DD/AIR News

  • The court is also expected to deliver a judgement on a question whether the grant of stay on the conviction of a disqualified lawmaker by an appellate court would revive his or her membership of a House. A five-judge constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, is expected to pronounce its verdict on a batch of pleas challenging the constitutional validity of Centre's flagship Aadhaar scheme and its enabling 2016 law. The bench had, in May, reserved the verdict on the matter following a marathon hearing that went on for 38 days, spanning four-and-half months.  The key argument against Aadhaar was that it was violative of the nine-judge bench verdict that had held that Right to Privacy is a fundamental right. The Centre had said, the law was valid and it ensured proper delivery of subsidies, benefits and services to the poor. The apex court is also likely to deliver its verdict on a batch of petitions seeking that a seven-judge bench reconsiders the court's 2006 judgement which had put conditions for granting quota benefits in job promotions for SC/ST employees.  The Centre and various state governments sought reconsideration of the verdict on various grounds, including that the members of the SC/ST communities are presumed to be backward and considering their stigma of caste, they should be given reservation even in job promotions.

  • The mission, launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on November 5, 2013, successfully placed itself into Martian orbit on September 24, 2014 in its first attempt. Although the designed mission life of MOM was six months, the satellite has continued to beam back science data from Mars for the past four years. "It's been 4 years since I am around! Thank you for your love and support," the ISRO's Mars Orbiter twitter handle said Tuesday. Images are also taken by the orbiter of Olympus Mons the largest known volcano of the solar system. MOM is built with full autonomy to take care of itself for long periods without any ground intervention. The spacecraft came out of communication 'blackout' during this period. MOM is the only Martian artificial satellite which could image the full disc of Mars in one view frame and also image the far side of the Martian moon Deimos. The Mars Colour Camera has acquired over 980 images so far. The mission has also helped scientists successfully prepare a global atlas of Mars. 

  • Spinal cord stimulation is a kind of therapy that masks pain signals before they reach the brain. A small device, similar to a pacemaker, is implanted in the body to deliver electrical pulses to the spinal cord. With an implanted stimulator turned on, the man was able to step with a front-wheeled walker while trainers provided occasional assistance, according to the research published in the journal Nature Medicine. He made 113 rehabilitation visits over a year, and achieved results during individual sessions, said researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Mayo Clinic in the US. "What this is teaching us is that those networks of neurons below a spinal cord injury still can function after paralysis," said Kendall Lee, a neurosurgeon and director of Mayo Clinic's Neural Engineering Laboratories. In the study, the man's spinal cord was stimulated by an implanted electrode, enabling neurons to receive the signal that he wanted to stand or step. Currently, as a safety precaution, the patient takes steps only under the supervision of the research team. The man who is now 29, injured his spinal cord at the thoracic vertebrae in the middle of his back in a snowmobile accident in 2013. He was diagnosed with a complete loss of function below the spinal cord injury, meaning he could not move or feel anything below the middle of his torso. In the study, which began in 2016, the man participated in 22 weeks of physical therapy and then had an electrode surgically implanted by Lee and his team. The implant sits in the epidural space to the outermost part of the spinal canal at a specific location below the injured area. The electrode connects to a pulse generator device under the skin of the man's abdomen and communicates wirelessly with an external controller. The research team then tried to determine if the man could stand and walk with assistance.During 113 rehabilitation sessions, the researchers adjusted stimulation settings, trainer assistance, harness support and speed of the treadmill to allow the man maximum independence. The research demonstrated that the man was able to walk over ground using a front-wheeled walker and step on a treadmill placing his arms on support bars to help with balance.However, when stimulation was off, the man remained paralysed. In the first week, the participant used a harness to lower his risk of falling and to provide upper body balance. Trainers were positioned at his knees and hips to help him stand, swing his legs and shift his weight. Since the man did not regain sensation, he initially used mirrors to view his legs, and trainers described leg position, movement and balance. By week 25, his injury was recovered and he did not need a harness, and trainers offered only occasional help. By the end of the study period, the man learned to use his entire body to transfer weight, maintain balance and propel forward, requiring minimal verbal cues and periodic glances at his legs.

  • The entire trekking team was evacuated to the Army's base camp at Sisu. About 500 people, including some foreigners, are reported to be still stranded at Koksar and Baralacha areas. Officials said all of them are safe and the three IAF helicopters will used in rescuing them. Thakur said the Centre has assured all possible help and if required more helicopters will be sent for rescuing stranded people.

