Month: December 2019

Yogi Adityanath promises quick execution of farm loan waiver scheme

first_imgAmid ongoing farmer protests in two BJP-ruled States of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has clarified that the farm loan waiver promised by his government would be implemented soon after the State Assembly passes the Budget 2017-18. Mr. Adityanath has also instructed the Finance Department to make it clear to banks that they will not issue any notice to beneficiary farmers for loan repayment till the budget was passed, a government spokesperson said. The budget session is likely to be convened in July.Banks have been asked to issue loan waiver certificates to the bona fide farmers after the Budget.The farm loan scheme would be implemented through “constitutional means,” Mr. Adityanath told senior officials on Friday night during a high-level meeting of the Finance department.The Chief Minister’s fresh instructions assumes significance amid growing concerns that the government’s much-talked about crop loan waiver scheme has not materialised on the ground yet and could trigger similar protests in U.P. One-time settlementIt must be recalled that in its first Cabinet meeting, on April 4, the Adityanath government had decided to waive off farm loans up to ₹1 lakh. Along with ₹30,729 crore, the cost of the loan waiver, it was decided that the government would settle around ₹6,000 crore of non-performing assets (NPA) of seven lakh small and marginalized farmers, to whom the banks had stopped issuing loans, through a one-time payment. The double decision will benefit over 86 lakh small and marginalised farmers in the State who took loans until March 31, 2016. The total cost to the State exchequer would amount to ₹36,000 crore.To ensure the “effective implementation of the scheme”, Mr. Adityanath has directed that a meeting of the State-level bankers committee be convened.Spread the wordHe has also instructed officials to constitute a committee at the district level under the chairmanship of the district magistrates to ensure that the crop loan scheme reaches farmers and that information about it spreads from village to village.The district agricultural officer will be the member secretary of this committee. “It was also decided that bank accounts of farmers benefiting from the scheme should be linked to Aadhaar,” the government said. Along with the farm loan, the State had also promised to set up 5,000 centres for wheat procurement and would start of by purchasing 40 lakh metric tonnes of wheat [with a total target of 80 lakh metric tones] at a rate of ₹10 per more than the minimum support price (MSP) per quintal. As per the figures released by the government, under the price support scheme it has so far procured 32.16 lakh metric tonnes of wheat, which is four times more than the previous year. Moreover, sugarcane farmers have already been paid more than ₹22,190 crore.last_img read more

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LJP to join Bihar Cabinet

first_imgThe Lok Jan Shakti Party, led by Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, will join the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar. Mr. Paswan on Friday congratulated Mr. Kumar for joining the NDA once again. “Better late than never,” he said.“Yes, the party has taken the decision that it will join the new government of Nitish Kumar … but who will be in the Cabinet from our party, though, has not been decided,” LJP MP Chirag Paswan told presspersons in Patna. However, party sources told The Hindu that Pashupati Kumar Paras, State LJP chief and younger brother of Ram Vilas Paswan, is likely to join the Nitish Cabinet.last_img

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Duronto derails in Ratnagiri

first_imgPANAJI: The front trolley of the Ernakulam–Lokmanya Tilak Terminus Duronto Express derailed between Sawantwadi Road and Zarap stations in Ratnagiri around 3 p.m. on Thursday. No casualties or injuries were reported.An accident relief medical van and accident relief trains were sent t from Ratnagiri and Verna respectively. Konkan Railway officials left for the site too. Train traffic was affected, but restored at 7.20 p.m., an official said. Passengers can visit www.konkanrailway.com or call 022–27587939 for train inquiry.last_img

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Sabarmati jail’s ‘padwomen’ take a step towards empowerment

