Apprehending influx of Maoists from Chhattisgarh a day after the carnage in Sukma, the Odisha Police on Tuesday sealed the border with the neighbouring State and sounded a high alert in the Malkangiri district. In a similar step, Madhya Pradesh Police too has issued a high alert in Balaghat district, bordering Chhattisgarh.The Odisha Police deployed its elite anti-Maoist Special Operation Group, District Voluntary Force (DVF) and jawans of the CRPF and the BSF to ensure there was no influx of the ultras in Odisha, State DGP K.B. Singh said.Mr. Singh said there was every possibility of Maoist ultras preferring to take shelter in Odisha as Maharashtra has already sealed its border with Chhattisgarh.“The central forces and State police have been told to undertake area domination exercise and flush out Maoist rebels, if any,” the DGP told reporters.Malkangiri Superintendent of Police Mitrabhanu Mohapatra said, “We have sounded a high-alert in the border areas. The whole district has also been put on extra vigil.” Monitoring has been intensified in all entry and exit points at the bordering areas. Besides, instructions have been given to police officers and combing police parties to coordinate with their counterparts in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Chhattisgarh, he said.A similar alert has also been sounded along the Andhra-Odisha Border (AOB), police said.M.P. Police intensifies patrollingIn the wake of the Sukma attack, Madhya Pradesh Police has also issued a high alert in the Maoist-affected Balaghat district, a senior official said on Tuesday.“The areas under Balaghat police range are bordering with the Naxal-affected areas of Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra. So, we have put the security forces on high alert,” Inspector-General (Balaghat Range) G. Janardan told PTI on Tuesday.He said the patrolling along the borders has been intensified to check the activities of Naxals.“This area has also been Naxal-affected and the police has intensified patrolling at the borders of Kawardha and Rajnandgaon districts of Chhattisgarh and Gondia district of Maharashtra,” Mr. Janardan added.
All 67 legislators of the Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha, including Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, Leader of the Opposition Prem Kumar Dhumal and Speaker Brij Bihari Lal Butail exercised their franchise in the presidential polls on Monday. The State has a 68-member Assembly but one seat is vacant following the death of Congress MLA Karan Singh.Independent membersSecretary of State Vidhan Sabha Sunder Lal Verma said that 35 Congress MLAs, 28 Bharatiya Janata Party MLAs and four Independent MLAs voted in the polls. Both the BJP and the Congress have claimed support of two Independent members each.Unicameral HouseIn the Unicameral House of the State, each MLA vote has a value of 51 votes and the State has four seats in the Lok Sabha — all occupied by the BJP. It also has three Rajya Sabha seats, one occupied by the BJP and the other two by the Congress. The Congress has a minor edge in the polls if no cross voting takes place.BJP meets GovernorRight after casting their votes, a delegation of the BJP met Governor Acharya Devvrat. Memo submittedThey submitted a memo urging him to dismiss the Virbhadra Singh-led government due to the “worsening law and order situation” in the State. Independent MLAs Balbir Verma and Manohar Dhiman, who recently joined the BJP, were part of the delegation.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday took the custody of five accused arrested by the Jammu and Kashmir Police in connection with the escape of Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist Mohammed Naveed Jhatt from the SMHS hospital, an official spokesman said here. The NIA spokesman said the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate here granted a two-day transit remand of the five accused who had been nabbed by the police on February 8, two days after the escape of 22-year-old Jhatt alias Abu Hanzalla from the busy hospital in the city. The five accused — Shakeel Ahmed Bhat, Tika Khan, Syed Tajamul Islam, Mohammed Shafi Wani and Jan Mohammed Ganai — were arrested by the police for allegedly conspiring in the escape of Jhatt. All the five accused are residents of Pulwama. The NIA re-registered the case pertaining to the escape from custody of Jhatt from the SMHS hospital where he was brought in for treatment on February 6. The accused will be produced before the NIA special court at Jammu tomorrow for seeking police custody, the spokesman said. The designated court for the NIA is in Jammu, the winter capital of the state. Two policemen — head constable Mushtaq Ahmed and constable Babar Ahmed — of the Jammu and Kashmir Police were killed by Jhatt and his accomplice on the fateful day. Bhat is believed to be one of the masterminds of the escape of Jhatt and his motorcycle had been used in the escape of the terrorist, police said. Khan, a resident of Pulwama, is alleged to have provided his car for further transportation of Jhatt out of the city, police said. Jhatt is at present believed to be in the Pulwama area of South Kashmir, they said. Shafi, who is from Narbal on the outskirts of Srinagar city, had posed as a patient to provide cover for the terrorists escape. Jhatt had managed to escape on February 6 after at least two other militants attacked the police escort team at the SMHS Hospital here, killing two cops.
