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Hyderabad

Hyderabad – cradle of astronomy in India

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The city of Hyderabad is famous for its historical monuments like Charminar and cuisine like biryani, but few would know that it has been the cradle of modern astronomy in India.
 
The city was the location of one of the earliest modern astronomical observatories established in India in early twentieth century. The city-based Osmania University was the first educational institution in the country to start teaching astronomy and astrophysics at post-graduate and research levels. The first generation of Indian astronomers cut their teeth into the subject in Hyderabad, which was also the birthplace of the Astronomical Society of India (ASI) in 1972.
 
The Nizamiah Observatory was established in 1908 by the Nizam’s government with instruments donated by one of the leading nobles, Nawab Jafar Jung who was also an amateur astronomer. The instruments included an eight-inch astrograph and 15-inch refractor. One of the landmark contributions of the observatory has been the publication of 13 volumes of the Astrographic Catalogue of the Hyderabad zones of the sky. 
 
After the establishment of Osmania University in 1917, the observatory became a part of the university. This laid the foundation of astronomy education in India.
 
The formal teaching of astronomy at Osmania University began with the setting up of the Department of Astronomy in 1959, while astronomy teaching at post-graduate level was introduced in 1960 -61. The department was recognized as the Centre of Advanced Study in Astronomy by the University Grants Commission in 1964.
 
The department has produced more than 500 M.Sc. students and produced close to 50 doctorates. Many of them have become astronomers in India and abroad.
 
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“I was among the first batch of post graduates in astronomy from this department, and soon after I passed out I was offered the job of a lecturer. I joined here though I had job offers from the two other two Indian observatories – Kodaikanal and Nanital – too,” recalled Sarma Modali, who later shifted to the United States for PhD and worked with NASA and NOAA there, while speaking to India Science Wire.
 
The university telescope at Rangapur has been used for the study of binary stars, black holes, neutron stars, white dwarfs, active galactic nuclei, peculiar stars, pulsating stars, galactic clusters. In addition, a 10 - feet radio telescope was installed at Japal-Rangapur Observatory in 1980 for conducting research on the sun.
 
The ASI, which is holding its annual meeting in Osmania University this week, has a special connection with the city. Prof Vainu Bappu, the famous astronomer from Hyderabad, was the President of the society, Prof U. R. Rao, who later became the Chairperson of ISRO, was the Vice-President, and Prof. KD Abhyankar, who was the first head of the department and director of the university observatory, was the secretary of ASI.
 
(India Science Wire)
 
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New study could pave way for novel contraceptive

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Scientists at the Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD) here have come up with a finding that could pave the way for the development of a new type of contraceptive.
 
The study conducted on mice has found that the presence of an enzyme called IP6K1 played an important role in the formation of sperm cells in male mouse. Formation of sperms is a multi-step process. In one of the stages, nucleus of the cell has to condense and become elongated. This process requires expression of two key sperm-specific proteins called TNP2 and PRM2. The study has found that an enzyme IP6K1 is required to ensure that these two sperm proteins get expressed properly.
 
Researchers knocked out the gene that produces IP6K1 and found that in its absence, sperm proteins were getting synthesised prematurely and as a result, sperm failed to develop completely.
 
Speaking to India Science Wire, leader of the study team Dr. Rashna Bhandari noted that the finding indicated the possibility for development of a new type of contraceptive. However, in the same breath, she cautioned against expectations of an immediate product.
 
“We can now think of inhibiting IP6K1 to make males infertile. However, another paper from a US group has shown that an existing IP6K1 inhibitor does not cause mouse male infertility. It is probably because the inhibitor does not cross the blood-testis barrier. So, to develop a contraceptive using our new knowledge, we will first have to develop a new inhibitor of IP6K1, and then test it in mice to see if it causes male infertility.”
 
