KCR is back in state, in one clean sweep
The Telangana Rashtra Samithi is set to form its second successive government in the state as the people have returned it to power with a thumping majority, a ringing endorsement of party chief K Chandrasekhar Rao’s populist policies.
It was evident as soon as counting started that the TRS juggernaut would not falter till it had captured the Assembly. The party has managed a little less than 90 seats so far in the 119-seat Assembly.
The People’s Front – a combine of the Congress, the TDP, the TJS and CPI – is likely to get around 20. The BJP will settle for 2, while the AIMIM is leading in 5 Assembly seats.
Analysts feel the Congress would have fared better if it had gone alone and not with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu.
Rao had dissolved the Assembly in September, eight months ahead of schedule, in a political gamble that paid off handsomely, as the party is expected to improve on its previous strength of 63 in the 119-seat Assembly.
However, TRS strength had risen to 82 after defections from TDP and Congress before the elections. “The people reposed faith in the leadership of our chief minister and they did not believe in the disinformation campaign of the opposition,” said T Harish Rao, a minister in the outgoing government and a nephew of Rao.
T Harish Rao has won by the highest margin this election, of 1.2 lakh votes. He has created a record by winning 6 times, scoring a double hat-trick .
In a major setback, however, for the TRS, three of its ministers T Thummala Nageswara Rao, Chandulal and Jupally Krishna Rao have lost to the Opposition.
Asaduddin Owaisi of the AIMIM — which KCR calls a “friendly party” — was the first winner to be declared from the Chandrayangutta Assembly constituency. The AIMIM looks set to bag five seats.
TDP candidates have not done well, losing even in areas where migrant the population was high.
Celebrations erupted in TRS offices throughout the state as well as in the Telangana Bhavan, the party headquarters in Hyderabad. TRS activists danced to drum beats, burst firecrackers and distributed sweets.
Top Kofi Annan Quotes
Kofi Annan (80), a diplomat from Ghana, who rose to become the seventh Secretary General of the United Nations, passed away after a brief illness at a hospital in Switzerland today. Annan, who was the secretary general of the UN twice between 1997 and 2006, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001.
After his retirement, the former Ghanaian diplomat and secretary general settled down in a quiet Swiss village. He is survived by his wife Nane and three children.
Kofi Annan was deeply committed to the development of African nations and was involved in many projects, including the chairmanship of the Africa Progress Panel and leadership of the Alliance for a Green Revolution (AGRA), as stated by the Kofi Annan Foundation.
A profound thinker, described by his Foundation as a “global statesman and a deeply committed internationalist”, Annan will be remembered for his breadth of vision and his efforts to bring about peace in regions of the world.
“Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.”
“Gender equality is more than a goal in itself. It is a precondition for meeting the challenge of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development and building good governance.”
“Education is a human right with immense power to transform. On its foundation rest the cornerstones of freedom, democracy and sustainable human development.”
“To live is to choose. But to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to get there.”
“More than ever before in human history, we share a common destiny. We can master it only if we face it together. And that, my friends, is why we have the United Nations.”
“It has been said that arguing against globalization is like arguing against the laws of gravity.”
“In the 21st century, I believe the mission of the United Nations will be defined by a new, more profound awareness of the sanctity and dignity of every human life, regardless of race or religion.”
“We must ensure that the global market is embedded in broadly shared values and practices that reflect global social needs, and that all the world’s people share the benefits of globalization.”
“In their greatest hour of need, the world failed the people of Rwanda.”
“We need to keep hope alive and strive to do better.”
“If we can come up with innovations and train young people to take on new jobs, and if we can switch to clean energy, I think we have the capacity to build this world not dependent on fossil-fuel. I think it will happen, and it won’t destroy economy.”
“Business, labor and civil society organizations have skills and resources that are vital in helping to build a more robust global community.”
“What governments and people don’t realise is that sometimes the collective interest – the international interest – is also the national interest.”
“There is no development strategy more beneficial to society as a whole – women and men alike – than the one which involves women as central players.”
“If information and knowledge are central to democracy, they are conditions for development.”
“We cannot wait for governments to do it all. Globalization operates on Internet time. Governments tend to be slow moving by nature, because they have to build political support for every step.”
“The United Nations, whose membership comprises almost all the states in the world, is founded on the principle of the equal worth of every human being.”
Time travellers invited to Stephen Hawking’s memorial service
Members of the public have been invited to apply for tickets to attend a celebration of Professor Stephen Hawking’s life at a memorial service in Westminster Abbey here on June 15, with visitors from the future welcome to apply, local media reported on Monday.
His ashes will be interred by the graves of fellow scientific giants Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin. Applicants need to fill in a form online and state their date of birth, Xinhua news agency reported.
Till now, over 10,000 people from over 50 countries have applied for tickets. London blogger IanVisits was among those who noticed that the application allows people born more than 20 years into the future to come.”Look out for time travellers at the Abbey,” the blogger said. Hawking once held a “time traveller party” back in 2009, but no one turned up at that time.
A legendary figure in the modern history of physics, Hawking, who died at the age of 76 on March 14, 2018, is known for his work with black holes and relativity. He authored several bestsellers on science, despite being bound to a wheelchair after contracting a motor neurone disease in 1963 at the age of 21.
He broke new ground on the basic laws which govern the Universe, including the revelation that black holes have a temperature and produce radiation, now known as Hawking radiation.
Japanese regalia decoded
The abdication of Japan’s outgoing Emperor Akihito and the enthronement of his son Naruhito will be solemn, ritual-bound affairs complete with sumptuous clothing and sacred paraphernalia.
Here are some of the key elements of the garb and gear that will be seen during the enthronement of the new emperor and subsequent key succession events.
The New Emperor’s Clothes
For his enthronement, the new emperor will wear an outfit in the “sokutai” or ceremonial style. The outfit is now rarely seen and is dominated by a voluminous draped brown-gold outer robe with long, wide sleeves and a cinched waist. Only the emperor wears this colour, with other royals sporting black, red, blue or other colours depending on their rank.
Royal attire often includes motifs of birds, as they were considered divine envoys in ancient times and the emperor’s outer garment is decorated with a mythological Chinese phoenix, believed to symbolise the arrival of peace. During the ceremony, the emperor and other male royals will carry a “shaku” or sceptre – a narrow plain wooden plate not unlike a large shoehorn.
In the past, royals would sometimes attach “cheat sheets” to the back of the shaku to help guide them through complex rituals, and it can also be an indicator of their attentiveness. “It would be obvious to people around you if your mind is wandering or disorderly because the shaku would start to slant to the side,” said Tomitaro Hashimoto, assistant professor of Shinto studies at Reitaku University.
But the crowning glory of the emperor’s outfit is the kanmuri hat, which consists of a simple flat black base and a towering black tail at the back that extends upright 60 centimetres (about 24 inches).
Fit for an Empress
Incoming empress Masako will wear an elaborate outfit commonly known as ‘junihitoe’ or many-layered robe. “The outfits called ‘sokutai’ (for men) and ‘junihitoe’ (for women) date back to the Heian Era,” regarded as a golden period in Japanese culture, said Keizo Suzuki, head of a kimono museum on the outskirts of Tokyo.
There is no set rule on the number of layers, though outgoing Empress Michiko wore nine robes during her husband’s enthronement. Masako is likely to choose her own colours but similar motifs to those donned by Michiko in 1989.
Michiko’s outfit was dominated by a rich red robe, its sleeves and bottom visible underneath multiple layers of varying lengths, topped by a cream overcoat with light purple lapels and patterning.
Masako’s hair will be sculpted into a style that sweeps up and out to the sides with a long ponytail extending from the back and a large golden hairpiece pinned above her forehead. The elaborate traditional outfit, which can be hard to walk in because of its weight, is rarely seen outside imperial rituals and weddings.
The Sacred Treasures
A key ritual in the enthronement process is the handover of the “three sacred treasures” – imperial regalia said to date back more than a millennium and have been bequeathed to the imperial line by the sun goddess Amaterasu.
The treasures are the ‘Yata no Kagami’, a mirror, ‘Kusanagi no Tsurugi’, a sword, and the ‘Yasakani no Magatama’, an unspecified jewel. The possession of the “three sacred treasures” is considered crucial evidence of an emperor’s legitimacy, but there are no photos and even the emperor cannot see them.
“We do not know exactly what they are like,” said Eiichi Miyashiro, a senior journalist at the Asahi Shimbun newspaper and royal expert. The treasures will be passed over in a ceremony held on May 1, which the new emperor attends in Western-style clothes and is off-limits for female royals.
During the ceremony, a replica sword and the original jewel will be handed over, wrapped in cloth. Both are kept at the palace, along with a replica mirror not used in the ceremony.
Chilean island sets an environmental precedent
For almost a century, the inhabitants of Robinson Crusoe, named for literature’s most famous castaway have known that their island’s fragile ecosystem depends on them conserving its unique wildlife.
One of three islands in the Juan Fernandez archipelago, 700 kilometers (430 miles) off the Pacific coast of Chile, it was discovered in the sixteenth century. The island chain secured its place in history as the home of Alexander Selkirk, the Scottish sailor marooned there for four years and four months, a tale he later related to Daniel Defoe, who penned his adventure book based on his story. One of the other islands in the chain is called Alexander Selkirk, the third is Santa Clara.
In 1977, the archipelago was named a biosphere reserve and almost a year ago, Chile announced the creation of the enormous Juan Fernandez Marine Park. Covering an area of 262,000 square kilometers (101,000 square miles) of ocean, it is one of the largest protected zones in the Pacific.
It also connects to a network of marine reserves in Chile totalling some 1.3 million square kilometers, meaning that about 44 percent of the nation’s waters have some level of protection against mining and industrial fishing.
The wildlife of these remote islands faces various threats, including ocean trash, in particular plastic and invasive species that have been introduced to the fragile ecosystem of Juan Fernandez, home to around 1,000 people.
Cats, rats and coatis (a type of South American raccoon) are the main hazard for the Juan Fernandez firecrown, a type of hummingbird found only in the islands, and whose eggs and chicks are easy prey. They are also a threat to the pink-footed shearwater, a migratory seabird which only nests in the archipelago, where there are 35,000 pairs, and on Mocha Island, close to the mainland, where there are 60,000 breeding pairs.
The environment ministry has just launched a recovery plan to protect the underground nests of the shearwaters, which fly in to mate every year from the United States and Canada.
“People are taking this seriously,” said Pablo Manriquez, coordinator for the NGO Oikonos, noting that residents have changed their street and house lights from white to red or green to help the shearwaters avoid crashing into buildings and trees in foggy weather, when the bright lights appear to disorient them. Downed birds are vulnerable to predators.
Work has also been started to preserve the luma trees where hummingbirds nest, eradicating non-native blackberry bushes that strangle the trees. Sustainable fishing is the archipelago’s main goal.
Bidhan Market and its by-lanes are branched out into bazaars with different areas of specialization. Venture through its busy lanes and keep an eye out for the variety of items that can be found here – shawls, fabrics, perfumes, bags, carpets, there is something for everyone. It is the have-it-all bazaar and is the perfect place to pick up some cute souvenirs and affordable gifts. There is nothing you won’t find here. The market is punctuated with multiple eateries, so you can wrap up your shopping with a delicious meal at one of the local restaurants!
Which God to worship on Diwali?
On the day of Diwali, it is a custom to worship Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha together. It is well-known that Goddess Lakshmi is the Goddess of wealth, fortune, luxury and prosperity while Lord Ganesha is revered as remover of obstacles, the patron of arts and sciences and the ‘Deva’ of intellect and wisdom.
People worship these two deities together to welcome wealth along with intelligence. Since no celebration is deemed complete without invoking Lord Ganesha, Diwali is no exception either. Ganesha is considered as the remover of all obstacles. Hence, He is worshiped first to get rid of all the obstacles that hinder our growth. Along with that, worshiping the forms of Goddess Mahalakshmi is the most crucial part of Diwali.
It is said that on the night of Diwali, Goddess Lakshmi visits each house and blesses everyone with great wealth. But the question remains as to why Lakshmi and Ganesha are worshiped together and there is an interesting story behind the worship of Lakshmi and Ganesha on Diwali.