  • Captain of Indian cricket team Virat Kohli and world champion weightlifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu received the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, the highest sporting award of the country. Apart from a medal and a citation, both the awardees received a cash prize of 7.5 lakh rupees. Star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, athlete Hima Das, Jinson Jhonson, Shuttler Nelakurthi Sikki Reddy, Boxer Satish Kumar, Golfer Subhankar Sharma, Shooters Rahi Sarnobat, Ankur Mittal, Shreyasi Singh, Table Tennis Players Manika Batra, G Sathiyan, Wrestler Sumit, Wushu player Pooja Kadian, Para Athlete Ankur Dhama, Para-Badminton player Manoj Sarkar and Hockey players Manpreet Singh, Savita and Polo player Col. Ravi Rathore  got the Arjuna Awards. The President also presented the Dronacharya awards to eight coaches. They are Subedar  Chenanda Achaiah  Kuttappa for Boxing, Vijay Sharma for Weightlifting, A. Srinivasa Rao for Table Tennis, Sukhdev  Singh  Pannu for Athletics,  Clarence Lobo for Hockey, Tarak Sinha for Cricket,  Jiwan Kumar Sharma for Judo and V.R. Beedu for Athletics.Dhyan Chand Award was given to four persons. They are Satyadev Prasad for Archery, Bharat Kumar Chetri for Hockey, Ms. Bobby Aloysius for Athletics and Chougale Dadu Dattatray for Wrestling.Arjuna, Dronacharya and Dhyan Chand Awardees received statuettes, certificates and cash prize of five lakh rupees each. 

  • Thane district is one such shining example where the scheme is penetrating at a fast pace. Mission Indradhanush has come as a blessing for Sumitra Barai of Thane district in Maharashtra. She is a house wife and her husband works as a Chartered Accountant. They have a 16 months old kid. Due to a hectic work schedule Sumitra missed a vaccine for her child after 9 months but understood its importance when Health officials educated her. She was also made aware of the importance of seven vaccines of preventable diseases given to children under Mission Indradhanush through health camps. Special drives are conducted under the programme to cover and vaccinate all unvaccinated and partially vaccinated children and pregnant women. Mission Indradhanush is benefiting women and children across the country and turning out to be a boon for those left out in regular vaccination drives, especially those in rural and remote areas.  

  • During the three-day event, the second anniversary of the 'surgical strikes' will also be celebrated on September 29. The Indian Army conducted surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the Line of Control on September 29 two years ago. The Defence Minister in a tweet said that  in the run up to ParakramParv, homage will be paid to the war heroes who are the epitome of courage and sacrifice. Stories of the recipients of the highest gallantry award, the Param Veer Chakra will also be highlighted during the Parakram Parv. The Defence Minister also shared a video on Parakram Parv.  

  • Security sources said that the militants hiding near graveyard fired upon forces who were conducting search operation in the area triggering fresh gunfight. They said in the ensuing encounter two militants were killed during fierce gunfight. They said the search operation is still underway in the area. Earlier, a gunfight between militants and the joint security forces again raged in Nowpora Tujjar Sharief area of north Kashmir's Sopore town in Baramulla district this  morning. The cordon and search operation was launched late last night that followed with the brief shootout between suspected militants and the security forces in the area.

  • In Himachal Pradesh, monsoon activity was vigorous during past 24 hours. Rainfall occurred at most places over the state. Very Light snowfall occurred atisolated places in the district of Lahaul and Spiti. Very heavy rainfall occurred at isolated places in the district of Bilaspur, Hamirpur&Una, heavy rainfall occurred at isolated places in the districts of Solan, Kullu and Mandi.  Today, Minimum temperatures were  below normal by 2-3 degree Celcius. Chief MInisterJairam Thakur took a review meeting with officials at Kullu. Traffic has been restored between Mandi  and Kullu. The road till Manali will be restored in next 3-4 days . Two airforce helicopters have reached Kullu for the rescue operation. Punjab has also been witnessing widespread rainfall for the last two days and the downpour continued Monday, prompting state authorities to review preparations to tackle flood-like situations. Educational institutes have been ordered to remain closed in Punjab.  

  • The apex court said the panel will look into the issues including over-crowding in prisons. The Supreme Court on August 27 had reserved its order on the issue of constituting a committee to deal with issues pertaining to jails and suggest reforms for prisons across the country. The committee will also look into the various issues concerning women prisoners. The bench was hearing a matter relating to inhuman conditions in 1,382 prisons across India.

  • The Apex court said candidate shall declare his or her criminal antecedents to the election commission before contesting an election. The five judge bench headed by the Chief Justice of India in its verdict said that Political parties must put out this information on their websites. The verdict was pronounced on a batch of pleas raising a question whether lawmakers facing criminal trial can be disqualified from contesting elections at the stage of framing of charges against them. In another landmark judgement, the Supreme Court dismissed a plea seeking ban lawmakers from practising as advocates, saying that the Bar Council of India rules do not prohibit them. A bench of Chief Justice DipakMisra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud on July 9 had reserved the order on the PIL. The PIL had sought to bar MPs, MLAs and MLCs from practising in courts during their tenure in legislature which was a violation of Article 14 of the Constitution.  