She also noted that there was a need to conduct more studies to understand the enzyme better. For instance, a Swedish group had, in 2007, shown that knocking out of the IP6K1 gene reduced insulin secretion from the pancreas. “It is clear that we need to be extra cautious when we deal with this gene."
 
The new finding, she said, could also be looked at from the point of view of treatment for male infertility. “So far, there is no report of any infertility in human males because of lack or dysfunction of IP6K1 enzyme. But, it is conserved in men also. We can perhaps screen infertility patients to see whether there was any loss or mutation of the enzyme and whether it was causing the infertility. If that was so, then it may be possible to cure their infertility by merely adding back the enzyme to their developing sperm," she said.
 
This study was conducted by her PhD student, Aushaq Bashir Malla under her guidance. They have published the results in the Journal of Cell Science. The journal has also published an interview with Malla under its ‘`First Person’ series which focuses highlights the work of early career researchers. “It is heartening that a reputed journal has featured Malla. He is from Kashmir and this interview should help in enthusing students from the state to go on to make a mark in global science,” Dr. Bhandari added.
 
(India Science Wire)
 
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IndiGo announces new flights on Ahmedabad-Kochi sector

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Low-cost carrier IndiGo today said it would launch new flights on the Ahmedabad-Kochi sector with effect from March 12.
 
A press release from the airline said it would also introduce additional flights on the Kochi-Hyderabad and Hyderabad-Ahmedabad sectors from that date, underscoring the tourism potential of Tier-II markets.
 
"Commencing on March 12, 2018, these new services will further consolidate IndiGo’s position as the fastest growing airline in India, with over 1000 daily flights connecting 48 destinations," it said.
 
IndiGo had recently announced its ATR operations and inaugural flights from Tirupati and Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh.
 
In March 2018, the carrier will also commence Vijayawada operations to Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai, the airline said.
 
Mr. Sanjay Kumar, Chief Commercial Officer, IndiGo said, “We are delighted to introduce new connections between Kochi, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad. IndiGo has established itself as the fastest growing carrier with its extensive domestic network and we are hopeful that the introduction of the new service will further cement our place in the Indian skies.”
 
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IndiGo commences flights from Rajahmundry to Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai

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Low-cost carrier IndiGo today expanded its regional network by commencing ATR operations from Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh.
 
Andhra Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister China Rajappa, along with Mr. Sanjeev Ramdas, Executive Vice President of Customer Service & Operations Control, IndiGo flagged-off the flight from Rajahmundry to Chennai at Rajahmundry Airport today.
 
Other dignitaries who were present at the flag-off ceremony included Mr. Yanamala Ramakrishnudu, Minister for Finance, Planning, Commercial Taxes, Legislative Affairs; Ms. Pantham Rajani Sesha Sai, Mayor, Municipal Corporation, Rajamahendravaram; Mr. Kartikeya Misra, Collector and District Magistrate, East Godavari District; and Ms. B.Raja Kumari, IPS., Superintendent of Police, Rajamahendravaram Urban Police District.
 
A press release from the airline said it would connect Rajahmundry to Hyderabad with twice daily frequencies, and one direct daily frequency each on Rajahmundry–Bangalore–Rajahmundry and Rajahmundry–Chennai–Rajahmundry sectors. 
 
IndiGo is the only airline that connects Rajahmundry with direct flights to three major metros of southern India: Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad from day one of its operations, the release said.
 
The airline operates more than 1000 flights daily to 48 destinations.
 
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Five dead, 29 injured as vehicle turns turtle in Telangana

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At least five persons died and 29 others suffered injuries when the vehicle they were travelling in turned turtle in Jogulamba Gadwal district of Telangana, about 190 km from here, early this morning.
 
The victims, working as daily wagers at a ginning mill in Gadwal town, were returning home when the mishap occurred at around 6 am, District Collector Rajat Kumar Saini told NetIndian over the telephone.
 
Of the injured, 15 were admitted to the government hospital in Gadwal while 14 were referred to the government hospital at Kurnool, about 48 km away, he said.
 
