chimp main 1Hercules and Leo are only 11 years old, but they’ve already come close to retiring twice. The two chimpanzees, born and raised at Louisiana’s New Iberia Research Center, became lab animals at the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 2011. There they shared a three-room enclosure, where scientists inserted small electrodes into their muscles to study the evolution of bipedalism. In 2013, they were the subject of an unusual legal gambit. An animal rights group sued to declare the pair legal persons and retire them to a Florida sanctuary, but the effort failed.

Two years later, Hercules and Leo returned to New Iberia, where they mingled with other chimps in outdoor domes with ladders and ropes. But retirement to a sanctuary, where they could climb real trees and have more room to roam, again seemed imminent: The U.S. government had just effectively ended invasive work on chimpanzees, and many observers expected all lab chimps to move to sanctuaries in short order. Yet today, Hercules and Leo, along with nearly 600 of their kind across the country, remain at research facilities. It’s unclear when or whether they’ll leave.

In the past 2 years, only 73 chimps have entered sanctuaries, and the slow pace has heightened tensions between the laboratory and sanctuary communities. There’s plenty of blame to go around. Labs have dragged their feet, sanctuaries haven’t expanded quickly enough, and the government itself didn’t have a concrete plan for retirement, despite setting the process in motion in the first place.

“The biomedical community has spent years defending the use of chimpanzees in research instead of figuring out how to retire them,” says Brian Hare, an evolutionary anthropologist at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, who has studied chimpanzee behavior at sanctuaries around the world. “Now we’re scrambling to do something about it.”

New source: science news

Published in Science

moneyThe wait for an update on allowances is likely to be over soon as the Union Cabinet is expected to decide on the elusive matter the next time it meets on Wednesday. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will table the proposals for the changes in allowance structure as per the 7th Pay Commission. The issue was not included in the agenda for the Cabinet meeting last week.

The Empowered Committee of Secretaries (E-CoS) has already submitted its report on allowance reforms to Jaitley. This committee of secretaries was formed to screen the recommendations by the Committee on Allowances led by Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa.

E-CoS has taken a hard look at modifications in important allowances like House Rent Allowance (HRA), and payment of arrears against revised allowances. The Cabinet may consider higher HRA rates on basic pay demanded by the central government employees.

Central government employees want the rates to be retained at 30 per cent, 20 per cent and 10 per cent for Class X, Y and Z cities, even if they are not hiked. The Committee has capped HRA between 2 per cent and 27 per cent. Several reports suggest that the new allowances will be implemented from July.

Around 49 lakh central government employees have been expecting a hike in their paychecks for almost a year now. The government may compensate for this delay with higher HRA rates. Analysts, however, believe that an increase in allowances will fuel inflation owing to private expenditure.

Moreover, according to a Financial Express report, because of the delays in revised allowances distribution, the government has been able to save Rs 2,200 crore per month or Rs 40,000 crore cumulatively since January 1 last year.

The pay commission had recommended the abolition of or subsuming of allowances like acting, assisting cashier, cycle, condiment, flying squad, haircutting, rajbhasha, rajdhani, robe, shoe, shorthand, soap, spectacle, uniform, vigilance, and washing.

The Lavasa Committee was constituted in June last year after the government implemented the recommendations of the Pay Commission.

The Seventh Pay Commission had recommended abolishing 53 of the 196 allowances and subsuming 36 other allowances. It also recommended slashing the House Rent Allowance (HRA) -- for metros, the commission recommended bringing down the HRA from 30 per cent to 24 per cent.

The Seventh Pay Commission had recommended the rate of House Rent Allowance (HRA) be kept at 24 percent, 16 percent and 8 percent of the Basic Pay for Class X, Y and Z cities respectively.

Government employees protested the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission, following which the Narendra Modi-government formed a committee under the Finance Secretary to review the suggestions.

The Committee on Allowances was constituted in July and after an extended deadline was asked to submit its report to the government by February 22, 2017.

If the government implements pay commission recommendations on allowances, then as per estimates, the cost to the exchequer will be Rs 29,300 crores.

New source: businesstoday

Published in Economics

indigo-airlinesBudget airlines IndiGo has announced a three - day 'All Time Low' offer across its 39 domestic destinations with ticket prices starting as low as Rs 899.