Importance of using Lemon in Durga Pooja
Goddess Durga represents the power of Supreme Being that pervades moral order and righteousness. In the creation; the Sanskrit word Durga means a fort or a place that is protected and thus difficult to reach. Goddess Durga is called Divine Mother, protects mankind from Evil and Misery by destroying evil forces such as ‘selfishness, jealousy, prejudice, hatred, anger and ego.
The white dermis of the lime shows our pure consciousness, and the darker part (green in color which is hidden inside) is our Maya. A lemon lamp also increases the positive vibrations in the environment, the smell that is emitted from the lemon lamp is very soothing, and calms the mind.
Moreover it is believed that a Garland made of lemon has a cooling effect and that’s the reason Lemon garlands are offered to Goddess Durga. It is also believed Lemon has the power drive away evil forces from our surroundings. That is the reason, lemons are crushed by the vehicle and a new lemon is hung with chilies in a bead to ward off any future evil eyes. These can also be seen at shops and private homes, usually hanging at the doorways. Some shop keepers keep a lemon in a Glass of water to keep off evil eyes.
Five places where people worship Ravana who is considered as evil
This year whole India will celebrate Dusherra on November 19 as it represent the victory of good on evil. People will worship Lord Rama who Killed Ravana who reprsent evil but you will surprise to know there are few places in India where people worship Ravana instead of Lord Rama.
Ravan is worshiped in Mandsaur of Madhya Pradesh, it is said that Mandsaur’s old name was Dashpur but due to his wife Mandodari it named to Mandsaur. Since Mandsaur was the in-laws of Ravana, and the daughter here was married to Ravana, so here instead of burning the effigy of Ravan, it is worshiped due to the tradition of respecting son-in-law.
Yes, there is also a village in Ujjain where Ravana is worshiped, this place of Ravana is Chikhali village of Ujjain district. it is believed that, if the villagers does not worship Ravana then the village will turn into ashes.
A temple of Ravana has been built at the place named Malvalli Taluka of Mandya district of Karnataka, where people worship him. Apart from this, people in Kolar of Karnataka also worship Ravana as Shiva Bhakta.
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A Shivlinga’ was established in kakinad of Andhra Pradesh, where there is a statue of Ravana near this Shivling itself. Here the fishermen community worshiped both Shiva and Ravana.
Ganesh Chaturthi 2018: Here are some delectable recipes with a healthy twist
This Ganesh Chaturthi, give your Indian recipes a twist and celebrate a feast. As the idols and pandals get ready for the festive season, follow these recipes and offer the God of wisdom some delectable naivedya (offering). These recipes are healthy, easy to make and perfect for this auspicious occasion.
Badam Papitae ki Kebab with Pineapple Salsa by Chef Kunal Kapur
Ingredients for Kebab:
- Raw papaya, thickly grated – 2 cups
- Raw potato, thickly grated – 1 cup
- Almond chopped –1/2 cup
- Salt – 1 tsp
- Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
- Turmeric –1/2tsp
- Coriander, cracked – 2 tsp
- Ginger, chopped – 2 tsp
- Green chilly chopped – 2 tsp
- Besan – 2 tbsp
- Green coriander, chopped – 2 tbsp
- Oil – 2 tbsp
Ingredients for Salsa:
- Pineapple, finely chopped – 1 cup
- Onions, finely chopped –1/4 cup
- Green chillies, chopped – 1 tbsp
- Green coriander, chopped – 1 tbsp
- Lemon juice – 3 tbsp
- Salt – 1/2tsp
- Pepper – 1/4tsp
- Apply salt to raw papaya and potato and leave aside for 5 minutes.Now press them to release water and put them on a paper towel.Place them in a large bowl and add all the ingredients, except the oil.
- Mix well and shape them into rough, thin patties. Heat oil in a pan and place the patties in medium hot oil. Cook till the bottom caramelizes and then carefully turn the patties. Cook them till they are crisp from outside. Remove and serve hot.
- For the pineapple salsa, mix all the ingredients and serve with the kebab.
- Calories: 1296.41
- Protein: 32.86 g
- Total fat: 72.026 g
- Saturated: 6.6349 g
- Monounsaturated: 46.623g
- Polyunsaturated: 14.169 g
- Carbohydrates: 140.615 g
- Fiber: 31.835 g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
- Sodium: 3831.45 mg
- Calcium: 662.125 mg
- Magnesium: 411 mg
- Potassium: 2767 mg
- Vitamin E: 32.345 mg
Anjeer Badam Ka Murabba by Chef Kunal Kapur
- Anjeer (dried figs) – 500 g
- Organic honey – 3 tbsp
- Star anise – 1 no
- Fennel seeds – 1 tbsp
- Peppercorns – 12 no
- Cinnamon -1 small piece
- Almonds peeled and roasted –1 and 1/2 cup
- Wash the anjeer under running water to remove and grit. Now soak the anjeer in 500ml of water for an hour. Keep turning it in between. Now without draining any water boil the soaked anjeer on low flame. Add all the spices. Keep boiling it till it starts to get mashy. Now with the back of a spoon mash up the anjeer. Mix it thoroughly.
- Add honey and almonds and cook till it becomes a bit jamy. Remove and cool completely. Fill in cleaned jars and refrigerate.
- Calories: 2734
- Protein: 64.35 g
- Total fat: 113.25 g
- Saturated: 9.045 g
- Monounsaturated: 69.322 g
- Polyunsaturated: 28.424 g
- Carbohydrates: 429.22 g
- Fiber: 82.1 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Sodium: 62 mg
- Calcium: 1539 mg
- Magnesium: 963 mg
- Potassium: 5260 mg
- Vitamin E: 56.88 mg
Baked Almond Kofta by Chef Kunal Kapur
Ingredients for Kofta:
- Potato, boiled and mashed – 2 cups
- Nutmeg – A pinch
- Milk – 2 tbsp
- Almonds crushed –3/4 cup
- Green onions, chopped –1/2 cup
- Refined flour – 1 tbsp
- Egg – 1 no
- Salt –3/4tsp
- Pepper –1/2tsp
Ingredients for Crumbing:
- Refined flour – for rolling
- Dry breadcrumbs – for rolling
- Place the mashed potato in a bowl and add almonds, salt, pepper, nutmeg, milk, green onions, flour, and 2 eggs. Mix them well and refrigerate for 15 minutes.Now roll them into equal-sized koftas.
- Place flour, beaten eggs, and breadcrumbs separately in different plates. Cover each kofta with flour and dunk them in beaten eggs. After which give them a good roll in the breadcrumbs.
- Preheat an oven to 200c and bake the koftas till golden brown. Serve hot.
- Calories: 1152
- Protein: 48.84 g
- Total fat: 67.82 g
- Saturated: 9.058 g
- Monounsaturated: 38.966 g
- Polyunsaturated: 16.022 g
- Carbohydrates: 97.83 g
- Fiber: 22.2 g
- Cholesterol: 392 mg
- Sodium: 1966 mg
- Calcium: 460 mg
- Magnesium: 392 mg
- Potassium: 2421 mg
- Vitamin E: 28.96 mg
Bharwan Aloo, Maple Sesame Glaze by Chef Manish Mehrotra
For Potato Barrels
- Potatoes (Medium Size) 4 Nos
- Cashew Whole 25 Gms
- Raisins 15 Gms
- Salt 5 Gms
- Turmeric Powder 2 Gms
- Yellow Chilli Powder 2 Gms
- Chaat Masala 5 Gms
- Roasted Cumin, Crushed 2 Gms
- Garam Masala 2 Gms
- Ginger Finely Chopped 5 Gms
- Green Chillies chopped 5 Gms
- Fresh Pomegranate 20 Gms
- Processed Cheese 15 Gms
- Coriander Chopped 5 Gms
For Maple Sesame Glaze
- Maple Syrup 50 Ml
- Toasted White Sesame Seeds: 15 Gms
- Butter Yellow: 20 Gms
- Take medium size potatoes and peel them. Using a potato scooper, empty out the potato carefully making into an empty barrel shape
- Save the trimmings of potatoes to be used later in the filling
- In a deep cooking vessel, bring water to boil. Add a teaspoon of turmeric. Blanch the potatoes in this water. Be careful to not to overcook the potatoes
- Once done, take out the potatoes and pat dry to remove any moisture.
- Deep fry the potatoes at 160 degree in oil until light golden and crisp from outside. Keep aside so that the extra oil drips away.
Filling for potato barrels
- Deep fry the potatoes trimmings in 160oc using oil as the medium until light golden crisp. Roughly chop them.
- Fry the whole cashews as well until crisp and light golden in color. Crush them slightly.
- Place a non stick pan over gas stove. Add little ghee and saute the ginger, green chilli and turmeric powder. Add the potato trimmings, whole cashewnuts, raisins, yellow chilli powder, garam masala, chaat masala and roasted cumin powder.
- Cook over medium heat for 7-8 minutes, adjust the seasoning and remove from the gas. Let the mixture cool.
- Add grated processed cheese and chopped coriander to it.
Maple sesame glaze
- In a non stick pan, reduce maple syrup to syrupy stage.
- Emulsify with butter. Once emulsified, keep aside in a warm place.
Assembling the potatoes
- Once the mixture is cool, fill the empty barrels with the potato mixture.
- Cut the stuffed potatoes lengthwise and pan grill on non-stick pan.
- Once done, cut them in to quarters and arrange on a black slate.
- Drizzle the maple emulsion on top of it
- Sprinkle some chat masala and garnish with fresh pomegranate seeds.
Asian Games 2018: Amit Panghal bags gold in men’s boxing
The 22-year-old Armyman defeats Olympic and Asian champion Hasanboy Dusmatov
Amit Panghal (49kg) on Saturday became the eighth Indian boxer to claim the gold medal at the Asian Games with a stunning tactical win over reigning Olympic and Asian champion Hasanboy Dusmatov in the summit clash in Jakarta.
The 22-year-old Armyman, the only Indian to make the finals, prevailed 3-2 against the more fancied Dusmatov, who had beaten him in a split verdict in last year’s world championships.
Amit, making his debut at the Games, showed immense tactical brilliance, especially in defence to outwit the Uzbek, who has an iconic status in international boxing. Dusmatov won the silver in the world championship last year.
But on Satruday, the Haryana boxer extracted sweet revenge for the narrow loss in Hamburg, keeping his range and striking some clean right hooks and jabs to his shorter and slightly edgy opponent.
The Uzbek southpaw, known for his brilliant counter-attacks, seemed wary of the constantly on the move Indian, who refused to fall into the trap of diving in.
The result was a frustrated Dusmatov being forced to lunge forward, which worked perfectly well for the Indian in his counter-attacking game.
A meteoric rise
Saturday’s win marks the highest point Amit’s meteoric rise to the top, starting with an Asian Championships bronze last year. A world quarter-finalist, Amit claimed the silver in the Commonwealth Games.
Earlier this year, he won gold medals at the inaugural India Open and the prestigious Strandja memorial in Bulgaria.
Vijender Singh and Vikas Krishan were the last set of male gold medallists for India at the Asian Games. They won the yellow metal at the 2010 Guangzhou edition. Vikas (75kg) settled for the bronze this time.
In the 2014 Games, M.C. Mary Kom was the lone gold medallist for India.
Indian women’s hockey team reaches first Asian Games final in 20 years
India will now face Japan, who upset five-time champions South Korea 2-0 in the other semifinal
For 40 minutes on Wednesday, the Indian women’s hockey team played nothing like it had through the tournament here so far, or to the potential it had shown in the league stages.
It missed chances, messed passes and misfired shots at goal. By the end of it all, it managed to enter the final of the Asian Games for only the third time ever, and the first in 20 years, with a hard-fought 1-0 win over China in the semifinals.
It was a disjointed, unsettled India in the first two quarters. It left large swathes of field vacant, refrained from using aerial balls and conceded turnovers by the dozen. And still the team dominated in every department.
That China could not take advantage of it was more because of its own inability than anything else. Instead, it tried building up a slow and steady rhythm but with its own forwards being off-target, the Indians’ clumsiness went unpunished.
Coach Sjoerd Marijne, meanwhile, was equally uncharacteristic through it all. He smiled, held his girls’ faces, explained calmly what he wanted them to do, encouraged and controlled his screaming.
