The Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) Class XII results, which were declared on Saturday, saw a dip of 14 per cent in pass percentage as compared to last year. The overall pass percentage this year stood at 62.36 as compared to 76.77 in 2016. Moreover, the merit list of students in 14 districts out of the total 22 districts in the State remained less than the double-digit figure. A total of 3.14 lakh students had appeared in the exams, out of which 36,376 students failed as against over 16,000 last year. While 62,916 and 18,822 students got compartment and re-appear respectively, the cases of 380 students were withheld by the PSEB.Girls’ pass percentage The girls’ pass percentage stood at 72.59 as against boys’ 54.42, dropping sharply from 71.12 from last year’s result. Similarly, the girls’ pass percentage also saw a drop of 7.44 as against 84.03 recorded last year. About 37 per cent of students, who appeared for the examination, either failed or got reappear or compartment. Ashima Arora, student of RS Model Senior Secondary School, Ludhiana, topped the exams by scoring 98.44% marks. The second position was bagged by Prabhjot Joshi, student of BCM Senior Secondary school, Ludhiana with 98.22%. Riya, student of Tagore Centenary secondary school, Gurdaspur, with 98% secured the third position, an official said. Of the total 350 students in the merit list, the maximum — 139 — were from Ludhiana district. Many schools in 14 districts, including Muktsar, Fazilka, Mansa, Moga, Pathankot, Barnala, whose students were in the merit list, could not even cross the double digit pass percentage. The highest pass percentage of students in the State was in Gurdaspur at 76.14, followed by Amritsar district at 71.08. The lowest pass percentage was in Rup Nagar district at 53.53. Incidentally, Rup Nagar was the Assembly constituency of former Education Minister Daljit Singh Cheema in the SAD-BJP government. Notably, the overall pass percentage in 2014 and 2015 stood at 81.09 and 76.24, respectively.
The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) on Tuesday stepped up its protests in Darjeeling, with some activists burning copies of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) agreement, and dozens of youth getting their bare backs smashed with tubelights.Supporters of GJM lined up at Chowk Bazar and some of them started breaking tubelights on their backs, to show their anger against the West Bengal government.End of boardThe demonstration, announced by the GJM a few days ago, drew large crowds from different parts of Darjeeling. GJM supporters burnt copies of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) agreement, entered into between the Centre, West Bengal government and the GJM in 2011. The GJM leadership said the burning of the GTA agreement officially marked the end of the regional developmental board in the hills.Also Read State should solve Gorkhaland issue: Kailash Vijayvargiya “Today (Tuesday) we are burning the GTA memorandum agreement and the GTA Act that was signed in August 2011. From today, GTA would be a non-entity in the hills. We do not want the GTA anymore. The only thing we want now is Gorkhaland,” Benoy Tamang, GJM’s assistant general secretary, said.‘Boycott polls’Mr. Tamang who was present at the protest venue, said if the State government tries to impose the election here and if anyone tries to fight the election even as an independent candidate, they would have to do that at their own risk.Protests were held in all the 45 wards of the GTA as announced by the GJM leadership. Only a day before Prakash Gurung, president of the youth wing of the GJM threatened to resort to hunger-strike and self-immolation and urged the Centre to start a dialogue on the issue of separate Gorkhaland.The GJM and other parties have refused to hold any discussion with the State government. In Kolkata, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee held meetings with senior administrative and police officers on the situation in Darjeeling.Senior Trinamool Congress Minister Gautam Deb, president of Darjeeling district Trinamool Congress, said that he is saddened to see such violent protest. Mr. Deb said any protests in a democratic country should follow democratic means.
As the BJP is set to retain power in Gujarat for the record sixth time, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Monday that the mandate is for the party’s politics of “vishwas” and “vikas”. “The BJP came up with the politics of vishwas (trust) and vikas (development) for Gujarat and people responded to it positively. The Opposition tried to spread wrong messages against us, but we prevailed because of the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and national president Amit Shah,” he said. Mr. Fadnavis was speaking to reporters outside the state assembly. “It was the common man’s trust that Modi can bring peace and prosperity. It is very important that even after 22 years, a party gets almost 50 per cent votes of the people and retains power…It is very significant,” he said. According to Mr. Fadnavis, with Himachal Pradesh, the BJP has won the 19th state in the country. “The results are a stamp on the leadership of Modi and Shah in the party and in the national politics,” he said. When asked about the BJP winning less number of seats in Gujarat as compared to the 2012 assembly polls, Mr. Fadnavis said, “The BJP has won 49.9 per cent votes so far. It is a very significant win for the party.”
