Describing the ruling alliance, led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and comprising two regional parties and two Independent legislators, as a “corrupt nexus,” Shiv Sena national spokesperson Sanjay Raut on Monday predicted that this government will collapse soon.“Manohar Parrikar came to Goa from the Defence Ministry to stabilise the government and stay in power. But he knows that he is not on firm footing and his feet will crumble soon in the near future. This is a corrupt alliance,” Mr. Raut said at a press conference here.The BJP, which had fallen from having 21 MLAs to 13 in the February 4 elections, thus ending up as the second largest party, nonetheless managed to form the government with the help of non-BJP parties and Independent legislators.Mr. Raut said the BJP had “stolen” a mandate, which was against the party. He also accused regional parties like the MGP and Goa Forward party, which had contested the elections on an anti-BJP plank, but later joined the BJP, as “traitors of the Goan electorate”.“Both these parties had contested the elections against the BJP, but did not lose time to join the BJP after the counting of votes. This is a betrayal of the Goan people and they will never be forgiven,” he said.In reply to a question, he said that despite the rout the Shiv Sena faced in the Goa polls, its work would continue in Goa. “We aren’t here for elections alone. Uddhav Thackeray (Shiv Sena president) will be coming to Goa next month and a big meeting will be held where the future course of action for Goa will be announced,” he said.
Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday met West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee here, fuelling speculations in political circles.The Sena chief, accompanied by son Aaditya Thackeray, paid a visit to Ms. Banerjee in the afternoon at a south Mumbai hotel where she is staying.Both Shiv Sena and Ms. Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress (TMC) have been at loggerheads with the BJP and the Narendra Modi government on a host of issues, including demonetisation.Ms. Banerjee, who is in the city since Tuesday and expected to return to Kolkata on Friday, met top industrialists and bankers here on Wednesday as part of a roadshow. This comes ahead of the fourth edition of the Bengal Global Business Summit, to be held in Kolkata in January. The Shiv Sena had last year teamed up with the TMC in a bid to take on the BJP over the issue of demonetisation.Mr. Uddhav had told mediapersons in November last year that if there was nothing wrong in Prime Minister Modi meeting (NCP chief) Sharad Pawar, then there was nothing wrong if the Sena held talks with Ms. Banerjee on a crucial issue.
A human rights body here on Monday demanded a fair and impartial probe into the murder of dairy farmer Umar Khan in Alwar district on November 10, while questioning the claim of the police that it was the result of a fight between two gangs of criminals.The National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations (NCHRO) said though all evidence pointed that cow vigilantes were behind the attack, the police had described the attackers as members of a gang of robbers.The police have arrested two of the attackers and booked Umar’s companions Tahir and Javed in a cow smuggling case. They have since surrendered at the Govindgarh police station and are at present in judicial custody.The NCHRO, which sent its fact-finding team to the area, took exception to the police chowkis in the Mewat region doubling up as “gau raksha posts” since the BJP government took over. It demanded that Umar’s family be given ₹10 lakh as compensation, the case against Tahir and Javed be withdrawn and a Special Investigation Team (SIT) be appointed to probe into the crime in order to instil faith among the people of Mewat region in the law enforcement system.
Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal on Saturday presented budget proposals for 2018-19, pegged at ₹1,29,698 crore, emphasising that the State government was adopting a prudent fiscal road map with its focus on mobilising additional resources to put the economy back on track.Presenting his second budget, Mr. Badal proposed to raise ₹1,500 crore through additional resource mobilisation measures. “The government has decided to bring in a legislation for imposing a nominal development tax of ₹200 per month only on the income tax payees who are engaged in professions, trades, callings and employments,” he said, adding that this move would help in getting loans at cheaper interest rates from organisations such as Asian Development Bank.He added that many States like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have been collecting such tax for development for a long time.”The State also intends to bring a new social security legislation to create a dedicated fund to meet its commitment towards the weaker sections of society,” he said.Mr. Badal pointed out that in the last one year the State has reduce the number of days for which the treasury remained in overdraft from 179 in 2016-17 to 98 days in 2017-18, thereby reducing the interest liability on this count on the State by about ₹5 crore. “The State had remained in double overdraft for 29 days in 2016-17. We hope to close 2017-18 without going into double overdraft even for a single day,” he added.While the total budget size was kept at ₹1,29,698 crore, the effective size is ₹1,02,198 crore, as the above figure contains a provision of ₹27,500 crore towards ‘ways and means’ transactions for the current year. The total receipts are expected to be₹1,22,923 crore. The total outstanding debt of the State as of March 31, 2018, is₹1,95,978 crore, which is likely to rise and touch ₹2,11,523 crore in 2018-19.Mr. Badal has proposed to allocate a sum of ₹4,250 crore during 2018-19 for the implementation of the debt waiver scheme.The government has also decided to give free sanitary napkins to all girl students from Class VI to XII in all government schools. A sum of ₹10 crore has been earmarked for this purpose. Besides, to provide free textbooks to students from Classes I-XII in government schools, a provision of ₹49 crore has been made.Amid the budget speech, the Opposition parties — Shiromani Akali Dal and Aam Aadmi Party — shouted slogans, accusing the Congress government of backtracking on its promise of complete farm loan waiver, and walked out of the House.Former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal dismissed the budget terming it “directionless, meaningless and devoid of vision”.“It documents the government’s betrayal of the farmers, the Dalits and the poor, the youth, the employees and the helpless senior citizens,” he said.
The Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura, the junior ally of the ruling BJP, will hold demonstrations across the State in August to spearhead its demand for a separate State, a party leader said on Thursday.“We will organise sit-in demonstrations all over Tripura on August 23 in support of our demand for a separate State and withdrawal of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016,” IPFT vice-president Ananta Debbarma said.“We would continue our agitation in the State to highlight the two important demands,” he added.Old demandThe IPFT has been agitating since 2009 for a separate State to be carved out by upgrading the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council, which has jurisdiction over two-thirds of the State’s 10,491 sq. km area, home to over 12,16,000 people, mostly tribals.Most political parties, including the BJP, CPI(M), Congress and Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura, have rejected the IPFT demand, saying it is not practical to divide the small State.The IPFT forged an alliance with the BJP, based on a common minimum programme, before the February 18 Assembly polls and secured eight seats in the 60-member House. During the poll campaign, the IPFT toned down its Statehood demand while the BJP maintained that it did not support the separate State issue. IPFT president Narendra Chandra Debbarma and general secretary Mevar Kumar Jamatia are Ministers in the nine-member Council of Ministry headed by Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb.On the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, Mr. Ananta Debbarma said it would jeopardise tradition and customs besides demographic positions of the indigenous people not only in Tripura but also in the entire north-eastern region. The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 seeks to enable Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians who fled to India from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh without valid documents or those whose documents expired to acquire Indian citizenship through the process of naturalisation.Many parties in the northeastern region are opposing the Bill, which is now under scrutiny of a Joint Parliamentary Committee.
A baba, or faith healer, arrested in Guwahati on Thursday for allegedly raping and impregnating a 15-year-old last year has turned out to be the equivalent of an MLA in an autonomous council.The police on Friday produced Ghanashyam Das, referred to as babaji by his followers, before a local court, which ordered his judicial custody for 14 days. The man had been on the run after the minor girl, who he was to cure, delivered a girl on April 8 at a private hospital. The hospital reported the case to 181 Women Helpline.“We found out that he is an MCLA (Member Council Legislative Assembly) after arresting him on Thursday from the Noonmati area,” Pallav Tamuli, Assistant Commissioner of Police, told The Hindu.Das, in his mid-fifties, is one of 40 MCLAs in the Bodoland Territorial Council that administers four districts of north-central and western Assam. He represents the Dihira constituency in Baksa district for the Ana-Bodo Suraksha Samity, a front of non-Bodo (tribal) communities.“We have sought DNA profiling of the accused,” Mr. Tamuli said.Police said the victim, from Assam’s Sonitpur, was working as a domestic help at the house of a bank officer. She told counsellors that her employer had taken her to the babaji as she was unwell, where she was raped.Miguel Das Queah, a government-appointed support person for cases related to Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, said the victim’s employers admitted her to a private hospital in an advanced stage of pregnancy on April 7. The hospital discharged her on April 17. The girl and the baby have since then been staying at a State Home for Women.
