Goa govt issues advisory against venturing into the sea

first_imgDrishti Lifesaving, Goa government’s beach safety agency, on Monday issued an advisory cautioning people and tourists not to venture into the sea over the next 96 hours.The advisory comes in view of the Meterological Department’s weather warnings of heavy to very heavy rain in the coastal State over next four days. Red flags have been put up at all the beaches indicating that they are strictly no-swim zones. The team of lifeguards present along the coast are monitoring the conditions and are trained to carry out rescues even in rough weather , the advisory stated. Drishti’s lifeguard force man Goa’s beaches through the year. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) on Sunday forecast heavy to very heavy rainfall in the next couple of days putting Goa and the Konkan region on ‘red alert’. The MET Department has warned the state to be ready for any eventuality. The department has predicted that between Monday to Thursday heavy to very heavy rainfall is likely to occur at a few places and extremely heavy rainfall is very likely to occur at isolated places across the State. The State-appointed lifeguard agency has issued an advisory cautioning locals as well as the tourists strictly not to venture into the sea or indulge in water sports of any kind over the next 96 hours as the weather and sea conditions are expected to be rough and heavy showers are expected to continue for the next few days.It’s advisable to steer clear of the high tide line in such circumstances. Even wading into the sea can be risky, the advisory noted. The Goa government shuts down the beaches for swimming and all water sports activities during the monsoon months from June to September each year as the sea during this season tends to be extremely rough and choppy.The State government is contemplating a stringent legislation to ban tourists venturing in the sea after sunset and in inebriated conditions.last_img read more

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Extra coach added for HRD minister’s staff against rules: panel

first_imgAn internal inquiry by the Railway Board has found that due procedures were not followed while attaching an extra coach to Padmavat Express in which Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar’s private secretary was travelling with his family on a personal trip last week.The Railway Board constituted the inquiry on Sunday after a news report alleged that one coach was attached to Padmavat Express on the request of Vinay Srivastava, the HRD Minister’s private secretary and a 1992-batch Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineers official. Mr. Srivastava was travelling with his wife and children from Lucknow to Delhi on the train on Saturday.“The inquiry findings show that a coach was attached in the last few minutes before the train’s departure and after the preparation of the reservation chart. This should have happened before the chart was prepared,” said a senior Railway Ministry official, on the condition of anonymity.Mr. Srivastava and the Northern Railway division had denied the allegations.Executive Director (Works) S.C. Jain conducted the inquiry. The probe report countered the Railway’s claim that the extra coach was for those passengers unable to get a confirmed ticket due to the festival rush.“The inquiry substantiated that 20 passengers travelled on the additional coach with a capacity of 30 passengers,” the Ministry official said. The extra coach had a combination of AC first class and AC 2-tier sleeper seats. The Railway Board has advised the Lucknow division of the Northern Railways to follow due procedures while attaching additional coach on trains.The Railway Board has sent the inquiry report to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal for further action, another Railway Ministry official said.Northern Railway Spokesperson Neeraj Sharma said that he is unaware of the findings of the inquiry report. He added that the additional coach was supposed to be deployed to Delhi for clearing the festive rush operating out of Delhi and the Railways decided to sell tickets to carry passengers from Lucknow.last_img read more

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Balgandharva Rangmandir: To demolish or not to demolish Pune’s pride

