The BJP won the Lohaghat seat in Uttarakhand as the results were announced on Wednesday after a repoll was held over one poll booth. With this BJP’s tally goes up to 57 in the 70-member House.The Election Commission ordered a repoll in the Karnkarayat poll booth of the Lohaghat seat due to an electronic voting machine (EVM) malfunction.According to the EC, BJP candidate Puran Singh Fartyal won the seat on Wednesday, defeating his Congress rival by 834 votes.The Congress has 11 seats and independents two in the Assembly.The Congress is yet to decide on its Legislature Party Leader after the outgoing Chief Minister Harish Rawat lost both Hardwar Rural and Kichha seats.In the BJP, however, the current challenge is that of deciding a Chief Minister. According to highly-placed sources in the BJP, three names — Chaubattakhal MLA Satpal Maharaj, Pithoragarh MLA Prakash Pant, and Doiwala Trivendra Singh Rawat — are being considered by the party’s central leadership. A decision would be announced within a day or two, party sources said.
Pune: A former soldier and his wife and children were found brutally murdered in Shevgaon village in Ahmednagar district, 200 km from here, on Sunday morning.According to the police, the murders occurred between midnight and the early hours of Sunday. The victims, Appasaheb Govind Harvane (58), his wife, Sunanda (48), their daughter, Snehal (18), and son, Makarand (15), bore multiple knife wounds, the Shevgaon police.The incident came to light after the milkman, finding no response to his calls, alerted the family’s neighbours.Motive unclear“The motive behind the killings is yet to be ascertained. We are investigating whether it was a botched robbery or some family rivalry. However, none of the valuables appear to be touched … but it is too early to say anything,” inspector Suresh Sakpale of the Shevgaon police station told The Hindu.After completing his service in the Army, Harvane worked as a security guard with the district land records office, according to sources.
Govt. to seek death penalty for Kopardi rapists Mr. Nikam had argued that a criminal conspiracy was hatched by the three accused, Jitendra alias ‘Pappu’ Shinde, Santosh Bhaval and Nitin Bhailume for the rape and murder of the minor. He said Shinde (accused no. 1) attempted to molest the girl five days before the actual crime that took place on July 13.The Kopardi crime spurred a wave of ‘muk morchas’ (silent rallies) from the Maratha community across the State and buttressed the community’s claim for Maratha reservation and a curb on the misuse of the Atrocity Act.Also Read The Ahmednagar police first arrested Shinde (25) from Shrigonda, Bhaval (36) from Karjat.Bhailume (26 from Pune. All three were contractual workers in private companies or construction sites.The incident was likened to the 2012 Nirbhaya rape case in the extent of its brutality, with medical reports suggesting that violence of a particularly feral nature was inflicted on the 15-year-old girl, who belonged to the Maratha community.Reports stated that the victim’s limbs were broken, her arms dislocated from her shoulders, and her skin shorn from her body. After the crime, the accused, who belong to a lower caste, allegedly threatened the parents of the victim that they would file an atrocity case against them if they dared to lodge a case of rape and murder. The Ahmednagar district and sessions court in Maharashtra on Monday rejected a petition of the defence counsel for one of the accused in the Kopardi rape and murder case seeking the summoning of Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam as one of the witnesses.Last month, Balasaheb Khopade, lawyer for Santosh Baval, one of the accused in the rape and murder of a minor in Kopardi village last July, submitted the unusual petition in the court.The reason the defence counsel gave in the petition for naming Mr. Nikam as one of the witnesses was that he was ostensibly ‘biased’. Advocate Khopade, along with his daughter, advocate Vijaylaxmi Khopade, had accused Mr. Nikam of ‘coaching’ witnesses in his home and maintained that fabricated documents were submitted as evidence by the prosecution.Following the quashing of his petition, Mr. Khopade said he would move the Bombay High Court on the same. He said the Ahmednagar court had given time till July 24 to review the state of the appeal on his petition (summoning Mr. Nikam) in the High Court.In his petition, Mr. Khopade pointed to the big time lag between the appointment of Mr. Nikam as Special Public Prosecutor (barely 10 days after the rape incident) and the filing of the charge sheet naming 70 witnesses on October 7 last year (86 days after the crime).The 350-page charge sheet that was filed by the Ahmednagar police under sections 302 and 376 (a) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) set forth testimonies of the 70 witnesses, including the girl’s kith and kin.Also Read Ahmednagar tense after brutal murder of minor girl
NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar on Sunday said while Gujarat had done very well in industrialisation, it would need to do some catching-up in the health and education sectors.Mr. Kumar met Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and senior State officials here.“Gujarat’s achievements in education and health are not like those in other areas like industrialisation, infrastructure and energy…I talked about this with the State government,” he said, speaking to reporters after the meeting. He was happy to learn from the government that budgetary allocations for health and education had been increased for 2018-19.He was told that the State was planning “big success this year itself” in the health sector, and district collectors had been asked to pay special attention to child malnutrition and the maternal mortality ratio, Mr. Kumar said.