Rajasthan on Friday became the second State, after Madhya Pradesh, to pass a Bill providing for death penalty to those convicted of raping girls of 12 years and below. The State Assembly passed the Bill seeking to amend the Indian Penal Code with the insertion of new provision by voice vote.A deterrentHome Minister Gulab Chand Kataria, who introduced the Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Bill, 2018, in the House, said it was a “progressive legislation” aimed at protecting the girl child by laying down a deterrent punishment, including death sentence, to the offenders.“The Bill will become a law after it gets the Presidential assent. The Rajasthan Assembly has conveyed its feelings to the President. We hope that a similar initiative will be taken by other States and even by the Centre,” Mr. Kataria said after the House rejected a motion moved by some Congress members to circulate the Bill for eliciting public opinion.According to the National Crime Records Bureau’s 2016 report, the cases of crimes against children have seen a steady increase in Rajasthan. The State recorded 4,034 such cases in 2016, which was 3.8% of the crimes against children registered across the country. In 2015, the State had registered 3,689 cases of crimes against children.Mr. Kataria said the Bill had inserted two new sections, 376-AA and 376-DD, in the IPC.Section 376-AA provides for capital punishment or rigorous imprisonment ranging between 14 years and lifelong incarceration. Section 376-DD makes a similar provision for gang-rape of a girl child, while laying down death penalty or imprisonment from 20 years to lifelong incarceration for those convicted of the offence. Each of the persons constituting the gang will be deemed to be guilty of the offence.
Deepak Mandal, son of ruling Janata Dal (United) MLA Bima Bharti, was found dead on a railway track in Patna on Friday. Bima Bharti represents the Rupauli Assembly constituency in Purnia district of north Bihar.Deepak Mandal’s body was found near the Rajendra Nagar railway terminal. He was studying in Patna and had stayed at a friend’s house near the railway terminal on Thursday night, the police said. His father, Awadhesh Mandal, is a gangster from the Seemanchal area, with over a dozen cases pending against him. Speaking to reporters, he accused his rivals of killing his son.
When Ripley Ballou came to a Geneva, Switzerland, meeting about Ebola vaccines last week, he had a tough message to sell. In the efficacy tests for such vaccines that may start in West Africa in a few months, half of the volunteers should randomly be assigned into a control arm, Ballou argued—a group of people at risk of becoming infected who would not receive an experimental Ebola vaccine. Instead, they would serve as so-called active controls and be injected with other, approved vaccines, for instance against hepatitis B or pneumococcal disease. That would be the fastest way to know whether the Ebola vaccines work and can be deployed widely, Ballou said—and thus potentially save the most lives.It was a controversial opinion. Health care workers at the front lines of Ebola, who will serve as the target group in the first efficacy tests, are so vulnerable that giving them anything other than the experimental vaccine seems inhumane and could create tensions, some contended. “Going into this meeting, we were told the idea of a controlled trial … was not going to be acceptable,” says Ballou, who heads the crash program to develop an Ebola vaccine at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in Rixensart, Belgium.Indeed, Ballou didn’t win everyone over in his talk at the meeting, which took place on 29 and 30 September at the headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO). Representatives of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) were strongly opposed to giving trial participants anything other than an actual Ebola vaccine candidate—and they didn’t change their minds. “The meeting was quite tense at moments,” says Marie-Paule Kieny, a WHO assistant director-general and vaccine expert.