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Six coaches of Utkal Express derail near Muzzafarnagar in Uttar Pradesh

Six coaches of the 18477 Utkal Express, from Puri in Odisha to Haridwar in Uttarakhand, derailed at Khatauli, about 25 km from Muzzafarnagar, in Uttar Pradesh, this evening.
 
The mishap occurred around 5.46 pm today, railway sources said, adding that details of casualties were not immediately available.
 
Television pictures from the scene showed that one of the coaches had climbed on to the top of another coach, and one of its ends had crashed into a building on the side of the track.
 
Gas cutters were being used to cut through the mangled steel to pull out those trapped inside the coaches. 
 
"Our focus right now is on rescue and relief operations. Officers and staff from the nearby railway stations have reached the spot," Ministry of Railways spokesman Anil Saxena told journalists in New Delhi.
 
Khatauli is located on the Meerut-Saharanpur section of the Delhi Division of Northern Railway.
 
"We have geared up our rescue and relief machinery. Senior officials of Delhi Division have rushed to the accident site. Staff and officers from the nearby stations have already reached there," Mr. Saxena said.
 
He said personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) would also reach the site soon.
 
The train had left Puri yesterday and was due to reach Haridwar at 9 pm today, they said.
 
Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu said on micro-blogging site Twitter that he was personally monitoring the situation and had instructed senior officers to reach the spot immediately and ensure speedy rescue and relief operations. He said medical vans had been rushed to the site of the accident.
 
"Have instructed Chairman Rly Board, Member Traffic to oversee rescue and relief operations. I am personally monitoring situation," he said. "Instructed General Manager, other senior officers to ensure all possible help to the people."
 
"In close touch with @CMOfficeUP , State Government officials, district administration to coordinate rescue and relief operations," he said.
 
Mr. Prabhu said he had instructed the Member, Engineering of the Railway Board, the Director General, Health and other senior officers to rush to the scene.
 
"Have ordered inquiry into the unfortunate accident to ascertain the cause. Strict action will be taken against any lapse," he added.
 
Mr. Prabhu said Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha and Minister of State for Water Resources Sanjeev Kumar Baliyan were on their way to the scene of the accident.
 
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath told journalists that two State Ministers -- Satish Mahana and Suresh Rana -- have also left for the spot.
 
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Technical Cooperation Non-Cash Grant for Coimbatore, Bhubaneswar and Kochi for urban transport

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Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, Bhubaneswar in  Odisha and Kochi in Kerala will receive Technical Cooperation Non-Cash Grant for Urban Transport Activities.
 
An Implementation Agreement on Sustainable Urban Transport project between Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and the German development agency GIZ was signed here yesterday in the presence of Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri and German Ambassador Dr Martin Ney.
 
The agreement was signed by Mr. Mukund Kumar Sinha, OSD & ex officio Joint Secretary, Housing & Urban Affairs and GIZ Country Director Wolfgang Hanning.
 
Under the agreement, an amount of euro four million (approximately Rs. 29 crore) will be given to the three cities for urban transport activities through GIZ over a period of three years. The main objective is to improve planning and implementation of sustainable urban transport, an official press release said.
 
The Annual Negotiations and Consultations between India and Germany in 2015, had listed Technical Cooperation by Germany for Urban Mobility in India as one of measures to be taken. It was later formalised with a memorandum of understanding (MoU).
 
The project will give the desired impetus in three major interventions proposed under Smart City Mission of the Ministry -- ITS based transport solutions, Non-motorised vehicles and Last mile connectivity, the release added.
 
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Six wagons of goods train derail in Koraput district of Odisha

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Six wagons of a goods train derailed between Dumuriput and Damanjodi stations in Koraput district of Odisha, in Waltair Division of East Coast Railway (ECR), late last night, affecting rail traffic on the section.
 
The mishap occurred around 0045 hours today while the train was approaching route number 3 of Damanjodi yard, blocking both lines, ECR sources said, adding that no one was injured in the incident.
 
The Additional Divisional Railway Manager of Waltair Division and other senior officers have rushed to the spot. Relief trains with care have been sent to the site from Visakhapatnam and Kirandul.
 
Normal traffic is expected to be restored on the line by this afternoon, the sources said.
 
As a consequence of the mishap, some trains have been cancelled, partially cancelled or diverted, the sources added.
 
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Depression over Bay of Bengal may reach north AP, south Odisha coasts on Saturday morning

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The depression over southeast Bay of Bengal and neighbourhood is very likely to move north-northwestwards and reach north Andhra Pradesh and south Odisha coasts around December 9 morning, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
In a bulletin issued at 1130 hours today, IMD said the depression had moved northwards with a speed of about 35 kmph during past six hours and lay centred at 0830 hrs IST of today near latitude 12.0º N and longitude 88.0 ºE, about 870 km southeast of Gopalpur and 875 km to the east-southeast of Machillipatnam. 
 
"The system is very likely to move north-northwestwards and reach north Andhra Pradesh and south Odisha coasts around 9th December morning. The system is likely to intensify further into a deep depression during the next 24 hours.
 
"However, there is a probability of slight weakening of the system when it reaches near north Andhra Pradesh and south Odisha coasts," the bulletin said.
 
Under the influence of the system, light to moderate rainfall was very likely at most places over Andaman Islands and at a few places over Nicobar Islands during the next 24 hours.
 
Rainfall was also very likely at most places over north Andhra Pradesh on December 8-9, over Odisha during December 8-10 and over coastal districts of West Bengal on December 8, with isolated heavy falls.
 
Squally winds with speed reaching 40-50 kmph, gusting to 60 kmph, were very likely over and around Andaman Islands during the next 24 hours and decrease thereafter, the bulletin said.
 
Squally winds with speed reaching 40-50 kmph, gusting to 60 kmph, very likely to prevail along and off north Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coasts from today evening to December 9 morning and will decrease thereafter, it said.
 
Sea conditions would be rough to very rough around Andaman Islands during the next 24 hours. Sea conditions would be rough to very rough along and off north Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coasts from today evening to December 9 morning, the bulletin said.
 
Fishermen along and off Andaman Islands were advised not to venture into sea till the forenoon of tomorrow and fishermen along and off Nicobar Islands were advised not to venture into deep sea during the same period.
 
Fishermen along and off north Tamil Nadu and south Andhra Pradesh coasts were advised not to venture into deep sea today and tomorrow. Fishermen along and off north Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coasts were advised not to venture into sea till December 9 morning.
 
