Goa Governor asks students at convocation to promise not to break up their marriages

first_imgGoa Governor Mridula Sinha, who is also the Chancellor of Goa University, accorded a five-pronged pledge to students at their convocation ceremony on Saturday, making them promise to not break up their marriages over trivial issues, protect women in distress, keep away from drugs, not to send their parents to old age homes and maintain cleanliness.Ms. Sinha administered the pledge during her address at the 30th annual convocation of Goa University, in the presence of President Ram Nath Kovind and Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, during which the students who had assembled to collect their medals and degree certificates, had to raise their hands in acknowledgement of the pledge. “A marriage is not mandatory, but necessary. Once married, you will not break the relationship on trivial matters. You will strive to make the marriage lasting and happy. You will strive for mutual respect for each other. There is time, but such a time will come,” Ms. Sinha said, while reiterating her advice to University authorities on the need for pre-marital counselling for students at the University premises itself. “Pre-marital counselling is a necessity now. Youngsters need to know the art of making families work. If they have any doubts they should get clarifications so that there is longevity in marriages,” she said. Emphasising gender sensitivity, Ms. Sinha said, “At any time where you see an atrocity against girl or a woman, you shall strive to rescue her at the cost of your life. This is critical for protection of Indian culture. It is a very important pledge and I am happy that everyone is supporting it.” Ms. Sinha who is an ambassador of the Swachch Bharat campaign, also urged students not to litter and also urged them to prevent others from doing that. She also advised students, “Neither will you fall prey to addiction nor will you allow anyone to get addicted.” Ms. Sinha added that today’s girl students were fortunate as the times are changing and the future belongs to women. However, she told them not to forget that with their success and achievements, expectations from family and society also would be more.last_img read more

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Rebel PDP MLAs criticise Mehbooba for saying Centre ‘engineering’ split in party

first_imgFive rebel PDP legislators on Friday accused party president Mehbooba Mufti of putting them and their families at risk by claiming that the internal rumblings in the party was done at the behest of Delhi.The rebels also said that they considered the “accession of Jammu and Kashmir with India as final”. “One she (Mehbooba) has tried to give an impression that the institution is up for sale that anyone can buy them. Second, she has tried to label us that we are dancing to someone’s tunes. This is like putting us before the lynch mob, this can put our families and workers at risk,” MLA Baramulla Javaid Hassan Beg told reporters here. Mr. Beg was accompanied by MLA Pattan Imran Ansari, MLA Noorabad Abdul Majid Padder and two MLCs at the press conference. Ansari’s uncle — MLA Zadibal Abid Ansari — and MLA Tangmarg Abbas Wani are the other two PDP legislators who have openly rebelled against the leadership of Mehbooba Mufti. Mr. Beg said they condemned Mehbooba’s statement in which she claimed that any attempt to break the PDP would lead to 1987-like situation and have dangerous consequences.“Does she think that the MLAs would commit a sell-out of the nation? She has created a situation as if we are separatists and our supporters and voters are like Hurriyat or militants. There is nothing like that. We consider the accession of Jammu and Kashmir with India as final,” he said. Mr. Ansari said the rebels had woken up to the reality and want to fight the “two-family rule” in Jammu and Kashmir. “We don’t believe in two family rule. These two families (Abdullahs and Muftis) have always believed that they are indispensable,” he said. The rebels emphasized that they were still part of the PDP and were making efforts to set the house in order but they had no faith in the leadership of Ms. Muftii. Asked about the future course of action, they said they would think about it if their demands are not considered. “We have categorically said that we do not have any faith in Mehbooba Mufti’s leadership,” Mr. Ansari said. Asked if the demands of rebels also included that Ms. Mufti step down as the party president, Mr. Ansari said the “writing is clearly on the wall”.The rebels also rubbished any suggestion that the rebellion with the PDP had anything to do with government formation with BJP. Earlier today, Ms. Mufti, in her first public appearance after resigning as Jammu and Kashmir chief minister, said any attempt by the Centre to “engineer” a split in her party will have “extremely dangerous” consequences.“My party is strong, there are differences which can be resolved. However, if there are any attempts to engineer a split in the PDP like it was done in 1987 to commit robbery on people’s vote and to crush the MUF (Muslim United Front), the results will be extremely dangerous,” she told reporters here.last_img read more

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Man forced to carry relative’s body on bicycle in Odisha

first_imgA man in a village in Boudh district of Odisha was forced to carry the body of his sister-in-law on a bicycle for funeral on Wednesday as none of his relatives and fellow villagers came out to help him.According to sources, Chatru Banka of Krushnapalli village under Kantamala block had admitted his wife and sister-in-law to a hospital after they complained of severe diarrhoea. His sister-in-law died on Wednesday. Her body was brought to the village in an ambulance.No villager at Krushnapalli came forward to help Banka arrange for the woman’s funeral. Finally, he tied her body to his bicycle and carried it to the cremation ground all by himself. Abakash Sahu, a Zilla Parishad member, claimed that Banka was facing an undeclared social ostracisation. “At times, for various reasons, locals in Boudh district do not take part in marriages and funerals of some persons,” he said.Property dispute Banka had snapped ties with his family members in the village because of a property dispute, said a local, Nabakishor Meher. He is said to have married outside his caste and not given a feast for which he was facing the ire of fellow villagers.On August 16, 2017, a similar incident had happened at Basudebpalli village under Manmunda block of Boudh district. Due to the superstitions and stigma attached to leprosy, a man named Jayanarayn Sahu was denied a decent funeral in this village. As none of the villagers was ready to carry his body to the cremation ground, his daughter along with her brother and husband, performed the last rites.last_img read more

