Prime Minister Narendra Modi takes a walk on the Dhola-Sadiya bridge over the Brahmaputra in Assam after inaugurating it on Friday. Photo courtesy: Twitter/@PMOIndia 4. It is 3.55 km longer than the Bandra-Worli sea link in Mumbai. The sea link has now become the second longest river bridge in the country.5. The construction of the Dhola-Sadiya bridge began in 2011 by the Ministry of Road Transport along with Navayuga Engineering Company Ltd., under the public-private-partnership agreement6. A sum of ₹ Rs 2,056 crore has been spent on the bridge that can withstand 60 tonnes of weight, including battle tanks.7. The bridge, which has a three-lane carriage way, will also cater to the strategic requirements of the country in the border areas of Arunachal Pradesh, besides facilitating numerous hydro power projects coming up in the State, as it is the most sought after route for various power project developers.8. The bridge will make it much easier for Army convoys to reach outposts near the China border. It is also expected to boost tourism as there is no civilian airport in Arunachal Pradesh and this will make the road transport smoother.9. The bridge will increase industrial investments with better border trade between the Northeast and South Asian countries.10. State-run SAIL is the largest supplier of steel for the bridge. The PSU has supplied around 90% or around 30,000 tonnes of steel, including TMT, structurals and plates, for the bridge. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday inaugurated the Dhola-Sadiya Bridge in Assam, which is India’s longest river bridge.Here are 10 things to know about the bridge:1. Spanning 9.15 km, the bridge is built across the Lohit river, which is a tributary of the Brahmaputra. It will connect Assam and eastern Arunachal Pradesh. The total length of the project, including the approach roads on each side, is 28.50 km.2. The bridge is located 540 km from Assam’s capital Dispur and 300 km from Arunachal Pradesh capital Itanagar. It connects Sadia town in Assam’s Tinsukia district with Dhola village, also in Assam.3. The bridge will reduce the travel time between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh from six hours to just one hour as the distance will shrink by 165 km.
A special court has reserved for July 31 orders on framing of charges against a private firm, its two directors and another person in a case of alleged irregularities in the allocation of the Dhadhu coal block in Jharkhand. The CBI is prosecuting Pawanjay Steel and Power Limited (PSPL), its two directors, Gyanchand Prasad Agarwal and Umesh Prasad Agarwal, and S.K. Kanungo, chief manager (Marketing) of Hari Machines Ltd (HML) in the case.The court reserved the order on conclusion of arguments by counsel for the accused and the prosecution.The court had on September 28 last year summoned them for criminal conspiracy and cheating, saying “prima facie there were sufficient incriminating evidence on record against them.”They had been later granted bail after they appeared before the court on November 9 in pursuance to a summons.The CBI had registered a case of cheating and criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act against PSPL, its directors, Mr. Kanungo and other unknown persons, including public servants.Criminal conspiracyPSPL and its two directors along with Mr. Kanungo hatched a criminal conspiracy with a view to deceive the Ministry of Coal (MoC) to induce it to allocate a captive coal block in favour of the accused firm, the charge sheet said.
The Arunachal Pradesh BJP unit has severed relations with its North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) partner, the Peoples’ Party of Arunachal (PPA).The announcement to this effect was made by state BJP president Tapir Gao during the state executive meeting of the party here on Thursday. NEDA Convener Himanta Biswa Sarma passed on the decision of the BJP central leaders to break alliance with PPA to Gao, who made the announcement on Thursday, a party release informed here on Friday.“The BJP will treat PPA at par with the Congress as an opponent political party,” the release added.The BJP has 47 MLAs in the Arunachal Pradesh assembly with effective strength of 59 with two independents supporting the party. The PPA has nine MLAs and the Congress has one legislator.The NEDA was formed on May 24, 2016 by BJP along with regional political parties like Naga People’s Front, Sikkim Democratic Front, People’s Party of Arunachal, Asom Gana Parishad and Bodoland People’s Front in Northeast India.The NEDA was formed to protect the interest of the people of the region and also for uniting non-Congress parties in the Northeast.
