Trump or Biden, Who Will be Next US President? Here's What Astrologers Have Predicted

Who will win the race to become the next President of the United States? This is the big question on everyone’s minds! While various polls have been conducted to predict the next US president, astrologers all over the world are also looking at the stars to find the answer. Now, an Indian astrologer has claimed that Donald Trump will win the 2020 US Presidential Election. Famous fortune teller and former spokesperson of RJD, Dr Shankar Charan Tripathi has stated that Trump has favourable planets in his horoscope (Kundali). BJP spokesperson Avadhut Wagh shared the horoscope of Trump and wrote that it indicates that Trump will come back again as US president. Hon. President Mr. Your indicates that you will come back again as US president as per Dr. Shankar Charan Tripathi who is a very famous Fortune teller. — Avadhut Wagh अवधूत वाघ (@Avadhutwaghbjp) Gulf News also talked to three Hindu astrologers, and two of them said it will be Donald Trump walking into the White House to take office as the 46th US President. Acharya Umesh Tiwari, an astrologer based in India and Dubai told Gulf News, “Sitting in the second house Jupiter is aspecting the 10th house of his chart where Sun is placed. Sun is a planet of authority and power. And with the blessings of Jupiter, it is pretty much exalted. A person with such yoga will be in authority and power. He will be a ruler.”........Read more

Who is Harpreet Singh? India's First Ever Woman to be CEO in Airline Industry

Air India’s first woman pilot Harpreet Singh has been appointed as the CEO of the state-run airline’s subsidiary Alliance Air, becoming the first-ever woman to head an Indian carrier. Singh, who is currently Air India’s executive director (flight safety), was appointed as the first woman commercial pilot of India in 1988. However, due to health reasons, she had to leave her flying job. Since then, she has been active in other areas of aviation including flight safety. Her post will now be replaced by Captain Nivedita Bhasin, one of AI’s most senior commanders. Captain Bhasin currently flies Boeing 787 Dreamliner, a Times of India report stated. She will also be handling several other departments of the carrier. Captain Bhasin is also the chief of Indian Women Pilot Association, which has several other senior women commanders like Captain Kshamta Bajpai who are seen as a role model by budding pilots. Unlike the rest of the Air India fleet, Alliance Air is not being sold off with the Air India-AI Express-AISATS combine and will remain a PSU. At the same time, Air India’s old Boeing 747s will also be transferred to Alliance Air, which currently has a fleet of turboprops, if the Maharaja gets a buyer and is privatised, the TOI report stated.........Read more

IPL 2020: Chris Gayle Becomes First Batsman to Hit 1000 Sixes in T20 Cricket

Chris Gayle continues to set new milestones in T20 cricket and the latest being – the first batsman to hit 1000 sixes in the format. Against Rajasthan Royals, the Kings XI Punjab batsman blasted seven sixes during his 63-ball 99 to reach the landmark. Gayle, who was drafted into the KXIP playing XI midway through the season after sitting out from the opening few matches, has been making impact in each game. He was on 993 sixes before tonight’s fixture against RR and after walking in to bat at No. 3 inside the Powerplay overs, the Jamaican looked right at home, hitting boundaries with ease. The seventh six came in the final over, bowled by Jofra Archer but when he needed just one run for his first century of the season, Gayle was bowled. A frustrated Gayle threw his bat making it clear how badly he wanted the three figures. Top-five batsmen with most sixes in T20s Nevertheless, his blistering knock was enough to power KXIP to 185/4 in a crunch game at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. “In my mind it’s a century,” Gayle said during an interview after the KXIP innings came to an end.........Read more

Alexis Vastine International Boxing Tournament: India's Amit Panghal And Sanjeet Clinch Gold

World silver-medallist amit Panghal (52kg) and Sanjeet (91kg) struck gold in their first competition after a coronavirus-forced break, claiming the top honours at the Alexis Vastine International Boxing Tournament in Nantes, France. Amit, also an Asian Games champion, defeated American Rene Abraham 3-0 with a dominating performance. Sanjeet, a former India Open gold-medallist, too put up a clinical show to get past Frenchman Soheb Bouafia in his summit clash and secure a gold. However, Asian silver-medallist Kavinder Singh Bisht (57kg) settled for a silver medal after going down to local favourite Samuel Kistohurry in a split 2-1 verdict. India had earlier secured three bronze medals through four-time Asian medallist Shiva Thapa (63kg), Sumit Sangwan (81kg) and Satish Kumar (+91kg). All three of them lost in the semifinal stage. This was the first international competition that Indian boxers featured in since the Olympic qualifiers in Jordan in March.........Read more

Five distinct dog types existed 11,000 years ago: Study

Scientists have mapped the DNA of 27 ancient dogs spanning back 11,000 years and found that there were at least five different types of dogs present at the end of the last Ice Age. For the study, published in the journal Science, the research team studied dog DNA dating as far back as 11,000 years ago, immediately following the last Ice Age. By sequencing the DNA of 27 dogs found in Europe, the Near East and Siberia, team members discovered five different types of dogs with distinct genetic ancestries dating from before any other animal had been domesticated. They extracted DNA from skeletal material to see how dogs evolved from thousands of years ago when all humans were still hunters and gatherers. "The dog samples have been gathered from museums, and other collections from across the world and by several members of this team," said study author Anna Linderholm from Texas A&M University in the US. "Since we don't know when and where dogs were domesticated, we have collected most of the known dogs from the old world, going back as far in time as possible and using dog DNA that has been best preserved," Linderholm added.........Read more

EC revokes Kamal Nath's star campaigner status for MP by-polls - story so far

Ahead of the Madhya Pradesh by-polls, the Election Commission on Friday revoked former Chief Minister Kamal Nath's star campaigner status for "repeated violations of the model code while campaigning". But while the run-up to the elections have been fraught with controversy, Nath appears to be unfazed. Reacting to the news, Nath on Saturday said that being called the "star campaigner" was neither a post, nor a status. "I don't want to comment on EC's decision, will comment only after 10th November. In the end, public matters the most and they know everything," he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. "The EC had not given me any notice, nor had it asked me about it. Why they are doing this in the last two days of campaigning only they know," he told PTI. Congress leader Kamal Nath on EC revoking his star campaigner status for MP by-election campaign The Nath-led Congress government had crumbled earlier this year, after several party leaders, including Jyotiraditya Scindia rebelled against the Congress. The resignation of several MLAs who then joined the Opposition BJP had led to the collapse of the government. The by-elections assume greater significance as a clean sweep would allow the Congress to return to power. The polls are scheduled to be held on November 3. ........Read more

Centre tells states to form committees for vaccine distribution; COVID-19 active cases under 6 lakh after 85 days

As figures on Friday seemed to indicate an improvement in the situation nationwide, the Centre asked states to constitute committees for the coordination of vaccination drives while ensuring minimal disruptions in other routine healthcare services. Stating that COVID-19 vaccination drive will span over a year with multiple groups being included "sequentially", the Union health ministry sought the forming of committees at state and district levels. These committees will review availability of cold chain facilities and the operational planning and strategies for state-specific challenges, which include geographical terrain and hard-to-reach areas, the ministry added. Meanwhile, the ministry said that the number of active in the country had dropped below six lakh for the first time in nearly three months. Calling it a "significant milestone", the ministry said that active cases now comprise only 7.35 percent of the total cases. There are 5,94,386 active cases of coronavirus in the country as on date. The active caseload was in the same bracket last on 6 August. "Presently the active cases comprise only 7.35 percent of the total positive cases of the country. This has strengthened its trend of steady decline," the ministry said. However, the country's total tally of cases rose on Friday to 80,88,851 with 48,648 new infections being reported in a day. The toll also rose to 1,21,090 with 563 new casualties due to the virus.........Read more

Truth behind Pulwama attack out after claims made in Pakistan parliament, says Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the truth of last year's Pulwama terror attack, in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed, has been accepted in Pakistan Parliament. He also said that when the entire nation was mourning the death of brave soldiers in the Pulwama terror attack, some people indulged in "dirty politics" for their political gains. The prime minister was speaking at Kevadiya in Gujarat after paying tributes to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel at the Statue of Unity on his 145th birth anniversary. "The country cannot forget the unwanted statements given after Pulwama attack. Dirty politics laced with selfishness and arrogance was at its peak when the country was suffering from immense pain," Modi said. "The real face of such people has been exposed after the truth was accepted in the Parliament of our neighbouring country," he added. "Politics done after Pulwama attack shows that people can cross any limit for their political gains. I want to urge such political parties not to indulge in this kind of politics as it affects the morale of our security forces," he said. "You should refrain from playing into the hands of anti-national forces, knowingly or unknowingly," he added. Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.........Read more

Jammu and Kashmir marks first anniversary of becoming Union Territory, know more

On August 5, 2019, the Narendra Modi government made the monumental decision to change the status of Jammu and Kashmir.Through a Presidential Order, the government declared that Article 370 would cease to be operative, and specifically overrode a previous order that made Article 35A a part of the Constitution of India, thereby ending the special status accorded to the region. Incidentally, the new UT came into existence on the National Unity Day, marked as the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, India’s first home minister and freedom fighter. According to the Jammu and Kashmir (Reorganisation) Bill, 2019, UT J&K will have a Lieutenant Governor, a chief minister, the council of ministers not exceeding more than 10 per cent strength of the total number of legislatures in the Assembly. The tenure of Jammu and Kashmir assembly is now be reduced to five years, which was earlier 6 years due to J&K's special status. ©2020 Diligent Media Corporation Ltd.........Read more

National Unity Day 2020: 10 powerful quotes by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, popularly known as Sardar Patel, played a key role in the Indian freedom movement. He united 562 princely states to build the Republic of India. A truly great social leader, his work was characterised by excellence. He has made his spot in the history of our nation and in our hearts for eternity. He played an instrumental role in India’s struggle for independence, is hailed even today for his contributions. On the birth anniversary of Sardar Patel on October 31, 2018, PM Modi unveiled the 'Statue of Unity' in Gujarat's Narmada district. His birthday is observed as National Unity Day. With a height of 182 meters, the Sardar Patel statue is 100 times larger than the average person. The total height of the Sardar Patel statue is double that of New York's Statue of Liberty. The world’s tallest statue has been completed in the shortest time. 1. "The negligence of a few could easily send a ship to the bottom, but if it has the wholehearted co-operation of all on board it can be safely brought to part." 2. "Every Indian should now forget that he is a Rajput, a Sikh or a Jat. He must remember that he is an Indian and he has every right in his country but with certain duties." 3. "Non-violence has to be observed in thought, word and deed. The measure of our non-violence will be the measure of our success."........Read more

Johnson & Johnson plans to test its Covid-19 vaccine on those aged 12-18 years soon

Johnson & Johnson plans to start testing its experimental Covid-19 vaccine in youths aged 12 to 18 as soon as possible, and the company's previous experience with the same technology in a vaccine successfully used in children could give it a leg up with regulators. \"We plan to go into children as soon as we possibly can, but very carefully in terms of safety,\" J&J's Dr. Jerry Sadoff told a virtual meeting of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices on Friday. Depending on safety and other factors, the company plans to test in even younger children afterwards, said Sadoff, a vaccine research scientist at J&J's Janssen unit, without giving a timeline. J&J said in a statement that it is currently in discussions with regulators and partners regarding the inclusion of the pediatric population in its trials. The US Food and Drug Administration has said it is important for drugmakers to test their vaccines in children. Some doctors have raised concerns that the vaccines themselves could trigger a rare, life-threatening condition called Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in some children. Second study testing Covid-19 antibody drug has a setback........Read more

AI to help world's first removal of space debris

The European Space Agency wants to clean up the junk orbiting earth Space is a messy place. An estimated 34,000  pieces of junk over 10 cm in diameter are currently orbiting Earth at around 10 times the speed of a bullet. In September, the International Space Station had to dodge an unknown piece of debris. With the volume of space trash rapidly growing, the chances of a collision are increasing.  ClearSpace-1. The technology is being developed by Swiss startup ClearSpace, a spin-off from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). Their removal target is the now-obsolete Vespa Upper Part, a 100 kg payload adaptor orbiting 660 km above the Earth. ClearSpace-1 will use an AI-powered camera to find the debris. Its robotic arms will then grab the object and drag it back to the atmosphere before burning it up.........Read more

The US is one of the world’s biggest sources of plastic pollution

The US is responsible for way more of the plastic polluting the world’s oceans than previously thought, a new study reveals. When it comes to the countries that contributed the most to coastal plastic pollution, the US could rank as high as third in the world, it estimates. “Plastic pollution globally is at crisis level,” says Nick Mallos, senior director of the nonprofit Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas program and co-author of the paper published today in the journal . “Most problematic is that rather than looking the problem in the eye, for more than 30 years, [the US] outsourced our waste problem to developing countries,” Mallos says. For years, Asian countries like China and Vietnam have ranked much higher than the US on lists of coastal plastic polluters. But much of the problem actually starts thousands of miles away, in the plastic-hungry US. An , conducted by some of the same researchers, ranked the US 20th among countries that mismanaged the most plastic waste in 2010. But that study didn’t look into whether waste was mismanaged after it was exported to another country for recycling. This time, the researchers looked at data for 2016 and considered how waste was treated after it was shipped abroad. They found that America’s share of mismanaged plastic waste jumped by up to 400 percent compared to the 2010 figure.........Read more

Apple added a secret button to your iPhone, and you may not have even noticed

Your iPhone got a new button last month, and you may not have even noticed. No, Apple didn’t sneak into your house and secretly superglue a button onto your smartphone. But it did release iOS 14, the latest version of its iPhone software, which includes a feature called Back Tap. Back Tap adds a fascinating new “button” to your phone that blurs the line between hardware and software. Back Tap turns the entire back of your iPhone into a giant touch-sensitive button that you can double or triple tap to trigger specific functions on your phone. There’s a good chance that you haven’t noticed it yet. Apple slipped the settings for Back Tap into its Accessibility menu. Its intended purpose is to give users more options for interacting with their devices. Most of Back Tap’s options reflect that, with settings to open the app switcher, notification menu, or control center; scroll through an app or webpage; trigger Siri; or take a screenshot. entirely invisible to the naked eye, completely nonfunctional until it’s enabled through software, but can be tasked to open, interact with, or accomplish nearly any task on your smartphone with just a quick tap. ........Read more

Smoking has negative effects for patients with psoriasis

Yildiz Hayran and Basak Yalcin, M.D., both from Ankara City Hospital in Turkey, examined smoking habits in 133 patients with psoriasis and assessed the impact of smoking on disease characteristics. The researchers found that of the psoriasis patients, 67.6 percent were smokers. Compared with nonsmokers, smokers had higher frequencies of the presence of moderate-to-severe psoriasis, nail involvement, administration of systemic treatment, and additional cardiovascular disease. There was a positive correlation seen between the amount of smoking and psoriasis area and .........Read more

Coronavirus mutation may have made it more contagious: study

The paper shows "the virus is mutating due to a combination of neutral drift—which just means random genetic changes that don't help or hurt the virus—and pressure from our immune systems," said Ilya Finkelstein, associate professor of molecular biosciences at The University of Texas at Austin and co-author of the study. The study was carried out by scientists at Houston Methodist Hospital, UT Austin and elsewhere. During the initial wave of the pandemic, 71% of the novel coronaviruses identified in patients in Houston had this mutation. When the second wave of the outbreak hit Houston during the summer, this variant had leaped to 99.9% prevalence. This mirrors a trend observed around the world. A study published in July based on more than 28,000 genome sequences found that variants carrying in about a month. SARS-CoV-2 is the that causes COVID-19. So why did strains containing this mutation outcompete those that didn't have it? Perhaps they're more contagious. A found that viruses with the mutation tended to transmit slightly faster than those without it and caused larger clusters of infections. Natural selection would favor strains of the virus that transmit more easily. But . Some have suggested another explanation, called "founder's effects." In that scenario, the D614G mutation might have been more common in the first viruses to arrive in Europe and North America, essentially giving them a head start on other strains.........Read more

Kings XI Punjab vs Rajasthan Royals, IPL 2020, Live Cricket Scores: It's Chris Gayle Vs Jofra Archer

On a five-match winning spree, Kings XI Punjab face Rajasthan Royals in Abu Dhabi on Friday evening. It is a must-win game for both teams as two full points can make a world of difference between qualifying and not making the IPL playoffs reserved for the four top teams at the end of the double-header league competition. KXIP - 12 points from 12 matches - are just two points ahead of RR. Kings are now fourth in the standings while RR are seventh but all that can change very quickly in the final week before the playoffs. Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals have gone head-to-head 20 times with RR winning 11 matches to KXIP’s nine. ( | | ) 02 PM IST: RR Win by 7 wickets RR 185/3 (Smith 31, Buttler 22; The equation and race to playoffs gets more complicated, 58 PM IST: End of 17th Shami bowls the 1st ball in the slot, Smith quick to pounce on it hammers to mid-off FOUR!!!!, 2nd ball flicked to deep midwicket for 2nd FOUR!!!; 4th Ball dispatched to FOUR again through short fine leg; Buttler Hits a FOUR of last ball Massive over for RR take 19 runs RR 175/3 (17) Smith 30, Jos 14; Need 11 in 18 53 PM IST: End of 16th Jordan into this 3rd over RR picked up singles of the first three balls; Jos and Steve need some big shots but have been unable to do so; 4 runs of five balls before Buttler hits A SIX!!!! of the last ball RR 156/3 (16) Jos 10, Smith 15, need 30 in 24........Read more

Magnitude 7.0 Earthquake In Turkey, Greece Triggers Tsunami; 14 Killed, Over 200 Injured

A 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck near the island of Samos, Greece. The tremor was recorded around noon on Friday at 1.51 pm local time, at a shallow depth of 10 km below the surface. The earthquake caused buildings to collapse and a sea surge that flooded streets in the Turkish resort city of Izmir. Greek public television said the quake also caused a mini-tsunami on the eastern Aegean Sea island of Samos, damaging buildings. According to the US Geological Survey, the 7.0 magnitude quake was registered 14 kilometers (8.6 miles) off the Greek town of Karlovasi on Samos. "So far, we have received information about six collapsed buildings" in Izmir province, which includes the city, Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said on Twitter. OMG! This is , this afternoon after the 7.0 magnitude struck! "Some of our fellow citizens are stuck in the rubble," said Environment Minister Murat Kurum, adding that he knew of five collapsed buildings. According to CNN, the city's mayor Tunc Soyer told him he had information about the collapse of 20 buildings. Praying for people in Izmir, Turkey and Samos in Greece as they've been hit by a powerful earthquake Many images on social media showed water rushing through the streets of Izmir from an apparent sea surge. The footage also showed thick white plumes of smoke rising from various parts of the city where buildings had collapsed. Subscribe to Outlook’s Newsletter........Read more

Rashtriya Ekta Diwas: PM Narendra Modi Pays Tribute To Sardar Patel At Statue Of Unity

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday paid floral tributes to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, India's first home minister, at the 182-meter tall Statue of Unity here on his 145th birth anniversary. Sardar Patel's birth anniversary is being celebrated as 'Rashtriya Ekta Diwas' (National Unity Day) since 2014. Modi, whose two-day Gujarat visit started on Friday, reached the Statue of Unity at Kevadiya in Narmada district this morning and offered flowers at the feet of the monument of Sardar Patel.At the same time, rose petals were showered on the statue from helicopters. Modi then headed to the parade ground and administered 'national unity pledge' to the gathering on this occasion. On Friday, Modi had inaugurated as many as 17 new projects, including new tourist attractions near the Statue of Unity. Some of the major attractions include Arogya Van, Ekta Mall, Children Nutrition Park, Sardar Patel Zoological Park or Jungle Safari, and a boat ride. Subscribe to Outlook’s Newsletter........Read more

India Conveys Serious Concern to Saudi Arabia Over Map On Banknote Not Including J&K, Ladakh as Its Part

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday said that India conveyed its serious concern to Saudi Arabia over “gross misrepresentation” of its external territorial boundaries in a banknote issued by the Gulf nation last week, and asked it to take “urgent corrective steps”. The new 20 Riyal banknote with the global map on it was released to mark Saudi Arabia’s presidency of the G20 grouping. The banknote does not feature Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh as part of India. MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said India has asked Saudi Arabia to take “urgent corrective steps” in the matter. The MEA asserted that the entire Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are integral parts of the country. “We have seen the banknote referred by you which gives an incorrect depiction of India’s external territorial boundaries. The note was issued by Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority on October 24 to mark the occasion of Saudi presidency of the G20,” Srivastava said during a weekly media briefing. “We have conveyed our serious concern to Saudi Arabia, both through their Ambassador in New Delhi as well as in Riyadh, for this gross misrepresentation of India’s external territorial boundaries on an official and legal banknote of Saudi Arabia and asked the Saudi side to take urgent corrective steps in this regard,” he said.........Read more

Vitamin D Deficiency Found In 80% COVID-19 Patients; Diet Sources Suggested By Expert

Vitamin D nutrient is in the news more than ever for its greater implications during the time of Coronavirus pandemic. Health experts have raised concerns over the growing cases of vitamin D deficiency in general population as people are staying at home and are not able to obtain the 'sunshine vitamin' from natural sunlight. In fact, a new study discovered over 80% COVID-19 patients suffering from vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is known to aid many bodily functions and its insufficiency may lead to weak bones, heart-related ailments, low immunity and even respiratory problems.........Read more

New Study Suggests COVID-19 May Age Some Patients' Brains By 10 Years

People recovering from covid-19 may suffer significant brain function impacts, with the worst cases of the infection linked to mental decline equivalent to the brain aging by 10 years, researchers warned on Tuesday. A non-peer-reviewed study of more than 84,000 people, led by Adam Hampshire, a doctor at Imperial College London, found that in some severe cases, coronavirus infection is linked to substantial cognitive deficits for months. “Our analyses ... align with the view that there are chronic cognitive consequences of having COVID-19,” the researchers wrote in a report of their findings. “People who had recovered, including those no longer reporting symptoms, exhibited significant cognitive deficits.” Cognitive tests measure how well the brain performs tasks –-such as remembering words or joining dots on a puzzle. Such tests are widely used to assess brain performance in diseases like Alzheimer’s, and can also help doctors assess temporary brain impairments. Hampshire’s team analysed results from 84,285 people who completed a study called the Great British Intelligence Test. The findings, which have yet to be reviewed by other experts, were published online on the MedRxiv website. The cognitive deficits were “of substantial effect size,“particularly among people who had been hospitalised with COVID-19, the researchers said, with the worst cases showing impacts “equivalent to the average 10-year decline in global performance between the ages of 20 to 70.”........Read more

11 Interesting Facts About Homi Jehangir Bhabha, Father of India's Nuclear Programme

Today is the birthday of the famous nuclear physicist, Homi Jehangir Bhabha, popularly known as the father of Indian Nuclear Programme. The brilliant physicist was the founding director of two institutions – Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) and Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, both of which led to immense growth and development in the field of research. Notably, Bhabha was born to a rich aristocratic family on October 30 in the year 1909, in Mumbai. 1. In 1939, he came to India for a brief holiday and was unable to go back to complete his research at Cambridge as World War II had started. So, he joined the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore, as a reader. 2. Not just Science, Bhabha was a lover of arts too. He loved painting and listening to classical music and opera, besides being an amateur botanist. 3. As a student, Homi worked with a Nobel Prize winner, Niels Bohr in Copenhagen and played a major role in the development of The Quantum Theory. 4. He was the one who identified and named the Meson particle. He also worked with one of the German Physicists to develop the Cascade theory to understand cosmic radiations. 5. He was the 1st chairman of the first United Nations Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy held in 1955. 6. In 1954, he was conferred with Padma Bhushan award for outstanding contributions to nuclear science. He also won the Adams Prize in 1942 and honoured with Fellow of the Royal Society.........Read more

Eid-e-Milad un Nabi 2020: Understanding the Significance of Mawlid al-Nabi, The Prophet’s Birthday

Today is the birth anniversary of the last Prophet of Islam, Prophet Muhammed. This day is celebrated by many Muslims in India. The pious day is celebrated across the world in the third month of the Muslim lunar calendar. This year, Eid-e-Milad will be observed on October 29 in Saudi Arabia while people in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and other parts of the subcontinent region will celebrate it on October 30. Eid-e-Milad is celebrated by people with a lot of zeal and enthusiasm. Eid-e-Milad varies between the two branches of Islam-Sunnies and Shia Muslims. For Sunnis, the day is said to fall on the 12th day of the third month of the Islamic calendar called Rabi’ al-aawal. But Shias believe that Prophet Muhammad was actually born on the 17th day of the month. Eid Milad-un-Nabi or Mawlid is celebrated by Muslims from the Sufi or the Barelvi school of thought. The festival is also called Nabid and Mawlid colloquially. The ‘Mawalid‘ word is derived from the Arabic word which means to give birth and in this context, the term refers to the observance of Prophet Muhammad. On this day, people carry green flags in their hands and tie ribbons on their wrist to celebrate Prophet Muhammad’s teachings. Have you ever thought why only green color and what does this shade represent? The color green represents Islam and paradise. The origin of celebrating this day dates back to the early four Rashidun Caliphs of Islam. The idea was first initiated by the Fatimids.........Read more

'Would you hire Trump?' This viral ad is brutally honest about Trump resume

With one week to go before the November 3 US election, the campaign has also intensified with both nominees - Republican incumbent Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden - launching an all-out attack against each other. Amidst this, a new attack ad showing Trump in a mock job interview is now viral. "Would you hire Trump?" The video has been produced by the Win America Back PAC and was posted on its Twitter account. The tweet has garnered 27,00 retweets and over 66,000 likes in little more than 24 hours. While the face of the applicant in the job interview is not shown, a figure is seen which makes it clear that the person being interviewed is Trump. The interviewer starts by listing out Trump's businesses and TV appearnace before coming to his failures. She then lists accusations agaimst him like seizing of Trump University, arrest of close associates, 26 accusations of sexual assault, debts, hush money to a pornstar, endrosement by white supremacists groups, obstruction of justice and nearly 250,000 coronavirus deaths and so on. The ad ends with the interviwer looking at a letter of reference which she finds out is in Russian. ........Read more

Post office of the future: Now, send speed and registered posts 24/7 at smart kiosks

India Post on Wednesday opened Smart Post Kiosk, a digital postbox that provides speed and registered post services round the clock. Set up at the Museum Road post office in central Bengaluru, the kiosk will help customers avoid long queues to sendspeed or registered postal packages that weigh up to two kilograms and make digital payments. An officer explained how the kiosk works. Users need to download the ‘Smart Post Kiosk’ app from Google Play or the website of the Karnataka Postal Circle. After providing sender’s and recipient’s addresses in the app, asix-digit numeric code will be generated. Using the code, customers should visit the kiosk andupload the prefilled addresses and choose between speedand registered post. The kiosk will then generate a bar code based on the type of the article that the user wants to send. The bar code-affixed package should be scanned at the kiosk. This will automatically open a flap for dropping the article. Depending on the weightand the distance of the address, the kiosk will display the fees to be paid. Users can make the payment through UPI (Google Pay, Amazon Pay or any bank app) by scanning the QR code displayed on the screen of the kiosk. Once the payment is successful,a receipt will be generated with all the details of the package. The receipt will also be sent to the user’s phone number and e-mail ID.........Read more

Bengaluru lab staff caught offering false Covid-19 reports for Rs 12,000

An employee of a diagnostic centre in RT Nagar was on Thursday caught offering fake Covid-19 negative results for Rs 12,000. This comes days after two staffers and a doctor were sacked for selling fake Covid negative reports. Speaking to , an employee at the centre said he was ready to supply fake negative result certificates for Covid-19 patients who sought clearance documents for international travel. “The negative result can be obtained, which will also be reflected in the SRF record,” he said. Follow DH's coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic here When asked how the fake reports are generated, the employee said swab samples are generally sent to three different labs, from where a negative report can be obtained. “There is a risk, but in the three labs, a false report can be obtained,” the employee said, suggesting that some testing staff in labs were also complicit in the scam. When informed about the scam, Health Minister Dr Sudhakar said the government will not spare any lab that is involved in such irregularities. “The government has zero tolerance towards any kind of irregularities or manipulation in labs. I have instructed the district health officers and taluk health officers to conduct surprise visits and inspect labs. Stern action will be taken against anyone, be it contract, outsource or even a permanent employee, whoever is found indulging in wrongdoing,” he said. The BBMP on Tuesday terminated a lab technician and an Asha worker who were found manipulating test results.........Read more

India was ready to wipe out Pak's forward brigades: Ex-IAF chief on Abhinandan's return

In wake of Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) leader Ayaz Sadiq's in Pakistan's National Assembly that Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa was "shaking and perspiring" during a meeting to discuss Wing Commander Varthaman's capture, former Indian Air Force Chief BS Dhanoa on Thursday said that India was ready to wipe out Pakistan's forward brigades Dhanoa said that India was ready for action had Islamabad's 'military adventure' been successful in response to the Balakot aerial strikes, adding that "our military posture was very offensive". His remarks came after Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) leader Ayaz Sadiq said in the National Assembly that Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had in an important meeting pointed out that if Pakistan did not release Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, India would attack Pakistan “that night by 9 pm”. "Abhinandan’s father and I served together. So, when Abhinandan ejected I told him that we could not get Ahuja back, but will definitely get Abhinandan back. During the Kargil war, my flight commander Ahuja was captured and shot dead. That was playing on my mind. I told him that there are two parts. The main pressure on Pakistan was diplomatic and political. But there was also a military posture," Dhanoa told ANI.........Read more

Happy Birthday Diego Maradona – Do you know a religion is named after him in Argentina?