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‘Mandir yahi banega’ marker appears near Ram Janmabhoomi site on Google Maps

first_imgHindi phrase “Mandir yahi banega”, meaning ‘temple will be built here’,  evocative of a slogan raised by right-wing groups such as the Vishwa Hindu Parishad pitching for a Ram temple in Ayodhya, seems to find a place on Google Maps, one of the most widely used map services in the world.When you search for the Ram Janmabhooomi site on Google Maps application on your phone, “Mandir yahi banega” appears as a point of interest, close to the disputed site where the Babri Masjid stood till December 6, 1992.Several Hindutva outfits have for decades demanded that a Ram temple be built at the site, saying the Hindus believe Lord Ram was born there.”Mandir yahi banega” is used to denote a “Hindu temple” on the map and an image of a model of the proposed Ram mandir is used in the description page. The page has received 12 review comments so far and is marked four out of five stars.Matter is sub judice It is to be noted that the Ayodhya title suit, politically known as the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhooomi issue, is sub judice and currently in the Supreme Court.When contacted, Google attributed the lapse to “unhelpful edits suggested by users”. Users can edit names and addresses of locations on the map.The company said it had “fixed the issue” and taken steps to get the marker removed.”We’re heavily invested in empowering users to contribute their local knowledge to Google products and services. Overall, allowing users to suggest information provides comprehensive and up-to-date info, but we recognize there may be, as in this case, unhelpful edits suggested by users. When this happens, we work fast to address the issue as quickly as possible,” a Google spokesperson said.last_img read more

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No Bank of Maharashtra loans for drought-hit farmers

first_imgIn an unusual move, a state-run lender, Bank of Maharashtra, has decided not to extend loans in eight zones in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh that include Aurangabad, Latur, Akola, and Amravati, which are hit by drought.The bank cited high bad loans from agricultural advances in the branches of these zones for the decision. The other zones are Solapur and Jalgaon in Maharashtra and Bhopal and Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh.“The present condition of agriculture is pathetic, wherein gross NPAs under agriculture stood at 18.36%,” the bank said in a circular to the branches. A copy of the circular has been reviewed by The Hindu. The bank had seen fresh slippages of ₹1,300 crore during 2018-19 from agriculture loans.“It is observed that eight zones/its branches are having high % [percentage] of agri NPAs which are identified for curative action on NPA management,” the circular said. Remedial actionThe remedial action, as suggested by the ‘top management’, says, “Branches having NPAs > 15% shall not sanction new/enhancement proposals under agriculture.” The bank has said genuine cases of existing borrowers with good track record or new clients should be tapped by these branches and recommended to the next authority for sanctioning. Furthermore, zonal managers of these eight zones have been asked to identify ‘chronic/stagnant’ branches, and should report the same to the planning department in the head office for merger or closure. The bank has asked all the zones to carry out a detailed analysis of NPA accounts and ascertain various measures for default. Among the eight zones, Aurangabad has the highest percentage of NPAs — almost 25% of advances — followed by Bhopal (21.4%), Solapur (19.1%), and Akola (16.5%).Advances to the agricultural sector come under priority sector lending.last_img read more

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ScienceShot: ‘Monster’ Ants Found in Leaf Litter

first_imgThe 19th century English poet William Blake might’ve been onto something when he considered an entire world in a grain of sand. But he probably didn’t consider tiny “monsters,” smaller than rice grains. Researchers have discovered 33 new species of ants in Central America and the Caribbean. The insects have broad, shieldlike faces and mandibles bristling with sharp teeth, such as Eurhopalothrix procera (pictured above), and none are longer than 2.5 millimeters. Their grim visages inspired names based on Maya demons Hunhau, Zipacna, and others. Many had been previously lumped in with other species of the Eurhopalothrix and Octostruma genera. The ants were found mostly in the plant debris of Central and South American mountain forests. Researchers had to sift through 100 square-meters of forest floor for every four or five of the rare specimens, then use a high-power microscope and micrometer measuring tool to note variations in size, the shape of their mandibles, and patterns of hair on their exoskeletons—all defining characteristics of individual species. Frightening work.last_img read more

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Stellar Graveyard Shows Signs of Possible (Past) Life

first_imgThe next time you gaze up at the night sky, remember that you’re looking at a graveyard. The Milky Way is studded with dead stars, from black holes to neutron stars to dim white dwarfs. Often, these stellar corpses reveal little about their past. But once in a while, they provide clues to how they—and any planets they once hosted—lived and died. Now, scientists have discovered evidence that a white dwarf known as GD 61 was once orbited by a rocky, water-rich asteroid—just the kind of thing you’d need to build a habitable alien world.Most stars (including, in about 4 billion years, our sun) end their lives as white dwarfs, after they have burned all their nuclear fuel. These super dense stellar embers exert such strong gravity that any element heavier than helium will immediately sink to the dwarf’s core. So imagine astronomers’ surprise when they discovered that some white dwarfs are cloaked in layers of “pollution” made up of silicon, oxygen, and other elements much higher up on the periodic table.This pollution is made up of “pieces of planetary systems that are falling into their central stars,” explains Jay Farihi, an astronomer at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. By measuring the pollution’s constituent elements, scientists can peer back in time and discover what the original solar system’s asteroids, comets, and planets were made of. “It’s a wonderful technique for doing planetary forensics,” says Michael Jura, a white dwarf expert at the University of California, Los Angeles, who wasn’t involved in the current research.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(*)In GD 61’s pollution, Farihi and his colleagues noticed a curious abundance of oxygen. Their first thought was that the original asteroid must have been encrusted with carbon dioxide in the form of dry ice. Trouble is, there was no carbon anywhere to be found around GD 61. So in order to account for the extra oxygen, “the only chemically viable substance left is water,” Farihi says.Online today in Science, the team proposes that GD 61 has “shredded” a rocky asteroid that was 26% to 28% water. About the same size as Vesta in our solar system’s asteroid belt, the asteroid likely orbited the white dwarf’s precursor, an A-type star slightly bigger than the sun. After that star died, the white dwarf’s stronger gravity probably dragged in the asteroid and tore it apart.Water-rich asteroids are considered to be important for the formation of habitable planets, crashing into them and supplying them with life-giving liquid water. Although “we certainly can’t rewind the clock completely” to discover what GD 61’s original solar system looked like, Farihi says, the discovery of the asteroid reveals “the building blocks of Earth-like planets were there.” In the future, he hopes to look at the system with a powerful telescope like the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array radio array in Chile to see if any of the original planets survived the death of their star, or whether anything remains of the asteroid belt where the water-rich planetesimal was born.Finding a water-rich asteroid near a white dwarf bolsters the long-shot idea that life might rise again around these dead stars, says John Debes, an astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, who wasn’t involved in the research. After their stars’ violent deaths, white dwarfs remain remarkably stable for billions more years, which would mean “they’d actually be really good places to live,” Debes says. The problem, however, is that a planet would have to be extremely close to a dim white dwarf to be warm enough to support life—as close as the devoured asteroid was to GD 61, in fact. Still, Debes says, if a rocky planet managed to settle into a stable orbit that close to a white dwarf, Farihi’s team’s discovery shows that “there might be some hope of getting water onto those planets” via asteroids—just what happened on Earth so many billions of years ago.last_img read more