first_imgIn a novel initiative, the women inmates of the Sabarmati Central Prison have taken up the task of making sanitary napkins.The enterprise will serve not only as a source of income for them but also promote better menstrual hygiene among women inmates in jails across Gujarat, an official said.The sanitary pads, made at the manufacturing unit installed last week by a city-based NGO in the women’s barrack of the Sabarmati jail, will be given free of cost to all women inmates lodged in various prisons of the state, the official said.The Navjivan Trust, an organisation founded by Mahatma Gandhi, acted as a bridge between the NGO, Karma Foundation, and the jail authorities in shaping up this innovative project of providing some meaningful work to the womeninmates.The work to manufacture sanitary pads at the unit in the Sabarmati jail premises was formally launched on May 11. | Photo Credit: Gujarat Information Department In this Gujarat State Information Department handout photograph released and taken on July 6, 2010, female inmates make aggarbattis, incense sticks, at the Sabarmati Central Jail in Ahmedabad. The introduction of the various trades, to keep inmates occupied, was speerheaded by a local NGO. File photo: In this handout photograph released and taken on July 6, 2010, female inmates work on new sewing machines at the Sabarmati Central Jail in Ahmedabad.  The Karma Foundation’s managing trustee, Priyanshi Patel, said the idea of starting the project struck her when she visited the jail six months back and saw women inmates spending their time without doing any work.“The Navjivan Trust then suggested me to install a sanitary napkins manufacturing unit. This will provide income to these inmates,” Patel said.The sanitary pads made in the Sabarmati jail will be given free of cost to all women prisoners across Gujarat, she said.In future, the NGO would also take up the task of selling these napkins at subsidised rates through government agencies, Patel said.“The women inmates can also start a small business of making sanitary pads after they come out of the jail,” she suggested.  At present, one manufacturing unit has been installed where about 12 women prisoners can work at a time.“We will gradually increase the number of manufacturing units,” Patel said.The in-charge superintendent of Sabarmati jail, V.H. Dindor, expressed happiness that the women prisoners have now got some work to do.The Navjivan Trust’s managing trustee, Vivek Desai, said they would encourage more NGOs to come forward and bring up such projects for the benefit of the Sabarmati jail inmates. | Photo Credit: Gujarat Information Department last_img read more

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AAP to take pollution in rivers to green panel

first_imgAfter molasses spillover from a sugar mill caused the death of a large number of fish in the Beas river in Punjab, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) legislators have decided to approach the National Green Tribunal (NGT) seeking strict action against and remedial measures on contamination of river and canal waters.“We have decided to take up the issue of dangerous contamination and pollution in the rivers, rivulets, canals and drains of Punjab with the National Green Tribunal. We have been forced to take this step as the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) had miserably failed to discharge its duty to protect the environment and pollution in the rivers of the State, primarily caused due to untreated industrial waste being allowed to flow into the rivulets and rivers,” said Leader of the Opposition Sukhpal Singh Khaira on Tuesday.Mr. Khaira said a delegation of AAP legislators will meet NGT’s acting chairperson Justice Jawad Rahim on Wednesday to complain about the dangerous levels of contamination and pollution in the rivers and canals, endangering aquatic animals and human beings.Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal claimed that the Union Environment Ministry has agreed to depute a Central team to assess the ecological damage caused by the release of industrial effluents into the Beas river. Mr. Badal said he has been informed that a Central team would make on-the-spot inquiry of the ecological disaster.last_img read more

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Kashmir kidnap drama ends in quid pro quo

first_imgA day after militants abducted 11 relatives of policemen in eight hours in south Kashmir, the authorities began releasing detained relatives of militants, including the father of Hizbul Mujahideen ‘operational commander’ Riyaz Naikoo.In response, the militants freed three till Friday afternoon.Among the freed relatives of policemen were the brother of an officer of the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police from Kulgam, a police official said. Eight persons remained in the custody of the abductors.Earlier in the day, the police quietly released over a dozen relatives of militants in Pulwama. In his late 60s, Asadullah Naikoo, father of Hizb ‘commander’ Riyaz, was among them.“Asadullah was not arrested but was detained for questioning,” said Superintendent of Police, Awantipora, Zahid Malik. At least 11 relatives of militants were detained by the security forces in the past three days in south Kashmir.An unusual pattern of detentions of family members of militants started on August 7, when the security agencies detained over a dozen relatives of three on-the-run Hizbul Mujahideen militants — Adil Ahmad Mir, Adfar Fayaz Parray and Hammad Khan — in the Tral area of Pulwama in nocturnal raids. The police described the arrested persons, mainly fathers and brothers, including a Class 11 student, as “overground workers”. In response, militants abducted the son of Rafiq Ahmad Rather, posted at the CID headquarters in Srinagar, from Tral on August 29. Asif Rather, pursuing a Master’s in Sericulture, remains captive of the militants.last_img read more