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India successfully launches surface-to-air missile Akash

India's surface-to-air missile Akash, with indigenous seeker, being launched from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur in Odisha on December 5, 2017
India's surface-to-air missile Akash, with indigenous seeker, being launched from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur in Odisha on December 5, 2017
India successfully launched the surface-to-air missile Akash, with indigenous radio frequency seeker against target Banshee, from the Launch Complex III at Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur in Odisha at 1338 hours today.
 
An official press release said the radars, telemetry and electro-optical systems along the coast tracked and monitored all the health parameters of the missile. 
 
The launch operations were witnessed by Dr. G. Satheesh Reddy, Director General (Missiles), DRDO and Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister; Mr. M. S. R. Prasad, Director DRDL; Mr. G. Chandra Mouli, Program Director; Dr. B. K. Das, Director, ITR and other top scientists of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
 
Dr. Reddy congratulated all the DRDO scientists and Armed Forces for this success. 
 
This missile is being inducted into the Army as Short Range Surface-to-air missile (SRSAM). This is the first surface-to-air missile with indigenous seeker that has been test fired. With this success, India has achieved the capability of making any type of surface to air missile, the release added.
 
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14 wagons of goods train derail on Paradip-Cuttack route in Odisha

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As many as 14 wagons of a goods train derailed on the Paradip-Cuttack section of East Coast Railway (ECR) in Odisha early this morning, official sources said.
 
The mishap occurred around 0555 hours between Goraknath and Raghunathpur stations, ECR sources said.
 
The wagons were carrying imported coal from the Paradip port on the east coast, they  said.
 
No one was injured in the mishap, but the down line was infringed, the sources said, adding that the second line was free for passage of trains. 
 
Restoration of the affected line is expected by tomorrow. Relief trains have been sent from Khurda Road and Sambalpur. Cranes have also been requisitioned to help move 12 wagons from the tracks, the sources said, addding that senior railway officials had reached the site to oversee the restoration efforts.
 
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Google can't replace Guru, says Venkaiah Naidu

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Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu today said Google cannot replace the Guru as education occurs in the classrooms, the sports fields and at home, through the internet, the media and multiple daily interactions with people around us.
 
Delivering the 13th Annual Convocation of Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology University, Mr Naidu said all formal, non-formal and informal channels contribute to the people’s education. Learning new skills and acquiring new knowledge is vital in today’s knowledge economy, he added.
 
“Upgrading our competence, updating our knowledge and adapting to a rapidly changing work environment is the need of the hour. He advised the students to think outside the box and collect as well as connect facts,” Mr Naidu said.
 
He further said that students must acquire and utilize vast resources that are now more readily available than before, information and knowledge, and they must strive to be the best in whatever field they choose.
 
The Vice-President said accessing, adopting, adapting and assimilation of new ideas has been India’s strength. He further said that the nation must revive and adopt this inclusive, welcoming world view. 
 
"That is the best way to grow and bring back the lost glow on the face of our motherland," he said.
 
“Learning new skills and acquiring new knowledge is vital in today’s knowledge economy. Upgrading our competence, updating our knowledge and adapting to a rapidly changing work environment is the need of the hour.  To do this, you must keep your eyes, ears, minds and hearts open,” Mr Naidu said.
 
“You must learn to discover and innovate. You must know how to think outside the box and collect as well as connect facts. You must acquire and utilize vast resources that are now more readily available than before. information and knowledge. You must strive to be the best in whatever field you choose,” he added.
 
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Five of family found dead on railway tracks near Sambalpur in apparent case of suicide

 
Five of family run over by train in Sambalpur
Five members of a family -- a couple and their three daughters -- were found dead on the railway tracks near the Sambalpur Road railway station in Sambalpur in Odisha on Wednesday morning in what appeared to be a case of suicide, police sources said.
 
The victims were run over by a train the previous night and police suspect they had killed themselves by coming in front of a train.
 
The family was identified as Dharanidhar Panda (50), his wife Sangita (45) and their daughters Ananya (16),  Aparajita (14) and Siddhi (3).
 
Police recovered the bodies from the railway track, after the loco pilot of the Rourkela-Sambalpur DMU train informed the station master, and sent them for post-mortem examination, the sources said.
 
Local media reports said Panda was a music teacher in a private school and stayed in the Ainthapali area of Sambalpur.
 
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World Bank to provide $ 119 million for Odisha Higher Education Programme

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India and the World Bank today signed a financing agreement for IBRD loan of $ 119 million (equivalent) for the Odisha Higher Education Programme for Excellence & Equity (OHEPEE) Project was signed with the World Bank here today.
 
The agreement was signed by Mr. Sameer Kumar Khare (Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs) on behalf of Government of India and Mr. Hisham A. Abdo Kahin, Acting Country Director, World Bank (India) on behalf of the World Bank. 
 
A project agreement was also signed by Mr. G.V.V. Sarma, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Higher Education, Government of Odisha and Mr. Kahin, an official press release said.
 
The release said the objective of the project was to improve the quality of students’ equitable access to selected institutions and enhance governance of the higher education system in Odisha.
 
The closing date for the project is 30th November, 2022, the release added.
 
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Pradhan launches PNG supply to residents of Bhubaneswar

Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan launching the piped natural gas supply to residents of NALCO Nagar in Bhubaneswar, on October 20, 2017.
Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan launching the piped natural gas supply to residents of NALCO Nagar in Bhubaneswar, on October 20, 2017.
Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan launched the commencement of piped natural gas (PNG) supply to residents of Bhubaneswar today.
 
Mr. Pradhan launched the supply of PNG by the  public sector natural gas company GAIL (India) limited in NALCO Nagar at a function in the presence of Mr. B. C. Tripathi, Chairman & Managing Director, GAIL, Dr. T. K. Chand, CMD, National Aluminium Company Ltd (NALCO), Dr. Ashutosh Karnatak, Director (Projects), GAIL, Mr. B K Thakur, Director (HR), NALCO and other dignitaries. 
 
Expressing happiness at the fast pace of work, Mr. Pradhan praised GAIL for the early commencement of the first phase of supply of PNG in 255 houses which was earlier expected to be completed by March 2018. He said GAIL took up the project on a war-footing and commenced supply of natural gas almost six months before the deadline. 
 
A press release from GAIL said the commencement of supply of natural gas is an important step towards the fulfillment of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream of developing a gas-based economy and linking Eastern India to the country’s natural gas grid through the ‘Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga’, which will pass through five states -- Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal. The longest stretch of the project – 769 kms – will be built in Odisha. This pipeline will lead to industrial development of eastern India, it said.
 
City Gas Distribution (CGD) projects in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack are being taken up in parallel with the Jagdishpur – Haldia & Bokaro – Dhamra Natural Gas Pipeline (JHBDPL), popularly known as ‘Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga’. 
 