The 'All Time Low' sale is on until June 14 and is applicable between July 1 and September 30, 2017.

IndiGo said that the offer is valid only for one-way routes in select cities across the country.

"This offer is valid only on non - stop flights from Agartala, Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bagdogra, Bengaluru, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Coimbatore, Dehradun, Delhi, Dibrugarh, Goa, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Imphal, Indore, Jaipur, Jammu, Kochi, Kolkata, Kozhikode, Lucknow, Madurai, Mangalore, Mumbai, Nagpur, Patna, Port Blair, Pune, Raipur, Ranchi, Srinagar, Thiruvananthapuram, Udaipur, Vadodara, Varanasi and Visakhapatnam," IndiGo said on its website.

IndiGo also said that all flight tickets are available on first - come - first serve basis and are non - refundable.

IndiGo chief commercial officer Sanjay Kumar said, "After receiving a positive response on the summer special sale, we are delighted to announce another three - day monsoon special offer. We are anticipating an increase in demand beyond summer vacations and are pleased to introduce special fares," reported the Times of India.

New source: business today news

Published in Business

sandeep-dikshitLashing out at Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit’s ‘sadak ka Gunda’ remark for Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday while condemning the same, asserted that such hurtful statements will be ‘democratically rejected’.

Commenting on the Congress Party’s ‘trend’ of periodically attacking the Indian Army, BJP leader Sambit Patra, while demanding an apology from Party President Sonia Gandhi said such leaders should be expelled immediately. “First it was Rahul Gandhi who spoke of ‘khoon Ki dalali’. Following him was Sanjay Nirupam, who demanded proof post the surgical strike carried out by the Army. In the latest to join this bandwagon is Sandeep Dikshit, with his hurtful and appalling statement. Sonia Gandhi should expel such leaders and apologize for the act,” Patra told ANI.

Echoing a similar stance, BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao came down heavily on the Congress’ ‘track two politics’, claiming that this ‘indecent’ comment was a pre-planned move by the ‘Rahul Gandhi brigade’. “There are some politicians and pseudo - intellectuals who only want to boost the morale of the Pakistani armed forces and demean our Army by making such condemnable statements. This is not the language a parliamentarian must use. This clearly shows that it was no random comment; it was a pre-planned political move by the Congress Party. This comment highlights their anti - national spirit,” alleged Rao.

Earlier, General Rawat while expressing the Indian Army’s preparedness to counter both external and internal threats of the country had said that the latter was fully ready for a ‘two and a half front war’. In lieu of this, Sandeep Dikshit on Sunday had said that the Army Chief shouldn’t make statements like a ‘sadak ka Gunda’ (a roadside thug).

While this comment garnered negativity from politicos across the country, Dikshit subsequently withdrew his statement and apologized for the same. “I genuinely believe what I said was wrong. So I apologize for it and withdraw my statement,” said Dikshit.

New source: indianexpress news

Published in Politics

students-exam1Mathematician Anand Kumar's Super 30 has once again created a record as its 30 out of 30 candidates cracked the II - JEE Advanced examination, results which were announced on Sunday.

"I am happy that my 30 out of 30 candidates have cracked II - JEE Advanced this year. Now the time has come to give Super 30 some much-needed expansion. We will now organize tests for selecting the students in different parts of the country and give all the details on the website," the Super 30 founder said. Kumar's Super 30 provides free coaching along with fooding and lodging to students of underprivileged sections of the society. Super 30 has completed its 15 years of the journey during which it has sent 396 out of 450 candidates to IIT, Kumar said adding that it coached 450 candidates in 15 years, 30 candidates every year.

Among the 30 students of Super 30 who have cracked prestigious IIT - JEE Advances 2017, there are wards of from landless farmer, egg seller, unemployed father.

There are several inspiring tales that has emerged from the Super 30 coaching institute this year too.

Be it the story of Kevlin, son of an unemployed father, or roadside egg seller's son Arbaaz Allam, a farm labourer's son Arjun or landless farmer's son Abhishek, they all stand tall having overcome the stiff odds of poverty and deprivation to make it to IIT and become an inspiration for several others like them.

