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45 killed as Bangalore-Hyderabad luxury bus catches fire in Mahabubnagar

In a ghastly accident, 45 passengers, including an infant, were killed when a Volvo bus on a journey from Bangalore to Hyderabad caught fire when its diesel tank burst after it hit a culvert in the Mahabubnagar district of Andhra Pradesh, on National Highway-44 between the two cities, early on Wednesday morning.

 
44 killed as luxury bus catches fire on Bangalore-Hyderabad highway
In a ghastly accident, as many as 45 passengers, including an infant, were killed when a Volvo bus on a journey from Bangalore to Hyderabad caught fire when its diesel tank burst after it hit a culvert in the Mahabubnagar district of Andhra Pradesh, on National Highway (NH)-44 between the two cities, early this morning.
 
The bus, which belonged to a private transport company, Jabbar Travels, was said to be carrying about 52 people, including its driver and cleaner.
 
There were seven survivors, including the driver and the cleaner, and they were brought for treatment to the Apollo Hospital here, where their condition was stated to be stable.
 
"We have recovered 45 bodies, including that of an infant," Mahabubnagar district collector M Girija Shankar told NetIndian over the telephone from the scene of the accident.
 
He said the mishap occurred around 5.20 am at Pallem village in Kothakota mandal of Mahabubnagar district, about 120 km from here, when most of the passengers were asleep.
 
The bus was completely gutted in the fire and the bodies of most of the victims were charred beyond recognition.
 
Mr Shankar said the bodies of all the victims had been retrieved from the bus and some of them had been identified and handed over to their relatives.
 
He said DNA samples had been taken from the remaining bodies, which will be taken to Hyderabad.
 
The bus left Bangalore around 10.30 pm yesterday and was scheduled to reach Hyderabad around 8 am today. It had picked up passengers from different points in Bangalore.
 
Reports reaching here said that the flames had engulfed the entire bus before the passengers could realise what had happened. The way in which a portion of the culvert was sheared off suggested that the bus was travelling at high speed, they said.
 
The incident also caused a massive traffic jam on the Hyderabad-Bangalore route.
 
According to various accounts, the list of passengers provided by the transport firm did not have full details, especially of those who had boarded the bus at places other than the starting point in Bangalore.
 
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In Delhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed sorrow over the loss of lives in the mishap.
 
Dr Singh extended his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and wished a speedy recovery to those injured in the accident. 
 
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, who was on a visit to the flood-affected areas of Srikakulam and Visakhapatnam districts, expresed shock and anguish over the mishap. He directed the district officials to provide the best possible medical treatment to the survivors.
 
He also ordered an inquiry into the accident and asked the officials to report to him on the cause of the tragedy.
 
State Information Minister D K Aruna rushed to the spot to supervise the relief efforts. A control room was set up at the site of the mishap.
 
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44 people killed as Bangalore-Hyderabad bus catches fire in Mahabubnagar

As many as 44 passengers were killed when a Volvo bus on a journey from Bangalore to Hyderabad caught fire when its diesel tank burst after it hit the median on the national highway between the two cities in Mahabubnagar district of Andhra Pradesh early on Wednesday morning.

 
44 killed as luxury bus catches fire on Bangalore-Hyderabad highway
As many as 44 passengers were killed when a Volvo bus on a journey from Bangalore to Hyderabad caught fire when its diesel tank burst after it hit the median on the national highway between the two cities in Mahabubnagar district of Andhra Pradesh early this morning.
 
The bus, which belonged to a private transport company, Jabbar Travels, was said to be carrying about 48 people, officials said.
 
The mishap occurred around 5.20 am at Kothakota in Mahabubnagar district, about 140 km from here, when most of the passengers were asleep, they said. 
 
The bus was completely gutted in the fire and the bodies of most of the victims were charred beyond recognition, they said.
 
The bodies of the victims were taken for post-mortem examination and efforts were on to identify them.
 
Five passengers and the driver and the cleaner of the bus managed to escape the blaze and have been admitted to the Govrnment hospital at Wanaparthy nearby, sources said.
 
They said the driver told the police that he could not open the emergency exits in time for the passengers to escape.
 
District Collector M Girija Shankar and Superintendent of Police Nagendra Kumar rushed to the spot after hearing of the news.
 
The bus left Bangalore around 10.30 pm yesterday and was scheduled to reach Hyderabad around 8 am today. It had picked up passengers from different points in Bangalore.
 
Reports reaching here said that the flames had engulfed the entire bus before the passengers could realise what had happened.
 
The incident also caused a massive traffic jam on the Hyderabad-Bangalore route.
 
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Renowned playback singer Manna Dey passes away at 94

Renowned film playback singer Manna Dey, who sang in several Indian languages including Hindi, Bengali and Malayalam and enthralled several generations of movie-goers in the country with his mellifluous voice, passed away in the early hours of today at a private hospital in Bangalore.

Spotlight Manna Dey Passes Away at 94
Renowned film playback singer Manna Dey, who sang in several Indian languages including Hindi, Bengali and Malayalam and enthralled several generations of movie-goers in the country with his mellifluous voice, passed away in the early hours of today at a private hospital in Bangalore.
 
He was 94. He is survived by his daughters Shuroma and Sumita. His wife Sulochana predeceased him last year. His funeral will be held later in the day today.
 
Narayana Hridayalala spokesman K S Vasuki told NetIndian that Dey was being treated at the hospital for the past four months for respiratory illness and associated problems. 
 
The singer was in and out of the intensive care unit (ICU) of the hospital during this period. When he was in the step-down ICU, he used to interact with close members of his family and listen to music, hospital sources said. 
 
He breathed his last around 3.50 am today, Mr Vasuki said. The singer's daughter and son-in-law were present when the end came.
 
Sources said Dey's body would be kept at the Ravindra Kalakshetra here from 10 am to 12 noon to enable his admirers to pay their tributes.
 
Born on May 1, 1919 as Prabodh Chandra Dey, the singer was to become better known by his nickname Manna Dey as he built a formidable career as a playback singer for films.
 
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During an illustrious career that lasted more than six decades, he recorded more than 3500 songs and won several awards.
 
Among others, he won the National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer for the Hindi film "Mere Huzoor" and the Bengali film "Nishi Padma".
 
He also won the Filmfare Award for Best Male Playback Singer for Mera Naam Joker in 1972 and the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011.
 
The Government honoured him with the Padma Shri in 1971 and the Padma Bhushan in 2005 and chose him for the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award, the top honour in Indian cinema, in 2007.
 
Dey, who was trained in classical traditions, started his career in playback singing with the movie Tamanna in 1943 and never looked back.
 
Over the years, he came to be loved and admired for his sheer versatility and the ease with he rendered complex classical music-based numbers, qawallis, ghazals, bhajans and fun-laced songs.
 
Some of his famous songs include “Laga Chuneri mein daag”, “Pyaar hua iqraar hua”, “Ye raat bheegi bheegi”, “Kasme wade pyaar wafa”, "Ek Chtur Naar", "Zindagi Kaisi Hai Paheli", "Ae Meri Zohrajabeen" and "Yaari Hai Imaan Mera".
 