first_imgPune: Like the Shaniwarwada fort, the Balgandharva Rangmandir in the heart of the city’s J.M. Road area, occupies a central place in Pune’s socio-cultural fabric.The iconic auditorium, named in memory of the legendary Marathi singer-stage actor, has witnessed a Golden age of Marathi theatre and music.The Pune Municipal Corporation’s decision late last month to redevelop the landmark structure, now in its 50th year of existence, has elicited sharp reactions from some of Maharashtra’s most prominent theatre exponents who, whilst welcoming the idea of redevelopment, have cast aspersions on the civic body’s intent and methods.The auditorium was conceived by legendary Marathi litterateur Pu. La. Deshpande in the late 60s. With its superb acoustics and lighting systems it was considered among the best, not just in Maharashtra, but also in India.“I remember how Pu La consulted his peers and also youngsters like us. The excellent sound and light facilities made this the best in the country,” actor and theatre activist Amol Palekar told The Hindu.The PMC’s standing committee chief Muralidhar Mohol while setting aside ₹10 crore to rejuvenate the auditorium had said the plan was to construct three auditoria — for professional theatre, experimental theatre and an open air venue.Mr. Palekar was apprehensive as he said the process was shrouded in complete secrecy. “While redevelopment in itself is a welcome idea, why weren’t any details about the proposal shared with the city’s theatre fraternity. How has the civic body arrived arbitrarily at the ₹10 crore figure? he asked.Referring to the redevelopment of Ravindra Natya Mandir in Prabhadevi in Mumbai, Mr. Palekar said, “According to me, the experiment was painful and an utter failure as the authoritiesthrew away space meant for developing theatre for purely commercial use. On the other hand we have models like the NCPA in Mumbai, which has two auditoria, an art gallery and several spaces for performing arts. The question is whether PMC is looking at the NCPA model or the Ravindra Natya Mandir model?” asked Mr. Palekar. Echoing Mr. Palekar’s thoughts, renowned theatre exponent Dr. Mohan Agashe, speaking to The Hindu from Goa, said, “I heard the news through the vernacular press. Who will benefit from this sudden move?” Given that the PMC had been steadily whittling down the Rangmandir over the years, its proposal to demolish will not make much difference, said director Atul Pethe.“That the auditorium has deteriorated appallingly over the years is no news. Performing a play today is an ordeal as the conditions are miserable. There are noises emanating from the street, and the sanitary conditions are simply pathetic,” said Mr. Pethe.While agreeing in principle to the idea of redevelopment, Mr. Pethe said in lieu of the demolished structure, the PMC ought to build three theatres with seating capacities of 300, 600 and 1,200 seats respectively to cater to all forms of art. – from experimental to mainstream.Commenting on the PMC’s recent statement that it would seek views of the artistes, Mr. Pethe alleged that a committee, if formed, was generally comprised the ruling party’s sponsored artistes and was generally a sham.He further pointed that the ₹10 crore earmarked for redevelopment of the Rangamandir was “peanuts” given that the PMC’s budget was a whopping ₹6,000 crore.“If PMC indeed has the will, it ought to recruit architects and transform the Rangmandir along the lines of NCPA in Mumbai and take suggestions from rising theatre practitioners like Mohit Takalkar,” said Mr. Pethe, adding that the redeveloped structure should include an art gallery, a rehearsal hall, a book store dedicated to literature about the theatre and a cafeteria along the lines of Prithvi Theatre.Mr. Palekar, too, said the redeveloped area ought to accommodate the needs of every kind of artiste – be they performers of serious plays or populist theatre like the lavani or tamasha.Despite PMC’s assurances that they would seek opinion of the theatre community, activists like Vijay Kumbhar are skeptical about the entire process given the civic body’s poor track record.“For decades, the PMC has been spending money to supposedly renovate the auditorium. However, the results are not visible. The dominant feeling today is that some contractor will benefit from this exercise. But even if that is the case, why target a building like this, which has long been held as Pune’s pride?” he wants to know.PMC authorities, on their part, said they were committed to providing world-class facilities during the redevelopment process.last_img read more

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Maoist commander gunned down in Chhattisgarh encounter

first_imgPolice gunned down a Maoist commander in Bijapur district of south Chhattisgarh on June 8. “An exchange of fire took place between police and Maoists near the Jaramongia village under the Bhairamgarh police station limits of Bijapur around 5.30 a.m. on June 8. Around 25 to 30 Maoists were present on the spot led by Maoists’ platoon commander Mallesh. The exchange of fire lasted for around 30 to 40 minutes after which the Maoists ran away, taking shelter in the thick forest and river,” said a police official posted in Bijapur.The police recovered one body in Maoist uniform. “One 7.62 mm pistol with three live rounds, one INSAS rifle magazine with live rounds, explosives, detonators, wires, tiffin box bomb, spikes, Maoist literature and other Maoist material were also recovered from the spot of the encounter,” the official said.The person killed was identified as Moti Farsa, Ider area militia platoon commander of the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist).last_img read more

