Physicists gadget lets you hear the sound of a perfect golf swing

first_img Citation: Physicist’s gadget lets you hear the sound of a perfect golf swing (2008, September 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-09-physicist-gadget-golf.html Golf is a game of intense concentration. Golfers receive advice on the precise stance, grip, wrist angle, shoulder angle, head angle, and other details to improve their swings. But a new golf gadget developed by a Yale physics professor takes a different approach to golf training. Rather than focusing on the mechanics, the device lets players literally “tune in” to the sound of their swings. The Physics of a golf swing Explore further Professor Bob Grober´s invention, called System-1, instantly converts the velocity of a golf swing into sound, allowing the player to hear their swing in progress. The device consists of two components. A long, thin electronics piece slides into the shaft of almost any club, which includes sensors and a microprocessor to measure the swing´s velocity. The data is then wirelessly transmitted to a receiver that can be tucked into a golfer´s pocket, which converts the data to sound and sends it to a headset. A golf swing can be programmed to sound like one of about 120 instruments, such as piano, piccolo, viola, or synthesized rock organ. The faster the club moves, the higher the pitch and volume. Grober hopes that the device will help people better understand the tempo, timing, and rhythm of their swings in an intuitive way.”Getting people to change mechanical things, which are habits, is a very difficult thing, it could take months or maybe years,” Grober said in a video at Courant.com. “But when you turn all of that into something that people can hear, people are very good at adjusting sound, people are very sensitive to sound. And you can get people to change habits, mechanical things that they do, on the timescale of 5, 10, 15 minutes. Once you let them hear what it sounds like and show them how easy it is to do, that changes things in a dramatic way.”Grober founded a company called Sonic Golf to market System-1. So far, he has sold seven of the devices at $1,000 each. Among his customers is Vijay Singh, a Masters and two-time PGA Championship winner, who bought one in June and uses it daily. Other customers include PGA Champion Rich Beem, tour veteran Fred Funk and CBS Sports commentator Peter Kostas.Grober plans to produce another 100 units by mid-September and batches of 1,000 by January. He also hopes to reduce the price to around $400, and will try to appeal to professionals as well as hobbyists. The device might also be useful for physical therapy applications.He says that there are lots of golf gadgets on the market that promise to improve your game. However, most of them don´t work. He also noted that other golf devices exist that use sound to improve technique, such as the popular David Leadbetter Swing Setter, but hopes that his invention will offer something new.But he says developing the technology was the easy part. Developing a successful business is more challenging. He has contracts with local suppliers in Connecticut to produce the shaft insert and the electronics, and he´s currently looking for a company to package the product.As Yale´s Frederick Phineas Rose Professor of Applied Physics, Grober studies excitons, biexcitons and electron-hole plasma in narrow quantum wells. He says that golf is just a hobby that got out of control. A former intercollegiate player at Vanderbilt, he now has a handicap between zero and two. Although he teaches an introductory course at Yale called “Physics of the Game of Golf,” most of Grober´s academic work is unrelated to the Sonic Golf technology.More information: www.sonicgolf.comvia: www.courant.com Physics Professor Bob Grober plans to produce 100 System-1 devices by mid-September and batches of 1,000 by January. He hopes to reduce the price to around $400, and will try to appeal to professionals as well as hobbyists. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

China Pearl River Delta Creating Large Amounts of Hydroxyl Radicals

first_img The highly reactive hydroxyl radicals typically appear in fractions of a second prior to combining with volatile organic chemicals and other gases which act as a cleanser for the atmosphere. Scientists found unusually high levels and surge in hydroxyl radical levels, but without an accompanying increase in ozone levels around noon time. The scientific team found hydroxyl radicals levels some three to five times more than would be expected in current models of atmospheric chemistry. Altogether, for some inexplicable reason or known source of hydroxyl produced an astounding 28 parts per billion each hour concentration of the chemical.The net effect is that a not yet discovered process has occurred in the Pearl River Delta that is producing an extremely high level of hydroxyl radicals. The next step of the research is to test samples of the air from the Pearl River region to see if light-stimulated reactions produce similar high readings of hydroxyl radicals under lab conditions. Thus far, the scientists are impressed with their unusual findings, but are only able to speculate on the source coming from a combination of anthropogenic sources, biogenic sources and gases found in the air surrounding the delta.Source: Amplified Trace Gas Removal in the Troposhere; www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/1164566 Chemists find important contributor to smog Credit: Wikipedia A team of atmospheric scientists have published their field study findings about unusual chemical reactions taking place in the Pearl River Delta in China during 2006. The Julich Research Center’s Institute for Tropospheric Chemistry in Germany and institutes in China and the USA participated in round the clock samplings of various atmospheric constituents in the Pearl River region located about 60 kilometers from Guangzhou noted for its high population and a repository for air borne pollutants wafting in from nearby industrial cities combined with volatile organic substances produced by local vegetation and trees. Explore further Citation: China Pearl River Delta Creating Large Amounts of Hydroxyl Radicals (2009, June 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-06-china-pearl-river-delta-large.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Ostriches run fast because of springy tendons

