Modi invites entrepreneurs from across world to be part of India's growth story

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday invited entrepreneurs from across the globe to invest in India and become a part of the country's growth story, assuring them of the government's whole-hearted support.

Modi, Ivanka Trump attend GES 2017 in Hyderabad
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today invited entrepreneurs from across the globe to invest in India and become a part of the country's growth story, assuring them of the government's whole-hearted support.
"To my young entrepreneur friends from India, I would like to say: each of you has something valuable to contribute towards creating a New India by 2022. You are vehicles of change and instruments of India’s transformation," he said in his inaugural address at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, 2017 here, an event hosted by the Government of India in partnership with the Government of the United States of America.
The Summit is being held in South Asia for the first time. It brings together leading investors, entrepreneurs, academicians, think-tanks and other stakeholders to propel the global entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Ms. Ivanka Trump, Advisor to US President Donald Trump and also his daughter, is leading the US contingent to the three-day event.
"This event not only connects the Silicon Valley with Hyderabad but also showcases the close ties between the United States of America and India. It underlines our shared commitment towards encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation," Mr. Modi said.
He noted that the topics picked for this year’s summit include healthcare and life sciences; digital economy and financial technology; energy and infrastructure; and media and entertainment, which are important issues, relevant to the well-being and prosperity of mankind. 
"The theme 'Women First, Prosperity for All' makes this edition of GES stand out... We believe women empowerment is vital to our development," he said.
"Indian women continue to lead in different walks of life. Our space programmes, including the Mars Orbiter Mission, have had immense contribution from our women scientists. Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams, both of Indian origin, have been part of US space missions. Three out of four oldest High Courts in India are now headed by women judges. Our sportswomen have done the country proud. This very city of Hyderabad is home to Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, and Sania Mirza, who have brought laurels to India.
"In India, we have provided for not less than one third of women representation in rural and urban local bodies, ensuring women’s participation in grass-root level decision-making. More than sixty percent of workers in our agriculture and allied sectors are women. Our milk co-operatives in Gujarat and the Shri Mahila Griha Udyog Lijjat Papad, are examples of highly successful and globally acclaimed women-led co-operative movements.
"Here at the GES, more than 50 percent of the delegates are women. Over the next two days, you will meet many women who have dared to be different, in their own walks of life. They now inspire a new generation of women entrepreneurs. I hope the deliberations in the summit would focus on how women entrepreneurship can be further supported," he said.
"The power to think differently and ahead of the times for the betterment of mankind is what sets entrepreneurs apart. I see that power in India's young generation today. I see 800 million potential entrepreneurs who can work towards making the world a better place," Mr. Modi said.
He said the number of smartphone users in India is projected to grow to over 500 million by 2018. This offers immense potential for the growth of any venture, in terms of outreach and job creation, he felt.
He said the Government's Start-Up India programme is a comprehensive action plan to foster entrepreneurship and promote innovation. It aims to minimize the regulatory burden and provide support to startups. Over 1200 redundant laws have been scrapped, 87 rules for FDI have been eased in 21 sectors, and several government processes have been taken online, he said.
He said the Government had taken several steps to improve the business environment. "The jump in India’s ranking in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Report, from 142 to 100, in three years, is a result of this. We have improved on indicators like dealing with construction permits, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency," he said.
"The process is not yet complete. This is an area where we are not satisfied with 100th rank. We would strive towards 50th rank.  
"We have launched the MUDRA scheme to provide easy finance of upto one million rupees to entrepreneurs. Since its launch in 2015, over 90 million loans worth 4.28 trillion rupees have been sanctioned.  Of these, more than 70 million loans have been sanctioned to women entrepreneurs," he said.
The Prime Minister also mentioned the Atal Innovation Mission and the opening of Tinkering Labs in more than 900 schools to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship among children. 
"Our Mentor India initiative engages leaders to guide and mentor students through these tinkering labs. In addition, 19 incubation centers have been created in various universities and research institutions. These will nurture innovative start-up businesses to become scalable and sustainable," he said.
He also mentioned Aadhaar, the world’s largest biometric based digital database. This currently covers over 1.15 billion people and digitally authenticates over 40 million transactions daily. He said the Government now digitally provides monetary benefits of various government schemes to the beneficiaries through Direct Benefit Transfer using Aadhaar.
"Almost 300 million bank accounts with deposits of over 685 billion rupees, or over 10 billion dollars, have been opened through the Jan Dhan Yojana. These bring previously un-banked sections of society into the formal financial system. Of these, 53 per cent accounts are of women.
"We are steadily working towards a less cash economy and have launched a Unified Payment Interface App called BHIM. In less than a year, this platform is processing almost 280 thousand transactions daily.
"Having almost completed our programme to connect all villages with electricity, we have launched the Saubhagya scheme. This will provide electricity connections to all families by December 2018.
"We have launched a programme to provide high-speed broad-band internet to all rural areas by March 2019," he said.
The Prime Minister also mentioned initiatives in areas such as renewable energy, the national gas grid, the national gas policy, the Swachh Bharat Mission to improve sanitation and cleanliness, the rural and urban housing missions, and infrastructure and connectivity programmes like Sagarmala and Bharatmala, and said they offered entrepreneurs many business opportunities for investment.
"Our recent World Food India initiative helped us engage with entrepreneurs in the food processing industry and agricultural waste sectors.
"My government understands that an environment of transparent policies and a rule of law providing a level-playing field are necessary for entrepreneurship to flourish. A historic overhaul of the taxation system has been recently undertaken, bringing in the Goods and Services Tax across the country. Our Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code introduced in 2016 is a step towards ensuring timely resolution for stressed ventures. We have recently improved this further, preventing wilful defaulters from bidding for stressed assets.
"Tough measures have been adopted to tackle the parallel economy, check tax evasion and control black money. Our efforts have been recognized by Moody’s recent upgrade of India’s government bond ratings. This upgrade comes after a gap of almost 14 years.
"India has improved its rank from 54 in 2014 to 35 in 2016 on the World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index. This signifies the relative ease and efficiency with which products can be moved into and from a country," he said.
Stating that an investment-friendly environment needs to be stable from the macro-economic perspective, he said the Government had succeeded in containing the fiscal and current account deficits, and curbing inflation. 
"Our foreign exchange reserves have crossed 400 billion dollars, and we continue to attract large foreign capital flows," he said.
"I am informed that President Trump has declared November 2017 as National Entrepreneurship Month. America has also observed National Entrepreneurs’ Day on November 21st. This summit will certainly resonate with those themes. Let me conclude by wishing you fruitful, engaging and rewarding deliberations at this summit," he added.

