5 genes linked to severe form of Covid-19 found: Study

Five key genes that are linked with the most severe form of Covid-19 have been found, according to a study, scientists said on Friday. The genes - called IFNAR2, TYK2, OAS1, DPP9 and CCR2 - partially explain why some people become desperately sick with Covid-19, while others are not affected, said Kenneth Baillie, an academic consultant in critical care medicine at Edinburgh University who co-led the research, news agency Reuters reported. According to the study, the finding of the five genes that are linked with the severest form of novel coronavirus also pointed to several existing drugs that could be repurposed to treat people who risk getting critically ill with the pandemic disease. Researchers who studied the DNA of 2,700 Covid-19 patients in 208 intensive care units across Britain found that five genes involving in two molecular processes - antiviral immunity and lung inflammation - were central to many severe cases. "Our results immediately highlight which drugs should be at the top of the list for clinical testing," Kenneth Baillie, said. The findings, published in the journal Nature, should help scientists speed up the search for potential drugs for covid-19 by conducting clinical trials of medicines that target specific antiviral and anti-inflammatory pathways. Among those with the most potential, Baillie said, should be a class of anti-inflammatory drugs called JAK inhibitors, which includes the arthritis drug baricitinib, made by Eli Lilly.........Read more

Compulsory 14-day Quarantine For Violators of Nationwide Lockdown: Govt in Fresh Advisory

Issuing the advisory, the Central government said that those who violate the lockdown and travel during the period of lockdown will be subject to minimum 14 days of quarantine in government quarantine facilities. The development comes as a number of migrant workers were seen walking on roads to their respective home towns after the lockdown was announced. ........Read more

From Eisenhower To Obama, Here Are The 6 US Presidents Who Have Visited India Before Trump

60 years after Dwight D Eisenhower became the first US president to visit India, the nation is all set to welcome Donad Trump, who is soon set to land in India. With this visit, Trump will be the seventh US president ever to travel to India and the first one to land in Ahmedabad. Trump visited India in 2014 as a real estate businessman, but this will be a presidential visit. Here’s a trip down the memory lane on tours by previous American Presidents.........Read more

Will not support proposed FTP of 2023-31: ECB chairman Colin Graves to ICC

The BCCI has got a shot in the arm after England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) officially intimated ICC that it will not support the global body's bid to have a flagship event every year from 2023 to 2031.........Read more

Rajnath Singh to leave for two-day visit to France today, will receive first Rafale aircraft

Raksha Mantri will participate in the Rafale fighter aircraft handing over ceremony. He will also perform the Shastra Puja on the auspicious occasion of Vijayadashami and fly a sortie in the Rafale fighter aircraft.........Read more

Iran further breaches nuclear deal, says it can exceed 20% enrichment

Iran said on Saturday it was now capable of raising uranium enrichment past the 20% level and had launched advanced centrifuge machines in further breaches of commitments to limit its nuclear activity under a 2015 deal with world powers. “We have started lifting limitations on our Research and Development imposed by the deal ... It will include development of more rapid and advanced centrifuges,” Iranian nuclear agency spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi told a televised news conference. The 2015 pact curbed Iran’s disputed nuclear programme in exchange for relief from sanctions, but has unravelled since the United States pulled out of it last year and acted to strangle Iran’s oil trade to push it into wider security concessions. Since May, Iran has begun to exceed limits on its nuclear capacity set by the pact in retaliation for U.S. pressure on Iran to negotiate restrictions on its ballistic missile programme and support for proxy forces around the Middle East. Iran says its measures are reversible if European signatories to the accord manage to restore its access to foreign trade promised under the nuclear deal but blocked by the reimposition of U.S. sanctions. The deal capped the level of purity to which Iran can enrich uranium at 3.67 percent - suitable for civilian power generation and far below the 90% threshold of nuclear weapons grade. ........Read more

Senior Indian cricketer under scanner for flouting ‘family clause’ during ICC World Cup 2019

A senior member of the Indian cricket team has come under the scanner for violating BCCI’s ‘family clause’ rules during the World Cup, where the team made a semifinal exit. The player in question had specifically requested for his wife to stay with him for more than the permissible period of 15 days but it was shot down by the Committee of Administrators (CoA), which had laid down the rules. Now it has come to light that the player’s wife stayed with him for the entire seven-week duration of the tournament without seeking permission from either the captain or the coach for her extended stay. Request from a player 1. The COA discussed that one of the players from the Men’s Senior Team had made a request for permission for his wife to accompany him to the World Cup tour earlier than is otherwise permissible. 2. The CoA was informed that the matter is being discussed with the concerned player and that it may not be advisable to grant the request. 3. After some discussion, the CoA decided that it will not accede to the above request from the concerned player.........Read more

