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

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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.
 
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Air India subsidiary Alliance Air links Shirdi to Mumbai, Hyderabad

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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.
 
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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.
 
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Bacterial richness found in saliva of Indians

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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.
 
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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)
 
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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. 
 
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Indian scientists claim major advance in spin wave technology

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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.
 
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“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)
 
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Hyderabad gets 3D manufacturing demonstration centre

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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)
 
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India's Nutrition Atlas goes live

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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. 
 
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While public databases like data.gov.in 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)
 
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Frequent disruptions in Parliament, State legislatures a matter of concern: Naidu

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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.
 
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SpiceJet puts Puducherry back on India’s aviation map

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

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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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Rajya Sabha member and Congress leader P. Govardhan Reddy passes away

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Senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member from Telangana Palvai Govardhan Reddy passed away at Kullu in Himachal Pradesh after suffering a cardiac arrest there this morning.
 
He was 80. He is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter. 
 
Sources close to his family said his body would be brought to Delhi and then flown to Hyderabad, where it would be cremated tomorrow.
 
Mr. Reddy had left here this morning by air for Kullu to attend a meeting of a Parliamentary Standing Committee scheduled to be held there. He suffered a cardiac arrest soon after landing there and was rushed to the Government hospital in the town, where he breathed his last around 10.30 am.
 
Mr. Reddy served as a member of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly from 1967 to 1985 and then from 1999 to 2004. He served as Minister of State in the State Council of Ministers in the early 1980s. He was elected to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council in 2007 and to the Rajya Sabha in 2012.
 
Vice-President and Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Hamid Ansari condoled the passing away of Mr. Reddy and described it as a personal loss.
 
"Shri Reddy was an active and respected member of Rajya Sabha since 2012, and his presence would be missed by all who worked with him. Shri Reddy will be remembered for his relentless efforts towards the welfare of farmers in Telangana," he said.
 
Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao expressed shock and grief over the sudden demise of Mr. Reddy. He directed the Chief Secretary of the State Government and the State's Resident Commissioner in Delhi to make arrangements to bring the mortal remains of Mr. Reddy to Hyderabad.
 
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GVK sells its 10% residual stake in Bangalore Airport to Fairfax India for Rs. 1290 crore

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GVK Power and Infrastructure Ltd today announced its decision to sell its residual stake of 10% in Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL), held through its subsidiary, Bangalore Airport Infrastructure Developers Private Limited, (BAIDPL) to Fairfax India Holdings Corporation for a consideration of Rs 1,290 crore (approximately $200 million). 
 
The transaction is expected to be completed by early July 2017. The proceeds of this sale are to be used for further reducing the debt obligations of GVK, a press release from the company said.
 
In March 2017, GVK closed a deal which was signed during March 2016 with Fairfax India to sell a 33% stake in BIAL. It had retained a 10% stake and the management of BIAL.
 
Dr. G V K Reddy, Founder Chairman & Managing Director of GVK, said, “Notwithstanding this sale, the airports sector will continue to be a core focus area for GVK. We had entered BIAL in 2010 when the airport was going through a tough phase as the capacity was severely constrained. Over the last seven years, we have worked very hard to transform BIAL into a world-class airport. The airport is now ready for another phase of expansion with a new runway and a new terminal to be constructed. However, we have decided to part ways with BIAL as deleveraging is top priority.”
 
“Our immediate focus will now be on Mumbai and Navi Mumbai airports and on selectively evaluating privatisation opportunities. The reduced debt burden gives us flexibility and releases management bandwidth to focus on these projects. Capacity optimisation and real estate development will be the key focus areas for the existing Mumbai airport. Having won the bid for the Navi Mumbai airport, we are excited to deliver yet another world-class airport. The Government’s focus on developing the aviation sector also presents attractive growth opportunities and we are evaluating these,” said Dr. Reddy.
 
“I would like to thank the Government of Karnataka, the Government of India, AAI and all the stakeholders for working closely with GVK over the last seven years in creating a world class airport that will continue to keep pace with the growing demand of Bengaluru in the coming years. We also wish the incoming shareholder, Fairfax India, the very best in maintaining the momentum to take the airport to even greater heights, ” he added.                                                                                                      
 
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Sustaining and reinvigorating higher education a major challenge: Mukherjee

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Sustaining and reinvigorating higher education in India as well as in other parts of the world has become a major challenge, especially for public institutions, according to President Pranab Mukherjee.
 