Popular films for which he lent his voice included Awaara, Do Bigha Zamin, Mera Naam Joker, Bobby, Zanjeer, Padosan and Sholay.
 
Other languages in which Dey sang included Assamese, Marathi, Kannada, Gujarati, Punjabi and Bhojpuri.
 
Dey studied at the Scottish Church Collegiate School and the Scottish Church College in Kolkata. He graduated from Vidyasagar Colelge.
 
He was a regular performer in school shows and later took singing lessons from his uncle Kishore Chandra Dey and Ustad Dabir Khan.
 
In the early 1940s, Dey worked as an assistant director under his uncle and then under well-known composer Sachin Dev Burman and others, before branching out independently.
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After Tamanna, he sang for films like Kadambari, Kamala and Chaltey Chaltey for composers like anil Biswas and Jafar Khurshid and many of the songs became chart-busters.
 
He sang for Burman in the 1950 movie Mashal, which launched a long association between the two. Duets with Shamshad Begum, Lata Mangeshkar, Geeta Roy (Dutt) and Asha Bhonsle as well as Kishore Kumar followed.
 
By the mid-50s, Dey become popular in the film industries of other Indian languages. After his songs for Do Bigha Zamin, composed by Salil Choudhury became hits, the composer made him sing in his assignments for Bengali and Malayalam films.
 
Dey, whose wife Sulochana Kumaran was a Malayalee, sang two songs in Malayalam, and both became huge hits -- Maanasamaine Varoo from Chemeen in 1975 and Chemba Chemba from Nellu (1974), both composed by Choudhury. 
 
Dey also had a long association with the music composer duo of Shankar-Jaikishan and actor-producer Raj Kapoor in films like Shree 420, Chori Chori and Mera Naam Joker.
 
In the years that followed, the singer worked with several of the top names in the music industry, including Naushad, K Dutta, Vasant Desai, Ravi, Avinash Vyas, Husanlal Bhagatram, O P Nayyar, Ghulam Mohammed, Bipin Dutta, Rabin Banerjee, Roshan and Sapan Jagmohan.
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Later, new composers like Kalyanji-Anandji, Laxmikant-Pyarelal and Rahul Dev Burman also began to engage him regularly. With R D Burman, he sang the westernised numbers Aao Twist Karen and Pyaar Karta Ja, which hit the charts in 1965.
 
Some of his popular numbers during this phase included  "Lapak Jhapak Tu Aa Re" from Boot Polish(1954), "Tu Pyar Ka Sagar Hai" from Seema(1955), "Yeh Kahani Hai Diye Aur Toofan Ki" from Diya Aur Toofan (1956), "Humdum Se Gaye" from Manzil (1960), "Aye Mere Pyare Watan" from Kabuliwala (1961), "Laga Chunari Mein Daag" from Dil Hi Toh Hai (1963), "Sur Na Saje" from Basant Bahar (1956), "Kaun Aya Mere Mann" from Dekh Kabira Roya (1957), "Pucho Na Kaise Maine Rain" from Meri Surat Teri Aankhen (1963), "Jhanak Jhanak Tore Baje Payalia" from Mere Huzoor (1965); "Kisi Chilman Se" from Baat Ek Raat Ki (1962), "Chalat Musafir Moh Liya" from Teesri Kasam (1967), "Aao Aao Sawariya", "Masti Bhara Yeh Sama" from Parvarish(1958), "Nain Mile Chain Kahan" from Basant Bahar(1956), "Kehdoji Kehdo Chupaona Pyar" from Kismat Ka Khel (1956), "Tum Gagan Ke Chandrama" from Sati Savitri (1964), "Dil Ki Girah" from Raat Aur Din (1966), and "Chunari Sambhal Gori" from Baharon Ke Sapne in 1967.
 
Apart from Raj Kapoor, Dey regularly lent his voice for popular comedian Mehmood and character actor Balraj Sahni. Later, he sang for superstar Rajesh Khanna. He sang several popular duets with Mohammed Rafi, the reigning star of playback singing of those years.
 
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Additional judges appointed to Karnataka High Court

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The President has appointed Mr Arakalagudu Venkataramaiah Chandrashekara, Ms Rathnakala, Mr Budhihal Rudrappa Bhimappa, Mr Pradeep Dattatraya Waingankar, and Mr Koratagere Narasimha Murthy Phaneendra as additional judges of the High Court of Karnataka.
 
An official press release said here today that the appointments, in that order of seniority, would be for a period of two years with effect from the date they assume charge of their office. 
 
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India's Mars Orbiter Spacecraft to be launched by PSLV-C25 on November 5

PSLV-C25 after the integration of all its four stages at Moible Service Tower
PSLV-C25 after the integration of all its four stages at Moible Service Tower
India's first interplanetary probe, the Mars Orbiter Spacecraft, will be launched into space on board the workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV)-C25, in its XL version, on November 5 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, near Chennai, on November 5.
 
The lift-off time is at 1436 hours IST, a press release from the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) said today.
 
According to ISRO sources, the integration of the spacecraft with the launcher PSLV-C25 and the heat shield closure activity had been completed.
 
The United States' National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Jet Propulsion Labaratory (JPL) are providing communications and navigation support to the mission with their Deep Space Network facilities.
 
ISRO sources said that one of the main objectives of the first Indian mission to Mars is to develop the technologies required for design, planning, management and operations of an interplanetary mission. 
 
The technical objectives include design and realisation of a Mars orbiter with a capability to survive and perform Earth bound manoeuvres, cruise phase of 300 days, Mars orbit insertion / capture, and on-orbit phase around Mars.
Mars Orbiter Mission spacecraft being prepared for a pre-launch test at Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota
Mars Orbiter Mission spacecraft being prepared for a pre-launch test at Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota
They also include deep space communication, navigation, mission planning and management and incorporation of autonomous features to handle contingency situations.
 
The scientific objectives of the mission inlcude exploration of Mars surface features, morphology, mineralogy and Martian atmosphere by indigenous scientific instruments.
 
If successful, the mission will make India one of the few space powers to have explored the Red Planet after Russia, the United States and Europe.
 
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Infosys reports 1.6% growth in net profit in Q2 at Rs 2407 crore

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Infosys Limited, India's second largest software services exporter, today reported a 1.6 per cent growth in net profit for the quarter ended September 30 this year at Rs 2407 crore as compared to Rs 2369 crore in the same period last year.
 
In its financial results for the quarter, the company said revenues were up 31.5 percent at Rs 12,965 crore.
 
The company said its liquid assets, including cash and cash equivalents, available-for sale financial assets, and government bonds were Rs 26,907 crore as on September 30 this year versus rs 24,078 crore as on June 30 this year.
 
The release said Infosys and its subsidiaries added 68 clients during the quarter and made a gross addition of 12,168 employees (net addition of 2964).
 