One lakh more people excluded from NRC in Assam

The number of people left out of the draft National Register of Citizens in Assam went up by over a lakh after an additional list of exclusions was published on Wednesday. “As per provisions contained in Clause 5 of the Schedule of Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Card) Rules, 2003, an additional draft list consisting of 1,02,462 has been published today,” the office of the state coordinator of the NRC said in a statement. Listing reasons for the exclusion, the statement notes three categories. Firstly, those who are declared foreigner, doubtful voter or persons with cases pending at Foreigners Tribunals or their descendants, as applicable, discovered after publication of draft NRC. Second, persons who were found to be ineligible while appearing as witness in hearings held for disposal of claims and objections.  As NRC deadline nears, Assam looks to form 400 more tribunals Third, are persons who were found to be ineligible during the process of verification carried out by the Local Registrars of Citizens Registration under provisions of Clause 4(3), after publication draft NRC on July 30, 2018. As per this clause, a local registrar may at any time before the final publication of NRc may take up verification of such persons considered necessary. The NRC is being updated to weed out illegal foreigners in the state.........Read more

SBI plans to tap Singapore SME businesses

The State Bank of India is planning to expand its market in Singapore by enhancing its relationship across small and medium enterprises (SMEs) some of which have strong footholds across Asia Pacific. Acknowledging the stiff competition from Financial Technology (FinTech) companies, the SBI is also contemplating introducing its YONO SBI app while having opened remittance services to all bank accounts through eRemit and remittance kiosk channels in the city state. "We are working on extending credit to Singapore-based SMEs, supporting their businesses both locally and regionally," said SBI Country Head Kishore Kumar Poludasu, who recently took charge of the bank in a marketplace with global trading and financial links. Singapore SMEs accounts for 65% of employment and contributed SGD 196.8 billion or 49 per cent to the economy in 2017, according to the Department of Statistics here. "We see the potential of further expanding our services to SMEs," added Poludasu, anticipating SBI's growth in line with Singapore's expansion as an Asian financial hub. ........Read more

Decriminalising gay sex: Centre says it will 'leave the decision to the wisdom of court'

The Centre on Tuesday put the onus of deciding the fate of Section 377 on the Supreme Court (SC), which a day earlier began hearing petitions under the provision that criminalises homosexuality.........Read more

Cauvery row: Tamil outfit warns of protests against IPL during CSK vs KKR game

Opposition to IPL matches to be held here intensified on Monday with a pro-Tamil outfit agitating over Cauvery issue threatening to hold protests outside the game venue on Tuesday. The state has been witnessing protests for the past one week urging the Centre to constitute the Cauvery Management Board (CMB). Political parties and outfits have demanded that Indian Premier League (IPL) matches not be held at a time when the state was witnessing widespread agitations on the vexed issue.........Read more

TTD trains Dalit, tribal priests, ushers in social reformation

A quite social reformation is apparently in the making in the State, with the abode of Lord Venkateswara as the epicentre. With the idea of reviving “Bhakti movement” among the socially-excluded sections, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) and the State Endowments Department have jointly conceived a programme to train Dalits and tribal people in priesthood.........Read more

Govt redefines MSMEs based on annual revenue

The Union cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposal to redefine micro, small and medium enterprises, or MSMEs, based on their annual revenue, replacing the current definition that relies on self-declared investment on plant and machinery.........Read more

Karnataka bandh today: Schools closed, exams postponed, near total shut-down

Karnataka braces for a near total bandh today.Banks said they would remain open, but a call on whether to suspend operations or not will be taken depending on the situation. The bandh call has been given to protest the apathy of the Centre towards the Mahadayi waters issue. The Kannada film industry has extended its support to the bandh. All theatres across Karnataka will be closed. Malls and multiplexes will remain closed across the state till 6 pm.........Read more

Oscar 2018: 'The Shape Of Water' Gets 13 Nominations

Including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Actor Supporting Role, Best Actress Supporting Role, Cinematography, Costume Design, Editing, Sound Design, Music, Sound Mixing and Best Original Screenplay, the film went to standing by many other iconic films that got 13 nominations. ........Read more