Addressing the first convocation of the English and Foreign languages University (EFLU) here yesterday, the President said challenges for such institutions, both outside and inside, can be seen as four distinct factors. These are escalation of costs of learning; narrow pragmatics, that is, market-oriented fast-track skill acquisition, as the sole goal of learning; the allure of invasive dominant communication systems depleting attention span; and corrosion of trust.
 
“Any attempt to build or re-orient higher education in such a situation requires administrative acumen. Administrative strength and sensitivity removes hurdles in the path of learning, and allows academics to thrive, as this University has displayed,” he said.
 
He referred to the six-decade-long growth of EFLU since its inception as the Central Institute of English, established as part of the vision of the first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru for a new India in 1958 and later as Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages in 1972 before becoming a Central University in 2007. 
 
Mr Mukherjee said he was happy to know that the university had built a significant research profile in language and literary studies, cultural and inter-disciplinary studies.
 
“Today EFLU stands out among the Universities of South Asia with specialized competencies in the areas of language, literary and cultural pedagogies, language sciences, teacher education and research,” he added.
 
Recognizing the seminal role played by the university and assisting productive expansion of its founding vision, the Union Government has entrusted EFLU with several groundbreaking and important projects such as National University Students Skill Development, National Literacy Mission Authority and Massive Open Online Courses, he noted.
 
Acknowledging the eminent role that the university evinces in teacher training and education, the Ministry of External Affairs entrusted the university with international responsibility for training diplomats and for designing trainer training programmes.
 
“I am told that in this regard centres for English Language training have been set up in ASEAN countries and five new centres are coming up in African countries,” he added.
 
“I am happy to know that the university has initiated outreach programs such as university – industry interface and mutually beneficial dialogue with public sector undertakings, social welfare organizations, government agencies, media houses and private educational institutions,” the President said.
 
During his speech, Mr Mukherjee advised the faculty, students and the staff to avoid cynicism that is an easy alibi to evade responsibility. “One way of achieving this is making everyone a stakeholder in collaborative institution-building. Immersive teaching supplemented by intensive research alone can advance the vision of the University in generating new knowledge and sharing it with everyone,” he added.
 
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Later, inaugurating the centenary celebrations of Osmania University, the President said universities should be developed as temples of higher learning. “They should be places for creating learning environment, where free exchange of ideas will take place and where mighty minds in the form of students and teachers would exchange ideas.
 
“Osmania University was also established with this dream that it will be an institution of excellence where free minds will meet freely, interact and exchange ideas and live in peaceful co-existence. In ancient India, Universities such as Taxila, Nalanda and Vikramshila had attracted mighty minds in the form of students and teachers.
 
“Today, there is no doubt that there has been huge development of educational infrastructure in the field of higher learning. However, there are some areas of concern. As Visitor to more than 100 Central Institutions of higher learning, I have been continuously emphasizing that these Institutions in India should occupy their rightful place in the international ranking process,” he said.
 
“Apart from looking into this aspect, attention also needs to be laid on basic research and education. There should be interface and effective inter-linkages between industry and academia. We cannot live in isolation. There is need for investment in research and innovation so that we can occupy our rightful place in the international community,” he added.
 
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Ansari lauds Mohammad Quli Qutub Shah for Dakini Urdu promotion and secularism

Vice-President M. Hamid Ansari delivering the first Mohammad Quli Qutub Shah Memorial Lecture of the Maulana Azad National Urdu University, in Hyderabad on April 13, 2017.
Vice-President M. Hamid Ansari delivering the first Mohammad Quli Qutub Shah Memorial Lecture of the Maulana Azad National Urdu University, in Hyderabad on April 13, 2017.
Vice-President Mohammad Hamid Ansari has lauded Hyderabad city founder Mohammad Quli Qutub Shah, whose reign in the 16th century is noted for its contributions to the promotion of Dakhini Urdu literature and a secular approach in governance.
 
Delivering the first Mohammad Quli Qutub Shah Memorial Lecture of the Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), Mr Ansari said Hyderabad was designed to be "a replica of the paradise itself".
 
"An early 17th century English traveler praised it ‘for its sweetness of air, convenience of water and fertility of soil’ and ranked it higher than any in the realm of the Moghul emperor or other princes," he said.
 