Pune: The Pune police have lodged a case of cheating against prominent real estate developer and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Sanjay Kakade in a matter pertaining to rehabilitation of villagers in Maval taluk.An FIR under Sections 406 (punishment for criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating), 465 (forgery), 467 (forgery of valuable security, will) and 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating) of the Indian Penal Code was lodged against Mr. Kakade, his brother Suryakant Kakade and others at the Warje-Malwadi police station Saturday night. Last week, Judicial Magistrate First Class P.T. Gotey had directed that a case be lodged against the Rajya Sabha MP.The Maharashtra government, in the 1960s, had acquired land from villagers of New Kopre for construction of the National Defence Academy. Families displaced by the project were promised rehabilitation on a 14-acre plot in Warje-Malwadi through a building project led by the Kakade Group.However, villagers have accused Mr. Kakade of grabbing the plots, forging 7/12 extracts, and using the land for commercial purposes.‘A conspiracy’Mr. Kakade said the allegations were “a conspiracy” against him, denying any wrongdoing in the New Kopre rehabilitation works.Kakade Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd is also one of the accused in alleged irregularities in the tender for Sion-Panvel highway. In June, officials from the anti-corruption bureau (ACB), Thane, carried out searches at Mr. Kakade’s office in Pune. He is also an accused in the Maharashtra Sadan scam involving Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Chhagan Bhujbal. Mr. Kakade is accused of abetting Mr. Bhujbal to launder money.Vital role in pollsThe MP was earlier in the NCP, before being elected as an independent candidate to the Upper House and later joining the BJP. He is believed to have played a vital role in ensuring the BJP’s victory in the Pune civic polls. However, he has alienated himself from BJP loyalists like Girish Bapat and Pune Mayor Mukta Tilak.
Nagpur: When effigies of ‘Ravan’ were being burnt to celebrate Vijayadashmi on September 30, Gond tribals in Gadchiroli and some parts of Chhattisgarh were busy in offering prayers to their ‘great king’.A large number of gram sabhas came together to offer prayers to ‘Ravan’ in Surjagad, Kamalapur, and Korchi of Gadchiroli.“Ravan was a great king of Gond tribals. But the people, who practised Brahmnic culture based on hegemony, vilified the history of Ravan to show themselves as great warriors,” said Mahesh Raut, an activist from Gadchiroli.Tribal organisations and village bodies have petitioned the government to stop the practice of burning Ravan’s effigies, but it is yet to act on their demand, he said.Mr. Raut claimed that 70 village bodies in Surjagad, which has been witnessing a protest against the mining, came together under the leadership of zila parishad member Sainu Gota to offer prayers.Tribal organisations and groups, including Tribal Students’ Organisation, Gond Society of Korchi, Gondwana Gotul Sena, Parakrami Gond Raja Ravan Sangh, Buddhist Society of Korchi, and the Halbi Society organised prayers in Korchi.
Three labourers were killed and one more seriously injured after the slab of an under-construction building collapsed in Pune’s Dattawadi area on Tuesday morning.The tragedy occurred between 10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., when a group of four labourers were working on the 7th floor of an under-construction building which was a project by Pate Developers, a city-based construction group. The labourers in question hailed from Jharkhand and were in their 20s.The incident has brought into sharp relief yet again the pressing issue of labourers’ safety measures on construction sites.The deceased have been identified as Prakash Saav (26), Dulari Paswan (28) and Midhun Singh (22). The fourth labourer, Ramu Pawan (24), suffered serious injuries and is undergoing treatment at a local hospital, said Dattawadi police.“The labourers were about their usual tasks when the cement slab of the seventh floor caved in. All three were killed on the spot,” informed Anil Patil, senior police inspector, Dattawadi police station.Mr. Patil further informed that the police were investigating the matter and were in the process of lodging an FIR against the developers under section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).He said the contractors and the project owners were being investigated to ascertain who was responsible for the tragedy and questions like whether or not the labourers were wearing safety harnesses while working at that height. The incident is a veritable replay of the Balewadi slab collapse tragedy in July last year in which nine labourers were killed on the spot.In that case, the authorities had stated that the accident was clearly a case of “illicit construction” as the builders (Pride Purple) had violated norms by constructing an additional storey (the 13th floor). Permission to build only 12 floors, plus the basement, was granted.The Dattawadi incident adds to a string of accidents that have occurred in Pune in recent years. On December 2012, 13 labourers were killed when a slab of an under-construction building caved in at Wagholi, 20 km from the city.Prior to that, in September that same year, six persons were killed on the spot and several more injured after a four-storey residential building caved in at Sahakar Nagar.Safety norms and illicit constructions came into question yet again in January 2014, when a newly constructed six-storey building collapsed in the city’s suburban region of Narhe-Ambegaon, tragically killing a 28-year-old youth who was trapped under the debris.