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ScienceShot: Termite Architects Have Their Own Plans

first_imgTermites are notorious for ravaging wooden buildings. But they are actually sophisticated architects in their own right. As in other social insects, termite constructions emerge from the collective behavior of thousands of individuals. Each species appears to have its own approach, which is probably influenced by the environment. Two scientists in Japan wondered how much variety there might be among termite colonies of the same species if given identical surroundings. To find out, they brought eight colonies of the subterranean termite Reticulitermes speratus from the forest into the lab. Each army got a block of compressed sawdust to build with. The scientists found dramatic differences in architecture between colonies (above, the results from two), the first time this has been shown. And the blueprints are an inherent part of the colony; when the colonies were split into groups, each group from the same colony erected strikingly similar “shelter tubes,” the researchers report this month in Insectes Sociaux. Further research, they say, could help explain how these self-organizing behaviors evolve. The source of the variation between colonies is not yet clear; genetics, diet, or other factors could play a role.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

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Top stories: Fake marijuana, a butterfly backfire, and why you can’t hide from your computer

first_imgPlan to save monarch butterflies backfiresWant to help save monarch butterflies? Make sure you’re planting the right kind of milkweed. Well-meaning gardeners have been planting the wrong species and may accidentally end up killing the butterflies they had intended to save.Your computer knows you better than your friends doSign 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(*)You may be able to hide your deep, dark secrets from your friends, but chances are your computer knows who you really are. A new study of Facebook data shows that machines have become better at figuring out our true personalities than even our closest acquaintances.Environment, more than genetics, shapes immune systemIn the battle of nature versus nurture, nurture wins—at least when it comes to immunity. A new study of twins reveals that our environment shapes our immune system more than our genes do and that the effect becomes more pronounced over time.Synthetic cannabis deaths sound alarms in AustraliaNatural marijuana isn’t deadly, but the synthetic kind can kill. After two recent synthetic marijuana deaths in Australia, scientists warn that the humanmade drug has no standards, no regulation, and no quality control, and it isn’t safe to use.Ancient fossil may rewrite fish family treeMost fish have skeletons made out of bone. But some fish, like sharks, have skeletons that are made out of cartilage instead. Scientists knew that these two groups diverged more than 420 million years ago, but what their last common ancestor looked like remained a mystery. Now, a 415-million-year-old fossil from Siberia is offering up some clues—and it may end up rewriting the fish family tree. After geoscientists joust, judge rules BP Gulf spill totaled 3.19 million barrels of oilAfter a lengthy court proceeding, a federal judge has ruled that BP spilled 3.19 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion. That’s lower than the 4.2 million barrel number endorsed by U.S. government prosecutors—but higher than BP’s preferred estimate of 2.45 million barrels. The ruling means that BP faces a maximum fine of $13.7 billion, although the company could pay less if the judge finds it took action to mitigate the spill.last_img read more

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Invasive plants taking over the U.S.

first_imgInvasive plants are conquering the United States. The first comprehensive assessment for the continental United States has found that nonnative plants are more widely distributed than native plants are. And humans are largely to blame.Invasive plants have been a problem in the United States for years. They range from the fast-growing Japanese kudzu, which has smothered more than 3 million hectares, mostly in the South, to the bristly cheatgrass, native to Eurasia and the Mediterranean, which has wreaked havoc on western lands, crowding out other grasses and fueling bigger fires in places like Nevada. Yet scientists have long assumed that native species are more widely distributed than these newcomers, because the natives have had more time to fill in their potential ranges.The new study calls that assumption into question. Researchers led by biogeographer Bethany Bradley of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, created lists of 13,575 plants that are native (9402), endemic (2397), alien (1201), or invasive (755) in the continental United States using the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) PLANTS database. (Endemic plants are natives with limited ranges, whereas aliens are nonnative but noninvasive. Invasive species in the study are nonnatives identified as highly aggressive, noxious weeds by the federal government and many states or listed in the Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States.) Then, they divided the country into squares the size of an average county, about 2500 square kilometers, and determined which plants were present in each grid cell based on distribution data from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, an international organization that provides open-access biodiversity data.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(*)For each plant species, the researchers documented the total number of grid cells occupied, determined the extent of its range, and modeled its potential range based on the climate of the grid cells that it occupied.The team found that invasive and alien plants are more widely distributed than natives across the continental United States. Even invasive species that are still relatively rare in the United States are already widely introduced. For example, tropical spiderwort, an aggressive weed in agriculture, was first identified as a problem in Florida in the 1990s and has already made it to California. Invasives and aliens also had larger potential ranges than natives, the team reports online ahead of print in Global Ecology and Biogeography.These relative newcomers have more footholds in more diverse ecosystems than was previously thought, but that’s not all. By comparing the plants’ actual and potential distributions, the scientists also calculated each plant’s range infilling, or the fraction of its potential range that it was currently actually occupying. They found that the average invasive plant now inhabits only about 50% of its expected range. That means there’s still plenty of space for these plants to invade.  So why are the nonnative plants doing so well? Bradley says that even if invasives enjoy intrinsic advantages—like broader climate tolerances and stronger competitive abilities—over natives, biological factors do not fully account for the invasives’ success. The key may be human activity. People assist nonnatives intentionally—planting ornamentals like English ivy—and by accident—sowing grass seed contaminated with nonnative seeds—but the result is the same: a takeover by nonnative plants.“The research shows that the problem isn’t just the initial introduction of an invasive,” says Dana Blumenthal, a USDA plant ecologist in Fort Collins, Colorado, who was not involved in the study. “It’s also the repeated introduction of invasives by people.”There is a morsel of good news, according to the researchers. The widespread distribution of nonnative, noninvasive alien plants suggests that native plants could survive in climates and geographical areas that they now don’t inhabit. They also may be able to survive longer in their current habitats, even with a changed climate.“That’s a potential silver lining for near-term conservation efforts,” Bradley concludes. “We might have a little more time before climate change makes the current ranges of many species uninhabitable.”last_img read more