“One other reason should make the subject inseparable from the venue. Dakhani Urdu has its own pedigree and was the court language of Bijapur and Golkonda kingdoms. Mohammad Quli Qutub Shah composed verses, on his own admission, every day ‘just like waves in a rippling river’ and is credited as being the first person to have compiled a diwan. 
 
"He was the first translator of Hafiz and his efforts ‘led to the birth of a Persian poetic style and usage in the Dabistan-e-Golkonda,” he added.
 
Mr Ansari said it was important to consider the context of the times and the place in history of the Qutbshahi dynasty that lasted a mere 164 years - from 1523 to 1687, when its last incumbent, Abu`l Hasan, surrendered to a Moghul general.
 
“In this short span, it witnessed a blossoming of architecture, poetry, music, art, dance and cuisine and became a byword for culture apart from being a vibrant centre of international trade,” he added.
 
Mohammad Quili lived at a time when Moghul Emperor Akbar, in the words of a biographer, “hovered like an eagle over the northern horizon and watched the fighting cocks of the southern states, rending and wearing each other until his own time should come to pray on them".
 
"Individuals, communities, and whole states defined their identity with respect to this colossus of the north, sometimes in opposition to it and sometime in imitation of it," Mr Ansari said. 
 
These independent or quasi-independent entities survived the imperial onslaught for varying periods by acknowledging some form of suzerainty. In the process, they developed their own style of governance. 
 
They "detached religion from statecraft" and culture from territorial boundaries and thereby gave themselves "an enormously elastic and transnational character".
 
Nor is the role of the mystics in forging ties between different segments of society to be ignored. This led to eventual reconciliation of religions and culture.
 
Mr. Ansari said two aspects of the statecraft of the Deccan states can be discerned and are worthy of mention. The first was the philosophy of governance and the necessity of a pragmatic approach towards the subjects of the state. The second pertained to the geopolitical considerations that confronted them in relation to the dominant power in the Indian sub-continent.
 
The Qutb-shahis were of Iranian origin and had strong religious affiliations arising from of their relationship with Iran, particularly after the year 1501 when Shah Ismail resorted to strident sectarianism.  Notwithstanding this, their approach to governance was pragmatic and secular. Writing about the administrative system in the reign of Ibrahim, father of Mohammad Quli Qutb Shah, the historian Haroon Khan Sherwani has noted that "very little differentiation was made between the Hindus and the Muslims so far as the affairs of the state were concerned".
 
This was also the case in Mohammad Quli Qutb Shah’s period when "a characteristic of the epoch was a spirit of camaraderie which existed between the Hindu and the Muslim sections of the population" and "the whole policy of the Government seems to have been that of equality of opportunity for both the Hindus and the Muslims for practically all the officers of the state", he said, quoting the historian.
 
"His court, continues the same historian, ‘represented the culture of the Muslims and non-Muslims alike, and while he seems prejudiced in his enunciation of the inferiority of the non-Shi`ah sects of the Muslims he is culturally at one with the Hindus and the Parsis as well as the man in the street so far as his appreciation of their way of life is concerned.
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"As a result, ‘the whole outlook of the state as centered in the person of the Sultan was non-communal'," he added.
 
Another aspect of this catholicity was the Sultan’s approach to Telugu. His father, who spent seven years as an honoured guest in Vijayanagar, imbibed a passion for the language and the same was the case with Mohammad Quli to whom Telugu was ‘like a mother tongue’ and who used Telugu words in his Dakhni-Urdu poems, offered patronage to its literary personages and whose firmans and official announcements were bilingual.
 
"The Sultan thus made ‘a deliberate attempt to synthesize cultures in the Deccan imbibing in the people of Hyderabad a relish of tolerance, love of spectacle, and mildness of nature.’ It is not altogether accidental that one of his successors became a patron of the kuchipudi dance form," he said.
 
"Mohammad Quli Qutb Shah occupies a place in our history and his personality and contributions are studied with much benefit by any one interested in the evolution of architecture, language and culture. His policy of peace and diplomacy ‘had warded off Moghul political influence as much as lay in his power’ and his passing away on January 31, 1626, after a rule of 31 years, left the door open for Emperor Shah Jahan to pursue his program of subjugating the Deccan kingdoms," he added.
 