first_imgAustralian and U.S. researchers studying the movement of ostriches have discovered the giant flightless birds can store double the elastic energy per step in their tendons than humans can. This considerably reduces the effort needed by the muscles, and enables the ostrich (and perhaps also the emu) to run twice as fast as humans while requiring only half the energy. China hatches 150 African ostriches Human and ostrich hind-limb postures during mid-stance of running: (a,b) sagittal plane; (c,d) frontal plane. Image: [i]Journal of the Royal Society Interface[/i], doi:10.1098/​rsif.2010.0466 Citation: Ostriches run fast because of ‘springy’ tendons (2010, October 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-10-ostriches-fast-springy-tendons.html Leader of the study, Assistant Professor Jonas Rubenson of the School of Sports Science, Exercise and Health at the University of Western Australia, said the aim of the research was to find out what mechanical adaptations were made by species able to run fast and efficiently. He said that while lions and cheetahs can outrun the ostrich on short sprints, they use a great deal of energy, and other species such as ostriches, antelopes and horses, can run fast over long distances.Two hypotheses had been proposed to explain how some animals are able to run economically: the first was that they used a particularly efficient mechanical action in their limbs, and the second was the animals were able to store more elastic energy in their joints than sprinters.To test these hypotheses the researchers fitted reflective markers to the joints of five humans and five tame ostriches to enable them to carry out a detailed analysis of their gait and movements as they ran on a custom-built running track 50 meters long. They also measured the forces applied to the ground during running. They selected the ostrich rather than the lighter Australian emu because the ostrich and humans have a similar mass, and because the ostrich is the fastest bird on the land.The results demonstrated that both humans and ostriches need the almost exactly the same amount of mechanical work to swing their limbs during running, and the major difference was in the storage and release of energy by the tendons. They calculated the release of this elastic energy generated 83% more work in the ostrich than in the human, which meant the ostrich uses less metabolic energy and is less fatigued.The findings of the research, described in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, may enable engineers to design better prosthetic limbs by focusing on elastic propulsion. They could also help robot researchers to design more agile robots. The results could also provide some insight into the evolution of bipedalism. More information: Adaptations for economical bipedal running: the effect of limb structure on three-dimensional joint mechanics, Journal of the Royal Society Interface, Published online before print October 28, 2010, doi:10.1098/​rsif.2010.0466 © 2010 PhysOrg.com This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore furtherlast_img read more

Your next assembly lines may have Baxter robot doing pickup w Video

first_img Credit: Rethink Robotics The company offers Baxter with two kinds of grippers to choose from. Electric parallel grippers enable Baxter to pick up objects of varying sizes. Vacuum cup grippers are meant for hard-to-grasp objects, such as smooth, nonporous or relatively flat items.While Baxter is not the ideal choice for tasks that require an extremely strong or fast industrial robot, Baxter is smart enough to adapt to changes. The robot uses vision to locate and grasp objects, and can be programmed to perform a new task just by holding its arms and moving them to the desired position. The robot can continue to work even after missing a pick-up or dropping a part. It can visually detect parts and adapt to variations in part placement and conveyor speed. If Baxter drops an object, it knows to get another before trying to finish the task. What is not at all mindless about Baxter is its design in that, for an industrial robot, Baxter enjoys an incredible lightness of non-being. Baxter has thick, round arms, but they are not heavy. The arm moves in a fluid motion. “When you hold the cuff, the robot goes into gravity-compensation,” said Rodney Brooks, the company founder, “zero-force mode,” as if the arm is floating. Credit: Rethink Robotics Baxter signs British flu vaccine deal Explore further Citation: Your next assembly lines may have Baxter robot doing pick-up (w/ Video) (2012, September 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-09-lines-baxter-pick-up-video.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.center_img More information: www.heartlandrobotics.com/inde … php/products/baxter/ Another differentiator is that, while Baxter is smart, it does not require a high learning curve. One of the argued barriers to industrial adoption of robots has been training requirements to operate industrial robots. The disadvantage has been in the thought of requiring employees to train in programming and in interacting with new robotic equipment, eating up time and financial output. Rethink’s team claims Baxter units can be retasked in a matter of minutes. “No custom application code is required to get it started. So no costly software or manufacturing engineers are required to program it,” according to the company. Baxter is taught via a graphical user interface and through direct manipulation of its robot arms. Nontechnical, hourly workers can train and retrain Baxter right on the line.As for safety, the designers gave Baxter sensors to detect people within contact distance and trigger the robot to slow to safe operation speeds. If Baxter’s power supply were cut, its arms would relax slowly. Employees would have time to move out of the way. Baxter is based on the vision of roboticist. Rodney Brooks, company founder of Rethink Robotics, which started in 2008. Baxter’s first shipments will start next month. Credit: Rethink Robotics © 2012 Phys.org (Phys.org)—Rethink Robotics is introducing Baxter to the manufacturing sector with a note: Baxter can ignite a revolution in breaking down costs and safety barriers holding back automation in American manufacturing. The Boston-based company says the $22,000 (list price) robot is a fraction of the cost of traditional industrial robots “with zero integration required.” Baxter has been expressly designed to work on assembly lines to perform menial tasks. Baxter has two arms, each with seven degrees of freedom, and a reach similar to that of a human, to take over the mindless menial tasks. It can load, unload, sort, pack, unpack, snap-fit, grind and polish. last_img read more

