No Room For The ‘Intolerant Indian’, Says President Pranab Mukherjee


 

Advocating free thinking in university campuses, President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday said students and faculties must engage in “reasoned discussion and debate rather than propagating a culture of unrest”. It was tragic, he said, to see students caught in the vortex of violence and disquiet.

His comments come in the backdrop of the ongoing tussle between Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)-affiliate Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and Left-backed All India Students’ Association (AISA) supporters in the Delhi University and a raging debate over free speech and nationalism following recent tweets of one of the varsity’s students Gurmehar Kaur.

“ Our premier institutions of higher education are the vehicles on which India has to propel itself into a knowledge society. These temples of learning must resound with creativity and free thinking,” the president said.

Need ‘Legitimate Criticism And Dissent’

Mukherjee cautioned against the exploitation of “fault lines” in the society, intolerance and attack on women.

He said there should be no room in the country for the “intolerant Indian” as India has been a bastion of free though, speech and expression since ancient times.

Pranab Mukherjee, President Freedom of speech and expression is one of the most important fundamental rights guaranteed by our Constitution. There must be space for legitimate criticism and dissent.

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Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) activists during a protest against Delhi Police at Police headquarters in New Delhi on Wednesday. (Photographer: Subhav Shukla/PTI)

The views of Kaur, daughter of an army officer killed in action against militants, evoked sharp reaction from Union minister Kiren Rijiju who went on to ask, “who is polluting her mind”. Kaur was allegedly threatened with rape on her Facebook page and was mocked by sportspersons and celebrities who questioned her pacifist approach.

“Protection and safety of our women and children must be a nationwide priority. The acid test of any society is its attitude towards women and children. India should not fail this test,” he said.

In terse comments, Mukherjee said he does not consider a society or the State to be civilised if its citizens’ behaviour towards women is uncivilised.

“When we brutalise a woman, we wound the soul of our civilisation. Not only does our Constitution guarantee equal rights to women but our culture and tradition also celebrate the feminine as divine,” he said.

Source

China to build first underwater platform in South China Sea


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BEIJING: China will build its first long-term underwater observation platform in resource-rich South China Sea, where it has territorial disputes with many south-east Asian countries including Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

The platform aims to observe underwater conditions in real time.

“Construction work on the long-term observation platform covering key areas in the South China and East China seas will be done with the help of Shanghai’s Tongji University and the Institute of Acoustics,” Wang Pinxian, an academic at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) said.

Building the observation network showcases that China is actively joining in the international competition, Wang told scientific forum in Shanghai last Saturday, state-run Global Times reported.

Institute of Acoustics refused to reveal the exact location and further details of the researches on the platform due to its sensitive nature, it said.

China has maritime disputes in the South China Sea and East China Sea.

It claims almost all the waters, which carry a third of the world’s maritime traffic and has huge amounts of oil and natural gas BSE -0.15 %.

The waters are also claimed by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan. China also contests Japan’s hold over the islands in the East China Sea.

Quoting a report from ‘sciencenet’, Global Times report said the observation platform will probe the undersea physical, chemical, and geological dynamics, and will also be used for other purposes.

At an offshore drilling project led by Chinese scientists, 33 scientists from 13 countries including the US, France, Italy and Japan left Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong on February 7 for the South China Sea.

The scientists have completed the first drilling task of the expedition to the South China Sea.

The first hole, identified as U1499A, has reached 3,770 meters below sea level, for collection of sediment samples, state-run Xinhua News Agency reported.

According to Sun Zhen of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, chief scientist of the research expedition team, a preliminary lithologic study was conducted on sediment believed to have been formed eight million years ago.

The study will contribute to understanding how marginal basins grow.

A total of 66 scientists from 13 countries will participate in the expeditions, as part of the International Ocean Discovery Programme.

Source

Jitu Rai wins bronze medal in ISSF World Cup


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Jitu Rai (sports rediscovered Image)

NEW DELHI: Ace pistol shooter Jitu Rai staged a remarkable comeback to clinch the bronze medal in the 10m air pistol event for India’s fourth podium finish in the ongoing ISSF World Cup on Tuesday.

The 29-year-old shot a total of 216.7 in the eight-man final to finish third on the podium.

The Asian Games and World Championships silver-medallist was languishing at the seventh position after the end of the first competition series that included an 8.8.