A complaint has been filed in a court here accusing RJD supremo Lalu Prasad of defamation for his alleged calumnious remark about the complainant’s “friendship” with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar at a recent rally. The complaint was filed by Udaykant Mishra, a member of the Bihar Disaster Management Authority, in the court of Patna Chief Judicial Magistrate Om Prakash and is scheduled to be heard tomorrow. Mr. Mishra has assailed Mr. Prasad’s utterances at a rally in Bhagalpur last month. The petitioner said that he has known Mr. Kumar for many decades and the remark was made to defame him. He also alleged that there were attempts to drag his name into the multi-crore Srijan scam, which relates to fraudulent transfer of government money into the account of a Bhagalpur-based NGO. The CBI is probing into the Rs. 1000 crore scam.
Days after releasing a separate manifesto, a Sankalp Patr, for the municipal polls, a first for any party in the state, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday kicked-off his poll campaign. His first stop was politically and symbolically significant, Ayodhya, which was elevated to the status of a municipal corporation after the BJP came to power in March.The Bharatiya Janata Party is going all out to campaign for the urban body polls in Uttar Pradesh in a bid to replicate the thumping win it registered in the Assembly elections eight months ago.Mr. Adityanath is expected to address more than three dozen rallies for the municipal polls, in a style similar to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaign strategy.Addressing a rally in Ayodhya, Mr. Adityanath accused the previous Samajwadi Party government of neglecting it and of trying to restrict and tarnish the “pehchaan” (identity) and grandeur of the town in the eyes of the world. Those who “discriminated with your identity”, can never be forgiven, he told voters in Ayodhya.Mocking the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party, Mr. Adityanath said the two parties were struck by “electric current” each time he visited Ayodhya.“Ayodhya is a symbol of faith for us. Ayodhya is the land of maryada purshottam Shri Ram…Ayodhya should get back its glory,” the Chief Minister said. Traditionally strong in urban areas, the BJP secured 10 of the 12 mayor posts in 2012.This time mayoral elections will be held for 16 posts, with the inclusion of four new seats including Mathura (Vrindavan) and Ayodhya, names emphasized by Mr. Adityanath in his speech.While mentioning that his government had already inaugurated development projects worth ₹ 137 crore in Ayodhya, Mr. Adityanath promised more schemes after the polls. He claimed credit for restoring grand Diwali celebrations in Ayodhya and said that his government’s priority was to make the town “shine” and bring a smile to the face of every person who visited it. “Ayodhya gave Diwali to the world but Diwali disappeared from Ayodhya. We restored it,” he said.While appealing for votes for the BJP candidates, Mr. Adityanath followed up on the promise made by his party in the manifesto and said that a gaushala would be built in all major cities cater to stray cattle.After Ayodhya, Mr. Adityanath is expected to hold campaign rallies in all major centres of UP, including Kanpur, Varanasi, Allahabad, Muzaffarnagar, Gorakhpur, Jhansi, Lucknow and Mathura, with more than two rallies per day on average.Polls would be held for over 650 posts, including 16 Mayors and 200 Nagar Palika Parishads, starting November 22 in three phases. Results will be declared on December 1.