Researchers discover ultrathin lipid coating covering snakeskin

first_img Citation: Researchers discover ultrathin lipid coating covering snakeskin (2015, December 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-12-ultrathin-lipid-coating-snakeskin.html More information: Evidence of a molecular boundary lubricant at snakeskin surfaces, Journal of the Royal Society Interface, Published 9 December 2015.DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2015.0817 , http://rsif.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/12/113/20150817AbstractDuring slithering locomotion the ventral scales at a snake’s belly are in direct mechanical interaction with the environment, while the dorsal scales provide optical camouflage and thermoregulation. Recent work has demonstrated that compared to dorsal scales, ventral scales provide improved lubrication and wear protection. While biomechanic adaption of snake motion is of growing interest in the fields of material science and robotics, the mechanism for how ventral scales influence the friction between the snake and substrate, at the molecular level, is unknown. In this study, we characterize the outermost surface of snake scales using sum frequency generation (SFG) spectra and near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS) images collected from recently shed California kingsnake (Lampropeltis californiae) epidermis. SFG’s nonlinear optical selection rules provide information about the outermost surface of materials; NEXAFS takes advantage of the shallow escape depth of the electrons to probe the molecular structure of surfaces. Our analysis of the data revealed the existence of a previously unknown lipid coating on both the ventral and dorsal scales. Additionally, the molecular structure of this lipid coating closely aligns to the biological function: lipids on ventral scales form a highly ordered layer which provides both lubrication and wear protection at the snake’s ventral surface. Journal information: Journal of the Royal Society Interface This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Snakes move around by slithering—as their bodies undulate against a surface below their bellies, friction is applied that pushes the snake forward, but the molecular mechanism by which this occurs has never been fully understood. To learn more, the researchers obtained samples of the shedded skins of several California kingsnakes and studied them using sum frequency generation spectra and near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure imagery, which essentially involved firing lasers at the skin and then measuring how the light was reflected and scattered.The scanning revealed an extremely thin lipid layer, just nanometers thick, coating the scales that covered both the top and bottom parts of the snake, though there were differences between the lipid layer on the two body parts. The lipids on the belly were made of ordered pairs that provide a very slick surface, one that also offered, the researchers believe, some degree of protection to the scales—sliding across surfaces would otherwise cause the scales to wear away. A lipid outer layer would help explain why snakes are able to slither so effortlessly across a multitude of surfaces, the team notes.The reason that the lipid coating has not been noticed before by people handling the non-venomous snake, is because the lipid does not come off, it adheres to the snake body, providing a constant slick surface. The researchers suggest that because the kind of snake they studied was common, they believe the lipid coating likely exists on the scales of other snakes as well, though it likely comes in different forms suited to the environment in which the snake lives. They also believe their findings might help researchers working to make robots that simulate snakes, or those looking to create next generation paints or lubricants. New snake species with pitch black eyes from the Andes highlights hidden diversitycenter_img Credit: Western Pacific Tropical Research Center Explore further © 2015 Phys.org (Phys.org)—A combined team of researchers from the U.S. and Germany has discovered a very thin layer of fat covering the scales of a single species of snake. In their paper published in Journal of the Royal Society Interface, the team describes how they studied the snakeskin and their views on what benefits the snake gets from the fatty outer scale layer.last_img read more

A fourth Denisovan fossil has been identified

first_imgPhotographs of the Denisova 2 lower second molar in (A) occlusal, (B) mesial, (C) buccal, (D) lingual, (E) distal, and (F) apical views. Scientists estimate the molar found in the Denisova Cave in Siberia is older than previously studied Denisovan fossils. Credit: Slon et al. Sci. Adv. 2017; 3: e1700186 Explore further The Denisovans are believed to be extinct relatives of Neanderthal. The newly identified fossil brings to just four the number of Denisovan fossils that have been found and identified—one finger and three teeth. Because of the location of Denisova cave, which is located in Siberia, researchers believe the hominins lived in eastern parts of Eurasia, whereas Neanderthal are believed to have lived in western Eurasia.The Denisovans first came to light back in 2010 when a team of researchers studying a finger bone found in Denisova cave managed to extract a small bit of DNA. Analysis of the sample showed that it was not Neanderthal as had been suspected but was instead from a different early hominn. They called it Denisova after the cave in which it was found. An even closer look at the DNA samples conducted later on showed that the Denisovans split away from Neanderthals during the time frame 470,000 to 190,00 years ago. Subsequent digging in the cave led to the discovery of two teeth that were also identified as Denisovan. The newly identified fourth fossil is believed to have come from a girl approximately 10 to 12 years old. Photographs of the Denisova 2 lower second molar in (A) occlusal, (B) mesial, (C) buccal, (D) lingual, (E) distal, and (F) apical views. The scale for all panels is 2.5 millimeters. The area sampled for ancient DNA analyses is marked by a gray circle in panel C. Credit: Slon et al. Sci. Adv. 2017; 3: e1700186 Phylogenetic tree relating the Denisova 2 mitochondrial DNA with other Denisovan mitochondrial DNA sequences. The mitochondrial DNA from Sima de los Huesos was used as an outgroup. The schematic representations of the specimens are drawn to scale, shown in the lower right corner. Credit: Slon et al. Sci. Adv. 2017; 3: e1700186 DNA analysis of Denisovan molars offers more clues about ancient human relative Citation: A fourth Denisovan fossil has been identified (2017, July 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-07-fourth-denisovan-fossil.html More information: Viviane Slon et al. A fourth Denisovan individual, Science Advances (2017). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1700186AbstractThe presence of Neandertals in Europe and Western Eurasia before the arrival of anatomically modern humans is well supported by archaeological and paleontological data. In contrast, fossil evidence for Denisovans, a sister group of Neandertals recently identified on the basis of DNA sequences, is limited to three specimens, all of which originate from Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains (Siberia, Russia). We report the retrieval of DNA from a deciduous lower second molar (Denisova 2), discovered in a deep stratigraphic layer in Denisova Cave, and show that this tooth comes from a female Denisovan individual. On the basis of the number of “missing substitutions” in the mitochondrial DNA determined from the specimen, we find that Denisova 2 is substantially older than two of the other Denisovans, reinforcing the view that Denisovans were likely to have been present in the vicinity of Denisova Cave over an extended time period. We show that the level of nuclear DNA sequence diversity found among Denisovans is within the lower range of that of present-day human populations. © 2017 Phys.org (Phys.org)—A team of researchers with members from Russia, Germany, Canada and Italy studying a tooth found in Denisova cave back in 1984 has found that it belonged to a young Denisovan girl and that it was a baby tooth. In their paper published on the open access site Science Advances, the team also notes that DNA evidence suggests the girl lived approximately 20,000 years before other Denisovans living in the same cave who also left behind fossils that have been found and identified. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. The researchers suggest the tooth fossil might be even older than initial study has suggested—it was found in a layer in the cave where other material has been dated as far back as 227,000 years ago. The mutation rate of the DNA, on the other hand, suggests the child likely lived sometime between 20,000 and 40,000 years earlier than the Denisovans that left behind the other fossils that have been found. The researchers also note that the DNA of the newly identified fossil and that of the others are a very close match, suggesting (because of the time difference) they were all likely from a small group with limited opportunities for breeding with others. Journal information: Science Advanceslast_img read more