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Cabinet nod for agreement for establishment of CIRDAP Centre in Hyderabad

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The Union Cabinet yesterday gave its approval for the signing of an agreement between the Ministry of Rural Development and the Dhaka-based Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP) for establishment of a CIRDAP Centre at National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRD&PR), Hyderabad.
 
The centre would give NIRD&PR an advantage of having first-hand knowledge of networking with organizations specialized in rural development programmes which in turn would help in building a repository of institutional knowledge for it, an official press release said.
 
The centre would also help NIRD&PR to enhance its status in the region through linkages with other Ministries/Institutes in the CIRDAP Member Countries (CMCs). The faculty of the NIRD&PR and the Ministry officials would benefit from exchange visits to the best practices in the CMCs. The scope of work of the Centre is to focus on the implementation of integrated rural development, particularly poverty alleviation programmes within CMC member countries.
 
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The CIRDAP is a regional Inter-Governmental and autonomous institution which came into existence in 1979 at the initiative of the countries of Asia Pacific region and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations (UN) with support from several other UN bodies and donors. 
 
India is one of the key founder members of this organisation, whose objective is to promote regional cooperation and act as a serving institution for its member countries for promotion of integrated rural development through research action, training, information dissemination etc.
 
CIRDAP has one sub - regional office in Jakarta, Indonesia, which was established in 1997 to assist and expand CIRDAP membership and its resources, to conduct training research and pilot projects relevant to South East Asian region. There are 46 countries in Asia Pacific Region, therefore CIRDAP has great potential for expansion for which they would be assisted by CIRDAP Centres, the release added.
 
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D. R. Doley Barman appointed as Director, SVP National Police Academy, Hyderabad

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Ms. D. R. Doley Barman, presently working as Director, North East Police Academy (NEPA), Shillong, Meghalaya, has been appointed as Director, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel National Police Academy (SVPNPA), Hyderabad.
 
Ms. Doley Burman, an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the 1986 batch (JK cadre), will succeed Ms. Aruna M. Bahuguna, IPS (AP:79) by temporary downgrading the post to Additional Director General (ADG) level for a period of two years or until further orders, whichever is  earlier, an official press release said.
 
She would also hold additional charge of the post of Director, NEPA till the appointment and joining of regular Director, NEPA, the release added.
 
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NDMA holds workshop on plan to deal with heat wave

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A two-day national workshop on Preparation of Heat Wave Action Plan ended here today with all stakeholders resolving to work towards mitigating the adverse impact of the imminent heat wave this year. 
 
The workshop was organised by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in collaboration with the Government of Telangana. 
 
Addressing the workshop, Mr. R.K. Jain, Member, NDMA said the focus of all efforts should be on reducing the number of deaths. "We should work towards translating available data and research into specific actions to reduce the impact of heat waves," he added. 
 
At the technical session on Effective Governance Tools for Increased Resilience to Heat Wave, the need to bring about some fundamental changes in the built environment to augment heat wave preparedness was underlined. 
 
The session on Monitoring, Review and Updation of Heat Action Plan was chaired by Mr. Kamal Kishore, Member, NDMA. The session discussed the importance of coordination amongst all agencies and regular monitoring of the heat wave situation. It highlighted the significance of reviewing and updating Heat Action Plans to suit the changes in an environment. 
 
Discussing the need for spreading awareness on heat wave, its ill effects, symptoms and simple mitigation measures, Mr. Jain emphasised the need to extensively use IEC (Information, Education and Communication) campaigns to reach out to the masses, especially to weaker sections of society as they form the most vulnerable segment of population. He reiterated that efforts towards heat wave preparedness would mean something only if such collaborative efforts are able to save lives. 
 
Dr. D.N. Sharma, Member, NDMA, underlined the need to fine-tune Heat Action Plans right up to the village level so that traditional knowledge and indigenous practices are integrated in their plans to enhance the efficacy of their mitigation measures. 
 
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Heat waves often lead to dehydration, heat exhaustion, stress and even a fatal heat stroke. With advance planning and preparedness, heat wave induced deaths and illnesses can be brought down. 
 
In 2016, with NDMA's ‘Guidelines for Preparation of Action Plan – Prevention and Management of Heat-Wave’ and the pro-active approach of some of the most vulnerable States, the number of deaths in the country came down significantly, an official press release said.
 