‘Degree racket’ busted in Haryana, four arrestedThe Haryana police on Saturday claimed to have busted an inter-State “degree racket” and arrested four men working at a private university in Rajasthan. The accused, who have confessed to their involvement in the scam, sold degrees for graduate and post-graduate courses without a student having to appear in exams, the police said. PTI
Pune: The Ahmednagar police on Monday arrested Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Shivaji Kardile in connection with the murders of Shiv Sena leaders Sanjay Kotkar and Vasant Thube on Saturday.However, Mr. Kardile, MLA from Ahmednagar’s Rahuri constituency, denied his arrest and said he “voluntarily gave himself up” at the Bhingar police station this morning.A press note issued by the Ahmednagar police on Sunday had declared that the BJP MLA, along with 53 others connected to the crime and vandalism at the Ahmednagar Superintendent of Police’s office, was absconding.On Sunday, the police booked Mr. Kardile, along with NCP MLC Arun Jagtap (Sangram Jagtap’s father) and 30 others for allegedly hatching a conspiracy and executing the killings. ‘Allegations false’The BJP MLA refuted all allegations against him. “The police are investigating the crime and the culprits will be brought to justice. I have no relation with it. Since Saturday, the opposition [read Shiv Sena] is besmirching some members of my family and me by linking our names with the murders. Seeing this, I voluntary decided to appear before the police and cooperate with the probe,” Mr. Kardile told a local television channel.The second high-profile arrest in the case comes a day after Mr. Kardile’s son-in-law, National Congress Party (NCP) legislator Sangram Jagtap, and four others were taken into police custody in connection with the murders.Mr. Jagtap was taken into police custody in the wee hours of Sunday. Congress candidate Vishal Kotkar, who won the Kedgaon bypoll to the Ahmednagar civic body; his father Balasaheb Kotkar; Sandeep Gunjal and Bhanudas Kotkar were also booked for their alleged roles in the double murder.Soon after Mr. Jagtap was arrested, Mr. Kardile, along with a mob of over 200 persons allegedly vandalised the office of the Superintendent of Police, Ahmednagar. However, Mr. Kardile denied allegations, stating that events had been “misinterpreted”. “After Sangram [Jagtap] was arrested, a mob had gathered at the SP’s office. I was returning from a function and decided to stop en route and pacify the mob. I urged the crowd to show restraint,” he said, adding he was ready to face any inquiry. The aftermath of the Kedgaon bypoll coupled with years of political rivalry are said to be the broad reasons for the murders of the two Sena leaders, who were first shot at and then attacked with sharp weapons.The murders have led to the suspension of police inspector Abhay Parmar of Ahmednagar’s Kotwali police station Minister of State for Home, Deepak Kesarkar. He has been replaced by PI Ramesh Ratnaparkhi.Mr. Parmar’s suspension was prompted by Shiv Sena’s allegations about the allegedly controversial role of the police authorities in Kedgaon in the crime.All three families — the Kardiles, the Jagtaps and the Kotkars — are related to each other by marriage and virtually dominate Ahmednagar politics, especially at the taluka and civic body levels.Both Mr. Kardile and Congress leader Bhanudas Kotkar have a history of crime, their names figuring prominently in the murder of lottery-ticket businessman Ashok Lande in 2008. The incident has snowballed into a political slug-fest, with the Sena and the NCP trading charges.On Sunday, senior Shiv Sena leader and Minister Ramdas Kadam, alleged that the murders were “a premeditated conspiracy by the BJP, Congress and NCP”. Senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar, retaliated by accusing the Sena of attempting to tarnish his party’s reputation by fabricating charges.