Study investigates pressureinduced superconducting transition in electrides

first_img Citation: Study investigates pressure-induced superconducting transition in electrides (2019, March 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-03-pressure-induced-superconducting-transition-electrides.html Journal information: Physical Review Letters “Considering the wide potential applications of superconducting materials, the understanding of high-temperature superconductors is a key scientific challenge in condensed matter physics,” Aitor Bergara and Guochun Yang, two of the researchers who carried out the study, told Phys.org, via email. Electrides are ionic compounds in which most electrons reside at interstitial regions of the crystal and behave like anions. Due to their structural peculiarity, these compounds have interesting physical properties. For instance, the magnitude and distribution of their interstitial electrons can be effectively modulated, either by adjusting their chemical composition or external conditions, such as pressure. Overall, electrides are very poor superconductors. For example, the experimentally observed superconducting transition temperature of a canonical electride [Ca24Al28O64]4+ (4e-)4 is ~0.4 K. On the other hand, it is now well-known that, under high pressure, alkali metals can easily lose their outer orbital electrons and form electrides. “Interestingly, pressure-induced lithium (Li) electride is metallic,” Bergara and Yang said. “Additionally, phosphorus (P) presents a moderate electronegativity, so that they can trap some electrons in Li-rich Li-P compounds, while the remaining electrons may remain at interstitial regions. Thus, as we are predicting is this work, it would be possible to adjust the morphology of interstitial electrons by changing the ratio of Li and P and, therefore, obtain compounds with novel electronic properties. For example, according to our calculations, Li 6 P electride is predicted to have a superconducting transition temperature of 39.3 K, breaking the existing record among the electrides.”Predicting the atomic structure of materials from first principles (based only on their composition), is an extremely challenging task. It typically requires classifying a huge number of energy minima on a multidimensional energy surface lattice. In recent years, researchers have introduced several computation methods that can speed up this process, one of which is called CALYPSO. “In our study we have used the Calypso program developed by Yanming Ma and his colleagues at Jilin University, which implements a particle swarm optimization algorithm to determine the preferred crystal structures, just fixing the Li:P ratios and pressure as the only starting inputs,” Bergara and Yang explained. “Once the most stable structures are identified we have characterized their physical properties. For example, we have explored their superconducting properties within the McMillan-Allen-Dynes approximation.” In their study, Bergara, Yang and their colleagues reported that a pressure-induced stable Li6P electride can become a superconductor with a predicted superconducting transition temperature of 39.3K; the highest predicted so far in known electrides. They found that the compound’s interstitial electrons, with dumbbell-like connected electride states, play a dominant role in this superconducting transition. “Our prediction not only breaks the superconducting transition temperature record in the electrides, but also allows a better understanding of these materials,” Bergara and Yang said. According to the researchers’ predictions, other Li-rich phosphides, such as Li5P, Li11P2, Li15P2, and Li8P, could also be superconducting electrides, yet their Tc is expected to be lower. This recent study by Bergara, Yang and their colleagues could pave the way for further research exploring high-temperature superconductivity in similar binary compounds. “We believe that research into superconducting electrides has just begun,” Bergara and Yang said. “There is still a lot to be explored, for example, the analysis of the superconducting mechanism in novel electride compounds, especially under high pressure. As we have shown in this article, an effective way to design such superconducting materials is to explore metallic electride compounds formed between weak electronegative and strong electropositive elements.” New method yields higher transition temperature in superconducting materials The image on the left shows the atomic structure of the Li6P compound, and on the right the electronic charge density is plotted, where the electronic localization at the interstitials can be seen in red. Credit: Zhao et al. More information: Ziyuan Zhao et al. Predicted Pressure-Induced Superconducting Transition in Electride Li6P, Physical Review Letters (2019). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.122.097002Yanchao Wang et al. Crystal structure prediction via particle-swarm optimization, Physical Review B (2010). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.82.094116center_img Explore further Researchers at Northeast Normal University, in China, and University of the Basque Country, in Spain, have recently carried out a study investigating the superconducting transition of electrides. The researchers observed that a pressure-induced stable Li6P, identified by first-principles swarm structure calculations, can become a superconductor with a considerably high superconducting transition temperature. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. , Physical Review B © 2019 Science X Networklast_img read more