Stand Back, Way Back: Flu Virus Can Be Spread Just by Breathing

In the study, the scientists found large quantities of infectious flu virus in the exhaled breath of people with the disease, highlighting the importance of "airborne" transmission in flu spread.........Read more

African countries unite at UN against Donald Trump’s immigration slur, demand apology

All African countries at the United Nations unanimously demanded that Donald Trump retract and apologize for his reported denunciation of immigration from ‘shithole’ nations. While demanding a “retraction and an apology” from Trump, the 54 countries also thanked those Americans “from all walks of life who have condemned the remarks.”........Read more

Top SC judges complain against Chief Justice in unprecedented press meet

The four judges addressed the media at Justice J Chelameswar's home. He said the “administration of the Supreme Court was not in order and many things which are less than desirable have happened in last few months”. We met the CJI with a specific request which unfortunately couldn't convince him that we were right therefore, we were left with no choice but to communicate it to the nation.........Read more

Lalu Prasad sentenced to 3.5 years in prison in second fodder scam case - Times of India

Former chief minister of Bihar Lalu Prasad was today sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison and fined Rs 10 lakh by a special CBI court in the second fodder scam case+ in which he was found guilty. Specifically, Lalu was fined Rs 5 lakh in each of two cases in the scam. Failure to pay would lead to a six-month extension to his term........Read more

Union Budget 2018 to be presented on February 1

The Union Budget 2018 will be presented on February 1, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said on Friday. The minister further said that the budget session of the parliament will be conducted from January 29 to April 6, 2018.........Read more

Worrying signs: Coal demand falls sharply

India's demand-supply gap of coal has widened from 15.5 million tonnes during 2015-16 to 55.3 MT during 2016-17, a massive jump of 256.77% sparked by shrinking industrial production, the government has admitted. The revelation comes at a time when Central Ministers have been countering the Opposition's charges of economic slowdown.........Read more

Centre issues fresh norms on model conduct for PSU employees

The Centre has issued a fresh set of norms to govern the conduct of central PSU employees, which bars them from political activities and criticising government policies or actions. The rules will impact over 12 lakh employees working in state-owned firms.........Read more

Rejecting West Bengal tableau from Republic Day parade an insult to state: Mamata Banerjee

This year our proposed theme was 'Ekatai Sampriti' (unity is brotherhood). I think this was why we have been left out," Banerjee said inaugurating the Christmas Festival at the Allen Park here. West Bengal won awards twice for the best tableau and the state has the right to know the reason behind being left out from the next year's Republic Day parade, she said.........Read more

Narendra Modi government spent Rs 3,755 crore on publicity push

The expenditure on advertisements from April 2014 to October 2017 through electronic, print media and outdoor publicity is Rs 37,54,06,23,616, according to the RTI reply by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry. ........Read more

GST Cess: Jaguar Increases Prices For Luxury Cars And SUVs

Jaguar India has had to increase prices across the range. The increase on the cars and SUVs ranges from about Rs 80,000 to about Rs 10 Lakh depending on the model in the Jaguar range in India. The increase in cess has also adversely affected Jaguar's sister brand Land Rover with prices been increased across the board on all the SUVs sold in India. The move to increase prices comes after the GST council took the decision to increase cess on all cars and SUVs that are longer than the 4-metre bracket.........Read more

Kerala love jihad case: Muslim man moves SC to freeze NIA probe

A Muslim man from Kerala, whose marriage to a converted Hindu woman triggered a national controversy, approached the Supreme Court on Saturday to freeze a National Investigation Agency probe into his wedding and alleged his wife was being tortured by her family. In his petition, Shafin Jahan said his wife Hadiya, earlier known as Akhila, is under tremendous physical and mental attack by her family, with whom she is living, and that even activists were barred from meeting her. He also alleged that the NIA probe was proceeding without the supervision of a retired judge, as stipulated by the top court.........Read more

Hyperloop One picks 10 possible hyperloop routes around the world

Hyperloop One has announced 10 winning submissions in a long-running contest to find what it believes to be the best places to build the first hyperloop tracks in the world. Ten teams across five countries (Mexico, India, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada) were picked from the original 2,600 submissions, and the routes range in size from about 200 to nearly 700 miles, depending on the location.........Read more