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Kejriwal dismayed at Khattar ‘no response’

first_imgAfter challenging his Haryana counterpart to conduct surprise inspections at Mohalla clinics in the national capital in a recent letter, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal sent another letter to Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Monday expressing dismay at not getting any response to his earlier communique. In the beginning of the month, Mr. Kejriwal had written to Mr. Khattar expressing his wish to inspect some State-run dispensaries in Haryana on November 12. Further, he had also invited Mr. Khattar to visit ‘mohalla clinics’, which have been set up by the AAP dispensation, to check the “ground reality” of the health institutions of Delhi.After his letter on November 2, Mr. Kejriwal said in a tweet to Mr. Khattar on November 9 that he was yet to receive a reply, reminding him of the earlier communication by sharing the letter with the tweet. In the tweet, Mr. Kejriwal asked Mr. Khattar when he would be coming to Delhi to see mohalla clinics and whether he could go to Haryana on Nov. 12. “I had written a letter to you on November 2, but received no reply. I felt a little bad about this. No matter how many political differences we may have, it is expected that a Chief Minister will respond to the letter of another CM,” Mr. Kejriwal wrote to Mr. Khattar in his latest letter.(Special Correspondent inputs)last_img read more

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HC directs PMC to decide on removing or relocating illegal structure

first_imgThe Bombay High Court recently directed the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to take a decision on either removing an illegal religious structure constructed by the Ganapati Chowk Mitra Mandal or relocating it within two months of classifying the structure.The disputed land, which houses the structure, belonged to Popatlal Navlakha, and in 1954, the PMC acquired a portion of this land. The mandal had constructed an unauthorised temple on the property in 2001-02. Mr. Navlakha alleged that the PMC took no steps towards removing the construction even though a notice had been sent to the mandal, and sought to prevent the PMC from erecting pandals in the lane during Ganapati celebrations. There was also a plea to direct the police to ensure that the lane is a no-parking zone and there is no hindrance by hawkers. An order granting permission to construct a pandal was also challenged.The court accepted the PMC’s contention that the structure would be classified, and appropriate action would be taken. On illegal hawking, the court directed the PMC to implement the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014, which provides that street vendors above 14 be granted a certificate of vending and if any vendor operates without a certificate, those guilty will be penalised.Mr. Navlakha informed the court that the PMC had not demolished the structure for seven years despite orders, and no action was taken to prevent hawking in the area. He said the permission to erect pandals was granted without following the law laid down in an earlier PIL and an order of 2015 that had restrained the PMC from doing so.The Division Bench, comprising Justices A.S. Oka and A.S. Gadkari, directed the PMC to take action with respect to the religious structure, and to complete the process of categorising the structure within three months. The Bench noted, “If a decision is taken either to remove the illegal structure or to relocate the same it has to be completed within two months.”last_img read more

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Rajbhar’s ‘stick’ threatens to hurt BJP in Purvanchal