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(*)But many scientists did leave the meeting convinced that the randomized, controlled design proposed by Ballou should be used, as hard as it may be to explain, because it will be the fastest way to know if the vaccine works. “The attendees had a strong sense that there was no time to waste,” especially after they were given an update on the situation in West Africa, Kieny says. “I was expecting more controversy.” Looking back, “we basically said what people thought needed to be said but were afraid to say,” Ballou says.The GSK vaccine only went into a human for the first time on 2 September, in a phase I trial that will involve a few hundred volunteers not at risk of infection. If the vaccine proves safe and triggers the kind of immune responses that monkey studies suggest confer protection, some 10,000 or so doses will ship to the three most affected countries in West Africa by January.The compound, which GSK has developed in collaboration with the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), is one of two vaccine candidates that may soon enter real-world efficacy trials; the other was developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada and is produced by NewLink Genetics in Ames, Iowa.It’s an extraordinary, unprecedented gamble to move so quickly. Normally, vaccines take many years to advance from small phase I studies, which look at safety and immune responses; to phase II studies, which do the same in larger groups; to phase III, in which efficacy is tested in large populations at risk of the disease. An earlier WHO consultation made the startling announcement on 5 September that this crisis required compressing the timeline, which effectively does away with traditional phase III studies.At last week’s meeting, vaccinemakers, researchers, ethicists, clinicians, epidemiologists, statisticians, and representatives of the affected countries met to sort through thorny ethical and statistical issues about how to design the efficacy trials in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea—the three countries ravaged by Ebola.The meeting participants roundly agreed that it did not make sense to just give the experimental vaccines to health care workers on a so-called compassionate use basis and without an efficacy trial, as has happened with experimental Ebola treatments such as ZMapp and TKM-Ebola; that strategy is simply too dangerous with a vaccine, which goes into healthy people. “The last thing you want to do is roll out a vaccine that does nothing to protect people or even harms them,” says Marylyn Addo, an expert on emerging infections at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf in Germany who attended the meeting. An actual trial is needed, the meeting concluded; it’s the setup that’s subject to debate.The tried-and-true design of vaccine efficacy trials randomly assigns half of the participants to receive the experimental shot and the other half a dummy, or placebo. No one knows what they receive, and the vaccine works if more people in the control arm develop disease than those who got the actual vaccine. Before the meeting, many researchers felt that this design would be unethical, knowing that health care workers are at considerable risk and Ebola is so often fatal. The same was true for a variation on this scheme, which replaced the placebo with an active control that would at least protect participants against another virus, if not Ebola.The leading alternative is a design known as step-wedge, which essentially uses time to create a control group. In this design, researchers take advantage of the inescapable reality that large-scale trials can’t give everyone the vaccine on the exact same date; they compare the rates of infection in people already vaccinated with those who have yet to receive the shots. Barney Graham, a virologist at NIAID in Bethesda, Maryland, who attended the meeting, says “people are more comfortable” with the step-wedge design, because everyone in such a study would get the Ebola vaccine.But statistically speaking, this design makes it more difficult to determine the vaccine’s worth, and it takes longer, Ballou explained in Geneva. The most practical way to do a step-wedge study is to randomize the sequence of vaccine distribution to, for instance, different Ebola treatment units. But researchers still have to observe the different communities for the same amount of time. A step-wedge trial also makes it more difficult to control for biases like differences in rates of new infection, behavior, and availability of protection suits.Most meeting participants found themselves in agreement, says Ira Longini, a biostatistician from the University of Florida in Gainesville, who came to the meeting expressly to present a talk on the step-wedge design. “I worked a lot of that up, but my talk was after [Ballou’s], and I had to modify it quite a bit because I suddenly saw a real double-blinded trial with another vaccine as the control was the way to go,” Longini says. “I think the first day of the meeting things evolved quite differently than many people expected.”Ballou described a randomized study in which 2500 people would receive the vaccine and 2500 an active control. He stressed that his team at GSK had many unknowns to wrestle with, including health care workers’ infection risk—which they estimated at 10% per year spent in contact with Ebola patients. Assuming that’s correct and that the vaccine works at least 80% of the time, researchers could be “absolutely confident” about efficacy after 30 infections and within 3 months, Ballou says. A vaccine that had 60% efficacy could still yield an answer with fewer than 60 infections.