The company declared an interim dividend of Rs 20 per share. The record date for the payment of dividend is October 18, 2013 
 
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"During the quarter we witnessed broad-based volume growth, robust client additions, five large deal wins and increased sales momentum of our big data and cloud offerings. This growth is a result of our focus on execution, which helps our clients achieve their objectives." said Mr S. D. Shibulal, CEO and Managing Director of Infosys.
 
"We will continue with planned investments and initiatives to explore new avenues of growth. We remain watchful of the sustainability of improving global economic fundamentals", he added. 
 
“The global currency market remains volatile with the Indian Rupee depreciating by 11% during the quarter. We have an active hedging program to minimize its impact on our margins. We will continue our focus on optimizing costs and enhancing the efficiency of our operations,” Mr Rajiv Bansal, Chief Financial Officer, Infosys, said.
 
In its outlook for the fiscal year ending March 2014, the company said revenues are expected to grow 21% to 22%.
 
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Gauhati HC Chief Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel transferred to Orissa HC

Mr Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel
Mr Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel
 
The President has, after consultation with the Chief Justice of India, transferred Mr Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, Chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court, as the Chief Justice of the Orissa High Court.
 
An official press release said Mr Justice Goel had been directed to assume charge of the office of the Chief Justice of the Orissa High Court on or before October 24.
 
He will be succeed Mr Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre, currently the Chief Justice of the High Court of Manipur. Mr Justice Sapre has also been directed to take charge of his new assignment by October 24, the release said.
 
The President has also transferred Mr Justice Karanam Sreedhar Rao, Judge of the High Court of Karnataka, to the Gauhati High Court.
 
Similarly, Mr Justice Laxmi Kanta Mohapatra, Judge of the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad, as been transferred to the High Court of Manipur.
 
The President has appointed Mr Justice Prasanta Kumar Saikia, Additional Judge of the Gauhati High Court, to be a Judge of that High Court with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office, the release added.
 
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NASA reaffirms support for India's Mars Orbiter Mission despite US shutdown

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The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) today said the United States' National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Jet Propulsion Labaratory (JPL) have reaffirmed their support to its Mars Orbiter Mission despite the US government shutdown.
 
The Mars Orbiter Mission spacecraft is scheduled for launch on the afternoon of October 28. The launch window remains open till November 19.
 
The American NASA/JPL is providing communications and navigation support to this mission with their Deep Space Network facilities.
 
An ISRO press release quoted the Scientific Secretary, ISRO, as saying that NASA and JPL authorities had reaffirmed their support for the mission as planned and stated that the current shutdown would not affect the schedule of the mission.
 
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Moily to launch sale of 5kg LPG cylinders, portability across OMCs on Oct 5

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Union Petroleum & Natural Gas Minister M Veerappa Moily will launch the sale of 5kg liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders through select petrol pumps in major cities and portability of LPG connections across oil marketing companies at a function in Bangalore in October 5.
 
These are part of the initiatives being taken by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas to empower customers and give them greater choice, freedom and convenience, an oficial press release said.
 
The release said the 5kg LPG cylinders would be available at market price with minimal paperwork through company-owned retail outlets (petrol stations).
 
According to it, this will be a boon to migratory population such as students, IT professionals, BPO employees and persons with odd duty hours as it would provide them the flexibility to pick up cylinders and obtain subsequent refills at the time of their choice.
 
The scheme will be launched in Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai and Bangalore on a pilot basis through select retail outlets.
 
At present, an LPG consumer is attached to a distributor and cannot change his distributor even if he is unhappy with the services provided by the distributor or the oil company.
 
Under the portability scheme, a consumer can now opt for the distributor of his choice within a cluster of LPG distributors in the vicinity and across the oil companies. The consumers will be able to see the service ratings of  all the distributors in their cluster and choose the one they want based on service levels. 
 
The option is registered electronically on the website of the OMC to which the consumer is presently attached. Electronic tracking of the potability request and closure is in place to ensure a consumer does not have any difficulty to move to a distributor of his choice, the release said.
 
This will usher in improvement in consumer service by the distributors as it will bring in competition in the cluster of distributors and bring choice to consumers who want to change their LPG distributor within or across the oil companis or want to move to a distributor closer to his home. This scheme covers 30 cities across the country, the release added.
 
The cities are:
 
Andhra Pradesh: Hyderabad/ Secunderabad, Visakhapatnam
Bihar: Patna
Chandigarh
Chhattisgarh: Raipur
Delhi: Delhi
Gujarat: Ahmedabad, Surat
Haryana: Faridabad
Jharkhand: Jamshedpur, Ranchi
Karnataka: Bangalore, Hubli
Kerala: Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram
Madhya Pradesh: Bhopal, Indore
Maharashtra: Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur
Odisha: Bhubaneswar
Punjab: Ludhiana
Rajasthan: Jaipur, Jodhpur
Tamil Nadu: Chennai, Coimbatore
Uttar Pradesh: Lucknow, Kanpur
Uttarakhand: Dehradun
West Bengal: Kolkata
 
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Wipro appoints Ireena Vittal to its Board

Ireena Vittal
Ireena Vittal
IT services major Wipro Ltd today announced the appointment of Ms Ireena Vittal, a strategic consultant on emerging markets, agriculture and urban development, to its Board of Directors.
 
Ms Vittal, a former partner with McKinsey & Co, will serve as an independent member on the Board and brings with her over two decades of experience as a recognized thought leader to consumer facing companies looking to build large scale, profitable businesses in emerging markets, a press release from the company said.
 
She was a founding member of the economic development practice and the global emerging markets practice at McKinsey and has worked with governments and public institutions to design and implement solutions for inclusive urban development and sustainable rural growth in India. 
 
"She brings in decades of analytical insights on emerging markets, industry growth models as well as diverse experience in the public and private sectors. I am confident that Wipro will gain from her acumen and experience," Ms Azim Premji, Chairman, Wipro Limited said, 
 
Ms. Vittal said, "I am delighted to join the Board of Wipro, a company with a rich legacy of technology innovation and one of the most trusted brands in the global IT sector. I look forward to contributing to the company's next phase of growth." 
 
Ms. Vittal is an independent director on the Board of Titan Industries and Axis Bank, among others. She has a graduate degree in Electronics and completed her Masters in Business Administration from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Calcutta. 
 
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HAL delivers first home-made "Hawk" advanced jet trainer aircraft to Navy

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited chairman R K Tyagi hands over Indian Navy's first Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer to Deputy Chief of Naval Staff  Vice-Admiral Pradeep Chatterjee in Bangalore on September 23, 2013.
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited chairman R K Tyagi hands over Indian Navy's first Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer to Deputy Chief of Naval Staff Vice-Admiral Pradeep Chatterjee in Bangalore on September 23, 2013.
The public sector Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) yesterday handed over the first home-made Hawk Mk-132 advanced jet trainer (AJT) aircraft to the Indian Navy at a function here yesterday.
 