There has been political consensus in Assam that an updated National Register of Citizens, as mandated by the Supreme Court, will help identification of Bangladeshi migrants, who are staying illegally in Assam after the midnight of March 24, 1971, and their expulsion in accordance with the Assam Accord. However, the actual number of illegal migrants in the State will not be known till the claims and objections of all those excluded in the final draft are settled by the NRC authorities.Migration after marriageThe verification of the NRC for the subsequent draft will also decide on the applications from 29 lakh women, who have submitted certificates issued by Gaon (gram panchayat) secretaries and executive magistrates to support their claim of residency after migration post-marriage. The Supreme Court allowed these documents after setting aside an order of the Gauhati High Court which declared these documents “invalid” and “ineffective in the process of the verification of claims for inclusion in NRC”.Also Read Congress seeks transparency on NRC revision process The Supreme court, however, clarified: “The certificate issued by the G.P. secretary, by no means, is proof of citizenship. Such proof will come only if the link between the claimant and the legacy person (who has to be a citizen) is established. The certificate has to be verified at two stages. The first is the authenticity of the certificate itself; and the second is the authenticity of the contents thereof. The latter process of verification is bound to be an exhaustive process in the course of which the source of information of the facts and all other details recorded in the certificate will be ascertained after giving an opportunity to the holder of the certificate.”The publication of the first draft of the NRC came close on the heels of ruling coalition partner Asom Gana Parishad threatening to snap ties with the ruling BJP if the Centre pushed for passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 that seeks to grant citizenship to Hindu Bangladeshis, who have entered Assam illegally post-1971.All Opposition parties, including the Congress and the All India United Democratic Front, and student and youth organisations have opposed identification of illegal migrants on the basis of religion. They have demanded withdrawal of the Bill on the ground that if made into an Act, it would render the updated NRC and the entire process of updating the citizenship register infructuous.With the BJP pushing for passage of the Bill,the question of identification of foreigners in accordance with the Assam Accord may not be answered even after the final draft is published.
An 18-month-old boy was attacked and killed by stray dogs in Old Bhopal outside his house, police said on Friday. The incident occurred on Thursday under the Gautam Nagar police station area when Shaikh Raza was outside his house, they said. “A pack of five to six stray dogs attacked and dragged the boy for about 50 feet from his house before the neighbours chased them away,” said Gautam Nagar PS in-charge Mukhtar Qureshi. His family members were inside the house when the incident occurred. They took the badly injured toddler to Hamidia Hospital where doctors declared him brought dead, he said. “We have registered a case and investigating further. We are waiting for the post-mortem report. The child’s family members were provided an immediate help of ₹10,000 by the district administration,” Mr. Qureshi said. Following the incident, the Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) decided to start a campaign to deal with the stray dog menace. “This is sad. I have called a meeting of the BMC health officers. We would soon start a drive to catch stray dogs,” Mayor Alok Sharma said.
Leader of the Opposition in the Bihar Assembly Tejashwi Yadav wrote an open letter to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday, requesting him to “save Bihar from the communal agenda of the BJP”. “The whole country knows that you can go to any extent and do anything for power, but I request you with folded hands to rise above politics in the interest of the people of the State and save Bihar from BJP’s communal agenda,” he wrote in the letter.Meanwhile, State RJD leaders continued to demand action against Union Ministers Giriraj Singh and Ashwani Choubey for “fomenting communal strife” in Bihar. “We demand that the Nitish government should not allow these two leaders to enter Bihar,” said party leader Bhai Birendra. “Giriraj Singh has not challenged us, but Nitish Kumar should take action against them,” said RJD vice-president Rabri Devi.