The only time he got animated was when the umpire refused to play advantage as the ball went in and awarded India a penalty corner instead. That led to the only goal of the match, Gurjit Kaur’s pinpointed flick landing in the top corner of the net in the 39th minute.
The second half was a different game, the girls finally began stretching the Chinese defence and found the gaps.
“I only told them that they were playing like they did against Ireland in the World Cup, being too reactive and not proactive. I explained that this was their moment, the World Cup was over and this was a different competition. I was nervous in the first half because they were not playing the way we had planned. Second half, I was fine, they were doing the right things and I knew a goal would come,” he smiled.
Rani Rampal, playing through shoulder and ankle injuries and surviving on painkillers since landing here, admitted there was over-dribbling early on.
“It sometimes happens under pressure. But we learnt from our mistakes and now we are into the final, we will take the lessons from this match ahead,” she said.
Up next would be Japan, which upset defending champion Korea 2-0 with an attacking game that saw tested and rattled the Korean defence repeatedly in the other semifinal.
A win would hand India the ticket to Tokyo 2020, and Marijne and his girls are focussed on it.
See why marriage is important for everyone
Often we come across people who do not like the idea of getting married. In fact, as years go by, more and more people are losing trust in the institution. With casual relationships getting commoner, often people decide to do nothing other than live in. But marriage is not just a ritual, it is far more than that. Swipe up to know why everyone should consider marriage.
Mumbaikars willing to marry outside city: Survey
Findings of a recent survey reveal that a major percentage of Mumbaikars are willing to look for marriage matches outside the state.
MarathiMatrimony, the matchmaking service from BharatMatrimony for the Marathi community, studied the demographic patterns of the registered users and their preferences.
The data revealed fascinating insights on how Marathis choose to get married.
These findings are given below:
• The top five cities that witnessed maximum number of registrations are Mumbai, Pune, Thane, Nasik and Nagpur. For Marathis living outside Maharashtra, the top five cities with the highest number of registrations are Bengaluru, Goa, Belgaum, Hyderabad and Vadodara
• The user base comprised of 34.7 percent female registrants and 65.3 percent males.
• 77 percent of females who are seeking for a life partner are between the ages of 20 and 29, while 90 percent of men are in the age group of 25 to 34.
• Going with the trend of being self-dependent and having their own way in taking important life decisions, 57.8 percent of female profiles in the state are registered by themselves, while it’s 80.8 percent for men. As far as Marathis living outside the state, its 49.6 percent and 74.3 percent respectively
• The top profession listed by women who have registered in the website is “software professional” while for men it’s “business owners or entrepreneurs”
• Interestingly, majority of Mumbaikars are ready to marry a partner outside the state, with just 23.1 percent of women and 12.6 percent of men stating that they want to find a match only in Mumbai
• In terms of family values, 40 percent of Marathi women have specified moderate, 45.4 percent – traditional, 12.05 percent – liberal and 2.45 percent – orthodox in their profile. Comparatively men seem to be more traditional with 50.8 percent specifying it, while 31.5 percent said moderate, 10.6 percent said liberal and 6.7 percent orthodox
• In tune with the mobile and internet trends, 72.7 percent of girls registered using app/ mobile WAP and 27.4 percent used desktop, while men was 79.64 percent and 20.37 percent respectively
• In terms of educational qualification, 29.66 percent females had a Bachelor’s degree, 19.82 percent engineers, 8.56 percent had a management degree, 13.36 percent had a master’s degree, and for males it was 29.18 percent, 20.85 percent, 8.54 percent and 6.92 percent respectively
Commenting on the market trends, Murugavel Janakiraman, founder and CEO, Matrimony.com said, “Maharashtra is a huge and important market for us and we’re stepping up our efforts to reach more Maharashtrians. We’ve chosen Marathi actress Mrunmayee Deshpande as the face of MarathiMatrimony in our recent campaign. Incidentally she found her life partner through MarathiMatrimony, which is the preferred matchmaking brand for Marathis when it comes to finding a life partner.”
Remedies To Help You Get Rid Of Manglik Dosh
Mangal Dosha is known by other names such as Kuja Dosha, Bhom Dosha or Angarakha Dosha. It is a commonly found dosha that may affect men and women equally. When a person with manglik dosha marries a non-manglik person, it causes severe outcomes, resulting in death of the spouse or chances of getting physically paralyzed. It also leads to continuous fights, arguments which may even end up in divorce. Heer are seven astrological remedies to overcome Manglik Dosha.
* From the first Tuesday of a new month in a rising moon period Start a fast. Chant the Hanuman Chalisa daily.
* From a Tuesday start chanting the Sunder Kand from the Tulsi Ramcharitmanas for 40 days continuously.
* Being a Manglik one has to undergo Kumbha Vivah, Vishnu Vivah and Ashwatha Vivah. Ashwatha vivaha means the marriage with peepal or banana tree and cut the tree after that. Kumbha Vivah, also called Ghata Vivah means marriage with a pot and to break it after that.
* Keep orange colured idol of Lord Ganesha in worship room and worship daily.
* If both the partners are Mangliks then this dosha gets nullified. All its ill- effects are cancelled and the two can have a blessed and happy married life.
Kerala floods: PM announces interim relief of ₹500 crore against State’s demand of ₹2000 crore
Soon after a review meeting at the Southern Naval Command in Kochi on Saturday to discuss the devastating floods in Kerala, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an interim relief of ₹ 500 crore against a demand of ₹ 2,000 crore made by the State government.
This is apart from the Central assistance of ₹ 100 crore announced earlier.
Mr. Modi also announced an ex-gratia of ₹ 2 lakh each to the kin of the deceased and ₹ 50,000 each to those seriously injured in the floods, both taken from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund.
At the meeting, which was also attended by Union Minister of State K.J. Alphons, Kerala Revenue Minister E. Chandrasekharan, Chief Secretary Tom Jose and Additional Chief Secretary and Relief Commissioner P.H. Kurien, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan informed Mr. Modi that preliminary estimates had pegged Kerala’s losses due to the floods at ₹ 19,512 crore. The real extent of the loss would only be known after the flood waters receded, he said.
While Mr. Modi was originally slated to do an aerial survey of the devastation before the review meeting, inclement weather conditions forced the survey to be suspended. However, he made a short aerial sortie along the Aluva-Thrissur stretch after the meeting was over.
“Since May 29, when the monsoon made landfall in Kerala, a total of 357 people have lost their lives until now. Crops over 40,000 hectares have been lost and over 26,000 houses suffered total or partial damage. The State has nearly 3,53,000 people sheltered in 3,026 relief camps right now. There has been loss of livestock too, with 46,000 cattle and over two lakh poultry estimated to have perished in the floods. Public Works Department (PWD) roads along 16,000 km and local roads along 82,000 km besides 134 bridges suffered severe damage. While damage to the roads is estimated to have made the State poorer by ₹ 13,000, loss of bridges costs another ₹ 800 crore,” Mr. Vijayan is said to have told the Prime Minister.
He also requested immediate allocation of 20 more helicopters and 600 motorised boats and a reinforcement of the NDRF with 40 more teams, four Army engineer task forces and 10 more Navy teams.
Other schemes and instructions
Mr. Modi asked insurance companies to hold special camps for assessment and timely release of compensation to the affected families and beneficiaries under the social security schemes. Directions have also been issued for early clearance of claims under Fasal Bima Yojana to agriculturists, the Prime Minister’s Office said.
Mr. Modi asked the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to repair main damagaed national highways on priority. The Central public sector units such as the NTPC and PGCIL have been directed to render all possible assistance to the State government in restoring power lines. Villagers, whose kutcha (unplastered) houses have been destroyed would be provided Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Gramin (PMAY-G) houses on priority irrespective of their priority in the Permanent Wait List of the PMAY-G.
Under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme ₹ 5.5 cr. person days have been sanctioned in the labour budget for 2018-19. Further request for incurring the person days would be considered as per the requirement projected by the State. Under the Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture, farmers would be provided assistance to re-plant damaged horticulture crops.
NRI donates Rs 1.22 cr to Red Cross
An 84-year-old NRI based in Hoshiarpur for quite some time has set a new milestone in philanthropy by handing over a cheque for Rs 1 crore to the Red Cross here, in what is probably the largest amount given to the charity by an individual in one go.
Piare Lal Saini, who had moved to the UK in 1965 to work there in an industry, was impressed by the work being done by the charity and decided to donate his entire savings for the noble cause. But before doing so, Saini thoroughly convinced himself that the amount won’t be misused. For this, he donated Rs 22 lakh earlier in smaller fractions over two years and ensured it was spent judiciously. Asked how he would meet his needs, Saini says the pension he has been drawing from the UK should be enough. “My wife passed away in 1989 and I have been living alone. My children are well-settled abroad and all of them supported my decision,” he says. The grant he has given would be used for various welfare projects, including deformity-correction surgeries for foot, hand and cleft lip; funding studies of poor students, setting up a canteen for needy youth pursuing vocational courses and upgrading a Jan Aushadhi store. Besides, the dilapidated building of the Red Cross Society would be repaired and new gadgets bought for the physiotherapy centre, Naresh Gupta, Red Cross Society secretary, said. Deputy Commissioner Vipul Ujjwal said Saini’s perhaps could be the biggest amount donated by any individual to the Red Cross in one go. “We are trying to verify it. But we are thankful to the man who selflessly chose to donate all his life’s savings. This will encourage more people to come forward to help the needy,” Ujjwal added.
Rakesh Jhunjhunwala donates Rs 5,000 cr in charity, but Dalal Street has poor score on philanthropy
When stock market wizard Rakesh Jhunjhunwala decided to open his purse strings and make an announcement of giving away Rs 5,000 crore in charity, it made headlines for that it is a rare declaration from Dalal Street in recent times.
The list of who’s who share their personal wealth for noble causes and to NGOs in the country are many in Corporate India with the House of Tatas leading the list of donors. In 2014, Infosys co-founder NR Narayana Murthy, Nandan Nilekani, K Dinesh and SD Shibulal’s wife sold 32.6 million shares valued at Rs 6,484 crore ($1.05 billion). In 2016, Infosys co-founders S Gopalakrishnan and SD Shibulal, and some of the latter’s family members sold 7.5 million equity shares of the company for Rs 862 crore on exchanges to partly aid philanthropic activities.
The recently published Hurun List revealed the top 10 of the country’s richest in India Inc who also figured in the 2015 Hurun India Philanthropy list. Azim Premji, who is sixth on India’s rich list, was at number one position in the 2015 philanthropy list. The others who were on top 10 in the rich list includes Mukesh Ambani, Pallonji Mistry and Shiv Nadar also figure in the Philanthropy list
Magsaysay Awards For Sonam Wangchuk, Bharat Vatwani
Manila: Two Indian nationals, Bharat Vatwani and Sonam Wangchuk, on Friday were given the Ramon Magsaysay award, popularly known as Asia’s Nobel Prize.
At a ceremony in Manila, Cambodian activist Youk Chhang, Filipino Howard Dee, Vietnam’s Vo Thi Hoang Yen and East Timore’s Maria de Lourdes Martins Cruz were also honored for their work.
“All are unafraid to take on large causes. All have refused to give up despite meagre resources, daunting adversity and strong opposition,” Carmencita Abella, president of the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation said, Efe reported.
Also Read: Bezwada Wilson, T M Krishna win Ramon Magsaysay Award
Vatwani has dedicated his life for rescuing mentally ill people from the streets of India – who number around 400,000 according to estimates – and providing them with shelter and treatment through his Shraddha Rehabilitaion Foundation.
Since 1988, Vatwani has helped around 7,000 mental patients, reuniting many of them with their families.
Wangchuk has been recognised for “his uniquely systematic, collaborative and community-driven reform of learning systems in remote northern India, thus improving the life opportunities of Ladakhi youth, and his constructive engagement of all sectors in local society to harness science and culture creatively for economic progress, thus setting an example for minority peoples in the world”.
Chhang survived the large-scale violence and oppression of the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia and returned to his country after living in exile to head the Documentation Center, which has gathered evidence about the regime’s crimes against humanity.
Also Read: Nobel Prize Series-India 2018 in Goa to Host 5 Nobel Laureates
The institution has collected and digitized around a million documents since 1995 from around 23,000 forced-labour camps, where around two million people were killed, and recorded the testimonies of around 10,000 victims and aggressors.