Situated about 10 kilometres from the main market in Kairana, village Kaserwa Kalaan is Jat-dominated. Villagers put the population of Jats – a dominant caste in western Uttar Pradesh – in the village at about 50%.As one walks around the narrow lanes, with large houses on either side, one sees the title Chaudhari – typical of Jats in the region – prefixed to nameplates in many houses.It is this powerful, agrarian caste that may in some ways hold the key to the May 28 Lok Sabha bypoll in which the BJP locks horns with a combined opposition that has backed the candidature of Tabassum Begum, now with the Rashtriya Lok Dal, a party traditionally associated with Jats in western U.P.Kaserwa Kalaan seems to be veering around to the RLD this time, with Jat villagers strongly backing the RLD.If Jats vote for the RLD in large numbers, the combined strength of Muslims, a numerically powerful community here, Jats and Dalits can make the contest a tough one for the BJP.Playing cards with his friends just outside his house, Bhopal Masterji, an ageing teacher belonging to the Jat caste, says the village is heavily tilted towards the RLD this time.He faults the BJP for the recent Karnataka crisis, and points to rising fuel prices to claim that the party has been unable to fulfil its promises.Communal overtones to the election apart, caste alignments are key to the poll outcome here, with the opposition combine banking on Jats deserting the BJP to vote for the RLD candidate.This is what seems to be happening, if Kaserwa Kalaan is any indicator.However, community stereotypes regarding Muslims remain, despite the shift.Asked if Jats would vote for a Muslim candidate of the RLD – given that Muzaffarnagar had seen Jat-Muslim riots in 2013 – Sanjeev Singh, a resident of the village, says that Jats would vote for any RLD candidate this time.“But if the RLD were to field a Jat candidate, not one Muslim would vote for him,” he adds with a wry smile.‘Muslim votes crucial’“Muslims are large in number here, and their votes are going to be crucial. Add Jats, and the RLD is on a strong wicket,” he says. “The day Muslims cross the 50% population mark in western U.P., only candidates they prefer will be elected.”The BJP also has a caste card in Kairana. They are banking on the Gujjars, with their candidate Mriganka Singh being late Gujjar leader Hukum Singh’s daughter.Apart from Gujjars – an influential caste here – the BJP is counting on upper caste Hindus, particularly Baniyas, to see it through.
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar will soon address a press conference to clear the air over the ongoing mining impasse, the Deputy Speaker of Assembly Michael Lobo said on Monday. “He is the right person because he is the Minister of Mines as well,” Mr. Lobo said,adding, “in the next two to three days he will address a press conference and tell whether it (mining) is going to happen or not.” Mr. Parrikar, who has advanced pancreatic cancer, has not made an official public appearance for more than two months. He has also not moved out of his private residence except for a brief visit to the Goa Medical College Hospital since October 14, his return from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. Reports from New Delhi indicate that the Mines and Minerals (Regulation and Development) Act, which mandates auctioning as the only route for allotment of iron ore mining leases, cannot be amended — as requested by the Goa government — to facilitate renewal of leases to existing holders. This has made the agitating mining dependents restless. Top Goa BJP leaders as well as some central leaders of the party have repeatedly assured the agitating mining dependent lobby in Goa, as also the mine owners, that the Central government would be amending the MMRD Act in the coming winter session of Parliament. Mr. Lobo who has been active on this front, also said it was necessary for Mr. Parrikar to communicate to the people of Goa about when and how he planned to resume mining.The Congress has beenattacking the government and accusing Mr. Parrikar as well as the BJP of trying to hide the fact that the Union Government had already rejected Mr. Parrikar’s request for amendment of MMRD Act. Mining in Goa was banned in February this year by the Supreme Court quashing second renewals of 88 mining leases, while also directing the State government to allot the leases afresh as per appropriate laws.