In Odisha, the natural gas pipeline will be constructed at an estimated investment of Rs 4,000 crore and have a length of about 769 km covering 13 districts -- Bhadrak, Jajpur, Dhenkanal, Angul, Sundergarh, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Debagarh, Jagatsinghpur, Cuttack, Khordha, Puri and Kendrapara -- and will connect major industrial clusters of Khurdha, Jharsuguda, Rourkela, Sambalpur, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Angul, Dhenkanal, Kalinganagar, Jajpur and Paradip.
 
GAIL also plans to provide PNG connections in the near future to adjacent Jeevan Bima Colony and Maitri Vihar Colony covering a total of 1,000 houses. Assessment is also being carried out for PNG supply to leading hotels, hospitals and industrial units of the city, the release said.
 
Initially, natural gas will reach Bhubaneswar in special containers called “cascades” which will be transported by road from Vijaywada in Andhra Pradesh. Later, natural gas will be supplied through the JHBDPL. The pipeline is presently under construction and likely to be completed by 2019.
 
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In Bhubaneshwar and Cuttack, the number of PNG connections will be gradually ramped up in the next three to five years. Moreover, 25 CNG stations will be commissioned in the twin cities to supply compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel to vehicles.
 
"PNG is not just eco-friendly, but is one of the most convenient and safe fuels. There are no hassles of booking and storing cylinders as gas is continuously supplied through pipes and payment is done after usage on the basis of meter reading. Moreover, in the unlikely incident of leakage, the gas quickly rises and disperses in the atmosphere without causing damage,"
 
In Bhubaneswar, construction activities of CNG stations have already been taken up at Chandrasekharpur, Patia, Khandagiri and Tamando, and supply will be commenced at the earliest.
 
 The overall capital expenditure for the Bhubaneswar and Cuttack CGD projects will be Rs. 1,700 crore, of which Rs 400 crore will be spent in the next three to five years.
 
GAIL (India) Limited is India’s number one integrated natural gas company with a market share of over 75% in natural gas transmission. With over 11,000 kms of natural gas network, GAIL supplies India’s fuel requirements across sectors like power, fertilizer, industrial, automotive and even household consumers. 
 
Apart from natural gas transmission, distribution and processing, the company has diversified business interests in Petrochemicals, LPG transmission, City gas projects and Exploration and Production activities. The company is committed to expand its current network to 18,000 km within five years, the release added.
 
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Depression over coastal Odisha likely to weaken gradually: IMD

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The depression over coastal Odisha is likely to move nearly northwards for some time and then north-northheastwards and weaken gradually into a well-marked low pressure area during the next 24 hours, the India Meteorological Department  (IMD) said this morning.
 
A bulletin from IMD, issued at 0830 hours this morning, said the depression had moved moved northward and lay centered at 0530 hours of today over coastal Odisha near latitude 20.8º N and longitude 86.5º E, about 25 kms west of Chandbali. 
 
"The system would move nearly northwards for some time and then north-northeastwards and weaken gradually into a well marked low pressure area during next 24 hours," it said.
 
The bulletin said that, under its influence, rainfall was very likely at most places over coastal Odisha, with heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places and isolated heavy rainfall over interior Odisha during the next 24 hours.
 
It said rainfall was very likely at most places over Gangetic West Bengal during the next 48 hours with heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places during the next 24 hours, and isolated heavy rainfall over Sub-Himalayan West Bengal during the next 48 hours.
 
The bulletin also said that rainfall was likely at many places over east Jharkhand, Mizoram and Tripura during next 24 hours, with isolated heavy rainfall, and over Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Manipur during the next 48 hours.
 
It said rainfall was very likely at most places over west Assam and Meghalaya during the next 48 hours, with heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places and isolated extremely heavy rainfall.
 
Squally winds speed reaching 45-55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph would prevail along and off Odisha and West Bengal coasts during the next 12 hrs and 30-40 kmph gusting to 50 kmph along and off north Odisha and West Bengal coasts during subsequent 12 hours, the bulletin said.
 
The bulletin said sea conditions would be rough to very rough along and off Odisha and West Bengal coasts during the next 12 hours and rough along and  off north Odisha and West Bengal coasts during the subsequent 12 hours.
 
Fishermen along and off north Odisha and West Bengal coasts are advised not to venture into sea during the next 24 hours and along and off south Odisha coast during the next 12 hours, it added.
 
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16 wagons of goods train derail at Nergundi in Odisha, no one injured

As many as 16 wagons of a goods train derailed near Nergundi station in Khurda Road Division of East Coast Railway (ECR), about 11 km from Cuttack in Odisha, early this morning, but no one was injured, official sources said.
 
The train consisted of 42 covered wagons plus a guard van and an extra engine and the mishap occurred at about 0430 hours, blocking both the Up and Down lines, ECR officials said.
 
Senior railway officials, including the Divisional Railway Manager of Khurda Road Division, have reached the site and efforts were on to restore normal traffic on the section. Among other things, 140 ton cranes had reached the spot, they said.
 
"Train movement will not be hampered much as trains have alternate route available. Trains are now being run on an  alternate route via Barang/Kapilas Road," they said.
 
The officials said all Up and Down trains had been diverted via Naraj and Kapilas Road, bypassing Cuttack. The passing trains will be provided with stoppages at Kapilas Road and Naraj.
 
The diverted trains include:
 
18451 Hatia - Puri Tapaswini Exp diverted via Naraj.
07182 Secunderabad - Howrah Special diverted via Naraj.
 
Trains cancelled include:
 
58407 Bhadrask-Bhubaneswar Passenger
58411 Bhubaneswar - Brahmapur passenger 
58412 Brahmapur - Bhubaneswar Passenger     
 
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India conducts final development flight trials of Astra missile

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India successfully conducted the final development flight trials of Astra, the Beyond Visual Range Air to Air Missile (BVRAAM), over the Bay of Bengal, off the coast of Chandipur in Odisha, during September 11-14.
 
A total of seven trials were conducted against Pilotless Target Aircrafts (PTA) successfully, an official press release said here today.
 
The missions included engagement of target at very long range, engagement of high manoeuvring target at medium range and multiple launches of missiles in salvo to engage multiple targets. 
 
"All the sub-systems including the indigenous RF Seeker performed accurately, meeting all the mission parameters and objectives. Two missiles were also launched in the combat configuration with warhead and the targets were neutralized," the release said.
 
"This effort for building a state-of-the-art BVRAAM by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), together with Indian Air Force (IAF) has completed the development phase of the weapon system successfully. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has played a role in modifying the aircraft for weapon integration. More than 50 public and private industries have contributed in building the Astra weapon system. Dr S. Venugopal, Programme Director led the launch operations and flight trials along with the teams from multiple organisations," it said.
 