Kiran Reddy quits as Andhra Pradesh CM day after LS passes Telangana Bill

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy announced his resignation on Wednesday in protest against the decision of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance Government at the Centre to go ahead with its decision to carve out Telangana from Andhra Pradesh as the 29th state of the Union.

Andhra Pradesh CM Kiran Reddy resigns, quits Congress
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy announced his resignation today in protest against the decision of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government at the Centre to go ahead with its decision to carve out Telangana from Andhra Pradesh as the 29th state of the Union.
Mr Reddy handed in his papers to Governor E S L Narasimhan a day after, amid noisy schenes, the Lok Sabha passed the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Bill, which seeks to bifurcate the state to create the new state of Telangana.
Before driving down to Raj Bhavan to submit his resignation, Mr Reddy addressed a press conference at which he hit out at his Congress party for allegedly flouting Parliamentary procedures in its haste to get the Bill passed.
"I am ashamed. They did it like thieves, blacking out the live telecast. What was the need to do all this?" he asked.
Thanking the party for giving him the chance to serve as Chief Minister, he, however, made it clear that he could not continue in the Congress because, according to hi, it had betrayed the Telugu people.
He said he would also resign as a member of the Legislative Assembly as well as from the membership of the Congress.
Mr Reddy said the Congress and the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had got together in the Lok Sabha yesterday to get the Bill passed.
He was particularly upset that the Bill was passed in the absence of several MPs from Andhra Pradesh, who had been suspended from the House for disrupting proceedings on February 13.
There has been media speculation about Mr Reddy planning to launch a new party but he did not touch the topic today. "My future is not important," he said when asked about it.
Some of his Cabinet colleagues from the Seemandhra region, who were opposed to the bifurcation of the state, and several legislators were present at the press conference.

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Cabinet nod for agreement with UNESCO on International Training Centre for Operational Oceanography in Hyderabad

The Union Cabinet today approved the establishment of International Training Centre for Operational Oceanography, as a Category-2 Centre (C2C) of UNESCO, in Hyderabad.
The purpose of the agreement is to establish a training centre towards development of capacity for the countries on the Indian Ocean Rim (IOR), African countries bordering the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, and small island countries under the framework of UNESCO.
The operational oceanography is an activity of conducting systematic oceanographic studies towards providing information services to various sectors -- fisherman, disaster management, shipping, ports, coastal states, navy, coast guard, environment, offshore industries for conducting their day-to- day operations.
The Centre will provide assistance in areas of capacity building and training, knowledge sharing and exchange of information, and hence could represent a valuable resource for UNESCO and its Intergovernmental Oceanography Commission (IOC) by enhancing the impact and visibility of UNESCO's action.
The establishment of UNESCO Category-2 Centre will provide an opportunity for India to emerge as a leading country in the Indian Ocean.
This will also help India to forge cooperation and improve engagement among the counties of the Indian Ocean, including South Asian and African states bordering the Indian Ocean.
The establishment of the centre would respond to the worldwide increasing need to build technical and management capacity to address marine and coastal sustainability issues and prepare the region for and react efficiently to marine natural hazards.
The Centre could contribute to achieving Sustainable Development Goal-14 (SDG 14) related to building marine scientific research capacity in geographical area of the Centre responsibility which will also fulfil the commitments to support Small Island Developing States, Least Developed Countries.
This C2C is intended to improve skill of students and other participants which will increase the employment opportunities within and outside India. The establishment of C2C is also expected to increase ancillary development leading to employment generation in India.
 The centre is currently operational with the state-of-the-art facilities available at Indian Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Hyderabad. So far, over 681 scientists including 576 from India and 105 from 34 other countries have been trained at this centre in various aspects of operational oceanography.
The other infrastructure facilities like building and training hostel are being established. It is also envisaged to invite world class (acuities and trainees from around the world and work out a curriculum for long duration courses (of 3-9 months).

IndiGo to launch flights to Sharjah from Hyderabad, Lucknow

Continuing its focus on connecting destinations in the Gulf to more Indian cities, low-cost carrier IndiGo will launch new daily non-stop flights to Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh and Hyderabad in Telangana from December 29.
IndiGo will also connect Sharjah to Kolkata, Kochi, Goa, Tirupati, Rajahmundry, Patna, Mangalore, Visakhapatnam, Chennai, Raipur and Bhubaneswar through connecting flights, a press release from the airline said.
Mr. Sanjay Kumar, Chief Commercial Officer IndiGo said, “We are the first Indian carrier operating Sharjah flight from Hyderabad and also starting first and only Lucknow-Sharjah connection. Expanding operations to Sharjah on the 6E network is in response to the growing demand on the sector. These new flights will also open up immense connectivity to and fro for other cities on our network, supported by our 147 Airbus-320 strong fleet.”

Telugu film comedian Vijay Sai found dead in Hyderabad

Telugu film comedian Vijay Sai found dead

Popular Tollywood comedian Vijay Sai was found dead at his residence in Yousufguda here on Monday morning.

The comedian was found hanging in the bedroom of his apartment by his family members.

It is being said that Sai was under a lot of stress due to personal and financial problems.

Sai made his debut in the Telugu film industry in 2001 and has acted in several hit films like 'Bommarillu', 'Ammayilu Abbayilu'.

An investigation is underway to find the reason behind his death.



Online coupons major GrabOn onboards Tata CLiQ, Scoot, Honor as partners for 'Christmas Carnival'


GrabOn, an online coupons and deals platform, has brought onboard big names such as Tata CLiQ, Scoot and Honor as partners for its 12-day "Christmas Carnival" from December 11-22 that will give its users a chance to win prizes worth up to Rs. 10,00,000.