Universities, research organizations, and researchers are up in arms because the U.S. Air Force is mulling a plan to move its basic research office to a base in Ohio that houses the branch’s research headquarters and Air Force–operated labs. Critics of the proposed move say that it could shift the Air Force’s research emphasis toward applied work while hurting basic research that they argue has long-term value for the military.The proposed move would shift the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), which funds basic research into aerospace-related disciplines, from Arlington, Virginia, to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio. AFOSR would occupy the same military base as the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), which runs the Air Force’s research programs and labs.At stake, opponents of the proposed move argue, is how the Air Force will spend AFOSR’s funding, for which Congress approved $525 million in 2014. Being located on the same base as AFRL would hurt AFOSR’s culture and thus its basic research, they argue, at a time when the military has already had to cut research and development funding. The potential move could “lead to a change in the thrust of AFOSR’s funding from basic research at universities to applied research at Air Force laboratories,” says a letter to the Air Force from officials at 15 universities, including the California Institute of Technology and the University of Maryland.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Daryl Mayer, a Wright-Patterson base spokesman, confirms in a statement to ScienceInsider today that Air Force commanders are considering the move. But he adds that they have not made any decisions yet and that the Air Force first plans to conduct a preliminary study of the move’s benefits and costs.It’s still unclear what motivated the idea or when the Air Force first devised it. But tensions between the research community and the Air Force emerged earlier this month, when the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers issued a letter decrying the then-unannounced proposal. More scientific organizations and researchers joined the chorus after late last week, when the Air Force research program issued a notice asking the research community to comment within 5 days on how important they felt AFOSR’s location was to its basic research mission. (The deadline was today.)The notice didn’t spell out any specific proposals to move the agency. Still, scientists and research institutions have responded to the notice by criticizing the proposed move.For starters, it’s likely that many AFOSR employees would not move to Wright-Patterson, Malcolm Beasley, president of the American Physical Society (APS), told the Air Force in a letter this week. These officials may be replaced by AFRL staffers who are experts in applied research but “have little or no experience in basic research,” he wrote. That means that applied research experts would help make funding decisions for basic research, says Richard Zare, a physical chemist at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, who has done research with AFOSR funding in the past. These officials may have a different idea of what makes a worthy research project. “You could have a refocusing of the [research] effort toward near-term applications as opposed to long-term opportunities,” he suggests.Although basic aerospace research in areas like atmospheric chemistry and aerodynamics doesn’t pay technological dividends right away, it leads to new technologies for the Air Force in the long term, Zare argues. He says that the refocusing could occur even though Congress set aside specific amounts for each area of research in the Air Force’s purview in 2014—$525 million for basic research through AFOSR, $1.15 billion for applied research, and $637 million for advanced technology development, according to APS. Zare contends that the line between what “basic” and “applied” is blurry.Critics of the move also favor AFOSR’s current location in Arlington because other research funding agencies—including the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency—are just down the road. Moving AFOSR to Wright-Patterson would make it tougher for AFOSR to collaborate with its civilian counterparts, Beasley says.AFOSR referred questions from ScienceInsider to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The statement from Mayer, the Wright-Patterson spokesman, didn’t respond to ScienceInsider’s requests for comment on opponents’ specific complaints, except to say that “it would be premature to speculate about the possible findings [for the cost-benefit study] while information is still being gathered.”
A veteran South African Tamil activist was honoured here for devoting his life to the promotion of Indian languages in the country. Related Items
It turns out that Indian investigative agencies have much more to be embarrassed about than the wrangling in CBI: In April this year, while the Verma-Asthana feud was warming up in New Delhi, a London Court threw out India’s case to extradite disgraced tycoon Palaniappan Rajarathinam.Read it at Mumbai Mirror Related Items
The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs has established the Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre (OIFC), to serve as a one-stop-shop for overseas Indians. The center maintains a database of investment opportunities and advisory services for non-resident Indians on consular issues, financial services and living in India. The Center’s website (www.oifc.in) is developing a database on overseas Indians and claims that it will respond to queries from overseas Indians in 24 hours. Related Items