CID arrests 2 Bangladeshi nationals for intrusion

first_imgKolkata: The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has arrested two Bangladeshi nationals from near the Indo-Bangladesh border at Swarupnagar in North 24-Parganas on Wednesday night. Acting on specific information, a team of CID’s Barasat unit raided the area and arrested the duo. They are originally residents of Khulna. During interrogation, the investigators came to know that they were trying to go to Mumbai. The CID officials are yet to ascertain their real motive behind illegally intruding into the country. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe duo has been identified as Urmi Seikh and Nayeem Seikh. Both are teenagers. The investigating officials are also probing to know if the duo was a part of any international smuggling racket. They are looking into the possibilities of the duo being involved with any anti-national activities.After being interrogated, the two Bangladeshi nationals were arrested on charges of illegally intruding into the country. During the investigation, CID had been trying to know if the accused had any past record of entering into the country illegally from Bangladesh, or if they have any connection with the extremist groups operating from Bangladesh.last_img read more

JSW Cement inaugurates railway siding at Salboni for cargo

first_imgKolkata: JSW Cement has inaugurated a railway siding to cater to the incoming and outgoing cargo of its 2.4 MTPA cement manufacturing unit at Salboni in West Bengal. The 6.5 km-long railway siding will connect the manufacturing unit to the main railway line between Godapiasal and Salboni, the company said in a statement today. “In cement business, logistics accounts for 30-35 per cent of the cement cost and to be cost effective, we are continuously working on various levers to reduce this cost. “This railway siding is a step in this direction. Access to markets in the east would be economically feasible,” JSW Cement managing director Parth Jindal said in the statement. The state-of-the-art manufacturing unit produces eco-friendly PSC cement for the eastern markets including West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar and northern Orissa.last_img read more

After CMs assurance Partha Chatterjee announces salary hike for para teachers

first_imgKolkata: After the assurance of the Chief Minister through an audio message that the state government has decided to increase the salary of para teachers across the state, state Education minister Partha Chatterjee on Monday announces doubling of salary.Chatterjee while addressing the state convention of para teachers at Netaji Indoor stadium said: ” The salary of para teachers at the primary level has been increased from Rs 5954 to Rs 10,000 and at the Higher Secondary level, it has been enhanced from Rs 8,186 to Rs 13,000. It will be effective from March 2018.” Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedPresently, there are 46,000 para teachers across the state. The Education minister also announced a number of facilities for the para teachers. He informed that the reservation for the para teachers will be raised from 10 percent to 30 percent.Referring to the demands of allowing the para teachers to be a part of an institution’s managing committee and share the staff room along with regular teachers, the minister said: “We are aware of the problems that you face. We will sit and discuss about the matter,” Chatterjee maintained. He also sounded a word of caution to the para teachers and said the latter should not approach the court at the drop of a hat. “Problems are hardly sorted out in courts. If you have problem, it can be solved at the discussion table,” he added.The minister also assured that the para teachers will be able to work till the age of 60 and then will get retirement benefit of Rs 1 lakh. “We will also try our best to make them permanent,” he said. It may be mentioned that Banerjee in March had announced that the salary of the para teachers will be enhanced and so it has been made effective from March 2018.last_img read more