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Dev Anand Unplugged

first_imgYour Guide had an adulterous heroine. How did the censors spare it?Guide was made in two versions in the early and mid-1960s. Nobel Laureate Pearl Buck and I co-produced the English one with Hollywood’s Tad Danielewski as director. So that gave it an international halo, and suitably impressed people in India. I decided however to shoot the Hindi version afresh with Goldie as director. We wrote a new screenplay retaining the basic theme, but deviating somewhat from R.K.Narayan’s novel. The then I&B Minister Satyanarayan Sinha panicked, saying people are complaining to the ministry about the adultery angle. ‘Didn’t your government give the novel a Sahitya Akademi award at the hands of Pandit Nehru?’ I asked him. That settled it.But you had no qualms about our audiences accepting the heroine?Goldie and his collaborators made the heroine’s character sympathetic. I believe that nothing is taboo for the human mind as long as it can be justified. Even a murderer can garner public sympathy if people are convinced that his act is acceptable from an emotional standpoint. Take Bombay’s famous Nanavati case of the late 1950s. A young naval officer discovers his wife’s infidelity, loses his temper, and kills her lover – but wins over an entire nation’s sentiments. Many people thought I’d gone crazy to attempt a Hindi version of Guide after the English one had flopped. But creativity comes with a streak of madness!Guide was tough to make – its budget was huge. Worse, the distributors were wary of the adultery angle. When it was finally released in 1965, the first audience reaction was one of confusion. I remember we at Navketan were all so depressed. Then slowly, people began to find something thought-provoking in it. It grew on them, and snowballed into a major countrywide hit. That year the Bombay monsoon was delayed, and the city was thirsting for rain. And the day Guide – in which the hero fasts unto death for rain – was released, it poured over Bombay. Our posters said, ‘Guide Brought The Rains!’ Sometimes, even the elements favor you.You never released Guide’s English version in India? I saw no point in doing that. Thanks to Pearl Buck’s efforts, it was to be screened at the White House, though President Kennedy was assassinated before that could happen. The Hindi version was India’s entry for the foreign-language Oscar, but it didn’t even get nominated. Several Hollywood personalities who saw both versions however thought the English one was no good, and that the Hindi Guide was outstanding.And what did the novelist R.K. Narayan think?After a pre-release screening of the English Guide, Narayan wrote me an effusive letter from America saying it’s simply beautiful. But after the movie was panned by the American critics and failed at the box-office, he began denouncing it publicly. I didn’t bother to get his response to the Hindi Guide because it wasn’t really his story anyway.After your long innings as an actor and film-maker, are you anywhere close to discovering the box-office mantra?There is no mantra, no formula. Several good films fail, while some average ones become hits. What’s a box-office hit? Something intangible in a film sets off a certain vibration in the audience’s collective mind. And all of a sudden, people are drawn to it. This phenomenon can’t be explained. You just have to let your instinct dictate your creative decisions. Relying on anything else is more dangerous. If you set out to make the greatest hit, it invariably turns out to be the biggest disaster. I’ve had my disasters – Ishq Ishq Ishq was an out-and-out musical with a very thin plot. Perhaps it might have worked with western audiences.Your recent brush with the censors brings to mind your 1977 protest against Indira Gandhi’s Emergency.I was the first from the film industry to oppose the Emergency. They pushed us to the wall, and I got annoyed. They banned Kishore Kumar from AIR and Doordarshan because he didn’t toe their line. And they called us over to Delhi to sloganeer for Sanjay Gandhi. I told I&B Minister V.C.Shukla: ‘I’ll do it only if you tell me we’re living in a police state.’ He backed off. Then Opposition leaders like Ram Jethmalani approached me for support. I spoke at their rallies, formed the National Party of India (NPI), and became its president. The NPI became so popular that several politicians wanted to join us. Even Indira Gandhi sent feelers. But I wound it up because we were disillusioned with the non-performance of the Janata coalition. Also, my film-industry colleagues were unwilling to fight the 1977 elections – they all wanted to be nominated to parliament. And I realized then that I was more in love with film-making. I’m not cut out for politics. You need a cold-blooded attitude to survive in it, and a willingness to abuse and be abused. Several film stars are now in national politics. Vinod Khanna represents Gurdaspur in the Lok Sabha.They’re enthusiastic, but what is their commitment and their contribution? Our entire political system is rotten. The level of poverty in India is appalling because we haven’t grown as a democracy. What sort of a democracy would allow tribal areas to exist, and encourage slogans of minorities and Dalits? Why should a Dalit be proud to be called a Dalit? So what’s your prescription for better governance?Get the country’s best people to make laws for us in parliament. And fill every administrative post according to merit. You can only fight today’s system with literacy. A literate, enlightened people will not allow goondas to rule them. Educated youths with liberated minds must enter active politics. India is a great nation, and we Indians have a raw intelligence that’s probably a legacy of our ancient culture. But our people are also very religious and emotional, and therefore easily swayed. As a film-maker, I take my ideas across through my films. If I were a politician, I’d reach out to people with plans to modernize the country – that was the NPI dream. And I’d do it the right way. When you’re a leader, you should look like one. Not only in your thinking, but also in your speech and dress.Are you suggesting a dress code for our politicians?Why not? Make the Nehru-style bandh-gala jacket compulsory. I’m sick of watching ministers in crumpled unbuttoned kurtas and worn-out chappals, with dhotis flying all over and exposing their hairy legs, taking the salute at military parades. A dhoti is fine at home in a hot country like India. But not at a formal function, for heaven’s sake! Leave aside the immaculately clad Western leaders, have you ever seen a shabbily dressed politician from China or Japan?Critics say your acting ability seldom goes beyond your mannerisms.A critic is one individual – the nation is a billion people. If it was a fluke, my success as an actor could not sustain for decades. There were no acting institutes when I started. My speech, my delivery, my pauses – that’s me, not a put-on. And most of my films were written around ‘Dev Anand’ – a city-bred boy with a modern outlook. So I just had to be myself, unless the character demanded something outside of my own personality. Look at the later parts of Guide, or the second half of Hum Dono where I modeled myself on a real-life major I knew.But you so often depend on props like headwear and scarves.That’s me again. I love wearing hats and caps. And people love it too when I wear them. My Jewel Thief cap became a style icon in the 1960s. Early in my career, the Prabhat bosses gave me a huge complex about the two gaps in my front teeth. They had me wear an uncomfortable filler which I insisted on taking off because I couldn’t speak my lines properly. And audiences liked me – gaps and all. It’s the total personality that counts.What’s the secret of your youthful personality?My mind. I’m mentally and therefore physically active. I can work 17 hours a day. My sorrows don’t stay with me because I’m an optimist. And I forgive easily. That’s a great quality – it makes you live long. I don’t follow any exercise regimen, but neither do I smoke, drink, or eat meat. I gave up smoking because it stained my teeth. I used to guzzle beer and colas, and stopped that too for my digestion. Man’s greatest disease is losing control of his habits. I threw and attended lots of parties earlier. I stay out of the current film-party circuit because it’s boring: the people, the conversation, the self-promotion.What relaxes you then?Any music that’s melodious. My love for music was instilled in childhood by my father. So my films had wonderful songs. Let’s