According to various accounts, the driver of the speeding vehicle, which was carrying passengers far in excess of its capacity, appeared to have lost control over the wheel near Parcharla in Dharoor block.
 
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IndiGo launches Tirupati operations with flights to Hyderabad, Bengaluru

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Low-cost carrier IndiGo today expanded its regional network to Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh with flights from the temple town to Hyderabad and Bengaluru.
 
A press release from the airline said it would connect Tirupati with Hyderabad with three daily non-stop flights and to Bengaluru with two daily non-stop flights.
 
"Apart from this Tirupati will also be connected to many new cities on IndiGo’s existing network of Airbus 320s and ATRs. IndiGo will connect Tirupati to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Dubai, Singapore among other cities via Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai and Mangalore," the release said.
 
Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju along with Mr Aditya Ghosh, President and Whole Time Director, IndiGo, flagged off the airline's second flight from Tirupati to Hyderabad at the Tirupati International Airport today.
 
IndiGo operates more than 1000 flights every day to 47 destinations.
 
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Indian scientists develop mechanism to rejuvenate aged stem cells

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Bone marrow transplantation involves transplantation of hematopoietic stem cells or those stem cells that give rise to other types of blood cells. In such cases, age of the donor is important as younger donor age results in better outcome. A group of Indian scientists have now developed a mechanism that can rejuvenate stem cells from older donors, making them useful for transplantation.
 
The mechanism developed by researchers at the National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS), Pune involves rejuvenating aged hematopoietic stem cells in a short-term culture using micro-vesicles secreted by young stromal cells. This approach, they hope, will expand donor cohort.
 
The finding has relevance in clinical bone marrow transplantation, wherein usually aged donors are not preferred as their stem cells could have compromised engraftment ability due to aging. With the new mechanism it might be possible to rejuvenate aged stem cells and thereby expand donor pool.
 
“Stromal cells are support cells present in the micro-environment of stem cells. We have shown that these cells display activated AKT signalling as they age. This leads to a loss of autophagy-inducing mRNAs in their micro-vesicles. If this signalling is blocked by using chemical inhibitors in aged stromal cells in culture, they become ‘young-like’ and secrete good quality micro-vesicles containing autophagy-inducing mRNA that can rejuvenate aged stem cells,” explained Dr.Vaijayanti P. Kale, who led the research team. The findings have been published in scientific journal Stem Cells.
 
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For the study, researchers used 6?8 weeks (young) and 18?24 months (aged) old mice because age?associated changes in human hematopoietic stem cells are similar to those observed in mice, suggesting that hematopoietic aging is an evolutionarily conserved process. Their bone marrow derived lineage-negative cells were treated with extra-cellular vesicles, micro-vesicles or exosomes isolated from conditioned medium of mesenchymal stromal cells for 36 hours. The output cells were subjected to phenotypic, functional and molecular characterizations. They observed that young mesenchymal stromal cells rejuvenate aged hematopoietic stem cells.
 
“Our data indicates that such rejuvenation may also be possible for other tissue-specific stem cells. We propose to extend our research towards stem cells from other tissues,” said Dr. Kale. She also added that this research has the potential to improve the outcome of regenerative medicine therapies using this approach.
 
The research team included Rohan Kulkarni, Manmohan Bajaj, Suprita Ghode, Sapana Jalnapurkar and Dr.Lalita Limaye. 
 
(India Science Wire)
 
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Coach of Rayalaseema Express derails near Nizamabad, no one injured

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Two wheels of a coach of 12793 Tirupati-Nizamabad Express slipped off the tracks near Nizamabad in Telangana this morning, but no one was injured, official sources said.
 
South Central Railway (SCR) sources said the incident occurred arund 0805 hours between Uppalaysi and Sirnapalli stations on the Secunderabad-Mudkhed section.
 
Passengers of the train were transshipped to their destination by the railways with minimum inconvenience, the sources said.
 