“Rip’s study made sense,” WHO’s Kieny says. “There was a broad agreement that [such a trial] would get a definitive result much sooner.” Discussions will now start with affected countries to see where the trial might be feasible, she says.But MSF representatives remain unconvinced. “Studies on efficacy in affected countries and more so in at-risk populations should not have a placebo or active control arm as this cannot be defended ethically,” says Annick Antierens, a meeting attendee who oversees experimental Ebola products for MSF. Antierens says MSF would support other Ebola vaccine efficacy trials designs, but would not specify which ones. “It is not up to MSF to decide exactly what design should be used, as this will depend on the setting and the situation at the time of the trial,” she says.Jeremy Farrar, an infectious disease researcher who heads the Wellcome Trust research charity in London, thinks a randomized, controlled trial is ethical for the simple reason that no one really knows whether the vaccine will offer protection. But he questions whether it will be acceptable to participants at high risk of contracting Ebola. “If you were there tomorrow and you were a health care worker, would you be willing to be in a control arm, when the next 3 months you will be looking after patients with Ebola?” he asks. A step-wedge trial would avoid that problem, Farrar says. “I don’t want us to have months of discussions about the best way of handling this.”There may be a way around the debate. GSK has predicted that by January it will have at least 10,000 doses of its vaccine—an Ebola surface protein gene stitched inside a harmless chimpanzee adenovirus—which means that even if the randomized, controlled studies are done, there may be enough for less rigorous designs such as the step-wedge trial. “I would do all these trials simultaneously,” Longini says. The meeting also discussed doing randomized, controlled trials in African countries that are not affected, and in special populations, such as children and HIV-infected people, to gather more data about safety and immune responses.If everything goes according to plan, Kieny says, a phase III trial could reveal as soon as April whether the GSK vaccine works. The other candidate vaccine, produced by NewLink Genetics, is lagging behind. It has faced several delays, and some have accused the company of dragging its feet, but human studies will likely start by the end of the month. NewLink is looking for a major corporate partner to move the vaccine forward. “I think that would be a big help,” Kieny says.An earlier WHO consultation recommended that if vaccine supplies are limited, efficacy trials should first recruit volunteers from health care workers, as they both are at high risk and provide a critical service to society to help combat the epidemic. That doesn’t just mean doctors and nurses. “An interesting outcome of the meeting is we stopped talking about health care worker and started talking about front-line care giver,” Ballou says. “It’s from the doctor to the person cleaning the ward to the gravedigger.”The trials will work best if they enroll volunteers who are affiliated with a specialized Ebola treatment facility rather than general clinics or private practices. “You have to be able to recruit them and follow them, and the farther you get away from a treatment facility, the harder that’s going to be,” Ballou says. (The safety trial for the vesicular stomatitis virus vaccine in Geneva will also recruit health care workers who eventually are going to the affected region.)Conditions for the trials will be far more difficult than those vaccine researchers usually deal with. The health care systems in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea are crippled; potential participants may be wary of an experimental product made by foreigners; ethical reviews may be hard to perform locally; and security could become be a problem, Ballou says. “The thing I’m really worried about,” he says, “is we have a great plan and we may have a great vaccine and, at end of day, we may not be able to do the trial.”*The Ebola Files: Given the current Ebola outbreak, unprecedented in terms of number of people killed and rapid geographic spread, Science and Science Translational Medicine have made a collection of research and news articles on the viral disease freely available to researchers and the general public.
