Now Congress taking written assurance from its own legislators to show their unflinching allegiance to party high command. West Bengal Congress chief Adhir Chowdhury has made the winning MLAs from his party to sign an undertaking “swearing unqualified allegiance” to the party led by Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi and do not involve in in any anti-party activity”. The downfall of the party and the dissent raising in the party against the first familly of Congress had prompted them to ascertain the allegiance to the party’s first familly. All the other parties have condemned the act of the desparate Congress trying all out efforts to keep hold of its partymen. The undertaking was made on a Rs 100-stamp paper and has the following points. 1) “I do swear my unqualified allegiance to Indian National Congress led by Hon’ble Congress President Smt. Sonia Gandhi Ji and Hon’ble Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi Ji.” 2) “I, as a member of the legislative assembly, will not get involved in any anti-party activity. Even if I do not agree with any party policy and/or party decision, I will not make any negative comment thereon and/or I shall not take any negative action to the detriment of the party. In such a scenario, I shall resign from my post of MLA before making such comment and/or taking such action.” 3) I as a member of Legislative Assembly will abide by the party guidelines and following “guidelines framed by the CLP leader and the chief whip in the floor of the assembly”, while the fourth confirms that the first three statements are “true to my knowledge”. This is a shame for the grand old party to indulge in this kind of arm twisting process to ensure that the people will stand in the party and not criticise the first familly. By Premji
The government is set to aggressively determined to push the Constitution amendment bill for implementing goods and services tax (GST) in the monsoon session of Parliament. "We will look to introduce the bill on the first day itself and ask for a vote," said a senior government functionary. "All parties other than Congress are supporting GST and even Congress chief ministers are in favour of it," said a top government source. "Ideally, we would like to pass it with the support of Congress. It is a Constitution amendment bill and so it is desirable that all are on board. However, we don't mind doing it without them if it comes to that," a source said. “It would have been much better if industry leaders asked the Congress and other political parties opposed to GST, to extend their support to the government in passing legislation in the Rajya Sabha,” said Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT). “It is a well-known fact that since last two years, the government has put all efforts in building consensus on the complex issue but adamant attitude of the Congress and not allowing discussion on the GST Bill in Rajya Sabha has proved the biggest impediment in passing the legislation,” CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said. “However, once the bill is passed in Parliament, the concerns of trade and industry could be raised with the government in order to have a simplified and rationalised GST tax structure in the country to ensure better self compliance and widening of tax base,” B C Bhartia, National President of CAIT said. By Premji
The officials of Minister of Science and Technology have confirmed that India will have its own indigenously-built supercomputer by next year in the month of August. The project is being supervised by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing that built India’s first supercomputer ‘Param’. “The first supercomputer will come up by August 2017”, stated Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology. “We are working on how to control heat”, he added. The secretary explained that the cost of power to run this supercomputer alone will be Rs. 1,000 crore and will be kept in different institutes across the country. These supercomputers offer various features like weather forecast, climate modelling, discoveries of drugs and many others, Ashutosh added. The indigenously-built supercomputer, ensures Prime Minister’s vision of “Make in India” taking shape as different sectors of science and technology are coming forward to contribute to this mission and projecting India as their new incubation hub. Under the National Supercomputing Mission’s plan, in next 7 years 80 supercomputers will be built. “Some of them will be imported and the rest will be built indigenously. The first one will come up by August 2017,” said Sharma. US, Japan, China and the European Union currently account for a major share of the top supercomputing machines in the world. By Premji
A suicide bomber has struck a vehicle carrying court employees in Kabul, killing 10 people. The explosion took place during the morning rush hour in the western part of the city, which also wounded four people. Najib Danish, the Interior Ministry’s deputy spokesman, said the bomber, who was on foot, detonated his explosives vest as he walked by the vehicle in the Afghan capital. The attack comes as the Taliban named a new leader following Mullah Akhtar Mansour’s death in a US drone strike. the Taliban, who often target government employees in their war against the state, claimed responsibility for the bombing. The claim came from Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, in an email sent to the media. "A suicide bomber blew himself up, in the Paghman district, killing 10 people and wounding four others," ministry spokesman Najib Danish said. By Premji
Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has on Tuesday criticised RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan's monetary policies and said that high interest rates are impacting cost competitiveness of the industry, especially small and medium enterprises. "I have already said that the input cost cannot be so high. Particularly, if we keep in mind those industries, say for small and medium industries, who do not have any group companies or holding companies outside from where they can get cheap credit. So interest rates do have a bearing on the cost competitiveness of industries," Sitharaman said. When asked whether she agrees with Dr. Subramaniam Swamy's views, Sitharaman said, "Mid-sized corporates have been engaging with us. They have also voiced this. SMEs have voiced it. Industry, when interacting with the ministry, has also expressed similar views." She said, "We have communicated with the Finance Ministry, we have also once written to the Reserve Bank of India." "The Licence Quota Raj which was leading towards corrupt practices is being taken head on by the Prime Minister and that is where the efforts are for. So this government has been working on bringing down inspections," she said. Last week, while pitching for a better business environment for startups, Rajan had said that India has done away with the 'licence raj', but 'inspector raj' continues to some extent. By Premji
India and Iran took a major step in boosting connectivity and trade with the inking of the Chabahar port agreement. The two sides had signed 12 agreements, including on science and technology, culture and railways and three on the port itself. Modi, along with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani presided over the signing ceremony. Modi described the signing of the trilateral Chabahar port agreement as creation of history even as India and Iran signed 12 bilateral agreements. "Today, we are witnessing a creation of history. Not just for the people of our three countries, but for the entire region,” Modi said in a joint media conference with Rouhani and Ashraf Ghani after the signing of the trilateral agreement between India, Iran and Afghanistan. "The agenda for economic engagement is a clear priority for us. We stand together in unity of our purpose," Modi said. "This major effort would boost economic growth in the region. We are committed to take steps for early implementation of the agreements signed today," Modi said. Modi said, "It is our common goal. We want to link with the world." The prime minister said that the Chabahar transport and transit corridor "would spur unhindered flow of commerce throughout the region". “The key arteries of the corridor would pass through the Chabahar port of Iran.” “Our present growth and future prosperity is under threat from the spread of radical ideas and physical terror,” he said. He added that the Chabahar corridor would be a "corridor of peace and prosperity for our peoples”. “With our joint investments in Chabahar, we can connect India with Afghanistan, Central Asia and the CIS countries,” he said. “Through centuries, our societies have stayed connected through art and architecture, ideas and traditions, and culture and commerce,” he said. “The agenda and scope of our partnership is truly substantial. The outcomes and agreements signed today open a new chapter in our strategic partnership,” he said. “We also have shared concerns at the spread of forces of instability, radicalism and terror in our region,” he said. By Premji
Carcinogens are used to make majority of the breads, buns and pizzas bases. Bread industries use potassium bromate and potassium iodate for treating flour, substances banned in the 1990s across the European Union and later Canada, Australia, New Zealand, China, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Nigeria, Peru and Columbia. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified potassium bromate as possibly carcinogenic. Popular brands have been indicted by the study, breads made by Britannia, Harvest Gold and Perfect Bread were found with the highest levels in the samples CSE tested. The potassium bromate / iodate concentration in Britannia's white bread measured 17.12 parts per million (PPM), 2.58 ppm in its whole wheat bread, 5.48 ppm in its brown bread, 15.01 ppm in its pav, 16.74 in its fruit bun. The levels in Harvest Gold's white bread were 17.32 ppm, its brown bread were 5.48 ppm. Perfect Bread's white bread had 15.01 ppm and its brown bread 8.16 ppm. In a statement, Britannia said that "it does not use Potassium Bromate or Iodate as an ingredient in any of its bread recipes. All Britannia Breads products are in 100 per cent compliance to the existing food safety regulations as stipulated by FSSAI." It added "FSSAI stipulates usage of all Food Additives in Food Products within permissible limits. For potassium Bromate / Iodate FSSAI stipulates the permissible limit as 50 ppm max (On flour mass basis)." Fast food joints such as KFC, Domino's, McDonald's, Subway were also found themselves in the line of fire, though KFC stated that "they do not use flour treated with Potassium Bromate or Potassium Iodate