Public Anger Brews in Bangladesh Over India's Stance on Rohingya Crisis

The dissatisfaction in Dhaka has been building up steadily. While India had given its full backing to the internationally-isolated Myanmar government on the Rohingya crisis, it had to face the reality that those statements are putting the Sheikh Hasina government in an impossible situation. Bangladesh has faced the political and security fallout of the largest influx of refugees ever since its independence.........Read more

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Dera Sacha Sauda Sirsa campus raided by police, huge weapons cache found

Since Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was convicted in rape cases of sadhvis, a number of violent incidents were reported from various parts of Haryana, Punjab and other states. Now, in a shocking incident, a huge cache of arms was recovered by police from Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters in Sirsa. ........Read more

China is forcing internet companies to end online anonymity

China is cracking down on censorship once again, but this time things are a touch more serious. According to new rules published by China’s main internet censor last Friday, netizens who want to post comments online will now have to register with their real names. They can still use pseudonyms, but those names are tied to their real identities. These new rules come ahead of the communist party’s 19th National Congress, which convenes this autumn and is usually a time when the regime tightens the ship.........Read more

Tamil Nadu farmers relaunch protest in Chennai as govt fails to fulfill promises

After the farmers' protests in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu farmers who grabbed national attention through the novel, and often shocking, forms of protest in New Delhi two months ago have resumed their agitation in Chennai on Friday protesting the state government’s failure to fulfil its promises.........Read more

Dalits barred from temple fest in Kannur; activist blames Kerala's CPM of discrimination

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has is believed to be promoting caste-based discrimination against Dalits during annual procession of a temple in Azhikkal village of Kerala's Payannur district........Read more

Sheena Bora case: Indrani, Peter Mukerjea charged with murder, criminal conspiracy

A special CBI court on Tuesday framed charges against Indrani Mukerjea, Peter Mukerjea and Sanjeev Khanna in the Sheena Bora murder case. The three accused have been charged with murder and criminal conspiracy. Earlier, Sanjeev Khanna and Peter Mukerjea had argued against the charges proposed by the CBI following which it was expected that the special CBI court would frame charges against them........Read more

Meet the Leader Who Used Gandhian Values to Instil Democracy in Tunisia after the Arab Spring

The Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia, and the subsequent Arab Spring, shook the foundations of power in the Arab world. Through it all, one man helped guide Tunisia successfully to true democracy, and inspired leaders all over the world – Sheikh Rached Ghannouchi.........Read more

NASA Needs Your Help With the "Long-Duration" Space Poop Problem

It turns out, that famous question of “How do you go to the bathroom in space?” is not so easy to answer. At least, not when it comes to 'going' -- repeatedly -- in your spacesuit, when you may have been wearing it continually for six days or more.........Read more

The best monsoon rains in three years could boost India’s GDP by $22 billion

Good rains have raised farm output and pushed incomes higher, potentially increasing agricultural GDP by Rs1.49 lakh crore ($22 billion) in fiscal 2016-17, according to credit ratings agency Crisil. Agriculture contributed 16% to India’s GDP in 2014-2015, making it one of the largest components. In the second quarter of the 2016 fiscal, India’s agriculture GDP stood at Rs3.74 lakh crore ($56 billion.)........Read more

Petition Asking UK To Condemn Pakistan For Harbouring Terrorists Gets Over 3,800 Signatures

Just weeks after terrorist attacks on an Army camp in Uri in Kashmir that martyred 19 Indian soldiers, a petition asking the UK government to “strongly condemn Pakistan for providing safe haven for terrorists” has received 3,875 signatures.........Read more

Why India Must Take Heed And Counter The ‘Silent Invasion’ Of China

Besides getting a big boost in its territorial expanse, access to South East Asia and mastery over the huge natural resources of Tibet, China gained control over 46 percent of the world’s population (as per current figures) who depend upon rivers originating in Tibet— these rivers include the Indus, Ganges, Brahmaputra, Irrawaddy, Salween and Mekong.........Read more

36 Rafales Is Just The Beginning Of A Buying Spree. The Air Force Needs More Than 300.

Former Defence Minister A K Antony, under whose aegis the MMRCA contract was rolled out, had made a fetish out of his clean image, forcing defence procurement to go through impossible contractual requirements and processes. As a result, the largest procurement programme had been inordinately delayed. Even medium- and small-scale purchases were stalled. (See A K Antony’s Antics Cost India A Lot More Than AgustaWestland)........Read more