Three technical sessions - Heat Wave Action Plan and Risk Reduction, Experience Sharing of Heat prone States and Implementations of Mitigation Measures and Early Warning and Forecasting of Heat Wave - were held on the first day of the workshop. 
 
Senior officials from NDMA, experts on heat wave, early warning and forecasting agencies, State governments and research institutions participated in the workshop. 
 
 
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Mukherjee to visit Rashtrapati Nilayam, Secunderabad for Southern sojourn

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President Pranab Mukherjee will travel to Secunderabad for his annual southern sojourn at Rashtrapati Nilayam from today until December 31.
 
During his stay there, the President will on December grace the 6th Convocation of MDS and 11th Convocation of BDS Courses at the Army College of Dental Sciences, Secunderabad, tomorrow, an official press release said.
 
On the same day, he will also address the centenary year celebrations of the Federation of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Hyderabad.
 
On December 24, Mr. Mukherjeewill inaugurate the Mahila Dakshata Samiti and Bansilal Malani College of Nursing in Hyderabad. The next day, he will visit Bengaluru where he will inaugurate the 89th Annual Conference of the Nikhil Bharat Banga Sahitya Sammelan.
 
On December 26, Mr Mukherjee will address the 6th Convocation of the Maulana Azad National Urdu University in Hyderabad.
 
On December 29, the President will inaugurate the 77th Session of Indian History Congress in Thiruvananthapuram. He will then travel to Mysore and inaugurate the 17th National Jamboree of the Bharat Scout and Guides.
 
On December 30, he will inaugurate the Sri Shankara National Centre for Cancer Prevention and Research and the Adamya Chetana Seva Utsav-2017 in Bengaluru.
 
The President will also on December 30, host an ‘At Home’ reception at the Rashtrapati Nilayam for senior dignitaries of the State, Ministers, officials, journalists and others.
 
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51st DGPs/IGPs Conference begins in Hyderabad

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Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today inaugurated the 51st post-Independence DGPs/IGPs Conference-2016 at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy.
 
On the occasion, Mr Rajnath Singh gave away the Indian Police Medals for meritorious service to officers of Intelligence Bureau and Ministry of Home Affairs.
 
The three-day conference will deliberate on various security-related issues confronting the nation and come out with ways and means to tackle them.
 
Addressing the conference, the Home Minister commended the efforts of the Police Forces of the States, UTs and Centre for all round improvement in the internal security situation in the country, be it insurgency in the North-East, Naxal activities, or the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, where attempts to incite secession and law and order problems were made from the neighbourhood.
 
He acknowledged the relentless efforts of police forces of the States and Centre in handling such disturbances. He also lauded the coordinated efforts of Central and State intelligence for not letting ISIS indoctrinated youth commit any act of terror in the country.
 
Mr. Rajnath Singh held that that the recent demonetisation move of the Government would impair the finances of anti-national elements and groups. He emphasised on the need of exchange of information relating to best practices among Police personnel belonging to all States and Central agencies.
 
Contribution of experts of various security domains, such as Investigation, Forensic Science and Prosecution, need to be appropriately recognised, he added.
 
Earlier, on arrival at the Academy, the Home Minister paid floral tribute to the Iron Man of India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and homage to the martyrs of the Indian Police Service, at the Martyr’s Memorial, by laying a wreath.
 
Ministers of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju and Hansraj Gangaram Ahir, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, Director (NPA) Aruna M Bahuguna, Heads of CAPFs and senior officers from security and intelligence agencies are attending the conference.
 
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South Asia Biosafety Conference begins at Hyderabad

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The three-day South Asia Biosafety Conference (SABC) opened here yesterday with representatives from 13 nations sharing international experience among scientists and regulators in biotechnology, environmental risk assessment and biosafety regulation in South Asia.  
 
In her opening address, Dr. Amita Prasad, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC) and Chairperson, Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), said India has a robust regulatory framework for ensuring biosafety of all types of genetically engineered organisms under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. 
 
She pointed out that these regulations are supported by a series of guidelines to deal with various aspects. Capacity-building and sharing of experience have to be continuous activities to ensure effective implementation of the biosafety regulations, she said.
 
Such activities also help in increasing awareness and creating an environment of understanding among various stakeholders. Appreciating the research efforts in biotechnology, she commended the research institutions for their R&D initiatives towards developing newer products relevant to the national needs.
 