“We built this aircraft in time and this is the first of the five aircraft to be delivered to the Indian Navy. The remaining four will be delivered soon," HAL chairman R K Tyagi said.
 
He handed over the related documents to Vice Admiral Pradeep K Chatterjee, Deputy Chief of Naval Staff.
 
Dr. Tyagi said it was a matter of pride that all the training aircraft of the Indian Navy have been supplied by HAL. 
 
“We are carrying forward this legacy and will ensure that Navy gets all the support from HAL on all parameters," he said.
 
Hawk Mk 132 is the latest entry into HAL-made and maintained aircraft and helicopters of Indian Navy which include Kiran and Do-228 aircraft, Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), Chetak and Cheetah helicopters. In addition HAL has also supported Navy in upgrade of Sea Harrier.
 
“We will continue to work shoulder to shoulder for all our current and future programs. Hawk delivered today will have a pride of place in Navy’s fleet. Given the fruitful association with HAL, we will even think of reviving past projects," Vice-Admiral Chatterjee said.
 
Against the contract for supplying 17 Hawk aircraft, HAL plans to deliver five aircraft in the current fiscal and the remaining in the next three years to the Navy.
 
The Hawk M-132 is a dual-seat multi-purpose aircraft powered by a single Rolls Royce Adour Mk.871 engine. The Hawk AJT is primarily used for basic, advanced and weapons training of the pilots. However, the aircraft has the capabilities to be used as a ground attack aircraft or for air defence.
 
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According to a press release from HAL, the Hawk AJT has excellent flying characteristics with good stability, can be flown at night and can perform a wide range of aerobatic manoeuvres. The aircraft can accommodate a wide variety of external stores. The cockpit is arranged in an efficient ergonomic manner in order to provide a lead-in to modern front line aircraft. The cockpit provides an excellent field of view for both pilots. The instructor’s station in the rear cockpit has appropriate override control of vital functions.
 
The primary flight control systems are provided by means of an all-moving tailplane, aileron and rudder deflections respectively. The secondary flight control systems comprise wing double slotted flaps and an air brake on the underside of the rear fuselage
 
A press release from British Aerospace (BAE) Systems said the 17 Hawk aircraft ordered by the Indian Navy form part of a contract for 57 aircraft signed in 2010, of which 40 are for the Indian Air Force (IAF).
 
The Indian Navy has become the third naval operator of the Hawk, along with the US Navy and the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom.
 
Among its 18 customers worldwide, India is the largest operator of the Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer with 123 aircraft ordered to date, of which over 70 have been delivered to the IAF. 
 
The release said BAE Systems had worked closely with the Indian Ministry of Defence and HAL to establish a production line in India where the Hawk aircraft are assembled. 
 
Guy Griffiths, Group Managing Director-International said, "The introduction of the Hawk to a new user is a momentous occasion, and further testimony to the aircraft's global success. This marks another significant milestone in our longstanding partnership with HAL which has established a track record operating a world-class Hawk production capability. We are committed to strengthening our relationship with HAL and exploring long-term sustainable business opportunities, globally." 
 
Looking forward, Mr Griffiths added: "We have also submitted our response to HAL's Request for Proposal for a potential order to supply products and services for the manufacture of 20 additional Hawk aircraft to the IAF, and are now looking forward to partnering with HAL in providing the Indian Air Force's display team this fantastic aircraft."
 
BAE Systems' Sea Harrier aircraft, which pioneered the short take off and vertical landing for jet aircraft, was bought by the Indian Navy in 1980 and the company continues to support them.
 
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Solo Theatre Festival in Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai from Oct 11-21

Pip Utton in Adolf
Pip Utton in Adolf
An International Solo Theatre Festival, the first of its kind in India and inspired by the world-famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival, will be held from October 11-21.
 
The festival, "Going Solo", will bring to the stages of Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai award-wining and riveting one-person acts.
 
The productions which will be performed in the three cities are Churchill by Pip Utton (UK), At the Edge by Jailoshini Naidoo (South Africa) and Adolf by Pip Utton (UK).
 
"'Going Solo' will capture the essence of the Edinburgh fringe in India. You will see some of the most brilliant performers gather here from across the world," Sanjoy Roy, Managing Director, Teamwork Arts, organisers of the festival, said.
 
"As an open access arts festival, part of the great appeal to companies of bringing a show to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, is the possibility of that work finding a life outwith the festival and outside the UK.  It’s great that Going Solo is providing that life for these companies," Kath M Mainland, Chief Executive, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, added.
 
The performances will be held from October 11-13 at the MLR Auditorium in Bangalore, from October 16-18 at the FICCI Auditorium in Delhi and from  October 19-21 at the Sophia Bhabha Hall in Mumbai.
 
In Churchill, Winston Churchill descends from his plinth to indulge himself in three of his greatest pleasures: a glass of scotch, a cigar and listening to himself talk. He talks of his childhood, his parents, his education, his army life, his marriage, his painting, writing and bricklaying, his appetites and of course he talks of his many yeas at the center of the world political stage especially during two world wars. 
Pip Utton in Churchill
Pip Utton in Churchill
 
Utton's new play is not an attempt to decide on Churchill’s greatness or to judge. It is just 70 minutes spent in the entertaining company of the man whose life spanned two centuries and saw the decline of the British Empire. The man who spent fifty years at the heart of political life in Westminster. 
 
The man who held most of the high offices of State, whose paintings were exhibited at the Royal Academy, who won the Nobel Orize for literature in 1953, who in 1963 was made the first honorary citizen of the United States and who in 2002, in a BBC poll, was voted the Greatest Briton in history.
 
'Adolf' is one of the most successful solo shows of the past 15  years. It has been performed in over twenty countries and continues to tour widely. 
 
Written and performed by Pip Utton with direction by Guy Masterson, ‘Adolf’ furnishes an acute anatomy of fascism; its ideological justifications, its poisoned utopias.
 
Looking uncomfortably like the Fuhrer, Utton takes his audience on a journey into themselves, gently coaxing an understanding of the mindset of a nation that could allow a man such as Hitler to take control. 
 
A new Hitler emerges, without the wig, without moustache. It seems at first that it might be the actor himself chatting amiably; the sort of jolly chappie you might meet in a bar, but it isn’t. This new ‘Hitler’ manipulates the audiences, getting laughter and even nods of approval for his increasing intolerant attitudes. It plumbs the very source of racism and exposes just how near the surface of our own lives lurks its insidious influence. It challenges the audience to react and pushes them into looking within themselves to question their own prejudicies and intolerance.
Jailoshini Naidoo in At the Edge
Jailoshini Naidoo in At the Edge
 
Utton began writing and performing one man shows sixteen years ago. Since then he has won acclaim and awards throughout the world and has established a reputation as one of the leading writers and performers of solo theatre. He writes, produces and tours easily staged, accessible text based drama that engages directly with the audience. He aims not only to entertain but also to stimulate the ‘grey cells’.
 