Dee, the former Philippine ambassador to the Vatican and Malta, as well as a former negotiator with the communist rebels, was honoured for working for peace through sustainable development and poverty reduction in areas affected by armed conflict.
Dee founded the Assisi Development Foundation in 1975 along with Jesuit priest Francisco Araneta and the organization has carried out more than 4,100 projects benefiting around 10.5 million Filipinos.
Martins Cruz established the Secular Institute of Brothers and Sisters in Christ, which takes care of the poorest sections of the society in East Timor with projects in health, education and agriculture, while Vietnam’s Vo Thi Hoang Yen has dedicated herself to improving the quality of life of people with disabilities.
Padma Vibhushan for P. Parameswaran
P. Parameswaran, Director, Bharatiya Vichar Kendra, has been conferred the Padma Vibhushan, the country’s second highest civilian honour. Philipose Mar Chrysostom, Senior Metropolitan of the Mar Thomas Syrian Church, has been conferred the Padma Bhushan while traditional healer Lakshmikutty and palliative care physician M.R.Rajagopal were selected for the Padma Shri. The awards were announced on Thursday.
One of the seniormost RSS pracharaks and ideologues in Kerala, Mr. Parameswaran was associated with the Ramakrishna Mission and Advaita Ashram, Kalady. He has authored several books on social, cultural and religious themes. Mar Chrysostom, who turned 100 last year, is the longest serving bishop in India.
A sublime personality, he is known for his sense of humour, pleasant talk, love of humanity and concern for the socially and economically backward sections.
A native of Vithura near here, Ms. Lakshmikutty is known for her treatment of snake and insect bites using herbal medicines.
Popularly known as Vanamuthassy (Grandmother of the jungle), the 75-year-old lives in a small hut in a tribal settlement and teaches at the Kerala Folklore Akademi.
Dr.Rajagopal is the founder chairman of Pallium India, a palliative care non-governmental organisation. He played a key role in the creation of the National Programme for Palliative Care and contributed to the amendment of the draconian Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act of 1985, allowing millions to access pain relief.
The Padma awards are announced on the eve of Republic Day every year.
Siddeshwara Swami declines Padma award
Siddeshwara Swamiji of Jnanayogashrama has “respectfully returned” the Padma Shree award for him announced by the Centre.
In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the seer, while expressing gratitude for selecting him for the award, has said that he is a spiritual being and does not need an award. “This honour should be conferred on people who have great accomplishments to their credit in various fields. Hence I am returning this award with respect. Don’t think otherwise,” says the letter, signed by the seer.
The seer is now camping in Kalaburagi. It is learnt that he invited Rajya Sabha member Basavaraj Patil Sedam and handed over the letter to him, asking him to give it to the prime minister.
the fearless woman – Bytesize Science
Known anonymously as “SM,” this woman suffers from an unknown disease that has caused her amygdala (part of the brain that controls fear) to completely deteriorate. Now a mother of three, SM is not able to feel fear, no matter how scary the situation is. In a study that tested her fearing abilities, SM watched the scariest of scary movies and touched a snake’s tongue.
When SM was a child, however, she remembers being afraid of the dark, but by the time she’d reached early adolescence, her amygdala was already destroyed. In fact, she even describes an encounter with a man when she was walking through a park at night. He ran up to her and put a knife to her throat. Instead of being terrified, she calmly told him he would have to go through her guardian angel first, which scared him off. Today, she describes the experience as “strange.”
Vietnamese farmer Thai Ngoc suffered a fever in 1973, which seemed like nothing much at first. When the fever cleared up, he had developed a bad case of insomnia. Thinking it would go away in a week, he didn’t give it much thought. Now, over 40 years later, he hasn’t slept since the night of the fever. After over 12,000 nights of no sleep, you would think he’d be dead. However, after examinations, the only thing wrong with him were minor liver problems. The only complaint from Ngoc was that he’s a little grumpy from not experiencing sleep for over three decades. He tried countless home remedies and even tried drowning himself in alcohol. Nothing seems to work. So why is his insomnia persisting for so long?
One of the explanations could be a phenomenon called “microsleep.” Micro naps occur when a part of your brain gets tired and decides to quickly take a few seconds to nap. Most everyone has probably experienced these when tired—our brain temporarily shuts off and then goes back on again. Falling asleep while driving is a good example of microsleep. This could be how Ngoc has been getting by for so long.
By now, most people know about the incredibly strange condition called “synesthesia,” which is when someone’s senses are crossed. For instance, when they eat a red skittle, it may taste like cherry, even if it didn’t actually have a flavor. Some people can feel colors with their eyes closed. For Elisabeth Sulser, her sight, hearing, and taste have been mixed, allowing her to see colorful sound waves and taste music. Assuming that this was a normal thing, she had been living her entire life thinking other people could also taste and see music and sounds. However, when Sulser realized no one else had these capabilities, she felt alone because she couldn’t share what she was feeling with anyone. Synesthesia isn’t all good, though. People who can see sounds are constantly distracted in noisy areas and—as you can imagine—get headaches quite frequently.
Luckily, Sulser is a musician, so these abilities help her out significantly, letting her form symphonies and melodies out of colors. While still a mysterious condition, Sulser’s synesthesia doesn’t seem to have any adverse affects, especially since she only sees music (instead of regular sounds).
Peeking into the future of surgery with Mixed Reality
Dr Vishal Rao, oncologist and head and neck surgeon at HCG Cancer Centre in Bengaluru, dreams of mixed reality operating rooms in the future. The well-known health practitioner takes his first step in the direction with a pilot of mixed-reality spectacles in his OT for minor procedures. He discusses the invention in detail. Edited excerpts:
Can you describe the working of MR spectacles?
We have currently started its use in simple minor procedures to pilot its utility. The surgeon mounts the MR spectacles with its hand-held processor and prepares for his surgical procedure. The OT technicians or assistants can then, through their own mobile phones, mirror any scan images as desired by the surgeon to reflect on his eye wear. Thus, while doing these minor procedures, the surgeon is able to get a comprehensive visualisation of the tumour and compare it with images.
We also see a great deal of use for patient care. We recently had a patient who was feeling confined to his hospital room and feeling low. During my morning rounds, I asked him what he likes to do during his free time. He replied, ‘Sit quietly by a beach in Mumbai!’ We got him to wear immersive VR gear and took him to Mumbai’s Chowpatti on a VR tour. He got lost for a few minutes in time and space. He came out with a smile and said ‘I felt I re-lived a dream’. Simple steps such as these can have a deep impact on patients who are going through chemotherapy, pain, depression, and psychological disorders. VR is a great tool to use for healing.
What is your vision with mixed reality operating rooms?
Mixed reality (MR) or hybrid reality is the merging of real and virtual worlds to produce new environments and visualisations, where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time. We found this concept had phenomenal potential to shape the present and future of assisted technologies for surgeons in operating rooms. What’s fascinating about MR are the possibilities. For example, while we are operating, we could get feeds from the system showing us the CT scans or MRI pictures of our patients, patient reports or even assisted avatars from a mentor! MR helps you remain in the physical operating room and yet keep you connected to the virtual world, encompassing both augmented reality (AR) and augmented virtuality via immersive technology. We have found it helps with education, training, and distant learning.
While AR is being applied in medicine in the West, where does India stand?
India has been rather slow to adopt and embrace AR in healthcare. This primarily stems from the fact that our systems lack cross-disciplinary integrations at point-of-care levels. While there are sporadic attempts to bridge this, they haven’t been sustained yet.
What are the challenges it poses?
We have taken special care to ensure that the devices do not disturb original vision, and hence the risks are minimal. In fact, these devices also have additional clip-on spectacle frames for people with eyesight disorders to avoid headaches. The current challenges we are working on to overcome are: How to support these wearables to be used for an extended time duration of 3-4 hours without causing any eye strain, creating 4k HD quality images for demonstration, and creating advanced avatars with interactive capabilities
From where is the technology being sourced?
HCG is currently working with various groups in India and abroad to source hardware and also trying to make some of our own with customised spectacles. Most of what we have used until now is sourced from the US. We hope India will soon be at the forefront for hardware innovations too, rather than depending on the West.
Simple and cost-effective
a) Immersive VR (3D and 360-degree capability) can be a great tool for training surgeons on specific surgical techniques in courses. Often, most surgeons tend to learn new techniques on cadavers and hands-on training. But with AR and MR, this can get a lot easier.
b) You can have surgeons’ avatars as mentors. A surgeon can be present as a virtual guide while some surgeon in some other part of the country is performing a surgery in real time and guide him on finer tips and suggestions. This can be an assisted mentorship programme using AR.
c) VILT (Virtual Instructor-Led Training) platforms allow us to use VR-AR interfaces for conducting online surgical classrooms and live relay of demonstration surgeries across the globe. Thus, we may not need to spend huge amounts to travel to another city or country, to attend a course or be present there in that operating room or auditorium; we could just teleport you in mixed reality.
d) Assisted AR for surgery can help build your patient’s reports, such as scans during surgery, which can help in planning and improving precision.
The inventor and fighter
Dr Vishal Rao has developed a voice prosthesis that enables throat cancer patients to speak after surgery (₹50). In 2017 he got the Judy Wilkenfeld Award for International Tobacco Control Excellence.
India not on track to meet 2030 targets of reducing child mortality
The number of neonatal deaths remains around 2.4 times higher than the target
Almost half of the districts in India are not on track to reduce the mortality rates of newborns and meet the target set under the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030, a study has found.
India still has the world’s highest number of deaths among children under five and newborns, around 1.1 million per year.
The study, by Jayanta Bora and Nandita Saikia from Austria-based non-profit International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, is the first to evaluate neonatal and under-five mortality at a district level in India, as well as a state level.
Under the World Health Organization’s Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG3), all countries should aim to reduce neonatal mortality to 12 deaths per 1,000 live births per year, and under-five mortality to a maximum of 25. Researchers used data from the National Family Health Survey, a survey of the full birth history of women aged 15-49, carried out most recently in 2015-16, and used the data from the previous round conducted in 2005-06 to model future trends.
Poverty and neonatal deaths
They found that the various measures employed in India have cut the number of deaths of under-fives by around half in in the past 23 years, from 109 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990 to around 50 in 2013, but this is still double the target.
The number of neonatal deaths remains around 2.4 times higher than the target, at around 29 deaths per 1,000 live births. The picture, however, is very complex. For example, the under-five mortality rate for boys in the South West district of Delhi is 6.3 per 1,000 live births, well within SDG3 targets.
However, in Rayagada in Odisha, the mortality rate is 141.7. The researchers found that just nine per cent of districts in India overall have so far reached the SDG3 targets for neonatal mortality, with 14 per cent reaching the targets for under-five mortality.
The vast majority of the worst performing states on mortality rates are in the poorer states of north-central and eastern India, although there are some high-risk districts in richer, more developed states such as Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat.
Almost all districts in the most populous states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh will fail to achieve the SDG3 goal on neonatal mortality. In Uttar Pradesh, the research showed that not a single district would meet the target for under-five mortality.
Socioeconomic and geographic disparities
There is also some variation between genders. The female neonatal mortality rate is below that of males, which is expected as this is the global trend. However, this is not the case with under-five mortality, indicating gender discrimination.
“The state-level mortality rate does not reflect the inter-district variation in neonatal or under-five mortality rates,” said Bora. “While some districts of a particular state may already have achieved the Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG3) target 15 years in advance, some districts will not achieve this even by the 2030 target time. Mortality rates vary enormously across the districts.”
Much of the variation is likely due to socioeconomic and geographic disparities. District-level female literacy rates vary from 24-89 per cent while urbanisation ranges from 0-100 per cent.
There are also large differences in the implementation of mortality reduction schemes and the accessibility and availability of healthcare. “It is important to note that India experienced the highest reduction in mortality rate in the period 2005-2016. Therefore, to achieve the SDG-related mortality goals at the district level, it needs to intervene more rigorously than ever,” said Saikia. “The majority of Indian districts need to make a giant leap to reduce their neonatal and under-five mortality rates.”
Will campaign to liberalise abortion laws: Irish PM
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Saturday he would campaign for the liberalisation of the country’s restrictive abortion laws ahead of a referendum in the coming months, adding that his views on the issue had evolved.