  • Amit Shah also said that BJP has become world's largest political party. Madhya Pradesh Chief MInister Shiv Raj Singh Chouhan said that, Madhya Pradesh, which was earlier counted among 'BIMARU' states, has come out of that tag and has become a major participant in the development process of the country. He said that three Expressways now planned for construction in Madhya Pradesh.

  • Addressing Karyakarta Mahakumbh’, a grand assembly of party workers on the birth anniversary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya in Bhopal on Tuesday, he said to save the country from vote bank politics and its collateral damage is the objective of BJP.  Prime Minister Modi said, those promoting vote bank politics did not care about the development and this has been one of the reasons for slow progress in the country.  Referring to the great leaders, Prime Minister said country can never forget three great men - Mahatma Gandhi, Ram Manohar Lohia and Deen Dayal Upadhyay. He said, these leaders guided the country and took the country to new heights. Prime Minister Modi clarified that the BJP’s ideology is identified with Ekatma Manavvad or integral humanism, no other political party in the world is working on this ideology of humanism. Targeting the opposition on issues of Triple Talaq, Prime Minister said, every woman should get equal rights irrespective of her religion. Speaking on the occasion, party president Amit Shah said, for BJP, its priority is the country’s security and that is the reason, 40 lakh intruders have been identified in Assam through NRC. He asserted that NRC will continue in Assam.

  • Addressing the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit held on the sidelines of the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly in New York Monday night. President Sirisena said Mandela was a great statesman and epitome of reconciliation. He thanked the UN Secretary General and others for organizing the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit to honor such a great humanitarian leader who showed the path of true reconciliation to the world. Sirisena said Mandela was a leader who showed how to use power for the benefit of the people and give up power without any greed for power and added that there is a dearth of such leaders today. The plenary session of the Mandela peace summit will also adopt a Political Declaration covering policing guidelines for a gamut of areas including peace, democracy, rule of law and human rights.

  • Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli and world champion weightlifter Mirabai Chanu will receive the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, the highest sporting award of the country.  Apart from a medal and a citation, the awardee will receive a cash prize of Rs. 7.5 lakh.  Star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, athlete Hima Das and Hockey player Manpreet Singh are among 20 sportspersons picked for this year's Arjuna Awards. The President will also present the Dronacharya awards to eight coaches and Dhyan Chand Awards to four sportspersons.  An official release said, Arjuna, Dronacharya and Dhyan Chand Awardees will receive statuettes, certificates and cash prize of Rs. 5 lakh each. The President will also give away Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy 2017-18 to Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar.  This year's award ceremony was postponed to September 25 from the usual August 29 National Sports Day event due to clash of dates with the Asian Games in Indonesia.  All India Radio Delhi will broadcast LIVE commentary on the presentation of the award from 4.55 PM.  It can be heard on Indraprastha, FM Gold Channel and additional frequencies.

  • The programme is being organised at Jamboori Maidan in BHEL to mark the birth anniversary of party ideologue and co-founder of Janasangh, Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay.  BJP President Amit Shah will also address workers’ congregation which will begin at 10 AM with a musical concert of singer Kailash Kher.  An estimated 10 lakh BJP workers from 65,000 polling booths spread across 230 assembly constituencies in Madhya Pradesh will take part in the programme.  State Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan, party organisational general secretary Ramlal and central and state ministers and other senior leaders will attend the congregation. An exhibition hall named after BJP leader and former union minister late Anil Madhav Dave has also been set up at the rally site.  The exhibition venue will showcase the journey and works of BJP stalwarts, including Atal Bihari Vajpayee, PM Narendra Modi and CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan.  Party's ideologues - Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Rajmata Vijayaraje Scindia and Kushabhau Thakre have been depicted as five strong pillars of the BJP. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in Bhopal for nearly three hours and stay with party workers for around two hours.  Six DIG level officer and around three thousands security personnel have been deployed to monitor the security at the airport, helipad, programme venue and the route of PM’s cavalcade. Five helipads have also been made near the Jambori Maidan.  An exhibition of the government schemes is also being organised at the venue. Party has entrusted the responsibility to 5,000 workers to make the mega event a success.    BJP has made elaborate arrangements for PM Modi and national president Amit Shah at the venue.  A dome has been constructed at the venue, in such a way that eye contact can be made from the dais to the last row. Over 45 LED screens have been installed at the venue. 