Strategic partnership with pvt firms panel to give norms

first_imgThe Defence Ministry has set up a high powered committee under the chairmanship of former DRDO chief VK Aatre to recommend guidelines for selecting Indian private firms for strategic partnership under ‘Make In India’ initiative in the six areas which include submarines, aircraft and missiles, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Saturday. “Instead of asking for tendering and all those things, a process of selecting a right partner is chosen. If you select through L1 (lowest bidder), you may end up with someone who is not capable. My aspect of success is capability of that partner,” Parrikar told reporters here on the sidelines of a FICCI organised seminar. He made it clear that there won’t be any repetition of the entity. “There won’t be repetition. If an X group has been taken in as a strategic partner in one segment, it will not be considered for another segment. It can participate in partnership for other products”. Also Read – Punjab on alert after release of excess water from Bhakra damExplaining the concept, Parrikar gave the example of Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) which is building six Scorpene submarines and is also vying for a separate contract for additional six convention submarines worth over Rs 60,000 crore.”It is obvious if you have an MDL which has the capacity, you can have one private sector (entity). You cannot have 10 private sectors (entities) or two private sector (entities) because obviously you cannot go on buying 100 submarines. The number is 30 as per Cabinet Committee on Security and may be we will go for a few more. But basically, you need one or two shipyards,” he said. Also Read – Union Min doubts ‘vote count’ in Bareilly, seeks probeHe said the question was which will be the private shipyard with which strategic partnership can be signed. “As I said MDL has capability and let one private sector come in. Who is that private sector, how do you select? It is not toss and neither my decision. So there has to be some mechanism and for that we have the committee under chairmanship of Aatre along with some top experts,” he said.  He said once the domestic strategic partner is selected, talks with foreign technology provider or FDI partner will be undertaken to carry out the project. Strategic partnership was one of the proposals of the Dhirendra Singh committee which had recommended a slew of steps to ease the defence procurement policy. The Aatre committee, which has experts from banking, chartered accountancy among others, has been asked to submit a report within three weeks, Parrikar said.  However, he added that a few more weeks might be given. The six segments identified are – aircraft and their major systems, warships of stated displacements, submarines and their major systems, armoured fighting vehicles and their major systems, complex weapons that rely on guidance system, C4ISTR (Command and Control System) and critical materials (special alloys and composites).last_img read more

Congress accuses govt of being insensitive

first_imgCongress on Wednesday hit back at the government for targeting it for disruptions in the Indian Parliament alleging that the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) dispensation was being “very insensitive” to the demands of its detractors and pursuing the agenda of “opposition-mukt bharat.” Leader of the Opposition in the Upper House of Parliament Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad also singled out Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu for attack remarking that “I have never seen a Parliamentary Affairs Minister spearheading confrontation.”  Also Read – Punjab on alert after release of excess water from Bhakra damAsking the government to shed its “arrogance and vendetta politics”, Azad, who had been Parliamentary Affairs Minister thrice, said when in power, Congress often took up issues raised by the Opposition.“Then, I had told my colleagues that duty of Parliamentary Affairs Minister is to work with all parties. From Treasury benches, I had said that Parliamentary Affairs Minister represents both government and opposition,” Azad said targeting Naidu.Insisting that the government’s efforts to take the opposition along was a failure, he recalled that in 1991-96, Congress ran a minority government but still introduced revolutionary changes in the economy. “Congress had the ability to take Opposition along.”last_img read more

Thousand pledge to donate eyes

first_imgKolkata: One thousand people have pledged to donate their eyes during the national eye donation fortnight which concluded on Saturday.The camps were organised by Medical Bank. Bengal ranks 7th in the country in eye donation. In 2017-18, 3,800 eyes were collected from the donors.D Ashis, secretary of Medical Bank, urged the state government to set up eye banks in the districts. “People could not donate their eyes due to lack of facility in the districts.” It may be noted that recently donation of organs of patients, who died in hospitals following the initiative taken by their relatives and parents, has given new lease of lives to patients suffering from kidney and heart related ailments.last_img read more

Obama Clinton created ISIS says Donald Trump

first_imgUS President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s policies “created ISIS”, leading Republican presidential aspirant Donald Trump has alleged.Trump, while speaking at a campaign stop in Biloxi, Mississippi, offered no evidence for his claim in which he also said that escalating tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia were signs that the Islamic Republic wanted to take over the longtime US ally in the Middle East.“They’ve created ISIS. Hillary Clinton created ISIS with Obama,” Trump said on Saturday. Also Read – Nine hurt in accident at fireworks show in French resortHe couched his remark in a brief discussion of the Iranian protests outside the Saudi embassy in Tehran, which erupted after Saudi Arabia executed 47 people, including a dissident Shiite cleric.“In Tehran, they’re burning down the Saudi embassy, you see that?” Trump was quoted as saying by CNN. “Now, what that is…Iran wants to take over Saudi Arabia. They always have. They want the oil, OK? They’ve always wanted that.” Trump has blamed both Democrats and former President George W Bush when talking about unrest in the Middle East, particularly citing Bush’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003. Also Read – Pakistan Army ‘fully prepared’ to face any challenge: Army spokesmanIn the recent weeks, he has been particularly aggressive in going after Clinton, the Democratic presidential front-runner, and her record leading the State Department.Two of Trump’s 2016 competitors, Carly Fiorina and Rick Santorum, said in November that Clinton and Obama were to blame for the rise of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Trump and Clinton have been involved in a war of words in recent weeks. Clinton had slammed Trump’s recent comments about banning Muslim immigrants, saying the Republican front-runner was “becoming ISIS’s best recruiter. He is becoming ISIS’s best recruiter. They are going to people showing videos of Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists,” she had said. Trump dismissed Clinton’s assertion that the Islamic State was using his videos as a recruitment tool saying she is “a liar” and “made up” the claim.last_img read more