Two incidents of rape of minor girls have come to the fore in Darjeeling over the past three days. Five persons have been arrested in connection with these cases. On Sunday, a 49-year-old man allegedly assaulted a three-and-a-half-year-old girl. The accused was arrested on the basis of a complaint by the child’s mother and sent to judicial custody. In another incident, four persons were arrested in connection with the rape of a 16-year-old girl at Phulbari in Darjeeling on Saturday. The accused, all in their 30s, were arrested on Sunday by Darjeeling police and remanded in 14 days of judicial custody. Darjeeling public prosecutor Pranay Rai said that all the accused have been booked under relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. He said that though there are no fast-track courts in Darjeeling, he would try to get the trial completed in these cases as early as possible.
Former Biju Janata Dal MP Baijayant Panda, who was accused of flying a helicopter at low height over the ecologically sensitive Chilika Lake, has been given a clean chit by the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation.The DGCA found no violation of its rules and regulation. The Odisha police had requested the DGCA to conduct a technical probe into the case.“The DGCA had investigated the complaint of dangerous flying by helicopter over the Chilika Lake. On investigation it was found that one helicopter belonging to Indian Metals and Ferro Alloys Limited (IMFA) had flown non-stop cross-country from Bhubaneswar airport overflying Rajhans, Puri, Konark and finally landed at Garadpur. No other helicopter had flown over Rajhans on September 15 last,” says the report received by the Director of the Biju Patnaik International Airport, Bhubaneswar.Report sent to police The report has also been sent to the Odisha police. “Helicopter was airworthy and flight crew licences were current and have a reasonable experience on the type. No significant deviation in the flight plan timing and actual timing has been observed,” noted the report“Based on the fact and evidence, it could not be established that a helicopter had flown dangerously below the assigned altitude or had landed at the Chilika Lake. There was no violation of DGCA rules and regulations observed,” it added.Soon after the DGCA probe report, Mr. Panda took to Twitter, saying “total clean chit by DGCA on Odisha government’s cooked up case against me and my helicopter flying, and sealing a hangar at Biju Patnaik airport, Bhubaneswar, for the past 1.5 months, immobilising 3 choppers (including two against which there were no allegations whatsoever)!”The former MP, who had been suspended from BJD, was facing a police investigation for flying at low height over the Chilika which allegedly disturbed aquatic fauna. The Puri district police had also seized his hangar at the Biju Patnaik airport where three helicopters belonging IMFA, his family-controlled company, were kept.
The Army handed over Jitendra Malik to the Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force team in Meerut late Saturday night.Earlier in the day, the Uttar Pradesh government transferred Raees Akhtar, who was the Additional Superintendent of Police (Rural) in Bulandshahr, six days after two people died in the mob violence following an alleged cow slaughter incident.The police have arrested nine accused in the Bulandshahr case but the main conspirator, Yogesh Raj, the district convener of the Bajrang Dal, is still on the run.Interrogation onOn Sunday, Mr. Malik, the accused jawan, was interrogated by the Crime Branch and the Special Investigation Team constituted by the U.P. government to probe the incident, the city Superintendent of Police (Crime) said.During the violence, Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh and a 20-year-old man died of gunshot wounds. Singh and his team had gone to the area to tackle the violence when they came under attack by the mob.The U.P. government has transferred four police personnel in all in the wake of the violence. In a statement, Principal Secretary (Home) Arvind Kumar said ASP Naeem Akhtar had been transferred to the PAC Headquarters in Lucknow.Manish Mishra, posted as additional superintendent of police at modern control room, Ghaziabad, has been made the new ASP (rural) of Bulandshahr. On Saturday, the U.P. government transferred Bulandshahr SSP Krishna Bahadur Singh to the DGP office in Lucknow. Mr. Kumar said the senior superintendent of police would be replaced by Sitapur SP Prabhakar Chaudhary. Two other policemen of Bulandshahr district — circle officer of Syana area Satya Prakash Sharma and Chingravati police chowki in-charge Suresh Kumar — have also been transferred.The transfers are understood to be in line with the findings of a report on the police handling of the situation, which was submitted by additional director general, Intelligence, S.B. Shiradkar on Friday.