But he clawed his way back with two 10.6 and a 10 in the second competition series. At the end of that series, Rai was placed sixth with a total of 98.7.

He managed to maintain the status quo even as the final entered the elimination stage at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range. He shot two 10s in the following shots to continue his gradual ascent.

The Army man roared back to contention with a couple of 10.6 and ensured a bronze with a 9.9, finishing ahead of China’s Zhanyi Xu (197.9).

With a lead of 0.1 point over Vietnam’s Xuang Vinh Hoang, Rai was in the hunt for a silver but an 8.6 meant he had to be content with the bronze.

The gold went to Japan’s Tomoyuki Matsuda with a world record total of 240.1 points, while Vietnam’s Xuan Vinh Hoang claimed silver with 236.6 points.

The other Indian shooters in the fray in the air pistol event — Omkar Singh and Amanpreet Singh — failed to cross the qualification stage.

Source: Times Of India

Oscars 2017: Complete list of winners


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Oscars – Picture by Ian West PA Archive/PA Images

It’s the 89th Academy Awards on Sunday night into Monday morning, with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honouring the best movies of the last 12 months.

La La Land’ and ‘Moonlight are expected to duke it out for top honours and you can watch the whole star-studded shebang unfold live on Sky Cinema’s dedicated Oscars channel from 01:30am Monday morning.

We’ll be updating the winners right here on this very page as they’re announced, so bookmark this page and check back in on Monday for the full list of winners.

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Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in ‘La La Land’ (credit: Lionsgate)

BEST PICTURE

Arrival
Fences
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Hidden Figures
La La Land
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Moonlight

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling, La La Land
Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington, Fences

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

Isabelle Huppert, Elle
Ruth Negga, Loving
Natalie Portman, Jackie
Emma Stone, La La Land
Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea
Dev Patel, Lion
Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Viola Davis, Fences
Naomie Harris, Moonlight
Nicole Kidman, Lion
Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

Kubo and the Two Strings
Moana
My Life as a Zucchini
The Red Turtle
Zootopia

CINEMATOGRAPHY

Arrival
La La Land
Lion
Moonlight
Silence

COSTUME DESIGN

Allied
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Florence Foster Jenkins
Jackie
La La Land

DIRECTING

Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Manchester by the Sea
Moonlight

DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE)

Fire at Sea
I Am Not Your Negro
Life, Animated
O.J.: Made in America
13th

DOCUMENTARY (SHORT SUBJECT)

Extremis
4.1 Miles
Joe’s Violin
Watani: My Homeland
The White Helmets

FILM EDITING

Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Moonlight

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Land of Mine
A Man Called Ove
The Salesman
Tanna
Toni Erdmann

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

A Man Called Ove
Star Trek Beyond
Suicide Squad

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)

Jackie
La La Land
Lion
Moonlight
Passengers

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)

“Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” from La La Land
Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

“Can’t Stop The Feeling” from Trolls
Music and Lyric by Justin Timberlake, Max Martin and Karl Johan Schuster

“City Of Stars” from La La Land
Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

“The Empty Chair” from Jim: The James Foley Story
Music and Lyric by J. Ralph and Sting

“How Far I’ll Go” from Moana
Music and Lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda

PRODUCTION DESIGN

Arrival
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Hail, Caesar!
La La Land
Passengers

SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)

Blind Vaysha
Borrowed Time
Pear Cider and Cigarettes
Pearl
Piper

SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION)

Ennemis Intérieurs
La Femme et le TGV
Silent Nights
Sing
Timecode

SOUND EDITING

Arrival
Deepwater Horizon
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Sully

SOUND MIXING

Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

VISUAL EFFECTS

Deepwater Horizon
Doctor Strange
The Jungle Book
Kubo and the Two Strings
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)

Arrival
Fences
Hidden Figures
Lion
Moonlight

WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)

Hell or High Water
La La Land
The Lobster
Manchester by the Sea
20th Century Women

via

— Yahoo

Aston Martin’s newly unveiled supercar DB11 Q is high on customisation potential


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DB11-Q-by-Aston Martin

British Luxury car maker Aston Martin is gearing up to unveil a range of new supercars at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show in March. Ahead of the show, the Gaydon-based supercar maker has unveiled a special DB11 that highlights the customisation possibilities of in-house service Q by Aston Martin.

