata: A 30-year-old woman was allegedly gang-raped by three miscreants at Khardah, North 24-Parganas, on Wednesday evening. The woman has been admitted to a hospital at Ghola in Sodepur.According to local sources, the woman, a resident of Patulia area, had gone to drop her son to his tuition. While returning home alone around 8 pm, a few miscreants stopped her near Shibmandir, close to her residence. They allegedly dragged her to an under-construction building nearby and gang-raped her. She lost consciousness due to torture and the miscreants fled. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeAfter she regained consciousness, she tried to go out to seek help but fell unconscious again just outside the building. Some pedestrians noticed the woman lying on the road. They informed some locals. Immediately, locals rushed her to Ghola hospital and informed police. Sources informed that the lady mentioned about the presence four miscreants. Two were already inside the under construction building. The other two were on the road. On seeing her coming, they allegedly pulled her by her Saree. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedWhen she scream for help, her mouth was blocked by one of the miscreants and subsequently dragged inside the building. Later, all of them raped her. But she could not identify any of them as the miscreants covered their faces with pieces of black cloth. The sleuths suspect that the miscreants might be known to the woman because they were waiting for her at the incident spot. The accused person covered their faces to hide their identity. Police are checking on the local miscreants. Until Thursday night, no one was arrested. “The probe is on. We are trying to identify and nab the culprits soon,” said Ananda Roy, Deputy Commissioner of Police, (Belgharia) of Barrackpore Police.last_img read more

Month long rum day celebration

first_imgCocktails are said to be like art pieces which are fine-tuned with new elements and variations from time to time. Plaza Premium Lounge is gearing to pep up its guests through an all new Cocktail & Bar promotions at the lounges starting August 2017. Here, the cocktail lovers can unwind themselves with the interesting rum cocktails all month long.On the occasion of International rum Day, which is observed on August 16, the Plaza Premium Lounge will be holding a month long celebration by presenting the innovative Rum based cocktails for the guests. The wild and stormy Plumpkin Cocktail, made from the favourite summer fruit which is the delicious Plum, promises to make all guests ask for more. The Plum’s natural balance of sweetness and astringency combined with a dash of lemon and dark Rum makes the cocktail epic and delicious! Also Read – Add new books to your shelfAs the saying goes “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away”, yes, Plaza Premium Lounge is giving a twist to the all-time favourite classic Mojito with a dash of the nutritious Green Apple which is bursting with flavours and essential vitamins. The Green Apple Mojito is an incredible fruity combination of green apple, lime, mint, white rum and soda water, perfect for a hot late-summer day which is absolutely refreshing.Rum can straddle all drinking occasions with sheer versatility and is fantastic for summer cocktails. The excited mixologist, Plaza Premium Lounge, said, “The reason I like using rum as a base spirit in most cocktails is because it allows us to highlight the delicate flavours of the ingredients used. We are very enthusiastic to kick start the promotion marking the International Rum Day celebration. The delicious cocktails will definitely add a flavour of zing to the traveller’s busy and tiring schedule.”Plaza Premium Lounge gives travellers a haven away from the hustle and bustle of surroundings, a home away from home, by providing a space with top-notch services and facilities for travelers.last_img read more