Non-bailable warrants have been issued against the accused in the Bulandshahr mob violence case, in which two persons including a police officer were killed, an official confirmed late on Wednesday.This followed an application by the investigators before the CJM court in Bulandshahr, arguing that the absconding accused were trying to influence the probe.“The accused are trying to spoil communal harmony by making videos of the incident viral and attempting to influence evidence,” said the application.A police officer confirmed that the NBWs have been issued against the accused, including Yogesh Raj, Bajrang Dal, Bulandshahr convenor; Shikhar Agarwal, BJP Yuva Morcha, Bulandshahr city president; and former pradhan of Mahav village Raj Kumar. The NBW application has 21 names of accused persons in the FIR while six others have been added to the list.Meanwhile, two more accused persons Nitin and Mohit were arrested in the case, taking the total to 12. Some of those arrested were not named in the initial FIR.The arrested persons so far include Jeetu Fauji or Jitendra Malik, the Army jawan, who emerged as a key suspect in the murder of officer Subodh Singh. Jeetu Fauji is currently under judicial custody. He had pleaded innocence in the violence but allegedly admitted to being present in Bulandshahr at the time of the incident.However, some of the main accused like Yogesh Raj are yet to be nabbed. Raj and Shikhar Agarwal, while on the run, both issued videos claiming innocence in the mob violence case but are yet to surrender or be arrested.More than 70 persons, with some of them allegedly having links to the VHP and its youth wing Bajrang Dal, were booked on charges of murder, attempt to murder, rioting, sedition, damage to public property and dacoity, among others in the mob violence case which took place after allegations of cow slaughter in a village in Bulandshahr.
NIH Studies Explore Promise of Sequencing Babies’ GenomesIn a few years, new parents may go home from the hospital with not just a bundle of joy, but with the complete sequence of their baby’s DNA as well. A new $25 million National Institutes of Health research program will explore the promise—and ethical challenges—of sequencing every newborn’s genome.Is a Slim Physique Contagious? 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The microbes in our gut also play a part in how much we weigh. Now, researchers have shown that certain gut microbes found in lean mice can prevent obesity, even when given to mice that start out chubby. The catch? The bacterial takeover needs a healthy, high-fiber diet in order to stick.Bats and Dolphins Evolved Echolocation in Same WayDolphins and bats don’t have much in common, but they share a superpower: echolocation. Now, a study shows that this ability arose independently in each group of mammals from the same genetic mutations. The work suggests that evolution sometimes arrives at new traits through the same sequence of steps, even in very different animals. The research also implies that this convergent evolution is common—and hidden—within genomes, potentially complicating the task of deciphering some evolutionary relationships between organisms. A Racing Game to Rejuvenate the Brain?Fighting the mental effects of aging is tricky. But NeuroRacer, a new racing video game created by neuroscientists, shows promise in reversing some signs of mental decline. An important question with such games is whether they can strengthen skills that are useful away from a computer. NeuroRacer seems to deliver: People who trained with the game saw improvements in multitasking, memory, and attention and were able to maintain at least some of these skills months after training.Chilean Union Leader Speaks on ALMA StrikeFor 2 weeks, observations at the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, the world’s largest radio telescope, have been at a standstill, due to an ongoing strike by the 195-member ALMA workers union. Science chatted with the president of the union to get his take on the situation.A Change Is in the (Interstellar) WindEarth could be in for some turbulence. Our solar system travels through space. Right now, it’s moving through an expanse of gas called the Local Interstellar Cloud. Astronomers have discovered signs of potential change in the wind inside the cloud. If the shift is real and continues for hundreds to thousands of years—a dicey extrapolation—it could be a harbinger of more dramatic changes in our solar system, including greater exposure to harmful galactic cosmic rays.