Mr. Varadkar’s government plans to hold the referendum as soon as May to loosen some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world.
His party Fine Gael has agreed to let individual members campaign on either side of the debate.
While the country remains overwhelmingly Catholic — a complete ban on abortion was only lifted in 2013 — public opinion has become far more socially liberal in recent years.
Mr. Varadkar, a medical doctor by training, in 2014 described himself as pro-life, but also said the rules in Ireland, where terminations are only allowed in cases where the mother’s life is in danger, were too tight.
“I believe Ireland’s abortion laws are too restrictive and need to be liberalised,” Mr. Varadkar said in an interview with the BBC radio on Saturday. “I’ll be campaigning for them to be changed.”
No objection to restoration of Vijay Mallya’s properties to banks: ED
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) told a special court in Mumbai on Tuesday that it had no objection to restoration of fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya’s properties to a consortium of banks, but the banks should give an undertaking to return the amount claimed by them to the court in the future.
The central probe agency submitted its affidavit in response to an application filed by the consortium of banks, led by the State Bank of India (SBI), seeking restoration of properties of Mallya, who is accused of defaulting on loans worth over Rs 9,000 crore.
According to the consortium, the amount claimed by the banks was around Rs 6,200 crore.
In its affidavit filed before special PMLA judge M S Azmi, the ED said it had left the matter to the best judgement of the court to grant the prayer made by the applicant (consortium of banks).
“However, in case the court deems it fit to allow the application, it shall take an undertaking from them (consortium of banks) to return the said amount with interest, in case the court at any point deems ‘fit and appropriate’ in the ‘interest of justice’ to deposit the amount before it or to the complainant without delay,” the affidavit said.
The agency further said that since all the applicants, except one, were public banks, the money sought to be recovered was public money, restoration of assets in their favour was in public interest. “In light of these facts and circumstances, it is prayed that the court may graciously be pleased to allow the instant application in the interest of justice and/or pass any such order that it deems fit in the interest of justice,” the ED submitted.
Mallya (63) last month became the first businessman to be declared as a fugitive economic offender (FEO) under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, which came into existence in August, 2018.
He had left the country on March 2, 2016. A London court had, on December 10, 2018, ordered his extradition.
Mallya’s extradition had been approved by the UK home secretary, the British government said on Monday, in a major blow to the liquor baron and boosting India’s efforts to bring back the fugitive businessman.
Subsequently, the business tycoon said he would initiate the process to file an appeal against his extradition.
Indian economy to grow at 7.2 pc in 2018-19, up from 6.5 pc last year: govt
The Indian economy is expected to grow at 7.2 per cent in 2018-19, a tad higher from 6.7 per cent in the previous fiscal, mainly due to improvement in the performance of agriculture and manufacturing sectors, the Central Statistics Office said on Monday.
Releasing the first advance estimates of National Income for 2018-19, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) said, “The growth in GDP during 2018-19 is estimated at 7.2 per cent as compared to the growth rate of 6.7 per cent in 2017-18.”
“Real GVA (Gross Value Added) is anticipated to grow at 7 per cent in the current fiscal as against 6.5 per cent in 2017-18,” it said.
According to the CSO data, the expansion in activities in ‘agriculture, forestry and fishing’ is likely to increase to 3.8 per cent in the current fiscal from 3.4 per cent in the preceding year.
The growth of the manufacturing sector is expected to accelerate to 8.3 per cent this fiscal, up from 5.7 per cent in 2017-18.
The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) had expanded by 7.1 per cent in 2016-17 and 8.2 per cent in 2015-16.
Christian Michel not cooperating, says CBI, court extends custody by 5 days
The CBI on Monday said that AgustaWestland ‘middleman’ Christian Michel was not cooperating with the investigation and has been evasive in giving answers.
Michel was produced before a Special CBI court after the expiry of his five-day CBI remand. The investigating agency sought another 9 days remand of Micheal for custodial interrogation from the court. The court however, granted 5-day Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) custody of Michel.
The CBI told the court, “We need to confront him with LR (letters rogatory) that have been received from five countries.”
Michel withdrew his earlier bail plea and filed fresh detailed bail application.
Meanwhile, the CBI agreed to give British High Commission access to Michel. “We have already been approached by British counselors. We have allowed their plea of keeping their own counsel,” the CBI said.
On CBI application for seeking specimen of handwriting and signature, the Special CBI Court asked Michel’s counsel to file a reply and said it will hear the application on Tuesday
The mad, bad and dangerous brother of Charlotte, Emily and Anne
He failed to become as successful as his sisters and suffered bouts of addiction to alcohol and opiates, But Branwell was always been in the shadow of his more famous siblings. But this is the year he comes out into the light.
The most famous painting of the Brontë sisters – in fact, the only group portrait in existence – hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in London, depicting diminutive Anne, Emily and eldest sister Charlotte arranged around a small table holding a book, the first two sisters separated from the third by a pillar.
The painting was first mentioned in 1853, by the novelist and short story writer Elizabeth Gaskell, who published a biography of Charlotte Brontë in 1857, and is thought to have been painted around 1834, when the sisters were all in their teens.
The artist was none other than the lone male sibling, Branwell, and over the almost two centuries since it was painted at the family home in Haworth, West Yorkshire, a pale ghost has gradually appeared beneath the pillar that separates the sisters.
It is Branwell himself, as tests proved in 2015, originally the fourth figure in the portrait, but then painted out and replaced by the pillar by himself. It is a fitting metaphor for the life of the brother who is often described as the black sheep of the Brontë family, and who has forever been in the shadows of his more famous and successful sisters.
However, this is the year of Branwell, when the bicentenary of his birth is marked with a year-long series of events and exhibitions at Haworth’s Parsonage, the old home of the family and now a museum where visitors can step back in time and see exactly how the Brontës lived.
The sisters, of course, are known the world over for their collective body of work including Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Very little is widely known about Branwell, other than he had ambitions to be a successful artist which were never realised, and died aged 31 after spiralling into addiction to alcohol, laudanum and opium. There are even conspiracy theories which abound which claim Branwell actually wrote his sisters’ books for them.
But while it’s tempting to view Branwell as a Byronesque, proto-Beat Poet figure who suffered for his art through drink and drugs, the reality is he led a rather tragic life littered with failures, fraught ambitions, and unfulfilled dreams.
We’re in the middle of some major anniversary celebrations in Brontëland. Charlotte was born in 1816, Branwell 1817, Emily in 1818 and Anne in 1820. With no bicentenary birth to commemorate in 2019, that will instead be given over at the Parsonage to marking Patrick Brontë, father of the siblings, and his coming to Haworth where he served as curate and outlived all his children by a long way.
But this is Branwell’s year, and curating a series of events and exhibitions at the Parsonage is the poet, playwright and novelist Simon Armitage. On 7 October, at the museum, Armitage will be in conversation about Branwell’s life with the actor Adam Nagaitis, who portrayed the Brontë brother in last year’s Sally Wainwright BBC drama about the family, To Walk Invisible.
“To a certain extent, I’ve always been aware of Branwell,” says Armitage, who was born in Huddersfield and now lives in Holmfirth. “But I suppose he was always a background figure in the Brontë story. He did literally paint himself out of his own portrait of the family.”
The Parsonage asked Armitage, who says growing up in West Yorkshire meant the Brontë story was “always part of the landscape for me”, to curate this year’s Branwell events. “It’s not really a celebration,” he says carefully. “I think that’s the wrong word when talking about Branwell. But it is a marking of the 200th anniversary of his birth. I think what I’m hoping is that this year will raise Branwell’s profile a bit. I suppose it’s something of a re-branding exercise.”
Branwell was actually the fourth of the Brontë children to be born. The two eldest siblings, Maria and Elizabeth, died as young children in 1825. The family’s mother, Maria Branwell, had died in 1821 and her sister Elizabeth had moved in to the Parsonage to help Patrick with the four surviving children, who had become a close-knit group.
Largely educated at the Parsonage by Elizabeth and visiting tutors, Branwell was a precocious child with a not inconsiderable intellect. He was red haired and quick-witted, and had a fiery disposition. He had ambitions to both be an artist and a writer, and his gregarious personality and creative impulses had an effect on his sisters, of that Armitage is in no doubt.
“I think he must have been a huge influence on his sisters in their creative writing and creative thinking. He was exciting and interesting, and we can only speculate about the extent to which his escapades fuelled their creativity,” he says.
Others have speculated more closely about Branwell’s involvement in the sisters’ work; indeed there has long been a “Branwellian” movement, since the 1920s at least, which firmly believes he actually wrote Wuthering Heights, if not more of the Brontë books.
It’s a theory that’s roundly dismissed as nonsense these days, and which was satirised in Stella Gibbons’ 1932 novel Cold Comfort Farm, in which the character Mr Mybug is writing a book devoted to the conspiracy theory. Mr Mybug opines, “You see, it’s obvious that it’s his book and not Emily’s. No woman could have written that. It’s male stuff…”
The main argument (apart from, of course, that the whole idea is the sort of sexist claptrap roundly taken down in Joanna Russ’s 1983 book, How To Suppress Women’s Writing) against the whole idea is that while Branwell had very lofty ideas and was certainly not backwards at putting himself forwards, he probably didn’t have the talent and drive to do it.
Branwell had announced early on that he was going to be a poet and a painter. According to Armitage, he couldn’t have set the bar any higher. “He chose poetry and oil painting which were probably the most difficult disciplines to progress in at that time,” he says.
At the age of 21, Branwell set up in an artist’s studio in nearby Bradford, and while he made a lot of friends in the artistic community, he spent more time in the pubs than at his easel, and consequently didn’t make much money. He then took on a series of jobs that he managed to completely fail at, from private tutor to a family, at which he lasted a year, to clerk on the railways, from where he was sacked after being unable to explain discrepancies in the books.
Most spectacularly – and scandalously – Branwell was roundly dismissed from a job as tutor at a large house at Thorp Green, near York, a job sister Emily had secured for him after she had served there as governess for three years. The reason for his dismissal? Apparently he had embarked on an affair with the lady of the house.
It’s that and the fact that for the remaining three years of his life, back at home, unable to either fulfil his dreams at writing and painting or hold down a steady job, that contributed to Branwell’s reputation as the bad boy of the Brontës.
“Really, his talents didn’t take him much beyond his teenage years,” says Armitage. “The lack of progress with his painting must have really frustrated him. His talent had dried up at the point when for most people they were beginning to enjoy artistic accomplishment.
“There’s certainly a picaresque element to his life, which some people seem to find quite exciting. But it’s more poignant and sad, really. If Branwell was being judged by today’s standards then we would certainly say he suffered from mental health problems and addiction issues.”
As part of this year’s Branwell commemorations at the Parsonage, they have recreated his studio, and while it is comprised of non-original items (unlike the other rooms in the museum which feature the exact clothing, furniture and decorations that the Brontës wore and used) it has been painstakingly researched and sourced and is everything you would want the den of the wayward Brontë brother to be. Unmade bed, filthy sheets, books scattered across the floor.
But while Branwell never made it as an artist or writer (he submitted several pieces to magazines of the time and had them all returned), and never managed to cling on to a job for long, we perhaps shouldn’t feel too sorry for him.
“He was usually the author of his own downfall,” says Armitage. “His jobs always ended in disaster. I’m sure his heart wasn’t in any of them, they were never what he aspired to, but he could never make a success of what he wanted to be. He never produced anything of a high enough quality. He felt a failure.”
What might have made things worse for Branwell was that, as Armitage puts it, “as he was nosediving, his sisters’ stars were rising”.
Indeed they were. Although forced to publish under male, or at least very gender-neutral names, because writing novels just wasn’t what young ladies did in the mid 19th century, Anne, Emily and Charlotte were on the path to success, and literary immortality. Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights were both published in 1847, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall in 1948.
Unfortunately, it’s likely that Branwell, by this point in a mire of alcoholism and addiction to opiates, was probably so far gone that he didn’t even know about his sisters’ success. He became ill, probably from tuberculosis exacerbated by the punishment he was putting his body through, in the summer of 1848 and died on 24 September.
Most people who beat a path up the cobbled street of Haworth to the Parsonage go in search of the sisters, Charlotte, Anne and Emily. But this year at least they’ll be leaving with more of a sense of who Branwell, the wayward son, actually was.