face it: Indian movies cannot be made without music and songs. Our people love it, so why not give them what they love? If the songs are good and integrated seamlessly into the screenplay, there are very good chances that the film will be a hit.Your skills as a man-manager are well known. You got the best work out of a short-tempered eccentric like composer Sachin Dev Burman.His greatest compositions were created in the most informal sittings – Dada Burman playing around on the harmonium for hours, and I huddled next to him, rejecting one tune, and egging him on before approving another. It was a great feeling. But he had to be handled carefully. We once recorded a ghazal by an Urdu poet – which Dada composed and got Mohammed Rafi to sing. After the recording, Goldie and I thought it fell short of the mark. Baat bani nahi jo banne chaahiye thi. But we didn’t dare tell Dada right away. That night, I called him and asked how he felt about it. Bahut achha hua Dev, he said. I said, Dada usme kuch zarasi baat reh gayi hai, but I can’t explain what exactly is missing. He said, Nahi, nahi, bahut achha hua hai, and banged the phone down. I sensed he was mildly irritated, but also knew I’d succeeded in sowing a doubt in his mind. And the very next morning, he called to say he was coming over that evening. He came, played the harmonium for a little while and hummed the first notes of a new tune. And I said, that’s it. We summoned lyricist Shailendra who wrote the mukhda, and right there was born the famous Guide song: Din dhal jaaye, raat na jaaye. Rafi sang that one. But what made you select Kishore Kumar as your screen voice?Kishore Kumar got his break as a playback singer for me in Ziddi, which his brother Ashok Kumar produced. And his voice suited mine. I particularly liked its resonance. But there was always this discussion over whom to choose – Rafi or Kishore – till we finally arrived at a rule of thumb: Rafi got the ghazals, and Kishore got the geets.You chose Jaidev as music director for Hum Dono.Jaidev came to Navketan as assistant to Ali Akbar Khan who was our staff composer. After Aandhiyan, Khan left but Jaidev stayed on to assist S.D.Burman. And being in the company over the years, we gave him a break in Hum Dono. It’s his best work. But we didn’t really drop him after that. S.D.Burman was there all the time as the mentor. And Jaidev had branched out because he got outside assignments.What prompted the switch-over to R.D.Burman?Dada Burman was reluctant to do Hare Rama Hare Krishna – he was uncomfortable with the subject of drugs and hippies. So we decided to assign his son instead. Pancham – who had earlier assisted his father for our films – thus got his break as an independent composer for Navketan. And he scored in a big way.Do you miss working with your earlier composers?I do, but now one has to take the best of what’s available. The emphasis in film music today is on orchestration, so the melody suffers. And there’s very little originality: every ten years, song tunes get recycled with a little tinkering. Ditto for film stories, which come repackaged with superior techniques, particularly in sound recording. Some, like Devdas, are blatant remakes. Others are rehashes. I featured Aamir Khan as hero in Awwal Number. It was about cricket and politics – with a terrorism angle – and its climax had Aamir batting away to glory. His Lagaan had a similar theme.Several of your films were shot in the mountains – in Nepal and Sikkim.Mountains fascinate me. The green heights, the clean refreshing breeze, the trees, the valleys – they put fresh life into me. And their solitude gives me new ideas. Whenever I get the urge, I drive off to Mahabaleshwar hill-station. But I can’t afford to take time off frequently.As a busy star, have you been a good father?I educated both my kids in the best of schools abroad. Beyond that, I never intruded into their lives because I never let my father intrude into mine. My daughter Devina returned to India, found a boy, and that’s that. My son Suneil came home and joined the movie industry. He now runs my recording studio.Do you believe in role-models?To the extent that they charge you into bettering yourself. But you outgrow them. People said I looked and acted like Gregory Peck. I was thrilled – after all, he was a big Hollywood star. But I soon realized I’m my own man. And in fact, I’ve myself become a role-model for Indian actors. Sab logon ki acting mein main hun, mujhe maloom hai. (I know I have influenced the acting styles of them all.) It’s most apparent in the love scenes. Watch my films – the romance just flows effortlessly.Old-world chivalry?It’s natural, but never old or outdated. I’m more modern than today’s youngsters. They dress stupidly, and don’t know how to carry themselves – apart from exceptions like Aamir Khan, Shahrukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan. They’re very fortunate that the works of the old masters of world cinema are now easily available: they can pattern their styles accordingly.Who were your favourite Hollywood actors?Gary Cooper, Jimmy Stewart, Paul Muni and Spencer Tracy.And Indian?Ashok Kumar and Motilal.Your all-time favourite film star?Ingrid Bergman. What grace, beauty, and charm! And all this in a sweet, non-sexual kind of way. Any man would feel so good just being with her. Sadly, our paths never crossed.Your favourite films and film-makers? The great musical West Side Story and Frank Capra’s It’s A Wonderful Life. I met Capra in Hollywood, and he came over later for a film festival in New Delhi, and we became good friends. I saw It’s A Wonderful Life with Guru Dutt in Poona, and we both had liked it so much, I remember we saw the film again in back-to-back shows. Elia Kazan was another fine film-maker. I met him in his Broadway office in New York City.Your favourite roles?Guide and Hum Dono.Your favourite book?Irving Stone’s Lust For Life, a biographical novel about Van Gogh. I met Stone and his wife at his home during a cultural-exchange trip to America in 1964. Over cups of coffee, we discussed literature. He was thrilled that I liked his book.Anything you wanted to do in life, but couldn’t?I wish I could play a musical instrument or dance. If I were both – a great musician as well as a great dancer – there’s no doubt I’d have conquered the world.In all your travels, which VIP of world renown impressed you the most?Jawaharlal Nehru. I met him after his paralytic stroke, but he was so pleasant and spoke with such intellectual authority. Soon after, I went abroad and read about his death there. No other international leader would have got so much media coverage. But I’ve outgrown that admiration too. The more I read about the Kashmir mess, the more I’m convinced that he and others of his ilk were responsible for it. Partition was the most horrible tragedy in world history. Any right-thinking person would have known what was coming. Trainloads after trainloads of slaughtered families crossed the border into Amritsar and Lahore. And in the communal riots that followed, human beings behaved worse than animals. The lust for power blinded leaders on both sides.Were you personally affected by the Partition?My maternal uncles and their families barely escaped getting killed. They left behind their belongings in Pakistan, and fled to Delhi as refugees. In my case, Muslim friends and neighbours who had grown up playing with me on the streets of Gurdaspur, and those who’d studied with me at Lahore, became aliens and enemies overnight. The creation of Pakistan was an unnatural phenomenon, and should have been avoided at any cost.Do your Muslim friends who migrated to Pakistan echo these sentiments?Over the years and across continents – London, Washington D.C., and elsewhere – several of my college-mates have lamented the separation. You’ll find many people in Pakistan too saying the same thing – maybe not as openly as I do. During our Lahore trip, I was taken to a posh restaurant where a Pakistani Muslim flautist in his 50s was playing the song Jaayen to jaayen kahaan from my 1954 film Taxi Driver. He claimed to be my ardent fan – he’d seen all my films and could play any song from them. I thought he was pulling a fast one. So, off the cuff, I mentioned Shokhiyon mein ghola jaaye from my 1970 film Prem Pujari. And he played it so well, I wondered: the same language, the same music, the same culture, the same cuisine, the same lifestyle, the same temperament – then why two hostile countries?Part ITo view Part I of the interview, click here: www.littleindia.com/India/oct03/evergreen.htm  Related Itemslast_img read more