The annual High School Certificate Examination-2019, to be conducted by the State Board of Secondary Examination, will begin from February 22 next year. Board president Jahan Ara Begum on Friday said that the Matriculation examinations for all the streams will continue till March 8. Practical examinations will be held between February 11 and February 16, Ms. Begum said.She added that examinations equivalent to Matriculation in the State such as Madhyama Exams for Sanskrit students and State Open School Certificate Examinations (for drop-outs) will be held during the same period. Over six lakh students will appear for the HSC exams next year, sources said, adding that examinations would be held on the scheduled dates between 9 a.m. and 11.30 a.m.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a plea challenging the Allahabad High Court verdict rejecting a petition seeking direction to Uttar Pradesh Police to lodge an FIR against former Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav for his alleged order to open fire on ‘kar sewaks’ at Ayodhya in 1990. A Bench, comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and K.M. Joseph, dismissed the plea on the ground of delay considering the fact that appeal has been filed against the May 3, 2016, order of the High Court. The plea had alleged that on October 30, 1990, several ‘kar sewaks’ were killed in police firing at the temple town when they were taking part in a “peaceful movement” for the construction of a Ram Temple there. The plea was filed by a Lucknow-based man, who had in 2014 approached a trial court for a direction to the police to lodge an FIR against Mr. Yadav, who was the Chief Minister of U.P. in 1990. He had alleged that the Samajwadi Party leader had given a statement in public meetings that he had ordered the police to fire on ‘kar sewaks’ to win the confidence of Muslims. The trial court had dismissed his plea after which he had moved the High Court challenging the order. In his appeal filed in the top court, the petitioner had claimed, “The High Court failed to appreciate that in a huge public gathering, Mulayam Singh Yadav, has confessed/ admitted that he ordered to fire guns on ‘kar sewaks’ and he further admitted in the second public meeting that if he did not order to fire on kar sewaks then the confidence of Muslims would be broken.”
The Congress decision to field Navinchandra Bandiwadekar from Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg constituency has come in for criticism after his photographs on the dais of right-wing group Sanatan Sanstha and his participation in the rally organised to support Vaibhav Raut, a go-rakshak from Nallasopara arrested for possessing arms, became public. Following the outrage on Twitter, sources in the Congress said the matter has been brought to the notice of the senior leadership and appropriate action will be taken. Mr. Bandiwadekar, president of the All India Bhandari Samaj Mahasangh, had participated in a rally to support Mr. Raut as he was a worker of the Mahasangh from Nallasopara. “I have no relationship with Sanatan Sanstha. I was there as Raut used to work for the community and I was told his wife and mother were treated badly by police. I do not support the ideology of Sanatan Sanstha,” he said. Maharashtra Congress president Ashok Chavan said the party was aware of reports regarding Mr. Bandiwadekar. “The Congress is against extremist organisations like Sanatan Sanstha. An appropriate decision will be taken after a detailed inquiry,” he said. In August last year, the Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad raided Mr. Raut’s home and confiscated arms and ammunition. He was a member of the Bhandari community and co-founder of the Hindu Govansh Raksha Samiti, which is said to be affiliated to Hindu Janjagruti Samiti, an offshoot of Sanatan Sanstha. The Sanstha’s members have been named in the murders of rationalist Dr. Narendra Dabholkar, Communist leader Govind Pansare, author M.M. Kalburgi and journalist Gauri Lankesh.Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant issued a statement clarifying Mr. Bandiwadekar has no connection whatsoever with the Sanatan Sanstha. “Neither has he participated in the activities of the Sanatan Sanstha nor does he have any sympathy for it. Since there was pressure from the community considering rumours of presumbaly prejudiced action by police, he had to go as the president of the organisation,” said Mr. Sawant. He said Mr. Bandiwadekar strongly opposes the Sanstha’s ideology and followers and will continue to do so.
Odisha’s Berhampur parliamentary constituency that boasts about electing former Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao in 1996 will have a triangular fight this time between the BJD, the BJP and the Congress.In this constituency that goes to the polls in the first phase on April 11, three major parties have fielded new candidates. The BJD has dropped Siddhant Mohapatra, the cine-star turned MP of Berhampur in 2009 and 2014. The party is fielding former Union Minister Chandrasekhar Sahu as its candidate. Mr. Sahu as the Congress candidate had lost to Mr. Mohapatra twice in the past and had joined the BJD in 2018. However, the party hopes for a hat-trick through him from Berhampur.Without Mr. Sahu, the Congress has fielded V. Chandrasekhar Naidu, an energy sector industrialist from New Delhi having ancestral links with the region. He is completely new to politics and this constituency. The party hopes to garner sizeable Telugu voters in the constituency that made former PM choose it in 1996.The BJP had won this seat in 1999 during the Kargil-wave, but as an ally of the BJD. This time hoping to ride on the post-Pulwama air strike sentiments, the BJP has fielded its State secretary Bhrugu Baxipatra. The party is also planning a rally of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to strengthen its prospects. The BJP leaders feel the voters here vote differently for the Assembly and Lok Sabha constituency although both elections are held together. From 1957 till 1996, Berhampur continued to be a safe bastion for the Congress where even the anti-Emergency wave of 1977 had failed to work. The magic has vanished since the past two decades. The Congress had managed to win back this seat in 2004. However, with Mr. Sahu and several other key party leaders now in the BJD, the organisational strength of the Congress has gone down in the Berhampur parliamentary constituency. Berhampur, Gopalpur, Chhatrapur, Digapahandi, Chikiti, Mohana, Paralakhemundi Assembly segments where the polling will be held on April 11 are part of Berhampur Lok Sabha seat. Mohana happens to be a reserved seat for the Scheduled Castes.