Diego Maradona, considered as one of the greatest footballers in history, turns 60 on October 30. Maradona, who helped Argentina to World Cup glory by winning the title in 1986 by defeating West Germany, Maradona is widely regarded as one of the greatest football players of all time and was one of the two joint winners of the FIFA Player of the 20th Century award. However, did you know that ’s popularity in Argentina is so high that a new religion is named after him? Yes, this is a true story. In his hometown of Rosario, there is a church named in honour of Diego Maradona called Iglesia Maradoniana which has been built by some of his hard-core fans. “I have a rational religion, and that’s Catholic Church, and I have a religion passed on my heart, passion, and that’s Diego Maradona.”........Read more

NEET Reservation: TN govt passes GO to implement 7.5% quota bill from this academic year

In the recent development regarding the NEET reservation row in Tamil Nadu, the state government has issued a Government Order (GO) on the immediate implementation of a 7.5 percent horizontal reservation for NEET-qualified State Government school students in medical admissions. The GO issued by the state government has demanded the implementation of the 7.5 percent reservation across medical colleges from this academic year itself. The GO has been issued at a time when Governor Banwarilal Purohit had demanded more time to go through the bill. Speaking to India Today yesterday, Thol Thirumavalavan had also demanded the government pass a GO to bring the reservation into effect from this academic year. The Tamil Nadu Assembly had on September 15 unanimously passed a bill to provide a 7.5 percent horizontal quota in medical admissions for state government school students who clear the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and the state governor is yet to give his approval to this bill. Tamil Nadu CM K Palaniswami , stating that he will soon be approving the bill which will provide a 7.5 percent reservation in medical colleges to students from government schools who have cleared the NEET examination. Further, MK Stalin has also promised to the citizens of Tamil Nadu that the DMK government will stop the NEET examinations in the state once they form a government, as Tamil Nadu has been in a state of turmoil since the NEET exams started.........Read more

Tata-Mistry feud takes bitter turn over separation claims

The legal tussle between Tata Sons and Shapoorji Pallonji (SP) Group seems to have taken another ugly turn as the latter has approached Supreme Court (SC) and claimed Rs 1.75 lakh crore from Tata Sons for its 18.37 per cent stake in it. SP Group, controlled by Pallonji Mistry and his family, has filed a as part of its plan to separate from the Tata Group. In its petition, the SP Group said, “Tata Sons is effectively a two-group company, with the Tata Group comprising Tata Trusts, Tata family members and Tata companies holding about 81.6 per cent of the equity share capital, and the Mistry family owning the balance 18.37 per cent.” The SP Group also said that the value of Tata Sons, which is the holding company of Tata Group, arises from its stake in listed equities, non-listed equities, the brand, cash balances and immovable assets. "The value of 18.37 per cent stake of the SP Group in Tata Sons is more than Rs 1,75,000 crore," they added. The SP Group also highlighted that the disputes overvaluation can be eliminated by doing a pro-rata split of listed assets and pro-rate share of the brand. It also said that a third-party valuation can be done of the unlisted assets adjusted for net debt. It also told in its petition to SC that it can be given pro-rate shares in listed entities of Tata Group where Tata Sons currently own stake as a non-cash settlement.........Read more

Apple set records in India selling iPhone and other products in September quarter, says CEO Tim Cook

Apple recently launched its online store in India, and apparently the business has been brisk. As it announced the results for its September quarter the company’s fourth-quarter it highlighted the strong business it is doing in India. In a call with investors, Apple CEO Tim Cook specifically signalled out India and said that the company posted record sales here in the latest quarter. "Geographically, we set September quarter records in the Americas, Europe and the rest of Asia Pacific. We also set a September quarter record in India, thanks in part to a very strong reception to this quarter's launch of our online store in the country," said Cook. Apple, just like other companies, did not break out what this record in India means in terms of sale numbers. But market analysts agree that Apple is doing good business in India. A day ago Counterpoint research highlighted that Apple had surpassed OnePlus to become the top premium phone company in India. "Apple led the premium segment (>INR 30,000 or $400) surpassing OnePlus even before its flagship launch, driven by strong demand for its iPhone SE 2020 and the iPhone 11. Its upcoming flagship iPhone 12 will further strengthen its position in the coming quarter," the note by Counterpoint had said.........Read more

India records 48,648 new Covid-19 cases in 24 hours, active cases fall below 6 lakh

India's Covid-19 caseload reached 80.8 lakh on Friday, while the total number of recoveries neared 74-lakh mark, according to data from states and union territories. The Union Health Ministry data updated at Friday 8 am showed a single-day increase of 48,648 infections, taking the country's overall Covid-19 tally to 80,88,851, while the death toll climbed to 1,21,090 with 563 people succumbing to coronavirus during the same period. Total active Covid-19 cases in India, meanwhile, stood at 5,94,386 on Friday morning. “With 48,648 new Covid-19 infections, India's total cases surge to 80,88,851. With 563 new deaths, toll mounts to 1,21,090,” news agency ANI tweeted. “Total active cases are 5,94,386 after a decrease of 9301 in last 24 hrs. Total cured cases are 73,73,375 with 57,386 new discharges in last 24 hrs,” it added. Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) India is in the pole position in terms of the number of recoveries, followed by Brazil and the US, according to the Johns Hopkins University (JHU), which has been compiling Covid-19 data from all over the world. According to Johns Hopkins University data, India is the second worst-hit nation in terms of Covid-19 cases after the US, while it is in the third spot in terms of fatalities globally after the US and Brazil.........Read more

Coronavirus vaccine update: Russian vaccine trial suffers setback with shortage of doses, India to help take vaccine to world

The Russian coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik V, which is undergoing Phase III clinical trials, has suffered a setback. The clinical trials across several centres in Moscow had to be paused after they ran out of stock to vaccinate volunteers, said a report. The Ministry of External Affairs has said India’s vaccine production and delivery capabilities will be utilised to take coronavirus vaccines to the world population. The Covid-19 vaccine frontrunners such as Moderna, Pfizer and AstraZeneca are going strong with their clinical trials and the companies have said they are on track. According to a Reuters report, Russia has temporarily suspended trials of coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V due to high demand and a shortage of doses at the Moscow clinical trial centres. At 8 of the 25 Moscow clinics hosting the trial and inoculating volunteers, staff told Reuters the vaccination of new participants was on hold, with several saying they had used up the doses allocated to their clinics and referencing a large influx of volunteers. The shortage of doses is the latest challenge to Moscow's ambitious and unorthodox vaccine plan, which has seen the government give regulatory go-ahead for the shot - and launch the mass inoculation of the general public - before full tests for safety and efficacy were complete. Dr Reddy's Laboratories, which is conducting the India trials of Sputnik V, had to pause the trials after the Indian drug controller ordered a stop. .........Read more

JEE candidate in Assam who got 99.8 percentile arrested along with father for using proxy

A candidate who had got 99.8 percentile in the JEE (Main) examination held last month has been arrested by Assam Police, along with his father and three others involved in conducting the examination, for allegedly using a proxy candidate to take the exam, top police officers said on Thursday. Guwahati Commissioner of Police Munna Prasad Gupta told , “The candidate, Neel Nakshatra Das, his father Dr Jyotirmoy Das, two persons who are employed with the TCS which was conducting the exam— Hemendra Nath Sarma and Pranjal Kalita – and Hirukamal Pathak, who was invigilator of the centre, have been arrested (on Wednesday evening).” Dr Das is a gynaecologist at a reputed hospital in Guwahati. His wife is an anaesthesiologist at another hospital in the city. Assam Police has written to the National Testing Agency (NTA), which conducts the exam, seeking CCTV footage from the examination centre in Borjhar, Guwahati, for analysis and investigation. The police, Gupta said, is looking for the person who was the proxy candidate. Asked about the suspected modus operandi, he said, “As far as we know, the candidate (Das) gave his biometrics at the centre and was then allowed to leave.” The incident came to light after audio recording of a conversation, purportedly between Das and a friend, was leaked on social media. Das, although wrongly reported by certain sections of media, is not the JEE (Main) topper from Assam — the topper is another candidate with a 99.9 percentile score.........Read more

From taboo to mainstream: The journey of infertility treatments in India

In India, the conversation about infertility as a condition in both men and women has found acceptance only in the recent past. Infertility is defined as the inability of a couple to conceive after one year of unprotected sex or due to some other proven medical condition preventing the same. According to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), 10-15 percent of the nation’s population exhibit complications related to fertility. For a country with a 1.3 billion population, that would account for almost one in seven people. What’s worse, women have been at the receiving end of much blame in cases where a couple is unable to conceive due to their direct involvement throughout the process. Across different cultures globally, the term mother is defined with both childbearing and childrearing connotations, whereas father or fatherhood is along the terms of ownership of these children. The basis of this lies in the perception of the society that the traditional norm or “destiny” of women is to get married and bear children to carry forward the family’s genetic lineage. Therefore, instead of seeking advice with scientific backing, people resort to superstitious beliefs and the help of religious leaders for corrective measures in the female.........Read more

Explained: How masks made of T-shirts, jeans and other fabrics block particles at coughing speed

A number of studies so far have looked into the efficacy of masks made of various materials in keeping out airborne particles that may be carrying the novel . Most of them, however, have only looked at a small selection of fabrics — and when the wearer is breathing normally, when particles are expelled at lower speed. Now, a new study has now tested a wider range of materials — from T-shirts and socks to jeans and vacuum bags — and looked at their effectiveness in filtering out virus-sized particles (0.02-0.1 micrometres) at high speeds, comparable to coughing or heavy breathing. It also tested N95 and surgical masks. The study, by researchers from the University of Cambridge and Northwestern University, is published in BMJ Open. most of the fabrics commonly used for non-clinical masks are effective at filtering ultrafine particles. N95 masks were highly effective. A reusable HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) vacuum bag, in fact, exceeded the N95 performance in some respects. Homemade masks are more effective when made of multiple layers of fabric. When they incorporated interfacing (normally used to stiffen collars), their performance improved significantly, but this improvement also made them more difficult to breathe through.........Read more

Explained: Why Abu Dhabi’s national oil company’s investment plans are important for India

The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), one of the world’s largest energy producers, has announced that it is looking for partner companies in India to invest in India’s downstream petrochemicals space. But why are ADNOC’s investment plans important and who are potential partners in India? What is ADNOC looking to invest in? ADNOC had in 2018 announced that it was planning to invest $45 billion over five years to expand its refining and petrochemicals operations. The company has stated that it has plans to invest in overseas markets such as India where oil consumption is growing. ADNOC has also signed an MoU to acquire a 50% stake in the Ratnagiri Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd. jointly with Saudi Aramco with the other 50% being held by state-owned oil marketing companies Indian Oil Corporation Ltd., Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd, and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. The Ratnagiri Refinery which is expected to be commissioned in 2025 is still facing hurdles in land acquisition. ADNOC is also the only foreign company to invest in India’s Strategic Petroleum Reserves by storing crude oil in strategic reserves in Padur. The company is also seeking to expand investment in India’s strategic petroleum reserves. Who could be potential partners for ADNOC?........Read more

Muslims have ‘right to punish’ French, says Malaysia’s Mahathir

Malaysia’s former premier Mahathir Mohamad said on Thursday Muslims have a right to “kill millions of French people for the massacres of the past” but he did not approve of the killing of a French teacher over his use of cartoons of the Prophet. In a blog post Mahathir, 95, a respected leader in the Muslim world, said he believed in freedom of expression but that it should not be used to insult others. “Muslims have a right to be angry and to kill millions of French people for the massacres of the past. But by and large the Muslims have not applied the ‘eye for an eye’ law. Muslims don’t. The French shouldn’t,” Mahathir said in a blog post, which he also posted on Twitter. “Since you have blamed all Muslims and the Muslims’ religion for what was done by one angry person, the Muslims have a right to punish the French,” he said.........Read more

Defence Ministry Says Parliamentary Panel's Visit to Leh 'Not Advisable' in Current Scenario: Sources

The Defence Ministry has informed a parliamentary committee that the panel's proposed visit to Leh next month to analyse the working conditions and facilities provided to soldiers in high-altitude areas wouldn't be advisable now, sources said. Members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) are examining a CAG report on the Sino-India Border Roads, and another report on the provisioning and procurement of high- altitude clothing, equipment, ration and housing for soldiers. Top officials of the government, including CDS General Bipin Rawat, have appeared before the panel chaired by Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on the issue. When contacted, Chowdhury said parliamentary panel members wanted to visit Leh to know the ground realities of the infrastructure and the clothing provided to armed forces posted at high-altitudes. The sources said the Defence Ministry has informed the PAC that it may not be advisable to visit Ladakh now as the Army is engaged in the situation on the border. They also said there were some members in the panel who were not in favour of the move to visit frontal areas at Leh due to tough weather conditions and as it would add additional pressure on the fully engaged forces there. There are 20 members in the PAC as of now and a majority of them are from the BJP.........Read more

'Saviour in Lockdown': PUBG Fans Bid Emotional Farewell as Battle Royale Game Shuts Shop in India

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds aka PUBG will no longer work in India starting Friday (October 30), the company announced the development in a . This comes after PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite found a mention in an order issued by the Indian government in September that stated 118 apps had been banned by the Ministry of Electronics and Information and Technology over security threats from China. "Protecting user data has always been a top priority and we have always complied with applicable data protection laws and regulations in India. All users' gameplay information is processed in a transparent manner as disclosed in our privacy policy." The statement further highlights that Tencent is returning all rights to the developer of PUBG Mobile - PUBG Corporation which is a subsidiary of Krafton Game Union. The massively popular multiplayer game saw a spike in the userbase in the ongoing pandemic. In fact, the fans combined with professional gamers constitute roughly 25 percent of PUBG Mobile's userbase in India. The news they didn't expect to wake up to, gamers took to Twitter to bid an emotional farewell to a game that had been a companion for them for a long time.........Read more

US Court Asks ISRO's Commercial Wing Antrix to Pay $1.2 Billion Compensation to Bengaluru Start-up

A US court has asked Antrix Corporation, the commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organisation, to pay compensation of USD 1.2 billion to a Bengaluru-based startup, Devas Multimedia, for cancelling a satellite deal in 2005. As per the agreement in January 2005, Antrix agreed to build, launch and operate two satellites and to make available 70 MHz of S-band spectrum to Devas, which the latter planned to use to offer hybrid satellite and terrestrial communication services throughout India. The agreement was terminated by Antrix in February 2011. Over the next several years, Devas approached various legal avenues in India. This included the Supreme Court, which directed for a tribunal. In his order dated October 27, Judge Thomas S Zilly, US District Judge, Western District of Washington, Seattle, ruled that Antrix Corporation pay a compensation of USD 562.5 million to Devas Multimedia Corporation and the related interest rate amounting to a total of USD 1.2 billion.........Read more

Covid-19 Vaccine in December? Can Explore Emergency Licence Based on UK Trials, Says Adar Poonawalla

The Serum Institute of India may apply for an emergency licence for Covid-19 vaccine ‘Covishield’ based on safety data and results from the Oxford-AstraZeneca candidate’s trials in the United Kingdom, Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla has said. In an exclusive interview to News18, Poonawalla said there are as yet no safety concerns but it would take 2-3 years to gauge the long-term effects of the vaccine. The CEO of the world’s largest vaccine maker by number of doses added that the shot would be made available to people at an affordable rate and batted for its inclusion in the Universal Immunisation Programme. Is there a possibility of the Covid-19 vaccine being ready by 2020? When can the vaccination drive start? It is too early to comment on the vaccine against Covid-19 getting ready by the end of this year. It depends on the success of the trials in proving the vaccine immunogenic and efficacious. If we don't go for an emergency licence, our trials should be over by January and then maybe we can launch in India in January subject to the UK trial. That being said, since the UK trial is on the verge of completion, if they un-blind their study and share the data, while being confident that it is safe, we can explore the possibility of applying for an emergency licence with the Indian regulator.........Read more

Ban on International Flights Extended Till November 30, Travel Under Air Bubble to Continue

As per a recently released circular by DGCA, the ban on scheduled international flights will be extended till November 30. Earlier, the overseas flights were suspended till October 31 under the Unlock 5.0 guidelines. However, government will continue to operate international flights under the Air Bubble pact with various countries, including the US, UK, UAE and more. In total, government has an agreement with 17 different countries to ease the travel ban and allow free-flow of international flights from both the sides. The scheduled international flights to and from the country have been under suspension since March 23. Apart from international flights under Air Bubble pact, government is undertaking Vande Bharat Mission to repatriate stranded Indians from countries where Air Bubble Agreement is not yet established.........Read more

Woman Beheaded As 3 Killed At France Church, Mayor Says Terror Attack

Police said two people were confirmed to have died after the attack A knife-wielding attacker shouting "Allahu Akbar" beheaded a woman and killed two other people in a suspected terrorist incident at a church in the French city of Nice on Thursday, police and officials said. Nice's mayor, Christian Estrosi, who described the attack as terrorism, said on Twitter it had happened in or near the city's Notre Dame church. Estrosi said the attacker had repeatedly shouted the phrase "Allahu Akbar", or God is greatest, even after he had been detained by police. One of the people killed inside the church was believed to be the church warden, Estrosi said, adding that a woman had tried to escape from inside the church and had fled into a bar opposite the building. ​ "The suspected knife attacker was shot by police while being detained, he is on his way to hospital, he is alive," Estrosi told reporters. "Enough is enough," Estrosi said. "It's time now for France to exonerate itself from the laws of peace in order to definitively wipe out Islamo-fascism from our territory." Reuters journalists at the scene said police armed with automatic weapons had put up a security cordon around the church, which is on Nice's Jean Medecin avenue, the city's main shopping thoroughfare. Ambulances and fire service vehicles were also at the scene. French President Emmanuel Macron is due to visit Nice, Estrosi said. In Paris, lawmakers in the National Assembly observed a minute's silence in solidarity with the victims.........Read more

Proposition of Rebirth in Hinduism

Among all the theologies on this planet, Indic religions support the rebirth or reincarnation. However, Hinduism provided rather an elaborate proposition of rebirth. Hinduism or otherwise Sanatan Dharma ( Eternal Dharma) which is based on liberation. Hinduism has a code that is based on Karma. The details of the Karma is elaborately explained in BhagavadGita (Gita). Gita is a conglomeration of Upanishads which explains the human behavior and how to liberate with no rebirth. Thus, the concept of rebirth is explained in conjunction with Karma Yoga. Karma Yoga is a manifestation of Path of Action every human being goes through. Before we get into Karma Yoga , it is pertinent to understand the below verse from Gita.. वासांसि जीर्णानि यथा विहाय नवानि गृह्णाति नरोऽपराणि | तथा शरीराणि विहाय जीर्णा न्यन्यानि संयाति नवानि देही || 22|| vāsānsi jīrṇāni yathā vihāya navāni gṛihṇāti naro ’parāṇi........Read more

Special hand-made malty Assam tea fetches record price of Rs 75,000/kg

A bright yellowish malty special tea plucked only during dawn in Manohari tea estate provided a little happiness to the pandemic-hit Assam tea industry after one kg of the tea was sold at Rs. 75,000 in the auction on Thursday. Rajan Lohia, director of Manohari Tea Estate in eastern Assam's Dibrugarh district told DH that this year, 2.5-kgs tea was produced, out of which 1.2-kg was sold in an auction on Thursday. \"The remaining tea will be available at select outlets including Guwahati Tea Auction Centre lounge as demand for one of the rarest teas in the world continues to grow,\" he said. The tea was sold by Contemporary Brokers Private Limited and purchased by Vishnu Tea Company, Guwahati. They will sell the tea across the world on their e-commerce So what is special about this tea? Lohia said this tea is manufactured from the finest second flush colonel tea buds, which are hand plucked only during the dawn. \"They are plucked only during dawn to avoid exposure to sunlight. Itoffers aromatic, full-bodied and bright yellowish malty liquor,\" he said. Secretary of Guwahati Tea Auction Buyers' Association, Dinesh Bihani called it a hope amid the global pandemic and its impact on the Assam tea industry. \"When the entire world is affected, Manohari Tea Estate has made extra effort to produce this speciality tea in September and sent the same to GTAC for sale. This will definitely offer a positive vibe to the tea industry,\" he said.........Read more

Gujarat's former CM Keshubhai Patel passes away

Veteran politician and BJP's first chief minister in Gujarat Keshubhai Patel passed away in Ahmedabad on Thursday at the age of 92. His family told media persons that Patel was rushed to a hospital early morning after he complained of breathlessness. About ten days back, he was tested positive for coronavirus and was admitted to a private hospital from where he was discharged after recovery. However, Patel's condition deteriorated again on Thursday morning as he complained of difficulty in breathing. He was rushed to Sterling hospital where he died during the treatment. Patel was the first BJP chief minister in 1995 but had to resign after Shankersinh Vaghela quit the government and forced a split in the party. Three years later, Patel again swore in as chief minister but had to give way to Narendra Modi who took over the reigns as chief minister in 2001 months after the devastating earthquake. He floated his own party in 2012 Assembly polls but merged it with the BJP in 2014. Condoling his death, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a tweet, \"Our beloved and respected Keshubhai has passed away…I am deeply pained and saddened. He was an outstanding leader who cared for every section of society. His life was devoted towards the progress of Gujarat and the empowerment of every Gujarati.\"........Read more

Regeneron Covid-19 therapy reduces viral load, need for medical care

By Riley Griffin and Michelle Fay Cortez Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. said data from a late-stage clinical trial suggest that its antibody cocktail therapy for Covid-19 significantly reduces virus levels and the need for further medical care. The results offer another encouraging signal in the race to find treatments for the deadly virus. Patients outside the hospital who got the therapy were 57% less likely to need medical care later, with 2.8% of those given the antibody and 6.5% of those on placebo seeing a health-care worker within 29 days. The Tarrytown, New York-based company has shared the results with USregulators who are currently evaluating the antibody cocktail for an emergency use authorization for high-risk patients with mild-to-moderate Covid-19. Regeneron’s therapy was given to President Donald Trump earlier this month after he tested positive for the coronavirus. Study Shares of Regeneron rose 3.1% in after-hours trading in New York on Wednesday. Through the close, the stock had climbed 51% this year, powered largely by hopes that the antibody therapy will soon offer doctors a potent treatment option for the virus. Since the therapy had similar benefit at the high and low doses, Regeneron is considering a change to the dosing it’s using in other outpatient studies that are underway. The change to a lower dose could help extend the limited available supply of the medication.........Read more

More kids aged between 6 -10 not enrolling in schools, proportion sees sharp hike: Survey

The proportion of students not enrolled in schools in the age group of 6-10 years has seen a sharp increase in 2020 in comparison with 2018, mainly due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) has said. The proportion of children not enrolled in schools were 1.8% in the age group of 6-10 years in 2018. Read | Over 1 crore children aged between 5 and 14 forced to work as coronavirus batters India “Because schools are closed, many young children have not yet secured admission to Std 1. The increase in not enrolled children in the 6-10 age group is therefore likely to be more a reflection of children waiting to enroll in school rather than of children who have indeed dropped out,” the survey noted. The survey found, at the national level, a small shift in enrollment from private schools to government-run institutions across all grades and among both – girls and boys. “The proportion of boys enrolled in government schools rose from 62.8% in 2018 to 66.4% in 2020. Similarly, the proportion of girls enrolled in government schools rose from 70% to 73% during the same period,” it said. Although only a third of children had received materials from their teachers during the week preceding the survey, most children (70.2%) had done some sort of learning activity during that week. ICMR........Read more

Apple Is Building Its Own Version Of Google Search: Report

Apple might be working on an alternative to Google Search.  This is according to a report by the Financial Times, which claims Apple has begun to show its own search results in iOS 14. This might mean that Apple is ramping up efforts to replace Google Search on its devices. We've already seen signs of this. The changes in iOS 14 were noticed in August by , as were Apple's hirings of search experts. And a few days ago, reported that the Justice Department has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google, with prosecutors saying that the search giant is using illegal tactics to protect its monopoly in search. The report also unveiled that Google pays Apple an estimated $8 to $12 billion per year to get its search engine built into Apple products.  Now, the Financial Times claims that the antitrust lawsuit prompted Apple to start working on its own search product more urgently. It also cites experts as saying that Apple's web crawler Applebot is showing increased activity in recent weeks, which might mean it's scouring the web to build a bigger pile of data, which would be useful in building a search engine. ........Read more

Streaming was part of the future — now it’s the only future

Four major entertainment conglomerates undergo big restructures Over the last year, if an entertainment conglomerate hasn’t announced a shift to focus on streaming, does it really count as an entertainment conglomerate? With the end of the year in sight and the entertainment industry crowded with streaming options, legacy companies are making big bets on their new services, using public executive shake-ups and declarations of digital-first importance to make their point heard. Streaming isn’t just a part of their businesses; it’s their future. Over the last several months, , , , and have restructured their teams to make streaming a primary focus. Longtime executives have been fired, others have stepped down (aka fired), and departments merged in an effort to compete with the biggest competition in the room. The lingering question is will it work for every player in the game? How much of it is too little too late? Comcast, which owns NBCUniversal, is also an investor in Vox Media, The Verge’s parent company. The Verge is also currently producing a series with Netflix.) That doesn’t mean four of the biggest conglomerates in the world aren’t making big moves to try to compete. Let’s break it down company by company. ........Read more

The cheap pen that changed writing forever

On 29 October 1945, the New York City branch of Gimbels department store unveiled a new product. Billions upon billions would follow in its wake. Gimbels was the first to sell a new kind of ink pen, the design of which had taken several decades to come to fruition. The pens, made by the , promised an end to the messy mishaps users of fountain pens encountered – leaking ink, smudges and pooling ink blots. The new ballpoint pens did away with this, using a special viscous ink which dried quickly and didn’t leave smudges. At the heart of it, the rolling ball in the nib – and gravity – ensured a constant, steady stream of ink that didn’t smear or leave solid pools of ink on the page. The new ballpoint was clean and convenient. What it wasn’t was cheap. The new Reynolds ballpoint cost $12.50 – convert that to 2020 money and it’s more than $180 (£138.50). Today, if you were buying your pens in bulk, from stack-‘em-high superstores, you could end up with more than 1,000 for the same price. The pen was the first to go on sale in the US, but it was by no means the first ballpoint pen – the head of the US company that made it had in fact discovered a version during a business trip in South America. Its evolution is, in many ways, an example of a game-changing design waiting until outside factors – in this case the rise of plastics and mass-production infrastructure, and a brilliant marketeer – allowed it to achieve its full potential.........Read more

Now, anyone can buy property in Jammu and Kashmir after Govt amends laws

The Centre has paved the way for people from outside Jammu and Kashmir to buy land in the Union Territory by amending several laws, drawing sharp reaction from various political parties and leaders in J&K barring the BJP. The People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) -- an amalgam of seven mainstream parties in Jammu & Kashmir — termed the move as a deliberate attempt to usurp the rights of the people of the erstwhile state. More than a year after the nullification of Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution, the Union ministry of home affairs on Monday evening in a gazette notification in Hindi and English announced that several changes have been made to land laws, including allowing use of agricultural land for setting up facilities of public purpose. The most important tweak has been made in the Jammu and Kashmir Development Act that deals with disposal of land in the Union Territory as the Centre has omitted the phrase "permanent resident of the state" from Section 17 of the law. The PAGD condemned the repeal of J&K Land Laws saying that it strips the permanent residents of J&K and Ladakh of their exclusive right to acquire and hold immovable property and vowed to fight these on all fronts. ........Read more