After the conclusion of the fourth Test against Australia, South African batsman AB de Villiers will be flying to India to participate in the Indian Premier League (IPL). However, this could be de Villiers’ last match as a South African player as his Indian citizenship has been accepted. Yes, you heard that right! De Villiers will turn up for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the IPL 2018, but the only thing that will change from the last season is the fact that he will no longer be an overseas player.Read it at Sports Wallah Related Items
Official figures show millions of patients wait more than three weeks for a GP appointment.A report by the General Medical Council says that new technology makes it much easier to Skype a doctor in another country.Read it at The Sun Related Items
The Supreme Court of India has expressed concern over the condition of the Taj Mahal. The apex court on May 1 asked the central government to take urgent steps to analyze the damage, and restore the UNESCO World Heritage Site, in Agra, Uttar Pradesh.The once ivory-white marble mausoleum on the banks of the Yamuna river has turned green, the court observed.“First it was yellow and now it is becoming brown and green,” the bench, comprising Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta, commented to Additional Solicitor General (ASG) ANS Nadkarni, who was representing the government, according to the Press Trust of India.The petitioner, environmentalist MC Mehta, told the court that its directions to protect the monument were not heeded to by the authorities and that the condition of the 17th century monument has become “horrible.” He said that apart from the discoloration, there were patches on the marbles, and a minaret also fell down recently.“We do not know whether you have or perhaps do not have the expertise. Even if you have the expertise, you are not utilizing it. Or perhaps you do not care. Perhaps we need some expert organization from outside India unless there is a decision that the Taj has to go,” the bench said, adding, “You can get experts from India as well as from outside.”The discoloration is happening because of weathering and industrial pollution, but thorough studies are required before remedial measures are implemented, the Hindu quoted experts as saying.The World Health Organization listed Agra among one of the most polluted cities in the world on May 2.The court told the Center that the condition of the Taj Mahal indicates that “there is a lack of will.” Marking May 9 as the date for the next hearing , it said, “You think about getting the experts from within the country or outside the country.”The central government is taking measures to limit visitors to the monument by hiking ticket prices.An earlier study conducted by Indian and American researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur, Archaeological Survey of India, Georgia Tech and the University of Wisconsin in 2014 found that the main reasons behind the discoloration were particulate matter, carbon from burning biomass and refuse, fossil fuels, and dust. The discoloration was first noticed in the 1970s. Related ItemsAgraAir pollutiontaj mahal
Scores of irate dismissed workers bludgeoned the chief executive of an Italian auto parts factory to death outside NoidaLalit Kishore Choudhary, 47 CEO of Graziano Transmissioni’s India operations died of severe head wounds following the attack. Choudhary had invited 100 former employees who had been dismissed after an earlier outbreak of violence at the plant for discussions. Related Items
Aficionados of Marathi cinema and fans of iconic Marathi litterateur P.L. Deshpande — affectionately known as ‘Pu La’ — have news to cheer about as the city-based National Film Archive of India (NFAI) has acquired rare footage from a ‘lost’ Marathi film classic of the 1940s which starred Deshpande.The film, Vande Mataram (1948) directed by Ram Gabale, is a much sought-after memorabilia item high on the lists of Marathi film collectors and devotees of Pu La’s work.It marked the first time that the multi-faceted Deshpande, who starred alongside his wife Sunita, played the lead role following minor appearances in earlier films, Kuber (1947) and Bhagyaresha (1948).“The 35-minute footage that we have received has rekindled hopes that the complete film may yet be discovered. The footage, in form of a VHS tape, was given to us by Dinesh Thakur (Sunita Deshpande’s nephew) and film historian Satish Jakatdar along with U-matic tapes which contain previously unseen footage of Pu La playing the harmonium,” said Prakash Magdum, Director, NFAI.He informed that while the sound quality was all right, there was dire need to enhance the picture quality of the footage.Vande Mataram, made immediately after Independence but set during the freedom struggle, was a heady confluence of the most formidable talents to grace Marathi cinema during its heyday in the late 1940s. The film, shot in Kolhapur, was written by yet another legendary Marathi literary figure, the famed poet-writer Gajanan Digambar Madgulkar who also provided the lyrics, while the music was composed by renowned singer Sudhir Phadke.It was edited by Raja Thakur (who later became a director in his own right), helmed by the talented Mr. Gabale, a Prabhat Studios regular, and was produced by the maverick P.R. Bhide.The film, with its memorable music and songs, focuses on the patriotism of ordinary folks and is laced with gentle humour.