Kissing the Blarney Stone, which involves hanging upside down from the battlements of Blarney Castle (shown) near Cork in Ireland, is meant to bestow eloquence and persuasiveness. Such claims are not known to have been put to the test in a clinical trial, but then not much is known about the rock itself. Some say it is made of Welsh bluestone, the same material used to make the monoliths of Stonehenge. Others say it was cleaved from the Stone of Scone, which forms the coronation seat used by the kings and queens of Scotland and Great Britain for hundreds of years. Other legends link it to the death of St. Columba and biblical figures Moses and King David. Now, some light has finally been shed on the stone’s mysterious origins by the chance find of a microscope slide in the Hunterian Museum of the University of Glasgow in Scotland. Intern Becky Smith was digitizing the mostly handwritten catalog of the museum’s 40,000 geological slides when she noticed one entry referring to a slide of the Blarney Stone. The slide had been acquired sometime between 1850 and 1880 by Victorian mineralogist Matthew Forster Heddle, but he doesn’t appear to have published anything about it. Analysis of the sample, which is cut thin enough to be transparent, by geologists at the museum reveals that it is not a bluestone, nor is it sandstone like the Stone of Scone. In fact, it is a 330-million-year-old carboniferous limestone typical of that corner of Ireland and contains fragments of fossilized brachiopod shells and bryozoans. Details of its properties remain elusive. Hunterian curator John Faithfull says he has kissed the slide, but the jury is still out on whether he has acquired the legendary “gift of the gab.”See more ScienceShots.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(*)
Please welcome the latest member of the growing club of flying dinosaurs, Changyuraptor yangi, pictured here in an artist’s reconstruction. This latest specimen, found in 125-million-year-old sediments in northeastern China, was about 1.2 meters long and is related to a noted group of flying dinosaurs called Microraptor, which has provided important insights into the evolution of powered flight. Like Microraptor, the new specimen had feathers on all four limbs; but its feathery tail, which takes up about 30% of its total length, is the longest known among flying dinosaurs. Changyuraptor, described online today in Nature Communications, weighed 4 kilograms, making it among the heaviest flying dinosaurs known. As for its long tail, the dino probably used it to slow itself down when descending, thus avoiding crash landings.
One of the world’s most scenic gorges has long been a mystery to geologists. Scientists believe that some canyons are carved simultaneously by the rivers that flow through them and the rapid rise of terrain on either side. But Tsangpo Gorge, a rugged, steep-walled river valley in southern Tibet (pictured), doesn’t seem to fit that pattern. To figure out how the gorge evolved, scientists took a look at the deepest sediments—some up to 800 meters—drilled from several sites along the gorge. They then analyzed when the sediments were last exposed to cosmic rays (and therefore at Earth’s surface, not buried). The data reveal that some portions of the ancient gorge began filling in about 2.5 million years ago, the researchers report online today in Science. That’s the time when a rapid, tectonically driven rise in the terrain in that region of the Himalayas naturally dammed the river that carved the gorge and triggered sediment accumulation. But it’s also several million years after the Tsangpo Gorge first formed, according to previous studies, which carves a big hole in the notion that rapidly rising terrain in that region of the Himalayas sparked the growth of the gorge. Similar studies elsewhere—especially in the western end of the Himalayas, where gorges bisect the rugged landscape—may reveal whether rising terrain truly triggers increased erosion rates.
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Goa Congress president Shantaram Naik wrote to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday demanding that the Centre issue Aadhaar cards to Non-Resident Indians (NRIs).In his letter, Mr. Naik said the government should amend the Aadhaar Act to make arrangements in embassies and consulates for issuing the cards. Mr. Naik suggested in his letter that equipment to print the cards should be installed at such designated places.He said that NRIs should be exempted from producing PAN cards and other ID proofs within the possession of family members of NRIs should be accepted.Read it at The Hindu Related Items
Sometime around 2012 or 2013, my daughters stopped speaking in Konkani, our mother tongue. It isn’t entirely clear what provoked it. Perhaps it was a teacher at their Mumbai school encouraging students to speak more English at home. Or perhaps it was something else. It didn’t matter. What did matter was that our home became an almost exclusively English-speaking household, with the occasional Konkani conversation.We were not alone. Clustered throughout the affluent sections of urban India are many families such as ours, predominantly speaking English and not the tongues they grew up with.Read it at Scroll Related Items
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