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman congratulated DRDO, IAF, defence public sector undertakings (DPSUs) and industries Air Force, Defence Public Sector Undertaking (DPSU) and industries for the successful trials of the missile.
 
Chairman DRDO and Secretary Department of Defence (R&D) S. Christopher congratulated the ‘Team Astra” for developing and flight testing such a formidable class of weapon system.
 
Director General, Missiles and Strategic Systems, G. Satheesh Reddy, said the technologies developed under the programme would be the building blocks for development of more variants of air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles.
 
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Gold nanoparticles can detect lead in wastewater

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Gold, the favourite metal of Indian women, is increasingly becoming popular among scientists as well, though for a different reason. A group of Indian researchers has used gold nanoparticles to develop a simple method to detect lead in wastewater.
 
The new technique makes use of specially-produced miniscule particles of the yellow metal, and the property of gold nanoparticles to change colour when they ‘bunch-up’ in the presence of metal particles such as lead because of their optical properties.
 
In the study done by scientists at the CSIR-Institute of Minerals and Materials Technology, Bhubaneswar, a solution of gold nanoparticles was prepared in water. When this solution was exposed to lead, a colour change from violet to blue occurred within a few minutes due to collecting together of anoparticles. It was also found that diluting the gold-nanoparticle solution resulted in a colour change even when small amount of lead was present. This is important as the quantity of wastewater is usually much more than the amount of lead dissolved in it.
 
“This method of detecting lead particles using specially-produced gold nanoparticles is a rapid, one-step method. It is a cost-effective method vis-à- vis the more traditional methods of lead detection,” explained Dr Nilotpala Pradhan, co-author of the study. “Lead in small amounts in wastewater even in the presence of other major toxic heavy metal particles is easily picked up by this simple test”, she added. However, she said, more studies are required before the method could be used commercially. 
 
Exposure to lead is known to cause severe and irreversible damage to the brain and nervous system in children, and to the kidneys in adults. It can also result in complications during pregnancy and lead to birth defects. Industrial activities such as smelting, use of pesticides, battery production, landfill leaching are major sources of lead contamination in the environment.
 
Though there is a maximum acceptable limit of lead in wastewater there is no known ‘safe’ level for humans. According to the World Health Organisation, lead poisoning is completely preventable.
 
Therefore, there is a need of a simple and rapid method for detecting lead that is cost-effective and easily administered in lieu of the existing expensive and time-consuming methods.
 
The research team included Dr Nilotpala Pradhan and Dr Eepsita Priyadarshini. The results of the study have been published in journal Scientific Reports.
 
(India Science Wire)
 
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Tata Steel sets up library at Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences

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Tata Steel has set up a 150-seater library building at the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) here, the world’s largest tribal residential educational institute that has just been conferred with deemed university status by the Ministry of Human Resources Development, Government of India.
 
The library was inaugurated here on September 2 by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. Others present on the occasion included Dr Achyuta Samanta, founder of KISS, TV Narendran, managing director, Tata Steel India & SEA, Sunil Bhaskaran, vice president, corporate services and Arun Misra, vice president, Project Gopalpur and managing director, Tata Steel Special Economic Zone, among other dignitaries.
 
Set up at an investment of Rs. 4.40 crore, the 150-seater library is a prefabricated engineering building that has been constructed using steel structure as its base, a press release from Tata Steel said.
 
It is equipped with furniture, electrical and sanitary fittings and other furnishings. Of the total cost, an amount of Rs 30 lakh has been contributed by Tata Power. 
 
"The library is indeed yet another testimony of Tata Steel’s commitment to partner and facilitate education initiatives in Odisha," the release said.
 
In 2009, Tata Steel had signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with KISS to jointly work towards the uplift of the state’s tribal population, with special emphasis on providing education to the children of the rehabilitated families of Kalinganagar. The collaboration today culminated in Tata Steel setting up the library at the institute, which is home to over 25,000 students belonging to tribal communities, it said.
 
In his address on the occasion, Mr Narendran said, “Improving the quality of life of people living in and around our areas of operations is integral to the business philosophy of Tata Steel. Our operations are largely confined to areas that have a sizeable SC and ST population, and we believe that promoting affirmative action is the right way to serve communities around us."
 
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21 dead, 97 injured as 14 coaches of Utkal Express derail near Muzaffarnagar in UP

At least 21 passengers died and 97 others suffered injuries when 14 of the 23 coaches of the 18477 Utkal Express, from Puri in Odisha to Haridwar in Uttarakhand, derailed at Khatauli, about 25 km from Muzzafarnagar, in Uttar Pradesh, on Saturday evening.

 
21 dead as Utkal Express derails in UP
At least 21 passengers died and 97 others suffered injuries when 14 of the 23 coaches of the 18477 Utkal Express, from Puri in Odisha to Haridwar in Uttarakhand, derailed at Khatauli, about 25 km from Muzzafarnagar, in Uttar Pradesh, yesterday evening.
 
Northern Railway spokesman Neeraj Sharma told NetIndian over the telephone that 26 of the injured passengers had suffered grievous injuries while 71 had minor injuries.
 
Rescue and relief teams have completed the search for victims in the affected coaches and railway officials were now working to restore normal traffic on the route. "We hope to restore traffic on the line by 7 pm today," Mr. Sharma said.
 
Mr. Sharma said two of the derailed coaches had been re-railed and efforts were on to re-rail the other affected coaches at the earliest.
 
Senior Northern Railway officials, including the General Manager and the Additional General Manager, were at the scene of the tragedy, overseeing the restoration works as well as the relief operations.
 
Official sources said five coaches at the rear of the ill-fated train were taken to Khatauli station at little after midnight last night, while five coaches at the front were taken to Mansurpur.
 
Some of the seriously injured were referred to hospitals in Meerut and Delhi, the sources said.
 
The mishap occurred around 5.46 pm yesterday, and affected the eighth coach from the  engine and those behind it.
 
Television pictures from the scene showed that one of the coaches had climbed on to the top of another coach, and one of its ends had crashed into a building on the side of the track. Cranes were requisitioned to bring it down and to lift the capsized coaches.
 
Gas cutters were used to cut through the mangled steel to pull out those trapped inside the coaches. More than 60 ambulances from government and private hospitals as well as charity organisations were deployed to take the injured to hospitals.
 
Scores of local people joined the district administration, police and other emergency services personnel in the rescue and relief efforts.
 
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The Railways rushed medical vans from Delhi and Saharanpur and an accident relief team from Ambala to the scene of the derailment. Arrangements were being made for buses to clear the stranded passengers from the site.
 