In 'At the Edge', short stories set in Cato Manor, Durban, before its destruction by the Group Areas Act, Naidoo, playing an academic pondering the past, morphs into around 20 characters (comic, poignant, angry, sycophantic, egotistical, devastated… so many different faces).
 
A popular television presenter in South Africa, she has appeared in numerous stage productions including Jungle Book, This Black Woman, The Coolie Odyssey, Jimbo, Queens of Comedy, Curry on Laughing and the critically acclaimed one-hander 1949 in which she played 38 characters.
 
The play has been written by Govender (born 1934) is a South African playwright of Tamil descent. His book, At the Edge and other Cato Manor Stories, won the 1997 Commonwealth Writers' Prize, best first book, Africa.
 
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Govt. considering austerity measures to check fuel demand: Moily

Moily calls for austerity measures to curb fuel consumption
Union Petroleum & Natural Gas Minister M Veerappa Moily today said the Government was considering the introduction of various austerity measures in the country from September 16 to reduce the consumption of petrol as the losses of the oil marketing companies (OMCs) are rising to unmanageable levels because of the fall in the value of the rupee against the dollar.
 
Talking to newspersons here, Mr Moily said every rupee fall in the exchange rate causes a loss of Rs 8000 crore for the public sector OMCs.
 
He said that the fall in the value of the rupee from Rs 58 to Rs 68 against the dollar had led to a loss of nearly Rs 80,000 crore for the OMCs.
 
He said that if steps were not taken immediately to handle this situation, petrol pumps would just dry up, and that was a situation the country could not afford.
 
He said the Government was considering some measures in this regard, and would spell out the details on September 16. He said the people must be ready to adopt some austerity measures at this crucial juncture.
 
Mr Moily said such measures were necessary, given the fact that the country imports about 80 per cent of its crude oil requirements.
 
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ISRO says postponed GSLV-D5/GSAT-14 mission now likely in December 2013

(Aug 19 file video)ISRO calls off launch of GSLV
 
The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) today said that it was looking at launching its Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-D5), with communication satellite GSAT-14 on board, in December this year, about four months after the mission was called off on August 19 due to a technical glitch.
 
The launch was called off as a leak was observed in the UH25 fuel system of the liquid second stage during the pre-launch pressurisation phase on the vehicle, just two hours before the scheduled lift-off.
 
The GSLV-D5 mission is aimed at injecting the 1982 kg GSAT-14 into a geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO).
 
It was to be the eighth flight of GSLV and its fourth developmental flight. The launch would also have marked the second flight test of the indigenously developed Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS).
 
The first flight test of the indigenous CUS on GSLV-D3 had ended up as a failure on April 15, 2010 when it deviated from its path and splashed into the sea.
 
GSLV-D3 would have put the 2200 kg GSAT-4, an experimental advanced technology communication satellite that carried communication and navigation payloads, into GTO.
 
The cryogenic engine, developed after 20 years of work by scientists and engineers of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on this complex technology, is crucial for putting communication satellites heavier than two tonnes into GTO.
 
An ISRO press release said that, at the time of calling off the GSLV-D5 countdown, the launch vehicle was loaded with 210 tons of liquid and cryogenic propellants. 
 
"About 750 kg of UH25 Fuel had leaked out, leading to contamination of the area around the launch pad. It took 6 days of round-the-clock operations before the contamination could be reduced to the safe level to enable movement of the GSLV-D5 back to the Vehicle Assembly Building. The GSLV-D5 Launch Vehicle has been safely moved back to the Vehicle Assembly Building on the early morning of August 26, 2013. The vehicle has been de-stacked," it said.
 
ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan constituted a High Level Task Team on August 20, chaired by Mr K. Narayana, (former Director of Satish Dhawan Space Centre) to identify the cause of the leak and to work out an action plan for quick restoration of the mission, taking into account the safety, reliability and life of the Liquid Second Stage and the four Liquid Strap-on stages, which were wetted with liquid propellants. 
 
"The leak is suspected to be in the lower portion of the propellant tank or the fluid lines between the tank and fuel filling system of the second stage. Detailed investigation of the leak is underway," it said.
 
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The release said that a new Liquid Second Stage (GS-2) is being assembled to replace the leaked-stage. 
 
"All the four Liquid Strap-on Stages are being replaced with new ones. The First Stage (Solid) and core base shroud are being inspected and the elements that are affected will be replaced. The Satellite Assembly, Avionics Equipment Bay and the Cryogenic Stage will be preserved, following prescribed practices. 
 
"Based on current availability of hardware and components, the GSLV Vehicle assembly and checkout is expected to be completed at the Vehicle Assembly Building by the first week of December 2013 and the launch could take place by December 2013," the release added.
 
GSAT-14 is designed to provide many satellite-based communication services to the country, including tele-education and telemedicine. 
 
GSLV is a three-stage launch vehicle with solid, liquid and cryogenic stages. It is designed to inject two-tonne class of communication satellites into GTO. 
 
The four liquid L40 strap-ons as well as the second stage of GSLV use storable liquid propellants. 
 
GSLV-D5 vehicle is configured with its first and second stages similar to the ones flown during earlier GSLV missions. The third stage is the indigenous cryogenic stage. 
 
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Congress wins both Lok Sabha bye-elections in Karnataka

Actress Ramya wins Mandya bye-election
The Congress received a big boost when its candidates -- actress Ramya and D K Suresh Kumar -- won the bye-elections to the Lok Sabha from the Mandya and Bangalore Rural constituencies in Karnataka today.
 
Both the seats were held by the Janata Dal (Secular) of former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda. The bye-elections were necessitated by the resignation of Mr H D Kumaraswamy from Bangalore Rural and N Cheluvaraswamy from Mandya after they were elected to the state legislative assembly in the recent elections.
 
Ms Ramya won by a margin of more than 67,000 votes in Mandya over C S Puttaraju of JD(S), while Mr Suresh Kumar, the brother of Congress MLA D Shiva Kumar, defeated Mr Kumaraswamy's wife Anitha Kumaraswamy by more than 1.37 lakh votes.
 
Both Ms Ramya and Mr Suresh Kumar made their electoral debut in the bye-elections, polling for which was held on August 21.
 
The Opposition had put up a common candidate against the Congress in both the constituencies, but the move did not find favour with the voters.
 
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Manipal Centre for Virus Research gets $1.143 million grant

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The Manipal Centre for Virus Research (MCVR), a research department of Manipal University, has been awarded the Research Cooperative Agreement Grant worth US$ 1.143 million by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), United State Department of Health and Human Services, through the Coordinating Office of Global Health (GH). 
 
A press relese from MCVR said the grant was awarded for the application submitted by Dr. G Arunkumar, Professor and Head, MCVR and Dr TMA Pai Endowed Chair in Translational Virology for the project "Hospital Based Surveillance of Acute Febrile Illness in Western Ghat Region of India" for detecting etiologies of emerging infectious disease in the Western Ghats region of Karnataka and Kerala. 
 