Dylann Roof, the White supremacist who killed nine people at the Charleston church in June 2015, does not seem to be on a path to tame his racist mindset. Roof informed officials at the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals that he wants to fire both his lawyers because one is Jewish and the other is Indian.Roof requested new lawyers to be appointed for his Federal appeal case, saying that the current ones are his ‘political and biological’ enemies whom he cannot trust.Dylan Roof’s Request“My two currently appointed attorneys, Alexandra Yates and Sapna Mirchandani, are Jewish and Indian respectively. It is also a barrier to effective communication. The lawyer appointed to represent me at my federal trial was David Isaac Bruck, who is also Jewish,” Roof wrote in a hand-written request to the US 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.“His ethnicity was a constant source of conflict even with my constant efforts to look past it. Because of my political views, which are arguably religious, it will be impossible for me to trust two attorneys that are my political and biological enemies,” he added.The Charleston Church shootingIn a mass shooting episode, Roof killed nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, United States, on the evening of June 17, 2015, during a prayer session. Police nabbed Dylan the next day, and earlier this year, the self-confessed white nationalist was sentenced to death.During the trial, Roof confessed that he carried out the cold-blooded killings to trigger a racial war in the United States.In the petition filed to the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals on Sept. 18, Roof also expressed his concerns over his federal trial lawyer, David Isaac Bruck, a man of Jewish origin.During Roof’s trial, Brooks tried to present evidence of mental illness and possible chances of autism in the attempt to get a life sentence for his client. This irked Roof and compelled him to represent himself during the hearing.At one point of time, Roof informed Brook that he hates him, and will kill the lawyer if he gets out of jail, the Post and Courier reported.Sapna Mirchandani and Alexandra Yates were appointed Roof’s attornies following his sentence in January 2017. Related ItemsCharleston church shootingCharleston Sapna MirchandaniDylann Roof deathDylann Roof Indian lawyerLittle IndiaNRI lawyerSapna Mirchandani lawyer
With the onset of rains, no fresh AES case has been reported in Muzaffarpur district on Sunday even as the health department cracked its whip on a doctor who was asked to report for duty in the brain fever-affected district, but failed to comply.Dr. Bhimsen Kumar, a senior resident doctor at the Patna Medical College Hospital, had been directed to report at the SKMCH Muzaffarpur by June 19.“He failed to do so and the department has taken a serious note of the lapse. He has been placed under suspension pending a departmental inquiry upon conclusion of which further action may be taken,” Principal Secretary, Health, Sanjay Kumar said. Meanwhile, Sri Krishna Medical College Hospital (SKMCH) superintendent, Sunil Kumar Shahi said “AES is known to strike when the summer heat is at its peak and the incidences plummet no sooner than rainfalls lash the area. The same is happening this time and no child has been admitted during the day so far with the complaint even though AES patients, who have been nursed back to recovery, are being discharged continuously.”The Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) outbreak, which according to the state health department has affected about 20 out of the 40 districts in the State, has afflicted more than 600 children since June 1, killing close to 140. The high number of deaths this year has been mostly attributed to hypoglycemia.
Elections in West Bengal are invariably a violent affair. But in this election, the eight candidates contesting sat in a row holding the symbols allotted to them, laughing and joking with each other.This unique election, held on Wednesday in city’s Salt Lake area, was restricted to the community of sex workers who cast their votes to elect the office bearers of Durbar Mahila Samanaway Committee (DMSC), the largest sex workers’ collective in the country with 50,000 members.Smarajit Jana, an advisor of the DMSC who oversaw the elections, said the process started in June with elections to the 45 branch committees spread across West Bengal. On Wednesday, the 180 elected representatives from the 45 branch committees gathered at a community hall in Salt Lake to elect the office-bearers . There are a strict set of guidelines for holding the polls and observers were appointed to ensure that the process was free and fair. Only those who declared themselves as “sex workers” could contest and vote in the elections. “We have been not allowed to access our mobile phones. We cannot talk to any of the voters, not even wave or smile to them,” said Bishakha Laskar, contesting for the post of the president of DMSC. Ms. Laskar’s election symbol was a ladder. Other contenders for the post were allotted symbols like the telephone and sun. Three set of ballot papers were printed for the voters to decide the top three office-bearers of the DMSC.Mamata Mukherjee, an office-bearer at the Chetla branch of DMSC, said she was a first-time voter. “There is not much difference between voting in this election and in the general election. The only difference is that there is no violence or fear here,” she said. Others involved in the process said the elections had been free and fair and without any violence. Banshi Badan Chattopadhyay, a retired school teacher, functioned as one of three observers in the poll process. “We are checking for false voters and ensuring that everything goes on as per rules,” Mr. Chattopadhyay said.Explaining the need for holding such polls, Dr. Jana said that the election not only empowered the women but also helped the office-bearers relate to the problems of fellow sex workers.Shortly after the end of the polling, Bishakha Laskar was elected as the president of DMSC, Kajal Bose as secretary and Abeda Bibi as it treasurer.
Infighting among the top leaders of the Haryana Congress has escalated after senior leader and former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda announced a mega rally on August 18, in the run-up to the Assembly polls to be held later this year, without any formal intimation being sent to State Congress president Ashok Tanwar.Mr. Tanwar told The Hindu that he has no formal information or invite for the ‘Parivartan Maha Rally’ to be held in Rohtak on August 18.“I have come to know about the rally through newspapers. There has been no deliberation about participating in the rally as of now. With elections around the corner, everyone should fight with unity against the ruling BJP to oust them from power as it is what the people of the State want,” he said.Wait and watch On whether he would participate in the rally if invited, Mr. Tanwar said, “Let’s see what happens. Going there or not going there [to the rally] is hypothetical at this point of time.”The Congress has been struggling to set its house in order ahead of the Assembly polls. The party’s State unit seems to be divided between two camps — one headed by Mr. Hooda and the other by Mr. Tanwar.Recently, Mr. Hooda held a meeting of the party’s leaders in Delhi in which 13 Haryana legislators participated. Mr. Tanwar and some other senior leaders of the party were not present in the meeting.Attacks against the Haryana Congress president sharpened after the Lok Sabha election results in which the party faced defeat in all 10 seats in the State.