Christened as DB11 Q by Aston Martin, the special unit is finished with exclusive Zaffre Blue paint, paired with gloss, satin twill and forged carbon-fibre details including – front splitter, side sills, rear diffuser side strakes, bonnet strakes and door mirrors. Inside, the upper and lower cabin environments are cloaked in swathes of Obsidian Black Semi-Aniline leather. Aston Martin has embossed Q logo on the headrest. The carbon-fibre wheel centres and engine cover add subtle touches while colour matched four-piece luggage set is also available.

The special-edition DB11 highlights the expanded range of customisation services offered by Q. The service offers a collection that includes exclusive paint and upholstery colours, material finishes and craft elements. This range from a unique leather quilt upholstery pattern to tinted wheel finishes that incorporate body-coloured blades to the diamond turned spokes, as well as the use of new wood and leather interior elements.

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DB11 Q by Aston Martin

The DB11 is the most powerful and most efficient ‘DB’ production model in Aston Martin’s history. It is powered by a newly developed 5.2-litre V12 twin-turbo engine that generates 600bhp at 6,500rpm and a maximum torque of 700Nm from 1,500rpm. The engine is mated to ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox that sends power to rear wheels. The DB11 need just 3.9 seconds to reach 100kmph from standstill before reaching top speed of 322kmph.

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DB11 Q by Aston Martin

Via

— Yahoo

Sirens to alert people in case of earthquakes in Uttarakhand


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DEHRADUN: IIT-Roorkee has developed a regional early warning system which will alert people in Uttarakhand in the event of an earthquake by sounding a siren.

A siren will scream after getting required signals from sensors to be put up in quake-sensitive areas across the state and alert people in case of earthquakes so they get enough time to reach safety, seismic scientist from IIT-R Ashok Kumar said in a presentation at a meeting of the Advisory Group Committee on disaster management chaired by Chief Secretary S Ramawamy.

84 sensors have already been installed in quake-prone areas of Uttarakhand out of a total of 1,100 sensors to be put up throughout the state, Kumar said at the meeting.

After the installation of sensors is complete, sirens will begin to be installed in sensitive areas, an official release quoting him said.

A mobile app has also been developed which will alert users about a quake by producing a unique beeping sound.

n areas where there is no mobile connectivity, the early warning system will be connected with All India Radio.
An early warning system software has also been prepared, Kumar said.

Via

— TimesofIndia

 

Four killed and five soldiers injured in Shopian militant attach


Three army men and a woman were killed while five army personnel were injured in a militant attack on wee hours of Thursday in Shopian district of South Kashmir.

The attack took place in Mulu Chitragam area of Shopian around 60 kms from Srinagar, when militants ambushed a patrolling party of 44-RR at around 2:00 am, when they were returning from cordon and search operation in a nearby village Kungnoo.

The party was returning without any arrest or recovery from Kungnoo, when militants opened fire at the government forces in Chitragam village.

Even though extra contingents of forces were rushed to spot, but militants managed to flee from the spot, after inflicting heavy loses on the government forces.

In the exchange of fire, according to initial reports, a bullet hit a local resident, Taja Begum, who was inside her house and she died.

The army personnel killed in the attack have been identified as Sreejit MJ, Vikas Kumar and Ghulam Muhammad Rather, while the injured include Lt Col Mukesh Jha, Major Amardeep Singh, Surendra Kumar, Sumer Singh and Ajay Pal.

“While returning from Kungnoo, the CASO party was attacked by unknown militants at Mulu Chitragam at about 2 am resulting in injuries to six army personnel including two officers of whom three succumbed to their injuries,” read the official statement of police.

Former chief minister and opposition National Conference leader in response to the incident tweeted, “Tragic news & deeply worrying situation in the valley. May the souls of the departed rest in peace.”

Militancy is on a steep rise in Kashmir, especially after the killing of Hizb ul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani along with his two colleagues on July 8 last year.

According to official figures, 29 Armymen and 22 militants have been killed in first two months of this year, till now. The police figures claim that around 100 locals have joined militant ranks in last year and 59 of them joined after Wani was killed. More than 60 weapons have been snatched from police and other government forces in 2016.