Various sources said that some workers were carrying out maintenance work on the track before the ill-fated train crossed the spot, and that the driver of the speeding train was not made aware of this in time.
 
As a consequence of the accident, the Railways have cancelled, short-terminated or diverted some trains. Today's 18478 Haridwar-Puri Kalinga Utkal Express has been cancelled due to yesterday's derailment.
 
Khatauli is located on the Meerut-Saharanpur section of the Delhi Division of Northern Railway, about 115 km from Delhi.
 
Senior railway officials of the Delhi Division, and staff and officers from nearby stations rushed to the scene as soon as news of the accident was received.
 
Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) also reached the site and massive search and rescue operations continued till late last night.
 
The train had left Puri on Friday and was due to reach Haridwar at 9 pm yesterday, they said.
 
Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu said on micro-blogging site Twitter that he was personally monitoring the situation and had instructed senior officers to reach the spot immediately and ensure speedy rescue and relief operations. He said medical vans had been rushed to the site of the accident.
 
"Have instructed Chairman Rly Board, Member Traffic to oversee rescue and relief operations. I am personally monitoring situation," he said. "Instructed General Manager, other senior officers to ensure all possible help to the people."
 
"In close touch with @CMOfficeUP , State Government officials, district administration to coordinate rescue and relief operations," he said.
 
Mr. Prabhu said he had instructed the Member, Engineering of the Railway Board, the Director General, Health and other senior officers to rush to the scene.
 
"Have ordered inquiry into the unfortunate accident to ascertain the cause. Strict action will be taken against any lapse," he added.
 
Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha and Minister of State for Water Resources Sanjeev Kumar Baliyan also rushed to the scene of the accident.
 
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath told journalists that two State Ministers -- Satish Mahana and Suresh Rana -- had been sent to the spot.
 
The Ministry of Railways announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs. 3.50 lakh for the next-of-kin of those killed in the accident, Rs. 50,000 for the seriously injured and Rs. 25,000 for those with minor injuries.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the loss of lives in the accident. "Extremely pained by the derailment of the Utkal Express in Muzaffarnagar. My thoughts are with the families of the deceased," he said on Twitter.
 
"I wish those injured a speedy recovery. The situation is being monitored very closely by the Railways Ministry," he said.
 
"Railways Ministry & UP Government are doing everything possible & providing all assistance required in the wake of the train derailment," he added.
  
The Railways have set up the following helpline numbers for the benefit of the passengers and their relatives:
 
Muzaffarnagar Railway Station: 0131-2433099
Delhi Railway Station: 011-23962389/23967332
New Delhi: 011-23342954/23341074
Nizamuddin: 011-24239748
Ghaziabad: 09412715210
Haridwar: 9760534054, 01334227477/4227478/4227479/4227480
Moradabad: 05912420324
Roorkee: 9760534056
Bhubaneswar: 9674-2301525, 2301625, 203060, 2492611, 2534027, 845885936
Cuttack: 0671-2200568
Puri: 06752-226717, 1072
 
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19 dead, 60 injured as 14 coaches of Utkal Express derail near Muzaffarnagar in UP

At least 19 passengers died and 60 others suffered injuries when 14 of the 23 coaches of the 18477 Utkal Express, from Puri in Odisha to Haridwar in Uttarakhand, derailed at Khatauli, about 25 km from Muzzafarnagar, in Uttar Pradesh, on Saturday evening.

 
19 dead as Puri-Haridwar Utkal Express derails
At least 19 passengers died and 60 others suffered injuries when 14 of the 23 coaches of the 18477 Utkal Express, from Puri in Odisha to Haridwar in Uttarakhand, derailed at Khatauli, about 25 km from Muzzafarnagar, in Uttar Pradesh, this evening.
 
Northern Railway spokesman Neeraj Sharma told NetIndian over the telephone that the number of casualties could go up as the rescue and relief teams complete searching of the worst-affected coaches. He said several of the injured had been discharged after first aid at nearby hospitals.
 
However, the seriously injured were referred to hospitals in Meerut and Delhi, sources said.
 
The mishap occurred around 5.46 pm today, he said and affected the eighth coach from the  engine and those behind it.
 
Television pictures from the scene showed that one of the coaches had climbed on to the top of another coach, and one of its ends had crashed into a building on the side of the track. Cranes were requisitioned to bring it down and to lift the capsized coaches.
 
Gas cutters were being used to cut through the mangled steel to pull out those trapped inside the coaches. More than 60 ambulances from government and private hospitals as well as charity organisations had been deployed to take the injured to hospitals.
 
"Our focus right now is on rescue and relief operations. Officers and staff from the nearby railway stations have reached the spot," Ministry of Railways spokesman Anil Saxena told journalists in New Delhi.
 
Scores of local people joined the district administration, police and other emergency services personnel in the rescue and relief efforts.
 
The Railways have rushed medical vans from Delhi and Saharanpur and an accident relief team from Ambala to the scene of the derailment. Arrangements were being made for buses to clear the stranded passengers from the site.
 
Various sources said that some workers were carrying out maintenance work on the track before the ill-fated train crossed the spot, and that the driver of the speeding train was not made aware of this in time.
 
As a consequence of the accident, the Railways have cancelled, short-terminated or diverted some trains. Tomorrow's 18478 Haridwar-Puri Kalinga Utkal Express has been cancelled due to today's derailment.
 
Khatauli is located on the Meerut-Saharanpur section of the Delhi Division of Northern Railway, about 115 km from Delhi.
 
"We have geared up our rescue and relief machinery. Senior officials of Delhi Division have rushed to the accident site. Staff and officers from the nearby stations have already reached there," Mr. Saxena said.
 
Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) had also reached the site and massive search and rescue operations continued till late into the night.
 
The train had left Puri yesterday and was due to reach Haridwar at 9 pm today, they said.
 
Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu said on micro-blogging site Twitter that he was personally monitoring the situation and had instructed senior officers to reach the spot immediately and ensure speedy rescue and relief operations. He said medical vans had been rushed to the site of the accident.
 
"Have instructed Chairman Rly Board, Member Traffic to oversee rescue and relief operations. I am personally monitoring situation," he said. "Instructed General Manager, other senior officers to ensure all possible help to the people."
 
"In close touch with @CMOfficeUP , State Government officials, district administration to coordinate rescue and relief operations," he said.
 
Mr. Prabhu said he had instructed the Member, Engineering of the Railway Board, the Director General, Health and other senior officers to rush to the scene.
 
"Have ordered inquiry into the unfortunate accident to ascertain the cause. Strict action will be taken against any lapse," he added.
 