Bihar polls 2020: 53.53% voting recorded in first phase of elections

Around 53.53 per cent voting was recorded during the first phase of Bihar Assembly elections on Wednesday. According to reports, the highest turnout was recorded in Jamui district at 57.41 per cent followed by Kaimur at 55.95 per cent and Lakhisarai at 55.44 per cent. The NDA is reportedly locked in a tough fight with RJD led grand alliance on at least 41 of 71 seats that went to polls in the first phase. The elections in 71 constituencies spread across 16 districts were amid tight security and COVID-19 guidelines. The fate of 1,066 candidates have now been sealed in the first phase of the elections. As many as 33 out of the 71 constituencies were declared as “sensitive or hypersensitive” by the state administration and special security arrangements had been made for the Naxal affected areas.........Read more

Hyderabad startup BigParkin designs novel parking system

A Hyderabad-based innovator has come up with a cost-effective automated multi-level car parking solution. Kaushik Rachapudi, co-founder and CEO of BigParkin, said, "An automated multi-level car parking a cost-effective solution for efficient use of parking space. We enhance every two-car parking space to 16 cars and two bike parking spaces to 72 bikes." "I have designed, developed, and built a smart bike parking which is indigenously built in Hyderabad it is first in the country to enhance bike parking system. We aim to solve the parking problem across all metro stations, public parking, and other locations in Hyderabad," he added. He further said, "Current parking need in Hyderabad is about 25,000 bike parking and 7,000 car parking spaces. We are going to address this issue by installing smart parking which is 600 per cent efficient by partnering with government, public and private organisations." About 40 per cent of Hyderabad's parking problems can be addressed with the new solution in one year. Installing a smart car parking system with 16 cars every 5 km and a smart bike parking system with 72 bikes every 2 km in the city is one of their goals for the next 3 years. Additionally, each smart parking location will have a hybrid electric vehicle charge point for all-electric vehicle users. ........Read more

Terror funding case: NIA raids continue in Srinagar, Delhi

NIA raids continue in Srinagar, Delhi The National Investigation Agency ( ) on Thursday continued searches at nine locations in 's Srinagar and Delhi. The raids are being held in connection with a case pertaining to some NGOs and Trusts raising funds in India and abroad in the name of charitable activities and then using those funds for carrying out secessionist and separatist activities in the union territory. An NIA official privy to the investigation told IANS, the agency is carrying out searches at nine locations on the premises of six NGOs and Trusts in Srinagar and Delhi. Offices of Falah-e-Aam Trust, Charity Alliance, Human Welfare Foundation, J&K Yateem Foundation, Salvation Movement and J&K Voice of Victims (JKVoV) are being raided by the anti-terror probe agency sleuths. ........Read more

A great African gene migration

Exploring a huge number of genes has helped uncover migration of early humans and the evolution of disease-resistant genes in Africa. In a published in the journal Nature, researchers discovered three million new genetic variants across 50 ethnic groups, making this one of the widest data sets of sequenced genes in African populations to date. This huge data set helped the team, led by Zané Lombard from South Africa’s University of the Witwatersrand, identify populations with genes that helped combat certain diseases, such as malaria and sleeping sickness. The flow of these genes through populations showed how humans diversified into different populations across Africa, the cradle of modern humans. For example, it was previously thought that some populations had disease resistant genes because they were from places where the disease was common, and that their geographic location drove the evolution of these genes. However, they found that multiple disease-resistant genes were present in other ethnic groups, or absent from another ethnic group in the same geographic location, which suggests that disease resistance was actually spread due to some populations mixing briefly during migration. “Despite their shared geography, the two groups varied significantly in the frequencies of three of the four medically relevant variants surveyed,” the authors write, which means groups that shared a geographic location gained resistant genes from elsewhere.........Read more

Brains plan for action, not limbs

The brain isn’t going out on a limb when choosing to grasp things. Instead, new research shows, there is an overarching system where the brain uses action-specific regions to respond to a choice of action, such as reaching or grasping, regardless of the limb used to perform that action. In a described in the journal PNAS, a team led by Yuqi Liu of Georgetown University Medical Centre, US, found that reaching for an object with your feet engages the same part of your brain as reaching with your hand. As well as advancing the basic science of brain organisation and function, the finding, they suggest, offers potential future clinical advances, including improving limb prostheses. The choice of reaching or grabbing is controlled by different neural pathways, but, surprisingly, the researchers found that the brain areas controlling these pathways showed no preference for limbs. Instead, the reaching part of the brain plans the action independently of which limb the central nervous system engages. This means the brain organises itself to first make choices based on the task, not necessarily the limbs available. The action part of the brain follows the logic “I want to grab something, but I don’t care what limb does the grabbing”. This is considered a higher level of function than when the central nervous system moves an available limb. As such, this could be a new place to link prosthetics to, so action commands can come directly from the brain.........Read more

Multi-screening may mess with your memory

Why do some people have better memories than others? This question has taken on new significance with the explosion of digital culture, which has been memory failure. A new study by Stanford University researchers, in the journal Nature, has shed more light on this by linking attention lapses in habitual media multi-taskers to poorer memory. People who reported engaging in multiple forms of digital media at once, such as watching TV while texting and browsing social media, showed worse sustained attention just before remembering and were more likely to forget. While it’s logical that fluctuations in attention relate to learning, memory and media multi-tasking, surprisingly little research has explored whether the things we do before we remember might have an impact, according to lead author Kevin Madore. With a team of researchers, including senior author Anthony Wagner, Madore used a novel method of assessing sustained attention by recording pupil size and brain activity. “Increases in alpha power in the back of your skull have been related to attention lapses, mind wandering, distractibility and so forth,” he says. “We also know that constrictions in pupil diameter – in particular before you do different tasks – are related to failures of performance like slower reaction times and more mind wandering.” The team recruited 80 adults aged 18 to 26 for a memory task during which they recorded neural signals of attention lapsing and memory using electroencephalogram (EEG) and pupil size using pupillometry.........Read more

MIT comes up with skin like device to help ALS patients

People who suffer from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) often experience a gradual decline in their ability to control their muscles and as a result, they could even face difficulties to communicate properly. And now, a team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has found a solution to this problem. Researchers who took part in this study have developed a skin-like device that can be attached to the patient's face that is capable of measuring very small movements that include a twitch or smile. Emotions of patients can be decoded Using this advanced device, patients can communicate a variety of emotions effectively that includes 'I love you', and 'I am feeling hungry'. The device decodes these emotions after analyzing small movements of the patient's face. According to researchers who carried out this study, this new device could act as a real helping hand to ALS patients who often fail to express their slightest emotion and need to others without using a bulky piece of equipment. Moreover, this device is like camouflage, and people will rarely notice that the patient has worn it.........Read more

Ankhi Das quits Facebook amid content moderation row; what's next?

Facebook executive Ankhi Das has resigned. The statement by Facebook India's managing director Ajit Mohan that, "she has decided to step down from her role to pursue her interest in public service," has no takers. At least at the moment. Her resignation comes weeks after both Facebook and she herself faced questions (and backlash) over the moderation of political content on Facebook pages and days after Parliamentary Panel questioning. Facebook currently has over 300 million users in the country, thus making India its biggest market. Is it any wonder that the social media giant has been called out, allegedly for its deep-rooted and lucrative links with India's ruling party and the government? It was on April 1, 2019, that Facebook announced having taken down 702 pages and accounts from India. It was claimed at the time that the pages were linked to Indian National Congress (INC) and IT firm Silver Touch and had posted content pertaining to then upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Several investigative reports, after the ones by The Wall Street Journal and TIME magazine, in August, looked into the moderation of content by Facebook (and its messaging service WhatsApp). Facebook's impartial moderation of content........Read more

Buying farm land in Himachal; who can and cannot purchase property in HP

After the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, which now allows anyone to buy land in J&K and Ladakh, the attention has now shifted to Himachal Pradesh, which is protected by Section 118 of the Himachal Pradesh Tenancy and Land Reforms Act. Now, people are comparing the Article 118 to Article 370, which prevented anyone outside the state or UT to buy any land. Even though some concerns were raised about being unable to buy land in Himachal being in India, the legalities are a lot different than that of Article 370. It is true that not anyone can just go ahead and buy agricultural land in the state, but it doesn't put a blanket ban on anyone outside HP trying to purchase a property in . Who can and cannot buy land in Himachal? Section 188 doesn't stop or plot in the urban areas from the Himachal Pradesh Housing and Urban Development Authority. There are no permissions required to buy or lease a built-up property in the area falling within the municipal corporation, municipal committee, notified area committee and cantonment boards. But things change completely in the case of purchasing agricultural land. Any land outside municipal limits is designated as agricultural land, which is protected by Section 118. There's a misconception that Section 118 prohibits the sale of agricultural land, but it's more of a regulation to avoid the accumulation of land in the hands of a few who can actually afford and prevent alienation of agriculturalists from their land.........Read more

India comes out in support of Macron amid outrage across Muslim nations

India has come out strongly in support of France which has risen against radical Islamism following the beheading of a teacher by a Muslim immigrant two weeks ago. In an official statement on Wednesday, the government said that it "strongly deplores the personal attacks in unacceptable language on President Emmanuel Macron in violation of the most basic standards of international discourse". The Ministry of External Affairs, also condemned "the brutal terrorist attack that took the life of a French teacher in a gruesome manner that has shocked the world". The government offered its condolences to his family and the people of France. "There is no justification for terrorism for any reason or under any circumstance," the statement added. Indians at home and abroad have been expressing solidarity with France ever since the middle-school teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded by the 18-year-old Abdullakh Anzorov inside a school near Paris on October 16.........Read more

India acquires 11,000 extreme cold gear sets from US army

India activated a key foundational pact with the US last month to acquire urgently needed high-altitude systems for soldiers deployed to forward areas along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh who are likely to stay on through the winter as tensions with China continue. Sources said that 11,000 sets of extended cold weather clothing system (ECWCS) arrived late last month after India made an urgent request for assistance under a bilateral pact. These sets have come from the stockholding of the US Army and have been dispatched to forward areas where troops are braving the cold.........Read more

No need to apply for compound interest waiver, relief to be auto-credited into accounts: Finance Ministry

Borrowers will not need to apply for the interest-on-interest waiver scheme for the six-month loan moratorium, the finance ministry has said, asking lenders to credit ex-gratia relief amount into the accounts of those eligible. The ministry late Tuesday issued a set of 20 clarifications on the scheme in form of frequently asked questions or FAQs The lending institutions will draw up a list of their borrowers eligible under the criteria laid down by the government and refund thedifference between the compound interest and simple interest paid between March 1 and August 31.........Read more

Sugar consumption stagnant in India; need to bust myths about its use: Govt

Food secretary Sudhanshu Pandey on Wednesday underlined the need to address the “myths and misgivings” about sugar consumption in India and also address misunderstanding about Indian sugar abroad. // of the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA), he pointed out that while India is among the largest producers of sugar, its per capita consumption remained stagnant at 19 kg for the past three years, much lower than the world’s average at 23.5 kg.........Read more

The 5G promise for India: How right roadmap can unlock new era!

India has set one of the best examples on connectivity empowering citizens to deal with the Covid-19 crisis. With over 1.1 billion mobile subscribers as of May 2020, it is likely that over 80% of the country’s population has been engaged in meaningful transactions during the pandemic via telecom networks. India’s National Digital Communications Policy 2018 underscores the importance of 5G, stating that the convergence of a cluster of revolutionary technologies including 5G, along with a growing start-up community, promises to accelerate and deepen digital engagement. The 5G network can make Digital India a reality faster by supporting e-governance, smart-cities, online education, e-health, smart farming and more.........Read more

Turkey’s Erdogan Vows Action Over Charlie Hebdo Toon That Showed Him Looking up a Woman's Skirt

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vented his outrage Wednesday at a "disgusting" cartoon in the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo depicting him looking up a woman's skirt while drinking beer in his underpants. Erdogan's office vowed to take "legal and diplomatic action" while Turkey's NTV television said Ankara had also summoned the second-most senior diplomat at the French embassy to express its "strong condemnation". Under normal circumstances, France's ambassador would have been summoned, but he has been recalled to Paris for consultations in a further sign of the deteriorating diplomatic relations between the two NATO allies. The front cover Charlie Hebdo cartoon came out just days after Erdogan called for a boycott of French products and questioned President Emmanuel Macron's sanity for promoting a drive against Islamic extremism. Macron's defence of the media's right to mock religion -- as exemplified by Charlie Hebdo's blasphemous cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed -- has stirred angry protests across Turkey and swathes of the Muslim world. Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday became the latest Islamic figure to criticise the French president, saying his defence of cartoons of the prophet was a "stupid act" and an "insult" to those who voted for him.........Read more

Bajwa's 'Legs Shaking', Qureshi in 'Fear of Attack': Pak Oppn Recounts Night Before Abhinandan's Release

Recalling the events from February 2019, the Pakistani opposition claimed that the Imran Khan government had released “out of fear” of an Indian attack. Varthaman was taken into Pakistani custody after he landed on the other side of the border following an aerial dogfight between Indian and Pakistani pilots. Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) leader Ayaz Sadiq on Wednesday said that Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had in an emergency meeting pointed out that “if Islamabad did not release Abhinandan Varthaman, India would attack Pakistan that night by 9 pm”, reported Pakistani media website Dunya News. “I remember Shah Mahmood Qureshi was in the meeting in which Imran Khan had refused to attend and Chief of Army Staff General Bajwa came into the room, his legs were shaking and he was perspiring. Foreign Minister said for God’s sake let Abhinandan go, India’s about to attack Pakistan at 9 PM," said Sadiq. Varthaman was released by Pakistan after Prime Minister Imran Khan made the dramatic announcement in the National Assembly as a sign of “goodwill gesture”.........Read more

US Pitches Cheaper Solar Technology to India Amid High Dependence on China

The United States wants India to explore manufacturing a cheaper alternative to silicon solar cells, US Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette said on Wednesday, amid high dependence on Chinese technology. Brouillette, who was addressing a virtual press conference at the conclusion of the India energy forum at the IHS CERA Week, said India was "perfectly positioned as a potential manufacturer” of perovskite cells, on which the US was conducting research at its national laboratory in Colorado. "We have seen recently with this pandemic, supply chain issues have arisen with countries like China and in certain cases we have become overly dependent upon one country,” Brouillette said. India has an ambitious plan to increase its renewable energy capacity to 175 gigawatts (GW) by 2022, nearly three-fifths of which will be solar power. The energy-hungry nation, which imports over 80% of its solar cells and modules from its neighbour, wants to increase domestic manufacturing but has so far had little success.........Read more

Covid-19 Vaccine Ready for Rollout by Dec, Says Serum Institute CEO Adar Poonawalla; But Adds 2 Conditions

Covishield, a vaccine candidate that has shown promise during trials, may be ready by December 2020, Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla told News18. He, however, added the caveat that "a lot is subject to data from the UK and also a lot depends on the approvals coming through from the Drugs Controller General Of India". What this means is that the company, which is developing Oxford University's vaccine in India, intends to apply for emergency authorization if the data from the UK trials show promise. The government of India, has in the past indicated that emergency authorization of a vaccine is likely if the need arises. The phase-III trials of Oxford University-AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine candidate are currently underway in the UK.........Read more

Twitter read riot act by Parliament panel over Leh map row, written explanation sought

Twitter has been read the riot act by a parliamentary panel over a recent controversy that had the social media giant showing Ladakh's Leh as part of China. Members of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Personal Data Protection Bill have sought an explanation from Twitter . Twitter was also told to differentiate between sensitivity and compliance with the Indian law. This issue, Twitter was told, is the latter, sources told India Today TV. The JPC has sought a written explanation from Twitter since junior employees appeared before the panel during its hearing. Apart from the Leh map controversy, Twitter was also asked questions about how it amplifies/mutes conversations, take down content, etc, sources said. Twitter was asked about the process and laws it followed while making such decisions. Earlier this month, defence journalist Nitin Gokhale pointed out that on selecting Leh as the location on Twitter, the micro-blogging site showed up 'Jammu and Kashmir, People's Republic of China' as the location of a live video. See this Twitter! When I put Hall of Fame Leh as the location, see what it shows. I tested it deliberately. Gokhale's tweets on the matter led to a controversy with many fellow journalists asking Twitter for an explanation. Last week, the , conveying strong disapproval over the matter and saying that any attempt by Twitter to disrespect India's "sovereignty and integrity is totally unacceptable".........Read more

Zombie diet: 10 real-life examples of humans eating humans

In any zombie horror story, the undead human corpses roam the world in their hunt for human flesh. Now, we know aren't real, but human cannibalism is far from fictional. Here are 10 real-life examples of human flesh-eaters that are just about as horrifying as zombies. Cannibalism goes way, way back. Around 900,000 years ago in what is now Spain, Homo antecessor, an ancient relative of humans, , according to a study published in June 2019 in the . Fellow hominins were moderately nutritious and easy to catch, making them an excellent prey option. Our closer and more recent relatives, the Neanderthals, were also cannibals on occasion. Archaeologists have discovered evidence of Neanderthal cannibalism in a few different spots around the world, including a , another cave at Moula-Guercy, France, and most recently at a . Beyond cannibalism, it appears that Neaderthals also made tools out of their comrades' remains. There are a few isolated cultures in Papua New Guinea known to have killed and eaten humans, although they likely haven't practiced cannibalism for several decades. In 2011, British television host — a group who once practiced cannibalism and "were very happy to talk about it," Gibbon said. An older member of the tribe told Gibbon about one instance where members of the tribe killed two women suspected of speaking ill of a dying husband. The man said they roasted the women over the fire like pigs and cut up their flesh to eat it.........Read more

Does poor hygiene lead to better immunity against Covid-19? CSIR study answers

A pre-print paper by the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has reiterated what US President Donald Trump has said about India and its hygiene standards. shows evidence to suggest that the country's less than desirable hygiene levels have helped Indians fight Covid-19 better than other nations. The study published in Medrxiv postulates that exposure to pathogens early in life protects people from allergic diseases later in their lives - the theory has been derived from "hygiene hypothesis". The study wished to explore if epidemiological data support the correlation between autoimmune diseases' prevalence, sanitation parameters and how much of the variation in death per million due to Covid-19 is explained by the same. "An interesting relationship between severity of Covid-19 outcome and several non-communicable disorders such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular illnesses has been noted," said the study. "However, the non-communicable disease burden of a country and its apparent relation to CFR due to Covid-19 has not been explored in detail yet," believe the co-authors of the study. "As a large population with these disorders lives in the high Human Development Index (HDI) countries, co-morbidities with diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disorders and respiratory disorders might have emerged as important determinants of CFR due to Covid-19 in these countries.........Read more

BCG vaccination beneficial against Covid-19 infection for elderly: ICMR study

A study conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has found out that Bacillus CalmetteGuérin (BCG) vaccination can be beneficial for elderly individuals in tackling novel coronavirus infection. According to the study, induces enhanced innate and adaptive immunity innate in elderly individuals and “may prove beneficial against Covid-19”. “In an ongoing study, scientists at the council have found that the vaccine induces increased memory cell responses and total antibody production in elderly,” said ICMR in a tweet. The researchers who came out with the study found that BCG vaccination increases natural and adaptive immunity among healthy elderly individuals. “BCG vaccination was associated with enhanced innate and adaptive memory cell subsets, as well as total antibody levels in elderly individuals, suggesting its potential utility in SARS-Cov2 infection by enhancing heterologous immunity,” the researchers said. A earlier stared that scientists in the UK have also begun testing BCG vaccine, developed decades ago, to see if it can be effectively used to weaken Covid-19 infections. The vaccine, initially designed to tackle tuberculosis, has shown some evidence that it can be used for protection against other infections as well. Many other studies that have been conducted recently indicate that BCG vaccination induced higher protection from Covid-19.........Read more

Explained: How Covid-19 has affected finances of state governments

If the Reserve Bank of India’s study on state governments’ finances is any indication, gross fiscal deficits (GFDs) of state governments are set to double in 2020-21 as the covid-19 pandemic has hit the financial position of states hard and the next few years are going to be challenging. Where are gross fiscal deficits of states headed? In 2020-21, about half of the states have budgeted the GFD to gross state domestic product (GSDP) ratio at or above the 3 per cent threshold although most of these budgets were presented prior to the onset of Covid-19, the RBI said. The direction of possible revision is evident from the fact that the average for states presenting their before the outbreak of the pandemic is 2.4 per cent, while the average for the balance number of states that made post-outbreak budget presentation is 4.6 per cent of GSDP. Thus, states are grappling with the pandemic with constrained fiscal space. In terms of primary balances, states are clearly in an unfavourable position, with most states incurring primary deficits in 2019-20, as against primary surpluses at the onset of the global financial crisis, the RBI study said. Will the stress on states continue?........Read more

Explained: France, Emmanuel Macron and Islam

France has a long and complex relationship with Islam, and its 5 million Muslim citizens (just under 9 per cent of its population). “We will continue… We will defend the freedom that you taught so well and we will bring secularism.” He said France would “not give up cartoons, drawings, even if others back down”. Days before Paty’s killing, Macron had made a controversial speech. He declared that “Islam is a religion that is in crisis today all over the world”, “plagued by radical temptations and by a yearning for a reinvented jihad which is the destruction of the other”.........Read more

BECA — and importance of three foundational pacts of India-US military cooperation

India and the United States on Tuesday (October 27) signed the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) which, along with the two agreements signed earlier — the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) and the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) — completes a troika of “foundational pacts” for deep military cooperation between the two countries. What is the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA)? BECA will help India get real-time access to American geospatial intelligence that will enhance the accuracy of automated systems and weapons like missiles and armed drones. Through the sharing of information on maps and satellite images, it will help India access topographical and aeronautical data, and advanced products that will aid in navigation and targeting. This could be key to Air Force-to-Air Force cooperation between India and the US. Just as your radio cab (or the GPS in your smartphone) helps you zero in on the path to your destination and helps you reach it quickly and efficiently, BECA will provide Indian military systems with a high-quality GPS to navigate missiles with real-time intelligence to precisely target the adversary. Besides the sailing of ships, flying of aircraft, fighting of wars, and location of targets, geospatial intelligence is also critical to the response to natural disasters. The signing of BECA flows from the commitment in the joint statement during President Donald Trump’s visit in February this year, when the two sides said they looked forward to an “early conclusion” of BECA.........Read more

India vs Australia Full Schedule: Test Series to Begin With Day-Night Game; Check Out Full Tour Fixtures Here

India vs Australia Full Schedule: Australia will kick off its international summer with limited-overs series against India in Sydney and Canberra from November 27 before the four-test series starts in Adelaide as a day-night match on December 17, Cricket Australia (CA) said on Wednesday. A tour worth about A$300 million ($214 million) to Australian cricket will commence with three one-day internationals followed by three Twenty20’s at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) and Canberra’s Manuka Oval, CA said in a statement.........Read more

IPL 2020: IPL World's Best Tournament: Sourav Ganguly Over the Moon With Ratings

Sourav Ganguly has been overwhelmed with the response which the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League is getting in terms of viewership and ratings. BCCI President Sourav Ganguly has been overwhelmed with the response which the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is getting in terms of viewership and ratings. The IPL 2020 edition was initially scheduled to be played in March but following the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus, it was postponed indefinitely.........Read more

Boundary Question Bilateral Matter, No Space for Third Party to Intervene, Says China After Pompeo's Attack

After US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned of the threat posed by an increasingly assertive Beijing and backed India's efforts to confront threats to its sovereignty, China on Wednesday shot back saying that the "boundary question" is a bilateral matter and asked the US to "respect facts and truth." Pompeo, who arrived in New Delhi on Monday along with Defense Secretary Mark Esper, said after the 2+2 talks with respective Indian counterparts S Jaishankar and Rajnath Singh that the two countries had to work together to confront the threat China posed to security and freedom. The third edition of the India-US 2+2 talks were held at a time of heightened tension in the region, with Indian troops confronting Chinese forces on their disputed Himalayan border. The Chinese Embassy, in a statement, said that bilateral relations between should not "infringe upon legitimate rights and interests of a third party." "The boundary question is a bilateral matter between China and India. The two sides have been discussing disengagement and deescalation in the border areas through diplomatic and military channels. China and India have the wisdom and ability to handle their differences properly. There's no space for a third party to intervene," the statement said.........Read more

E-commerce races ahead despite odds

A unique competitive Indian growth model of e-commerce is fast evolving. This will be supported by e-commerce policy, which is still in the making. India's e-commerce market is among the fastest growing in the world, contributing roughly about 4 per cent of the GDP (from 1 per cent in 2015). It is transforming the way Indian business is done. E-commerce and digital communications - new-age services - dominate conversations about the next curve of growth these days. E-commerce was progressing even before the onset of Covid-19, thanks to technology innovation, along with a digital push. Covid proved the black swan event that gave it a massive fillip, with the 'work from home' (WFH) concept gaining prominence. Globalisation, notwithstanding increasing protectionism, has given rise to a number of collaborative opportunities within India and abroad. This trend was accelerated, with many foreign businesses wanting to enter or expand operations in India. In the process, SMEs, agricultural enterprises, finance, banking, fashion, beauty, marketing and advertising, FMCGs, general merchandise, trade, health and education, have all started benefiting. It has created employment opportunities at various skill levels in all the above segments. IT companies like TCS, Infosys and Wipro restarted hiring engineers. Decades' worth of digitisation trends have manifested in a short span of time, thanks to the pandemic.........Read more

Advertising body ASCI asks WhiteHat Jr to pull down ads for violating norms: Report

Edtech startup WhiteHat Jr has been asked by Advertising Standard Council of India (ASCI) to pull down five of its advertisements for dubious and unsubstantiated claims, a report said on Tuesday. that the ASCI has asked WhiteHat Jr to pull down its advertisements that it says made dubious and unsubstantiated claims. ASCI is a self-regulatory body for advertisers in India. Manisha Kapoor, secretary general of ASCI, told Forbes India that it has processed 15 complaints against seven advertisements of WhiteHat Jr and found that five of them were in potential violation of the ASCI code. The advertiser agreed to immediately withdraw the advertisement when ASCI asked them for their response, the report said. WhiteHat Jr was acquired by Byju's for $300 million earlier this year. The company that claims to train young kids in coding has invited the wrath of parents and some tech experts for its aggressive marketing strategy. The messaging in these advertisements has also been questioned. ........Read more

Study identifies more genes that are likely behind psoriasis and eczema

Pelin Sahlén, senior lecturer at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, says that the combined KTH-Karolinska Institutet research team mapped 118 gene targets related to the skin conditions, psoriasis and dermatitis , using a method the researcher developed 10 years ago to map the interactions between in different parts of the body. The investigation focused on the role played by non-coding genetic variants, that is, DNA that provides no instructions for creating proteins. About 2 percent of DNA is comprised on protein-coding genes, and the remaining 98 percent is non-coding. Most of the variants (97%) associated with complex diseases are non-coding, Sahlén says. "It is not a straightforward task to determine the gene they regulate." They looked in the three dimensional genome for interactions between gene regulating sequences, known as promoters and enhancers, determine which genes are active in various tissues. These sequences can be found on a DNA strand either before or after the gene they regulate. "They are often far from the genes they regulate," Sahlén says. "By using the Capture Hi-C (HiCap) method, we can connect the distal gene regulating sequences with genes by examining the three-dimensional structure of the skin genome. This means that we map the regulatory gene network to find linked to diseases and biological processes."........Read more

Artificially sweetened drinks may not be heart healthier than sugary drinks

Research has shown that diets including beverages sweetened with sugar can have a negative impact on cardio-metabolic health. Artificially sweetened drinks have been suggested as a healthier alternative, but their impact on cardiovascular health is not fully known. In this paper, researchers looked at data from the French NutriNet-Santé cohort to investigate the relationship between the risk of and consuming sugary drinks and artificially sweetened drinks. Records for 104,760 participants were included. They were asked to fill out three validated web-based 24-hour dietary records every six months. Artificially sweetened beverages were defined as those containing non-nutritive sweeteners. Sugary drinks consisted of all beverages containing 5% or more sugar. For each beverage category, participants were divided into non-consumers, low consumers and high consumers. Researchers looked at first incident cases of cardiovascular disease during follow-up from 2009-2019, which were defined as stroke, transient ischemic attack, myocardial infarction, acute coronary syndrome and angioplasty. After excluding the first three years of follow-up to account for potential reverse causality bias, 1,379 participants had first incident cases of cardiovascular disease. Compared to non-consumers, both higher consumers of sugary drinks and of artificially sweetened beverages had higher risks of first incident cardiovascular disease, after taking into account a wide range of confounding factors.........Read more