The Rajasthan government’s new flagship Annapurna Milk Scheme for supplying milk thrice in a week to about 62 lakh children studying in the State-run schools is set to increase the burden on teachers, who are already performing a number of tasks in addition to their main work of imparting education.Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje launched the scheme at the Government Model Senior Secondary School at Dahmi Kalan, near here, on Monday, barely five months before the Assembly elections due later this year. The scheme is considered one of the biggest ones initiated by the BJP government. Ms. Raje affirmed at the launch ceremony that the Annapura Scheme would lay the foundation for the State’s happy and healthy future. “Every child in the government schools will get fresh, pure and nutritious warm milk three days a week. This will improve nutritional levels among children and help increase enrolments,” she said.Women’s cooperativesThe Chief Minister said the women’s milk producers’ cooperative societies would be entrusted with the task of supplying milk to schools. “This will ensure good quality of milk, as mothers do not compromise on the quality of their children’s milk,” Ms. Raje remarked.62 lakh studentsUnder the scheme to be implemented with a budget allocation of ₹218 crore, about 62 lakh students in 66,506 government schools will be provided warm milk as part of the mid-day meals. Students till Class V will get 150 ml of warm milk thrice a week, while those studying in Classes VI to VIII will get 200 ml.Teachers of government schools will be involved in the purchase of milk from the milk cooperative societies and distribution to the students. With crucial questions on the flagship scheme’s proper implementation coming up, the Rajasthan Shikshak Sangh (Shekhawat) said while the schools were understaffed, the teachers would be “overburdened” with new responsibilities.“The milk will be served without sugar because no extra budget has been allotted for it. The teachers will be burdened with the additional work of storing and boiling the milk. It will affect the standard of education and may lead to dropout of students,” Shikshak Sangh spokesperson Prakash Mishra said.Perishable itemSince milk is a perishable item and there is an inadequate infrastructure in the schools, the teachers will be unwilling to take on the extra responsibility. Mr. Mishra said the scheme would in fact encourage privatisation of education, as the Right to Education Act was being violated “with impunity” in the State.
Nine months after tabling a Bill in the Assembly, the Assam government has decided to implement the policy of deducting the pay of employees who do not take care of their parents and physically-challenged siblings.The suicide of an elderly couple, abused and neglected by their son, in Sivasagar on July 1 has influenced this decision. The State government will also make changes in the service rules of employees in accordance with the State Population Policy passed last year. This will make people with more than two children ineligible for government jobs and election or nomination to the Panchayat and other local bodies. “The suicide of businessman-theatre producer Rajani Khargharia and his wife was painful. It reminded us of the PRONAM Bill, 2017, that was passed by the Assembly [in September] last year,” Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Saturday, warning employees who treat their parents shabbily.PRONAM, which stands for Assam Employees’ Parents Responsibility and Norms for Accountability and Monitoring Bill, aims at “accountability for employees of the State government or any other organisation in Assam in taking care of their parents and divyang (disabled) siblings and in matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.”The purpose of the bill was not to interfere with the private life of State government employees but to ensure that their parents and siblings with disabilities, if neglected, could lodge a complaint with the employee’s department, Mr. Sarma said.Upon receiving the complaint, the department would then deduct 10% of the employee’s monthly salary and give it to their neglected parents and physically-challenged siblings, he said.The government, Mr. Sarma said, would also implement the two-child policy for jobs and elections to local bodies and Panchayats. The policy, passed in the Assembly soon after the PRONAM Bill last year, also proposes to disqualify MLAs ignoring family planning.“In case any MLA from the State flouts the family planning norms, say MLAs having more than two children, he/she may be disqualified from his or her membership and be debarred from contesting polls,” the policy, drafted by the Health & Family Welfare Department, said.Assam was the 12th State in India to come up with such a policy for barring people with more than two children from applying for government jobs, contesting polls, and from housing and other beneficiary schemes.“Assam is facing a dangerous population explosion,” Mr. Sarma had said last year to justify the population policy.According to the 2011 Census, the population of Assam increased from 2.66 crore in 2001 to 3.2 crore, with the decadal growth being 17.07%. Although there was a decline in the decadal growth of population, the rate of increase was at an unsustainable level, the government said.Various minority groups had panned the population policy as being anti-Muslim.