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Japan Inc.’s Thriving Outpost Sits in This Dusty Indian Town

first_imgIn the desert-like scrub land of Rajasthan, beside a barren stretch of highway, an unlikely oasis appears: an island of Japan Inc.On more than 1,100 acres of land dedicated exclusively to Japan’s corporations, global titans such as Toyota, Daikin Industries and Hitachi have clustered together to protect themselves from the vagaries of India’s chaotic business landscape.Located roughly three hours from New Delhi, the sprawling industrial complex provides Japanese companies with largely uninterrupted power and water supplies. It also offers a streamlined license and approval process that bypasses local officials who might ask for bribes. These are rare luxuries in a country ranked 130th by the World Bank for ease of doing business. The project has been so successful that there are plans for another location that is similarly dedicated to Japanese firms.For Japanese expats, the perks are even better. There are three karaoke lounges, a hotel with Japanese TV channels and magazines, traditional pine-wood baths, a golf simulator and four restaurants serving everything from ramen to sushi.“In India, the size of investment matters,” said Takayoshi Tokimune, the managing director of the India subsidiary for Dainichiseika Color & Chemicals Manufacturing Co. “So we flocked together.”Japan’s foreign direct investment in India has risen since the global financial crisis, reaching nearly $3.5 billion in 2016. Japan is India’s 10th largest trading partner  with the bilateral relationship worth about $14.5 billion. Japan has the technological know-how and a cadre of mighty corporations hungry for new markets, as economic growth and its population shrink at home. India has rapid growth, an expanding middle class eager for higher-quality products and more than one million youth joining the labor force every month.Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Shinzo Abe, both right-leaning nationalist leaders, personify the tight-knit relationship, embracing every time they meet.“They have what we don’t, and we have what they don’t,” said Hiroshi Daikoku, a senior investment adviser to the Japanese external trade promotion agency, JETRO.Businesses — as well as Abe’s government — also view India as a low-cost regional base to ship Japanese products into Southeast Asia and across the Arabian Sea to the frontier markets of Africa.“If you look at this whole market from Africa to Southeast Asia, India is the core,” Kenko Sone, economic head of Japan’s embassy in New Delhi, said in an interview. “It’s easier from India to see the African market. And Indian companies also have strong connections with African businesses, especially on the east coast. We can collaborate.”As Japanese capital flowed into India’s fast-growing economy, the intriguing industrial experiment at Neemrana — a collaboration between JETRO and the government of Rajasthan — has created about 10,000 factory jobs.Daikin Air Conditioning assembly line. Photo: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg With the allotted land now more than 90 percent full of factories, mainly linked to the automotive sector, the project is being expanded to a separate 500-acre plot in Rajasthan, as well as to other Indian states such as Gujarat. Japanese executives in India said the vast Neemrana estate has allowed them to bypass the single biggest hurdle to setting up a factory in India: Obtaining a piece of land at a fair price that won’t be subject to contested land claims at a later date, and without needing to offer bribes to local officials.“They would say no to investment, and then yes the next day — with conditions,” said Eiichiro Terada, managing director for Mitsui Chemicals Inc. subsidiary Mitsui Prime Advanced Composites India. “It’s very difficult to talk to local government officials.”In Neemrana, that was not an issue. JETRO officials and company executives approached several state governments roughly a decade ago. With very little heavy industry, Rajasthan’s government was eager to set up the zone to attract investment.Investment was slow to start. Interest only picked up after the global financial crisis, fueled by healthy profits at Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., which is 56 percent-owned by Japan’s Suzuki Motor Corp. and dominates India’s booming passenger car market.“Land was cheap, so many companies bought large amounts, but the construction, the initial investment, was small,” Tokimune said. “Now people are expanding.”Photo: Prashanth Vishwanathan/BloombergThe Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency looked into a similar zone for Korean companies, but abandoned the effort after Korean firms chose to set up in existing industrial clusters.Attention’s now turning to a new industrial park in western India, in the state once governed by Modi. “Every Japanese company is now looking at Gujarat,” Tokimune said.Daikin, which has global sales of more than $17 billion, is expanding its factory at Neemrana with a new building, going from around 1500 employees to 2000.Kohei Yamamoto, the assistant general manager for finance and compliance at Daikin’s Neemrana facility, strolled across the cavernous facility where a 500-person shift was busy at work, some assembling the wall-mounted AC units that are ubiquitous across much of Asia.“We’re going to export to Southeast Asia and Africa,” Yamamoto said. “But right now it’s mainly India.”— Bloomberg Related Itemslast_img read more