The prizes include return tickets for two couples to destinations in South East Asia, smart phones, gift hampers and many other goodies, a press release from the Hyderabad-based company said.
The grand prize of the carnival is sponsored by Scoot, the low-cost, medium-to-long haul arm of the Singapore Airlines Group. 
Mr. Bharath Mahadevan, Scoot’s Country Head, India said: “Scoot is excited to be associated with GrabOn’s Christmas Carnival, and in keeping with the season of gifting we are pleased to give away free tickets on our flights from India for two lucky couples.”
The tickets can be used to fly out of India to Scoot’s International destinations such as Hong Kong, Macau, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Seoul, Bangkok, Phuket, Hanoi and 20 others.
The 12-day celebrations will be sponsored by Tata CLiQ, India's leading marketplace portal, and co-sponsored by Honor, the mobile computing sub-brand of Huawei; Purplle, a portal for beauty products; and EventsHigh, an event discovery platform. A Honor smartphone will be the Daily Top Prize during the carnival.
To participate in the contest, users should visit the campaign page and log in with Facebook. They can then play games, share holiday wishes and refer friends to earn more points. The main aim is to top the leaderboard and better their chances to win.
“We are pleased to announce that we have onboarded Tata CLiQ, Honor Phones and Scoot as our partners for the Christmas Carnival campaign. This campaign has the potential of bringing in more players than before with exciting gaming events and bigger prizes at stake,” said Ashok Reddy, the founder and CEO of GrabOn.
With over 5.5 million monthly unique visitors, 14 million coupons redeemed every month and more than 25 million subscribers, GrabOn provides authentic coupons and discounts to users through its innovative Buzz notifications and savings app.
In an effort to improve the experience of online shoppers, GrabOn has recently entered the price comparison space with BestPriceOn, a service that helps them compare the prices of electronic gadgets and large electronic appliances on different online e-commerce websites before purchasing.

Modi to inaugurate Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Hyderabad on Tuesday

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Hyderabad on Tuesday, with women comprising more than 52.5% of the participants.

File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi
File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) here tomorrow with women comprising more than 52.5% of the participants.
Co-hosted by the United States and India, GES is being held for the first time in South Asia. Ivanka Trump, Advisor to US President Donald Trump and also his daughter, will lead the US contingent to the event.
This is the eighth edition of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, a gathering of entrepreneurs, investors, and supporters from around the world.  With the theme of “Women First, Prosperity for All,” this will be the first GES in which women are the majority of the participants.
More than 10 countries will be represented by an all-female delegation, including those from Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and Israel.  A number of leading female voices will speak at various plenaries, breakout sessions, master classes, and workshops, including tennis champion Sania Mirza, Google’s Vice President of Next Billion Users Diana Louise Patricia Layfield and CEO of Afghan Citadel Software Company Roya Mahboob. 
This year’s summit theme demonstrates the commitment of the U.S. and Indian governments to the principle that when women are economically empowered, their communities and countries thrive.  Women entrepreneurs help drive innovation and job creation, as well as address the world’s greatest and most critical challenges. 
The inaugural plenary of the high-powered, three-day summit will take place at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre followed by two days of networking, mentoring, and workshops, anchoring the collaborative environment for entrepreneurs to exchange ideas, create networks and take their passions to the next level. 
At the plenary session at 4:30 PM, on the theme “Be the Change: Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership,” the speakers, apart from Mr Modi will be Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao and Ms Trump.
This will be followed by a panel session on opening up opportunities for women entrepreneurs in their countries and communities. The session will be moderated by John Chambers, Chairman Emeritus, Cisco.
The panellists will be Ms. Trump, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Sibongile Sambo, Managing Director, SRS Aviation and SRS Petroleum and Marcus Wallenberg, Chairman, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB).
On November 29, the theme of the morning session will be “We Can Do It! Innovations in Workforce Development and Skills Training”. A discussion will be held on increasing women’s participation in the workforce through access to skills training, education, and mentorship.  Innovators in workforce development and training will discuss what works and what more can be done to open doors for women in the workplace.
The session will be moderated by K.T. Rama Rao, Minister for IT E&C, Industries and Commerce, Telangana. The panellists will be Cherie Blair, Founder, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, Chanda Kochhar, Managing Director and CEO, ICICI Bank, Limited, Karen Quintos, Chief Customer Officer, Dell EMC and Ms. Trump.
On November 30, the session will be in the afternoon with the theme “When Women Win, We All Win: Promoting Inclusive Environments for Women Entrepreneurs.”
The closing session of GES will bring together key influencers that support, promote, and fund women entrepreneurs.  Panellists will share efforts to advance women in leadership positions and ensure that women have “seats at the table” while breaking down the barriers that disproportionately affect women’s ability to start and grow businesses. This session will be moderated by Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu.
The panellists will be Kristina Perkin Davison, Co-Founder and Managing Director, iEurope Capital LLC, Dipali Goenka, CEO and Joint Managing Director, Welspun India, Mark Green, Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development, Lerato Motsamai, Founder and CEO, Petrolink and Manish Sabharwal, Chairman, TeamLease.
These plenary participants will join dozens of other session speakers and experts and a group of 1,500 entrepreneurs, investors, and supporters of entrepreneurship from more than 150 countries and territories across the world.
The summit has introduced a mobile application to enable seamless networking among all the registered delegates. A wearable device interlinked with the application is also being provided to all delegates for use during and after the summit.
So far, 1500 delegates have downloaded the app, 20,000 profiles have been viewed, 4,000 messages and 6,000 business cards have been exchanged and 500 meetings have already been set up, an official press release said.

Pilot escapes as IAF trainer aircraft crashes near Hyderabad

IAF aircraft crashes, trainee pilot ejects safely
An Indian Air Force (IAF) trainee pilot escaped with minor injuries when the basic trainer aircraft Kiran MK-IA she was flying crashed minutes after it took off from Air Force Station Hakimpet, about 25 km from here, today.
The aircraft was on a routine training mission for the trainee pilot when the mishap occurred at around 1415 hours, a statement from the IAF said. The pilot ejected safely, it said.
"It crashed around 35 miles north east of the base. The trainee pilot ejected safely and landed on the ground with minor injuries. A court of inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident," the statement added.

IIT Hyderabad develops device to diagnose infectious diseases

A team of researchers from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Hyderabad, has developed a new device that promises to help detect infectious diseases at low costs and very early.
The device uses a biochip and a nanomaterial based on zinc xxide. As a proof of concept it has been demonstrated in rapid detection of malaria.
The biochip comprises of a sensing platform integrated with a three-electrode system. The sensing electrode consists of antibody conjugated nanofibers. In the case of the device which has been tested, nanofibres were conjugated with histidine-rich protein II antibodies, which are specific to malarial antigen. 
Upon recognizing the presence of even a trace of malaria’s biomarkers in blood serum, the device registered a signal. It is calibrated to assess the quantitative level of infectious biomarker present in the sample. Samples obtained from a hospital were tested using the device.
The device can also quantify the extent of infection and does not require a trained technician to use it. “It can be used as a point of care device. It will be particularly useful in rural areas where diagnostic facilities are not available readily. People in endemic areas can keep the device at home and when someone in the house falls sick, they test if there is infection,” Shiv Govind Singh, leader of the team, said while speaking to India Science Wire.
The device is highly sensitive. It can detect malaria parasite at a concentration of even as low as a trillionth of a gram in a millilitre. This means it can detect minutest presence of a parasite, and help detect the infection on day one itself.
Dr. Singh said he and his team members were working on taking the device to the next level wherein the diagnosis could be transmitted to a medical professional via a smart phone. In addition, they are working on a device through which several diseases could be detected in one go.
The research team included Brince Paul and Asisa Kumar Panigrahi (IIT Hyderabad) and Dr. Vikrant Singh from School of Medicine, University of California. The study results have been published in journal ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces. 
(India Science Wire)