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Mr. Prabhu said Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha and Minister of State for Water Resources Sanjeev Kumar Baliyan also rushed to the scene of the accident.
 
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath told journalists that two State Ministers -- Satish Mahana and Suresh Rana -- had been sent to the spot.
 
The Ministry of Railways announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs. 3.50 lakh for the next-of-kin of those killed in the accident, Rs. 50,000 for the seriously injured and Rs. 25,000 for those with minor injuries.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the loss of lives in the accident. "Extremely pained by the derailment of the Utkal Express in Muzaffarnagar. My thoughts are with the families of the deceased," he said on Twitter.
 
"I wish those injured a speedy recovery. The situation is being monitored very closely by the Railways Ministry," he said.
 
"Railways Ministry & UP Government are doing everything possible & providing all assistance required in the wake of the train derailment," he added.
 
As a consequence of the accident, the Railways have cancelled, short-terminated and diverted various trains.
 
The Railways have set up the following helpline numbers for the benefit of the passengers and their relatives:
 
Muzaffarnagar Railway Station: 0131-2433099
Delhi Railway Station: 011-23962389/23967332
New Delhi: 011-23342954/23341074
Nizamuddin: 011-24239748
Ghaziabad: 09412715210
Haridwar: 9760534054, 01334227477/4227478/4227479/4227480
Moradabad: 05912420324
Roorkee: 9760534056
Bhubaneswar: 9674-2301525, 2301625, 203060, 2492611, 2534027, 845885936
Cuttack: 0671-2200568
Puri: 06752-226717, 1072
 
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13 dead, 58 injured as ten coaches of Utkal Express derail near Muzaffarnagar in UP

At least 13 passengers died and 58 others suffered injuries when ten coaches of the 18477 Utkal Express, from Puri in Odisha to Haridwar in Uttarakhand, derailed at Khatauli, about 25 km from Muzzafarnagar, in Uttar Pradesh, on Sunday evening.

 
13 dead as Puri-Haridwar Utkal Express derails
At least 13 passengers died and 58 others suffered injuries when ten coaches of the 18477 Utkal Express, from Puri in Odisha to Haridwar in Uttarakhand, derailed at Khatauli, about 25 km from Muzzafarnagar, in Uttar Pradesh, this evening.
 
The mishap occurred around 5.46 pm today, railway sources said, but said details of casualties were not immediately available.
 
However, Union Minister of State for Water Resources Sanjeev Kumar Baliyan, who was among those who reached the spot to oversee rescue and releif efforts, told a television channel that 13 people had died and 58 others had been taken to nearby hospitals.
 
Mr. Baliyan said efforts were being made to shift the seriously injured to Meerut and New Delhi.
 
Television pictures from the scene showed that one of the coaches had climbed on to the top of another coach, and one of its ends had crashed into a building on the side of the track.
 
Gas cutters were being used to cut through the mangled steel to pull out those trapped inside the coaches. More than 60 ambulances had been deployed to take the injured to hospitals.
 
"Our focus right now is on rescue and relief operations. Officers and staff from the nearby railway stations have reached the spot," Ministry of Railways spokesman Anil Saxena told journalists in New Delhi.
 
Scores of local people joined the district administration, police and other emergency services personnel in the rescue and relief efforts.
 
The Railways have rushed medical vans from Delhi and Saharanpur and an accident relief team from Ambala to the scene of the derailment.
 
Arrangements were being made for buses to clear the stranded passengers from the site.
 
Various sources said that some workers were carrying out maintenance work on the track before the ill-fated train crossed the spot, and that the driver of the speeding train was not made aware of this in time.
 
As a consequence of the accident, the Railways have cancelled, short-terminated or diverted some trains. Tomorrow's 18478 Haridwar-Puri Kalinga Utkal Express has been cancelled due to today's derailment.
 
Khatauli is located on the Meerut-Saharanpur section of the Delhi Division of Northern Railway, about 115 km from Delhi.
 
"We have geared up our rescue and relief machinery. Senior officials of Delhi Division have rushed to the accident site. Staff and officers from the nearby stations have already reached there," Mr. Saxena said.
 
He said personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) had also reached the site and massive search and rescue operations continued till late into the night.
 
The train had left Puri yesterday and was due to reach Haridwar at 9 pm today, they said.
 
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Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu said on micro-blogging site Twitter that he was personally monitoring the situation and had instructed senior officers to reach the spot immediately and ensure speedy rescue and relief operations. He said medical vans had been rushed to the site of the accident.
 
"Have instructed Chairman Rly Board, Member Traffic to oversee rescue and relief operations. I am personally monitoring situation," he said. "Instructed General Manager, other senior officers to ensure all possible help to the people."
 
"In close touch with @CMOfficeUP , State Government officials, district administration to coordinate rescue and relief operations," he said.
 
Mr. Prabhu said he had instructed the Member, Engineering of the Railway Board, the Director General, Health and other senior officers to rush to the scene.
 
"Have ordered inquiry into the unfortunate accident to ascertain the cause. Strict action will be taken against any lapse," he added.
 
Mr. Prabhu said Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha and Minister of State for Water Resources Sanjeev Kumar Baliyan were on their way to the scene of the accident.
 
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath told journalists that two State Ministers -- Satish Mahana and Suresh Rana -- have also left for the spot.
 
The Ministry of Railways announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs. 3.5 lakh for the next-of-kin of those killed in the accident, Rs. 50,000 for the seriously injured and Rs. 25,000 for those with minor injuries.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the loss of lives in the accident. "Extremely pained by the derailment of the Utkal Express in Muzaffarnagar. My thoughts are with the families of the deceased," he said on Twitter.
 
"I wish those injured a speedy recovery. The situation is being monitored very closely by the Railways Ministry," he said.
 
"Railways Ministry & UP Government are doing everything possible & providing all assistance required in the wake of the train derailment," he added.
 
The Railways have set up the following helpline numbers for the benefit of the passengers and their relatives:
 
Muzaffarnagar Railway Station: 0131-2433099
Delhi Railway Station: 011-23962389/23967332
New Delhi: 011-23342954/23341074
Nizamuddin: 011-24239748
Ghaziabad: 09412715210
Haridwar: 9760534054, 01334227477/4227478/4227479/4227480
Moradabad: 05912420324
Roorkee: 9760534056
Bhubaneswar: 9674-2301525, 2301625, 203060, 2492611, 2534027, 845885936
Cuttack: 0671-2200568
Puri: 06752-226717, 1072
 
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Probiotic can prevent infections in infants

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Thousands of infants die due to infections in the first few weeks of their life. A bulk of these deaths can be prevented with an inexpensive probiotic-based preventive therapy developed by a group of Indian and American scientists.
 