Banned Chinese Apps Back In Cloned Avatars

My July article essentially predicted that the Chinese apps will come back by either renaming themselves, or by showing another country as their headquarters, or a combination of both. This makes it very difficult for the Indian government to keep track of banned Chinese apps, reappearing in new skins. The case of Snack Video is one of the most interesting. Not only did it not come up almost immediately after the ban on its previous avatar, Kwai, but it has also been able to ramp up to over 50 million daily active users. This is a matter of significant concern, given the security implications. This led to the Centre for Digital Economy Policy Research ( to send letters to the ministry of home and the ministry of electronics and information technology, alerting them about the developments.........Read more

Fresh Covid-19 Cases Remain Below 45K In India; Total Caseload Inch Closer To 80 Lakh-Mark

The new coronavirus cases reported in India in a span of 24 hours remained below 45,000, even as the total Covid-19 caseload inched closer to 80 lakh, the Union health ministry said on Wednesday. The country's Covid-19 caseload mounted to 79,90,322 with 43,893 fresh cases being reported in a day, while the death toll climbed to 1,20,010 with 508 new fatalities, the ministry data updated at 8 am showed. A total of 72,59,509 people have recuperated from Covid-19 so far, pushing the national recovery rate to 90.85 per cent, while the case fatality rate stands at 1.50 per cent. The active cases of coronavirus infections remained below 7 lakh for six days in a row, it said. There are 6,10,803 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country as on date, which comprises 7.64 per cent of the total caseload, the data stated. India's Covid-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 30 lakh on August 23 and 40 lakh on September 5. It went past 50 lakh on September 16, 60 lakh on September 28 and crossed 70 lakh on October 11. According to ICMR, a cumulative total of 10,54,87,680 samples have been tested up to October 27, with 10,66,786 samples tested on Tuesday. The 508 latest fatalities include 115from Maharashtra, 58 from West Bengal,44 each from Delhi and Karnataka, 36 from Uttar Pradeshand27from Tamil Nadu. The total 1,20,010 deaths reported so far in the country include........Read more

Iconic Harley Davidson Ties With Hero MotoCorp To Sell, Develop Bikes In India

The country's largest two wheeler maker Hero MotoCorp and Harley-Davidson on Tuesday announced a wide ranging partnership for the Indian market, days after the US cult bike manufacturer announced its exit from the country. As part of the deal, Hero MotoCorp will develop and sell a range of premium motorcycles under the Harley-Davidson brand name in the country. Besides, it will take care of service and parts requirements for the Harley bikes. Further, Hero MotoCorp would sell Harley accessories and general merchandise, riding gear and apparel through a network of brand-exclusive Harley-Davidson dealers and its existing sales network in the country, the companies said in a joint statement. "These actions are aligned with Harley-Davidson's business overhaul, The Rewire, and the company's announcement in September to change its business model in India," it added. This arrangement is mutually beneficial for both companies and riders in India, as it brings together the iconic Harley-Davidson brand with the strong distribution network and customer service of Hero MotoCorp, it added. In September, Harley-Davidson had announced discontinuation of sales and manufacturing operations in India, a decade after it started selling its premium bikes in the country. As part of the development, the company had announced plans to close its manufacturing facility in Bawal (Haryana) and significantly reduce the size of its sales office in Gurugram. The exit from India is part of the company's global restructuring activities.........Read more

Office for iPad now has mouse and trackpad support

Word, Excel, and PowerPoint all supported Microsoft is bringing mouse and trackpad support to its Office for iPad apps today. The software maker it would update its Office iPadOS apps earlier this year, and the updates are now live in the App Store for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Office for iPad now lets you use the built-in trackpad on Apple’s Magic Keyboard to navigate around text, photos, and other objects in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. The cursor is context aware, like other apps that have taken advantage of the Magic Keyboard, so you can highlight text in Word, resize images and charts in PowerPoint, and select multiple cells in Excel. It’s very similar to using Office on a PC or Mac.........Read more

Water ice on the Moon may be easier to reach than we thought, new studies claim

New observations of the Moon reveal that lunar water may be more accessible than originally thought. The new data is particularly exciting for NASA, which hopes to leverage the Moon’s resources — notably water ice embedded in the soil — to help future astronauts live and work on the lunar surface. In one study, researchers detected water directly on the lunar surface, finding the molecule on areas of the Moon lit by the Sun. A second study speculates that water ice might be trapped in tiny pockets or small craters littered all over the Moon’s surface, making water potentially more abundant and more accessible than we could have imagined. The two studies were published today in the journal Nature. This isn’t the first time water has been detected on the Moon. But the only water we’ve been able to find and verify up until now is really difficult to reach. It seems to be primarily located in large craters at the lunar south pole that are in perpetual shadow. The frigid craters are dangerously cold — possibly reaching -400 degrees Fahrenheit — making them practically impossible to access with modern technology. “They happen to be the coldest known places in the Solar System, believe it or not,” Paul Hayne, a planetary scientist at the University of Colorado and a lead author on one of the Nature studies, tells the The Verge.........Read more

Income Tax department busts Rs 500-crore racket; raids 42 locations across India

The Income Tax Department has seized cash over Rs 2.3 crore and jewellery worth Rs 2.8 crore during searches at 42 locations in Delhi-NCR, Haryana, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Goa, on a large network of individuals running a racket of entry operation and generation of huge cash through fake billing. The I-T Department in a statement on Tuesday said that multiple teams carried out search and seizure action on Monday on a large network of individuals running the racket of entry operation and generation of huge cash through fake billing. The search operations have been conducted on 42 premises across Delhi- NCR, Haryana, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Goa. "The search has led to the seizure of evidence exposing the entire network of the entry operators, intermediaries, cash handlers, the beneficiaries and the firms and companies involved. So far, documents evidencing accommodation entries of more than Rs 500 crore have already been found and seized," it said. The I-T Department said that several shell entities or firms were used by the searched entry operators for layering of unaccounted money and cash withdrawals against fake bills issued and unsecured loans given. The personal staff or employees or associates had been made dummy directors or partners of these shell entities and all bank accounts were managed and controlled by these entry operators.........Read more

India's COVID-19 spike drops to 36,469, less than 500 new deaths

With 36,469 new COVID-19 cases, India's total cases surged to 79,46,429, said the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW). With 488 new deaths, the toll mounted to 1,19,502, as per the Ministry. The total active coronavirus cases are 6,25,857 after a decrease of 27,860 in the last 24 hours. The total cured cases are 72,01,070 with 63,842 new discharges in the last 24 hours. With 1,34,657 total active cases, Maharashtra continues to be the worst affected state by COVID-19 in the country. While 14,70,660 patients have recovered from the disease in the state, 43,348 have died so far. Among other severely affected states, Karnataka has 75,442 active cases, while 7,19,558 people have recovered and 10,947 have succumbed to the coronavirus.........Read more

Air pollution increases COVID-19 deaths by 15% worldwide, study finds

In a major global study, researchers have revealed that long-term exposure to air pollution may be linked to 15% of COVID-19 deaths worldwide. According to the study, published in the journal Cardiovascular Research, in Europe the proportion was about 19%, in North America it was 17%, and in East Asia about 27%. "Since the numbers of deaths from COVID-19 are increasing all the time, it's not possible to give exact or final numbers of COVID-19 deaths per country that can be attributed to air pollution," said study author Jos Lelieveld from Max Planck Institute in Germany. "However, as an example, in the UK there have been over 44,000 coronavirus deaths and we estimate that the fraction attributable to air pollution is 14%, meaning that more than 6,100 deaths could be attributed to air pollution," Lelieveld added. The researchers used epidemiological data from the previous US and Chinese studies of air pollution and Covid-19 and the SARS outbreak in 2003, supported by additional data from Italy. They combined this with satellite data showing global exposure to polluting fine particles known as 'particulate matter' that is less than or equal to 2.5 microns in diameter (known as PM2.5) to create a model to calculate the fraction of coronavirus deaths that could be attributable to long-term exposure to PM2.5.........Read more

India Vs Australia squad: KL Rahul Named Vice-Captain for Limited-over Squads; Rohit Sharma, Ishant Sharma Miss Out

India Vs Australia squad: KL Rahul returned to the Indian Test squad for the tour of Australia starting late next month and was also named the vice-captain for the ODI and T20I teams in the absence of injured Rohit Sharma as the national selectors announced the squads late on Monday night. The committee met via video-conference to select teams and decided to hand a maiden call-up to spinner Varun Chakravarthy in the T20I squad. Rohit and Ishant Sharma have not been named in any squads and a BCCI release stated that the medical team will continue to monitor their progress.........Read more

Google Pay Remains Unavailable On iPhone & There Is No Warning In App About Possible Payment Issues

The Google Pay app, earlier known as Google Tez, was unlisted from the Apple App Store yesterday, and still remains unavailable. Google had confirmed yesterday that the app was unlisted to fix some issues while those who already have the Google Pay app installed on their iPhones may face temporary payment failures. This comes at a time when there is considerable excitement around online shopping, particularly with the sales on multiple shopping websites including Amazon and Flipkart, ahead of the Diwali festival. The Google Pay for Android phones has no known issues at this time, and normal service continues. Yesterday, Google had said in a statement shared with News18 that the Google Pay app will be briefly unavailable on the Apple App Store as developers try to fix some issues. “The Google Pay iOS app will be briefly unavailable on the App Store; users will be able to see the new app update reappear shortly. A small number of Apple iOS users might experience persistent payment failures on their transactions. Our teams are working to fix it at the earliest. Meanwhile, affected users can reach out to Google Pay support through the app for help. We apologise for the inconvenience to our users,” said the Google spokesperson. The company has not specified the exact nature of these issues.........Read more

Allahabad High Court to Monitor CBI Probe Into Hathras Case, Says Supreme Court

The Allahabad High Court will monitor the CBI probe into the Hathras case in which a 19-year-old Dalit woman was allegedly gang-raped by 4 upper caste men and then succumbed to her injuries. A bench comprising Chief Justice S A Bobde, Justice A S Bopanna and Justice V Ramasubramanian had on October 15 reserved its verdict on a public interest litigation (PIL) and several intervention pleas of activists and lawyers who have argued that a fair trial was not possible in Uttar Pradesh as the probe has allegedly been botched up. The lawyer, appearing for the victim's family, had told the apex court that trial in the case be shifted out of Uttar Pradesh to a court in the national capital after completion of investigation. A 19-year-old Dalit woman was allegedly raped by four upper-caste men in Hathras on September 14. She died on September 29 at Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital during treatment.........Read more

As Threat Rises from Neighbours, India to Get 5 Military Theatre Commands, 1 Each for China & Pak

The Indian military will be reorganised under five theatre commands by 2022 with defined areas of operation and a command structure for synchronised operations. The department of military affairs would soon have additional and joint secretaries after cabinet clearance, the military is undergoing task to distribute the three services under theatre commands has begun with a China specific Northern Command and Pakistan specific Western command under serious consideration, a report in Hindustan Times said. The PM Modi government have given the mandate to the Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat to create theatre demands which is already in place in countries like China and US. The northern command will be based between the Karakoram Pass in Ladakh and the last outpost Kibithu in Arunachal Pradesh. The military command will guide the Line of Actual Control with China and the headquarters will be in Lucknow.........Read more

Free Covid-19 vaccine for all citizens of India, says Union minister Pratap Sarangi

Union Minister Pratap Sarangi on Sunday said all people of the country will be given free coronavirus vaccine, amidst the and not only in poll-bound Bihar as announced by the BJP, news agency PTI reported. After addressing a campaign meeting for the November 3 assembly by-poll in Balasore, Union Minister Pratap Sarangi said an estimated Rs 500 odd will be spent on vaccination of each person. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that all people will be provided free of cost vaccines. PM Modi, in a televised address to the nation on October 20, had said Indian scientists are in the process of developing several vaccines that are at different stages of clinical trials and the results seem encouraging. Sarangi, the Union Minister of State for Animal Husbandry, Dairy, Fisheries and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises made the remark in reply to question raised by Odisha Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister, R P Swain, the PTI report added. Swain had sought clarification from Dharmendra Pradhan and Sarangi, the two Union ministers from Odisha, questioning them for their silence on their party of the state along the lines of the one being promised in Bihar. "I am asking questions to two Odisha union ministers from Balasore soil to clarify as to why the people of the state will not get free of cost COVID vaccine. The Union ministers should clarify BJPs stand on the corona vaccination in Odisha.”........Read more

Former Union Minister Dilip Ray gets 3 years in jail for Jharkhand coal block scam

A Special CBI Court in New Delhi today sentenced former Union Minister of State (MoS) of Coal, Dilip Ray, to three years of imprisonment in connection with a two-decade-old Jharkhand coal block allocation scam. On October 14, the court had found Ray guilty and had reserved the verdict on the quantum of punishment for pronouncement on October 26 (today). Ray was Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Coal during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government in 1999 and this case pertains to allocation of 105.153 hectares of abandoned Brahmadiha coal block in Giridih in Jharkhand to Castron Technologies Ltd (CTL). Besides Ray, two former senior officials of the Ministry of Coal — Pradip Kumar Banerjee, the then Additional Secretary and Nitya Nand Gautam, former advisor (Projects), Castron Technologies Limited, its director Mahendra Kumar Agarwalla and Castron Mining Limited have also been found guilty. Ray, along with others, has been found guilty of offences under Sections 120-B and 120-B/409/420 of IPC and Sections 13 (1) (c) and 13 (1) (d) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.........Read more

Windows 10 PCs Running on Version 2004 Having Issues With Factory Reset Option: How to Fix

Windows 10 allows users to restore a PC to its factory settings easily by using the 'Reset this PC' option. The option is mostly used when a system is facing performance issues, excess memory usage, or simply when the device is not being used anymore. However, PCs running on the Windows 10 May 2020 update (version 2004), have been reported to showing an error when resetting a PC. Microsoft says that there's a problem with a certain hardware configuration that causes the feature to fail on devices running on Windows 10 version 2004. 2. Search for Command Prompt........Read more

FAU-G Teaser Released: First Look of India's Own PUBG Mobile Alternative is Here

FAU-G, the upcoming Indian mobile game based on heroics of the Indian armed forces, now has its first official cinematic teaser. Released earlier today by the game’s backer and Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar, the cinematic are in line with what previous reports have spoken of about the game. FAU-G, which stands for Fearless And United - Guards, was announced as PUBG Mobile, one of the world’s and India’s most popular games of all time, was banned by the Indian government. Today we celebrate the victory of good over evil, and what better day to celebrate our Fearless and United Guards, our FAU-G! On the auspicious occasion of Dussehra, presenting the teaser. The teaser depicts a scene of conflict on hilly terrain, which will presumably present a scene of armed conflict against enemy forces that players will take on in the game’s missions. In earlier reports, Vishal Gondal, the founder and chief of nCore Games, the developer of FAU-G, was quoted as stating that FAU-G’s gameplay will not come with a battle royale mode upon release. Instead, the gameplay will be based on India’s recent armed conflict against China at the Galwan Valley border. The teaser is presumably depicting these very scenes.........Read more

'Intend to Enforce Rights': Reliance Retail after Amazon Gets Favourable Ruling in Future-RIL Deal

Reliance Retail on Sunday said that it intends to enforce its rights and complete the transaction in terms of the agreement with Future Group after was awarded relief by a Singapore-based arbitration panel against Kishore Biyani-owned group company for its deal with Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd (RRVL). "RRVL has entered into the transaction for acquisition of assets and business of Future Retail Limited under proper legal advice and the rights and obligations are fully enforceable under Indian Law," the retail wing of India's richest man Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries Ltd said in a statement. "RRVL intends to enforce its rights and complete the transaction in terms of the scheme and agreement with Future group without any delay," the statement added. The statement comes after American e-commerce company was on Sunday granted relief by an arbitration panel against partner Future Group for its deal with Reliance Industries for Rs 24,713 crore, resulting in the Future-RIL deal being put on hold. Amazon had taken the Kishore Biyani-owned group company to arbitration and had accused it of violating the contract. Future Retail had inked the deal with Reliance Retail Ventures Limited for a stake sale in August this year.........Read more

Lee Kun-hee: Ailing 'Hermit King' of the Samsung Empire Dies at 78

Samsung Electronics chairman Lee Kun-Hee arrives at Gimpo airport in Seoul. South Korea's richest and most powerful industrialist, Lee Kun-hee, turned Samsung Electronics into one of the world's biggest tech companies but lived a reclusive existence. Still, occasional pronouncements on business by the tycoon, who died at 78 on Sunday, reverberated through the country. When he inherited the chairmanship of the Samsung group in 1987 -- founded by his father as a fish and fruit exporter -- it was already the country's largest conglomerate, with operations ranging from consumer electronics to construction. But Lee transformed it into a global power -- by the time he was left bedridden by a heart attack in 2014, it was the world's biggest maker of smartphones and memory chips. He seldom ventured out from the high walls of his private compound in central Seoul to visit the company headquarters, earning him the nickname "hermit king". Samsung is by far the biggest of the chaebols, the family-controlled conglomerates that dominate South Korea's economy. They drove the nation's transformation from a war-ravaged ruin to the world's 12th-largest economy, but nowadays are accused of murky political ties and stifling competition -- with Lee himself twice convicted of criminal offences, in one case bribing a president. Lee's far-sighted leadership style was widely credited with turning Samsung Electronics, now the group's flagship subsidiary, into one of the world's leading developers and producers of semiconductors, mobile phones and LCDs.........Read more

Asteroid samples escaping from jammed NASA spacecraft

A NASA spacecraft is stuffed with so much asteroid rubble from this week's grab that it's jammed open and precious particles are drifting away in space, scientists said Friday. Scientists announced the news three days after the spacecraft named Osiris-Rex briefly touched asteroid Bennu, NASA's first attempt at such a mission. The mission's lead scientist, Dante Lauretta, said Tuesday's operation 200 million miles away collected far more material than expected for return to Earth - in the hundreds of grams. The sample container on the end of the robot arm penetrated so deeply into the asteroid and with such force, however, that rocks got sucked in and became wedged around the rim of the lid. Scientists estimate the sampler pressed as much as 48 centimeters into the rough, crumbly, black terrain. "We're almost a victim of our own success here," Lauretta said at a hastily arranged news conference. Lauretta said there is nothing flight controllers can do to clear the obstructions and prevent more bits of Bennu from escaping, other than to get the samples into their return capsule as soon as possible. So, the flight team was scrambling to put the sample container into the capsule as early as Tuesday - much sooner than originally planned - for the long trip home. "Time is of the essence," said Thomas Zurbuchen, chief of NASA's science missions.........Read more

Jugaad mindset is a stumbling block for real innovation

We often read articles about how a farmer uses his motorcycle engine to pump underground water and use it for irrigation. Social media is full of several short videos like that. We all appreciate the ingenuity of the person and an out-of-the-box approach to solving the problem at hand with limited resources. But in the process, we also forget that Jugaad is a hack, a short cut — it is short of real innovation. It gets the job done somehow but it defrauds the person of the real innovation that can be deployed at scale and solve the problems forever — not just get the job done. So, every Jugaad is an opportunity lost to solve the real problem in entirety and continuation of the problem with more and more patchworks. Is Jugaad an Indian thing? The term is Indian for sure, a colloquial in Hindi with rough translation in every other regional language. It was added in Oxford dictionary 2017 due to quite a common usage by Indians. Wikipedia defines it as predominantly Indian origin. We can safely conclude that Jugaad is an Indian thing and it has a cultural angle.........Read more

Govt extends ITR deadline till Dec 31

In a major relief to taxpayers, the government on Saturday further extended the deadline for filing returns by individual taxpayers for FY 2019-20 by a month till December 31. Taxpayers now have until December 31 to file their return of income earned between April 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020, instead of November 30. Also, the due date of furnishing Income Tax Returns (ITRs) for taxpayers whose accounts require to be audited has been extended till January 31, 2021. The government had earlier in May extended various due dates for filing ITRs for FY 2019-20 from July 31 to November 30, to give compliance relief to taxpayers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.........Read more

Sushant Singh Rajput Death: NBSA directs Aaj Tak, Zee News, India TV, News24 to air apologies for violating journalistic norms

The News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) has directed four Hindi news channels to air apologies for violating journalistic norms while reporting the death of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput. It also imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh on Aaj Tak. Sushant was found dead at his home in Mumbai on June 14. The case was initially suspected to be a suicide and was probed by the Mumbai Police. It was later handed over to CBI which is yet to officially release its conclusions. All TV channels incessantly reported on the death of the actor, some even sensationalising the death and accusing Sushant's girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty for his death. AajTak, Zee News, India TV and News 24 have been found in violation of journalistic norms, the authority said in its order. According to a Live Law report, the order passed in a complaint filed by filmmaker Nilesh Navalakha who was represented by Advocates Rajesh Inamdar and Shashwat Anand. Aaj Tak has been asked to to air an apology on October 27 at 8 PM and to pay a fine of Rs One Lakh for attributing fake tweets to Sushant Singh Rajput and reporting them as his last tweets. Zee News has been asked to air public apology on October 27 at 9 pm for sensationalising the death of the actor. India TV has been asked to air public apology on October 27 at 9 pm for showing the body of Rajput. ........Read more

Devi Mahatmyam - An Ancient Hindu Text Encoding Profound And Futuristic Brain Science?

Neurologist explains what makes the ancient Hindu text Devi Mahatmyam an incredibly profound and futuristic work of philosophy and science. Neurosurgery, in many ways, can be considered the acme of Western science. In the fine operations performed on the microscopic structures of the brain, neurosurgery harnesses the Western mind’s aptitude for rigour, reproducibility, systematisation, and concreteness. Within neurosurgery, perhaps the most cutting-edge subfield is known as “functional” neurosurgery. While usual neurosurgery deals with structural problems, such as excising tumours, functional neurosurgery tries to influence the functioning of the brain. My exposure to this field came while I was in residency training. I saw patients with severe tremor from Parkinson’s disease achieve extraordinary relief through a simple procedure known as ‘deep brain stimulation’. This involves the placement of a small electrode deep into the brain. When the device is turned on, the electrode sends signals into a tiny structure in the brain’s movement control network. Almost magically, the tremor stops. In recent years, research on deep brain stimulation has advanced to include the study of other conditions. Among the most promising areas seems to be psychiatry, especially for conditions like major depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder. For centuries, many psychiatric conditions were swept under the rug as not “real” diseases.........Read more

NEET reservation row in Tamil Nadu: All you need to know

Once again, the row over NEET continues in the state of Tamil Nadu. This time around it is about the 7.5 percent horizontal reservation for government school students. While the bill has been unanimously passed by the Tamil Nadu assembly on October 13 it is still awaiting the approval of the state Governor, Banwarilal Purohit. The governor has said that it will take him a minimum of three to four weeks to assess the bill and then give his consent. The time frame given by the governor has not gone down well with the state opposition party, which states that it will be too late for the students who are waiting for the good news regarding the reservation as admission for medical seats is likely to begin at the end of October. Stating that the students from government schools are at a disadvantage when compared to others and to provide them with a level playing ground this reservation proposal was introduced during cabinet meetings on June 15 and July 14. The proposal after being approved unanimously was passed as a bill and was sent to the governor. The bill is based on the recommendation given by a commission headed by retired high court judge P Kalaiyarasan, who in his report has observed that government school students are at a disadvantage when compared to other students. The commission in its recommendation had said that a 10 percent reservation should be given to students who studied in government schools from class 6 to 12th.........Read more

Paytm, PhonePe, Google Pay, others can’t use exclusive QR codes; RBI rules for interoperable payments

Paytm, PhonePe, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, and other Payment System Operators (PSO) will now not be allowed to use exclusive QR codes that work only on their own platforms. Instead, the Reserve Bank of India has asked the payment apps to shift to one or more interoperable QR codes by March 31, 2022. RBI instructed that no new proprietary QR codes shall be launched by any PSO for any payment transaction. With the latest move, customers can pay on any platform from any app that supports UPI payments. RBI’s decision is in an effort to reinforce the acceptance infrastructure, provide better user convenience due to interoperability, and enhance system efficiency in the country. ........Read more

Centre’s Diwali gift: Waives interest on interest for all loans up to Rs 2 crore; check details

In what can be termed as a relief for borrowers just ahead of the festive season, the Ministry of Finance has announced a waiver of interest on interest charged for loans up to Rs 2 crore. The Department of Financial Services of the ministry on Friday issued a circular that laid the guidelines for financial institutions on granting ex-gratia payment of difference between compound interest and simple interest for six months to borrowers. All borrowers, whether they availed the moratorium or not will be eligible for the relief, according to the ministry circular. ........Read more

Asia becomes second region to exceed 10 million coronavirus cases

Asia surpassed 10 million infections of the new coronavirus on Saturday, the second-heaviest regional toll in the world, according to a Reuters tally, as cases continue to mount in India despite a slowdown and sharp declines elsewhere. Behind only Latin America, Asia accounts for about one-fourth of the global caseload of 42.1 million of the virus. With over 163,000 deaths, the region accounts for some 14% of the global COVID-19 toll. The Reuters tally is based on official reporting by countries. The true numbers of cases and deaths are likely much higher, experts say, given deficiencies in testing and potential underreporting in many countries. Despite the Asian spikes, the region overall has reported improvement in handling the pandemic in recent weeks, with daily caseloads slowing in places like India - a sharp contrast to the COVID-19 resurgence seen in Europe and North America. Within the region, South Asia led by India is the worst affected, with nearly 21% of the reported global coronavirus cases and 12% of deaths. This contrasts with countries like China and New Zealand that have crushed infections and Japan, where COVID-19 had been stubbornly entrenched but not accelerating.........Read more

Google Unlikely To Drop 30% Commission In India Despite Startup Protests

After hosting a policy webinar on October 21 with Indian app developers, startup founders and other stakeholders to address concerns over its policies for the Play Store, Google on Thursday indicated that it is not going to accede to demands by Indian startups to roll back the 30% commission. The US tech giant indicated its intentions while answering a question from developers about their demand. Google took pre-submitted questions from developers.........Read more

The many Dussehras of India: Celebrating other forms of Durga

It was on the tenth day of her battle with the buffalo-demon Mahishasura that Durga (as Katyayani) had killed him. This victory of good over evil is celebrated in unique ways on Dussehra. People believe that beginning new tasks on this day brings good fortune. Some people perform a pooja of their vehicles and appliances (fridge, washing machine, etc.). Most people worship the goddess (as Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati) and her sons on this day. They believe that the goddess and her sons visit her parents during Navaratri. Since devotees are also her family, she lives in their homes too. On Dussehra, the three deities leave for their home on Mount Kailash. People make sacred food offerings, take their idols out in a procession and finally immerse them in a river or lake. As the clay idols dissolve in the water, they become soil or the earth once again. Some believe the family travels back to Mount Kailash through water. Navaratri chiefly celebrates Durga and Nava Durga. But people across the country also honour local or regional forms of the goddess, especially on Dussehra. Many moons ago, Khandoba (an avatar of Shiva) and Mhalsa Devi (a form of Parvati) had fought two demon-brothers named Mani and Malla at a place called Kade Pathar near Jejuri city in Maharashtra. When the two deities began living there, a Khandoba temple was built at the site. For years, a devotee from a nearby village visited the temple every day. But when he grew old, he requested the deities to come and live in his village.........Read more

Explained: What determines onion prices

With less than a week to go for the Bihar Elections, the Centre on Friday reintroduced the stock limit on onions — a move aimed at controlling rising prices, which crossed Rs 80 per kg in many cities on Friday, including nearly Rs 100/kg in Mumbai. Barely a month ago, Parliament had amended the to exclude onions — besides potatoes, edible oils, oilseed and pulses — from the list of essential commodities, thus freeing them from stock limits. Since then, possibly with the Bihar elections in mind, the government has acted twice towards controlling onion prices; it relaxed import norms on Wednesday, followed by Friday’s reintroduction of the stock limit. Why have onion prices been rising? They have been rising since the last week of August, as reports started coming in of massive losses to kharif onions caused by heavy rainfall in north Karnataka. This crop was meant to arrive after September and was expected to feed the markets until the arrival of the kharif crop from Maharashtra towards the end of October.........Read more