to manufacture our products". “We found 84 percent samples positive with potassium bromate / iodate. We re-confirmed the presence of potassium bromate / iodate in a few samples through an external third-party laboratory. We checked labels and talked to industry officials and scientists. Our study confirms the widespread use of potassium bromate / iodate as well as the presence of bromate / iodate residues in the final product,” said Chandra Bhushan, deputy director general, CSE and head of the CSE lab. “Globally, potassium bromate was allowed to be used on the assumption that the bromate residues would not be present in the end product. This assumption failed across the world. Residues were being detected even after reducing the allowed limits of use and therefore, countries started banning it. Our study confirms that residues of potassium bromate are present in bread sold in India,” Mr. Bhushan said. “Industry members and experts told us that potassium bromate is widely used as it is allowed by the law and offers high-quality finish to the final product. When the CSE contacted companies whose products were found to contain potassium bromate or potassium iodate, six out of 12 came forward to deny the use of these chemicals,” says Amit Khurana, programme manager, Food Safety and Toxins team at CSE. By Premji
Bollywood young Superstar Ranbir Kapoor has been struggling for hits and all his recent movies ended up as debacles at the box-office. He even had a breakup with his alleged girlfriend Katrina Kaif and the duo are currently shooting for their next movie Jagga Jasoos. Anurag Basu is directing the film which will hit the screens all over in June this year. Ranbir is also shooting for Ae Dil Hai Mushkil which is said to be a triangular love story directed by Karan Johar. The movie completed 60% of its shoot and it has been aimed for release during Diwali this year. Ranbir Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Anushka Sharma are the lead actors in the film. It is already revealed that the film has a series of romantic and intimate episodes between Ranbir and Aish. A sequence demanded a lip lock between them but Aishwarya Rai revealed that she was not comfortable to kiss Ranbir on screen as he is 9 years younger to her and the world knows about it. However the makers have changed the script and shot some intimate episodes between Ranbir and Aish recently. As per the news from an inside source, the episodes have come out really well though they do not have any lip locks or skin show of Aish. Karan Johar made sure that the steamy episodes will rise the temperature and they have been completely happy with the output. Produced by Dharma Productions, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil has been slated for October 28th release during Diwali.
Versatile actor Randeep Hooda has been one of the most talented and innovative actors in the current Bollywood. He is back with his latest outing titled Sarbjit which has been directed by Omung Kumar. Randeep Hooda, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Richa Chadda played the lead roles in the movie. Sarbjit is about an Indian farmer Sarbjit Singh who crossed the Indian border and he has been convicted of terrorism by the government of Pakistan. The movie is about the real episodes that happened after he was in Pakistan for 23 years. The movie released all over last Friday and it has been well accepted by the audience. Sarbjit collected Rs 3.69 crores on its first day and the collections witnessed a decent growth on Saturday by 23.58%. Sarbjit collected Rs 4.56 crores and on Sunday the movie made Rs 5.71 crores across the country. The movie collected Rs 13.96 crores in the first three days across the country which has been decent. Sarbjit is expected to hold good even on weekdays to make some decent figures. Randeep Hooda’s performance along with Aishwarya Rai’s fearless deliverance are said to be the major highlights of the film.
University of Michigan findings suggest that a whole different way of thinking about chemotherapy resistance and the potential to harness immunotherapy drugs to treat ovarian cancer. Immune cells can help to reverse chemotherapy resistance in ovarian cancer. "Ovarian cancer is often diagnosed at late stages, so chemotherapy is a key part of treatment. Most patients will respond to it at first, but everybody develops chemo-resistance. And that's when ovarian cancer becomes deadly," says study author J. Rebecca Liu. "In the past, we've thought the resistance was caused by genetic changes in tumor cells. But we found that's not the whole story," she said. Ovarian cancer is typically treated with cisplatin, a platinum-based chemotherapy. The researchers have found that fibroblasts blocked platinum. These cells prevented platinum from accumulating in the tumor and protected the tumor cells from being killed off by cisplatin. Immune T cells, overruled the protection of the fibroblasts. When researchers added the immune T cells to the fibroblasts, the tumor cells began to die off. "T cells are the soldiers of the immune system. We already know that if you have a lot of T cells in a tumor, you have better outcomes. Now we see that the immune system can also impact chemotherapy resistance," says study author Weiping Zou. The researchers suggest that combining chemotherapy with immunotherapy may be effective against ovarian cancer. By Premji