“South Kashmir as whole is a major concern for us as for as militancy is concerned. However, Pulwama and Shopian area a major concern as we have both militancy and law and order problem here,” a senior police official told ET.

The counter militancy operations had completed stopped during five months of street protests, but resumed and are continuing at fast pace, as protests subsided since November last year.

J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti has urged J&K police to persuade local militants for surrender and manage their reentry into mainstream of development. Police claims that they were successful in persuading few militants for surrender. However the militants alleged that the government was harassing their families under the garb of surrender policy. Local Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militant, Zakir, in a video message, warned police of dire consequences, if latter continue to harass families of militants.

Source: Economic Times

Malayalam actress abduction: Prime accused escapes


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Pulsar Sunil is a driver, who orchestrated the kidnap of a popular Malayalam actor has reportedly escaped.

After monitoring his mobile telephone, police found that Pulsar Sunil was in Alappuzha.

But before the accused could be intercepted, he reportedly gave the slip. Another accused also escaped minutes before the police reached their hideout.

However, a friend who came to meet Sunil was taken into custody, the sources said.

The actress, who was kidnapped by a gang of six on Friday (February 17) night, alleged that Sunil committed the crime at the behest of others.

Sunil reportedly told her that he had been hired to kidnap her and if she resisted, he would have to use force.

The actress was let off near a director-turned-actor’s house, from where the police were informed and her driver Martin was arrested.

Now, the police have arrested three of the seven persons allegedly involved in the crime. They will be charged under under Sections 366 (kidnapping), 376 (rape) of IPC and Section 66 of the IT Act.

On Sunday night, the Malayalam film fraternity gathered here to express their support to the victim. After the horrific incident, several celebrities across the industries have showed their support to the actor.

Source: India Today

Sasikala surrenders, back in Bengaluru jail


sasikalaBengaluru, Feb 15 (IANS) AIADMK General Secretary V.K. Sasikala, held guilty for corruption, on Wednesday surrendered before a trial court at a prison here.

Sasikala gave herself up at the Central Jail on the city’s southern outskirts with her relatives Elavarasi and V.N. Sudhakaran after reaching from Chennai by road, officials said.

As the long-time confidante of the late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa reached the prison complex, clashes erupted between AIADMK supporters and police personnel.

One official said Sasikala underwent a medical check-up.

The surrender came a day after the Supreme Court upheld her conviction in a case of holding assets disproportionate to known sources of income.

Also held guilty were her two relatives — sister-in-law Elavarasi and nephew Sudhakaran, who were also sentenced for four years along with Jayalalithaa and Sasikala in September 2014.

The makeshift trial court was set up again in the jail complex earlier in the day for security reasons.

The civil court complex in the city centre is in a congested area and would have caused law and order problem due to the high-profile nature of the case and the convicts involved.

In a related development, Sasikala’s husband Natarajan and the party’s deputy leader in the Lok Sabha, M. Thambidurai, reached the prison complex about 30 minutes before she crossed the Tamil Nadu border in a convoy.

“Though Sasikala pleaded for more time to serve the jail term, the judge declined and asked her to undergo a health check-up before 6 p.m. to enter the jail,” added the official.

–IANS

Service Tax Dept summons Sania Mirza for alleged evasion


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Hyderabad: Tennis player Sania Mirza has been issued notice by the Service Tax department in connection with alleged non-payment or evasion of Service Tax.
Principal Commissioner of Service Tax office here issued the summons to the tennis star on February 6 and appear before it in person or by an authorized agent on February 16.
The notice says “Whereas an investigation against you about non-payment/evasion of Service Tax/contravention of provisions of Finance Act 1994 and Rules made there under is being inquired.

“I have reasons to believe you are in possession of facts or/and documents and things which are relevant to the inquiry.”

“You are hereby summoned under Central Excise Act, 1944 made applicable to service Tax matters under Finance Act, 1994 to appear before the Office in person or by an authorized agent on February 16 to give evidence truthfully on such matters concerning the enquiry as you may be asked to produce the documents and things,” said the summons, which does not specify the case in which she has been asked to appear.

If you fail to comply with this summons and intentionally avoid to attend or to give evidence and to produce the documents and things, without a lawful excuse, you will be liable to be punished under the relevant provisions of IPC, it said.

via (Mid-Day)