Explained: Yellow dust, which North Korea has warned could be carrying Covid-19

North Korean authorities have urged citizens to remain indoors to avoid contact with a mysterious cloud of ‘yellow dust’ blowing in from China, which they have warned could bring with it. On Wednesday, the state-controlled media warned that the vicious dust storm would land the next day, BBC reported. Citizens seemed to have complied with the order since, on Thursday, the streets of the country’s capital Pyongyang were reportedly deserted. North Korea claims it has had no cases of the novel , but imposed strict border closures and restrictions on movement of people as early as January.📣  During a weather segment on Wednesday, the state-controlled Korean Central Television (KCTV) warned that a cloud of yellow dust would blow in from China and descend on the country the following day. A nationwide ban on outdoor construction work was announced, and all citizens were ordered to remain indoors with their windows tightly closed, BBC reported. On Thursday morning, the state-run Rodong Sinmun newspaper urged all anti-epidemic quarantine workers to recognise the danger posed by the “malignant virus entering” the country via the yellow dust. An article in the newspaper argued that since research from around the world has shown Covid-19 can be “transmitted through air”, the yellow dust cloud must be taken seriously. “Thoroughly preventing damages from the yellow dust… is a pressing task to keep the quarantine front impenetrable,” the article added.........Read more

We Are Not Compatible With Today’s India: Mehbooba Mufti

In her first press conference after her release from 14-month long detention, former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti described the “struggle for the restoration of Article 370” and “resolution of Kashmir issue” as a long-drawn fight. Mehbooba, who had the erstwhile J&K state’s flag in front of her during her press conference, said she wouldn't contest polls as long as the constitution of Jammu and Kashmir was not restored. She said the government shouldn’t construe that in this fight to restore Article 370, political parties would forget the Kashmir issue. She said the Kashmir issue is an issue and if New Delhi thinks it is not an issue, “the issue will eat you up”. She said if some people in Delhi think that political parties and Kashmiris would forget Kashmir issue and Article 370 after some time they are living in a dream world. She said thousands of people have given sacrifices for the Kashmir issue and people have given blood for it. “Now it is the turn of the leaders to give blood,” she said. However, she hastily added, “we don’t want any violence.” She said there is no lack of clarity in the political alliance of mainstream parties. “We will use all peaceful means to achieve our objectives,” she added. She said since the removal of Article 370, the government has done everything to instigate people of Jammu and Kashmir for violence.........Read more

Pakistan Will Remain on 'Grey' List Of Terror Watchdog Till February 2021

Pakistan will remain in the "grey list" of a global money laundering and terror financing watchdog till Februrary 2021, officials said on Friday. The virtual plenary of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), held in the last three days, concluded that Pakistan will continue in its 'grey' list as it has failed to fulfill six key obligations that include failure to take action against two of India's most wanted terrorists — Maulana Masood Azhar and Hafiz Saeed, officials said on Friday. The decision has been taken after a thorough review of Pakistan's performance in fulfilling the global commitments and standards on the fight against money laundering and terror financing. "Pakistan remains in the increased monitoring list or the grey list," FATF president Marcus Pleyer said at a virtual press conference from Paris. Pakistan failed to fulfill six of the 27 mandates so far as a result of which the country continues to be on the grey list of the FATF. "Pakistan failed to fulfill six of the 27 mandates given to check terror funding," Pleyer said. The FATF chief said Islamabad must impose sanctions and prosecute those involved in terror financing. "Pakistan needs to do more on checking terror funding, it can't stop now," he said. Sources said the tasks in which Pakistan failed to fulfill include failure to take action againstall UN-designated terrorists like Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Azhar, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder Seed, and the outfit's operational commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.........Read more

Chokehold - Covid and toxic air make a lethal cocktail

The eyes itch. The nostrils sting. You start breathing deep, gulping in large amounts of the acrid, smoke-laden air. Your lungs burn. The foul air is so thick you can almost taste the bitterness on your tongue. You look up…and see nothing. Just the hazy blanket of smog. The sun is just a pale disc on the dark, brooding sky. You hear vehicles passing through the near-invisible streets. People walk past, just metres away, and all you can see are silhouettes. It looks like a scene straight out of an apocalyptic movie. But this is very real. This is north India in winters. And this is at the heart of the unfolding story of India in an ever-growing war against air pollution. It’s the story of the evil that put masks on Indian faces long before the world was convulsed by the coronavirus. Delhi-NCR may get all the media attention for its notorious air pollution, but the grim fact is that close to a quarter of India’s population—around 258 million—living in the Gangetic plains risk losing about nine years of their lives due to high pollution levels, says an Air Quality Life Index 2020 report by the Energy Policy Institute of the University Of Chicago. Only Bangladesh is worse than us on a country-level assessment. Air pollution, the report says, is a bigger killer than the raging COVID-19 pandemic.........Read more

Hyderabad is stinking following the massive floods

The stench emanating from waterlogged homes is nauseating and people cleaning them are having a tough time as they simply cannot work continuously. For the last two days, volunteers and family members cleaning the homes state that the smell is unbearable. During the night, the stench gets worse as the continuously flowing water from lakes, sewage and storm water drains worsens it. The dip in night temperatures is also one of the factors aggravating the stench. People have dumped sofas, mattresses, clothes, utensils and wooden furniture outside their homes. Along with the water in the floods, there came jute bags, helmets, wooden toys and also sanitary materials which are now being removed from homes. Many items are stuck to the walls, furniture and along the steps as water flowed in. Mansoor Ahmed, from Baba nagar, says “It is difficult to work continuously. Despite wrapping cloths around our noses, we are still not able to work continuously. Women started crying and we had to keep them back at relatives’ homes as it was not possible to get them to do the cleaning.”........Read more

Indian Army chief commissions INS Kavaratti in Vizag

Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Mukund Naravane commissioned INS Kavaratti, the Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) stealth corvette built under Project 28 (Kamorta Class), at a ceremony held at the Naval Dockyard here on Thursday. Vice Admiral Atul Kumar Jain, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral Vipin Kumar Saxena (Retd.), CMD, Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) Limited, Kolkata, and other dignitaries were present during the commissioning ceremony.........Read more

Organ Transplant Scam Unearthed in Kerala After Locality With Many Kidney Donors Found

Kerala Police have identified a mafia operating in the organ transplant sector in the state and a detailed probe has been ordered into the matter, officials said on Friday. Inspector General of Police (Crime) S.Sreejith, after being tipped off about a racket in kidney transplants, conducted a probe in Thrissur where he found out that in one particular colony, numerous people had donated their kidneys, and the donated kidneys were given to various places in the state, where the donors had no contacts. What was even more surprising was that the majority of kidney transplants had taken place in non-approved hospitals. In the state, 35 hospitals have been approved to carry out kidney transplant surgeries. Sreejith's probe also found out that huge sums of money was also involved in these transplants and this was done with the alleged connivance of even government officials. After he submitted his report to the state police chief, a detailed probe into all the transplants done in the state in the past two years has been ordered and would be conducted by a special team led by Superintendent of Police, K.S. Sudarshan.........Read more

Mute WhatsApp Chats Forever Feature is Now Live on Android, iOS: How to Do it

WhatsApp Web users can also access the feature by tapping on the name of an opened chat or selecting the drop-down option next to the contact and then select mute notifications.'>The constant buzzing of the smartphone due to WhatsApp messages can be pretty annoying, and until now, the platform allowed users to mute an individual chat or groups for up to a year. It appears that the Facebook-owned messaging platform is changing its rules, and users in India can now mute WhatsApp chats forever with an 'always' mute option. The new feature appears to be a server-side update that means users are getting the new mute option regardless of updating the app from the app stores. However, users are still advised to update the WhatsApp app via Google Play Store and Apple App store in case the feature is unavailable. The development was announced by WhatsApp on Twitter in a post published today. The 'always' mute replaces the '1 year' option that was originally part of the settings. The new WhatsApp feature still sits next to mute for '8 hours' or '1 week' options. To mute a chat forever, users will need to open a specific individual or group chat > tap on the menu option on the top right corner or the name in case of an iPhone > select Mute notifications. WhatsApp Web users can also access the feature by tapping on the name of an opened chat or selecting the drop-down option next to the contact and then select mute notifications.........Read more

Bharat Biotech Says Its ICMR-Backed Coronavirus Vaccine Named Covaxin Ready for June 2021 Launch

Bharat Biotech has said that Covaxin, its ICMR-backed vaccine for Covid-19, is set for launch in June 2021. The Hyderabad-based vaccine maker, which has received approval for phase 3 trials, will enroll 26,000 volunteers for the late-stage testing in November. The trials will be conducted at around 30 sites in the country. A report in The Indian Express quoted Bharat Biotech International Ltd’s executive director Sai Prasad as saying that the vaccine should be ready by June 2021, “unless the government advances its launch through emergency use authorization”. The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) had on Friday permitted Bharat Biotech to conduct phase 3 clinical trials of its indigenously developed Covid-19 vaccine with certain conditions. The Covaxin vaccine is being indigenously developed by the Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). The vaccine maker had applied to the DCGI on October 2 seeking permission to conduct phase 3 randomised double-blind placebo-controlled multi-centre trial of its Covid-19 vaccine. It was asked to submit complete safety and immunogenicity data of the phase 2 trial besides providing some clarifications before proceeding to the next stage.........Read more

No More Scotch? India Moves to Ban Imported Goods at Defence Canteens, Says Report

India has ordered its 4,000 military shops to stop buying imported goods, according to a document reviewed by Reuters, a move that could send an unwelcome signal to foreign liquor firms such as Diageo and Pernod Ricard. India's defence canteens sell liquor, electronics and other goods at discounted prices to soldiers, ex-servicemen and their families. With annual sales of over $2 billion, they make up one of the largest retail chains in India. The October 19 internal order from the defence ministry, reviewed by Reuters, said that in future, "procurement of direct imported items shall not be undertaken". The order said the issue had been discussed with the army, air force and navy in May and July, and was aimed at supporting Prime Minister Narendra Modi's campaign to promote domestic goods. A defence ministry spokesman declined to comment. The order did not specify which products would be targeted. However, industry sources said they believed imported liquor could be on the list.........Read more

Covid Revelations: Lungs Became Hard Like A Leather Ball - Gulte

Though nearly a year has passed after the outbreak of Covid-19, vaccine is still said to be a few months away. Many of the vaccine candidates are in the Phase-II, Phase-III trials and are claiming to have had obtained positive results so far. Meanwhile, the doctors are finding some interesting facts about the Coronavirus pandemic while providing treatment to the patients. According to doctors in neighbouring Karnataka, the lungs of a Covid-19 patient have become hard as a leather ball. This startling revelation came to light during post-mortem carried on the patient’s body. It was also found that there was virus in nasal and throat swab samples even 18 hours after death. A 62-year-old man died after contracting Coronavirus. On examining the body, the doctors came to know about some interesting facts. Nearly 18 hours after the death of the patient, the lungs became like a leather ball and there were some clots in the blood vessels. The air sacs were also ruptured. The post-mortem was conducted on October 10 and it completed in an hour and 10 minutes. Dr Dinesh Rao of Oxford Medical College, who performed the autopsy, said that there is possibility for the virus to spread from bodies of patient. “Autopsy of Covid victims helps in understanding the disease progression,” said Rao, who heads the forensic medicine department.........Read more

Centre Seeks Health Worker Database for Possible Covid-19 Vaccination, List to be Submitted by 'Next Friday'

India is urgently preparing a database of all government and private health personnel to quickly vaccinate them against the novel coronavirus once it is safe to do so, health authorities said on Friday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promised to provide any successful vaccine to each of India's 1.3 billion people, but frontline health workers would be the first to get the shots. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is aiming to vaccinate 200 million to 250 million people by July. "Vaccine would be supplied by the government of India to all states for free," Pradipta Mohapatra, the top health bureaucrat of Odisha state who attended a video conference with federal health officials, told Reuters. "First to be vaccinated are the health workers both in government and private sector. The policy is uniform for the whole country." Mohapatra said states would have to provide details of such workers to the federal government by next Friday.........Read more

Tiny but deadly: Cigarette butts are the most commonly polluted plastic | Earth Day

If I asked you, what is the most common form of plastic pollution, what would you say? Plastic bottles? Straws? While these are good guesses, they are not the correct answer. Cigarette butts are actually the most abundant form of plastic waste in the world, with about polluting our global environment. But wait, aren’t cigarette butts made of cotton or paper? NO, cigarette butts are primarily plastic. Cigarette butts are small and tend to go unnoticed but they are hiding almost everywhere. Contrary to what many believe, cigarette butts are not harmless. They are made of cellulose acetate, a man-made plastic material, and contain hundreds of toxic chemicals. While cigarette filters, or the plastic part of butts, can take up to , the chemicals they release can remain in the environment for many more years beyond the life of the cigarette butt itself. arsenic (also used in rat poisoning), lead (a poison that can affect the brain development of children) and nicotine. When these toxic plastics are improperly disposed of on the street corner or out the car window, they slowly leach toxins into our natural systems, presenting a serious threat to us and our environment.........Read more

Are Indians Ready for Covid-19 Shots? Spreading Anti-Vaccine Movement May Deter People, Warns Study

Political parties are joining the free vaccine bandwagon, but are Indians keen on getting the shot against Covid-19? A survey done by LocalCircles finds that as many as 61% respondents among 25,000 respondents are skeptical. Sixty one per cent of 8,312 respondents said they are "skeptical about the Covid-19 vaccine and will not rush to take it in 2021 even if it is available". Only 12% respondents said to "get vaccinated and go back to living pre-Covid lifestyle", while 25% said they will "get vaccinated but still won't go back to pre-Covid lifestyle", and 10% said they "won't take it at all in 2021". The survey was conducted to know the tentative perception of peoples’ reaction when the Government takes Covid-19 vaccine to its people. It also sought to know peoples’ current behaviour facing Covid-19 threats, and for how long will they continue to endure the suffering from the pandemic. The survey received over 25,000 responses from over 225 districts of India. With the majority of Indians not sure about the vaccine, would we then say that the Anti-Vax movement was gaining pace in India? Professor Anant Bhan, a Bioethics expert says, "This indicates that there is a trust issue with regards to ongoing vaccine development and delivery plans, perhaps related to safety and efficacy, given the rush of developing the vaccines. This concern is perhaps accentuated by the anti-vaccine movement and the (mis)information spread by them through social media platforms."........Read more

The 10 Most Expensive Cyberattacks of All Time

Computer viruses and other malware can create a nightmare scenario for users, potentially causing computer crashes, lost data, and stolen personal information. When they infect thousands—or even millions—of devices, they can also create some serious financial damage. Here’s a look at some of the most expensive malware attacks to date. ........Read more

How WhatsApp Makes Money

In January 2016, Facebook revealed in a 10-Q filing that because WhatsApp was monetized in "a very limited fashion," it may not be generating meaningful revenue in the long term, hinting that the strategy would change.10 Shortly after, WhatsApp announced in a blog post that the era of subscriptions had come to an end and the messaging app would now be free to use.8 There are still no ads in the app, however. "Starting this year, we will test tools that allow you to use WhatsApp to communicate with businesses and organizations that you want to hear from," the company wrote at the time. The goal is to have people communicate directly with their banks, airlines, etc. over the app, while the businesses pick up the bill previously paid through subscriptions.  ........Read more

'It Started with a Hello': Inspiring Tale of Tech-Savvy Duo's 'Dukaan' App is Going Viral

Coronavirus brought the world to a crossroads as it catapulted all of us into a lesser-known territory of lockdowns. Markets remained shut for many weeks together, people preferred to buy from online stores as stepping out amid coronavirus is a risk that no one wants to take. However, as big stores and apps managed to keep the business afloat, it was the small retailers and shopkeepers whose business faced a drubbing as the economy slumped into a crisis-like situation. To help these small businesses out of crisis, two techies from Mumbai decided to come up with a solution. They came up with an app called the Dukaan-a hyperlocal marketplace. The duo who created the app are Subhash Choudhary and Suumit Shah. In a Twitter thread, that has gone viral now, Subhash Choudhary detailed out how the venture was created. And, everyone on the Internet agrees that it's a fascinating tale. The app has the local retailers listed and people can order their groceries without stepping out. Subhash took to Twitter as he wrote the Dukaan story in a series of tweets. "While india was quickly moving Digital and preferring all things online, these small shopkeepers were not really skilled enough to operate existing digital platforms like shopify / amazon etc," he tweeted.........Read more

Dr Reddy’s Shuts Plants Due to Data Breach Days after Receiving Nod for Russian Vaccine Trial: Report

The firm's plants in India, Brazil, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States were hit by the data breach which took place between 4.00-5.00 pm (US time), the report said. However, the firm's spokesperson declined to comment on the issue. “We have no comments to offer at this time,” the spokesperson was quoted as saying by CNBC-TV18. This comes days after Dr Reddy's Laboratories Ltd. and Russian Direct Investment Fund, Russia's sovereign wealth fund, announced that they have received approval from the Drug Control General of India to conduct an adaptive phase 2/3 human clinical trial for Sputnik V vaccine in India. The city-based drugmaker had said in a press release that this will be a multi-center and randomised controlled study, which will include safety and immunogenicity study. Earlier in September 2020, Dr. Reddy's and RDIF entered into a partnership to conduct clinical trials of Sputnik V vaccine and its distribution in India. As part of the partnership, RDIF shall supply 100 million doses of the vaccine to Dr. Reddy's upon regulatory approval in India.........Read more

Govt Restores All Existing Visas, Barring Electronic, Tourist and Medical Categories

The government on Thursday decided to restore with immediate effect all existing visas, except electronic, tourist and medical categories, almost eight months after their suspension following the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent imposition of a nationwide lockdown. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) also announced giving permission to all Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) and Person of Indian Origin (PIO) card holders and all other foreign nationals to visit India for any purpose, except on a tourist visa. The ministry said in a statement that in view of the situation arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government had taken a series of steps to curtail the inward and outward movement of international passengers since February, 2020. The government has now decided to make a graded relaxation in visa and travel restrictions for more categories of foreign nationals and Indian nationals who wish to enter or leave India. Under this graded relaxation, the government has decided to restore with immediate effect all existing visas, except electronic visa, tourist visa and medical visa, the statement said. If the validity of such visas has expired, fresh visas of appropriate categories can be obtained from Indian mission or post concerned.........Read more

'Attempt to Disrespect India's Integrity Unacceptable': Govt's Stern Warning to Twitter Over Map Row

In a stern letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, the government on Thursday conveyed its strong disapproval over misrepresentation of the Indian map, and asserted that any attempt to disrespect the country's sovereignty and integrity would be totally unacceptable, IT Ministry sources told news agency PTI. In his strongly-worded letter, IT Secretary Ajay Sawhney warned the micro-blogging platform that such attempts not only bring disrepute to Twitter but also raise questions about its neutrality and fairness as an intermediary. Twitter had earlier shown the geo-location of Leh in Jammu and Kashmir as People's Republic of China.........Read more

Adobe Max 2020: These New Video Editing and 3D Tools Will Make Your Life Easier

Adobe has announced a bunch new updates and tools for its platforms at the company's ongoing annual event, the Adobe Max 2020. Many of these updates aim to transform our interaction with text-heavy documents, photos, videos, and so on. However, the US-based software giant on Wednesday gave us a peek into new tools that are in the early stages of development. At the Wednesday's Max Sneaks event, Adobe highlighted a total of nine new updates that the company might release in the future across its productivity tools such as Adobe Fresco, Illustrator, Adobe XD, and more. Similar to the other events at Max 2020, the Max Sneaks also took place online owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. "These Sneaks are cutting edge, early tech explorations that explore what's possible," Adobe on its website explained. The event was hosted by senior creative Cloud Evangelist at Adobe, Paul Trani along with celebrity guest Chelsea Handler. The company has also uploaded snippets of each developing tool of the official for those who "could tune-in during Max (just blame it on the Wi-Fi)."........Read more

Fake Naked Images of Thousands of Women Are Being Shared on Telegram & It's Extremely Worrying

In worrying news and a gross violation of privacy, fake naked photographs of thousands of women have been created from their social media pictures and are being shared online, without their consent. According to a report by BuzzFeed, a newly invented Artificial Intelligence bot is being used by a Telegram network to create fake nude images of women. Notably, this process only works on photographs of women. The tool allows its users to create deepfake, computer-generated image, wherein clothes are digitally removed from pictures of women by Artificial Intelligence. Quite disturbingly, users can send the bot a photo of a woman, and it will digitally remove her clothes in minutes and at no cost. The bot is free to use on smartphones and computers and is easily accessible via Telegram. Sensity, a visual threat intelligence company headquartered in Amsterdam, has estimated that the Telegram network includes as many as 101,080 members. So far, around 104,852 fake nude images of women have already been on rounds on public platforms. Around 70 per cent of these images have been acquired from social media platforms of the woman or from private sources. “Having a social media account with public photos is enough for anyone to become a target,” Giorgio Patrini, chief executive officer and chief scientist at Sensity, told the BBC.........Read more

What’s ‘verifiable’? Extension of US-Russia nuclear New START treaty hinges on word

New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) is scheduled to expire in February 2021. While Russia has offered a “clean” renewal of the existing treaty, without preconditions, the Trump administration has first sought to expand it to include China, then demanded a limit on total nuclear warheads as a condition for agreeing to an extension. The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that Russia is ready to accept the warhead cap, but “strictly on the understanding that the freezing of the warheads will not be accompanied by any additional demands from the US side." “We appreciate the Russian Federation’s willingness to make progress on the issue of nuclear arms control,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in response. “The United States is prepared to meet immediately to finalize a verifiable agreement. We expect Russia to empower its diplomats to do the same.” Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s ambassador to the international organizations in Vienna, hailed the announcement but wondered what Foggy Bottom meant by “verifiable” – the current verification regime under the treaty, or something else? Good news. Sounds as if US accepted the Russian proposal to extend agreement without preconditions. Just 1 point needs to be clarified - what is the meaning of the word “verifiable”? Does it apply to the current verification regime under the Treaty? ........Read more

How many satellites orbit Earth and why Space Traffic Mgmt is crucial

Have you ever wondered how many satellites orbit the Earth? According to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), which maintains a of active satellites in orbit, as of April 1, 2020, there were a total of 2,666 satellites in Space, of which 1,918 were in low Earth orbit (LEO). And this is only till April. Since then we have had many more launches. The busiest among the lot being SpaceX, which has been launching satellites at an average pace of one mission per month this year for its Internet project Starlink. So far, it has launched more than 600 into orbit and has plans of tens of thousands more.  recently announced its plans to launch a mega constellation of 3,000+ satellites to provide Internet connection to under-connected parts of the world. Research firm Euroconsult predicts 2020s to be the decade of small satellites, with an average of 1,000 smallsat launches per year. To put this in perspective, a total of 385 smallsats were launched in 2019. As satellites get smaller, they are getting easier to build and launch. All this may sound music to some ears, but for a section of experts, this is worrisome.........Read more

Machines to 'do half of all work tasks by 2025'

Half of all work tasks will be handled by machines by 2025 in a shift likely to worsen inequality, a World Economic Forum report has forecast. The think tank said a "robot revolution" would create 97 million jobs worldwide but destroy almost as many, leaving some communities at risk. Routine or manual jobs in administration and data processing were most at threat of automation, WEF said. But it said new jobs would emerge in care, big data and the green economy. The Forum's research spanned 300 of the world's biggest companies, who between them employ eight million people around the world. More than 50% of employers surveyed said they expected to speed up the automation of some roles in their companies, while 43% felt they were likely to cut jobs due to technology. WEF said the pandemic had sped up the adoption of new technologies as firms looked to cut costs and adopt new ways of working. But it warned workers now faced a double threat from "accelerating automation and the fallout from the Covid-19 recession". "[These things have] deepened existing inequalities across labour markets and reversed gains in employment made since the global financial crisis in 2007-2008," said Saadia Zahidi, managing director at WEF. "It's a double disruption scenario that presents another hurdle for workers in this difficult time. The window of opportunity for proactive management of this change is closing fast."........Read more

Why happiness at work could be big business in India

Her company used feedback surveys and virtual townhall meetings with senior management, as well as interactive tools such as a chatbot, to ascertain the overall mood of employees. They then put measures in place to help those who were struggling speak up. For Setia, this meant being able to tell senior managers that she was worried her parenting duties would mean she’d be excluded from important meetings and projects. Once she’d mentioned this, she says colleagues made a conscious effort to keep her in the loop and normalise her situation. “Many times, whenever people heard my daughter's voice during audio or video calls, I was made to feel comfortable with how normal this is and that I shouldn't feel embarrassed,” she says. “That cleared a few doubts and stress.” Alamy)........Read more

UK scientific advisor says coronavirus unlikely to be eradicated

The coronavirus will be around for “evermore” as it is unlikely it will be eradicated, a British scientist on the government’s advisory committee for the pandemic said on Wednesday, although a vaccine would help improve the situation. Britain, like other countries in Europe, is currently in the grip of a resurgence in COVID-19 infections, with much of the country under local restrictions and more than 21,000 daily cases reported on Tuesday. “We are going to have to live with this virus for evermore. There is very little chance that it’s going to become eradicated,” John Edmunds, a member of Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), told lawmakers. Although the coronavirus will be around indefinitely, Edmunds said that the prospect of a vaccine towards the end of the winter should impact the government’s strategy now.........Read more

Despite Trade War and Virus Jibes, Why Beijing May Want to Keep Trump in the White House

Donald Trump has frustrated and enraged China during a tumultuous first term, but Beijing may welcome his re-election as it scans the horizon for the decline of its superpower rival. Relations are as icy as at any time since formal ties were established four decades ago, with China warning it does not want to be drawn into a new "Cold War" with the United States. Under his 'America First' banner, Trump has portrayed China as the greatest threat to the United States and global democracy. He has launched a massive trade war that has cost China billions of dollars, harangued Chinese tech firms and lay all the blame for the pandemic with Beijing. But another Trump triumph in November may have its advantages for China as President Xi Jinping seeks to cement his nation's rise as a global superpower. China's leadership could be handed "the opportunity to boost its global standing as a champion for globalisation, multilateralism, and international cooperation," said Zhiqun Zhu, professor of political science and international relations, Bucknell University. Trump has pulled America from a sprawling Asia-Pacific commercial deal and climate agreements, imposed billions of dollars of tariffs on Chinese goods, and withdrawn the US from the World Health Organization at the height of a global pandemic.........Read more

Apple Watch Series 6 Review: The Benchmark Smartwatch Now Also Gets Blood Oxygen Tracking

The abject failure of Google with Wear OS and the Wear OS watch makers themselves has meant that Apple pretty much resets the benchmark when it comes to smartwatches. Every year, even the most incremental of updates takes the Apple Watch even further ahead in what is already an unassailable lead. This year, the Apple Watch, now the Apple Watch Series 6 keeps a lot of things as they were with the Apple Watch Series 5 but crucially, takes the capabilities a notch higher. The headline changes—blood oxygen monitor, sleep tracking, always-on display and the news watchOS 7. Yet as always, the Apple Watch Series 6 remains exclusively for Apple iPhone users, but to a much lesser extent than before. If you use the Family Setup feature, you can even have someone at home use an Apple Watch without an iPhone. Let us look at the extensive Apple Watch Series 6 line-up that has gone on sale in India. There are five major umbrellas under which the Apple Watch Series 6 can be easily categorized to help you pick the one you want.........Read more

Truecaller Wants Anyone Calling You To Share The Call Reason & We Cannot Be More Thankful

Truecaller, the very popular app particularly for detecting and blocking spam calls and managing messages on smartphones, is getting a new set of versatile tools that cover call security as well as SMS handling on your phone. And it most certainly takes the caller ID experience on phones up a notch. What is on the menu for Android users with the latest Truecaller update are Call Reason, Schedule SMS and SMS Translate features. These three features, free to use, are now rolling out globally with the newest Truecaller app update for and the roll-out should be completed within the next few days. users will have to wait till early next year to get the Call Reason option with an update while the Schedule SMS and SMS Translate features remain exclusive to Android for the time being.........Read more

Air Pollution Led to More Than 16 Lakh Deaths in India in 2019, Infants at Maximum Risk: Report

According to State of Global Air (SOGA) Report, 2020, long-term exposure to outdoor and household air pollution contributed to 16,67,000 deaths in India in 2019. Representative image. At a time when uncertainty on the link between air pollution and Covid-19 transmission and infection looms large over India, it has emerged that air pollution is now the largest risk factor for deaths among all health risks in the country and a high risk factor for newborns. According to State of Global Air (SOGA) Report, 2020, long-term exposure to outdoor and household air pollution — which led to strokes, heart attacks, diabetes, lung cancers, chronic lung diseases and neonatal diseases — contributed to 16,67,000 deaths in India in 2019. Air pollution is thus now the largest risk factor for deaths among all health risks, the report revealed on Wednesday. The 2019 data on the burden of different diseases that air pollution contributes to showed that about 60 per cent of deaths were caused due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), 43 per cent due to lower respiratory infection deaths, 35 per cent due to ischemic stroke and 32 per cent due lung cancer and ischemic heart disease. The total number of deaths mentioned in the report refers to the number of deaths in a given year attributable to air pollution that likely occurred earlier than would be expected in the absence of air pollution.........Read more

NGT says environmental clearance for Kaleshwaram violates law

The NGT ordered the MOEF&CC to set up a seven-member expert committee to go into the issue of an invalid Environmental Clearance for the Kaleshwaram scheme. The committee, NGT said, should be set up in a month and complete its work in six months. The committee is to “assess the extent of damage caused in going ahead with the project without EC (from 2008 to 2017) and identify the restoration measures necessary. Relief and Rehabilitation measures adopted and required to be further adopted may also be looked into.”........Read more

India COVID count falls; Under 50K a day after 3 months

A sharp drop in daily new novel coronavirus infections was reported in India after the fresh detections dropped below 50,000 for the first time in three months. On Tuesday, the new cases were 46, 790 taking India's overall COVID-19 cases to close to 76 lakh. The daily fatalities too are coming down and the total death toll reached 1.15 lakh with 587 new deaths registered in the last 24 hours. This is the second consecutive day when fatalities in a day were below 600.........Read more

Here Are Some Moments Of Incredible Humanity That Indians Have Shown During These Terrible Times

2020 has perhaps been the most difficult year that the world has ever witnessed. The overabundance of bad news has only had a negative impact on our mental health. However, despite the terrible circumstances, there were certain moments that helped usher in some joy into the lives of Indians and restore our faith in humanity. Here are some of the most heart-warming ones: ........Read more

WhatsApp Web is Getting Voice and Video Calls Soon: Will You Still Use Zoom, Google Meet?