The other departments of Manipal University involved in this grant are Departments of Statistics, Public Health, Microbiology (Kasturba Medical College, Manipal & Mangalore), Community Medicine (Kasturba Medical College, Manipal) and School of Communication. 
 
The CDC grant, in addition to providing financial aid, also provides technical support from the sponsoring agency leading to significant capacity building in the host institution. 
 
"The grant opens up exciting prospects of international research collaborations and additional funding," the release said.
 
Manipal University Pro-Vice-Chancellor H Vinod Bhat said the grant was a landmark achievement for the university in its research endeavours.
 
"The National Institute of Virology, Pune and the National Centre for Disease Control, Delhi, both under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India are the only other previous recipients of such a grant from CDC. Manipal University has been growing from strength to strength in recent years and has invested significantly in research projects across diverse disciplines. The faculty and students have access to world class infrastructure and technical guidance to develop their research ideas and innovations," Dr Bhat said.
 
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The Manipal Centre for Virus Research was established to augment the diagnostic virology capacity and to enhance research activities at the university. It supports the associated university hospitals and the health departments of the neighbouring states with diagnostic services for viral diseases. 
 
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India have identified virology as a focus area in the public health sector and initiated the process of establishing virology laboratories across the country and Manipal Centre for Virus Research is one among them, the release said.
 
MCVR has state-of-the-art facilities for conventional and molecular diagnosis of viral diseases as well as research, it added.
 
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Ansari attends golden jubilee celebrations of Ecumenical Christian Centre, Bangalore

Vice President M Hamid Ansari lighting the lamp at the Golden Jubilee Celebration of the Ecumenical Christian Centre and the commemoration of the birth centenary of its founder, Rev, Dr. M.A. Thomas, in Bangalore, on August 17, 2013. Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien, Rt Rev. Dr Issac Mar Philexonos, the Diocesan Bishop of the Mar Thoma Church, and Art of Living founder Sr Sri Ravi Shankar are also seen.
Vice President M Hamid Ansari lighting the lamp at the Golden Jubilee Celebration of the Ecumenical Christian Centre and the commemoration of the birth centenary of its founder, Rev, Dr. M.A. Thomas, in Bangalore, on August 17, 2013. Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien, Rt Rev. Dr Issac Mar Philexonos, the Diocesan Bishop of the Mar Thoma Church, and Art of Living founder Sr Sri Ravi Shankar are also seen.
 
Vice-President M Hamid Ansari today said that, in this age when large segments of humanity still suffer from poverty, hunger, illiteracy, disease, homelessness and human folly continues to propel people towards hate and conflict in many parts of the world, Jesus Christ's eternal message of love and compassion shows  the path to redemption.
 
"If we were to follow, in letter and spirit, what has been taught by Jesus Christ, we could eliminate war and conflict from this world and thereby establish durable peace which is so essential for progress and prosperity of mankind," he said in his address at the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Ecumenical Christian Centre (ECC) here.
 
The event also commemorated the birth centenary of the centre's visionary founder, Rev Dr M A Thomas, a priest of the Mar Thoma Syrian Church.
 
Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien, Rt. Rev. Dr. Issac Mar Philexonos, the Diocesan Bishop of the Chennai-Bangalore Diocese of the Mar Thoma Syrian Church and Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar were amongst those present on the occasion.
 
Mr Ansari said the Christian community in India is noted for its work in the field of education, public health, charitable services and social activities for the uplift of the down-trodden, the poor and needy. 
 
"We can never forget these contributions. I am myself a product of a school run by Irish Brothers in Shimla and of a college run by Jesuits in Kolkata. It is in this glorious tradition of service before self that the ECC has established itself as an important institution which has rendered invaluable service in the cause of nation building and development," he said.
 
Mr Ansari paid homage to Dr Thomas, describing him as a distinguished religious leader and a reputed public figure who made commendable contribution to promoting inter-faith harmony and greater understanding amongst all sections of society. 
 
"His work in raising social awareness against the ills afflicting our society was noteworthy. On this momentous day, we salute his selfless service in the cause of fellow human beings," he said.
 
The ECC was established in 1963 by the late Reverend Thomas with the vision of promoting the idea of fundamental unity of mankind. Over a period of time, the Centre has developed into a meeting place of people of all religious and political views. 
 
"Ecumenism, apart from its objective within the denominations of the Christian faith, has a wider meaning pertaining to the promotion of unity among religions based on greater cooperation and improved understanding including on social, economic and political issues concerning humanity," Mr Ansari said.
 
He expressed happiness that the ECC had adopted this wider concept of ecumenism as its guiding philosophy. 
 
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"It has endeavored to promote the idea of unity of different faiths and humanity and the integration of creation, through its multifaceted work, oriented towards the welfare of the people and the country. Since its inception, the Centre has not only emerged as vibrant forum for believers and non-believers alike to congregate and engage in a healthy dialogue on spiritual, moral and ethical values, but has also become an effective vehicle for bringing about socio-economic change and building a harmonious society through concerted and concrete action," he said.
 
The Vice-President also pointed that the ECC had made notable contributions to the democratic polity by equipping the citizens to be better informed participants in the democratic processes and in upholding the norms of secularism, pluralism and tolerance: values which are inherent to Indian identity.
 
"Issues varying from human rights to spirituality, ecology and environment to probity in public life are discussed are discussed at the Centre with a view to shape appropriate ethical and moral responses to them.
 
"Courses conducted by the ECC’s National Citizen Academy and the Vicharodaya College on social, economic and political issues have helped generate awareness and impart knowledge among the people on problems confronting the country. In addition, the Centre, through its community development programmes, which concentrate on primary health, literacy and social awareness, provides socio-economic and medical assistance to the deprived and marginalized sections of society, irrespective of caste, gender or creed," he said.
 
Mr Ansari noted that the ECC had rendered much appreciated services in promotion of communal harmony, gender empowerment and protection of human rights of vulnerable sections of our society. 
 
"There is no doubt that the excellent work being done by the ECC, in both spiritual and temporal spheres, is inspired by the noble message of Jesus Christ and tenets of the Christianity.
 
"Jesus Christ, whom Mahatma Gandhi described as the greatest teacher humanity has ever had, taught love, compassion, forgiveness and charity. He also preached the importance of selfless service and sacrifice in the cause of fellow beings," he added.
 
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Permanent benches of Karnataka established at Dharwad, Gulbarga

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The President today issued the formal order for the establishment of Permanent Benches of the High Court of Karnataka at Dharwad and Gulbarga.
 
As per the order called “High Court of Karnataka (Establishment of Pernanent Benches at Dharwad and Gulbarga) Order, 2013”, the Permanent Bench at Dharwad will come into operation on 24th August 2013 and that at Gulbarga on 31st August 2013. 
 
Under this order, the Chief Justice of the High Court of Karnataka has been empowered to nominate Judges from his High Court to sit at Dharwad in respect of cases arising in the districts of Bagalkot, Bellary, Belgaum, Dharwad, Gadag, Haveri, Uttara Kannada-Karwar and Koppal; and at Gulbarga in respect of cases arising in the districts of Bidar, Bijapur, Gulbarga and Raichur. 
 