Languages should help build bridges of understanding: Venkaiah Naidu

Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu today said that language could help good governance because information and knowledge could create an enlightened citizenry. 
Addressing the 16th annual convocation of the Dakshina Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha here, he said Hindi had played a historic role in the development of India's unity, integrity and linguistic goodwill.
"For the unification of the nation there is no element more powerful than the language spoken by most of Indians," he said.
Mr. Naidu said the office of the Dakshina Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha was established in Vijayawada in 1936 and, as the presidents of this Sabha, freedom fighters such as Konda Venkapapayya Pantulu, Tungturi Prakasham Pantulu, Bejawada Gopalreddy and Swami Ramanand Tirtha did great work. "It is heartening to know that Dakshina Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha has not only promoted Hindi but also prepared a large number of Hindi teachers, translators and publicists," he added.
He said that  the Dakshina Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha of Andhra and Telangana is celebrating its 16th Annual Convocation and he reminded the audience of Gandhiji's view that no country is independent in the true sense, until and unless it speaks in its own language.
He congratulated all the students who received the degrees of Rashtra Bhasha Visharad and Rashtra Bhasha Praveen in Hindi.
Telangana Deputy Chief Minister Mohammad Mahmood Ali, the Vice President of Dakshina Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha, Chennai, Mr. H. Hanumantappa, the President of Dakshina Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha, Andhra Pradesh & Telangana, Mr. B. Obaiah and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

Extend reservations for women in Parliament, Assemblies on lines of Panchayats: Naidu

Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu has stressed the need to extend reservations for women in Parliament and State Legislative Assemblies on the lines of the Panchayats.
Addressing a function ‘Building a New India’ organized by the FICCI Ladies Organization here yesterday, Mr Naidu pointed out that while women have achieved tremendous success in different fields from space to sports, political empowerment is the most critical aspect in their overall empowerment.
“I hope that more and more women would be seen in various bodies—from Panchayats to Parliament in the years ahead. It is also necessary to remove all hurdles that come in the way of socio-economic empowerment of women. We need to extend reservations for women in Parliament and Assemblies on the lines of Panchayats,” he added.
“From times immemorial and in our scriptures women have been accorded positions of power and leadership. Our ethos and values always respected women and it is unfortunate that abhorrent tendencies of atrocities are taking place in modern times. It needs no reiteration that the most stringent action has to be taken against perpetrators of atrocities on women.
"Needless to say that education forms the foundation for empowering girls and women. As had been most aptly said educating a woman means educating an entire family. Ending gender disparity, ensuring safety, healthcare, imparting job skills, creating more job opportunities and ensuring safe work places are all aimed at empowering women," he said.
On the advantages of educating women, a UN report based on data from 219 countries, said that for every one additional year of education for women in reproductive age, child mortality is reduced by a huge 9.50%, Mr Naidu said.
The Government has launched various schemes, including ‘Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao’ which seeks to reverse the trend of decline in Child Sex Ratio, he pointed out.
On the theme of the conference, Mr Naidu said India is on the threshold of transforming into a major economic power. For this all people will have to work with renewed passion and commitment towards building the New India.
The Vice-President said the New India will be fully literate, free of corruption with shelter to every family, provide power on demand, best healthcare, meet the employment aspirations of the youth, empower women, double farmers’ income and convert India into an economic powerhouse with IT, Agriculture and Industrial sectors contributing significantly to its economic growth.
The Vice-President also interacted with the Members of the FICCI Ladies Organization. Responding to a question on what needs to be done for the women empowerment, he said that education is very important for the empowerment of women. He further said that financial security is also an important factor for women empowerment. They should be given equal opportunities, equal rights and health facilities, he added.

Naidu to inaugurate Urban Transport Challenges & Solutions Conference in Hyderabad on Saturday

Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu will inaugurate the ‘Urban Mobility India Conference and Expo’, which is aimed at  promoting dissemination of information and exchange of ideas on urban transport and mobility issues and the best practices being followed in the cities across the world, here tomorrow.
Telengana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao and Union Minister of Housing & Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri will also address the inaugural session, setting the tone for deliberations over the next three days.
Hyderabad was decided as the venue for the tenth UMI Conference and Expo by Mr Naidu last year when he was the Union Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation. Hyderabad is hosting this conference for the first time since UMI Conference was introduced in 2008.
The conference is being organized jointly by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Telangana government and CODATU, a French Transport Institute.
Initiatives and experiences in respect of various aspects of urban transport of 86 cities including 36 foreign cities will be presented as case studies for detailed discussion at the conference.
Case studies of foreign cities to be discussed include Boudeau and Lyan (France), Lausanne (Switzerland), Lisbon (Portugal), Gaudalajara (Mexico), Curitiba (Barzil), Bangkok (Thailand), Santiago (Chile), Constantine (Algeria), Cape Town (South Africa), Rabat (Morocco) and Dhaka (Bangladesh).
Indian city case studies to be presented and discussed include three relating to Hyderabad on Road Safety Aspects, Transit Oriented Development and Introduction of Tram Services besides Parking Policy, Planning and Implementation in Vijayawada, initiatives and experiences of Mysuru, Bengaluru, Chennai, Trivendrum, Varanasi, Lucknow, transport planning for Maha Kumbh Mela to be held in Allahabad in 2019, Indore, Bhopal, Amritsar, Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Chandigarh, Kolkata, and so on.
A total of 60 Plenary, Special and Technical Sessions will be held over the next three days for a detailed discussion on Intelligent Transport Solutions, Inclusive Urban  Transport and Sustainable Urban Transport Planning.
The highlight of the Hyderabad Conference is two Special Sessions for Mayors and Municipal Councillors from Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala on Inclusive and Sustainable Mobility and Intelligent Mobility.
Intelligent Transport Solutions (ITS) are advanced ICT based applications for enhancing the efficiency of use of different modes of transport in cities through better coordination and by informing the users to make safe, quick and smarter use of transport networks. ITS are used for effective management of traffic and mobility.
Inclusive Urban Transport Planning seeks to ensure the right of access to public spaces and particularly, to public transport systems for all. In the present scenario, road spaces in Indian cities are being used more by the vehicle owning sections at the cost of the poor and the marginalized.
Sustainable Urban Transport and Mobility aims at integrating environmental concerns with transport planning so that urban residents are not deprived of quality air.
UMI Conferences are organized to further the objectives of the National Urban Transport Policy which lays stress on ‘moving the people rather than the cars’.
 The Hyderabad Conference will deliberate on various components of the chain of urban transport from conceptualization of urban transport projects, design, financing and execution.
The broad themes to be discussed include; Mobility for All, Multi-modal Integration, Inclusive Planning, New Paradigms of Mobility, Smart Cities and Mobility, Electric Mobility, Shared Mobility, Linking Urban Transport and Environment, Informal Transport Systems.
It will also take up issues including Using Urban Transport Planning as an Opportunity, Efficient and Sustainable City Bus Service Systems, t Financial Planning for Urban Transport Projects, Land Value Capture and Transit Oriented Development and Metro Rail Policy.
Nine leading transport technology and service providers will display the latest technologies for the benefit of city and State Governments.
The conclusions and recommendations of the Hyderabad Conference will be presented by Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary (Housing & Urban Affairs) during the valedictory session on November 6.