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J&K records 74% voting in nine-phase rural polls

first_imgThe ninth and final phase of panchayat elections in Jammu & Kashmir recorded a 38.8% voter turnout in the Kashmir division on Tuesday. The nine-phase polls has seen an overall 74% voting across the State.According to the Chief Electoral Officer, the frontier district of Kupwara witnessed the highest polling of 53.6%, followed by 46% in Bandipora, 38.9% in Baramulla and 38.8% in Budgam.The shadow of violence in south Kashmir this year, in which 200 militants and 100 civilians were killed, was visible in Pulwama and Anantnag districts.While south Kashmir’s Anantnag witnessed 28.4% polling, Pulwama registered just 1.4% turnout, said the officer.According to the officer, the conclusion of the final phase of the panchayat polls in J&K witnessed an overall polling of 74%, including 83.5% in Jammu division and 44.4% in Kashmir division.Kashmir has witnessed a major dip compared to the previous 2011 panchayat polls, which saw over 70% polling.The elections for 4,483 panchayat halqas, comprising 35,029 panch constituencies, were held from November 17. A total of 58,54,208 voters were registered for the polls.The first phase saw 64.5% polling in Kashmir division and 79.4% in Jammu division, and in the second phase, 80.4% in Jammu division and 52.2% in Kashmir division.Later, 55.7% in Kashmir division and 83.0% in Jammu division was recorded in the third phase; 82.4% in Jammu division and 32.3% in Kashmir division in the fourth phase; 85.2% polling in Jammu division and 33.7% in Kashmir division in the fifth phase; 17.3% in Kashmir division and 84.6% in Jammu division in the sixth phase; 84.8% in Jammu division and 30.3% in Kashmir division in the seventh phase; 85.1% in Jammu division and 49.6% in Kashmir division in the eight phase.last_img read more

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Odisha BJP leader fails to appear before police in murder case

first_imgCiting health reasons, Odisha BJP spokesperson Golak Mohapatra did not appear on Thursday at Chhatrapur police station in Ganjam district for interrogation in connection with the murder of youth BJD leader Laxmidutta Pradhan in 2017.Sub-Divisional Police Officer, Chhatrapur, Ramesh Sethi said Mr. Mohapatra sought one-month time for his appearance. “His lawyer informed us that his doctor had advised him one-month bed rest,” Mr. Sethi said.On January 29, two prominent BJP leaders of Odisha — Mr. Mohapatra and Bhrugu Buxipatra — were issued notices by the police to appear at the Chhatrapur police station in connection with the murder of the youth BJD leader. Mr. Buxipatra has been asked to appear at the police station on February 9.Laxmidutta, who also happened to be a councillor of Chhatrapur Notified Area Council, was murdered in broad daylight on September 16, 2017 by a group of armed assailants. So far, 19 persons have been arrested in connection with the murder.Two prime accused in the murder case — Krushna Chandra Nayak and Duryodhan Reddy — had been arrested from Uttarakhand. Mr. Mohapatra is suspected to have helped the two accused in fleeing to Uttarakhand and also arranged for their stay there, said police sources.Mr. Mohapatra had been earlier interrogated by the police at Chhtarpur police station on November 1, 2017. Mr. Buxipatra has been summoned by the police in connection with the case for the first time.last_img read more

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Why not simultaneous polls in J&K, asks Farooq

first_imgFormer Chief Minister and National Conference president Farooq Abdullah on Monday described the Election Commission of India’s decision to delay Assembly polls as “a major setback for democracy in J&K”.Expressing dismay over the ECI decision of not holding Assembly polls simultaneously with Lok Sabha elections, Dr. Abdullah said, “Postponement of Assembly polls can have serious ramifications across the State. The ones who took this democratically incoherent decision must be up to some mischief, otherwise there is no sound reason. If the situation is conducive for parliamentary elections, what stops them from conducting Assembly elections at the same time?”Dr. Abdullah said the whole theatrics of warmongering following the Pulwama attack was aimed to give the Prime Minister an escape route. “The forthcoming elections are, without any doubt, between the people of India and Narendra Modi. People will no more fall prey to the catchwords of Modi anymore,” he said.He hinted at finalising alliances in a few days.last_img read more