Work was going on to restore normal running of trains on the section, they said.
 
As a consequence, one train, 17058 Secunderabad-CST Mumbai Devagiri Express of today was cancelled, while six other trains were partially cancelled and two were diverted, the sources added.
 
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Indigo commences ATR operations as part of its regional connectivity plans

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Low-cost carrier IndiGo launched its ATR operations with a flight on the Hyderabad-Mangalore sector from today as part of its regional connectivity plans.
 
"With the introduction of brand new ATR 72-600 aircraft to its fleet, IndiGo has taken another step towards providing an on-time, affordable and a hassle-free travel experience to passengers in Tier-II and Tier-III towns and cities," a press release from the airline said.
 
Talking to newspersons here, Mr. Aditya Ghosh, President and Whole Time Director, IndiGo said, “Following the vision of our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji to promote regional connectivity through UDAN, IndiGo is proud to announce the addition of brand new ATR 72-600 aircraft to its 149 aircraft strong fleet and offer connectivity to tier 2 and tier 3 cities of India, starting tomorrow."
 
"It is indeed a moment of great pride, not only for team IndiGo, but for every citizen of this country who is waiting for an affordable and a hassle free flying experience on these unserved and underserved routes. With more ATRs joining our fleet in the months to come, we are much closer to realising the dream of the common man," he said.
 
“IndiGo network will expand not only to provide connectivity between these smaller cities, but our strong network of domestic and international markets will also open up immense connectivity to and fro for these smaller markets.
 
“By December 2019, IndiGo with its fleet of brand new 21 ATRs, would have connected about 15 tier-II and tier-III new cities on its network, thereby giving a big boost to regional connectivity,” he added.
 
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Mr. Sanjay Kumar, Chief Commercial Officer, IndiGo, “On 7th January and 9th January 2018 IndiGo is commencing its second and third ATR operations, adding Tirupati and Rajahmundry on IndiGo’s 6E network respectively.”
 
He also announced four new domestic flights from Hyderabad; which include an additional Hyderabad – Lucknow – Hyderabad flight, a new Hyderabad – Ranchi – Hyderabad flight, an additional Hyderabad – Jaipur and a new Hyderabad – Jammu via Jaipur flight on 21st December. And two international flights which include Hyderabad – Doha - Hyderabad on 21st December and Hyderabad – Sharjah - Hyderabad commencing on 29th December 2017. 
 
“These additional flights have helped IndiGo in achieving 1000 flights a day mark in December 2017, making it the only Indian airline to operate as many flights in a day,” he added further.
 
IndiGo has placed a term sheet for 50 ATR aircraft. The airline is expecting to add 7 ATR flights by March 2018 and 21 ATR planes to its fleet by December 2018, the release said.
 
IndiGo in October 2017 had announced strengthening its network in the regional markets with over 90 flights to and fro Tirupati, Rajahmundry, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, Mangalore, Madurai, Vijayawada and Nagpur.
 
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Telugu, a global language of enterprise and technology, says Kovind

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President Ram Nath Kovind has described Telugu as a global language, heard, read and cherished across continents.
 
Delivering the valedictory address at the World Telugu Conference here yesterday, Mr Kovind said, “It is the language of enterprise and technology, of Indian soft power and of a vibrant Telugu-speaking diaspora that has made a name for itself and for our country.
 
“Though it has spread far and wide, the commitment of the Telugu diaspora to its mother tongue and to the culture of its ancestral land remains strong,” he added.
 
The President said Telugu has often been called a bridge language between the south and the north of the country. Like the Telugu people, it has been assimilative and has accepted and embraced words, thoughts and ideas from other cultures. Telugu has incorporated words from Sanskrit, Arabic, Urdu and English, among other languages.
 
Likewise, the city of Hyderabad too is a bridge between many cultures and regions. It is a pan-Indian city as well as a global metropolis. Its technology industry, pharmaceutical companies and vaccine innovators have contributed significantly to the nation.
 