BHEL's largest order for Yadadri Supercritical Thermal Power Project takes off

The public sector Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) today said the  execution of the 4,000 MW Yadadri Supercritical Thermal Power Project (TPP), its largest ever order received from Telangana State Power Generation Corporation Limited (TSGENCO), has commenced with the issuance of revised letter of intent (LoI) by TSGENCO.
Valued at approximately Rs. 20,400 crore, the order for Yadadri TPP, comprising five units of 800 MW supercritical sets, is not only the single largest order for BHEL but also the highest value order ever placed in the power sector in India. 
The project has been accorded environmental clearance by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) and would be compliant with the revised emission norms, a press release from BHEL said.
To be set up on Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) basis by BHEL, the project is located at Damaracherla in Nalgonda district of Telangana. "This landmark order is a testimony to BHEL’s proven technological excellence as well as its capability in executing power projects of this magnitude on EPC basis," it said.
"The Yadadri project will be executed on fast track basis by BHEL in line with the company’s strategy of focusing on revival of held up projects and their speedy execution. The Yadadri project will lead to a quantum jump in BHEL’s executable outstanding order book and will help the company to enhance its growth momentum," the release said.
BHEL has contributed equipment for 86% of the coal-based power generation capacity installed in Telangana. Some of these projects like Kothagudem and Ramagundam have been consistently performing above national benchmarks and have been awarded meritorious awards by the Ministry of Power for their outstanding performance, it said.
"Such superlative performance and reliability of BHEL make equipment has led to TSGENCO reposing their faith in BHEL’s capabilities to address the emerging power requirements of the newly formed state of Telangana. TSGENCO has earlier awarded contracts for 800 MW Kothagudem and 1,080 MW Bhadradri power projects to BHEL, which are under advanced stages of execution," the release added.

GMR-led Hyderabad International Airport commissions new baggage belt at domestic arrival terminal

GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd. (GHIAL), which operates the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) here, has commissioned a new baggage belt at the domestic arrival terminal to ensure better baggage delivery for  passengers. 
The development of the new baggage reclaim belt at the airport was taken up under the airport's ‘#PassengerisPrime’ programme aimed at delivering an enhanced airport experience to passengers using the airport, a press release from GHIAL said.
The release said Hyderabad Airport had registered a growth of 27% in both domestic passenger traffic and domestic air traffic movements in FY2016-17 over FY2015-16, which is the highest among all metro airports in India.
The new 60 metre long baggage belt at Domestic Arrivals will help to effectively distribute the baggage loads, especially during peak hours and would speed up the baggage delivery to arriving passengers, it said.
Mr. S G K Kishore, CEO, GHIAL, said, “We are committed to ensuring maximum convenience for passengers at Hyderabad airport. While the surge in passenger traffic at the airport gives us an opportunity to serve a larger number of our customers, it also inspires us to keep enhancing our facilities to add comfort to their journey. Under our signature #PassengerisPrime programme, it is our endeavor to continuously provide better offerings to passengers - the commissioning of the new baggage belt is one such effort. In fact, we are already working on a comprehensive upgrade our overall Baggage Handling System, and further improvements will be commissioned very soon which, would significantly increase the throughput capacity of the system.”
Hyderabad Airport had launched the #PassengerisPrime programme in April this year as a platform hosting a series of new initiatives and measures aimed at delivering an enhanced level of experience and service to the passengers using Hyderabad Airport. 
Under this initiative, GHIAL has introduced India’s first Express Security Check Area for domestic passengers flying without any check-in bags, a concept that is now being considered for adoption across the country. Passenger Service Associates have also been deployed at various locations of the airport under this programme to provide assistance to passengers with special needs such as expecting mothers, ladies travelling alone, women travelling with infants, senior citizens and passengers with reduced mobility, among others.
GHIAL is a joint venture company promoted by the GMR Group (63%) in partnership with Government of India (13%), Government of Telangana (13%) and Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (11%). The company was incorporated to design, finance, build, operate and maintain a world class greenfield airport at Shamshabad, Hyderabad. Hyderabad airport was commissioned in a record time of 31 months in March 2008, with an initial capacity of 12 million passengers per annum (MPPA) and 1,50,000 MT of cargo handling capacity per annum. The project has the flexibility to increase capacity to accommodate over 40 MPPA and shall be developed in a phased manner, the release added.