“VandeMataram is indeed remarkable for the dazzling array of talent associated with it as Madgulkar, Pu La and Phadke constituted the veritable trinity of Marathi cinema during its golden age in the late 1940s and 50s. Its ‘lost film’ status has lent it a certain aura. The film was very dear to its composer, Sudhir Phadke, who had in fact visited Mr. Thakur’s residence in Mumbai following Pu La’s death in 2000 to search if the latter had preserved it in his collection,” said Mr. Magdum, speaking to The Hindu.He said that the footage featured a couple of songs and has Pu La singing a powada (ballad).“In particular, one song from this film, Ved Mantrahun Vandya, became a huge hit and endures in its popularity even till this day,” said Mr. Magdum.He further said that the acquisition was doubly delightful as by a happy coincidence this year happens to be the birth centenary of P.L. Deshpande, G.D. Madgulkar and Sudhir Phadke. Incidentally 2018 was the birth centenary of the film’s producer, P.R. Bhide.“Bhide was an interesting character who dabbled in a number of things including the cinema. Besides Vande Mataram, the other notable film he produced was Lalat (1947) where his auteurist tendencies were in full display in his highly innovative experiment of using 16 mm film to record sound instead of film,” Mr. Magdum said, remarking that Bhide later exited cinema to become a spiritual godman, establishing the Manashakti Center in Lonavla and assuming the name of ‘Swami Vijnananand’.Of the other memorabilia acquired by the NFAI, one of the two hour-long U-matic cassettes showcase the considerable Harmonium skills of the versatile Mr. Deshpande and were recorded sometime in Mumbai in the 1980s.The other cassette has his inimitable recitation of some of his beloved characters from his literary ouvre.In December 2015, the NFAI had received another rare ‘Pu La’ memorabilia in the form of Deshpande’s original handwritten script of the enduring 1953 Marathi classic Gulacha Ganpati which was later digitized by them.
Following the floods across the State due to heavy rainfall over the past week, the government fears a surge in cases of leptospirosis, dengue, malaria, and viral fevers. The health department has formed 162 medical teams to conduct house-to-house visits for early symptom diagnosis and treatment.Of these, 114 teams are working in the Thane region, 37 in Kolhapur and 10 in Pune.A health department official said a four-member team of two male and female medical worker each would visit bigger areas and villages, while the smaller villages would be covered by two-member teams.A press release issued on Tuesday by Health Minister Eknath Shinde said nearly 1.14 lakh people have been affected by the floods and heavy rainfall across the State. As many as 36 villages in the Kolhapur region, 18 in Thane and two to three villages in Satara and Nashik have been severely affected.“So far, the teams have covered more than 14,000 households. In the flood-affected areas, we have also undertaken work for cleaning water in the wells,” Mr. Shinde said.Fear of outbreakFor those who have waded through floodwater, leptospirosis is the biggest risk. It is a bacterial infection that is transmitted to humans through rat and cattle urine and excreta and commonly caused when one wades through contaminated water and the bacteria is transmitted through unhealed wounds in the skin, abrasions, and cuts especially on the foot. Mumbai has recorded 62 cases, and one death, due to leptospirosis in July this year.As the floodwaters recede, a surge in vector-borne disease is also most likely as mosquito breeding sees a rise. “Konkan, Navi Mumbai, and Thane region have recorded very high rainfall. The civic administration should be prompt in vector control measures. Those who have waded through water should get easy access to prophylactic medication as well,” Mr. Shinde said.
Moderate to heavy rain continued to lash several districts of Odisha since Wednesday morning affecting normal life in the southern and coastal regions of the State.Triggered by a well- marked low pressure formed over the Bay of Bengal, heavy rain is likely over more areas of the State over the next three days.As less number of vehicles were seen plying on the roads, people living in slum clusters and low clusters faced difficulties in the urban areas of Berhampur, Puri, Bhubaneswar and Cuttack during the day.The Bhubaneswar Centre of the India Meteorological Department said that heavy to very heavy rain is likely to occur at isolated places over the districts of Koraput, Gajapati, Ganjam and Puri on Thursday. More rain forecastHeavy rain was also likely to hit the districts of Malkangiri, Rayagada, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Nayagarh, Khurda, Jagatsinghpur, Cuttack, Sundargarh, Kendrapara and Bhadrak, the centre warned. The centre said that heavy to very heavy rain was expected at isolated places over the districts of Sundargarh, Bargarh, Sambalpur, Deogarh and Keonjhar on Friday. The low pressure area, formed over the west-central Bay of Bengal is likely to intensify into a depression by Thursday night, the centre said.