Kevlin's father Deepak is unemployed. He teaches yoga to people, but still, his earning is not enough to make both ends meet. But Deepak knew that the only way to get out of the life of poverty is through education. Today, the tears of joy continue to roll down his cheeks as he sits with mathematician Anand Kumar.

"I had heard of Super 30 almost 10 years ago and since that day I dreamt of seeing my son here to realize my dream. Today my son has realized it," Deepak said while thanking Anand for making his dream come true.

Arnaz's father sells eggs in Bihar's Biharsharief district. But he never lost heart. He always aspired to be at the top to change the course of his life.

"Anand Sir made me feel confident about my abilities. He boosted my confidence. Now, I think it is a matter of few years when my father will not have to sell eggs braving the chilly winds of winter nights. I will also have a house where I will live with my father and mother," said Arbaaz.

Kaushlendra Kumar of Nalanda is a landless farm labourer. Today he is proud of his son Arjun Kumar and Super 30. Arjun proudly recounts how his journey from a village school devoid of even basics took him to Super 30 and now he plans to step into IIT. "It is due to programmes like Super 30 that make even students from the underprivileged sections dream of IIT. Now after engineering I plan to go in for UPSC," Arjun said.

New source: news18

Published in Education

yoga-yogiChief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday said “no Indian should be hesitant” about being proud of his or her Hindu identity. Addressing an event on ‘Hindvi Swaraj Diwas’, organised at Lucknow University on the anniversary of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s coronation, Adityanath asked if like Hinduism, any other religion can claim its voice for ahimsa (non - violence), Abhay (fearless) and Satya (truth)  the three pillars of ‘Hindu satan Sanskriti’.

Referring to Swami Vivekanand’s speech in Chicago, he said: “At Chicago, when asked about Hinduism, Swami Vivekanand had said that he was proud to be a Hindu. I believe that no Indian should be hesitant about this.”

He added that the aim of Hinduism is ‘Satyam Shivam Sundaram’. “Hindu is the merit ras dharna going towards the ocean of truth… Ahimsa, Abhay and say are the three pillars of Hindu Sanatan Sanskriti, and that is why we feel proud in being a Hindu,” he said.

Claiming that “distorted portrayal of history has tried to bound our great personalities”, Adityanath said: “But true history is where we remember those heroes centuries after they are gone and today, this function tells that Shivaji was great and Aurangzeb was not.”

Governor Ram Naik, who was also present at the event, said that last year, during the same function, he inaugurated a grand statue of Shivaji in the university. He asked the university to hold for this program at a bigger level.

“Shivaji’s name is on top of world’s best strategists. He was a truly secular leader with a lot of Muslims (holding) important designations during his regime,” he added.

Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma, Uttarakhand leader Bhagat Singh Koshyari and University Vice - Chancellor S P Singh were among the others present at the event.

source: indianexpress news

Published in Politics
indian-army

Indian Army has recently taken ‘proactive action’ against Pakistani attempts of infiltration and targeted Pakistan Army forward posts in Naushera sector across the Line of Control. In a video clip provided by Army sources, heavy artillery bombing on Pakistani bunkers can be seen which decimates the Pakistani base.

Indian Army spokesperson Major General Ashok Narula said Pakistan Army has been supporting armed infiltration in Kashmir and targeted attacks have been carried out to put an end to such activities. According to Indian Army, attempts of infiltration are likely to go up in the near future as snow has begun to melt and passes in the Valley have become more accessible. Commenting on the development, former Chief of Army Staff (COAS) of the Indian Army General Bikram Singh said, “I am glad that Army has responded in this manner. Congrats to the Northern Command for sending Pakistan a strong message... After the beheading of Indian soldiers, the present COAS had said that the Army will be strict.” In a separate operation in Naugham, four alleged terrorists were killed by Indian Army.

When asked about the attack, Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit told CNN-News18 that he had not received any reports from Pakistani side on this. “There is nothing to brag about. It reinforces Pakistan’s contention that we need to resolve the issue peacefully. We are ready to talk with India. Why can’t the two countries have a comprehensive dialogue? Terrorism is also an issue with which Pakistan has strong concerns. Pakistan is not shying away from discussions. Kashmir is the root cause of all our problems,” he said.

Source: News18

Published in Technology
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