Air India subsidiary Alliance Air links Shirdi to Mumbai, Hyderabad

Alliance Air, the wholly owned subsidiary of national carrier Air India, today linked the pilgrimage town of Shirdi in Maharashtra to Mumbai and Hyderabad with an ATR 72 aircraft.
The first flight AI 9654 from Shirdi to Mumbai was flagged off by President Ram Nath Kovind.
Minister for Civil Aviation Ashok Gajpati Raju and Maharashtra Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis launched the flight by giving away the boarding passes to passengers along with Air India Chairman and Managing Director Rajiv Bansal and senior Air India officials.  
The flight from Mumbai to Shirdi and return will operate daily with an ATR 72 aircraft. Flight AI 9653 will depart Mumbai at 0830 hours to reach Shirdi at 0915hrs and the return flight will depart Shirdi at 0945 hrs to arrive in Mumbai at 1105 hrs on Wednesday,Friday and Sundays. 
On Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays the flight AI 9653 will leave Mumbai at 1520 hrs to arrive in Shirdi at 1605 hrs and leave Shirdi at 1630 hrs to arrive in Mumbai at 1715 hrs.
The flight from Hyderabad to Shirdi and return will operate on all days except Thursdays with the ATR 72 aircraft. The flight AI 9869 will leave Hyderabad at 1410 hrs to arrive in Shirdi at 1600 hours and the return flight AI 9870 will depart Shirdi at 1630 hrs to arrive in Hyderabad at 1815 hrs. 
"This flight will also give a boost to tourism and will fulfill a long standing demand of travellers to this pilgrimage town.These new connections by Alliance Air will lend a further boost to the national carrier's Connect India mission," a press release from the airline added.

Two dead, 17 injured as parapet on terrace of house gives way in Nizamabad

2 dead, 17 injured as parapet of house collapses in Telangana
Two persons -- a woman and a minor girl -- died and about 17 others suffered injuries when the parapet on the terrace of a house, crowded with people watching Dussehra celebrations on the street below, collapsed suddenly at Alur village in Nizamabad district of Telangana, about 175 km from here, on Friday, official sources said.
Nizamabad Assistant Commissioner of Police (Armoor) K. Shiva Kumar told NetIndian over the telephone that the incident occurred around 6.30 pm when, as usual, people had gathered on the streets and on the top of houses to see the annual festivities.
He said a portion of the parapet of one house collapsed suddenly, killing the two, identified as Yashoda (23) and Harika (7).
The injured were rushed to a nearby hospital and further investigations are on, he added.

Bacterial richness found in saliva of Indians

Human saliva contains electrolytes, mucus, enzymes for digestion and certain antibacterial compounds. But many of us may not be aware that a range of bacteria is also present in our saliva. Moreover, the type of bacteria present in saliva differs from population to population.
A new study has now revealed that saliva of Indians is quite diverse and rich in its bacterial content. The study is based on the first comprehensive survey of salivary microbiome -- bacterial cells present in saliva -- across different population groups in the country.
Scientists from the Hyderabad-based Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD) analyzed saliva from 92 healthy volunteers. The volunteers were selected from three regions - North (Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand), East (Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Assam) and South (Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Telangana). 
Using the method of sequencing 16S rRNA gene (a marker region of bacterial genome), they identified 165 bacterial genera and 785 unique ‘operational taxonomic units’ or OTUs which is a unit of microbial diversity that groups together closely related microorganisms.
It was found that certain OTUs were unique to Indian population and had not been previously reported anywhere else. Nine bacterial genera not listed in the global database -- Human Oral Microbiome Database (HOMD) -- have also been identified in saliva of Indians.
“There is immense bacterial richness in salivary microbiome in Indian populations. Given the extraordinary genetic and cultural diversity of Indian populations, the Indian subcontinent is a natural laboratory for further such investigations,” said Dr. N Madhusudan Reddy of CDFD and a co-author of the study published in journal PLOS One.
Dr. Mark Stoneking of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Germany, who has co-authored the study, pointed out that “traditionally such studies have been carried out in populations from Europe or America. There is tremendous diversity in the saliva microbiome of Indian populations that is not present at all in European and US populations.”
A person’s susceptibility to disease is dependent to a large extent on their body’s microbial composition, explained Dr. Stoneking. Thus, it is critical to have a baseline database of the unique microbiome of different populations for future studies. “The degree to which differential distribution of oral microbiome might contribute to different patterns of disease in Indian populations could be an important focus of further studies,” added Dr. Reddy.
Human bodies carry as many bacterial cells as the number of human cells. These comprise of ‘good’ or health promoting and ‘bad’ or disease causing bacteria. The type of bacteria varies depending upon their location in the body. Identifying these bacteria is important for understanding the balance between health and disease as well as genetic diversity among populations.
Apart from Dr. Stoneking and Dr. Reddy, the research team included Anujit Sarkar. The study was funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Max Planck Society. 
(India Science Wire)

Tamannaah Bhatia to play lead in Telugu version of Hindi movie "Queen"

Tamannaah Bhatia
Tamannaah Bhatia
Tamannaah Bhatia, who has acted in  more than 50 films in three different languages, including the Baahubali series, is understood to have bagged the lead role in the Telugu version of Kangana Ranaut-starrer "Queen".
Tamannaah has been focusing on women-centric films like Kalloori , Ananda Thandavan, Kanden  Kadhalai, 100% Love and Devi over the past one decade.
The Telugu version of Queen will be produced by Manu Kumaran under the banner of Mediente Films. National award winning director and a South favourite,  G. Neelakanta Reddy will be directing the Telugu remake and the film will go on the floors on October 25.
The entire film will be shot in an international locale and will release in the middle of next year, sources said.
The sources said Tamannaah was initially approached to play the lead protagonist in both the Tamil and Telugu versions of the critically acclaimed Queen but signed only the Telugu version citing creative preferences.
“Queen is an interesting film and I have always been motivated by roles that help elevate women empowerment in some form. I am very excited to be doing the Telugu version and can’t wait to start shooting next month. This is the first time I’m working with Neelakanta Reddy and I’m sure together we will create magic on the 70 mm screen.”
The South remakes of Vikas Bahl’s Queen will be made in Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam apart from Telugu.
Tamannaah who started off at the age of 15 in the film industry, has worked with a list of notable actors including Ranveer Singh, Akshay Kumar, Saif Ali Khan, Riteish Deshmukh, Ajay Devgan, Mahesh Babu, Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Dhanush, Allu Arjun, Ram Charan, amongst others. In the past she has acted in the South remakes of Bollywood films like Jab We Met, Kick and Rowdy Rathore.
She is the first actress from India who was nominated at Saturn Awards for Best Supporting Actress. 