first_imgAs darkness falls in the typical hamlet of Rajbhars in Kinnupur village, a dim-light bulb reveals the grim existence of Nirmal Rajbhar and his family.The inner wall of his brick hut is blackened by the smoke of the chulha his wife uses to cook. The family did not get free cooking gas connection or even a toilet. An open drain runs past their courtyard where their only sign of worth, a couple of buffaloes, is tied to a beam.“I filled the form for the toilet and house. But nothing came. Some have got it, some haven’t. We got nothing from [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi,” said Mr. Nirmal.But there is something else that has alienated Mr. Nirmal from the BJP. The insult of his caste leader Om Prakash Rajbhar, president of Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party. An ally of the BJP since 2017, Mr. Rajbhar, a Cabinet Minister in U.P., is now on the rebellion path, out to hurt the BJP in Purvanchal by pulling his community support away from it.Symbol issueThough on collision course for over a year, mostly over the issue of non-implementation of the sub-categorisation of the OBC quota, the trigger came when the BJP denied Mr. Rajbhar a seat on his symbol. “What would have the BJP lost? He was only asking for one ticket [Ghosi],” said Mr. Nirmal. His vote in 2019 is for the ‘stick’, the symbol of the SBSP.Even Manjeet (20), who lives on the other side of the village, argued that Mr. Rajbhar has done the right thing by going solo. He awakened the political awareness of the Rajbhars and it was needed to save their political identity, he said. The SBSP has supported Mr. Manjeet’s education.“He [Mr. Rajbhar] fights for the truth. That’s why even while with the BJP, he did not blindly follow it,” said Mr. Manjeet. His mother was quick to add, “When supporters of the lotus and elephant don’t abandon them, why should we leave our stick?”This is a common question being asked by the Rajbhars across parts of Purvanchal, and it’s bothering the BJP which had gained heavily from ts alliance with the SBSP in 2017, winning 312 seats on its own.Though Mr. Rajbhar himself is not contesting the election, he has fielded over 40 candidates, mostly Rajbhars, and is campaigning with a vengeance to show the BJP what it has lost.A good section of Rajbhar vote has moved with him, away from the BJP. In both Ghosi and Ghazipur, the SBSP has fielded candidates to hurt the interests of sitting BJP MPs Harinarayan Rajbhar and Manoj Sinha. The latter faces a daunting caste matrix.Prakash Rajbhar, a farmer, lauded the PM-KISAN scheme, under which he received ₹2,000, 20-hour power supply and a new toilet at his house. But his vote, he said, is to preserve his political identity. “They [BJP] didn’t give Rajbhars the respect we deserved,” said Mr. Prakash.Impact in eastern U.P.Though estimated to be around 2% of the State’s population, the Rajbhars are mostly concentrated in eastern U.P., and can impact the results in Salempur, Ghazipur, Ballia, Chandauli, Ghosi and Bansgaon, where polling is scheduled for May 19. An SBSP leader said the community is effective in 70 Assembly segments, with votes ranging from 10,000-80,000 in each.But Mr. Rajbhar’s faltering credibility, political flip-flops and Mr. Modi’s appeal and Hindutva and welfare outreach of the RSS among the Rajbhars mean the damage could be mitigated in some areas for the BJP.The Rajbhar vote is unlikely to shift to the SP-BSP due to the strong anti-Yadav and anti-Jatav sentiment cultivated among them by Mr. Rajbhar himself. In 2002, after leaving the Bahujan Samaj Party, Mr. Rajbhar formed the SBSP. In 2016, he allied with the BJP in U.P. and a year later helped it form the government in the State.Dinesh Rajbhar, a mason, says Modi, and not Om Prakash, is his leader now. Dinesh remembers how villagers paraded Om Prakash and weighed him in coins when he came here during his early days and triggered their political fantasy.“With power, he forgot us. He and his sons got ministerial posts. But what did they do for the Rajbhar caste,” asked Dinesh. He accuses Om Prakash of going silent on his agenda after the BJP awarded his son Arvind a ministerial status right before polls. While some Rajbhars say Om Prakash has lost connect with them and stopped visiting them after 2017, others accuse him of using them as pawns and squandering his opportunity while in the Yogi Adityanath cabinet. “He has sold the Rajbhars and Suheldev for his own interests. From 2002, when he formed his party, I was with him. But now he’s gone astray. Will he become a PM fighting on his symbol alone,” asks Baliram Rajbhar, a painter. In his village, most Rajbhars are yet to receive pucca homes. But Baliram is thankful to the BJP government for providing the community hamlet toilets, power-supply and roads. Rajaram Rajbhar, another old ally-turned-critic of Om Prakash, says Om Prakash did nothing to check on the community or alleviate their backwardness despite being cabinet minister since 2017. “He only visits us during voting now,” said Rajaram. Though the Rajbhars here are critical of the Yogi Adityanath government for not implementing the sub-categorization of OBC quota, they also question Om Prakash’s approach over it and say quitting the BJP alliance only reduces his bargaining power towards that. “OBC quota is not something that can be plucked out of the pocket and given,’ said Dinesh. After coming to power, the BJP government made concerted steps to popularise Suheldev: new statue unveiled in Bahraich, a new tri-weekly train running from New Delhi to Ghazipur named after Suheldev and a stamp on Suheldev released by Mr. Modi himself. All this accompanied with years of the RSS projecting Suheldev as a Hindutva icon who stopped the islamicization of the region and pitching his followers against Muslims. But Om Prakash, known for baiting the BJP with provocative statements and playing the Opposition’s role for the most of the last two years, claims his community is with him and the BJP will feel its impact on May 23. BJP will win only three out of the 30 seats in Purvanchal, he said. “I will quit politics if they win a fourth.”last_img read more