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Seven booked in Gujarat toor dal scam

first_imgSeven persons were booked, including four government officials, after State authorities ordered a probe into irregularities in the purchase of toor dal in Gujarat. More than 1,000 sacks of toor dal were found to have been filled with sand, twigs and substandard dal during the procurement process by the State Civil Supplies Department. The Opposition Congress has alleged “that officials and local BJP leaders were involved in the scam. Toor dal had been procured from farmers at the minimum support price of the State government.”last_img

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U.S. Weighs Informed Consent Rules in Wake of Infant Study Controversy

first_imgThe U.S. government is considering changing how biomedical researchers inform patients about the risks of some clinical experiments in the wake of an acrimonious debate over a study involving premature infants. The rules and the controversy—which put some neonatal research on hold for several months this year—were the subject of a daylong public hearing held earlier this week by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in Washington, D.C.The dispute has divided the bioethics community and pitted the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which funded the infant study, against the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP), the federal watchdog for research ethics. And it has focused attention on how best to ethically conduct research that compares the effectiveness of existing medical treatments, an endeavor that has grown since Congress approved $1.1 billion for such studies under the 2010 Affordable Care Act.The controversy began in March, when the OHRP issued a letter criticizing the directors of a $20 million, 23-hospital study known as SUPPORT (the Surfactant, Positive Pressure, and Oxygenation Randomized Trial). Among other goals, SUPPORT sought to determine whether the high or low end of blood oxygen levels commonly set for premature infants was better for preventing severe disease.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The nonprofit watchdog group Public Citizen circulated OHRP’s letter to reporters, drawing widespread media attention. OHRP charged researchers with failing to provide sufficient warning to parents of the 1300 babies in the study. It said researchers should have told parents about concerns that the high-oxygen saturation group had a potentially greater risk of eye disease, while babies in the lower group might be more likely to die or suffer developmental delays. Both concerns proved true at statistically significant levels.Many researchers and NIH officials, however, challenged OHRP’s stance. In an editorial in The New England Journal of Medicine in June, NIH Director Francis Collins called OHRP’s letter “inappropriate” given SUPPORT’s excellent design and importance. Collins’s surprisingly sharp editorial suggested that the 13-year-old OHRP be reined in by having experts consider its opinions before they are issued. Other researchers noted that because the trial involved treatments that were all considered “standard of care,” it wasn’t clear whether researchers needed to inform parents about risks related to care that might have been provided even without the study.OHRP ultimately backed away from plans to sanction the researchers. Instead, it announced that it would help organize the 28 August hearing and issued a letter emphasizing that it “does not and has never questioned whether the design of the SUPPORT study was ethical.”Those at the hearing offered an array of views on both the SUPPORT study and how future studies should be conducted. Kathy Hudson, an NIH deputy director, told ScienceInsider that there was no reason for SUPPORT researchers to have mentioned the risk of death at lower oxygen levels, because there was no recent data indicating that risk. OHRP Director Jerry Menikoff, however, said the agency’s examination had found that, during preliminary discussions of SUPPORT’s design, some neonatologists had raised concerns about risks at the lower oxygen levels. OHRP concluded that these concerns met a legal standard of “reasonably foreseeable risks” that researchers are supposed to warn subjects about.The parents of one infant enrolled in SUPPORT said they should have been told. “We would never have entered our child in this study if we’d know about the risks,” Shawn Pratt, whose daughter Dagen entered the SUPPORT trial at Duke University in 2007, told the hearing panel. The child, who was born 14 weeks prematurely and weighed less than 2 pounds, now suffers from cerebral palsy, a common result of extreme premature birth. The Pratts and four other families have sued the directors of the SUPPORT trial. None know which treatment their children received during the trial.Researchers say that the controversy prompted some trials involving infants to halt work while organizers reviewed and revised materials used to acquire informed consent. Several sites in the Neonatal Research Network, based at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), stopped recruiting new patients to six other ongoing trials while they reviewed documents. Most sites have since resumed recruitment, said NICHD Director Alan Guttmacher, often with revised consent forms.The neonatology study centers, for example, hewed to OHRP suggestions regarding the SUPPORT trial in adding warnings to documents for the network’s Transfusion of Prematurity study, which compares two types of blood transfusion strategies in extreme preemies. The study’s design is similar to that of the SUPPORT trial.“The OHRP letter created a lot of scrutiny and soul searching,” said Edward F. Bell, a neonatologist at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. His group added a paragraph to its protocol explaining the study’s goals to participants, and another stating, “Because your baby was born extremely premature, he/she is at extreme risk for a number of problems including death. Any of those risks could be favorably or unfavorably affected by their placement in the trial.”At the University of Cincinnati in Ohio, neonatologists are developing two informed consent documents—one that meets the legal requirements, the other a much shorter booklet that explains the goals and potential risks of the study in plainer language, with a multiple choice test at the end to make sure trial parents have understood it.But several bioethicists and doctors are pushing HHS to undertake a more sweeping overhaul of the informed consent system. They criticize what they say is an imbalance between the relatively strict consent requirements for research studies and the weaker requirements for everyday medical activities, which may be riskier and more experimental than the procedures studied in clinical trials. It is misleading to tell patients that experiments expose them to greater risks, while allowing doctors to choose treatments without discussing the relative risks of alternatives, bioethicist Nancy Kass of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, told the panel. David Magnus, a bioethicist at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, said he believed informed consent requirements could be waived when the risks of an experiment did not differ from those of standard of care treatments.But others in the bioethics community hotly attacked such proposals. SUPPORT’s system for randomly assigning infants to different treatments meant that they were not getting the “standard of care” in the institutions that treated them. While it is true that the SUPPORT infants got treatments within the range of normal care, they were put into high- or low-oxygenation groups, while doctors in neonatal care units often change oxygenation levels in response to a variety of signs and symptoms, said Michael Carome, Public Citizen’s director of health research and a former OHRP official.Others worried that the controversy will cause HHS to hesitate to protect patients. “The pressure on OHRP to pull back on enforcement sets a frightening, dangerous precedent,” said Alice Dreger, a bioethicist at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. “That is what is new here, not the essential nature of the research.”Whether the debate will ultimately lead to new rules is now up to HHS officials, who have said that they are weighing the issues.last_img read more