If he left no other legacy, at least he created the only surviving portrait of our greatest literary dynasty, and though in a fit of pique and frustration he painted himself out of it, he’ll always be there, in the background, the black sheep of the Brontës.
Anti-suicide measures should be implemented swiftly and strictly
Last year, five students committed suicide at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, one of the most prestigious engineering colleges in the country. Although the rigours of academics and the pressure to succeed are higher in engineering colleges, they are not the only ones facing the brunt of student suicides. Between 2011 and 2016, 49,249 students in India killed themselves. Statistics from the National Crime Records Bureau show that 6,654 students committed suicide in 2012; 8,423 in 2013; 8,068 in 2014; and 8,934 in 2015. The number went up to 9,474 in 2016, says NCRB data shared by the ministry of home affairs in Parliament last month.
Concerned over the spate of suicides in our colleges, the ministry of human resource development has circulated a manual to the country’s higher education institutions, asking the authorities to adopt measures to prevent students from taking the extreme step. The manual, prepared on the basis of a study conducted across the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) by IIT-Kharagpur, lists measures such as early identification of suicidal tendencies, a buddy programme and a double-blind helpline where both the caller and the counsellor are unaware of each other’s identity. Other experts have suggested proactive steps at the adolescent stage itself with the introduction of mental health in school curricula.
One big drawback in India’s fight against suicides is the inadequate mental health infrastructure in the country. The country has only 0.301 psychiatrists for every 100,000 people suffering from mental illnesses. There were just 3,800 psychiatrists, 898 clinical psychologists, 850 psychiatric social workers and 1,500 psychiatric nurses nationwide, according to a reply from the ministry of health and family welfare in the Lok Sabha in December 2015.
Given the seriousness and enormity of student suicides in the country, merely sending out an advisory listing preventive measures cannot be enough. The State should ensure that these measures are implemented strictly and not just in government-run colleges. Privately-run institutions and coaching centres, many of them with little or no counselling services, should not be allowed to get away lightly. That is the least the State can do in a country that is likely to become the youngest nation in the world (with an average age of 29), by 2020.
Gandhi and the idea of an anti-chauvinist history
In 1945, the writer-politician KM Munshi sent Mahatma Gandhi a copy of his historical novel Prithviballabh. Gandhi read it with interest, but also with some puzzlement. As he asked Munshi, ‘Can you, as a historian, forget the whole of Muslim history? Even if you can do so, can you make the whole of India forget it? Can you reverse the flow of water and make it go upward? After the British have left, will it be possible to wipe out all the consequences of the British connection off history?’
Gandhi’s remarks seem extremely relevant today, when BJP governments at the Centre and in the states seem determined to wipe out all traces of Muslim and British influence on India. In fact, they wish to go even further, by writing out some main actors of the freedom struggle and replacing them with Hindutva icons (such as MS Golwalkar and Deen Dayal Upadhyaya) who themselves played no part in winning independence for India.
Compared to other icons of the national movement – Aurobindo, Nehru and Rajaji for example – Gandhi was not a particularly learned man. His reading was eccentric rather than wide or deep. And the books he read were oriented towards religion and ethics, rather than works of history. However, scattered through Gandhi’s writings are some interesting reflections on the historian’s craft. Thus, in his book Hind Swaraj, written in 1909, Gandhi observed that historians had focused much more on violence than on non-violence. While ‘hundreds of nations live in peace’, he remarked, ‘history does not, and cannot, take notice of this fact.’
Historians were obsessed with the spilling of blood. Gandhi, however, believed that throughout history, non-violence had played a more active role in shaping human affairs than violence. As he put it, ‘The greatest and most unimpeachable evidence of the success of [non-violence] is to be found in the fact that, in spite of the wars of the world, it still lives on’.
The influential subaltern studies school of history-writing argued that the lives of workers and peasants were more significant than those of kings and generals. As it happens, Gandhi had anticipated the thinking of subaltern studies, and by more than fifty years. In a conversation with the Oxford scholar Verrier Elwin in May 1931, Gandhi said: ‘We have to rewrite our history books. History has ceased to be a record of the deeds of kings, and has become a record of the deeds of people, but it is still a record of the violent deeds of people’.
Historians had to write about the aam aadmi and not the khas aadmi, and they had to record struggles based on non-violence and not merely battles fought with guns, tanks, and bombs. Meanwhile, Gandhi also made a categorical distinction between history and myth. As he put it in 1930: ‘To us, however, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana are not historical works but treatises on religion. Or, if we call them histories, they narrate the history of the human soul; they do not tell of what happened thousands of years ago, but depict what takes place in the heart of every human being today’
Gandhi recognised that it was not always possible for historians to rise above their national or cultural biases. During the Non-co-operation Movement, he set up his own university, the Gujarat Vidyapith in Ahmedabad.
In a speech at the Vidyapith in June 1928, Gandhi remarked, ‘The teachers should consider what the history of India could be. A Frenchman writing a history of India will write it in a different way; so would an Englishman. An Indian looking into original records and studying Indian conditions would certainly write it differently. Do you believe as absolutely true the English accounts of the Anglo-French conflicts? Whoever wrote them might have written them correctly, yet they are written from his own point of view. He would narrate only those incidents wherein the English won. We would do the same. The French would do the same’.
In March 1945, a correspondent named Gope Gurbuxani asked Gandhi, ‘How can a historian best serve the country and how can he write a progressive history of India?’
To this query, Gandhi answered, ‘He can serve by writing a true and original history of the people. If there is progress he will describe the progress; if he finds there is decline he will record the decline.’
Gandhi’s credo remains as relevant as when it was first offered seventy years ago. The wider the ranges of sources a historian uses, the more original his work will be. And the less he suppresses facts (including unpleasant facts about his community or nation) the more true as well.
Gandhi would have deplored the current distortion of history to serve narrow political ends. For, as the remarks I have quoted here so emphatically demonstrate, Gandhi wanted historians to eschew both chauvinism and triumphalism. In his view, no religion or nation, no culture or civilisation, was perfect or flawless. From Gandhi’s point of view, a work of history that exalted Hindus at the expense of Muslims, or Indians at the expense of Englishmen, would be an exercise in jingoism, not scholarship.
Kim Kardashian is studying hard to become a lawyer
Kim Kardashian West revealed in an interview that she’s studying 18 hours a week to prepare to take the bar exam and could become a lawyer in 2022. The reality star discussed her plans in an interview with Vogue. “I had to think long and hard about this,” she says of her decision, explaining that she eventually decided to embark on the journey.
She added, “I never in a million years thought we would get to the point of getting laws passed. That was really a turning point for me. The White House called me to help them change the system of clemency. And I’m sitting in the Roosevelt Room with a lot of really powerful people and I just sat there, like, ‘I need to know more’.”
Brie Larson talks about pay equality
Captain Marvel earned a pretty major milestone, as it crossed the $1 billion mark at the box office. And now the movie’s lead actress, Brie Larson opened up about how she is using the power she accrued from the massively successful film to change the Hollywood system.
In an interview with Vanity Fair the 29-year-old said, “I’m grateful to have broken this glass ceiling. I don’t know why it was so hard for people to believe it could happen… I understand film history. This weird idea that women can’t open movies is bogus,” said the Room actress, adding, “The reason why I was able to get the payment that I got from the movie (Captain Marvel), a lot of it had to do with the women who came before me… Don’t do it for you. Do it for the next woman.”
‘PM Narendra Modi’ makers move to SC, hearing on April 15
The Supreme Court Friday agreed to hear on April 15 a plea challenging the Election Commission’s ban on the release of a biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi till the general election is over. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said it will hear the plea filed by the biopic’s producers.
The poll panel had on Wednesday banned the screening of the biopic during the current poll period, saying any such film that subserves purpose of any political entity or individual should not be displayed in the electronic media. The Commission, in a separate order, had also directed the producers “not to exhibit the film titled ‘PM Narendra Modi’ till further orders. The Commission’s order came on April 10, a day before it was to be released, coinciding with the first phase of Lok Sabha elections. Votes for all 543 seats will be counted on May 23 after the end of the seven-phase polling on May 19.
Acting on the complaints of political parties, including the Congress, the poll panel had asserted that any biopic material with the potential to disturb the level playing field should not be displayed in the area where Model Code of Conduct was in force. The copy of the order was also sent to the Central Board of Film Certification chairman and Secretary, Information and Broadcasting ministry.
“It is claimed that such creative contents are kind of surrogate publicity by the candidate or the political party during the period of model code. Though the display materials claim to be part of creative content, it is contended that these have propensity and potentiality to affect the level playing field which is not in consonance with the provisions of the model code of conduct,” the EC had noted.
The order had specifically stated that in view of the admitted acts and material available on record, this film being a biopic on Narendra Modi, “prime minister and a political leader and a prospective candidate in the current general elections” can not be exhibited in view of Commission’s order.
The EC order came after the apex court on Tuesday disposed of the petition filed by a Congress activist seeking stay on the release of the biopic, saying the poll panel was the right forum to decide the issue. The Modi biopic, starring Vivek Oberoi and directed by Omung Kumar, tells the story of PM Modi’s rise to power from his humble beginnings.
Students must balance social life with solitary time
The sudden transition from high school to college can get stressful. Anything from making new friends, to missing the old ones, to living away from home can become daunting.
One frequent pitfall during this transition is social isolation. Loneliness, of course, can have a serious detrimental effect on a student’s mental health, potentially leading to depression.
However, according to the recent study, the findings highlight the importance of cultivating the ability to enjoy and value solitary time as a meaningful experience, rather than trying to disregard it or escape from it.
The way the first-year students manage (or not) to navigate this change has long-term implications for their academic performance and ability to stick with their studies.
Research has shown that one frequent pitfall during this transition period from high school to college is social isolation. Loneliness, of course, can have a serious detrimental effect on a student’s mental health, potentially leading to depression.
“But being alone isn’t necessarily bad,” argues a team of researchers from the University of Rochester, Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, and Ghent University in Belgium.
“Approaching solitude for its enjoyment and intrinsic values is linked to psychological health, especially for those who don’t feel as if they belong to their social groups,” said Thuy-vy Nguyen, lead author of the study published in the journal of ‘Motivation and Emotion.’
What then marks the difference between useful and potentially detrimental solitude? The key is positive motivation, according to the researchers. A healthy, autonomous seeking of alone time is associated with greater self-esteem, a greater sense of feeling related to others and feeling less lonely.
Conversely, someone who wants to be alone because of negative social experiences will more likely experience the negative effects of solitude, such as isolation or social withdrawal. The reasons matter as they determine how we experience solitude and the benefits we can get from it, the study concludes.
Previous research had shown that spending too much time socialising during the first year of college–and as a result having little time for oneself–may be associated with poor adjustment.
But over the course of two studies, conducted with 147 first-year college students in the US (testing for self-esteem) and 223 in Canada (testing for loneliness and relatedness), the team was able to untangle the interaction between new students’ social life and their motivation for spending time alone as a predictor of their successful adjustment to college life.
Nguyen says the interplay between solitary time and our social experiences has not been empirically studied before, at least not in this way.
“In previous research, it has been framed in ways that those with more access to social connections tend to have a better time in solitude. But in our study, having a healthy motivation for solitude actually is associated with wellness for those who have less access to social connections,” says Nguyen.
First-year students who valued and enjoyed their alone time seemed to display greater psychological health.
According to the researchers, being alone does not make you a loner, which is a very easy stereotype to internalise when you first enter college–especially when you think that everyone around you is socialising when you are not.
Solitude is a personal experience for everyone, so it is a time for you to take if you want, and just explore different ways to make it a meaningful and enjoyable experience for you.
Researchers reveals your child’s online activities
New Delhi: A latest report has revealed the online activities of children across the globe during the summer holidays.
The Kaspersky Lab’s research, based on statistics from the company’s Parental Control modules, has revealed what children watched, listened to, purchased and searched for online while they weren’t at school.
In India, 0.19 per cent searched for the category of alcohol/ tobacco/ narcotics, 2.81 per cent searched for adult content, 3.06 searched for computer games, 6.26 per cent looked online for news and media, 13.80 per cent for electronic conference, 40.68 per cent searched for communication media online and 2.92 per cent for other content.