The order also gives the Chief Justice of the High Court of Karnataka, the discretionary power to order any case or class of cases arising in any of the above mentioned districts to be heard at Bangalore, an official press release added.
 
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ASK Pravi invests Rs 60 crore in Omni Hospitals

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ASK Pravi, a joint venture between ASK Group and Pravi Capital, today announced a Rs 60 crore investment in Omni Hospitals, Hyderabad that will give it a substantial minority stake in the company.
 
A press release from ASK Group said the infusion of funds woud enable Omni Hospitals to expand its network of hospitals across south and east India. 
 
Mr. Anand Vyas, Managing Partner of ASK Pravi Capital Advisors, will join the board of directors of Omni Hospitals.
 
Omni Hospitals is a tertiary care hospital chain promoted by the Incor Group founded by Mr. Anand Reddy Gummadi and Mr. Surya Reddy Pulagam. It operates two hospitals in Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam.

Weather satellite INSAT-3D successfully placed in geosynchronous orbit

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India’s advanced weather satellite INSAT-3D, launched in the early hours of July 26 from Kourou, French Guiana, has successfully been placed in geosynchronous orbit after three orbit raising manoeuvres commanded from ISRO's Master Control Facility at Hassan.
 
A press release from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said the orbital parametres of INSAT-3D are: Apogee (farthest point to Earth) – 35,799 km; Perigee (nearest point to Earth) – 35,469 km; Inclination (of the orbit with respect to the equator)- 0.23  deg; and Orbital period – 23 hr 48 min.
 
It said that, though there was an anomalous behaviour of the satellite after the deployment of its solar panel, the Mission Operations Team of ISRO could immediately bring the satellite into normalcy using the prescribed contingency procedures and then resume the orbit-raising operations.
 
INSAT-3D is now moving towards its final geostationary orbital location of 82 degree East longitude and on August 6 it will reach this destination. 
 
Subsequently, the two meteorological payloads (Imaging System, Atmospheric Sounder), as well as the two Transponders (designed for the Meteorological Data Relay and Satellite-aided Search and Rescue system) will be activated by August 8, the release added.
 
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Renowned biologist Obaid Siddiqi passes away

Prof Obaid Siddiqi
Prof Obaid Siddiqi
Renowned biologist Obaid Siddiqi, National Research Professor at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) here, whose work paved the way for the modern understanding of how senses such as taste and smell are detected and encoded in the brain, passed away here yesterday, the institute announced today.
 
He was 81. He is survived by his wife Asiya, sons Imran and Kalim, and daughters Yumna and Diba.
 
Prof Siddiqi was out for a stroll near his house in Vidyaranyapura here on Wednesday when a college student riding a moped, who was also his neighbour, knocked him down. He succumbed the injuries yesterday,  sources said.
 
Born in 1932 in Uttar Pradesh, Prof Siddiqui received his early education at Aligarh Muslim University. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Glasgow, working on microbial genetics with Guido Pontecorvo. He carried out post-doctoral research with Alan Garen at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and University of Pennsylvania. This work led to the discovery of stop codons in the genetic code and the mechanism of chain termination during protein synthesis.
 
In 1962, at the invitation of Dr Homi Bhabha, he set up the Molecular Biology Unit at the TIFR in Mumbai. The formation of this unit is widely regarded as a transformational event in the landscape of modern biology research in India. 
 
Thirty years later, he became the founding director of the TIFR National Center for Biological Sciences in Bangalore.
 
In the early 1970s, Prof Siddiqi began to study the genetic basis of behaviour using Drosophila as a model. Working with Seymour Benzer at Caltech he discovered a set of temperature sensitive paralytic mutants that exhibited defects in the electrical activity of nerves and muscles. This discovery led to a deeper understanding of the mechanistic basis of neuronal function and heralded the dawn of the field of Behavioral Genetics.
 
In the eighties, Siddiqi and his students at TIFR, Mumbai carried out pioneering work on the genetic basis of taste and smell in Drosophila. He was active in this area of research till the end of his life, maintaining an active laboratory as an Emeritus Professor at NCBS.
 
Prof Siddiqi's contributions have been widely recognized both nationally and internationally. He was an elected member of the Royal Society, London (FRS), the US National Academy of Sciences, The World Academy of Sciences, Trieste, the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore (President 1986-89), National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad, and Maharashtra Academy of Sciences.
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He has been honoured with the Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, Bhatnagar Prize, INSA Golden Jubilee Medal, Birla Samarak Kosh National Award, Goyal Foundation Prize, Aryabhatta Medal by INSA, Bhasin Foundation Prize, Science Congress Plaque of Honours, BC Roy Award for Biomedical Research and Firodia Award for Basic Sciences.
 
Prof Siddiqi has held visiting professorships at Yale University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the California Institute of Technology and Cambridge University. He was twice Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Scholar at Caltech and was a life member of Clare Hall, Cambridge. 
 
Aligarh Muslim University, Banaras Hindu University, Jamia Hamdard, Kalyani University, IIT Bombay, Jamia Millia Islamia and Central University of Hyderabad have conferred upon him the honorary degree of D.Sc.
 
Former NCBS director K Vijay Raghavan, former director of NCBS said:  "There are a daring few who define new intellectual quests, and whose courage and leadership create a culture...today, we celebrate Obaid Siddiqi whose foresight, determination and quiet courage has transformed research in molecular biology in India at least twice and whose scientific successes span many fields of biology. While establishing institutional excellence and instilling an iconoclastic culture of independence and freethinking, these pioneering efforts have led to wide appreciation, both of the beauty and value of Obaid's science and of his leadership in institution building, as models to emulate."
 
According to Prof Satyajit Mayor, current Director of NCBS: "Obaid Siddiqi was one of the finest biologists India has ever had. His contribution to the growth of Molecular Biology in India is unparalleled. Throughout his career, Obaid always set an example for doing science at its most creative. He pioneered efforts in establishing the field of Behavioral Genetics based on his own research on the genetics of olfactory sensation in Drosophila. At the same time in his gentle but persuasive style he motivated a legion of younger colleagues by doing excellent science himself whilst in India. In 1992 he established the National Centre for Biological Sciences as a Centre of TIFR, to achieve excellence and to nurture fundamental curiosity to explore new frontiers in biological research. The realization and embodiment of these core principles, through the growth of the Centre over twenty years, is yet again a testimony to the foresight of this visionary man. Establishing an institution that promotes enquiry at all scales of Biology is indeed a pioneering experiment in how research in biological sciences may be conducted in the modern era of molecular biology.
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It is not a surprise that Obaid Siddiqi was also one of India most decorated scientists. We will miss our friend, philosopher and muse deeply, and hope to cherish his dreams and ambitions in the way we would know he would want us to- by building on the edifice he has left us, and doing even more creative science."
 