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Hardcore pot smoking could damage the brain’s pleasure center

first_imgIt probably won’t come as a surprise that smoking a joint now and then will leave you feeling … pretty good, man. But smoking a lot of marijuana over a long time might do just the opposite. Scientists have found that the brains of pot abusers react less strongly to the chemical dopamine, which is responsible for creating feelings of pleasure and reward. Their blunted dopamine responses could leave heavy marijuana users living in a fog—and not the good kind.After high-profile legalizations in Colorado, Washington, and Uruguay, marijuana is becoming more and more available in many parts of the world. Still, scientific research on the drug has lagged. Pot contains lots of different chemicals, and scientists don’t fully understand how those components interact to produce the unique effects of different strains. Its illicit status in most of the world has also thrown up barriers to research. In the United States, for example, any study involving marijuana requires approval from four different federal agencies, including the Drug Enforcement Administration. Politics also plays a role in marijuana research.One of the unanswered questions about the drug is what, exactly, it does to our brains, both during the high and afterward. Of particular interest to scientists is marijuana’s effect on dopamine, a main ingredient in the brain’s reward system. Pleasurable activities such as eating, sex, and some drugs all trigger bursts of dopamine, essentially telling the brain, “Hey, that was great—let’s do it again soon.”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(*)Scientists know that drug abuse can wreak havoc on the dopamine system. Cocaine and alcohol abusers, for example, are known to produce far less dopamine in their brains than people who aren’t addicted to those drugs. But past studies had hinted that the same might not be true for those who abuse marijuana.Nora Volkow, the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse in Bethesda, Maryland, decided to take a closer look at the brains of marijuana abusers. For help, she and her team turned to another drug: methylphenidate (aka Ritalin), a stimulant known to increase the amount of dopamine in the brain. The researchers gave methylphenidate to 24 marijuana abusers (who had smoked a median of about five joints a day, 5 days a week, for 10 years) and 24 controls.Brain imaging revealed that both groups produced just as much extra dopamine after taking the drug. But whereas the controls experienced increased heart rates and blood pressure readings and reported feeling restless and high, the marijuana abusers didn’t. Their responses were so weak that Volkow had to double-check that the methylphenidate she was giving them hadn’t passed its expiration date.This lack of a physical response suggests that marijuana abusers might have damaged reward circuitry in their brains, Volkow and her team report online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Unlike cocaine and alcohol abusers, marijuana abusers appear to produce the same amount of dopamine as people who don’t abuse the drug. But their brains don’t know what to do with it. This disconnect could be “a key mechanism underlying cannabis addiction,” says Raul Gonzalez, a neuropsychologist at Florida International University in Miami who was not involved with the research. The study “suggests that cannabis users may experience less reward from things others generally find pleasurable and, contrary to popular stereotypes, that they generally feel more irritable, stressed, and just plain crummy. This may contribute to ongoing and escalating cannabis use among such individuals.”But do marijuana abusers smoke a lot because they feel crummy, or do they feel crummy because they smoke a lot? Volkow doesn’t know. Not being able to tease out cause and effect “is a limitation in a study like this one,” she says. Perhaps the abusers already had less reactive dopamine systems and started smoking a ton of pot to cope with their general malaise. Or maybe prolonged marijuana abuse is actually damaging their brains’ reward circuitry, leading to the apathy and social withdrawal that marijuana abusers often experience.The lessons for recreational users of marijuana, if any, are unclear. This study used “hardcore volunteer[s]” who were “using quite a lot of cannabis,” says Paul Stokes, a psychiatrist at Imperial College London who wasn’t involved in the research. As such, “it probably tells you more about cannabis dependence than about recreational use.” But when he did a similar brain imaging study of people who smoked marijuana no more than once a week, he observed “similar themes” when it came to dopamine.All of these are important questions to answer, Volkow says. As availability of the drug increases, she says, it’s something “we all need to know.”last_img read more

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On eve of ‘Kala Ghoda’, Shalaka Ranadive talks about Dastak on the road

first_img“This is the second time we’ve been invited for Kala Ghoda. The first year we approached them, they were very open. We were the only overseas theatre group in the festival schedule,” she said.“Last year we had a half-hour slot, and this time they gave us a full hour. That itself says they have full trust in us. The audience we had last year was so receptive. The best thing was they warmed up to the whole thing so quickly,” she added.Read it at Connected to India Related Itemslast_img

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Indian-American Billionaires List This Year Includes A Self-Made Woman

first_imgThe number of Indian-Americans billionaires is on the steady rise and this year Forbes’ list of billionaires include a self-made Indian-American woman: Jayshree Ullal, a technology entrepreneur with a net worth of $1.3 billion.Other Indian-American billionaires in the Forbes’ 2018 List of Billionaires released earlier this month includes: Rakesh Gangwal, Romesh Wadhwani, Vinod Khosla, Kavitark Ram Shriram, Brian Sheth, John Kapoor, Aneel Bhusri, Niraj Shah, Jayshree Ullal and Bharat Desai.Read it at INE Related Itemslast_img