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ScienceShot: ‘Love Hormone’ Helps Keep Spark Alive

first_imgA whiff of oxytocin may help love not fade away. Researchers asked 20 unmarried men in multiyear relationships to rank the attractiveness of pictures of their partner, acquaintances, and strangers. When the men received a nasal spray of oxytocin—which is released by the body during sexual arousal—they rated their partners more highly but not the other women. MRI scans show that after an oxytocin dose, areas of the brain associated with rewards, which also drive drug addiction, were more active when the men saw pictures of their partner, the researchers report online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The finding could help explain the biological roots of monogamy in humans: Being in a long-term relationship raises a person’s oxytocin levels, which in turn increase the psychological reward of spending more time with that person. The cycle, the team concluded, could literally lead to an addiction to one’s lover.See more ScienceShots.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

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U.S. Energy Department to make researchers’ papers free

first_imgThe U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today unveiled its answer to a White House mandate to make the research papers it funds free for anyone to read: a Web portal that will link to full-text papers a year after they’re published. Once researchers are up to speed and submitting their manuscripts, that will mean 20,000 to 30,000 new free papers a year on energy research, physics, and other scientific topics.Although the plan will expand public access to papers, some onlookers aren’t happy. That’s because the papers will not reside in a central DOE database, but mostly on journal publishers’ websites. Open-access advocates say that will limit what people can do with the papers.”The DOE’s plan contains some steps in the right direction, but has some serious holes. Most critically, it doesn’t adequately address the reuse rights needed for the public to do more than simply read individual articles,” says Heather Joseph, executive director of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC). (The same gripes will likely apply to the National Science Foundation’s public access plan, which has not yet been issued but is expected to be similar to DOE’s.)Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)DOE is responding to a February 2013 memo from the White House directing federal research agencies to come up with a plan for allowing free access to taxpayer-funded, peer-reviewed manuscripts within 12 months after the paper appears in a journal. That would put agencies in line with the National Institutes of Health, which since 2008 has required its grantees to submit their accepted manuscripts to its PubMed Central archive for posting within 12 months of publication.Many publishers dislike PubMed Central—they say it infringes on journal copyright and diverts readers from their websites, cutting into advertising revenues. With those concerns in mind, in its 2013 memo the White House didn’t mandate that agencies establish a central repository but instead allowed them to devise their own plans for providing access to papers.Under the DOE plan, people will find papers through a searchable Web portal called PAGES (Public Access Gateway for Energy and Science). The portal will contain each paper’s metadata—such as the title, authors, and journal issue—and will link to the full-text PDF. That PDF will either be on the publisher’s website, or if the publisher won’t share it after 12 months, at a repository run by the researcher’s DOE lab or university. Once the publisher is ready to make it freely available, the repository link will be replaced with a link to the paper on the journal’s website.In case papers disappear when a journal folds or a link breaks, DOE will also create a “dark archive” of the full-text papers. But this is only “an insurance policy” for individual papers; the dark archive will not be accessible to the public, says Brian Hitson, acting director of the DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information. Linking to the final paper on the publisher’s