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Odisha training tribal women to make jackfruit chips

first_imgThe Odisha Rural Development and Marketing Society, with the support of several other organisations, has started a project to provide income to women in the tribal-dominated Koraput district. Since July, over 1,000 tribal women have been trained to prepare tasty, marketable and hygienically prepared jackfruit chips.“The aim is to start mass production during summer months next year,” said ORMAS Deputy CEO Roshan Kumar Kartik. Out of the 14 blocks of the district, 12 have a large number of jackfruit trees, but only 10% of the produce is consumed locally. Usually tribals sell these at ₹5 to ₹10 per fruit to middlemen who send it outside. A large number gets wasted. However, fried jackfruit chips fetch ₹250 to ₹350 per kg. According to ORMAS, each kilogram of jackfruit chips can provide at least ₹100 profit to these women.Apart from providing training in chips making and packaging, it has been decided to establish three large scale production and packaging units at Sunabeda, Jeypore and Laxmipur. The units will be managed by Koraput Agro Products Producers’ Company, an organisation of women farmers promoted by ORMAS and the Odisha Livelihood Mission. Forest and Agriculture Departments are also supporting the project.last_img read more

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McGregor holds strong on prediction of a knockout

first_imgConor McGregor has his hands wrapped before a media workout Friday, Aug. 11, 2017, in Las Vegas. McGregor is scheduled to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a boxing match Aug. 26 in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)LAS VEGAS — Conor McGregor is convinced he will beat Floyd Mayweather on Aug. 26, inside of four rounds.And if the Nevada Athletic Commission approves the fighters’ request to use eight-ounce gloves, he said he will beat Mayweather in the first six minutes of the fight.ADVERTISEMENT Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games READ: Mayweather promoter tired of talk about ticket salesWhile speculation is McGregor will be the aggressor early on, his gameplan and strategy remain a mystery since this will be his first professional boxing match. What hasn’t been a mystery is the air of confidence he displays, combined with a clear disdain for his opponent that has him assured he will hand Mayweather his first professional loss.“You can’t prepare for me, you can’t prepare for me, you can’t prepare for the movement, you can’t prepare for any of it,” McGregor said. “He can sit here and watch this (workout), and I’m sure he has been watching that. Let him watch, let him try and study, but you cannot prepare for this. There is nobody in the game that moves like me, that strikes like me and that has the confidence like me.“This is a fight that has been in my crosshairs since Floyd’s been opening his mouth, simple as that. I see a beaten man in his eyes, in his body language, in everything he does. I’m going to knock him out bad, he’s too small. I know he’s fast, I know he’s got good reflexes, I know he’s experienced. I don’t care. I hit you, you fall, and that’s it. He will be unconscious.” WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension K-pop star Jung Joon-young convicted of gang rape, spycam crimes “He’ll be unconscious inside two rounds, really one round, only for the 10-second count I will give him maybe surviving into the second,” said McGregor, who enters the boxing world with a 21-3 MMA record. “But if it’s 10-ounce gloves, maybe four rounds. But under four rounds he’ll be unconscious.”READ: Mayweather, McGregor clash over racism FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutBut if McGregor plans to fight the same way he worked out for the media on Friday at UFC’s exquisite headquarters in southwest Las Vegas, Mayweather shouldn’t have any problem improving to 50-0.The 29-year-old Irishman simulated a 12-round boxing match by dancing around punching bags for roughly 47 minutes, at times looking like an out-of-sync boxer with wide swings that left his guard down, awkward combinations and unnecessary shuffling. Other times he looked like an MMA fighter eager to charge his opponent, something he obviously can’t do in a boxing match. Los Angeles takes another step toward 2028 Games But with as much hype and promotion being thrown into the ring with both fighters, McGregor left plenty of intrigue and insists he didn’t show half the boxing skills he honed has a youth in Ireland, simply teasing anyone in attendance and everyone else who may have tuned into any livestreaming on social media.READ: Mayweather-McGregor is a stale act already “I don’t know how many times I’ve shocked the world, and I’m going to shock it once again,” McGregor said. “It’s not going to end well for Floyd. It’s not going to end well for all the people doubting me.”The 29-year-old Irishman insists nothing has changed in his training, other than the fact he can’t use his legs or take his opponent to the ground, and he’s the same hard-working fighter that won two Ultimate Fighting Championship titles.“I show up to the gym, I work hard, and through my hard work I gain my confidence – that’s been the same since day one,” said McGregor, the reigning UFC Lightweight Champion and former UFC Featherweight Champion. “The fundamentals are still there, I show up, I work hard.”ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Read Next SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief LATEST STORIES MOST READ Manny Pacquiao on Floyd Mayweather: Let him enjoy retirement PLAY LIST 00:44Manny Pacquiao on Floyd Mayweather: Let him enjoy retirement01:49Pacquiao to Mayweather: Want fans to stop asking for rematch? Then fight me again01:16Pacquiao takes another swipe at Mayweather over exhibition match KO01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