Children were more likely to watch video content and listen to music, than spend time on social media this summer. The research revealed that children spent more time on YouTube-in particular, showing an increased interest in the blogger PewDiePie. Children also spent time watching numerous TV series on Netflix, with younger kids preferring Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and the Disney channel as well as SpongeBob SquarePants cartoons.
As for music, children used streaming services such as Spotify, SoundCloud and iTunes to listen to music, with rap being their most popular genre. The renowned rapper XXXTentacion was killed in a drive-by shooting this summer, which resulted in an increased search for information about his death. Following this, there was a peak in his music being played, with children listening to XXXTentacion more than any other artists.
Children began to visit news sites more frequently, including the BBC, CNN and BuzzFeed. They also spent time checking the latest updates and scores from the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Online games were also popular. However, children around the globe showed a preference for Fortnite, which has overtaken PUB Gas the most popular game.
Children this summer also showed an interest in clothes and mobile devices. With regards to online stores, children prefer to visit Ebay, Amazon, AliExpress, ASOS and H&M. The most popular brands are Nike, Adidas, Supreme, Gucci and Vans. Of all mobile devices, kids most often showed interest in iPhone and Samsung Galaxy.
It should be noted that alongside games, video and music, children often also searched for adult-content web-sites. However, if their parents had blocked such sites (for example with a Kaspersky Lab product), then the children’s attempts to visit these sites were unsuccessful.
Concerns about online privacy were also seen among children this summer – they were actively looking online for the search engine DuckDuckGo, and inquiring about VPN. This is the first time on record that Kaspersky Lab has reported a boost in interest on this topic among children.
“The statistics we have obtained indicate the interests of children and teens across the globe today. This is why we recommend using parental control products not only to block potentially dangerous content, but also to help parents stay informed about their children’s interests and passions. In our opinion, the parents’ knowledge of what their children do online should promote better family relationships, helping to encourage open dialogue and preventing more serious threats to children, such as sexting or bullying”, said Anna Larkina, Web-content Analysis Expert at Kaspersky Lab.
5 Indian treks that are perfect to introduce your kids to the sport!
When we trek for the first time, we wonder why we took so much time to turn to this amazing thing in life. We go on a few more treks and realise that we should have started trekking as children, just so that we trek a little more in one lifetime and explore the farthest depths of the numerous mountains. Well, we surely can’t go back in time, but can ensure that our kids don’t feel the same.
As opposed to general perception, trekking is something that can be easily done by kids. After all, not every terrain in this country is difficult to trek on. There are a quite a few treks in Indiathat are no more than easy walks amidst nature, and thus make for the perfect treks to begin with for the kids.
Needless to mention, the impact of trekking on children is amazing. Apart from learning the art of bonding, making new friends and a sport that has no parallel, kids can experience a major boost in their confidence levels and often take lessons on how to take care of their own chores.
Duration: 6 days
Season: Winter, Spring, Autumn
Although a six-day long trek, the Deoriatal-Chandrashila trek is among the first treks that you should take your kid to. Not only is the trek easy to complete and least likely to tire them out, it also offers enough opportunities for the kids to learn a lot from nature. The all-season trek takes one through beautiful dense forests that are filled with numerous species of birds, thus giving children enough scope to gather information about both the floral and avifaunal species of the region. Besides, the trail leads one through the most stunning meadows and takes you to the Chandrashila summit, from where some of the tallest mountains in the country are visible.
Duration: 2 days
Season: September to February
Tadiandamol, at altitude of 5,740 ft, is the highest peak in Coorg, and the third highest peak in the state of Karnataka. But that doesn’t make it a difficult trek to complete. Although an easy one to accomplish, the Tadiandamol trek is slightly exhausting. That’s the very reason, the duration of this trek should be increased from just one day to three days, especially when you are taking kids along on this trail.
This beginner-friendly trail takes you through the vast expanse of the Shola forests, numerous lush green grasslands and streams, thus making for perfect settings for a fairy tale-like setting for kids. The best time to reach the peak is sunrise so that the kids can enjoy a stunning dawn and watch the first light of the Sun falling across the beautiful valley, which is filled with several coffee, cardamom and pepper plantations.
Duration: 6 days
Season: Winter and summer
More of a winter trek, this is perfect for kids who get excited at the first sight of snow. More so, because a lot of campsites on this trek are on snowfields and promise an amazing camping experience for kids. Although it sounds fun, camping on snow also requires some amount of discipline and efforts including the collection of dead wood for fire, learning to cook, and learning to survive in cold conditions. Camping in such conditions can offer essential life teachings to the kids.
Added to all this is the sense of accomplishment for a child on this trek, especially while summitting the Kedarkantha Peak. Besides, the forest floor has plenty of pine cones lying around, thus making for great collectibles to take back home for the kids.
Har ki Dun
Duration: 8 days
Season: Winter, Spring, Autumn
A lot of trekkers don’t know that the Har ki Dun trek was discovered by Jack Gibson, who was a British mountaineer and teacher at the Doon School. After falling in love with this trail, he used to take his students on this trek for field trips. There are quite a few reasons why this trek is bound to be interesting for children. The trail goes through quaint mountain hamlets and past the gurgling Supin river, thus allowing kids to enjoy the charms of simple rural life and at the same time, enjoy the beauty of nature.
Har ki Dun is one of the treks that can be perfect as the first trek of your child. Right from introducing the kid to cultural diversity to bringing him the closest encounters of nature’s many wonders, this trek has every good thing that a trek should have for children. The Har ki Dun trek route is believed to be the same trail that the Pandavas took to ascend to heaven!
Duration: 4 days
Season: Summer and Autumn
If you want your kid to have all the experience of a full-fledged Himalayan trek in a nutshell, the trek to Bhrigu Lake is the one you should take him to. In fact, it is not a bad idea at all to ditch the rather touristy town of Manali and instead trek ahead to Bhrigu Lake for a much better experience of the region’s mountains.
Some of the priceless experiences that the kids can experience on this trek include long stretches of walks on beautiful grasslands with horses grazing on them, apple orchards of Kullu, and unparalleled vistas of Lahaul, Pir Panjal and the Dhauladhar mountain ranges from Bhrigu Lake. Keep in mind that among all the treks mentioned here, the Bhrigu Lake trek takes you to the highest altitude of 14,000 ft, but completing this climb will teach your children to take up challenges, push their limits and imbibe within them the spirit of working hard towards achieving something.
OnePlus offers OnePlus 6T for Rs 3,500 off
OnePlus, the leading premium smartphone maker today announced its exclusive New Year offers for OnePlus 6T buyers starting 29 December, 2018.
To celebrate a very successful year and the astounding success of the OnePlus 6T, OnePlus has rolled out exclusive limited period offers for OnePlus 6T buyers on Amazon.in. The year-end offers that will go live starting 29 December, 2018 to 6 January, 2019 include Rs 1,500 instant discount on all EMI transactions using HDFC Bank credit and debit cards on purchase of the OnePlus 6T on Amazon.in. Customers purchasing the OnePlus 6T on Amazon.in, oneplus.in, Croma outlets and all OnePlus exclusive offline stores will also be able to avail 6 months of No-cost EMI.
Additionally, on Amazon.in, oneplus.in and on all OnePlus exclusive offline stores, existing OnePlus users will be eligible for an additional Rs 2,000 off on exchange of their old OnePlus device for the OnePlus 6T. Non-OnePlus users will receive an additional Rs 1,500 off on exchange of their old device.
Within a short two months since its release, the OnePlus 6T has already received several accolades and awards from top technology media across the world. The company has also emerged as the most preferred premium Android smartphone according to International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Consumer PULSE research study on smartphone consumer trends in India.
The recently launched OnePlus 6T is the company’s most futuristic flagship till date with Screen Unlock on the immersive 6.41-inch Optic AMOLED display with Gorilla Glass 6 screen, class-leading hardware with up to 10GB RAM/ 256GB LPDDR4 ROM and recently introduced Warp Charge 30 that delivers entire day battery in just 20 minutes of charge.
The smartphone is now available for general sales across all channels including oneplus.in, Amazon.in and Reliance Digital, Croma outlets and all OnePlus exclusive offline stores.
Huawei announces over 200 million smartphones shipped in 2018
Huawei has announced that its smartphone shipments for the 2018 year have exceeded 200 million units, thanks to the support of consumers and partners around the world, as well as the strength of the smartphone products, including the Huawei P20 and Mate 20 series. These 200 million shipments constitute a new record for Huawei.
Huawei states that the P20 series raises the bar for what smart mobile photography can do, proving that even thin and stylish mobile phones can provide a professional-level photography experience. The brand goes on to state that the cosmetic design of the Huawei P20 series has won over a large number of female users. Since its release in March, global shipments have exceeded 16 million units, with female users accounting for nearly half of that number.
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TECHNOLOGY, MOBILES AND TABS
Huawei announces over 200 million smartphones shipped in 2018
Published Dec 27, 2018, 2:58 pm ISTUpdated Dec 27, 2018, 3:13 pm IST
These 200 million shipments constitute a new record for Huawei.
The Huawei Mate 20 series follows the advanced technological standards that the Mate series established.
The Huawei Mate 20 series follows the advanced technological standards that the Mate series established.
Huawei has announced that its smartphone shipments for the 2018 year have exceeded 200 million units, thanks to the support of consumers and partners around the world, as well as the strength of the smartphone products, including the Huawei P20 and Mate 20 series. These 200 million shipments constitute a new record for Huawei.
Huawei states that the P20 series raises the bar for what smart mobile photography can do, proving that even thin and stylish mobile phones can provide a professional-level photography experience. The brand goes on to state that the cosmetic design of the Huawei P20 series has won over a large number of female users. Since its release in March, global shipments have exceeded 16 million units, with female users accounting for nearly half of that number.
The Huawei Mate 20 series follows the advanced technological standards that the Mate series established, and is equipped with the most powerful chip in Huawei history, the Kirin 980. The chipset features the 7nm processing and a more powerful A76-based+G76 architecture. These components allow the Mate 20 series to offer improved energy efficiency and a new, extra-smooth experience, making this smartphone even smarter. Within two months of the release of the Mate 20 series, it had already shipped over 5 million units.
Huawei’s nova series has been particularly popular with young users, thanks to its appearance and visual elements. As a result of the Huawei nova 3’s bold colour scheme and innovative selfie system, it became the most popular selfie phone of 2018. The nova 4 continues the series’ strong aesthetic appeal, as well as delivers innovative elements such as its full-screen, hole-punch-style display. As of the end of 2018, the popular nova series has sold over 65 million units, making it the leader of Huawei’s nascent line of mid-range devices.
In the past eight years, Huawei Consumer BG has persisted in the concept of “consumer-centric” and using innovation to create value for its customers. The company has also led a number of the industry’s most popular, innovative, and competitive technological fields, such as photography, battery life, communication, and AI. This innovation has won the favour of consumers around the world.
In the past eight years, Huawei’s smartphone shipments have increased from 3 million units in 2010 to 200 million units in 2018, reflecting approximately a sixty-six-fold growth. In the global smartphone market, Huawei has gone from being dismissed as a statistical “Other” to ranking among the top three players in the world. Moreover, in the second and third quarters of 2018, Huawei became the world’s second largest smartphone manufacturer, with a global market share of 14.6%.
At present, more than 500 million consumers in more than 170 countries around the world are using Huawei smartphones. According to a report by IPSOS, one of the industry’s leading third-party research institutions, the Huawei brand has already become associated with the idea that it keeps on progressing and has strong innovation ability and trustworthiness in the eyes of its global consumer base.
Honor View20 to be sold as an Amazon exclusive
Honor has announced its exclusive tie-up with Amazon.in to sell its upcoming smartphone, the HONOR View20. The smartphone is poised to be one of the most advanced handsets in the market as it boasts of world-first technologies – 48MP camera, All-View Display (World’s first in-screen front camera design), Kirin 980 AI chipset with Dual NPU manufactured by the 7nm process, and many more. Starting today, customers can register their interest for View20 on Amazon.in and get notified once pre-booking starts for the device.