site ensures that people find the “best version” with any revisions or corrections, DOE says. It also responds to the memo’s requirement that the plan be “as cost-effective as possible,” Hitson says.The beta rollout of PAGES contains about 6500 papers and abstracts only for some, Hitson says. As it grows, abstracts will be added. A requirement that DOE-funded researchers submit metadata and links for their papers goes into effect on 1 October. It will take some time to “socialize” scientists to the requirement and for papers to build up, Hitson says.Many journals will provide the link through CHORUS, a coalition of commercial publishers and scientific societies (including AAAS, which publishes ScienceInsider). CHORUS is tagging papers with the funding agency so they can be tracked.Open-access advocates such as University of California, Berkeley, biologist Michael Eisen slammed CHORUS when publishers announced the program last year. They prefer a full-text government archive like PubMed Central so it is possible to “text mine,” or search across the entire body of papers. “Under this [DOE] plan, the public’s ability to download, text/data mine, and digitally analyze these articles is severely limited,” SPARC’s Joseph agrees.But Frederick Dylla, executive director and CEO of the American Institute of Physics (AIP) and a board member of CHOR Inc., which runs CHORUS, says the group is “working towards” allowing full-text and data mining. At the same time, he says there is little demand for text mining. He says AIP has never gotten a request for its more than 1 million articles; Elsevier, the publishing giant, gets only about six requests a year, he says. Text mining journal articles is “a field that’s just beginning,” he says.last_img read more

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Uncertain times await Arab World and Indian interests in 2018

first_imgTensions among key players of West Asia, efforts to consolidate his power by Saudi Crown Prince and the US move to shift its Embassy to Jerusalem could be flash points that could push the world’s most complex region into further instability in 2018 that could have global impact from energy supplies to expatriates to spread of radicalism. India could be among those impacted as most of its hydrocarbon supplies are still sourced from West Asia and it has 7-8 million expatriates in six Gulf states seending back home billions of dollars.While stability of Saudi Arabia was still being debated came US President Donald Trump’s decision to shift US embassy to Jerusalem impacting status quo of the region in a major way and pushing the region into deeper instability. This will not only see rise in anti-American protests and resentment among US allies in the Arab World but may also strengthen radical forces that could impact every continent. While stability in Riyadh is desired, it will be prudent if US reconsiders its decision on Jerusalem that will also prevent attacks on its closest ally Israel. Even Arab allies of Israel, Jordan and Egypt, may find it difficult to safeguard Israel. And Turkey, which has diplomatic ties with Israel, is already engaged in a verbal duel with Tel Aviv.  Read it at Economic Times Related Itemslast_img read more

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2017 saw UK-India ties grow but post-Brexit future concerns remain

first_imgThe UK-India ties grew steadily in 2017, with the British government laying the groundwork for a new post-Brexit economic partnership with New Delhi amid concerns over its tough stance on the movement of professionals and students between the two nations.The cultural strand of the bilateral relationship may have dominated the year, with grand celebrations at some of the UK’s major institutions to also mark 70 years of India’s independence, but the foreign office highlighted that other aspects of the ties remain equally at the forefront, especially within the context of Brexit.“Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi described the connection between our people as a ‘living bridge’ and that link has been strengthened during the 2017 UK-India Year of Culture,” said a UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) spokesperson. Read it at First Post Related Itemslast_img read more