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NCAA Season 93’s Best 7: Week 5

first_imgWith the collegiate season in full swing, INQUIRER lists the week’s top seven performers in the ongoing NCAA Season 93 men’s basketball tournament. From their game statistics to their overall impact on the outcomes, everything is weighed to come up with the best players from the past week.ADVERTISEMENT LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games K-pop star Jung Joon-young convicted of gang rape, spycam crimes Oh, how fast time flies.We’re past the halfway point of the first round and it seems that Lyceum and San Beda have pulled away from the field.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutBut beyond them is where the action is, with only a win separating the third and the ninth seeds, showing how important every game is for every team aspiring to be in the Final Four.But those wins wouldn’t come to be if not for the players themselves, and this is our list of this week’s top performers.1. Jaycee Marcelino – G, Lyceum Pirates20 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals, 1 blockLast Week: 7 LATEST STORIES WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Read Next Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. 5. Donald Tankoua – C, San Beda Red Lions 11 points, 16 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 blockLast Week: N/APhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netAdmittedly inconsistent through the first six games, Donald Tankoua has finally had his best game to date for San Beda as he took a page out of his old self in the team’s 66-55 win over Mapua.With only Christian Bunag challenging him on the inside, the Nigerian center may have just gotten the shot of confidence he needs as the Red Lions gear for the tougher wars ahead.Couple that with the good showing of young prospects like Clint Doliguez and San Beda may just very well be building up a solid team ready to defend its throne.6. Juju Bautista – F, EAC Generals 12.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.5 blocksLast Week: N/APhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netSidney Onwubere starred in EAC’s 85-79 win over Arellano, but largely was absent in its home game on Thursday.Francis Munsayac, meanwhile, corralled a career-best 26 points, but committed the heartbreaking turnover which took the fight out of the Generals in their 97-93 loss to Lyceum.Despite the up-and-down week, the lone consistent force for coach Ariel Sison has been Juju Bautista, who refused to let his team down in those two close games.The Fil-Samoan’s role, though, is expected to get bigger with Hamadou Laminou being ruled out of the season after tearing his ACL in his right knee.7. Michael Calisaan – F, San Sebastian Golden Stags 20 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assistLast Week: 5 View commentscenter_img Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netHas San Sebastian finally figured things out after a shocking slump early in the season?It’s still too early to tell, but for Michael Calisaan, this past week’s dominating 101-71 victory over lowly St. Benilde should be a good indication on how far the team can go.Known as a heady defensive crew, the Golden Stags put their offensive prowess in full display, with Calisaan dominating a stretch in the fourth quarter and racking 12 straight points.If San Sebastian keeps this up, there shouldn’t be any hitches for it to realize the preseason predictions placed on its head. Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief As promising as this stretch is, the road is about to get bumpier for the Knights, with San Sebastian and Lyceum next in their schedule.3. CJ Perez – F, Lyceum Pirates20 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assistsLast Week: 2A staple of this list from the start, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that CJ Perez is still flying high in these rankings.Just as the past weeks, the energetic forward has embraced the team concept coach Topex Robinson has been preaching and seven games in and Lyceum has still yet to fall.The test, however, will be in this coming week as the Pirates’ discipline will be put to the test with Robinson serving his one-game suspension following his ejection in the EAC win.4. Rey Nambatac – G, Letran Knights12 points, 15 rebounds, 3 assistsLast Week: 1FILE PHOTO by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netLast week’s top performer took a bit of a bump down the rankings, but that shouldn’t take away his contributions for Letran in its game against Perpetual.Rey Nambatac did all he could to tow the Knights to the victory, even if that meant crashing the boards against the towering Prince Eze, as he became the engine that made the team work.Showing the leadership qualities Letran has been looking for since last season, Nambatac has indeed established himself as one of the best young prospects in the amateur ranks today.But just like Quinto, he and the rest of the Knights will be put into the test this coming week with a tough two-game grind coming up. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes PLAY LIST 01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ Creamline gets headway for bronze medal, trumps Air Force Jaycee Marcelino. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netAdamson’s loss is Lyceum’s gain. And Jaycee Marcelino has no qualms on making that fact known.With the past week his coming out party, the offensive-minded half of the Marcelino twins is proving that he might just be the next great NCAA playmaker, coming out of nowhere to follow the footsteps of stars like Scottie Thompson and Jio Jalalon.This week, Marcelino hushed the boisterous crowd in EAC with his stupendous showing including the game-sealing steal on Francis Munsayac as the Pirates bucked the absence of coach Topex Robinson to stay unscathed at 7-0.2. Bong Quinto – F, Letran Knights14 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assistsLast Week: N/APhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netKnown as a gunner throughout his career, Bong Quinto shared that it took time for him giving the steering wheel to Rey Nambatac.But with this selfless act, the 20-year-old seems to be thriving, as the duos’ trust with each other have helped Letran nab three straight wins to pull it out of the muck and grab solo third place.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

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Petecio leads Pinoy pugs

first_imgNesthy Petecio (red)  INQUIRER FILE PHOTOTeam Philippines is fielding veteran Nesthy Petecio and two others in its search for the gold in the Asian Women’s Boxing Championships slated to begin Thursday in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.Accompanying Petecio, who settled for the bantamweight silver medal in the 2015 edition held in Wulanchabu, China, are light flyweight Judelyn Casin and flyweight Aira Villegas.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA LATEST STORIES QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH More learning, more success Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Read Next Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:31Go: Search for ‘perfect, honest man’ to lead PNP still on00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. The 25-year-old Petecio of Davao is aching to get back at Thai Peamwilai Laopean, who ruled the 54kg division of the biennial event, which will run up to Nov. 8.Accompanying the boxers sent by the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines are coaches Roel Velasco and Violito Payla and team manager Patricio Gaspi, also the national head coach.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC View commentslast_img read more

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