Parents of Ehtesham Bilal, 19 — who went missing on October 28 but reappeared on Friday in an online post, wielding weapons under the Islamic State banner — asked their son to return home and appealed to Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind chief Zakir Musa to help them.Distraught and refusing to take meals, Bilal’s mother appealed to her son to shun the militant outfit. “Whatever group you have joined, please return. I appeal to Zakir Musa and will pray for his long life, help me in returning my son,” she said in a video.Bilal, who was a student at Sharda University in Noida was reported missing on October 28by his parents. His father, who owns a hardware shop in Srinagar, expressed shock over his son’s purported audio message,where he pledges allegiance to the IS-motivated Jundul Khilafah and to IS’s Iraq-based leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.“I heard your audio message. You talk about Islam. Islam says heaven lies under the feet of mother. Islam warns against disobedience to your parents. I order you to return to your family, Your mother hasn’t eaten anything [since you went missing],” he said.On Friday, a six-minute audio, attributed to Bilal, and pictures, where he was wielding a gun and weapons strapped with an IS flag in the backdrop, were uploaded on social media. “I was looking into the eyes of those 100 kufaars (non-Muslims) when they attacked me in groups like dogs. I was defending my Afghan muslim brothers. I was even then an advocate of khilaf (Islamic State)…and have chosen the path of jihad,” Bilal purportedly says in the audio.He was apparently referring to a clash that took place between local and Afghan students at Sharda University on October 4. A senior counter-insurgency police officer told The Hindu that Bilal has joined militant ranks and his movement was traced to Srinagar and Pulwama. “We are investigating the matter,” the officer said.National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah described the development as “a worrying trend”.“If this is genuine, it’s hugely worrying. Sometimes, seemingly small actions have huge consequences. If what happened to him at Sharda University has led him to choose such a destructive path, it’s even more tragic. One more life on the path to ruin and one more family in turmoil,” Mr. Abdullah tweeted.
Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Manipur on January 4, security measures have been beefed up on an unprecedented scale. The police and paramilitary forces, including Assam Rifles, are conducting pre-dawn cordon-and-search operations at several places. During a search on Saturday evening, insurgent leader Anand Laishram, 21, of Chajing Karam near Imphal was arrested by the joint forces. Election ploy: Cong.Mr. Modi is likely to announce a slew of developmental projects during his visit lasting a few hours. However, Congress MLA N. Loken said: “It is too late. Mr. Modi and other BJP leaders may announce some projects involving huge amounts. This is mere election ploy. Because no construction work can be taken up in view of the forthcoming Lok Sabha election.”Police sources said the search operations would continue. Identification papers of all youngsters are being verified.The police said the arrested insurgent leader, Anand Laishram, took part in the June 4, 2015 ambush against soldiers at Paraolen in Chandel district, in which 18 Army men were killed on the spot and 11 others were seriously injured. Authorities had announced a reward ₹2 lakh for information leading to his arrest, the police said.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday called the Rafale deal a “big scam” and said that she supported the views of the Congress party on this issue.One of the most vocal critics of the BJP-led government at the Centre, Ms. Banerjee has not spoken much about the Rafale deal. Asked about The Hindu’s revelations on the deal, the West Bengal Chief Minister said Mr. Modi is used to taking unilateral decisions and interfering in every issue and referred to demonetisation.“I was not sure how much money was involved but something has happened behind the curtains in the deal. Rafale is a big scam and I support Congress on this,” she said. The Trinamool Congress chairperson said Mr. Modi turns out to be a chaiwala (tea vendor) during the polls and becomes Rafale-wala after it. During his public meeting at Jalpaiguri Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said he had a deep bond with north Bengal which produces tea as he had once been a tea vendor. Row over circuit courtMs. Banerjee also took strong exception to the Mr Modi’s inaugurating the Circuit Bench of the Calcutta High Court at Jalpaiguri during the day.Speaking to journalists Ms Banerjee said neither the State government nor the High Court was informed of the inauguration. “The manpower for the Circuit Bench has to be provided by us. The High Court will send judges. It is like the groom and the bride are missing and the band party comes and plays a political tune,” the Chief Minister said.During his rally Mr. Modi had criticised the State government for the delay in opening up the Circuit Bench.
Actor-turned politician Sunny Deol escaped unhurt after his vehicle was involved in a collision with three cars on Monday, police said.The mishap occurred after one of the tyres in Deol’s sports utility vehicle burst near a ‘Gurdwara’ in Sohal village, Gurdaspur Deputy Superintendent of Police (rural) Manjit Singh told PTI. A total of four vehicles collided with each other in the accident. Mr. Deol’s cavalcade was going towards Fatehgarh Churian where the BJP candidate had to campaign, the DSP said.“Out of four, one vehicle belonged to a villager, rest other vehicles were part of Mr. Deol’s cavalcade,” he said. Nobody was hurt in the accident, he added.After the accident, Mr. Deol resumed his journey to Fatehgarh Churian for poll campaigning, the DSP said. Mr. Deol is pitted against Congress candidate and sitting MP Sunil Jakhar from Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat.