Bribe charge: MNS files complaint against Kapil Sharma

Sharma had kicked up a controversy last week by alleging that he had been asked to pay a bribe of Rs 5 lakh by an official of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation which, in turn, claimed that the actor had flouted norms not only in his Versova office building but also at his apartment in suburban Goregaon.........Read more

How One Firm Is Converting Sewage Water to Drinking Water Using Sustainable Methods

In the beginning, there was Pong. And while we've not yet reached the seventh day of videogame creativity, the coming of virtual reality headsets like PlayStation VR and Oculus Rift would probably sit somewhere around day five in the gaming equivalent of the Creation story.........Read more

Why ABVP has stronger chances to win JNUSU elections

A spectre is haunting JNU — the spectre of Hindutva fascism. All the powers of social democracy on campus were supposed to enter into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre, but the internecine ideological battles within the Left, as well as the recent allegation of rape against a leader of the All India Students’ Association (AISA) has resulted in a fractured field that leaves open the prospect of victory in the September 9 JNUSU elections for the Sangh-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).........Read more

Half-Indian 'elephant whisperer' crowned Miss Japan

A half-Indian beauty queen with an elephant trainer's license was crowned Miss Japan today, striking a fresh blow for racial equality.........Read more

Bidders race to grab Mallya's vintage cars

Refrain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks, name calling or inciting hatred against any community. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines by marking them offensive. Let's work together to keep the conversation civil.........Read more

US asks India, Pakistan to sign, ratify CTBT

WASHINGTON: Encouraging India and Pakistan to engage in talks and exercise restraint for improving strategic stability, the US has asked the two countries to sign and ratify Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).........Read more

Video: The contentious fMRI that might have led to flawed brain research in the last decade

A new study shows that software glitches might have thrown up false positive data in a number of brain analysis studies.........Read more

2006 Aurangabad Arms Haul Case: Abu Jundal, Six Others Sentenced to Life

While two have been sentenced to 14 years in jail, three others have been sent to 8 years in jail.........Read more

One basic way India can prevent mother and child deaths: Provide clean water at health centres

When researchers with WaterAid India, an international nonprofit, presented their new evidence showing links between poor sanitation and maternal and neonatal mortality, they did not anticipate that the findings would irk other health rights activist........Read more

Naidu’s bounty: TDP gets 4 acres of land dirt cheap

Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu has gifted his own Telugu Desam Party with huge chunks of land in the capital Amaravati and all the 13 district headquarters for a throwaway price of Rs 1,000 per acre per acre.........Read more

ATS arrests 50-year-old from Kalyan for helping couple who 'joined' IS

A 50-year-old man from Kalyan has been arrested for being one of the two witnesses at the wedding of a couple from Kerala who converted to Islam........Read more

India is with Bangladesh in fight against terror: Modi tells Hasina

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reaffirmed that his country will extend all help to Bangladesh in its fight against terrorism.........Read more

Turkey detains over 6000 over coup attempt, numbers to go up, warns Justice Minister

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag in a television interview said that "the cleansing (operation) is continuing. Some 6,000 detentions have taken place. The number could surpass 6,000."........Read more

Ahead of Jio launch, existing telcos cut data prices by up to 67%

Reliance Jio Infocomm has announced that it would launch commercial 4G services in 6 to 8 weeks........Read more

How high is Punjab really flying? Survey pegs drug use at 16%, deputy chief minister says it's 0.06%

Charu Bahri, Share Tweet Email Reddit Print Share Tweet Email Reddit Print “Out of the 2.77 crore population of the state, only 0.06% was found abusing drugs, which is the lowest percentage across the nation,” said Punjab........Read more

Oh no! This Major Character Is Quitting The Kapil Sharma Show?!

This will come as quite a shock to Kapil Sharma fans. Reports are doing the rounds that Chandan Prabhakar, who is also Kapil’s best friend in real life, may be quitting The Kapil Sharma Show. Apparenly, Chandan might be doing Ekta Kapoor‘s upcoming........Read more

IISc Bangalore and four IIT's figure in list of Asia's top 50 universities: QS Rankings

IISc Bangalore and four IIT's figure in list of Asia's top 50 universities: QS Rankings - IISc is placed 33rd in the list.........Read more