Vice-President M Hamid Ansari, a former Vice-Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University, was among those who condoled the passing away of Prof Siddiqi.
 
"Professor Siddiqi was acclaimed, nationally and globally, for his important contributions in the field of molecular biology which led to a better understanding of the subject. He was an outstanding teacher who taught in some of the most prestigious universities, in India and abroad, and inspired generations of students to pursue excellence. In his departure, we have lost a pioneer of scientific research and an institution builder whose absence will be felt for a long time to come," he added.
 
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Eight killed, 59 rescued as Karnataka bus crashes into lake

Karnataka: Bus plunges into lake, at least 8 killed
Eight persons were killed when a Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus veered off a bridge and crashed into a lake near Belur in Hassan district of the state, official sources said.
 
District Superintendent of Police Ravi  D Channanvar told NetIndian over the telephone that those who died included five men and two women.
 
He said as many as 59 passengers were rescued from the ill-fated bus, which had turned turtle.
 
Of them, 35 had been shifted to the district hospital at Hassan while the rest were undergoing treatment at Belur taluka hospital, he said.
 
Among those killed were the conductor of the bus, while the driver has been arrested for negligent driving, he said.
 
The accident occurred when the bus, said to be carrying around 70 passengers, plunged into the Vishnu Samudra lake, about a kilometre from Belur and about 50 km from Hassan, around 1030 hours today. The scene of the mishap is about 200 km from here.
 
The bus was on its way from Sakleshpur to Belur, a journey of about 40 km, when the mishap occurred. The lake is filled to capacity currently after the recent rains in the region.
 
According to some reports, the driver had swerved the bus to avoid hitting a motorcyclist when it skidded off the road, broke through the railings of the bridge and plunged into the lake.
 
The state government has announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 3 lakh to the next-of-kin of those killed in the mishap. It has also promised to meet the medical expenses of those injured.
 
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Biological E’s Japanese encephalitis vaccine prequalified by WHO

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Biopharmaceutical company Biological E (BioE) and European biotech major Valneva SE today announced that the World Health Organization (WHO) has awarded prequalification for global use in adults of BioE’s Japanese encephalitis (JE) vaccine. 
 
BioE also expects the pediatric indication to be prequalified by the end of the year, a press release from the company said.
 
This is the first prequalification of a Japanese encephalitis vaccine, and is a key step in ensuring the vaccine can be distributed to developing countries, it said.
 
"We are happy that our JE vaccine is the first ever WHO prequalified JE vaccine. It is an extremely important achievement for the vaccines community as our vaccine’s prequalification is well in time to support GAVI’s plans of introducing the JE vaccine in several developing countries," Ms Mahima Datla, Managing Director, Biological E Limited, said.
 
Mr Thomas Lingelbach, Valneva’s President and Chief Executive Officer and Franck Grimaud, Valneva’s President and Chief Business Officer, said “We share the excitement for this great achievement and are pleased that our technology used for Ixiaro will now help introducing an excellent vaccine in countries of substantial needs.” Ixiaro is an FDA and EMA approved vaccine.
 
Biological E and Valneva established a partnership in 2005 for the development and commercialization of a Japanese encephalitis vaccine for endemic regions, based on Valneva’s JEV technology. The vaccine, which was successfully developed under this partnership, is being marketed in India under the trade-name Jeev and commercialization in other JE-endemic countries is planned.
 
BioE was in the news recently for entering into a five-year pentavalent supply arrangement with GAVI, for forming a joint venture with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)  to create a six-in-one paediatric vaccine combining GSK’s IPV and BioE’s pentavalent vaccine, and for licensing Novartis’s Phase II typhoid conjugate vaccine.
 
Japanese encephalitis is a disease caused by a flavivirus that affects the membranes around the brain. Approximately 1 in 200 infections results in severe disease characterized by rapid onset of high fever, headache, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, seizures, spastic paralysis and death. The case fatality rate can be as high as 60% among those with disease symptoms; 30% of those who survive suffer from lasting damage to the central nervous system. 
 
The severity of JE infections has been recognized by the medical community and the global health authorities have emphasized the need for routine vaccination, campaigns and travellers vaccine for endemic countries.  
 
The disease is endemic to many regions in Asia and South East Asia including in India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.
 
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Heavy rains lash Delhi, Mumbai, AP, Karnataka

Heavy rains halt Delhi
Heavy rains lashed Delhi, Mumbai and many parts of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, throwing normal life out of gear in these areas.
 
In Delhi, a heavy downpour for nearly four hours flooded many of the main roads, leading to heavy traffic jams. People were stuck in the traffic for hours and people could be seen wading through ankle-deep water at many places.
 
Drains were overflowing at several places in the capital, adding to commuters' woes.
 
The rains, however, helped to bring the temperature down in the capital, where people had been suffering from heat and humidity for the past many days.
 
Mumbai experienced heavy rains for the second day today, slowing down traffic and delaying local trains.
 
In Andhra Pradesh, which has received 30 per cent rainfall more than the long-period average this monsoon and where the Godavari is in spate, relief camps have been set up for people living in low-lying areas on the banks of the river as heavy rains persisted.
 
Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy reviewed the situation at a meeting with senior officials in Hyderabad today and directed the district administrations to be on high alert and take up relief efforts on a war footing.
 
The India Meteorological Department has forecast heavy to very heavy rains in various districts of Telangana and pointed to the possibility of inundation of some areas in East and West Godavari districts because of heavy inflows into the Godavari from the Sabari river.
 
Two teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are stationed at Bhadrachalam and a helicopter has been stationed there and another at Karimnagar to assist in the relief operations.
 
Incessant rains have also been reported from the coastal and hill districts of Karnataka. Many parts of Bangalore also received heavy showers today.
 
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Ashley Westwood named coach for JSW’s Bangalore team

Ashley Westwood
Ashley Westwood
JSW Sports has appointed former Manchester United player Ashley Westwood as coach of the club for the upcoming I-League football season.
 
The experienced player has had a stint as manager of Kettering before teaming up with Michael Appleton as his assistant manager at clubs such as Portsmouth, Blackpool and Blackburn.  
 
With his reputation growing quickly in management, the 36-year-old Englishman will handle the reins at the Bangalore team that makes its I-League debut this year.
 
Parth Jindal, who handles the activities of the team from the family's side said, “We are pleased to appoint Ashley Westwood as the head coach of the club. He is young, experienced and shares our vision and passion for the game. We believe he is the right man to take our club to where we want to see it.”
 
“This was too exciting a prospect to turn down. I have been around for a fair bit of time on the English football scene and the chance to change things in this part of the world is a challenge I will relish,” said Westwood.
 
A defender during his playing days, Westwood began his career as a trainee at Manchester United and was part of the FA Youth Cup winning side in 1995 before turning out for a host of clubs in a career that spanned a little less than two decades in England.
 
On his decision to join the Bangalore club, Westwood said, “I did my study and have no doubt about the company and its owners having vision. There is a genuine ambition to the whole project and I would love being able to leave my stamp on it.”
 
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