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Hyderabad Woman Seeks Swaraj’s Help to Bring Her Daughter Back from Riyadh

first_imgA Hyderabad based woman has sought help from Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to bring her daughter back from Saudi Arabia. The woman has claimed that her daughter was allegedly trafficked to Saudi Arabia last year on the pretext of a job there.According to a report by news agency ANI, the woman, Habeeb Unissa, has sought Swaraj’s help to bring her daughter Haleem Unissa back to India from Saudi Arabia. She has been in Saudi Arabia since March 2017.While speaking to the news agency, Habeeb Unissa said that two agents promised her daughter beautician’s job in capital Riyadh. She alleged that her daughter was trafficked to Saudi Arabia on the pretext of this job. She also said that while her daughter went there last year, the family has no clue as to when she will return.Asking the government for help, Habeeb Unissa said that her daughter is being tortured.The news agency quoted the mother as saying, “My daughter, named Haleem Unissa, went there in March 2017, till now we don’t know when she will return. She was sent there to work in a beauty parlor by two agents. She is being tortured there. We have also filed a police complaint. We want to request the government to help us.”Sharing the plight of the family with the news agency, Mohammed Asif Khan, Haleem’s brother told that his sister was promised around Rs.25,000 per month in Saudi Arabia. But instead of giving her a beautician’s job, she was made to work as a housemaid there. He added that he asked the agents to bring Haleem back to India but didn’t get any response from them.He also said that his family has already requested the Indian embassy to help them in this matter. Related Itemslast_img read more

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Nanar oil refinery row simmers again

first_imgThe row over a ₹3 lakh crore oil refinery to be built in coordination with Saudi Arabia’s Aramco on Maharashtra’s coastline seems to be far from over. A pro-refinery group will organise a rally in Ratnagiri town on Saturday demanding that the project be not shifted out of its original location at Nanar in Ratnagiri district, while the anti-refinery faction has decided to hold a counter protest on the same day at the same place.An organisation called Konkan Vikas Samiti (KVS) held a press conference in Mumbai on Monday to demand that the project be not shifted out of Ratnagiri. Claiming that it would bring employment and opportunities to the local people, Avinash Mahajan of the KVS said the refinery is capable of providing employment to over 1.5 lakh people, which will lead to the development of the region as the increase in the number of employees will bring with it more facilities. “People were initially ready for the project but pressure was created to force them to oppose the project,” he said.The July 20 rally to the Collector’s office is aimed at sharing knowledge with the local people about the benefits of the refineries and to correct any misunderstanding, he said.Opponents of the project see it as a concerted attempt to push it among the local people. “There seems to be an effort from the government to bring non-political groups to the fore to push the project in Ratnagiri. There have been systematic campaigns in schools, colleges and markets from this group to promote the project,” said Satyajit Chavan, convener, Konkan Vinashkari Prakalp Virodhi Samiti. Mr. Chavan also referred to the recent meeting between Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Minister of Steel Dharmendra Pradhan and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. “If the pro-refinery group is going to organise the rally, we will take to the streets to oppose them on the same day,” he said.On April 11, 2018, three Indian public sector oil companies had signed the Memorandum of Understanding with Aramco to set up the refinery at Nanar. Following protests from local residents and the ruling coalition partner Shiv Sena lending support to them, the notification issued by the State Industries Department to acquire land was cancelled and it was decided to shift the project out of Nanar. In a written reply in the Assembly in the recently-held monsoon session, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had said the City and Industrial Development Corporation is developing an Integrated Industrial Cluster in 40 villages in Alibaug, Murud, Roha and Shrivardhan tehsils of Raigad over 13,409.52 hectares.Newly-elected MP from Raigad Sunil Tatkare also said on Sunday he would be studying the project in the event of its coming to his district, before deciding on whether to support it or oppose it. “I will be meeting the Chief Minister and Union minister to discuss the issue. We will decide our position only after going through its pros and cons,” he said.last_img read more

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