The Tripura High Court on Thursday rejected the bail application of former Minister and CPI(M) leader Badal Choudhury, indicted in the alleged ₹640-crore Public Works Department scam of 2008. Lawyers representing the Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly insisted on bail citing Mr. Choudhury’s fragile health. After the bail plea was rejected, counsel indicated their decision to move the Supreme Court. Mr. Choudhury was admitted to the ICU of the government GBP Hospital after he complained of chest pain in the custody of West Agartala police on Wednesday.He was locked up at the police station barely for 30 minutes after the police took his custody upon his discharge from the private hospital where he took admission a week ago ending his disappearance amid intensive police search.Street protestsThe CPI(M) has been organising street protests for the past two days protesting the alleged forceful removal of Mr. Choudhury from the private hospital. The party alleged that police officials misbehaved with its leader at the police station.Former Member of Parliament, the 69-year-old CPI(M) veteran was made prime accused in the case filed by the Vigilance Department. The investigation was later handed over to the Crime Branch.Sources said senior police officials were consulting doctors at the GBP Hospital on taking back Mr. Choudhury in their custody.Remains elusiveMeanwhile, former Chief Secretary Y.P. Singh, who was the Principal Secretary incharge of PWD in 2008, remained elusive despite searches by a team of the Crime Branch at New Delhi and Gurugram. Another accused, former PWD Chief Engineer Sunil Bhowmik, was arrested and remanded in custody.
A Japanese student on an exchange programme at IIT-Guwahati has been found dead inside a hostel room, police said. The body of the student, identified as that of Kota Onoda (22) was found hanging from the ventilator of a bathroom in Lohit hostel at 3.30 p.m. on Thursday, a spokesperson of IIT-Guwahati said. After receiving information, a police team reached the spot and recovered the body. The body has been sent for post-mortem examination to Gauhati Medical College and Hospital and the Japanese Embassy in New Delhi has been informed about it, the spokesperson said. Onoda, a masters programme student at Gifu University in Japan, was doing internship in the Bio-Sciences and Bio- Engineering department of IIT-Guwahati for a semester, as part of the exchange programme. His internship was scheduled to end on November 30. A delegation of Gifu University that was in Guwahati on Thursday and the Ministry of External Affairs were also informed by the IIT authorities about the incident. Assistance for overcoming suicidal thoughts is available on the State’s health helpline 104 and Sneha’s suicide prevention helpline 044-24640050.
More than six weeks after a security guard Pradeep Tomar allegedly died because of torture at a police post in Pilakhuwa town of Hapur district, two constables have been arrested.Also read ‘Custodial’ death sparks tension in U.P. town“Manish Singh and Sonu Kumar were arrested on Wednesday. They were produced before a magistrate and have been sent to jail,” said Rajesh Kumar Singh, Circle Officer, Hapur (city), who is investigating the case.He refused to comment on the constables’ role in the case. “It is still a matter of investigation.” He said two other accused, SHO Yogesh Baliyan and sub-inspector Ajab Singh, who were under suspension, were still on the run.Deputy Superintendent of Police Santosh Mishra, who was also named in the FIR and transferred to Garhmukteshwar after the incident, has already been given a clean chit in the case.Mr. Tomar, 35, died on the intervening night of October 13 after he was picked by the police from the Chhijarasai toll booth in Pilakhuwa. The police had claimed he was picked up for questioning in connection with a murder case. However, Mr. Tomar’s family, including his 10-year-old son who was allegedly present when his father was picked up, claimed that he was tortured by the police personnel.Based on the complaint of the deceased’s brother Kuldeep, an FIR was registered against six police personnel under stringent Sections of the Indian Penal Code.