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Hong Kong Visa Rejections Torment Tourists

first_imgCorporate and tourist traffic from Calcutta to Hong Kong has dipped more than 50 per cent in the past year, with airlines and travel agents blaming this on rejection of online pre-arrival registration for visas without allegedly assigning any reason.Read it at Telegraph India Related Itemslast_img

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Citizenship Striptease

first_imgUnion Minister of State for Non Resident Indian Affairs Jagdish Tytler announced in early August that dual citizenship registration would begin this September.If that is beginning to sound like déjà vu all over again, it is. Ever since the L M Singhvi report in 2002 proposed dual citizenship for overseas Indians in 16 countries – Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Cyprus, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States of America – the Indian government has been engaged in a perennial striptease dance with overseas Indians.Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee announced dual citizenship with much fanfare at the first Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas in January 2003. What he was really declaring, however, was the government’s intention to grant dual citizenship. Legislation was introduced in parliament in May 2003 and just in time for another grand pronouncement at the next Pravasi Diwas in January 2004, the law was passed unanimously and received the president’s assent.Unbeknownst to most observers, however, the bill’s language was artfully changed from “dual citizenship” to “overseas citizenship.”Under the circumstances, the startling announcement by Tytler that overseas citizenship registration will begin this month has to be taken with a pinch of salt.What is significance of this mysterious name change? It is yet unclear. What the law makes clear is that overseas citizens will not have political rights to vote or to run for public office or the right to public employment. The reasons for the name change are buried in the byzantine bureaucracy of the external, the home, and the law ministries, where the bill was slapped together.And those real motivations may be sprung upon us only when the rules are finally promulgated. Ah, the rules…You see, you were mistaken if you thought dual or overseas citizenship had come to pass when parliament approved the law. You underestimate the deviousness of the Indian bureaucracy. They now get to set the rules and so we are back in the mazes of the babus in the three ministries.Under the circumstances, the startling announcement by Tytler that overseas citizenship registration will begin this month has to be taken with a pinch of salt. He is taking over a newly created ministry, presently operating out of a cubby hole of an office in the South Block, with a paltry budget of just $1.5 million, and is reportedly wrangling with the ministry of external affairs, which is leery of letting go of its NRI affairs division. Indeed there is considerable speculation that Tytler’s headline-grabbing announcement was a shot across the bow in his tussle with the MEA.Citizenship matters ultimately fall under the jurisdiction of the home ministry and it has given no indication of being close to promulgating the rules. Tytler told one interviewer in mid-August, “It is almost done. Registration will start in less than a month. It is currently with the law ministry for technical reasons. Everything is clear.”There was only one remaining hitch, Tytler dismissively told the reporter. “We just have to decide the registration fee that will be charged.”Hmm…. Some roadblock, especially considering that the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas website has been reporting for some time that the fee is “proposed to be fixed at $100.”In any event, the rules can come into force only after they are tabled in parliament.The Indian Embassy in Washington, D.C. reports cryptically, “The rules, regulations and requirements are still under process and our web site will be updated on this as and when instructions are received from Government of India.” Their phone hasn’t rung yet.So don’t make a beeline to the Indian consulate anytime soon. We still don’t know if the striptease performance is finally over, or the latest curtain call is just an intermission before the next tantalizing act.   Related Itemslast_img read more

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Indian Govt to Introduce New Ticket Prices for Taj Mahal