On 7 May, the United Kingdom will have a general election, the first in 5 years. Science has not come up much in the campaigning. Hoping to change that, the British Science Association interviewed representatives from six major parties about their views on research issues and has posted the videos online—but they ended up with few concrete differences to highlight.The Conservative Party, which has held power in coalition with Liberal Democrats for the past 5 years, touted its protection of existing science budgets and recent increases in research-related capital spending. The Labour Party vowed, if elected, to protect science from cuts, and highlighted European ties as vital to research. The Green Party was unusually specific, repeating its pledge to increase government spending on science to 1% of gross domestic product. Liberal Democrats want to build bridges between parties to guarantee a healthy future for research. Plaid Cymru, a party that advocates independence for Wales, emphasized research related to the environment. Scotland largely runs its own science agenda, but the Scottish National Party said it would invest in renewable energy and work on the “scientific skills shortage.” The UK Independence Party did not participate.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(*)“For too long science has not featured in the General Election debate,” said Imran Khan, chief of the British Science Association, in a statement. “We hope this series opens up discussions about science policy and its impact on communities across the UK.”
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Foreign buyers, including the Chinese and Americans, today showed interest in importing Indian organic agricultural products to cater to increasing consumption levels in their countries, but raised some concerns on quality assessment.South Korea based Organic Partner CEO Raymond Yang said they usually import cashews, nuts,turmeric and rock honey from India, but have problems relating to quality assessment.“In South Korea each product goes through at least 377 tests.However it isn’t the case in India.Unless Indian produce meets the Korean Specific Organic Standard, trade between both countries cannot happen unless the items are processed,” he said at International Trade Fair For Organic and Millets 2018. Read it at Economic Times Related Items
Saudi Arabia opened its airspace for the first time to a commercial flight to Israel with the inauguration Thursday of an Air India route between New Delhi and Tel Aviv.Air India 139 landed at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport after a flight of about 7½ hours, marking a diplomatic shift for Riyadh that Israel says was fueled by shared concern over Iranian influence in the region.Read it at VOA Related Items
India will establish itself as the third largest travel and tourism (T&T) economy in the world by 2028, both in terms of direct and total gross domestic product, according to a report released by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) on March 22.India will follow China and the United States, the report said. South Asia is expected to be the fastest-growing world region over the next 10 years, with average annual direct T&T gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 6.9 per cent forecast, driven principally by a strong 7.1 per cent growth in India, revealed the report titled “Global Economic Impact & Issues 2018.”The report covers 185 countries and 25 regions of the world, providing data on the 2017 performance as well as 10-year forecasts on the sector’s potential.“2017 was the best year on record for the travel and tourism sector. We have seen increased spending as a result of growing consumer confidence, both domestically and internationally, recovery in markets in North Africa and Europe previously impacted by terrorism and continued outbound growth from China and India. This is great news for the millions of people who depend on our sector for their livelihoods,” said Gloria Guevara, WTTC president and CEO.In 2017, travel and tourism’s direct, indirect and induced impact accounted for $8.3 trillion contribution to global GDP, making up 10.4 per cent. It accounted for 313 million jobs, which is 1 in 10 jobs around the world, the report said.“Asian countries continue to drive global tourism growth with North East Asia growing at 7.4 per cent and South East Asia at 6.7 per cent. China continues to lead the way at 9.8 per cent. Over the next 10 years, over one third of absolute GDP growth and nearly half of employment growth will be generated by China and India,” the report said.Over 64 million “new travelling households” are expected to come up in China by 2027. In the second place is India, with around 9 million new traveling households.The countries worldwide where travel and tourism’s direct contribution to GDP saw fastest growth in 2017 were Egypt, Mongolia, Georgia, Nicaragua, Turkey, Moldova, Libya, Nepal, Armenia, Macau, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Romania, Malta, Uzbekistan, Portugal, Uruguay, Azerbaijan, Iran and Cyprus.According to the report, by 2028, travel and tourism is expected to support nearly 414 million jobs across the world, which equates to one in nine of all jobs in the world. The sector is expected to contribute an average 9 million new jobs per year to 2028 (up from less than 7 million per year between 2011 and 2017), representing around one quarter of total global net job creation.With the right regulatory conditions and government support, nearly 100 million new jobs could be created over the decade ahead.Along with outperforming the global economy over the next 10 years, travel and tourism is also forecast to outpace a range of other major global economic sectors, including communications, business services, manufacturing and retail and distribution, the report said. Related ItemsEconomyTourism