Facebook-owned messaging platform WhatsApp might bring voice and video calls to WhatsApp web soon. A report has said that the feature was found in a recent update to the web client in version 2.2043.7 of WhatsApp web. According to the report in WABetaInfo, the feature is currently under development and will be made available in a future build. Further, the report said that WhatsApp is considering to offer the new feature in the next few weeks, even if the development is in a beta stage. The report also put out screenshots of the new feature, which shows a window will pop-up when a user receives a call. The window will be a small "incoming call" window with options to accept, decline, or ignore the incoming call. The incoming call window will also show the display picture of the caller. For outgoing calls, the pop-up window is smaller and only shows the status of the call - 'Calling', 'Ringing', or in-call timer. Further, the WABetaInfor report said that the update will also bring the group calling features to WhatsApp web.........Read more

'Not Helping': India to Discard Convalescent Plasma Therapy from Covid-19 Treatment Guidelines

In a development with huge ramifications concerning the treatment protocol for coronavirus infection, India has decided to delete convalescent plasma as an investigational therapy from its treatment protocol guidelines. Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director General Professor Balram Bhargava on Tuesday said "discussions are on in the national task force on Covid-19 for deletion on plasma therapy from the national treatment guidelines". This is a major setback given the fact that states were hugely reliant on plasma therapy in case of severely ill Covid-19 patients. Governments in states and Union Territories like Delhi's AAP-led political dispensation had touted this as an effective strategy against Covid-19. "Donate plasma" drives and plasma blood banks were promoted in the National Capital and elsewhere with anecdotal evidence suggesting it was saving lives. In April itself, the Union government had opined that convalescent plasma therapy can create life-threatening complications in a Covid-19 patient and is still experimental. Joint Secretary in Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Lav Agarwal, had gone to the extent of saying that the use of this therapy is "illegal" unless the medical facility administering it is part of a study being conducted by the ICMR.........Read more

The Life of Genghis Khan, the Ruthless Warlord Who Created the World’s Largest Empire

Genghis Khan. That name (or title, really; it’s thought to mean “universal ruler”) carries with it to this day the faint cries of battle and destruction. Sacked cities, burning fields, countless dead — the image of Genghis Khan is a bloody one. But in the process, he that would come to span dozens of today’s countries. He united the people he conquered under a single authority that also pioneered modern concepts like a census, postal system and religious freedom.........Read more

Can Copper Cure Pain?

Copper was one of the first metals to be worked by humankind. Because it is highly malleable, copper could be used for toolmaking and ornamentation even by people whose everyday implements were of flint and bone. A copper pendant unearthed in what is today northern Iraq    has been dated to 8,700 B.C. — the Neolithic period.  Although people have adorned themselves with copper since prehistory, the marketing of copper bracelets as a treatment for arthritis pain appears to date back only to the 1970s.   patients showed “rapid and persistent remission of fever, alleviation of pain, [and] increased mobility.”  ........Read more

A new attempt to get water from the air

US and Korean researchers say they are a step closer to developing a practical way to extract drinkable water directly from the air, even in dry regions. The team unveiled the design for its solar-powered system in 2017 and updated it the following year, describing the work in a in the journal Nature Communications. It works, they say, by harnessing a temperature difference within the device to allow an adsorbent material – which collects liquid on its surface – to draw in moisture from the air at night and release it the following day. When the material is heated by sunlight, the difference in temperature between the heated top and the shaded underside makes the water release back out of the adsorbent material. The water then condenses on a collection plate. There were limitations with the first version, however, which both the researchers and others noted. In particular, it required specialised metal organic frameworks (MOFs), which are expensive and limited in supply, and its output was not sufficient for a practical system. The latest version, described in a paper in the Joule, addresses that by incorporating a second stage of desorption and condensation, and using a readily available adsorbent material rather than MOFs. Its scalability as a potentially widespread product is thus greatly improved, the researchers say. The work is led by Evelyn Wang from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with colleagues from MIT, the University of Utah and Korea Institute of Science and Technology.........Read more

A taste of James Webb’s potential

How good will NASA’s new James Webb Space Telescope be? Good enough to uncover things never before seen by humanity, astronomers say. Two studies led by Madeline Marshall from Australia’s ARC Centre of Excellence in All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions (ASTRO 3D) have found that the most powerful and complex space telescope ever built – due to launch late next year – will be able to reveal galaxies currently masked by powerful lights called quasars. With colleagues from Australia, the US, China, Germany, and The Netherlands, Marshall first used the near-infrared capabilities of no less than NASA’s Space Telescope to study known quasars in hopes of spotting the surrounding glow of their host galaxies. There were no significant detections to report, however, suggesting that dust within the galaxies is obscuring the light of their stars. “Hubble simply doesn’t go far enough into the infrared to see the host galaxies. This is where Webb will really excel,” says Rogier Windhorst of Arizona State University, US, a co-author on the , published in The Astrophysical Journal. To determine what Webb is expected to see, the team then used a state-of-the-art computer simulation called BlueTides, developed by a team led by Tiziana Di Matteo from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh, US.........Read more

SSC Tuatara Is The New Fastest Production Car In The World, Hits A Top Speed Of 532.93 Kmph

The SSC Tuatara is officially now the fastest production car in the world with a top speed of 532.93 kmph. The hypercar developed by US-based SSC North America clocked an average speed of 508.73 kmph for two consecutive runs that were conducted on a patch of closed-off public roads. The Tuatara's quickest run beat the record set by a Koenigsegg Agera that had set an average top speed of 447.23 kmph in 2017. Keeping up with the parameters set by the Guinness Book of World Records, the top speed run rook place over a stretch of 11.26 km on the State Route 160 outside of Las Vegas, US. Officials were on site to verify all world record criteria including review of Dewetron GPS measurements, which tracked the speed runs using an average of 15 satellites to confirm the new record. The SSC Tuatara beat the Koenigsegg Agera to be crowned as the world's fastest production car Speaking on the new record, Jerod Shelby, CEO of SSC said, "It's been ten years since we held this record with our first car, the Ultimate Aero, and the Tuatara is leagues ahead. Its performance reflects the dedication and focus with which we pursued this achievement. We came pretty close to meeting the theoretical numbers, which is astonishing to do in a real world setting on a public road. America's new claim to victory in the 'land-based space race' is going to be tough to beat." The SSC Tuatara is powered by a 5.9-litre flat-plane crank V8 engine that develops a whopping 1726 bhp........Read more

$2 Billion in Biggest India Property Deal. Here's What It Comes With

Some clients in RMZ's parks include Accenture, Google and HSBC. Brookfield Asset Management will buy an Indian developer's commercial properties for $2 billion, the biggest real estate deal in the South Asian nation. The Canadian asset manager is acquiring 125 lakh square feet of rent-yielding offices and co-working spaces from RMZ Corporation, the privately held developer said in a statement on Monday. The Indian firm said it will have zero debt after the transaction and will use the money to expand its portfolio. Large foreign investors are buying into the Indian office market in recent years. Since 2011, the segment has garnered $15.4 billion of equity investments, according to property research firm Knight Frank. Blackstone last week signed a non-binding agreement to buy some assets, a deal Bloomberg News previously reported could be worth $2 billion. The transaction "accentuates the unabating strength and resilience of the commercial office business," Arshdeep Singh Sethi, RMZ's managing director, said in the statement. The firm plans to expand its real asset portfolio to 850 lakh square feet over the next six years from 670 lakh quare feet. Some of the clients in RMZ's technology and business parks include Accenture, Google and HSBC. It is selling properties in the southern Indian cities of Bengaluru and Chennai. PromotedListen to the , only on ........Read more

More than half the farmers supporting or opposing farm laws have no information about them: Survey

More than half the farmers supporting or opposing the three recent farm laws have no information about them, a survey conducted by Gaon Connection has found. The survey, “The Indian Farmer’s Perception of the New Agri Laws”, found that out of the 52 per cent who opposed them 36 per cent did not know the details of the legislations. Similarly, of the 35 per cent supporting the agri laws, almost 18 per cent were not informed about them, the survey found. The new farm laws promise, among other things, freedom to farmers to sell their produce in the open market. This face-to-face survey was conducted between October 3 and October 9 across 53 districts in 16 states of the country, according to a statement issued by Gaon Connection. The survey included 5,022 farmers as respondents. The Indian Farmer’s Perception of the New Agri Laws’, the biggest fear of these new agri laws among the respondent farmers (57 per cent) is that they will now be forced to sell their crop produce at a lower price in the open market, while 33 per cent farmers fear the government will end the system of minimum support price (MSP). Further, 59 per cent respondent farmers want the MSP system to be made a mandatory law in India. A bigger proportion of marginal and small farmers, who own less than five acres land, support these agri laws in comparison to medium and large farmers.........Read more

Besides India, these countries have banned PUBG Mobile

The Indian government recently banned PUBG Mobile in the country under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act. The ban stated that the app is engaged in activities that are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity, defence and security of the country. Since then, a lot of developments have taken place, including PUBG Corporation revoking distribution rights for the game in India from Tencent. Still, there is no sign of the popular game making a return in the country any time soon. India is just one of the many countries that have banned the battle royale game. Other countries where the game is banned include China, Jordan, Nepal, Israel and Iraq. Many other countries have plans to ban the game in the near future, according to various reports. The strangest of all is the China ban of the game, considering Tencent Holdings is based out of China. The reason behind PUBG Mobile ban in its origin country is the amount of bloodshed in the game. Tencent has found a workaround for this and created a separate version of the game called Game For Peace. In this version of the game, the blood has been totally removed and killed characters say goodbye and fly off. Other countries like Jordan, Nepal, Israel and Iraq have also removed the game due to similar reasons like India or China.........Read more

Coronavirus can survive on skin for 9 hours: New study underlines need for sanitisation

With no virus available to most of the world's populace and a steady rise in COVID-19 cases, people have been urged to keep themselves socially distanced and take suitable precautions. This includes aspects such as sanitising or washing your hands when you touch possibly contaminated objects or avoiding crowded public spaces. But how long can the deadly virus linger on a surface? The WHO quotes recent research to say that the survival time period of the COVID-19 virus is different on different surfaces. "The virus can remain viable for up to 72 hours on plastic and stainless steel, up to four hours on copper, and up to 24 hours on cardboard. 11 This research was conducted under laboratory conditions (controlled relative humidity and temperature) and should be interpreted with caution in the real-life environment," a booklet for guidance for food businesses by the WHO adds. More recently, a study published in the Clinical Infectious Diseases journal states that looks into the "stability of SARS-CoV-2 on the human skin". And their revelations only serve to underline how very important it is to frequently wash and sanitise our hands and other exposed skin. Researchers have found that the virus can survive for up to 9 hours on human skin. ........Read more

Indian-American teen wins $25,000 for her work on a potential COVID-19 treatment

A 14-year-old Indian-American girl has won a USD 25,000 young scientist challenge for a discovery that could provide a potential treatment for COVID-19. Anika Chebrolu, an eighth-grader from Frisco in Texas, won the 3M Young Scientist Challenge, regarded as the US' premier middle school science competition, for her work using in-silico methodology for drug discovery to find a molecule that can selectively bind to the Spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 virus in an attempt to find a cure for the coronavirus pandemic, according to the 3M Challenge website. 3M is an American manufacturing company based in Minnesota. Chebrolu decided to take part in the Young Scientist Challenge after she battled a severe influenza infection last year. She wanted to find a cure for influenza. However, that all changed after the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the website said. "I was drawn towards finding effective cures for influenza disease after a severe bout of the infection last year," Chebrolu said. "I would like to learn more from 3M scientists to pursue my drug development and with their help, would like to conduct in-vitro and in-vivo testing of my lead drug candidate," she said. Chebrolu was one of the 10 finalists in this year's 3M Young Scientist Challenge. In addition to the prize money, she was also awarded an exclusive 3M Mentorship. As a finalist, she worked with 3M Corporate Scientist Dr Mahfuza Ali, who mentored Chebrolu one-on-one throughout the summer. Together, they transformed her idea from concept to reality.........Read more

To bring empty IPL stands alive in UAE, engineers in a Mumbai studio cut-paste audio from archives

The IPL that you see is being played in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. But what about the IPL that you hear? With teams playing in front of empty stands due to Covid curbs, the answer lies 2,000 km away from the UAE, where a “sound bank” compiled in a Mumbai studio has recreated the mood and buzz of a throbbing stadium — be it the Wankhede in Mumbai, Chinnaswamy in Bengaluru or Chepauk in Chennai. Getting this right, says the broadcaster, involved three months of preparation and research. “We went back and studied the sounds of over 100 IPL matches starting from 2018. We studied the sounds associated with a specific team, and also the team they are playing against. For example, if Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians are playing, the decibel level is very different from a game between Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Capitals,” says Star India’s head (Sports) Sanjog Gupta. “We had to arrive at a framework of sound that is unique to every player and every team. When M S Dhoni, or hits a six, the cheer is different compared to a player who is unknown or an upcoming youngster,” says Gupta.........Read more

Explained: Assam-Mizoram, and the other boundary issues in Northeast

Over the last one week, residents of Assam and Mizoram have clashed twice over territory , injuring at least eight people and torching a few huts and small shops. It spotlights the long-standing inter-state boundary issues in the Northeast, particularly between Assam and the states that were carved out of it. What were the recent clashes about? On Saturday, residents of Lailapur village in Assam’s Cachar district clashed with residents of localities near Vairengte in Mizoram’s Kolasib district. On October 9, a similar clash took place on the border of (Assam) and Mamit (Mizoram) districts. On October 9, a farm hut and a betel nut plantation belonging to two Mizoram residents were set on fire. On Saturday, some people from Lailapur started pelting stones at Mizoram police personnel and Mizoram residents. “In turn, Mizoram residents mobilised and went after them,” Kolasib Deputy Commissioner H Lalthangliana said. “According to an agreement between governments of Assam and Mizoram some years ago, status quo should be maintained in no man’s land in the border area. However, people from Lailapur broke the status quo and allegedly constructed some temporary huts. People from Mizoram side went and set fire on them,” Lalthangliana said. On the other hand, Keerthi Jalli, the DC of Cachar, told that the contested land belongs to Assam as per state’s records.........Read more

Coronavirus vaccine update: China’s Sinovac vaccine appears safe, Russia’s results of 10k volunteers soon

China’s Sinovac coronavirus vaccine appears to be safe in its late-stage trial being conducted in Brazil. The Brazilian institute conducting the clinical trials has made the announcement. The Russian coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik V, which is in its Phase III trials currently will be sharing data of 10,000 volunteers around November. Meanwhile, billionaire philanthropist and Microsoft founder Bill Gates has once again said India’s research and manufacturing capabilities will prove crucial for the global Covid-19 vaccine race. Globally, 44 coronavirus vaccine candidates are in clinical trials, with another 154 in development, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). A Brazilian institute that is conducting the clinical trials of has said the antidote has shown positive results in the late-stage trial. Sao Paulo's Butantan Institute, one of Brazil's leading biomedical research centers, which is carrying out the Phase III tests, said the two-dose vaccine, called CoronaVac, proved to be safe in a trial so far involving 9,000 volunteers. The institute authorities have said there were no severe adverse reactions to the vaccine, with 20% of the volunteers reporting mild pain from the injection while 15% reported headaches after the first dose, dropping to 10% for the second. Less than 5% reported nausea or tiredness, and even less had muscle aches.........Read more

Covid super antigen: Why coronavirus infection causes strong reactions in patients

Covid-19 remains a mystery to be solved even 10 months after the outbreak was noticed in China. The scientific community has been busy ever since to unravel the mysteries of Covid-19, which is caused by a new coronavirus named SARS-CoV-2. It is a mystery because two seemingly equal individuals show drastically different symptoms after contracting the coronavirus infection. A large number of people remain asymptomatic showing no symptoms commonly associated with Covid-19. Yet, they develop complications sometime later. A particular syndrome is being studied, discussed, and threadbare analysed by scientists, of late. It is called multisystem inflammatory syndrome. It was noticed first among children and younger people, and was so named MIS-C (multisystem inflammatory syndrome -- in children). Clinically speaking, these patients are below 21 years of age. Later studies found the same syndrome among adults and it was accordingly named MIS-A (multisystem inflammatory syndrome -- in adults). Since a large number of children and young adults are said to be reporting no respiratory symptoms identified with Covid-19, MIS-C went unnoticed for months. Now, researchers in America have studied the spectrum of symptoms related to Covid-19 and include fever, rashes on the body, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting among the early signs of MIS-C caused by coronavirus infection.........Read more

Heeng will now be cultivated in India for first time in cold-dry Himachal district

There's hardly any Indian kitchen that doesn't use heeng or asafoetida. But, until now, the bulk of this important condiment was imported because it was not grown in India. That is about to change. The CSIR-Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology (IHBT), Palampur, has started cultivating heeng for the first time in the state as well as in the country. Speaking on the subject, Dr Shekhar Mande, Director General of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Delhi explained, "We began research on growing heeng locally since 2016. Heeng can only grow in very cold and certain geo-climatic regions such as Ladakh and Lahaul-Spiti. Before this, it was only being imported from countries like Afghanistan and Iran." Dr Sanjay Kumar, director of the institute, initiated the programme by planting heeng seedlings at Kwaring village in Lahaul and Spiti, a cold-dry district of Himachal Pradesh. Dr Sanjay Kumar said, "The consumption of heeng is the highest in our country but it is still not produced in India. We are completely dependent on other nations for supply. About 1,200 metric tonnes of raw heeng worth Rs 600 crore is being imported from Afghanistan, Iran, Uzbekistan." "We have planted the saplings in about 5 hectares of land in Himachal Pradesh and we plan to scale up the production of heeng to planting it in at least 300 hectares of land in the next three years," said Dr Mande.........Read more

UIDAI releases all-new PVC Aadhar card: Here's how to apply, features, charges, other details

The all-new Aadhaar card will now come in a completely different avatar as the Aadhar issuing body Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has allowed it to be reprinted as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) card. Now you will be able to carry the Aadhaar card in your wallets, just like your ATM or debit cards. "Loaded with the latest security features, your Aadhaar is now more durable, convenient to carry, instantly verifiable offline," UIDAI said in a tweet. 1. Aadhaar PVC card is more durable, convenient to carry. 2. Instant offline verification by QR code. 3. Good printing quality and it comes with lamination 4. The all-new Aadhaar PVC card has the latest security features including a hologram, Guilloche Pattern, ghost image & Microtext. 5. It contains security features like issue date & print date. 6. The card is completely weather-proof. 7. The Aadhaar PVC card contains the embossed Aadhaar logo.........Read more

World Osteoporosis Day: Meaning, symptoms, treatment

Today marks the day where people's focus needs to shift on bones. Like every year, World Osteoporosis Day is celebrated on October 20th as a reminder to take extra care of your bones so that they do not turn brittle. What exactly isOsteoporosis? Osteoporosis is a condition when the bone turns fragile and is thus susceptible to fracture. It is quite common in women aged above 35, especially those who have just hit menopause. What causesOsteoporosis? Osteoporosis, even if less likely, could also hit men. It is especially visible among people who do not exercise or get enough sunlight. It is also likely to occur among smokers and heavy drinkers. Not including enough calcium in your diet could also sometimes lead toOsteoporosis. Osteoporosis is also genetic at times and thus, any person with a history of fractures in the family could be affected byOsteoporosis. Pain in spinal area - Fractures in the spine could cause pain in the back area, mainly lower back. It usually develops a hump as women grow older.........Read more

Gorkhey: Snuggled Between the Borders of Darjeeling and Sikkim, this Valley is A Must on Every Traveller’s List

Are you thinking of a much-needed break from this stressful work-from-home culture? The pandemic has taken a toll on everyone and has put a dent on our travel plans. Now with Unlock taking place and restrictions being lifted- it’s safe to stay that why not take a staycation? If you are someone who loves unparallel surreal beauty of the Himalayas and wish to experience the unexplored- Gorkhey, a gorgeous valley village strategically situated between Darjeeling and Sikkim is the place to be. Gorkhey is yet to be found on the tourist radar, it’s a little village surrounded by thick pine forests and a small river flowing through it known as Gorkhey Khola (which marks the boundary between Sikkim and West Bengal). This destination is a natural wonder at its best. 08am PDT This pristine little village is untouched and is away from city life. You will get an amazing sense of calm, your lungs will breath fresh air, your soul will find unspoilt nature. Leave behind your anxiety and worries about reaching the deadlines at bay, just laze around. The time here moves at a snail’s pace and well who cares you are on a vacation.........Read more

India 'Very Inspiring', Its Research, Manufacturing Critical to Fighting COVID-19, Says Bill Gates

The research and manufacturing capabilities of India will be critical in the fight against COVID-19, said billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates on Monday. Addressing the Grand Challenges Annual Meeting 2020, Gates delved upon the difficulties in vaccine development and diagnostics of COVID-19. The American business magnate said India is “very inspiring” as it has made huge strides in improving the health of its people in the last two decades. “And now, India’s research and manufacturing will be critical to fighting COVID-19 especially when it comes to making vaccines at large scale,” he said. Gates said scientists all over the world are involved in a particular ‘grand challenge’ — ending the current pandemic. He said researchers are breaking down silos and rather than waiting to go through the publication process, they are sharing data on a daily basis. “Since the pandemic began, scientists have shared 1,37,000 viral COVID-19 genomic sequences,” the Microsoft Corp co-founder said. Even the pharmaceutical companies are cooperating on production ways that really have never been seen before, he added. Talking about the challenges in vaccine development, he said mRNA vaccine is an area where many have seen “great promises”.........Read more

Micromax In-Series Smartphones' Specifications Leaked; Launch Expected Next Month

Indian mobile phone manufacturer Micromax, earlier this week announced its comeback to the Indian smartphone market in a dramatic video featuring the company's founder Ashish Sharma. Micromax is leveraging the 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' (self-reliant India) push in order to make itself relevant again in a market now dominated by Chinese and American players. The Indian manufacturer is said to be making a re-entry into the Indian market with the "In" branded range of smartphones.........Read more

India Ranks Second in Inflow of Migrants to OECD Countries, China Retains Top Spot

India ranked second in terms of the “total” inflow of new migrants to OECD countries during the year 2018 as well as in the number of Indians obtaining citizenship of these countries, a report by OECD revealed. Notably, China continued to retain the top position as the largest source country, India overtook Romania to emerge as the second-largest source country. Migration from India to OECD countries climbed significantly by 10% and hit 3.3 lakh and it accounted for about 5% of the overall migration to OECD countries. Canada witnessed a massive surge in numbers, while others, including Italy and Germany, also saw a greater number of fresh arrivals when compared to the figures last year. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is a forum where the governments of 36 member states with market economies work with each other, as well as with more than 70 non-member economies to foster economic growth and sustainable development.........Read more

'It Took Me 150 Hours': Hyderabad Law Student Engraves Entire Bhagavad Gita on 4,042 Rice Grains

A law student from Hyderabad has written the Bhagavad Gita on 4,042 grains of rice as part of her recent project on micro art. Ramagiri Swarika said that she worked for almost 150 hours to create the beautiful masterpiece. "In my most recent work, I have written the Bhagavad Gita on 4,042 rice grains which took 150 hours to finish. I work with various products to create micro arts," Swarika was quoted by ANI. Swarika who doesn't use a magnifying glass for her artwork, also does milk art, paper carvings and has created art work on sesame seeds too. The recent artwork on rice grains is the latest addition to her collection of 2,000 artworks, said Swarika. Swarika says she has wrote the Preamble of the Constitution on hair strands for which she was felicitated by the Governor of Telangana, Tamilisai Soundararajan.........Read more

India could beat COVID-19 by February, conditions apply!!