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden has been at the receiving end of tough questions from Congress numerous times over the past 5 years. But his pugnacious exchange with lawmakers at a hearing of the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee today is likely to go down as one of his more memorable visits to Capitol Hill.Bolden was first grilled by Representative Frank Wolf (R-VA), chair of the commerce, justice, and science appropriations subcommittee, over alleged lapses of security at NASA, which Wolf and many others believe has made the agency vulnerable to espionage by China. Bolden said NASA was improving its security.Then Wolf demanded to know why NASA had been slow to share information with the committee on the expected budget and schedule for programs and the road maps for achieving goals such as the development of a rocket that can take astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). “As a result, we are often required to make decisions in an information vacuum,” Wolf said. 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He insisted that he had never misrepresented anything to the committee. “I am offended,” he said.Bolden was challenged by Wolf and other lawmakers on several elements of the administration’s 2015 budget proposal, including the decision to continue funding a controversial asteroid capture mission, and the decision to mothball the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) if NASA can’t find more partners to share the cost.“We are still looking for ways to save SOFIA,” Bolden said, while reiterating the administration’s view that SOFIA was a lower priority than other astrophysics missions in NASA’s portfolio.Representative John Culberson (R-TX) asked whether NASA had made any contingency plans for sending U.S. astronauts to the ISS in the event of a continuing diplomatic standoff with Russia. Bolden answered that if Congress were to grant the $858 million that NASA requested in the 2015 budget for the development of a commercial crew vehicle, the agency would expect to have access to the space station without reliance on the Russians by 2017.
Budget cuts. Infectious disease. Conflict of interest scandals. Bioterrorism. Just when the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) thought it had faced just about every conceivable problem, today a black bear (Ursus americanus) took shelter in one of the pine trees on its sprawling campus in Bethesda, Maryland.At about midday, NIH employees received an e-mail telling them about the bear (which apparently breached NIH’s security fence, built after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks). Local police, media, and animal control officials soon descended, according to media reports. Soon, Twitter was abuzz with bear reports and jokes.“OMG the bear is at NIH! The bear does not have appropriate identification!” tweeted @sarahrodeo.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)“I’m sure he’s trying to find parking,” speculated @SofiaL246.The bear even appeared to have his own Twitter handle—@NIH_Bear. “I’m not a bear! I’m Senior Faculty here to grumble about funding lines!!” came a tweet from the account, suspiciously also marked “@NIHDirector.”“It’s summertime. I need to fatten up,” read another @NIH_Bear dispatch. “Please send more junior investigators. #yum.”“Who among you has not, when funding decisions weren’t going your way, climbed a tree on the @NIH campus and eaten a librarian?” @NIH_Bear asked.“I want Collins, in a scuba-suit, with an R01 and a budget-cap waiver,” @NIH_Bear demanded at one point. (Francis Collins is NIH’s director; an R01 is the agency’s bread-and-butter grant.)After local media reported that officials were firing fireworks to scare the bear out of the tree, and considering using tranquilizing darts, @DigitalDistrict had this very inside-the-beltway suggestion: “Instead of tranqs, just hold a 2 hour budget meeting underneath the tree. Guaranteed sedation.”The bear had been tranquilized and was awaiting transport off the NIH campus as this item went to press.Black bears have become increasingly frequent visitors to the Washington, D.C., suburbs, where NIH is located, as a result of booming populations.(Video courtesy of WJLA)
How did life on Earth get its start? Do humans harbor genes that jumped from microbes? And does speaking a second language change how you view the world? Science’s Emily Conover and Susanne Bard chat about these stories and more. Plus, Nikolaus Correll discusses the future of robotic materials inspired by nature.
A top Indian-American lawmaker and right bodies have described as “troubling” the US Supreme Court’s decision to uphold President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban targeting several Muslim-majority countries and vowed to resist the “hatred”.In one of the biggest victories of Trump during his presidency, the US Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the travel ban that restricted the entry of people from Iran, North Korea, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Venezuela. Read it at Deccan Herald Related Items