first_imgVisitors to the Taj Mahal will have to pay Rs 200 to enter the main mausoleum and the tombs in the basement from April 1 onwards. Visitors will also have to pay a fee of Rs 50 instead of Rs 40 to enter the UNESCO World Heritage site.While the Indian Ministry of Culture seems to be having a rethink about its proposal to impose a limit on the number of tourists visiting the 16th century monument per day, it is going to change the fee structure. The move will help preserve the Taj Mahal, and ensure better crowd management, Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma said on Feb. 13.There was no entry fee so far for the main mausoleum, where Mughal emperor Shah Jahan and his wife Mumtaz Mahal’s tombs are housed. The entry fee will be valid only for three hours, at the end of which the visitor will have to pay the amount again.“We need to preserve Taj Mahal for the generations to come. New barcoded tickets would cost ₹50 instead of the earlier ₹40 and it would be valid only for three hours,” Sharma said at a media briefing. “A separate ticket of ₹200 will be needed to enter into the main mausoleum to ensure the protection of the area and better crowd management.”To avoid misuse, the barcodes on the tickets would help the Archaeological Survey of India to calculate the time spent by the visitor inside the monument.Sharma said: “On an average, Taj Mahal receives about 40,000 to 50,000 tourists daily. This number swells to nearly 1.5 lakh levels over weekends and on holidays. To control crowds, and to conserve the monument better, we consulted the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) and asked them to suggest ways.”The NEERI report recommended that the number of footfall at the mausoleum should be reduced to protect its integrity. “We thought capping the number of tourists per day was not a viable option, but we had to do something. The hike in prices is not to generate revenue, but to ensure that only people who are genuinely interested enter the area,” Sharma said.The ministry will make sure that foreign tourists who pay Rs 1,250 for entering the Taj Mahal get separate queues, separate toilets, complimentary bottles of mineral water, and single-window grievance redressal system. There will also be a provision of safe corridor built for them from Agra railway station to Taj Mahal.The government was exploring how they can bring about the end of “lapka culture” that makes touts fleece and harass tourists at the monument. “We are exploring how we can bring this ‘lapka culture’ to an end by bringing them under the ambit of serious offenses and organized crime so that they can be booked accordingly. First, we will warn them, then we will identify them and then we will punish them… We want to bring this in by April 1. These touts are a menace,” he said.This lapka culture, Sharma said, was not restricted to only the Taj Mahal, but is also present at other places of tourist interest like the Red Fort and Qutub Minar in New Delhi. Many tourists, both domestic and foreign, are “ambushed” right at the railway station, he added.The Supreme Court on Feb. 8 directed the Indian government to submit a vision document on the preservation of the Taj Mahal within four weeks as pollution continued to degrade the monument. Related ItemsAgrataj mahalTourismlast_img read more

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Dalit man beaten to death for ‘stealing water pump’ in Rajasthan’s Jhalawar

first_imgA 40-year-old Dalit man was beaten to death for allegedly stealing a water pump in Rajasthan’s Jhalawar district, police said on Sunday.The incident took place in Ghatoli area on Saturday morning, when a 60-year-old man, his two sons, and some other unidentified persons thrashed Dhulichand Meena of Mewakheda village, alleging that he stole a water pump from their fields, Station House Officer (SHO) Nainuram Meena said. When Dhulichand was on his way to a nearby village, Purilal Tanwar, his sons, Devi Singh, 23, and Mohan, 20, and the other men confronted him, the SHO said. He said a heated exchange between Dhulichand and the group of men over the stolen hand pump soon turned violent and he was beaten up. Dhulichand’s father reached the spot and took his injured son home. Later, Dhulichand’s condition deteriorated and he was rushed to a hospital, where doctors declared him brought dead, the SHO said.A preliminary investigation revealed that Tanwar and his sons had on Friday complained about the theft to Dhulichand’s father, who reprimanded his son and asked Tanwar to lodge a police complaint against him, the officer added. A case under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code and the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act has been registered against Tanwar, his sons and seven unidentified men, the SHO said. Dhulichand’s body was handed over to his family on Saturday after a post-mortem, he added.last_img read more

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Foton downs Iriga, extends win run to 4

first_imgBrace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa LATEST STORIES Read Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Reigning champion Foton expectedly trounced Iriga City, 25-10, 25-23, 25-19, Tuesday in the Chooks to-Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.ADVERTISEMENT CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd PLAY LIST 02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd00:50Trending Articles01:42Cops track down 4 persons of interest in ambush of DOLE employee01:37Protesters 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 Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillioncenter_img PSL says Soltones fine sticks; PVL calls decision ‘absurd’ MOST READ QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Sara Klisura of Serbia and skipper Jaja Santiago powered Foton to its fourth straight win in as many outings as Iriga solely missed the services of star player Gretchel Soltones, who was slapped a one-year ban by the league.Klisura paced the assault with 10 kills, a block and an ace for a total of 12 points while Santiago contributed 11 points.“The league and the team owners do not want this to happen to Soltones, but we have to honor and follow league rules,” PSLPresident Ramon ’Tats’ Suzara said. “All the PSL players are under contract with their respective squads and they follow our rules. No player is exempt from them.”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 shutoutFoton head coach Moro Branislav admitted that the Tornadoes relaxed a bit in the second set before they went for the kill in the deciding set.“We were a little easy in the second set. We relaxed which is very difficult. It was good thing the local and foreign players jelled in the deciding set to win the match,” Branislav said. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Branislav added he was impressed with the performance of local players Maika Ortiz and Ivy Perez, who delivered down the stretch.Serbian import Tamara Kmezic fired 17 points off 15 kills and a pair of service aces while Japanese Saam Miyagawa had 11 points for the Lady Oragons, who fell to 1-1. John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding View commentslast_img read more