A government-appointed committee has said that India has crossed the coronavirus peak and predicted that the epidemic could be brought under control by early next year, possibly by the end of February 2021, if all measures are followed. But the onset of winter and the festival season ahead may increase susceptibility to the infection and laxity at this point can again lead to a spike. Keeping a “steady declining trend”, the number of active coronavirus cases in India stayed below eight lakhs for the second consecutive day on Sunday and comprised 10.45 per cent of the total caseload. There are 7,83,311 active cases of coronavirus infections now. The total number of recoveries has surged to 65,97,209 and are 58,13,898 more than active cases. The Covid-19 recovery rate in the country has also risen to 88.03 per cent. As many as 22 states and Union territories, including Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Bihar, Jharkhand, Punjab, Arunachal Pradesh and Chandigarh, have less than 20,000 active cases. Also, 10 states and Union territories, including Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Telangana, Rajasthan and Odisha, have over 20,000 but less than 50,000 active cases, while three states -- Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala -- have more than 50,000 active infections. “The declining trend of active cases is complemented by the unbroken rising number of recovered cases,” an official said.........Read more

Elon Musk's 2 Rules For Learning Anything Faster

Learning is one of the overcommunicated but underleveraged tools of the common entrepreneur. Everyone talks about methods of learning, but few people find realistic and authentic techniques that actually yield a net profit in the information and application categories. Elon Musk has broken through that barrier with learning techniques that have proven successful not just once, but time and time again. A good argument could be made that Musk has leveraged his learning by becoming a disruptor. He and his companies have shifted entire industries, including the transportation sector, the energy sector, and the space sector. He recently announced at a press conference that his for his biotech company Neuralink are progressing quite nicely, hinting at yet another sector which his hands will likely shift in the coming years. Yes, Musk is a once-in-a-lifetime genius. Likely on the same levels as Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton. He has a different way of viewing problems than the average entrepreneur. Of course, he reads hundreds of books. He works with top-level thinkers. He has astronomical levels of funding to put towards his every whim. But that’s not what makes him a great learner. His learning methods aren’t that regal. In fact, his two rules for how to learn anything faster can be implemented by anyone at any time. Including you. You, too, can be a rocket scientist, if you wanted. Here’s how. When it comes to learning, Musk is quick to note that he believes that most people can learn more than they currently know.........Read more

Press, Trust and India: Govt Mulls Its Own News Service

Now that the national public broadcaster Prasar Bharati has ended its subscription with news agencies Press Trust of India (PTI) and United News of India (UNI), the proposal for the broadcaster to start its own news service is likely to be revived. The Narendra Modi government is known to be quite precise in the message it wants to convey and there have been occasions when it felt that the news agencies, particularly the PTI, were not able to do the needful. To reduce reliance on PTI, the government had envisaged its own news agency – the Prasar Bharati News Service (PBNS) – and even prepared a proposal. PBNS made its debut on Twitter onApril 2019as a “Digital News Service of India’s Public Broadcaster - Breaking Alerts, Digests & curated Developing Stories from across the Globe”. Sources in the government claim that the endeavour was to launch a full-fledged news agency, utilising the available huge network of Doordarshan and All India Radio (AIR) that respectively includes 700 and 400 reporters across the country. “For some administrative and bureaucratic reasons, the proposal has been stuck. Now that PTI and UNI are formally out, the proposal of news agency under Prasar Bharati will be revived,” reveals a senior government official.........Read more

"Never Supported Killing Of Innocents": Muthiah Muralidaran On Biopic Uproar

The former cricketer said the biopic will bring recognition to his parents (File) Former Sri Lanka cricketer Muthiah Muralidaran -- who is at the centre of a massive controversy involving his upcoming biopic "800" -- has rubbished allegations that he celebrated the deaths of innocent Tamil people and made a controversial remark about it in 2009, when the decades-long civil war in the island nation ended. "I had said that in 2009 -- to be the happiest day in my life, having in mind the end of the war and loss of lives on both sides. This (his remark) is being twisted as,' The day Tamils were killed and heaped was the happiest day in my life'. I had never supported killing of innocents and I would never do (ever),"he said. Mr Muralidaran's clarification comes as several Tamil groups and politicians in Tamil Nadu have urged actor Vijay Sethupathy - who is to play the role of the legendary off-spinner - to dump the film. Explaining why he agreed to the film, the former cricketer said the biopic will bring recognition to his parents and the others who groomed him. "I know the pain of the war. I grew up in Sri Lanka amid war for over 30 years. My father was hacked when I was seven. Many times, we were on the streets," he added. ........Read more

Russia Receives Renewed Approval For COVID-19 Vaccine Trials In India

Russia is the first country to grant regulatory approval for a novel coronavirus vaccine. The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and Dr Reddy's Laboratories Ltd have received renewed approval to conduct late-stage clinical trials in India of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine, the sovereign wealth fund said on Saturday. Large-scale trials of the in India were first announced and then knocked back by Indian regulators, who said the scale of Phase I and II trials conducted in Russia earlier this year was too small, requesting that they be repeated. Following a new agreement, India will now carry out an adaptive phase II and III human clinical trial involving 1,500 participants, RDIF, which is marketing the vaccine abroad, said on Saturday. Under the deal, Dr Reddy's will conduct the clinical trials and, subject to approval, distribute the finished vaccine in India. RDIF will supply 100 million doses to Dr Reddy's. Russia, the first country to grant regulatory approval for a novel coronavirus vaccine, is also conducting Phase III trials of Sputnik V in Belarus, Venezuela and the United Arab Emirates. RDIF has reached agreements with Indian manufacturers to produce 300 million doses of the shot. A Phase III trial involving 40,000 participants is currently underway in Moscow, with 16,000 people having already received the first dose of the two-shot vaccine. Interim results are expected to be published in early November.........Read more

Experts welcome removal of caste, religion column in Andhra Pradesh's school registers

Educationalists, parents and students have welcomed the Andhra Pradeshgovernment's decision to avoid mention of the caste and religion of students in the school attendance register henceforth.School Education Commissioner V China Veerabhadrudu issued a circular in this regard recently. "It is brought to the notice of the Director of School Education, AP, that in some schools the details of students’ caste and religion are being mentioned and girl students’ names are being written in red ink in attendance registers," read the circular. "In this context, all the officers are hereby requested to issue instructions to the field level functionaries that, not to mention the caste and religion of the students in the attendance register and maintain the attendance register in a uniform manner in the matter," it added.........Read more

Jet Airways to return? Jalan-Kalrock resolution wins bid to acquire airline

Jet Airways on Saturday said that the resolution plan submitted by Murari Lal Jalan and Florian Fritsch's Kalrock Capital has won the bid to acquire the airline. Murari Jalan, an UAE-based businessman, had partnered with London-based Kalrock Capital, a financial advisory and asset management company founded by European entrepreneur Florian Fritsch, for a proposal to revive operations of the cash-strapped Jet Airways, the airline which was grounded last year. The announcement was made by the resolution professional (RP) of Jet Airways, which is under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) process via a regulatory filing. Ashish Chhawchharia, RP for Jet Airways, said that the committee of creditors has concluded e-voting on the final resolution plans submitted by the two shortlisted bidders. "The e-voting concluded today, October 17, and the resolution plan submitted by Murari Lal Jalan and Florian Fritsch has been duly approved by the CoC...," the filing said. "The `Resolution Professional` is in the process of filing an application in accordance with Section 30(6) of the Code for approval of the said resolution plan by the NCLT and intimation of the same shall be given to the members as required." The 17th meeting of Committee of Creditors (CoC) of Jet Airways was held on October 3 and the final resolution plans submitted by two resolution applicants were discussed.........Read more

Global Hunger Index: India ranks 94 out of 107 nations, crisis termed 'serious'

India ranked 94 among 107 nations in the Global Hunger Index 2020 and was in the 'serious' hunger category with experts blaming poor implementation processes, lack of effective monitoring, siloed approach in tackling malnutrition and poor performance by large states behind the low ranking. Last year, India's rank was 102 out of 117 countries. Neighbouring Bangladesh, Myanmar and Pakistan too were in the 'serious' category but ranked higher than India in this year's hunger index. While Bangladesh ranked 75, Myanmar and Pakistan were in the 78th and 88th position respectively. Nepal in 73rd and Sri Lanka in 64th position were in 'moderate' hunger category, the report showed. Seventeen nations, including China, Belarus, Ukraine, Turkey, Cuba and Kuwait, shared the top rank with GHI scores of less than five, the website of the Global Hunger Index, that tracks hunger and malnutrition, said on Friday. According to the report released on Friday, 14 per cent of India's population was undernourished. It also showed the country recorded a 37.4 per cent stunting rate among children under five and a wasting rate of 17.3 per cent. The under-five mortality rate stood at 3.7 per cent. Wasting is children who have low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition. Stunting is children under the age of five who have low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition.........Read more

Indian Scientists Develop Synthetic Material That Opens Up Prospects Of Smart Materials For Energy And Biotech Sector

Indian scientists have developed a synthetic material that mimics the dynamic capability of living organisms to adapt to new environments by utilizing simple natural design principles to create complex networks. The new materials developed opens new avenues for smart materials because of their dynamic and adaptive nature. Hence, they would be useful as recyclable polymers for the energy and biotechnology sector, a Ministry of Science and Technology said on Saturday (17 October). Reduction–oxidation (redox) processes are central to many biological functions. Cellular functions like growth, motility, and navigations depend on assembling of biopolymers whose dynamic behavior is linked to a reduction-oxidation (redox) reaction in which enzymes are involved. Nature synthesizes these biopolymers controlling their size and dispersity to regulate their functions, without which their sophistication and efficacy are affected. Researchers have been trying to mimic such complex structural control based on chemical reaction networks. Scientists from the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Science and Research (JNCASR) have developed a synthetic mimic of such redox-active biological assemblies, with precise structure and dynamics that can be manipulated, the statement said.........Read more

COVID-19: India Scales 'Unprecedented Peak', Active Cases Drop Below 8 Lakh-mark, Says Health Ministry

The Union Health Ministry on Saturday said that India has reached an ‘unprecedented peak’ as active cases in the counry drop below 8 lakh for the first time in 1.5 months. “This significant achievement is the outcome of Centre-led targetted strategies leading to high number of recoveries, and steadily falling number of fatalities”, it said in a tweet. India scales an unprecedented peak. ACTIVE CASES drop below the 8L mark for the first time in 1.5 months. — Ministry of Health (@MoHFW_INDIA) ........Read more

Denmark Open Badminton 2020: Indian Campaign Ends as Kidambi Srikanth Exits in Quarterfinals

Top Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth bowed out of the Denmark badminton tournament with a 22-20, 13-21, 16-21 defeat to Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei in the men’s singles quarterfinals in Odense on Friday. The world number two Taipei player came back after losing the first game and took the next two to win the match in one hour and two minutes and storm into the semifinals. With the defeat of Srikanth, seeded fifth, India’s campaign ended in the USD 750,000 Super 750 tournament, the only world tour event happening this year in a calendar thrown haywire by the COVID-19 pandemic. Srikanth took the early lead at 7-4 but Chen fought back to 11-10 midway into the first game. The Indian made his way back to 19-19 and then 20-20 before taking the first game 22-20. The second game saw Chen dominating Srikanth as the Taipei player zoomed ahead from 10-9 to win it 21-13 and take the match to the decider.........Read more

Will CBSE Board Exams 2021 be Postponed Due to COVID-19? Read Latest Updates

After extending the deadline for the payment of examination fee of class 10, 12 board exams 2021, the Central Board of Secondary Education might postpone the board examinations till May. Notably, the Delhi government’s education department has written to the CBSE, urging it not to conduct the board exams next year before May and further reduce syllabus as schools still continue to remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a letter to the CBSE, the Directorate of Education (DoE) said due to the COVID-19 pandemic a major chunk of time of 2020-21 academic session (approximately seven months) could not be utilised for classroom teaching learning process as schools in Delhi are closed till October 31. “Though online, semi-online teaching learning activities are being conducted through live classes as well as worksheets or activity sheets but it cannot replace the physical classroom teaching learning process,” the DoE said in the letter. “In order to provide students with a reasonable time to study in person in schools, it is requested that the ongoing academic session be extended beyond March and CBSE board exams be conducted not before May, 2021. Consequently, the next academic session may commence from July, 2021,” it added.........Read more

Money games

There was a striking comment in an introductory blog on the ECB's website from new chairman, Ian Watmore, last month. Despite locked-in losses of more than GBP 100million, he wrote that the "financial day of reckoning" from coronavirus was still to come. It is a hugely troubling thought. After all, Covid-19 has already had a profound effect on the world game. Players have had to take wage cuts, a number of national boards are making staff redundant and looking to cut costs in other ways, bilateral series and World Cups have been cancelled or postponed. Yet, as Watmore points out, it is obvious that the longer-term financial consequences of Covid-19 are still to be fully understood. What is also clear, however, is that the pandemic has brought the game's inequitable financial model into even sharper focus. It is a model that has, in a number of respects, hugely favoured the 'big three' boards of India, England and Australia since 2015, creating an environment where the rest of the ICC's members are significantly disadvantaged and where competitive balance, the very essence of successful sporting engagement, is an afterthought. ........Read more

Scientists find new way to stop coronavirus from replicating itself

Scientists in the US have developed a new method using which they have been able to prevent the novel coronavirus from replicating itself. The method involves blocking a protein that the virus uses to cut and disable important components of our immune system and also to produce copies of itself. Experts believe this research will crucial in development of new drugs against Covid-19. The research was carried out by experts from the University of Texas Health Science Centre at San Antonia in the US. The study was published in the journal Science. They developed two molecules that inhibit the molecular 'scissor' enzyme used by the coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2-PLpro. The study says SARS-CoV-2-PLpro promotes infection by sensing and processing both viral and human proteins. "This enzyme executes a double-whammy," Shaun K Olsen, associate professor of biochemistry and structural biology at UT Health San Antonio, who was the senior author for the study, was quoted as saying by PTI. Olsen added, "It [the enzyme] stimulates the release of proteins that are essential for the virus to replicate, and it also inhibits molecules called cytokines and chemokines that signal the immune system to attack the infection."According to Olsen, SARS-CoV-2-PLpro basically cuts human proteins ubiquitin and ISG15, which help maintain protein integrity by acting like a molecular scissor. The team developed inhibitors, which are very efficient at blocking the activity of SARS-CoV-2-PLpro, yet do not recognise other similar proteins in human cells.........Read more

Chinese hackers using fake McAfee software to trick users into installing virus, says Google

Chinese government-linked hackers are tricking people into installing malware by posing as the antivirus provider McAfee through genuine online services like GitHub and Dropbox. The move comes ahead of the presidential elections in the US which are slated for November 3. Shane Huntley, the head of Google’s Threat Analysis Group, in a blog post spoke about the state-sponsored attacks known as the APT-31 attacks. “US government agencies have warned about different threat actors, and we’ve worked closely with those agencies and others in the tech industry to share leads and intelligence about what we’re seeing across the ecosystem,” Huntley said. Speaking about the recent APT-31 sponsored attempts Huntley noted, “Every malicious piece of this attack was hosted on legitimate services, making it harder for defenders to rely on network signals for detection,” Huntley said. Huntley further said the hackers would send emailing links that would download malicious code hosted on the open-source platform GitHub. The malware was built using the Python computing language and would allow the attacker to upload and download files as well as execute arbitrary commands through Dropbox’s cloud storage services Google noted previous instances where attempts were made to hijack the email accounts of campaign staffers with President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden in June which it had successfully prevented.........Read more

India to have 200-300 mn Covid vaccine doses ready by December end, says SII Executive Director

India will have 200 to 300 million Covid-19 vaccine doses ready by the December-end and the final tested vaccine will be available by March 2021, said on Saturday. "India will have 200 to 300 million Covid vaccine doses ready by the end of December. So, once the license is given by the DCGI, this product can be launched," said Dr Jadhav. He also said that the Serum Institute is working on five different products to combat the coronavirus menace. "Although there were some pauses and the trial was stopped for some time and also extended by three weeks as some regulators wanted some clarity about the people who are involved in the phase three trials, so, Serum will be able to submit all of the clinical trials phase three data to the DCGI by end of December." "If the DCGI is satisfied, then it might give us a EUL, i,e. emergency use license within one-month time or marketing authorisation can also be given by the DCGI. Then the Serum Institute will go to the WHO for prequalification. Only after the prequalification, will buy this product," he said. "Serum institute is trying to simultaneously proceed with the DCGI and the WHO so that the time is saved. All these will happen by the first quarter of 2021 and that's when the vaccine by the Serum Institute will be available for masses," he said.........Read more

Explained: What is MY formula?

MY stands for Muslim and Yadav, a formula wrought by RJD supremo Lalu Prasad to climb to power in 1990. The year earlier had seen the bloody riots in Bihar, in which over a thousand people were killed, many of them Muslims. The community felt betrayed by the Congress, led by its CM Satyendra Narayan Sinha, for its failure to manage the communal situation. Sinha did not even visit Bhagalpur after the riots. So the Muslims, around 17% of the state’s population, were waiting for someone to be their voice and Lalu, a charismatic leader who had been part of the JP Movement and the ’s socialist politics, was the man present at the right time. With Yadavs, 14% of Bihar’s population, also behind him, Lalu had a winning MY combination that kept the RJD in power till 2005. In 1990, the RJD head further consolidated his position among the Muslims by stopping L K Advani’s Rath Yatra for a Ram temple, in the state. However, Lalu’s maths collapsed when pitted in a straight fight against the combined strength of Nitish’s JD(U) and the BJP in 2010. The latter two wielded a much wider number with their core base of OBCs and upper castes, and have not looked back since. While the imprisoned Lalu is no longer in the picture, the fact that he won 80 seats in 2015, more than Nitish with his aura at the time, shows that the RJD chief still retains his MY core vote bank.........Read more

New research: Anti-ulcer drug shows promise in suppressing coronavirus

Researchers from Hong Kong have reported a novel antiviral strategy for treatment of covid-19 . They have found that a class of existing drugs, which are currently used in the treatment of other infectious diseases, can suppress replication of SARS-CoV-2 and relieve Covid-19 symptoms in an animal model. Their findings are published in Nature Microbiology. These are metallodrugs, which consist of metal compounds. Generally, metal compounds are used as anti-microbial agents, but their antiviral activities have rarely been explored, the researchers said. Their findings now provide a new therapeutic option for treatment of Covid-19. The researchers screened metallodrugs and related compounds including ranitidine bismuthcitrate(RBC), a commonly used anti-ulcer drug which contains the metal bismuth. They identified RBC as a potent anti SARS-CoV-2 agent. RBC targets a protein called Nsp13, which is essential for SARS-CoV-2 to replicate.........Read more

Explained Ideas: Why India must urgently step up efforts to improve its sex ratio

C Rangarajan (former Chairman, Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council) and J K Satia (Professor Emeritus, Indian Institute of Public Health) argue that there is an urgent need to reach young people both for reproductive health education and services as well as to cultivate gender equity norms. Fertility has been declining in India for some time now. The Sample Registration System (SRS) Statistical Report (2018) estimated the Total Fertility Rate (TFR), the number of children a mother would have at the current pattern of fertility during her lifetime, as 2.2 in the year 2018. Fertility is likely to continue to decline and it is estimated that replacement TFR of 2.1 would soon be, if not already, reached for India as a whole. Many people believe that the population would stabilise or begin to reduce in a few years once replacement fertility is reached. “This is not so because of the population momentum effect, a result of more people entering the reproductive age group of 15-49 years due to the past high-level of fertility. For instance, the replacement fertility level was reached in Kerala around 1990, but its annual population growth rate was 0.7 per cent in 2018, nearly 30 years later,” . That is why the UN Population Division has estimated that India’s population would possibly peak at 161 crore around 2061. But the most troubling statistics in the SRS report are for sex ratio at birth. Biologically normal sex ratio at birth is 1,050 males to 1,000 females or 950 females to 1,000 males.........Read more

4G on the Moon: Nokia Will Help NASA Set Up LTE Connectivity for Lunar Probes

NASA, the US-based space agency, has teamed up with Nokia's research arm, Bell Labs to bring 4G LTE connectivity on the moon. As a part of the project that has a total budget of $370 million, NASA will provide $14.1 million to the Finnish telecommunication company to bring the 4G solutions on the lunar surface. The development was announced by both NASA and Bell Labs separately on October 15. In a series of tweets, Bell Labs said, "We are excited to have been named by NASA as a key partner to advance 'Tipping Point' technologies for the moon, to help pave the way towards sustainable human presence on the lunar surface...Our pioneering innovations will be used to build and deploy the first wireless network on the moon, starting with 4G/LTE technologies and evolving to 5G." According to Jim Reuter, who is overseeing the NASA Space Technology Mission, cellular connectivity on the moon would mean better communication between astronauts, rovers, and even habitants in the future. "With NASA funding, Nokia will look at how terrestrial technology could be modified for the lunar environment to support reliable, high-rate communications," Reuter said as by To the moon! 🌕We are excited to have been named by as a key partner to advance “Tipping Point” technologies for the moon, to help pave the way towards sustainable human presence on the lunar surface.So, what technology can you expect to see? (1/6) ........Read more

Queues in China for experimental Covid-19 vaccine

A city in eastern China has started offering a coronavirus vaccine to the general public - although it has not yet completed clinical trials. Hundreds of people have been queuing outside a hospital in Yiwu, where nurses are administering the injections for a fee of around $60 (£45). ........Read more

New Zealand election: Jacinda Ardern's Labour Party scores landslide win

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has won a landslide victory in the country's general election. With most ballots tallied, Ms Ardern's Labour Party has won 49% of the vote and she is projected to win a rare outright parliamentary majority. The opposition centre-right National Party, currently on 27%, has admitted defeat in Saturday's poll. The vote was originally due to be in September, but was postponed by a month after a renewed Covid-19 outbreak. 00 local time (20:00 GMT Friday) and closed at 19:00. More than a million people had already voted in early polling which opened up on 3 October. New Zealanders were also asked to vote in two referendums alongside the general election. , the Labour Party are on 49% of the vote, followed by the National Party on 27%, and the ACT New Zealand and Green parties on 8%. "New Zealand has shown the Labour Party its greatest support in almost 50 years," Ms Ardern told her supporters after the victory. "We will not take your support for granted. And I can promise you we will be a party that governs for every New Zealander." National Party leader Judith Collins has congratulated Ms Ardern and promised her party would be a "robust opposition". "Three years will be gone in the blink of an eye," she said, referring to the next scheduled election. "We will be back."........Read more

Viral Photo of Newborn Baby Pulling Mask Off Doctor's Face is a Symbol of Hope in Tough Times

The world is living in unprecedentedly stressful times. With the coronavirus pandemic disrupting life and causing largescale death across the world and no cure in sight, hope is perhaps all that has been pulling humanity through. At such compelling times, an image of a newborn baby pulling the mask off a doctor has been going viral as a symbol of hope. The image was posted on social media by Dr Samer Cheaib, who practices gynecology and obstetrics in the UAE. The post on Facebook was titled, "We all want sign are we going to take off the mask soon".........Read more

Sony PS5 India Prices Revealed: Rs 49,990 for PS5, Rs 39,990 for PS5 Digital Edition

Sony PS5 finally has an official price tag for India – the PlayStation 5 will cost Rs 49,990 in India, while the Digital Edition will cost Rs 39,990. The two consoles also get a new generation DualSense wireless controller, which will cost Rs 5,990 in India, and Sony has also put out the India prices for a number of accessories to go with the new generation console. With this pricing, the Sony PS5 costs exactly the same as the Microsoft Xbox Series X, which is already open for preorders, and is set to go on sale in India from November 10 at Rs 49,990. However, the Xbox Series S is a tad less expensive than the PS5 Digital Edition – the former costs Rs 34,990 in India. While the Microsoft Xbox Series X and Series S will be available for shipping from November 10, Sony has not yet revealed the sale dates for the latest consoles. A Sony spokesperson said on the question of shipping dates, “We know that gamers in India are excited to get their hands on PS5. Availability in each country is subject to, amongst other things, local import regulations, and our local teams are working through the logistics. We will share an update on launch date for India as more information becomes available.”........Read more

WhatsApp May Soon Add In-App Support To Let Users Submit Bug Reports

Another new feature has been spotted in the latest WhatsApp beta for Android The new WhatsApp feature will let you directly file a bug report via WhatsApp. The feature has been by WABetaInfo, a popular website that posts regular updates related to WhatsApp features. WhatsApp will soon be adding an in-app WhatsApp support that will let you report bugs that you come across on the app. There’s already a way to do so for the users where they need to send an email to, but it’s not the most convenient way to do it. And mostly, after sending these emails, users mostly receive automatic responses. To that end, WhatsApp has decided to make it easier for users to report bugs easily, where they’d be able to directly communicate with the technical support within the app. There will be a new section available on WhatsApp that will you contact the support via WhatsApp settings. The section will allow users to add the report filling that text field, and they can choose to include device information when reporting issues. “Device information like system details and logs can help WhatsApp to investigate, giving the best answer for you. Note that text messages, media, and status updates are never included in logs. When WhatsApp has an answer for the user, he will receive the message in a WhatsApp Support chat, allowing to communicate with the technician”, WABetaInfo.........Read more

Xbox Series X preview: the next gen feels like a PC

A cool, quiet, and PC-like console I haven’t been using my Xbox One as much recently, as it just feels outdated. As someone who plays primarily on PC, the lower frame rates and input lag on current-generation consoles are enough to put me off playing a lot of games on an Xbox One or PS4. That was until I started playing games on the Xbox Series X three weeks ago. Microsoft’s next-gen Xbox comes the closest I’ve ever witnessed to re-creating the superior PC experience of playing games, thanks to SSD storage, a far more powerful CPU, 120Hz support, and impressive backward compatibility features that improve existing games. This is all inside a $499 box that’s quieter and far easier to use and maintain than the $3,000 gaming PC I built a few weeks ago. There’s a reason the Xbox Series X looks like a PC — it’s because it often feels like one. I’ve been using a preview version of the Xbox Series X, so it doesn’t have the final software, game selection, or experience you’ll find with a retail unit. But it’s most of the way there. While this may read like a review, we’re not scoring the Xbox Series X yet or reviewing it fully until it’s closer to its launch next month. However, I’ve spent three weeks playing a variety of games on the Xbox Series X, and that’s more than enough time to give you a breakdown of this new console.........Read more

Wonder why humans attract mosquitoes? Researchers say female mosquitoes need blood to develop eggs

Mosquitoes are troublesome. A mosquito bite is capable of causing pain and irritation and even causes diseases like dengue, malaria and yellow fever. But what attracts mosquitoes to human blood in the first place? A study reveals that they are not attracted to "simple flavours like sweet or salty, but only a complex combination of ingredients". And what does human blood taste like to mosquitoes? Scientists say that is impossible to understand. Researchers at have found that only female mosquitoes feed on blood meal to provide nutrients to their eggs to develop. So, "Aedes aegypti females [the primary spreader of dengue, Zika, yellow fever, and Chikungunya virus] must accurately discriminate blood and nectar because each meal promotes mutually exclusive feeding programs with distinct sensory appendages, meal sizes, digestive tract targets, and metabolic fates", the study revealed. The findings were published in the journal . "But they survive primarily on nectar-like thousands of other insect species," a report published in Science focus said. According to the report, the blood-sucking habit of mosquitoes makes them the "deadliest animal on the planet to humans". They claim the lives of around "half a million people every year through diseases like malaria, dengue and yellow fever." it said. "This innate ability to recognise blood is the basis of vector-borne disease transmission to millions of people worldwide," the research paper said.........Read more

Until Covid-19 vaccine arrives, nitric oxide can cure patients, save lives | Study

Prevention is the best strategy to fight Covid-19, a pandemic caused by a coronavirus named SARS-CoV-2. The world is waiting with baited breath for a clinically approved vaccine. There is no specific medicine or drug formula that checks the spread of SARS-CoV-2. The only antiviral treatment currently approved is giving doses of remdesivir to Covid-19 patients requiring hospitalisation. Remdesivir was originally developed for treatment of Ebola, another virus-generated infectious illness. It was understood to shorten the recovery time of hospitalised Covid-19 patients. However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has now said among those infected by SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. This is discouraging news for the world, which is finding it difficult to get beyond this debilitating virus. However, a recent study has found a new solution that can be as effective as an antiviral treatment for Covid-19. The study has concluded that , a cell-signaling molecule that the body produces naturally, could be a potential treatment for Covid-19 by giving relief to patients and even containing the spread of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Nitric oxide is an oxide of nitrogen -- , nitrous oxide which has a role to play in global warming. The nitric oxide molecule is a vasodilator -- that is, it dilates blood vessels to increase blood flow -- and thus has anti-inflammatory effects on the body.........Read more

India's Life Expectancy Up by a Decade Since 1990, Highest in Kerala; Pollution Poses High Risk: Lancet

India has gained more than a decade of life expectancy since 1990, but there are wide inequalities between states, according to a new study which assessed more than 286 causes of death and 369 diseases and injuries in more than 200 countries and territories across the world. The study, published in the Lancet journal, noted that life expectancy in India has risen from 59.6 years in 1990 to 70.8 years in 2019, ranging from 77.3 years in Kerala to 66.9 years in Uttar Pradesh. However, the researchers, including Srinivas Goli from the Indian Institute of Public Health Gandhinagar, said the increase in 'healthy life expectancy' in India has not been as dramatic as the growth of life expectancy since "people are living more years with illness and disability”. According to the international team of scientists, the current global crisis of chronic diseases and failure of public health to stem the rise in highly preventable risk factors such as high blood pressure, tobacco use, and air pollution have left populations vulnerable to acute health emergencies such as COVID-19.........Read more

Unbelievable, But True! Here's How You Can Earn Rs 25 Lakh With Just a One Rupee Coin

Making some extra money doesn’t actually have to be that complicated. And, now we will tell you something that seems unbelievable but is actually true. Did you know that you can earn Rs 25 lakh with just a one rupee coin? Surprised right? But, this exciting news is very true and you can make the exchange during an auction at India’s big online market called Indiamart. To earn the amount, all you need to have is one old Re 1 coin that is at least 100 years old. And, if you have more than one coin that are at least a century old, those can possibly earn you lakhs of rupees. Hence, if you’re one lucky owner of such rare and antique coins, you will just need to go on Indiamart’s website and create an account before you can scroll through the products and do your shopping. Some people possess the hobby of collecting antique items and old coins and this hobby can undoubtedly make one rich. In the Indiamart website, you can also earn lakhs if you have coins from the Victorian-era or the 18th century. As per reports, a 18th century coin has been priced at Rs 10 lakh and a coin of East India Company made in 1818 has been priced the same in which a photo of Lord Hanuman has also been inscribed on it.........Read more

Delhi Govt Exempts Electric Vehicles From Registration Fee

The Delhi government on Friday exempted electric, battery-operated vehicles from registration fee in the national capital under its new Electric Vehicle Policy. Taking to Twitter, Transport minister Kailash Gahlot said,” Congrats again, Delhi! Next in the list of breakthrough incentives promised by CM Arvind Kejriwal, the Delhi govt exempts the Registration fee on Battery Operated Vehicles. Delhi leads again, the EV way!” Congrats again, Delhi! Next in list of breakthrough incentives promised by CM , Delhi govt exempts Registration fee on Battery Operated Vehicles. Delhi leads again, the EV way! — Kailash Gahlot (@kgahlot) Earlier, the Kejriwal government had exempted road tax on battery-operated vehicles. The Transport Department in its notification issued last week had asserted the lieutenant governor of the National Capital Territory of Delhi exempted tax levied on battery-operated vehicles with immediate effect.........Read more

Morgan takes over from Karthik as KKR's captain

Karthik decided to step down from his position as the captain of the side "with a view to focus on his batting and contributing more to the team's cause". Under Karthik's leadership, KKR have won four out of their seven matches in the 13th edition so far and are placed fourth on the points table. Karthik, however, hasn't been in the best of forms with the bat, averaging 15.42 for his 108 runs so far in the IPL season. "We are fortunate to have leaders such as DK, who has always put the team first," Venky Mysore, the CEO of KKR said. "It takes a lot of courage for someone like him to take a decision such as this. While we were surprised by his decision, we are respectful of his wishes. ........Read more

Samsung now top smartphone seller in India, globally: Report

Samsung took the top spot in the global smartphone market in August driven by sales growth in India as the market recovered from a nationwide lockdown, a Counterpoint Research report said on Friday. The South Korean tech giant also recaptured the top spot in India in July-August period, according to Counterpoint’s latest Monthly Market Pulse report. Samsung has now reached its highest market share in India since 2018 by adopting an aggressive online channel strategy to benefit from opportunities arising due to anti-China sentiments in the country, said the report. “Geopolitical policies and political affairs among nations are affecting the smartphone market in many ways. There will be heightened marketing activity to seize opportunities in these regions and segments,” Research Analyst Minsoo Kang said in a statement. “As a result, the concentration of top players in the smartphone market will be much stronger. We see players like Samsung, Apple, Xiaomi and OPPO benefiting the most.” However, even as Samsung snatched the top spot in the India market dominated by Xiaomi for long, the Chinese smartphone maker is showing a significant increase in its market share globally, especially in markets where used to have strong presence, such as Central Eastern Europe. In the global smartphone market, Samsung captured 22 per cent share. In April, Samsung lost the top spot to Huawei due to sharp declines in its major markets of India and Europe.........Read more

COVID-19: What is the evidence to support a role for vitamin D?