Honor’s world first 48MP rear camera with Sony IMX586 sensor and TOF 3D camera is set to herald a new era of smartphone photography. The technology, coupled with the AI computing power which is capable of recognising over 60 categories and 1500 scenarios in real time and graphic processing power enabled by the dual-ISP and dual-NPU of Kirin 980 AI chipset, can provide users with unmatched photo quality and clarity. Honor View 20 is also capable of capturing slow-motion videos at 960 fps.
The brand has also enabled a whole new level of full-view display experience with the introduction of the All-View Display. This world-first, in-screen front camera design, achieved by a complex 18-layer technology stack that embeds the front camera in the display area of the screen; achieving a screen to body ratio of 91.8%. The innovative Honor All-View Display solution demonstrates the brand’s unmoving dedication to usher the evolution of the full-view display, all the way from the 18:9 bezel-less screen of the 1.0 era through the notched screen of the 2.0 era, to the revolutionary 3.0 era.
Dim light exposure can spread breast cancer to bone
Breast cancer patients, who expose themselves to dim-light at night, take note! A recent study has found out that dim-light exposure at night could likely lead breast cancer to spread to bone.
Study presented at Endocrine Society’s annual meeting, ENDO 2019, has shown dim-light exposure at night may lead breast cancer to spread to bone for the first time in an animal study.
“To date, no one has reported that exposure to dim light at night induces circadian disruption, which then increases the formation of bone metastatic breast cancer,” said Anbalagan.
“This is important, as many patients with breast cancer are likely exposed to light at night as a result of lack of sleep, stress, excess light in the bedroom from mobile devices and other sources, or night shift work.” said Muralidharan Anbalagan, Ph.D., assistant professor, Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orlean.
More than 150,000 U.S. women had breast cancer in 2017 that metastasised, or spread outside the breast, according to an estimate from the National Cancer Institute. When breast cancer spreads, it often goes to the bones, where it can cause severe pain and fragile bones.
The researchers created a mouse model of bone metastatic breast cancer. They injected estrogen receptor-positive human breast cancer cells that have a low propensity to grow in bones into the tibia, or shinbone, of female mice. Like humans, the mice used in this study produce a strong night-time circadian melatonin signal. This night-time melatonin signal has been shown to produce strong anti-cancer actions and also promotes sleep.
All mice were kept in the light for 12 hours each day. One group of three mice was in the dark the other 12 hours, which helped them produce high levels of endogenous melatonin. Another group spent 12 hours in light followed by 12 hours in dim light at night, which suppresses their nocturnal melatonin production. The dim light was 0.2 lux, which is less than a night-light or a display light from a cell phone, according to Anbalagan.
X-ray images showed that mice exposed to a light/dim light cycle had much larger tumours and increased bone damage compared with mice kept in a standard light/dark cycle, he reported.
“Our research identified the importance of an intact nocturnal circadian melatonin anti-cancer signal in suppressing bone-metastatic breast tumour growth,” Anbalagan said.
The ultimate goal of their research, he said, is to find a way to inhibit or suppress the progression of breast cancer metastases to bone.
Sleep disruption post childbirth
A child’s birth has a drastic short-term effect on new mothers’ sleep, particularly during the first three months after birth. Research conducted at the University of Warwick, also found that sleep duration and satisfaction is decreased up to six years after giving birth for both parents.
In the paper ‘Long-term effects of pregnancy and childbirth on sleep satisfaction and duration of first-time and experienced mothers and fathers’, a collaboration with the German Institute for Economic Research and the West Virginia University studied sleep in 4,659 parents who had a child between 2008 and 2015.
During these years parents reported on their sleep in yearly interviews. In the first 3 months after birth mothers slept on average 1 hour less than before pregnancy, while fathers sleep duration decreased by approximately 15 minutes.
According to study author Dr Sakari Lemola, “Women tend to experience more sleep disruption than men after the birth of a child reflecting that mothers are still more often in the role of the primary caregiver than fathers.”
However, when the children were 4-6 years old sleep duration was still about 20 minutes shorter in mothers, and 15 minutes shorter in fathers compared to their sleep duration before pregnancy. A similar time course was also observed for their satisfaction with sleep.
Sleep effects were more pronounced in first-time parents compared with experienced parents. In the first half a year after birth the sleep effects were also somewhat stronger in breastfeeding compared with bottle-feeding mothers. Higher household income and psychosocial factors such as dual vs. single parenting did not appear to protect against these changes in sleep after childbirth.
Dr Sakari Lemola, added, “While having children is a major source of joy for most parents it is possible that increased demands and responsibilities associated with the role as a parent lead to shorter sleep and decreased sleep quality even up to 6 years after birth of the first child.”
Young women turning victims of breast cancer
A study by National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research on Cancer shows that 11,57,294 lakh new cases are registered in India every year and 7,84,821 people died of it in 2018.
According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, breast, cervical, oral, lung and colorectal cancers contribute to a greater proportion of incidences, accounting for 47 per cent of all cancer cases.
The situation in AP is also similar to the country’s average rate.
According to a report at present, AP tops in a few cancers, like oral (head and neck), and its related cancers in Odisha.
The findings of its report titled ‘The Big C’ serve as a warning call to all – not just in terms of early detection, and survival, but also affordability. Edelweiss Tokio Life surveyed 100 oncologists across India and 96 per cent of doctors believe incidence of cancer will rise by 23 per cent in the next five years. Of the top 5 cancer types, breast, cervical and ovarian cancers will affect women.
According to the statistics of MNJ Institute of Oncology, the State Cancer Centre, Hyderabad, director
N. Jayalatha: “There is a gradual increase in the number of cases of cancer when compared to the last 3 years in occurrence and a majority of them are head and neck cases, breast and cervix cancers. Oral cancer is also significantly rising.” She said that they had noticed breast cancer in a large number in young women aged 25 years and above.
Dr Jayalatha also explained the causes of the rise, like late marriages, late pregnancy, early puberty and late menopause which causes a decrease of
sexual-immunity levels, proportionately increasing chances of incidence of cancer. She suggested taking cervical cancer vaccine before marriage.
The age-standardised rate of cervical cancer, on the other hand, has decreased substantially by 39.7 per cent in India as well as in AP from 1990 to 2016.
At present, doctors say survival rate for most cancers stagnates at 20 per cent to 30 per cent because a majority of the patients come to them when the disease is already in the advanced stages, either III or IV.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, oncologist at Ramesh Hospitals Vijayawada, Dr. Ram Kandula, said there are no updated reports on cancer in AP after 2012 but the rise of oral cancer is increasing every day, particularly in males due to the rise in use of tobacco and chewing of tobacco products.
The mortality rate has also increased in men due to cancer.
He said that the awareness has been increasing among the public and this may also be one of the reasons for the rise in cancer data.
Regular exercise during pregnancy benefits child’s metabolic health
A recent study conducted in mice found that offspring born to mice that exercised were less likely to become obese after consuming a high-fat diet later in life. The new findings were presented at the 2019 Experimental Biology meeting.
Although previous studies have shown that exercise by obese females benefits their offspring, this is the first research to demonstrate that the same is true when non-obese females exercise.
“Based on our findings, we recommend that women, whether or not they are obese or have diabetes, exercise regularly during pregnancy because it benefits their children’s metabolic health,” said Jun Seok Son, who conducted the study.
The researchers examined the offspring of mice that performed 60 minutes of moderate intensity exercise every morning during pregnancy. Offspring born to mice that didn’t exercise were used as a control group.
At weaning, the offspring of the exercising mice showed increased levels of proteins associated with brown adipose tissue compared to the control group. This type of tissue converts fat and sugar into heat.
The researchers also observed higher body temperatures in the exercise group, indicating that their brown adipose tissue was more efficient or had a higher thermogenic function which has been shown to prevent obesity and metabolic problems.
After weaning, the offspring followed a high-fat diet for eight weeks. The mice in the exercise group not only gained less weight on the high-fat diet but also showed fewer symptoms of metabolic diseases such as diabetes and fatty liver disease.
“Our data suggest that the lack of exercise in healthy women during pregnancy can predispose their children to obesity and associated metabolic diseases partially through impairing thermogenic function,” said Son.
Choosing the right etiquette for your child
So often when we surf the internet, we come across write-ups that highlights the right etiquettes your child should learn while growing. However, like everything else to inculcate the right set of etiquettes, one should understand that is a kind of virtue which cannot be dictated or imposed upon. It is a certain set of values that the child must perceive while growing up and a positive social environment which include home, as well.
Children usually pick up what they observe at the early ages. Therefore, it is vitally important for the parents to behave in a manner they would want their child to behave. You can call this process, organic osmosis.
Parents set a very strong influence on the children and they are the best educators. Now let us delve into what are the most common things that your child is likely to observe and pick it up.
The magic word – Please
In India it is commonly observed that children grow up with a sense of entitlement. Parents in an attempt to provide the best of the things, pamper them way too much. A common example of this would be the employment of a domestic help.
Parents very rarely allow children to do things on their own and let them rely on their domestic help for the smallest of work, which might even include getting a glass of water for themselves.
Parents does this with a positive mind-set however, children see it as an ‘entitlement’ and take these luxuries for granted. If the parents use the word ‘please’ with the domestic help, it gets ingrained in the mind of the child that he has to use the word – please and there is no entitlement involved.
He will naturally develop that habit and it becomes a part of his daily lingo. It is a small and a powerful word at the same time, which conveys sensitivity and a fair and equal treatment for all.
A natural corollary to the word ‘please’ is he phrase, Thank You. It is not so commonly used but can enhance the child’s overall sensitivity. While most people think that the use of the word ‘thank you’ is formal and is not required, I choose to disagree with the same. As mentioned earlier, the sense of entitlement can be curtailed to a large extend by being courteous for the help and services rendered to us.
Always bear in mind that your child is observing you. Therefore, using the word ‘thank you’ develops a sense of gratitude. It will further make your child realise how fortunate they are to have these people around, doing the smallest act of kindness towards your child.
Difference of opinion
There are occasions when we might not share the same thought process with others and this is not different amongst children. There will come different occasions when your kids opinion will differ. It is highly recommended that instead of behaving in a rude manner, be calm and civilised. If a child observes at home that during a conflict at home, you lose your calm; chances are that they might pick up the same.
If the child observes that in these situations, elders are using expressions like ‘I beg to differ’ or “I’d like to share my point of view’, rather than witnessing an unsavoury argument, the child will imbibe the same. Ensure that your child grows up to be a cordial, affable and considerate individual.
While it might be too early to expect formal-dinning etiquettes from your child, it is certainly never too soon to try and inculcate a sense of respect for the food. Simple things such as not wasting food, not throwing food, are part of a child’s etiquette that should be encouraged so that the child grows into an adult who understands the value of a meal, and an awareness and sensitivity towards countless people who are deprived of this most basic human need.
This last etiquette aspect is perhaps the most important. It is also more skin-deep than a mere outward manner. That every child must understand the concept of equal and fair treatment towards all. Especially in the world we inhabit today, society is rife with gender bias, ill-treatment of animals, environmental degradation. I
n this scenario, we should try and set examples for our children that will make them aware, sensitive individuals who have a genuine and healthy respect for all genders, species and the planet.
More children – more heart trouble for parents
Parents who have five or more children may face a higher risk of heart disease than those who have only one or two, a recent study suggests. A team of researchers looked at data from nearly 25,000 participants, aged 50 and older, who took part in a national health survey. The findings have been published in the Journal of Aging and Health.
“Many studies have linked women’s reproductive characteristics, such as their age at their first childbirth, with their risk of heart disease later in life. But there wasn’t much known about the association between family size and heart disease and very few studies have looked at how fatherhood may relate to men’s risk of heart disease,” said Sara Hipp, lead researcher of the study.
The team of researchers found that 30 per cent of the parents who said they had five or more children had a heart condition such as coronary heart disease, angina or congestive heart failure. Just 22 per cent of those who had only one or two children, and 21 per cent of those who had no children, said they had been diagnosed with a heart condition.
Among all the respondents, about one quarter said they’d been told by a doctor within the past two years that they had heart disease. “Our data showed that, in both sexes, having more children was associated with a greater risk of heart disease,” Hipp explained.
The link remained even when the researchers adjusted for other characteristics that can affect people’s risk of heart diseases such as age, race, ethnicity and birthplace. In women, the association persisted even after researchers adjusted for lifestyle variables, such as whether they smoked or exercised at least twice a week.