Tracing the journey of Sufism

first_imgSufi music has the power and the magic to calm one’s soul and make one transit into another world. However, there’s more to Sufi than being just the music of God. In order to reveal the facets and trace the journey of Sufism through music, an interactive performance titled ‘Sounds of the Sufis’ will be held on March 19 at Main Auditorium, India International Centre. The performance, which will trace the journey of Sufism from 8th Century AD to its impact in the present times on our everyday lives, includes narrations and mesmerising live music that cover the lives of the pillars of the Sufi thought, from Moinnuddin Chisti to Amir Khusrau to Kabir to Meera Bai and many others.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’By picking up pieces from their own lives, the performers explore the essence of Sufism reflecting research, interaction with scholars and a strong personal interest. The performance touches upon the lives and messages of 11 mystics and involves compositions in six regional languages including Kashmiri, Urdu, Farsi and Punjabi. The narratives are performed in English and Hindi, creating a rare ambience for introspection, indulgence and appreciation.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe event will be presented by The Looking Glass.  Anuraag Dhoundeyal, co-founder of The Looking Glass is also a singer, composer and a performer; and he has had years of training in Hindustani Classical singing and has to his credit both, international and national performances. His expertise lies in creating interactive performances that engage the audiences in experiential ways. Through ‘Sounds of the Sufis’, Anuraag lets his singing do the talking as he adds a distinct characteristic to Sufi with his soulful rendition of their poetry. As an educator, Psychologist and a storyteller, Priyanka Patel has been integrating arts and psychology to create environments that help individuals interact deeply with themselves. She has been training students, teachers and parents, helping them build life skills through workshops. In ‘Sounds of the Sufis’, she engages with stories and narrations to trace the experiences that celebrate humanity through love, selflessness and authenticity. Karan Chitra Deshmukh, who is a Tabla player and a multi percussionist, has been enthralling audiences with his drumming skills. He has been a technician and has assisted the esteemed Karsh Kale whilst also performing with him on several occasions along with being part of the MTV Coke Studio and Unplugged. Karan brings the rhythm to the ‘Sounds of the Sufis’ adding crispness to it with his dynamism.last_img read more

Central forces proactive in Bengal Trinamool peeved

first_imgKolkata: The streets, lanes and alleys of various pockets in West Bengal, including the eastern metropolis, are now filled with the sounds of heavy boots of the central paramilitary forces, as the troopers hold route marches, go door to door warning possible miscreants and asking people whether they are facing threats in connection with the polls. All these activities have angered the ruling Trinamool Congress, and its leaders have gone ballistic against the forces. A former minister has even warned of “mass revolt”. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata Bose The troopers, who started arriving in the state on Friday — 27 days before the first phase of polls on April 11 — have been visiting vulnerable pockets in the metropolis and the districts in a bid to instil confidence among the voters. The state has a history of political violence, and the panchayat polls last year saw spewing of much blood, with ruling Trinamool Congress winning around 34 per cent of the seats uncontested amid allegations that candidates of other parties were forcibly not allowed to file their nominations. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata The 10 companies of troppers from the Border Security Force (BSF) and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) have now been deployed in Malda, North Dinajpur, Murshidabad, Birbhum, East Midnapore, West Midnapore, North 24-Parganas, South 24-Parganas and Kolkata districts. At Ultadanga in the city’s northeastern fringes, a trooper was seen sternly telling a woman that if her son tries to play any mischief, strong action will be taken. “Koi dadagiri nehi karega (no one can bully) the trooper said. In West Burdwan district’s Andal, that comes under the Asansol constituency represented in Lok Sabha by BJP’s Babul Supriyo, the troopers carried out a route march, enquiring from people whether they were fine. “Is everything okay? Hope you are not facing any problem related to the polls,” a trooper asked an old man Ranjit Dutta. “Is anybody trying to terrorise you?” he asked again. The footages aired on television led to a political slugfest. Trinamool Secretary General Partha Chatterjee alleged the forces were trying to terrorise voters. “Do they have any such rights? We don’t have anything against the deployment of central forces. Their duty is to ensure free and fair polls. For this, they have to depend on the local administration,” he said. Trinamool MP from Barasat Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar took exception, saying she would look into the legal provisions to find out if the commandant exceeded his brief. “Telling people that there should be no disturbances two months before the polls is not the duty of the paramilitary forces,” she said. City Mayor and Trinamool leader Firhad Hakim warned if the troopers visit houses and issue threats, “we will bring it to the notice of the Election Commission”. He alleged that some of the troopers have arrived with “a commitment”. “They have to remain neutral. But if the forces or some of their commandants have come with a commitment, that’s improper. We will draw the attention of the Election Commission,” he said. Going a step ahead, Trinamool legislator Sujit Bose warned that the forces and the commission would have to bear the responsibility if there were “resultant problems”. “The paramilitary forces have to follow certain rules. They can’t go beyond their mandate. If they do so, and insult slum dwellers, then they and the Election Commission will be responsible for the resultant problems,” Bose said. But the sternest warning came from Trinamool leader Madan Mitra. “The way the central forces have started terrorising people, and the way they are creating pressure on the local administration, if there is a public revolt, they won’t be able to tackle it,” he said in Barasat of North 24 Parganas district. On the other hand, the Bharatiya Janata Party mocked the Trinamool. “The central forces are only asking people to cast their own votes, and not to be afraid. Why is the Trinamool all worked up at such a small thing? “Actually they are afraid that if people cast their own votes, it will be the end of the road for the Trinamool in this state,” said state BJP Vice President Jay Prakash Majumdar.last_img read more