Studies investigating the role of vitamin D in preventing or treating COVID-19 have drawn conflicting conclusions. But should a lack of evidence stop us from topping up our vitamin D levels as the Northern Hemisphere heads toward winter? Most people know vitamin D as an essential vitamin for healthy bones and teeth. But have attributed a host of other functions to the vitamin, and one of these is supporting the immune system. A systematic review and meta-analysis from 2017 in drew on data from 25 randomized controlled trials to look at whether taking a vitamin D supplement could prevent acute respiratory tract infections. The international research consortium, led by Prof. Adrian R. Martineau, from the Centre for Primary Care and Public Health and the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research, at Queen Mary University of London, in the United Kingdom, looked at data from nearly 11,000 study participants. Prof. Martineau and colleagues concluded that “Vitamin D supplementation was safe and it protected against acute respiratory tract infection overall.” But does vitamin D have a part to play in COVID-19? By now, a number of studies have looked for links between the vitamin and the condition, and their findings have conflicted.........Read more

Study reveals the role of our second brain in diabetes

Researchers have uncovered new clues to the mystery of how the gut’s nervous system affects glucose metabolism in the rest of the body. Their findings could lead to new treatments for type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes causes the body’s cells to become less sensitive to signals from insulin, the hormone responsible for regulating levels of glucose in the blood. This low sensitivity is called insulin resistance, and it keeps the cells from absorbing the extra glucose that enters the bloodstream after a meal. Over time, high concentrations of glucose in the blood damage tissues all over the body, causing complications such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that more than people in the United States have type 2 diabetes. Changes to the diet, exercise, and other aspects of life can improve symptoms and even reverse the condition in some people. Drugs are also available to treat type 2 diabetes, but they can cause side effects such as nausea and diarrhea. Another drawback to some antidiabetic drugs is that they have to be injected. Discovering oral treatments that are not only effective but also free of side effects is therefore a priority for diabetes researchers. Now, a group of scientists, many affiliated with the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, or INSERM, in Toulouse, believe that they are a step closer to developing such a treatment. They have published their findings in the journal .........Read more

Audio long-read: What animals really think

Researchers are aligning data on animal neuronal activity with behavioural information recorded on millisecond timescales, to uncover the signatures of internal brain states associated with things like moods and motivation. ........Read more

How anti-ageing drugs could boost COVID vaccines in older people

Unlike fine wine, the human body does not improve with age. Hearing fades, skin sags, joints give out. Even the body’s immune system loses some of its vigour. vaccines, which incite the immune system to fight off invaders, often perform poorly in older people. The best strategy for quelling the pandemic might fail in exactly the group that needs it most. Scientists have known for decades that ageing immune systems can leave the body prone to infection and weaken their response to vaccines. In June, the US Food and Drug Administration announced that a COVID-19 vaccine would have to protect at least half the vaccinated individuals to be considered effective, but protection in older adults might not even meet that bar. “No vaccine is going to be as effective in the elderly as it is in young people,” says Matt Kaeberlein, a gerontologist at the University of Washington in Seattle. “That’s an almost certainty.”........Read more

68% youth anxious to share relationship issues with parents: Survey

Around 49 percent of the youth are not comfortable sharing their feelings with their parents while 68 percent of them struggle the most with talking about relationship issues, reveals a new survey. Importantly, 53 percent of them also feel that keeping things to themselves builds stress and anxiety, said the survey conducted by The survey reflects the mindset of the youth today, when it comes to opening up to their parents and the flip side - what parents think about their relationship with their children. It further revealed that generation gap was leading to a communication gap, with it being among the top two reasons that they are unable to have these conversations with their parents. Around 70 percent of the youth stated that they would like to talk about their feelings with their parents and have a more open relationship. On the other hand, when asked to parents about their relationship, 92 percent parents said their children are completely free to have conversations with them. And while the youth felt there was a generation gap, 72 percent parents did not feel that the generation gap made it difficult to communicate with their kids, added the survey. The data revealed that 42 percent of the parents hadn't been in a relationship before and hence might find it hard to empathise with their children.........Read more

Ending world hunger by 2030 would cost $330bn, study finds

Research suggests that by targeting enhanced aid money more effectively and with greater innovation, a solution is possible Research suggests that by targeting enhanced aid money more effectively and with greater innovation, a solution is possible Ending hunger by 2030 would come with a price tag of $330bn (£253bn), according to a study backed by the German government. Research groups compiled data from 23 countries and found international donors a year to their spending on food security and nutrition over the next 10 years; more than twice their current contribution. Low and middle-income countries would also have to give another $19bn a year, potentially through taxation. The study, published this week, coincided with warnings that the world has an “immense mountain” to climb in order to end hunger, with 11 countries showing “alarming” levels of hunger, and “serious” levels in another 40, according to the . “We’re trying to solve a problem here – that is, hunger being on the rise – and still almost 700 million people are going to bed hungry at night. Whatever we’re currently spending is not helping those people,” said Carin Smaller, co-director of Ceres2030, a coalition funded by the German government and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.........Read more

India's first Oscar winner, costume designer Bhanu Athaiya, dies at 91

She won the Academy Award for Best Costume Design in Richard Attenborough’s 'Gandhi' along with John Mollo. Costume designer Bhanu Athaiya, India’s first Oscar winner, died at her home on Thursday after prolonged illness, her daughter said. She was 91. Athaiya, who won an Oscar for her work in the 1983 film 'Gandhi', passed away peacefully in her sleep, her daughter Radhika Gupta told PTI. The last rites took place at the Chandanwadi crematorium in South Mumbai. "She passed away early this morning. Eight years ago, she was diagnosed with a tumour in her brain. For the last three years, she was bedridden because one side (of her body) was paralysed,” her daughter said.........Read more

This collision may increase space debris around Earth by 20 per cent

If these two objects collide, it will be a first spotaneous collision between pieces of space debris in more than a decade. This collision will, in turn, produce more pieces of space debris and this is what experts fear will increase the amount of space junk around our planet by 10 to 20 per cent Space debris is a serious issue. Pieces of defunct satellites and remains from previous space missions pose huge threat to satellites that are currently running. Global communication and countless other functions are dependent on these satellites. But a small piece of space debris, measuring even a few inches but moving are super speed can destroy an entire satellite. According to NASA's estimate, 500,000 pieces of space debris are currently orbitting the Earth. Some of them are even travelling at a mind-boggling speed of 17,500 miles per hour. And now, this space debris around can increase by 20 per cent!........Read more

Thousands protest in Bangkok, defy Thai government's emergency decree

The protesters have decided to return as student leader Jutatip Sirikhan called everyone at 5 pm on Friday. Thousands of protesters turned up on the streets in to denounce the government's move to invoke the emergency decree even as police made several arrests on Thursday. The demonstrators targeted both King Maha Vajiralongkorn as well as Prime Minister to demand political reforms. participating in these protests could impact you in the future."........Read more

World Food Day 2020: History, significance, theme and why we celebrate this day

World Food Day 2020 is being celebrated across the globe to mark the founding date ofthe Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The World Food Day, every year is celebrated on October 16 by several organisations related to the food security, Fund for Agricultural Development, the World Food Program as they come together and pledge their commitment to eradicate worldwide hunger. On World Food Day 2020, events are organized in over 150 countries across the world, making it one of the most celebrated days of the UN calendar. Hundreds of events and outreach activities bring together governments, businesses, NGOs, the media, and the general public. They promote worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and for the need to ensure healthy diets for all. Theme Every year, World Food Day is celebrated to raise awareness of issues behind poverty and hunger and ensure the need for food security and nutritious diets for all. In view of the covid pandemic this year, the day will be celebrated with the theme - "Grow, nourish, sustain. Together. Our actions are our future." Significance........Read more

An earlier universe existed before the Big Bang, and can still be observed today, says Nobel winner

An earlier universe existed before the Big Bang and can still be observed today, Sir Roger Penrose has said, as he received the Nobel.  Sir Roger, 89, who won the honour for his seminal work , said he had found six ‘warm’ points in the sky (dubbed ‘Hawking Points’) which are around eight times the diameter of the Moon. They are named after , who theorised that black holes ‘leak’ radiation and eventually evaporate away entirely.  The timescale for the complete evaporation of a black hole is huge, possibly longer than the age of our current universe, making them impossible to detect. However, Sir Roger believes that ‘dead’ black holes from earlier universes or ‘aeons’ are observable now. If true, it would prove Hawking’s theories were correct. Sir Roger shared the World Prize in physics with Prof Hawking in 1988 for their work on black holes. “I claim that there is observation of Hawking radiation. “The Big Bang was not the beginning. There was something before the Big Bang and that something is what we will have in our future. “We have a universe that expands and expands, and all mass decays away, and in this crazy theory of mine, that remote future becomes the Big Bang of another aeon.  “So our Big Bang began with something which was the remote future of a previous aeon and there would have been similar black holes evaporating away, via Hawking evaporation, and they would produce these points in the sky, that I call Hawking Points.........Read more

Early humans wiped out by climate change, study finds

Climate change wiped out early humans, a study has found, as scientists warn that global warming could have a greater impact than previously thought.  Cousins of Homo sapiens failed to adapt to the cold tens of thousands of years ago, a new paper argues, leaving them vulnerable to extinction when temperatures dropped below the levels they were used to. The reasons behind the disappearance of several species leaving only Homo sapiens to survive has been a point of debate among scientists, who hypothesised that earth's changing climate played a role, alongside competition between species. But a new study claims that a failure to adapt to a shifting climate was the main cause in the loss of three species, because they were unable to cope with colder conditions. Shortly before they disappeared, Homo erectus, Homo heidelbergensis and Homo neanderthalensis, more commonly known as Neanderthals, all experienced sudden changes in their environment.  The team used climate modelling technology to emulate the shifts in climate going back five million years and compare it to fossil records, finding that for all three, conditions existed that would have been particularly hard for them to survive during their last known period of existence.  Climate change was the "most likely candidate" for the loss of the first two, and it , the paper concluded. ........Read more

Next pandemic? Amazon deforestation may spark new diseases

Changes in the Amazon are driving displaced species of animals, from bats to monkeys to mosquitoes, into new areas. pandemic diseases. Changes in the Amazon are driving displaced species of animals, from bats to monkeys to mosquitoes, into new areas, while opening the region to arrivals of more savanna-adapted species, including rodents. Those shifts, combined with greater human interactions with animals as people move deeper into the forest, are increasing the chances of a virulent virus, bacteria or fungus jumping between species, said Adalberto Luis Val a researcher at the National Institute for Research in the Amazon (INPA), based in Manaus. Climate change, which is driving temperature and rainfall changes, adds to the risks, the biologist said. “There is a great concern because … there is a displacement of organisms. They try to adapt, face these new challenging scenarios by changing places,” Val told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in a telephone interview.........Read more

Are people with 'O' blood group less vulnerable to COVID-19 infection? Here's what new study suggests

People with 'O' blood type are less likely to contract the coronavirus infection and may have reduced likelihood of severe outcomes, while those with blood types 'A' and 'AB' can exhibit greater COVID-19 disease severity, a new study published in the journal Blood Advances has suggested. The findings indicate why the coronavirus is lethal for some and not so for the others. As part of the study, the team of researchers gathered Danish health registry data from more than 473,000 individuals tested for COVID-19 and compared it to data from a control group of more than 2.2 million people, as per a report by news agency IANS. The data suggested that fewer people with blood type O were COVID-19 positive when compared with ‘A’, ‘AB’, and ‘B’, suggesting that the latter groups are more vulnerable to be infected with the virus. "It is very important to consider the proper control group because blood type prevalence may vary considerably in different ethnic groups and different countries," said study author Torben Barington “We have the advantage of a strong control group — Denmark is a small, ethnically homogenous country with a public health system and a central registry for lab data — so our control is population-based, giving our findings a strong foundation,” Torben added.........Read more

NEET UG Results 2020: NTA to release NEET exam results today; here's how and where to check your scorecard

The National Testing Agency (NTA) will be announcing the results for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) UG 2020 on Friday (today) after much delay. The NAT will be releasing the NEET-UG 2020 results on its official website at or The NTA on Monday had announced that it will be declaring the NEET UG 2020 results on Friday, however, the testing agency had not announced the exact time for the declaration of NEET-UG 2020 results. It is important to note that the website will display the result and marks only up to 90 days from the date of declaration. The NTA on Wednesday, on the orders of the Supreme Court, had arranged the special exam for the students who missed the previous session due to restrictions under the lockdown. The top court had also directed the NTA to announce the final results for all the candidates by October 16. Visit the official website of NTA at On the homepage, look for an option 'NEET Results' To log in for your results, enter roll number, date of birth and submit Your NEET UG Results 2020 will be displayed on your screen You can download your NEET UG Result 2020 or can take a print out for future references........Read more

Passenger vehicle sales rise 26 per cent in Sep 2020, passenger car sales up by nearly 29 per cent: SIAM

Amid the coronavirus crisis prevailing in the country, the data by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) on Friday showed an increase of 26.54 per cent insales of passenger vehicles in the country, as compared to the sale percentage in September 2019. The passenger vehicles sale rose to 2,72,027 units in September 2020,as against 2,15,124 unitsin September 2019. According to the latest data by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), two-wheeler sales also rose 11.64 per cent to 18,49,546 units, compared with 16,56,658 units in the same month last year. While, motorcycle sales were at 12,24,117 units as against 10,43,621 units in September 2019, up 17.3 per cent, scooter sales were also up marginally at 5,56,205 units from 5,55,754 units in the same month last year. As per the data, a growth of 28.92 per cent has been registered in the sales of Passenger Cars in September 2020, as compared to September 2019, while the sales for Utility Vehicles also witnessed an increase of 24.50 per cent. Sales of Vans grew by 10.64 per cent in September 2020, as compared to September 2019. While the total exports of Passenger Vehicles & Three-wheelers witnessed a decrease of 35.89 per cent & 5.35 per cent respectively in September 2020, as compared to September 2019, the total exports of Two-wheelers grew by 9.17% in September 2020 as compared to the corresponding month last year.........Read more

WHO Solidarity trial finds Remdesivir has no substantial effect on mortality in COVID-19 patients

Remdesivir, the antiviral drug that's widely prescribed against COVID-19 has no substantial effect on mortality, initiation of ventilation or duration of hospital stay, as per global clinical trial by WHO has found. The results of the Solidarity trial conducted on 11,266 hospitalised patients in 30 countries found remdesivir, along with three other repurposed drugs hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir/ritonavir and interferon to have little or no effect on 28-day mortality. “These remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir and interferon regimens appeared to have little effect on in-hospital mortality,” the study found. WHO discontinued hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir-ritonavir arms in July following the interim results. Frequently Asked Questions A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.........Read more

Now you can buy only Made-in-India ACs as govt bans imports

Now onwards you can only buy air conditioners (AC) that are manufactured in India as the Centre has banned AC imports in its latest bid to boost domestic production of the item. The government wants to restrict import of "non-essential" goods in order to give a boost to domestic manufacturing and reduce dependence on imports. According to a report in the Times of India, A notification issued by the directorate general of foreign trade (DGFT) moved split and “other” ACs with refrigerants into the “prohibited” category from the “free” list. They join the list of products such as tyres, TV sets and agarbattis, where import restrictions have been imposed. While this means that an importer can’t fill refrigerant or gas outside and bring into the country, in reality it translates into a ban. It may be noted that ACs have been identified as potential items for focus on domestic manufacturing as components are imported in large quantities. The domestic market for ACs is said to be worth $5-6 billion with a large chunk of ACs being imported into the country. Separately, depending on the segment, 85-100% of the components, where the market is estimated to be around $2 billion, are imported. According to an earlier report by the publication, import restrictions and support to domestic industry were part of the plan to turn India into a hub for manufacturing.........Read more

Govt may allow Reliance Jio, LIC, other startups to list in 7 countries

Government has paved the way for overseas listing of larges Indian companies(Which may not get the desired valuation in India)such as Reliance Jio, Life Insurance Corporation and startups, easing several norms to facilitate the process. According to a report in the Times of India, the ministry of corporate affairs (MCA) and the department of economic affairs have agreed to do away with the contentious clause of dual listing, which required a company to list in India as well as overseas. Indian companies can now directly list in seven countries-US, UK, Japan, Germany, France, Canada, South Korea. The list may be expanded later but Hong Kong is a notable exclusion amid India’s border tensions with China. Further, exchanges operating in the International Financial Centre at GIFT City, which have tie-ups with overseas bourses, can facilitate the stock being traded abroad as well, the publication mentioned citing sources. For instance, if NSE or BSE ties up with SGX, it can help the stock of an Indian company to be traded on the exchange in the GIFT City as well as Singapore. “It will really help startups which may not be profitable but are looking to raise money and list at a premium,” the daily quoted a market player as saying.........Read more

Five financial scams that rocked Indian markets

While a steady and progressive financial sector is the backbone of our economy, it can also emerge as a stage for corruption that may have an adverse impact on the nation. Data is a real-time snapshot. The scam broke in 2009 when founder-chairman of Satyam Computers Ramalinga Raju, in an email to Sebi and stock exchanges, confessed of inflating the cash and bank balances of the company resulting in an overall misstatement of around Rs 12,318 crore.........Read more

The story of election symbols - Find out how a party gets its symbol?

Election symbols play an important role in the identification of a party. Some party symbols are free, while some are reserved. 8 national parties and 64 state parties have reserved symbols. Since the first general elections, BJP and the Congress have changed their party symbols thrice. However, the image always represent aspects of everyday -- from a stack of tires and a gramophone, to an auto rickshaw or a cricketer.........Read more

Simulation of a Nuclear Blast in a Major City

A collaboration between documentary filmmaker Neil Halloran and Nobel Peace Prize - Research and Information, this short data-driven film simulates a nuclear blast in a major city in order to tally the estimated deaths that would result. Using data from leading researchers and highlighting ........Read more

BARC to Pause Audience Ratings of News Channels Amid 'Viewership Malpractice'

The board of Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) on Thursday proposed its Technical Committee (Tech Comm) “to review and augment the current standards” of measuring and reporting the data of niche genres and cease publishing the weekly individual ratings for all news channels during the period. This exercise, covering all Hindi, regional, English News and Business News channels, has been taken up “to improve their statistical robustness and to significantly hamper the potential attempts of infiltrating the panel homes,” the BARC’ statement said. Starting with the ‘News Genre’, the move will take effect immediately and the exercise is expected to take around 8-12 weeks, including validation and testing under the supervision of Tech Comm.........Read more

How China Is Suppressing Tibetan Buddhist Nuns, ‘Erasing’ Identity

Under Xi Jinping, the Chinese State is systematically suppressing voices of Tibetan Buddhist nuns & ‘sinicising’. With the increasing indoctrination and surveillance of Tibetan Buddhists, women practitioners / nuns have been suffering under the ‘sinicisation’ agenda of the Chinese State. The voices of Tibetan women practitioners are increasingly being suppressed under ‘ ’ In contrast to the propagandistic and skewed projection – by State media – of Tibetan women as being empowered’ and ‘uplifted’ under Communist rule in China, the larger question of Tibetan women religious practitioners’ challenges under President Xi Jinping’s ‘sinicization’ is to be questioned. One of the recently introduced policies in Tibet is called the ‘Four Standards’, the implementation of which has been carried out in Shugsep nunnery in Tibet in October 2019. The ‘Four Standards’ entails monks and nuns to be politically reliable entities in maintaining the “national stability.” More recently, the state has implemented the religious policy by conferring awards on monks and nuns who are regarded as “model monks and nuns”. Hence. it shows that there is a state-endorsed and colonial discourse of “empowered” Tibetan women while on the contrary, state's religious policy and increasing infiltration into Tibetan monastic spaces have completely negated the Tibetan Buddhist identity of nuns.........Read more

AI discovers that every lion has a unique and trackable roar

The system could help assess lion population density and individual movements Scientists from Oxford University have used a machine learning algorithm to discover every lion has its own identifiable and trackable roar. Previous research has shown that lions roar to communicate with other members of their pride and The Oxford scientists tried to find out by designing a device called a “biologger” that’s attached to a lion’s existing GPS collar to record audio and movement data. They then associated each call with a lion by cross-referencing the data through their recordings of roars. Next, the team used the data collected by the biologgers to train a pattern recognition algorithm to recognize each lion’s roar. Finally, they tested the algorithm on recordings it had not been fed before.........Read more

Why Indian Americans—the wealthiest and most educated of US immigrants—form a key voter base

These are the core obsessions that drive our newsroom—defining topics of seismic importance to the global economy. These are some of our most ambitious editorial projects. Enjoy! Our emails are made to shine in your inbox, with something fresh every morning, afternoon, and weekend. Senator Kamala Harris has put a spotlight on the Indian American community in the US. Her mother, Shyamala Gopalan, was a biologist from the Indian city of Chennai. Her father, Donald Harris, an economist, was from Jamaica. After her parents divorced, her mother raised Kamala Harris and her sister as members of the Black Church. But her mother also . In her Harris writes about her Indian origins. I am a of Indian origin who has followed the rising trajectory of Indian Americans in American politics. Though Indian Americans constitute a mere their impact on American politics can be disproportionate. Indian Americans are among the and of all immigrant groups in the US. How exactly do they vote? At 4 million, Indian Americans are one of the fastest growing immigrant groups in the US and the after Mexicans. The community, however, started with modest numbers, owing to severe restrictions on immigration prior to the passage of the landmark .........Read more

APJ Abdul Kalam birth anniversary: Here are five scientific contributions of 'Missile Man'

From being the people's President to spearheading the development of the most significant Indian missiles, late President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam has contributed to the development of the country in different spheres. As an aerospace scientist, Kalam worked with India's two major space research organisations - Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). While, his work in the development and operationalisation of Indigenous guided missiles - AGNI and PRITHVI - earned him the title of the 'Missile Man of India,' there are many more ways in which Kalam has helped India in the division of science and technology. - 1. Directed the project to develop India's first Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV) Back in 1980s, when India had hardly dreamt of having its indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV), Dr Kalam's over 10-year-long hard work as the project director for the development of the indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle at ISRO led to the ground-breaking scientific development. It was in July 1980, that India's SLV-III successfully deployed the Rohini satellite in the near-Earth orbit leading to the country becoming a member of the exclusive Space Club.........Read more

The Future Of Education: Indian Startups Chase $10 Bn Edtech Opportunity

The edtech market is estimated to grow 3.7x in the next five years, from $2.8 Bn (2020) to $10.4 Bn (2025) With growing adoption during the lockdown months, edtech services and products are expected to have an addressable base of 37 Mn-plus paid users by 2025 While edtech was already growing, Covid-19 brought it more momentum, $1.4 Bn invested in the last 9 months. But how long will the bull run last? The pandemic could not have come at a worse time for the Indian education system. For one, not only was the system lagging behind more tech-friendly nations, but it was also not focussed on the one aspect that should be the primary objective — employability of students and not just degrees. While school education in modern India has become a fundamental right (till the age of 14) thanks to the Right To Education (RTE) added in the 86th constitutional amendment in 2002, the state of higher education is not as robust. Although the overall state of public education in India is not exactly great, since the inception of RTE, the adult literacy rate in the country has jumped up by 13% from 61% in 2001 to 74% in 2018. At the same time, per capita spending on education in India is around $499 (INR 32,500), which is approximately 4 times lower than the average of upper-middle-income countries.........Read more

Started by former PayU India colleagues, DotPe helps F&B retailers in contactless transactions

The mandated social distancing norms in public spaces — owing to the COVID-19 pandemic — has ignited Indian startups to come up with innovative business solutions for restaurant operators and F&B retailers. One such startup is Gurugram-based DotPe. Started in 2019 by Shailaz Nag, Gyanesh Sharma, and Anurag Gupta, the B2B2C tech startup provides neo digital transformation and commerce solutions to restaurants and F&B brands across India. The retail fintech startup has collaborated with several marquee clients, including StarBucks, Big Chill, McDonald’s, Barista, Beer Cafe, and Smoke House Deli, who are utilising its solutions to connect with their consumers directly, as well as avoid long queues in the shop. DotPe Co-founders Shailaz, Gyanesh, and Anurag knew each other since their time working at PayU India. While Shailaz worked as the Co-founder and Managing Director of PayU, Gyanesh and Anurag held the positions of Head of Engineering and Head of Banking and Product Partnership, respectively. The trio then designed and built the product, and eventually launched DotPe in 2019. DotPe’s platform offers a slew of digital capabilities to the traditional ‘brick and mortar’ businesses and helps them with their payment and commerce-related needs.........Read more

Reskilling works when employee & employer needs to learn and improve coincide: Richard Lobo, Infosys

Let's get smarter about money Hunt for the brightest engineers in India In a recent e-mail interaction Richard Lobo, executive vice president & head of HR, Infosys discusses some of the new trends around reskilling, the impact Covid 19 has had on learning and more. ........Read more

Not Asteroid, NASA expert discovers identity of this future mini-moon

A few days back, it has been reported that an asteroid named 2020 SO will get nabbed by the earth's gravity, and it will become a mini-moon of the blue planet by next month. But now, NASA's asteroid expert Paul Chodas has suggested that the asteroid is not an 'asteroid' at all. According to Chodas, the suspected asteroid could be actually an old rocket from a failed moon landing, happened five decades ago, and the rocket is now making its way back to earth. What is Asteroid 2020 SO? Chodas claimed that the asteroid 2020 SO could be most probably the Centar upper rocket stage that successfully propelled NASA's Surveyor 2 lander to the moon in 1966 before it was discarded. The lander crashlanded on the lunar surface as one of its thrusters failed to ignite. On the other hand, the rocket swept past the moon and into orbit around the sun as space junk, and experts never expected to see it again. Now, experts have discovered the object using a telescope in Hawaii, which is being used to detect potentially hazardous that lurk near the earth. Upon initial analysis, scientists revealed that this object is roughly 26 feet in length.........Read more

National Education Policy 2020: Can the classroom change?

Few policy makers, academicians and other professionals concerned about school education in India would argue against the reform of pedagogy envisaged in the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. The policy articulates the goal of changing the teaching and learning process to foster inquiry, discovery, analysis and critical thinking. However, in India, there is a long history of ‘poor implementation’ of lofty policies, especially if the goals are complex, as in this case. A critical question, therefore, is: Can the pedagogic transformation envisaged become a reality, or will it remain a wishful statement of intent?........Read more

YouTube bans coronavirus vaccine misinformation

The video platform said it would now ban any content with claims about COVID-19 vaccines that contradict consensus from local health authorities or the World Health Organization. YouTube said in an email that this would include removing claims that the vaccine will kill people or cause infertility, or that microchips will be implanted in people who receive the vaccine. A YouTube spokesman told Reuters that general discussions in videos about “broad concerns” over the vaccine would remain on the platform. YouTube says it already removes content that disputes the existence or transmission of COVID-19, promotes medically unsubstantiated methods of treatment, discourages people from seeking medical care or explicitly disputes health authorities’ guidance on self-isolation or social distancing. Conspiracy theories and misinformation about the new coronavirus vaccines have proliferated on social media during the pandemic, including through anti-vaccine personalities on YouTube and through viral videos shared across multiple platforms.........Read more