It has thriving educational institutions and health-care centres, cinema and special effects production houses, and sports facilities. These are a matter of pride for every Indian, he added.
 
“In the United States, Telugus have even been elected to public office, and are well known as entrepreneurs, doctors and technologists. It is a matter of pride that the CEO of the technology giant Microsoft is a Telugu – Satya Nadella.
 
"He follows a fine heritage, going back to among others Yellapragada Subbarao, the celebrated biochemist who worked at Harvard University in the 1920s and 1930s,” Mr Kovind said.
 
The President expressed happiness over the fact that the Ease of Doing Business state rankings for 2016 were jointly topped by Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. He stated that for a new state such as Telangana to make rapid strides and show such potential as a business and industrial location is creditworthy.
 
He congratulated the people and government of Telangana and appreciated the success in hosting the recent Global Entrepreneurship Summit.
 
“The past five days have been a tribute to the richness and heritage of the Telugu language. Telugu is the second-most spoken language in our country. It is the mother tongue of the people of two states, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
 
“Since 2008, it has been recognised as a classical language for its long literary tradition – a tradition of which even the Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao, is an important part. I am told he has a keen understanding of Telugu literature,” Mr Kovind said.
 
“The history of Telugu culture and literature has given so much to our country and to human civilisation. The greatest emperor of the Vijayanagara Empire, Krishna Deva Raya, was both a remarkable ruler as well as an exponent and patron of Telugu literature.
 
“There are so many others who contributed to the ethos of this soil. In recent times, three of India’s Presidents and my distinguished predecessors have been Telugu speakers – Dr S. Radhakrishnan, VV Giri and Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy. And PV Narasimha Rao, a scholar and Prime Minister, knowledgeable in many languages but truly an authority in Telugu too was from this region.
 
“A thousand years ago, Nannaya Bhattaraka wrote rules of grammar and also rendered the Mahabharat into Telugu. Soon after him came the illustrious poet Tikkana. In the 19th century, the writings and plays of Gurazada Apparao inspired the nation-building process. The poet Sri Sri wrote of the struggles of common people,” he said.
 
“Vattikota Alwar Swamy was a poet, novelist and activist – respected even by those who disagreed with him. The poems and songs of Daasarathi are still sung.
 
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“Telugu has been a language of learning and wisdom, of protest and liberty, of national pride and universal values. To this day, the compositions of Tyagaraja remain central to Carnatic classical music. And bhakti songs of Annamacharya continue to be the bedrock of faith and tradition,” Mr Kovind said.
 
“We cannot forget that this is the land of Komaram Bheem who inspired tribal communities to become conscious of their rights to forests and natural resources. Chityala Ailamma, a brave woman, from an underprivileged community, stood up to feudalism.
 
“A hundred years ago, Bhagya Reddy Varma was a political leader and social reformer at the forefront of the battle against untouchability. Pingali Venkayya designed what eventually became our national flag. Alluri Sitarama Raju was a revolutionary leader in the struggle against the British. Swami Ramanand Tirtha not only led a mass movement against an oppressive social and political system but was also integral to Hyderabad’s integration into the newly independent India,” he said.
 
“And Hyderabad is simply majestic as the city of biryani, badminton and Bahubali – giving the country delicious food, a string of badminton champions and films that are an expression of Indian soft power. I must add here that Telugu cuisine is very popular in Delhi, particularly the pickles,” the President said.
 
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Cabinet nod for agreement with UNESCO on International Training Centre for Operational Oceanography in Hyderabad

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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).
 
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IndiGo to launch flights to Sharjah from Hyderabad, Lucknow

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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.”
 
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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.

ANI

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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.
 
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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.”
 
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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.
 
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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.
 
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IIT Hyderabad develops device to diagnose infectious diseases

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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)
 
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Languages should help build bridges of understanding: Venkaiah Naidu

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

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

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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.
 
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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.
 
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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.
 
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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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