“We’re about 70-80 percent ready,” the soft-spoken mentor said on Thursday during the Chooks-to-Go-hosted sendoff at Edsa Shangri-la. “Hopefully, that 80-percent can get things done for the SEA Games team.”Jong Uichico. Photo by Randolph B. Leongson/ INQUIRER.netDespite the short preparation, Gilas Pilipinas is still the favorite to nab the gold medal in the biennial meet but teams like Thailand, Indonesia, and host country Malaysia are all out to dislodge the Philippines out of its throne.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutUichico said the players don’t need reminding on how much it would mean for the country to impose its dominance anew in the hardcourt.“The players are very motivated. Once you don the Philippine colors, or Philippine flag, or Philippine uniform, you should be motivated. There’s no amount of motivation that just wearing that uniform and representing the country. The mere fact that you’re part of the national team should be enough of a motivation,” he said. Man sworn in as lawyer by judge who sentenced him to prison as a teen 20 years ago He continued: “The pressure is there already. Any coach or player that is going to the Southeast Asian Games is supposed to win and they’re supposed to bring home the gold. It doesn’t matter if you have one day or two days of practice. They’re supposed to win.”Gilas Pilipinas opens its SEA Games campaign on Sunday against Thailand, before taking on Myanmar, and Malaysia in the following days to finish its schedule in the group stages. View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH PLAY LIST 05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd00:50Trending Articles01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief UFC president believes Ronda Rousey will announce retirement soon Even with less than two weeks to prepare for the 2017 Southeast Asian Games, Gilas Pilipinas has put its best foot forward as it flies to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Friday.Head coach Jong Uichico is hopeful that the team’s preparations will be enough to help the country secure its 18th gold in the regional tiff.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next Flags of SEA Games countries raised at Athletes Village UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC MOST READ Gilas Pilipinas motivated amid pressure to deliver SEA Games gold2.3K viewsSportsVentuno Web Player 4.51
WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Britain’s Anthony Joshua (C) walks away after knocking down Ukraine’s Wladimir Klitschko in the eleventh round to win their IBF, IBO and WBA, world Heavyweight title fight at Wembley Stadium in north west London on April 29, 2017.Britain’s Anthony Joshua defeated veteran Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko in a world heavyweight title fight epic in front of 90,000 people at Wembley on Saturday, taking victory on an 11th round stoppage. / AFP PHOTO / Ben STANSALLWorld heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua has revealed he would be willing to take on a mixed martial arts fighter at some point in the future.The relative merits of the two sports are up for debate as Ultimate Fighting Championship superstar Conor McGregor prepares to make his boxing debut against Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas on Saturday.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games: PH’s Alisson Perticheto tops ice skating short program Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses MOST READ SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief View comments UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Read Next Manny Pacquiao on Floyd Mayweather: Let him enjoy retirement PLAY LIST 00:44Manny Pacquiao on Floyd Mayweather: Let him enjoy retirement01:49Pacquiao to Mayweather: Want fans to stop asking for rematch? Then fight me again00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LIST: Class, gov’t work suspensions during 30th SEA Games Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC “But when it comes to pure aggression and fighting rules, I can definitely fight, so I don’t mind that.“It wouldn’t be a problem. If you look at most boxers who’ve crossed over to MMA, they get beaten on the ground.“James Toney, Roy Jones, they were phenomenal boxers, but they just couldn’t compete in the cage because of the ‘ground and pound’ game.”Joshua, who will not be ringside on Saturday, believes Mayweather will “probably” win by a “landslide”.Joshua, 27, is awaiting confirmation of his next title defence against Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev, which is expected to take place either in Las Vegas in November or in Cardiff in October.ADVERTISEMENT McGregor’s total lack of boxing experience has proved a bone of contention for many in the build-up to the fight, but Joshua said he would enjoy taking on an MMA fighter, albeit with conditions.“I like fighting. I’d do whatever,” the IBF and WBA heavyweight champion told Britain’s Press Association in comments published on Monday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“I’d probably get beaten. The only thing that they can’t do is submissions, but they can kick, elbow, bite — whatever they want. Just no submissions.“I can’t beat a guy (via submission). That takes a lot of time to learn the skills and submissions, which I don’t have the time for. LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games SEA Games: Ice hockey makes splash in tropics, puddles and all LATEST STORIES