In his keynote address, Dr. Anupam Verma, Vice-President, National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS), emphasized that the modern world is facing enormous challenges to achieve food security.
 
In the backdrop of increasing demand for food, dwindling natural resources and increasing biotic and abiotic stresses as a result of intensification of agriculture and climate change, the world has no option, but to accelerate utilization of the available and emerging technologies for improving world food production, he said.
 
He stressed that agriculture biotechnology is a powerful tool for addressing the emerging challenges, as already demonstrated by the fast adoption of such technologies in dealing with biotic and abiotic stresses. He advocated better coordination among various ministries including agriculture, health and environment.
 
More than 200 participants from Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Iran, Japan, Kenya, Philippines, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Tajikistan, and the United States are participating in the conference. 
 
The inaugural session also witnessed the release of Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA) guidance documents, recently adopted by the Indian regulatory authorities to strengthen the ERA process. 
 
This is the fourth edition of the conference, with the first three having been held in New Delhi, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.  SABC is organized on an annual basis in the South Asian region by ILSI Research Foundation, and Biotech Consortium India Limited (BCIL) under the South Asia Biosafety Programme.
 
The International Society of Biosafety Research (ISBR) has supported a poster session and a lighting round for young researchers with awards for best posters in biosafety. As many as 37 posters by participants from various countries have been put up for display.
 
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BRICS Employment Working Group to meet in Hyderabad on July 27-28

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The first-ever meeting of the BRICS Employment Working Group (BEWG) to shape the agenda for Labour and Employment track in BRICS will be held here on July 27– 28.
 
Minister of State for Labour & Employment Bandaru Dattaraya will also address BEWG, essentially a senior officers level meeting between member countries, an official press release said.
 
BRICS brings together Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. India has assumed the Presidency of BRICS in February this year. 
 
The  meeting will have sessions on finalization of BRICS Employment Working Group; Presentation by ILO on “Employment Generation for Inclusive Growth”; Presentation by India on Possible Social Security Agreements amongst BRICS nations and Discussion on Draft BRICS Ministerial Declaration.
 
The meeting is a prelude to the BRICS Labour & Employment Ministerial Meeting scheduled to be held on September 27-28 at Agra.
 
Starting essentially with economic issues of mutual interest, the agenda of BRICS meetings has considerably widened over the years to encompass topical global issues, the release said.
 
BRICS cooperation has two pillars - consultation on issues of mutual interest through meetings of Leaders as well as of Ministers of Finance, Trade & Health, S&T, Education, Agriculture, Communication, Labour, and so on, and practical cooperation in a number of areas through meetings of Working Groups/Senior Officials.
 
Regular annual summits as well as meetings of Leaders on the margins of ILO, G20 Summits and other such events are also held.
 
The five BRICS countries are major emerging economies, comprising 43% of the world population, have 37% of the world GDP and 17% share in the world trade.
 
So far, seven BRICS Summits have taken place and the 8th BRICS Summit will be hosted by India during its Chairmanship in 2016.
 
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Poultry production, farmers' income rise, but sector faces problems: Minister

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While poultry production and farmers' incomes have recorded a rise, the sector was facing numerous problems, according to Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Radha Mohan Singh.
 
Addressing the 28th annual meeting of the Poultry Federation of India here yesterday, Mr. Singh said that, during 2014-15, egg production with an annual growth rate of nearly 5% had reached 78 billion while poultry meat production was estimated to be three million tonnes.
 
Poultry products valued at around Rs. 768 crore were exported in 2015-16, leading to increased income for poultry farmers, he said.
 
However, both small and large farmers were having to grapple with a number of issues from time to time like the spread of avian influenza, posing a serious impediment to the development of the industry, he said.
 
The Minister pointed out that poultry production was not only an important source of subsidiary income generation for many landless and marginal farmers but also provides nutritional security to the rural poor. However, compared to the organized sector, this backyard unorganized sector needs efforts at different levels to grow.
 
He said that, under the National Livestock Mission, the Government aimed at sustainable growth and development of the livestock sector including poultry. “We also need to pay attention to the global market challenges. The Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries has launched a dedicated website on Sanitary Import Permit for online receipt and processing of SIP applications for import of livestock and livestock products including poultry. A Single Window System has been set up for online clearance of livestock and livestock products by all Animal Quarantine and Certificate Services Stations.”
 
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