  • Evan Atar Adaha's Maban hospital in the South Sudanese town of Bunj serves more than 1,44,000 refugees from Blue Nile state in neighbouring Sudan, UNHCR said. The hospital's X-ray machine is broken, but Atar and his team perform nearly 60 surgeries per week in a room with just one light, with staff using "ketamine injections and spinal epidurals" instead of general anaesthesia, the agency said. UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi said Atar's "profound humanity and selflessness" had saved thousands of lives. Atar had previously run a hospital in Blue Nile but was forced to relocate when a conflict erupted there in 2011 between the Khartoum government and rebel fighters. Khartoum unilaterally announced a ceasefire in the area in March. The Nansen prize, awarded annually, is named for Norwegian polar explorer Fridtjof Nansen, who served as the first high commissioner for refugees during the failed League of Nations. Last year's winner was Nigerian Zannah Mustapha, who helped negotiate the release of some of the girls kidnapped by Boko Haram Islamists from their school in Chibok in 2014. UNHCR said actor and goodwill ambassador Cate Blanchet will deliver the keynote address at the ceremony in Geneva next week.

  • The eight day long annual festival is observed to worship the god Devraj Indra, the lord of rain and good harvest. It also marks end of monsoon and beginning of harvest season and festivity.  The chariot procession and mask dances are the main attraction of Indra Jatra. On fourth day of festival the chariot procession of living Goddess Kumari, Lord Ganesha and Lord Bhairav began from historic Basantapur Durbar Square on Monday.  Nepal's living Goddess Trishna Shakya made her first public appearance after she was anointed in September last year.  President Bidya Devi Bhandari and thousands of people attended the Indra Jatra celebrations. The fesitval was started on Friday with erection of a sacred wooden pole (lingo) at Hanumandhoka in Basantapur Durbar Square.  Indra Jatra is mainly celebrated by the Newar community of Kathmandu valley and some other parts of the country.  According to legend once upon a time Lord Indra disguised as a common man descended to the earth in search of a Parijat flower (a night flowering jasmine) to perform worship for his mother. The people caught him and tied while he was plucking the flowers. His mother came to Kathmandu in search of him.  When the city folk realized that they had captured Lord Indra they were appalled and immediately released him. After the release of Lord Indra, his mother promised to provide enough dew throughout the winter to ensure a rich crop. It is believed that Kathmandu starts experiencing foggy mornings from Indra Jatra festival.

  • In the absence of routine screening, most people only discover they carry cancer-associated variants in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes when that person or family members receive a cancer diagnosis. "As a colleague said, it usually takes a tragedy for people to get tested," said Michael Murray, professor at Yale University in the US. "Our reliance on a documented personal or family history as a trigger to offer testing is not working. Hopefully, one day we can change that with effective DNA-based screening for everyone," said Murray. The mean age of subjects in the study was 60. Two hundred and sixty-seven of those screened possessed a BRCA risk variant, yet only 18 per cent of them were aware they possessed this risk factor for cancer prior to being informed by the study. Among the group of living BRCA-positive patients, 16.8 per cent of them had a BRCA-associated cancer. In the small group of BRCA-positive patients who had died before the study's conclusion, 47.8 per cent of them had a BRCA-associated cancer. "Once risk is identified, we can apply proven tools for early diagnosis and prevention, and we believe that the 31 per cent difference in cancer incidence in these two groups is a window into an opportunity to decrease cancer and cancer deaths through genomic screening approaches," Murray said. 

  • The study, published in the journal PLOS Medicine, suggests that a personalised therapy tailored to each person's physiology may help better manage diabetes. Scientists from the Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US analysed genomic data with a computational tool that incorporates genetic complexity. "When treating type 2 diabetes, we have a dozen or so medications we can use, but after you start someone on the standard algorithm, it's primarily trial and error," said Jose Florez, an endocrinologist at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in the US. "We need a more granular approach that addresses the many different molecular processes leading to high blood sugar," said Florez, also a professor at Harvard Medical School. It is known that type 2 diabetes can be broadly grouped into cases driven either by the inability of pancreatic beta cells to make enough insulin, known as insulin deficiency, or by the inability of liver, muscle or fat tissues to use insulin properly, known as insulin resistance. Previous research attempted to define more subtypes of type 2 diabetes based on indicators such as beta-cell function, insulin resistance, or body-mass index, but those traits can vary greatly through life and during the course of disease. Inherited genetic differences are present at birth, and so a more reliable method would be to create subtypes based on DNA variations that have been associated with diabetes risk in large-scale genetic studies. These variations can be grouped into clusters based on how they impact diabetes-related traits; for example, genetic changes linked to high triglyceride levels are likely to work through the same biological processes. Researchers identified five clusters of genetic variants distinguished by distinct underlying cellular processes, within the existing major divisions of insulin-resistant and insulin-deficient disease. To test whether each cluster had been assigned the correct biological mechanism, researchers gathered data from four independent cohorts of patients with type 2 diabetes and first calculated the patients' individual genetic risk scores for each cluster. They found nearly a third of patients scored highly for only one predominant cluster, suggesting that their diabetes may be driven predominantly by a single biological mechanism.

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