The therapy has been tested in over 4,500 infants from 149 villages in Odisha. Results of this trial, published this week in international journal Nature, show that the probiotic when given orally for one week after birth can reduce sepsis and death by 40 percent. In addition, it also drastically reduces respiratory tract infections. This is the largest ever clinical study of probiotics conducted among new born babies.
 
Sepsis is a severe complication of bacterial infection that results in around one million infant deaths globally every year.
 
The preventive therapy is called synbiotic treatment - a combination of probiotic bacteria and a prebiotic nutrient to support the probiotic strain. While probiotics are live microorganisms that can provide a health benefit, prebiotics are molecules such as certain carbohydrates in human milk or those derived from plants.
 
In the Odisha study, the synbiotic preparation was given daily for one week to full-term born babies when they were two to four days old. The oral preparation contained Lactobacillus plantarum, which had earlier been found to have shown good gut-colonizing properties in newborns, along with fructooligosaccharide, a plant-derived prebiotic.
 
The therapy was given in addition to breast milk which is known to contain prebiotics as well as other molecules that provide immunity to babies. Only mothers who had started breast feeding their children in their first 24 hours were included in the study.
 
Follow-up showed that the therapy reduced the risk of sepsis or death by 40 percent.
 
Substantial reductions were seen in all three subtypes of sepsis assessed, and reductions were also observed in diarrhoea and umbilical-stump infection in infants who had not been classified as having sepsis.
 
“This will reduce the nagging high neonatal mortality and infant mortality in developing countries. More importantly, reduction of such infections during infancy can prevent ‘stunting’ with even more grievous consequences such as reduced cognition and chances of chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes in early adulthood,” Pinaki Panigrahi of University of Nebraska Medical Center, who led the research team, told India Science Wire. He said it is an affordable intervention as one-week therapy costs just one dollar.
 
“The trial provides evidence for the effectiveness of a global health intervention that could be used to complement existing strategies for giving every newborn the best chance to survive and thrive,” pointed out Daniel J. Tancredi of University of California, in a commentary published in the same issue of Nature.
 
Among the institutes that participated in this study are the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi; Asian Institute of Public Health, Bhubaneswar; Capital Hospital, Bhubaneswar; SCB Medical College, Cuttack; and Ispat General Hospital, Rourkela, besides Universities of Nebraska, Michigan and Maryland. The community-based trial recruited local volunteers to coordinate follow up.
 
The research team included Pinaki Panigrahi, Sailajanandan Parida, Nimai C. Nanda, Radhanath Satpathy, Lingaraj Pradhan, Dinesh S. Chandel, Lorena Baccaglini, Arjit Mohapatra, Subhranshu S. Mohapatra, Pravas R. Misra, Rama Chaudhry, Hegang H. Chen, Judith A. Johnson, J. Glenn Morris Jr, Nigel Paneth and Ira H. Gewolb.
 
(India Science Wire)
 
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High time Paika Rebellion of 1817 got its due place in annals of history: Mukherjee

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President Pranab Mukherjee has said that it was high time the struggle and sacrifice by a generation of Odia people, who participated in the Paika rebellion of 1817 against the British, got its due place in the annals of history.
 
Inaugurating the bicentenary celebration of the rebellion, the President said 40 years before the revolt of 1857, later termed as 1st War of Indian independence against British colonialism, a battle was fought under the leadership of Baxi Jagabandhu of Odisha. “The heroics of Buxi Jagabandhu continues to inspire the people of Odisha. It is time, this struggle and sacrifice by a generation of Odia people got its due place in the annals of history,” he added.
 
The Paika uprising was aimed at upholding the rights of the Odia people and sovereignty of Odisha. It was not only the rebellion of Paikas, but a national war waged by ordinary people at the grass roots level who resented the dispossession of their sovereign of his rights and the consequential repressive measures that followed.
 
“As we celebrate 200 years of the Paika Rebellion, it is time to remember the great history of our country and pay respect to our great heroes. Along with Buxi Jagabandu it is time to pay respects to other great warriors of Paika Bidroha who fought side by side such as Dinabandhu Samantray Mohapatra, Dama Subudhi Manjaraj, Samanta Madhaba Chandra Routray (Dalbehera of Tapanga), Pindiki Bahubalendra, Krutibas Patsani and many more heroes of Paika Bidroha,” he added.
 
The President said the year-long celebrations should be documented for future guidance. He also urged historians to concentrate on indigenous source material available in folk songs and folk stories narrated over the years by one generation to another.
 
The Paikas were essentially the peasant militias of the Gajapati rulers of Odisha who rendered military service to the king during times of war while taking up cultivation during times of peace. They unfurled the banner of rebellion against the British under the leadership of Baxi Jagandhu Bidyadhara as early as 1817 to throw off the British yoke.
 
The rulers of Khurda were traditionally the custodians of Jagannath Temple and ruled as the deputy of Lord Jagannath on earth. They symbolised the political and cultural freedom of the people of Odisha. The British, having established their sway over Bengal Province and Madras Province to the north and south of Odisha, occupied it in 1803.
 
The Gajapati King of Odisha Mukunda Deva-ll was a minor then and initial resistance by Jai Rajguru, the custodian of Mukunda Deva-II, was put down brutally. A few years later, it was the Paikas under Baxi Jagabandhu, the hereditary chief of the militia army of the Gajapati King, who rose in rebellion, with the support of the tribals and other sections of society.
 
The rebellion started in March 1817 and spread quickly. Though Paikas played a larger role in the rebellion against the British, it was by no means a rebellion by a small group of people belonging to a particular class. The tribals of Ghumusar (part of present day Ganjam and Kandhmal Districts) and other sections of the population actively took part in it.
 
It received a boost when 400 tribals of Ghumsar entered Khurda protesting against the British rule. The Paikas attacked British symbols of power, setting ablaze police stations, administrative offices and the treasury during their march towards Khurda, from where the British fled.
 
The Paikas were supported by the Rajas of Kanika, Kujang, Nayagarh and Ghumusar and zamindars, village heads and ordinary peasants. The rebellion quickly spread to Purl, Pipli Cuttack and other parts of the province. The British were initially taken aback and then tried to regain lost ground but faced stiff resistance. Many a battle was fought with some victories to the rebels, but the British finally managed to defeat them within three months.
 
Widespread suppression followed with many killed and imprisoned. Many more were tortured. Some rebels fought a guerilla war till 1819 but were captured and killed. Baxi Jagabandhu was finally arrested in 1825 and died in captivity in 1829. Though the Paika Bidroha enjoys a cult status in Odisha with children growing up with stories of the brave fight against the British, it has unfortunately received less attention at the national level.
 
Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan and Minister of State for Culture and Tourism Mahesh Sharma were present at the inaugural function.
 
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Depression over Bay of Bengal likely to cross Odisha coast on Tuesday night, cause heavy rains

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The India Meteorological Department (IMD) today said the depresssion over northwest and adjoining westcentral Bay of Bengal and coastal areas of Odisha was very likely to move west-northwestwards and cross Odisha coast between Gopalpur and Puri by tonight.
 
A bulletin from IMD, issued at 1130 hours today, remained practically stationary in the past three hours and lay centred near latitude 19.0º N and longitude 86.0 ºE, about 120 km east-southeast of Gopalpur and 80 km south-southeast of Puri. 
 
The bulletin warned that rainfall was very likely over south Odisha during the next 48 hours and over north coastal Andhra Pradesh during the next 24 hours, with  heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places and isolated extremely heavy rainfall.
 
It also said that rainfall was very likely at most places in Chhattisgarh, with isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall, during the next 24 hours and heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places and isolated extremely heavy rainfall during the subsequent 24 hours.
 
The bulletin said rainfall was very likely at most places over Telangana and north Odisha during the next 48 hours, with heavy to very heavy rainfall at  isolated places, and over east Madhya Pradesh on July 19-20 and west Madhya Pradesh on July 20-21.
 
The bulletin said squally winds, with speed reaching 40-50 kmph gusting to 60 kmph, would prevail along an off Odisha and north Andhra Pradesh coasts during the next 48 hours.
 
The sea condition would be rough to very rough along and off Odisha and north Andhra Pradesh coasts during the next 48 hours.
 
Fishermen along and off Odisha and north Andhra Pradesh coasts are advised not to venture into sea during the next 48 hours.
 
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New broad gauge line sanctioned between Jeypore and Navarangpur in Odisha

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The Ministry of Railways has sanctioned a new broad gauge line between Jeypore and Navarangpur in Odisha.
 
The 138 km-long railway line would be built at a cost of Rs 747.91 crore and will be completed in three years, an official press release said.
 
The project will be implemented on a cost-sharing basis (50% by Ministry of Railways under GBS and 50% by Odisha government).
 
The release said the project is important for connecting Navarangpur district of Western Odisha with Jeypore, an existing station on Kottavalasa--Kirandul line. This line will provide connectivity to important towns including Koraput, Jeypore, Jagdalpur and Dantewada. The line will be useful for connecting Navarangpur to Junagarh/ Kalahandi district and result in short lead to many other places of Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh.
 
Odisha government will be bearing the entire cost of land and 50% of the construction cost of the project, the release added.
 
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Prabhu inaugurates various railway related services in Odisha, Assam

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Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu inaugurated various railway related services in Odisha and Assam through video conferencing from Rail Bhavan here yesterday.
 
Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan and Member of Parliament Prasanna Kumar Patasani were present at the launch along with Railway Board Chairman A. K. Mittal, Member Traffic Mohammed Jamshed and others.
 
The projects launched were a railway line between Bolagarh Road and Nayagarh Town and work for the provision of a new line between Khurda Road and Bolangir for a total length of 289 km that was sanctioned in the year of 1994-95 at a total cost of Rs 801.78 crore.
 
The work for commissioning of new line between Bolagarh Road and Nayagarh town (12 km) has been completed. The total length of rail line is about 65 km, an official press release said. Train No. 58429/ 58430/ 58431/ 58432 (Khurda Road- Bolagarh) were being extended up to Nayagarh Town.
 
The release said the train would benefit a large number of pilgrims visiting Puri during the Rath Yatra festival. It will be a daily service with a composition of 12 coaches.
 
In other infrastructure, the Nayagarh Town Railway Station building was inaugurated. It is an ‘E’ category station on Khurda Road-Bolangir section, built at a cost of Rs 2.5 crore. Passenger amenities like booking windows, public address system, waiting hall, platform, toilets and drinking water have been provided at the station. To facilitate physically handicapped passengers, wheelchairs have been provided. Stretchers have also been provided for medical needs of the passengers.
 
The passenger halt at Bolagarh Town was sanctioned on October 13, 2016. Location of the halt is between Rajsunakhala and Bolagarh Road stations on Khurda Road-Bolangir new line in Khurda Division of East Coast Railway. It has been built at a cost of Rs. 98 lakh.
 
The amenities provided are high-level platform (360 metres), booking counter-cum-waiting room (25 sqm), approach road (900 sqm) and one hand operated tube well.
 
The Minister also inaugurated a passenger reservation system (PRS) counter at Kamakhya temple announced on May 7 this year. This is a non-rail head PRS with the assistance of Kamakhya Devottar Board and will cater to an approximately catchment area of 5000 passengers. This is a location of tourist importance, lakh of devotees visit the shrine, especially during Ambubushi Mela.
 
At present, on Northeast Frontier Railway, there are 249 locations where computerised reservation facility is available. After this, the figure will be 250 (including 115 locations in Assam), the release added.
 
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Bye-elections to Rajya Sabha from Manipur, Odisha to be held on May 25

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The Election Commission of India (ECI) will hold bye-elections on May 25 to fill two casual vacancies in the Rajya Sabha, one each from Manipur and Odisha.
 
The vacancy from Manipur was caused by the death of Congress member Haji Abdul Salam on February 28 and from Odisha by the resignation of Biju Janata Dal member Bishnu Charan Das on March 21.
 
In the normal course, Mr. Salam's membership would have expired on April 9, 2020 and Mr. Das' membership on July 1, 2022.
 
An official press release said the notifications for the bye-elections would be issued on May 8 and the last date of making nominations will be May 15.
 
Polling will be held from 8 am to 4 pm on May 25, and counting of votes will be taken up at 5 pm on that day, the release added.
 
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Prabhu launches Vistadome coach, mechanised laundry and Lifeline Express

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Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu laid the foundation stone for and launched various railway initiatives, including the new Vistadome coach, at Rail Sadan here yesterday through video-conferencing.
 
He also inaugurated the Lifeline Express at Sindhudurg, Maharastra, an official press release said.
 
While flagging off a train with the new Vistadome coach between Visakhaptnam and Araku,  Mr. Prabhu said the coach, which features such as glass roof, LED lights, rotatable seats and GPS based info system, would help tourists enjoy the scenic beauty along the route.
 
He said the mechanised laundry at Visakhapatnam under the BOOT (Build, Own, Operate, Transfer) model  would help improve the quality of linen provided to passengers on trains.
 
Inaugurating the Lifeline Express of Konkan Railway, he said it would be a great boon for poor patients.
 
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