Indian scientists claim major advance in spin wave technology

It is becoming increasingly challenging to keep up with technological demands of efficiency, miniaturization, and high speed in electronic devices using conventional semiconductor technology. Spin wave devices, with their ultralow power requirements, are promising alternatives to semiconductors for processing digital information in devices. A group of researchers has claimed a new advance that can help achieve spin wave-based devices in future.
Magnons are to spin wave devices what electrons are to semiconductor devices—they are capable of carrying “spin” currents through a device, wherein information is coded into the amplitude/phase of a spin. By taking advantage of the intrinsic magnetic properties of the constituents of a magnetic conduit, which is responsible for transmitting information and is thus one of the key components of a spin wave device, researchers have customized architecture of the conduit and eliminated the need for an external magnetic field.
The practical realization of spin wave devices has remained elusive due to the requirement of a large external magnetic field in order obtain desired magnetizations in magnetic conduits. All magnetic materials contain magnetic moments which are directed towards their “easy axis” and an external field is used to force magnetization out of their easy axis for device operation. Such an external magnetic field can affect the ability of spin wave based technologies for device integration.
The proposed uniquely designed magnetic conduit has a layer each of cobalt, palladium, and Permalloy. Permalloy is a magnetic alloy with characteristics highly suited for its use as a magnetic material in magneto-electronic devices. However, it possesses an in-plane magnetization.
Cobalt/Palladium, on the other hand, possess an out-of- plane magnetization. Hence the incorporation of out-of- plane Cobalt/Palladium layers induces an out-of- plane magnetization in Permalloy as well. This magnetic conduit architecture enables spin waves to transmit information in all directions -- isotropically -- an essential feature for seamless transmission of digital information in electronic devices.
“Spin wave devices need to function like semiconductor devices. It is important to design a device that ably fulfils the requirements of the application. An external out-of- plane magnetic field may affect the functionality of the device. Our work overcomes one of several limitations that impede commercial realization of spin wave devices,” explained Dr Arabinda Haldar, the first author of the study, and assistant professor at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Hyderabad.
“Parallel research efforts are underway in labs across the world to identify and resolve challenges associated with the implementation of spin wave devices,” he added.
This study was led by Prof Adekunle Adeyeye from National University of Singapore, and has been ublished in journal Science Advances.
(India Science Wire)

Hyderabad gets 3D manufacturing demonstration centre

Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing as it is popularly called, is fast gaining importance the world over as it has opened up possibilities for a new world of design innovation.
The International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI) – an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Science and Technology – has established a technology demonstration centre for additive manufacturing, with the objective of letting Indian industry understand advantages of the new manufacturing technology over the conventional methods.
It is now possible to produce objects of almost any shape or geometry by using digital model data from a 3D model or an electronic data source such as an additive manufacturing file (AMF).
A file type called STL is one of the most common file types that 3D printers can read. Unlike conventional systems, where material is removed through machining and other processes for producing an object, 3D printing or additive manufacturing builds a three-dimensional object from computer-aided design (CAD) models or AMF files by successively adding material layer by layer.
Main advantage with additive manufacturing is that it can produce objects with highly complex designs. In conventional methods, every complex detail has to be produced through additional tool paths or other such extra steps. Additive process does not require hard tooling to be produced or assembled. There are, therefore, no typical production related costs that often need a large production run in order to justify them. Even a single piece can be printed in a cost-effective manner.
Additive manufacturing is being used in several sectors including automobile, biomedical, and aerospace industries. 
The ARCI, engaged in developing new materials and processes, has expertise in areas such as nano-materials, powder metallurgy, ceramics, coatings, laser processing and fuel cells. The new technology demonstration centre for 3D printing is as part of an effort to help the Indian economy make the best use of the emerging technology. It has been set up in collaboration with SLM Solutions of Germany, a leading international manufacturer of 3D metal printers.
Speaking to India Science Wire, Dr. Gururaj Telasang of ARCI’s Centre for Laser Processing of Materials, said its major objective was to offer an opportunity for the Indian industry to understand the advantages of the additive manufacturing technology over the conventional methods.
The Centre has a powder bed additive manufacturing machine that works based on selective laser melting principle. It is designed for medium to high volume metal part productions and prototypes with high precision and surface quality. It is equipped with a 400 W Ytterbium Fibre laser. A wide range of materials including stainless steel, cobalt-chrome, nickel alloys, aluminum and titanium can be processed.
Hybrid processes that combine the laser additive manufacturing and the conventional techniques are also being tried out to produce new generation engineering components. Besides, efforts are on continuously to improve upon the processes to make them as innovative, sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible. 
“A major aim of the centre is to help develop and produce next generation aerospace components, biomedical parts and special tools and dies,” he added.
(India Science Wire)

India's Nutrition Atlas goes live

India currently faces twin challenges in the nutrition sector - undernutrition manifesting in several health problems as well as increasing problem of overweight and obesity, contributing to the burden of non-communicable diseases. 
In order to provide a snapshot of all relevant data and information about nutrition, the Hyderabad-based National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) has developed the country’s first Nutrition Atlas.
The Nutrition Atlas provides information and data on nutritional status of population groups at national and state levels, along with an overview of nutrition-related deficiencies, disorders and prevalence levels in various parts of the country. In addition, it provides information on nutrients, nutrient rich foods, nutritional deficiency disorders and a host of other topics.
The portal also includes information on nutrition rich foods and nutri-guide for various nutrients, minerals, essential amino-acids, fatty acids, dietary fibers and proteins, along with their biochemical cutoffs, recommended dietary allowances, signs and symptoms and dietary sources. 
The Atlas is interactive and displays information in the form a user may select. The Atlas has been developed through a long drawn, cohesive and technical exercise by a multi-disciplinary team in the bioinformatics division of NIN. It makes use of publicly available data sources like reports of National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau, National Family Health Survey, World Health Organisation and other public databases. The dashboard acts like an information management tool, helping the user track data on undernutrition, overnutrition, overweight, obesity and communicable and non-communicable diseases. It can also provide different time trends on each of these parameters. 
While public databases like provide data from various sectors include health, the Nutrition Atlas is a specific data portal on nutrition and health parameters. “The prevalence and incidence of various nutrition and health parameters have been given for all 679 districts, wherever such information is available in public domain,” Dr Vishnu Vardhana Rao, senior scientist at NIN, who led the effort, told India Science Wire.
“The data in the Atlas will be updated as and when new data is released in the public domain by organizations concerned,” Dr Rao added. “This portal is useful to policy makers, programme managers, researchers, media, students and other stakeholders.”
The development team included Rajeswari, Dr P Shyam,  Dr Sudip Ghosh  and Dr. M. Munikumar. NIN is a leading laboratory in the field of nutrition research under the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). 
(India Science Wire)

Frequent disruptions in Parliament, State legislatures a matter of concern: Naidu

Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu today expressed concern over the frequent disruptions faced by Parliament and State legislatures and advised lawmakers to debate and decide instead of stalling legislative business.
Speaking at a State Reception hosted in his honour by the Telangana Government here, Mr Naidu referred to the advice of former President Pranab Mukherjee to discuss, debate and decide. There should not be any scope for the fourth D – Disrupt, he added.
He called upon legislators to regularly interact with people and come out with effective laws for spurring the growth of the country.
The Vice-President also counselled the Chief Ministers of the  Telugu-speaking States of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh to resolve differences in an amicable manner and strive for promoting the language.
He also wanted the Chief Ministers to recapture the past glory of the Telugu States.
Recalling his association with Hyderabad, the Vice-President said he had been residing in the historic city for the past 40 years and his political career blossomed here.
Paying rich tributes to Telangana culture and history, he said it is a land known for struggles and movements. He eulogized the contribution of the people from Telangana during the freedom struggle and referred to how they fought against the tyranny of Nizam and the Razaakars. Komaram Bheem, Sammakka- Sarakka and Chakali Ailamma were symbols of the rebellion, he added.
Making a special mention of Telangana cuisine, the Vice President said Hyderabad biryani and haleem have become world famous. Hyderabad was the brand for the promotion of Telangana and has put the State on the international map.
The Vice-President said everyone should strive to realise the dream of Mahatma Gandhi to establish ‘Ramrajya’. He stressed that ‘Swarajya’ should be transformed into ‘Surajya’.
Telangana Governor E S L Narasimhan, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, Union Minister of State for Labour and Employment Bandaru Dattatreya,  and Deputy Chief Ministers M D Mohammad Ali and Kadiyam Srihari were also present on the occasion.

SpiceJet puts Puducherry back on India’s aviation map

Low-cost carrier SpiceJet has brought Puducherry back on India's aviation map by launching from yesterday a flight from Hyderabad to the Union Territory.
The Hyderabad-Puducherry flight is the third daily flight to be launched by SpiceJet under the UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik) scheme, a press release from the airline said.
Puducherry is one of the four unserved markets the airline will be operating to under the UDAN scheme. With this new flight, Puducherry will be connected with Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Tirupati, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Vijaywada and Varanasi with convenient onward connections on the SpiceJet network, the release said.
Ms. Shilpa Bhatia, Senior VP, Commercial SpiceJet said, “SpiceJet is proud to induct Puducherry on to its network. Seen as an education, healthcare and tourism hotspot of the country, Puducherry is also home to several big IT software and hardware giants and has seen remarkable growth in recent years. SpiceJet is excited to contribute to this growth story and our flights will help bring in more leisure and business traffic to the UT.”
SpiceJet has been awarded six proposals and 11 routes under the first phase of the UDAN Regional Connectivity Scheme. Out of the six finalised proposals four will cater to unserved markets of Adampur, Kandla, Puducherry and Jaisalmer whereas two will be for underserved markets of Porbandar and Kanpur. 
Flight operations have already commenced on Mumbai-Porbandar-Mumbai and Mumbai-Kandla-Mumbai routes from July 10, the release said.

Renowned molecular biologist Pushpa Mitra Bhargava passes away

P M Bhargava
P M Bhargava
Renowned molecular biologist Pushpa Mitra Bhargava, who was the founder-director of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad, passed away here today in his sleep.
He was 89. He is survived by a son and a daughter. 
Dr. Bhargava, who remained active after his retirement some years ago, was suffering from kidney ailments and was undergoing dialysis regularly. He developed fever this morning and was resting at home when he passed away, sources close to him said.
"We are very sad to inform you that the founding director of CSIR-CCMB, Dr. Pushpa Mitra Bhargava has passed away today," CCMB announced on Twitter.
Born on February 22, 1928, at Ajmer in Rajasthan, Dr. Bhargava received his B.Sc. in 1944 from Queen's College in Uttar Pradesh and then obtained M.Sc. in Organic Chemistry and Ph.D. in Synthetic Organic Chemistry from Lucknow University.
He moved to Hyderabad and worked in the early 1950s at the then Central Laboratories for Scientific and Industrial Research, now called the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology – IICT, and then at Osmania University.
In 1953, he went on a post-doctoral fellowship to the McArdle Memorial Laboratory of Cancer Research, University of Wisconsin, Madison in the United States and worked in the laboratory of Charles Heidelberger. During 1956-57, he worked at the National Institute for Medical Research in the United Kingdom as a special Wellcome Trust Research Fellow, a stint that marked his transition from chemistry to biology.
He returned to the Central Laboratories for Scientific and Industrial Research in Hyderabad, which had by then been by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and named Regional Research Laboratory (now known as Indian Institute of Chemical Technology).
In 1977, he established the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) and retired from there in 1990 to join the newly created CSIR Distinguished Fellowship, from which he was relieved in 1993.
CCMB was set up initialy as a semi-autonomous centre in the Biochemistry Division of the then Regional Research Laboratory. During 1981–82, CCMB was accorded the status of a full-fledged national laboratory.
Dr. Bhargava also served as Vice-Chairman of the National Knowledge Commission, a member of the National Security Advisory Board and a nominee of the Supreme Court of India on the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee of the Government of India. He was opposed to the approval of GM foods in India.
Among other things, he was involved in the promotion of science and rationality and, in 1963, along with Satish Dhawan and Abdur Rahman, founded the Society for the Promotion of Scientific Temper.
He was honoured by the Government with the Padma Bhushan, the nation's third highest civilian honour, in 1986. He, however, returned the award in 2015 to protest the alleged rise in intolerance and erosion of space for dissent in the country.

Efforts continue to save 18-month-old girl from 60-feet borewell in Telangana

Rescue efforts continued for the second day today to save an 18-month-old girl, Chinnari,who fell into a 60-feet deep borewell while playing with her sister in a field near their house in Ekkareddyguda village in Ranga Reddy district of Telangana yesterday evening.
Her sister alerted her parents and soon local policemen, fire brigade personnel and doctors reached the scene.
A team from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has joined local emergency personnel and a parallel well has been dug to help pull her out, sources said.
Among other things, the rescue teams had lowered a camera to a depth of 40 feet to try and see the baby. She was visible for some time, but officials now think she could have slipped further down, and efforts were being made to lower a camera to a depth of 100 feet.
The rescue efforts were slowed down a bit by rains, but the digging of the parallel well has been going on continuously and efforts are being made to ensure a supply of oxygen to the little girl.
The girl's father, who works as a labourer, has demanded action against revenue officials and the owner of the land who failed to ensure that the borewell was sealed.
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