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Robinson takes blame for Lyceum’s first loss: ‘I made some bad decisions’

first_imgTyphoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Topex Robinson. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netLyceum’s perfect season has come to an end after it absorbed a 94-87 defeat to San Beda in the NCAA Season 93 Finals on Friday.Head coach Topex Robinson, who is responsible for turning around the school’s program this season, readily took all the blame for the loss.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Robinson said that if anyone else should be ready for these high-stakes situation, it should’ve been him.“When it comes to the Finals, you really have to adjust, keep on adjusting, keep on trying new combinations. Again, at the end of the day, it’s my responsibility to find ways to win. Whatever the result, at the end of the day, it’s my head. I made the mistake and I’m sorry,” he said.The youthful mentor then vowed that he’ll have a better gameplan for the Pirates come Game 2, with the team’s championship aspirations hanging in the balance.“I’ll try to lead them better come Game 2. My players played really played well, but I told them, ‘I’m sorry. It’s my fault.’ We will try to work on those mismatches and try to figure out ways to cover that. I’ll be a better coach next game,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters 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 Read Next For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion “I’m sorry. It’s my fault. I made some bad decisions, bad coaching. San Beda was really the great team this afternoon. We really lost to a better team,” he said.READ: San Beda hands Lyceum first loss of season, nears NCAA titleFEATURED 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 shutoutEngaged in a tight affair late, the Pirates’ small-ball lineup did not work as much as Robinson planned as Tankoua had his way in the paint in the fourth quarter.Though Lyceum kept itself in the game late, Robert Bolick was just too good in the clutch for the Red Lions. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC MOST READ QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding San Beda hands Lyceum first loss of season, nears NCAA title View commentslast_img read more

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Bivol stops Barrera in 12th, defends light heavyweight title

first_imgView comments Google honors food scientist, banana ketchup inventor and war hero Maria Orosa Families in US enclave in north Mexico hold sad Thanksgiving MOST READ NEW YORK — Dmitry Bivol of Russia stopped Cuba’s Sullivan Barrera in the 12th round Saturday night to defend his WBA light heavyweight title.Bivol was dominating the fight and a little over a minute from winning an easy decision when he caught Barrera with a hard right to the head to set up the knockdown. Barrera was able to get up in time but the referee stopped the fight at 1:41 of the round.ADVERTISEMENT Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Mexico’s Uzcategui stops Dirrell for interim IBF crown LATEST STORIES Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Pussycat Dolls set for reunion tour after 10-year hiatuscenter_img Bivol (13-0, 11 KOs) outlanded Barrera 243-75 in total punches, according the final stats, in the first of two light heavyweight title fights at Madison Square Garden. Sergey Kovalev then defended his WBO belt against Igor Mikhalkin.It was Bivol’s second defense of the title he was given when Andre Ward vacated it upon retirement.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutBarrera (21-2) was offered a fight first with Kovalev but chose instead to take less money for a shot at Bivol, perhaps counting on his experience over his 27-year-old opponent.But he had no answer for the champion’s speed and accuracy and did well to last as long as he did. His only previous loss had been to Ward. LOOK: Iya Villania meets ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ cast in Mexico Bivol wasn’t bothered by a cut near the right eye in the second round from what appeared to be a clash of heads that the ringside doctor checked a couple of times in the later rounds but never affected him.He began to assert control in the fourth, catching Barrera with a left early in the round and following with a flurry of punches and a couple solid hooks. He kept piling up the punches and appeared to have Barrera hurt again in the eight. , then scored again later in the fourth with some solid left hooks.Barrera fought hard from there but Bivol was just too fast and accurate, and hurt the challenger again in the eighth.ADVERTISEMENT Typhoon ‘Tisoy’ threatens Games Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university PLAY LIST 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 Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Read Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_img read more

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