Comment on CEO lands Mukul under EC scanner

first_imgKolkata: BJP leader Mukul Roy has come under the scanner of the Election Commission, due to his comment that the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) has turned ‘deaf and dumb’ and also been ‘managed’ by the local administration. The CEO’s office has expressed strong objection to Roy’s comment. It has already sought the video footages of Roy’s statement, where he had allegedly made some derogatory comments against the commission. It may be mentioned that Roy had slammed the CEO’s office in the state on Monday, saying: “I have never seen such a deaf and dumb CEO’s office. It is the people’s perception that the officials of the CEO’s office have somehow been managed by the local administration.” He also said that there has been a ‘mockery of democracy’ in the state. Some people in the state have interpreted it by saying that Roy tried to demean an autonomous authority like the Election Commission. The CEO’s office on Tuesday also sought a report on various controversial statements of other BJP leaders, including BJP’s candidate from Jadavpur Anupam Hazra and Sayantan Basu, who is contesting the elections from Basirhat. The commission also sought a report from the East Burdwan DM on the statement of controversial BJP leader Soumitra Khan, who on Sunday urged the voters to be equipped with ‘Boti and Khunti’.last_img read more

Tamang files nomination as Independent candidate

first_imgDarjeeling: Former GTA chairman Binay Tamang filed his nomination as an Independent candidate backed by the GJM (Binay Tamang faction) and the Trinamool Congress, for the Darjeeling Assembly by-election.Incidentally, the Calcutta High Court had ruled on Wednesday that both the Binay and Bimal factions of GJM can field candidates for the elections, but the candidates will have to contest as Independents. A GJM-TMC road show with Tamang culminated near the District Collectorate in Darjeeling, following which he filed his nomination. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataLater while talking to media persons, Tamang said: “I am no more a Chowkidar (guard). Many have claimed that in greed of the chair. On Thursday, I resigned from the capacity of chairman, Board of Administrators, GTA, for the benefit of the Hill masses.” Tamang stated that in his 17 months in office, he realised that there were many problems that plagued the Hills. “Out of these problems we sorted many out but we also realised that many were not within our jurisdiction and required intervention of the state government. It is then we realised that coordination and sound relation with the state government is required for the Hills to progress. Owing to this, my party decided that I should contest. I will be the bridge between the Hills and the state government,” he added. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateHe said issues like handing out land documents (patta) and filling up vacancies in the GTA and government offices would require the state government’s intervention. “87.2% people in the Hills do not have land documents. If elected, I will work to ensure that people living in tea gardens, cinchona plantations, DI fund land and forest villages all get pattas,” assured Tamang. It may be recalled that TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, while addressing a campaign rally at Suri on Thursday, had stated that the party will extend full support to Tamang. Meanwhile, GNLF spokesperson Niraj Zimba has been fielded as the BJP candidate. He will be backed by GNLF and the Bimal faction of GJM.last_img read more

Fire on HIDCO land at New Town

first_imgKolkata: Some people set the grass on fire on a vacant plot belonging to the Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation ( HIDCO) in New Town.Two fire tenders fought the blaze for two hours before brining it under control. No one was injured in the incident. Senior Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation officials said some people might have set the grass on fire to prepare fodder. People saw smoke coming out of the vacant plot situated close to the Mother’s Wax Museum near Pancha More around 10.30 am. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataDue to the thick smoke the visibility dropped and cars coming towards Kolkata were diverted as the divers could not see anything. The smoke which was carried by wind affected people,particularly the elderly ones, who complained of breathing difficulty and burning sensation in the eyes. Local people informed the police and fire brigade. The police cordoned off the area to facilitate fire fighters to put out the flame. Local people alleged that some people staying in the nearby villages often set the grass on vacant land on fire. However, they could not be caught as they leave the area after setting the grass on fire. On earlier occasions, the quantum of fire was not so intense but the intensity of the fire that broke on Thursday was so high that it affected the residents of nearby buildings badly. They demanded action against the habitual offenders.last_img read more

What about Pearl chit fund scam asks TMC

first_imgNEW DELHI: Parliament on Monday unanimously passed the Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2019, which seeks to put in place a mechanism by which poor depositors will get back their hard-earned money.The Rajya passed with voice vote the bill which would save gullible investors from ponzi schemes. The Lok Sabha had passed the bill on July 24, 2019. The Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2019 replaced the Ordinance on the same. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataReplying to a debate on the Bill, Minister of State for Finance Anurag Singh Thakur said the Bill would protect the hard-earned money of the poor people. The Bill states that the first claim on the recovered money will be of depositors and the proposed legislation also has some exclusion including money collected by real estate firms and from friends and relatives. Though Trinamool Congress supported the bill it’s leader Derek O’ Brien posed some uncomfortable questions to the Government. He said, “We don’t hear much about the Pearl Chit Fund scam these days. It is a scam involving Rs. 49,000 crore and 5.5 crore investors were affected. It is going on for 20 years and a major constitutional functionary, now not a constitutional functionary, was the legal advisor of the Pearl group.” He stopped short of naming the advisor. He then brought up the Oscar chit fund of Gujarat. According to him, the Oscar chit fund scam affected 1.2 lakh investors. “This scam spread from Gujarat to Odisha and then Maharashtra. Then, you go to Bengal. From 1980, lots of poor people were duped in the Sanchayita scam of the 1980s. The Bengal Government in the last five, six years has set up a Commission to return the money to those who were duped,” the TMC leader added.last_img read more