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Backstory: How to Get the Story Through Towering Walls of Hyper-Nationalism?

News thewire.in

A fortnightly column from The Wire’s public editor.
'For the professional Indian journalist, covering Kashmir in a way that unearths the objective truths of the region, has always been a fraught exercise. Since August 5, the Modi’s government’s three-fold manoeuvre in the state – reading down of Articles 370 and 35A, the bifurcation of the state and its down-gradation to union territory status and the communications lockdown – makes that task near impossible. This is for three reasons: one, the wall of hyper-nationalism is now towering over us, with most of the mainstream Indian media talking it up by the day; two, the demolition of the only state in India with a Muslim majority has come to be the new signifier of Hindutva politics; three, middle ground narratives are no longer anchored to anything remotely viable, politically speaking. History is replete with instances of journalism being trapped in similar mazes. The British media were faced with an analogous situation in Northern Ireland right from the 1920s to the 1990s. Reproducing the British government’s narrative was the price that media persons – even those who privately questioned it – had to pay for access and acceptance. The pro-government slant hardened once the British army entered Northern Ireland in 1969, and coverage became even more polarised with the Irish Republican Army (IRA) framed as a sinister force and the military as an agency of patriotism and nationalism. Cultural theorist Stuart Hall, in his 1974 book, Deviance, Politics and the Media , has observed how the IRA was portrayed as ‘a known, labelled, stigmatised, extremist group, committed to the policies of armed insurrection and physical force’ and how this has ‘powerfully crystallised and simplified the complex problems of signifying the Ulster crisis to the British public’. In the US of the Vietnam era, it needed the steady flow back home of body bags carrying slain soldiers and an “enemy” as implacable as the Vietnamese, to change the media narrative. The tipping point came when the journalist “America trusted”, Walter Cronkite, argued after the Tet Offensive, “To say that we are mired in stalemate seems to be the only realistic, yet unsatisfactory, conclusion.” What is striking here is that it was not the innumerable military atrocities that the US war machine had rained on the Vietnam which had convinced the mainstream US media to alter its narrative about Vietnam, but the clear “unwinnability” of that war. The point to note though is that in both Northern Ireland and the US of the 1960s and ‘70s, there were journalists who defied the official line and whose work hastened the eventual cessation of hostilities. For us, now, there is an immediate question: In the face of a brutally controlled media in the Valley, can media professionals in the rest of the country and the world step into the breach and tell the Kashmir story? Many international media entities, including BBC, Reuters, Al Jazeera , The Guardian and The New York Times , beat the Indian mainstream media far behind on Kashmir. The BBC and Reuters also resisted the hectoring of the Union home ministry over their coverage, by standing by it while the ministry tied itself into knots, first denying their stories and later conceding to their veracity. HuffPost India was among the first to report on a death of a young boy fleeing from the CRPF, and on at least 13 patients with pellet injuries being in public hospitals (‘ Srinagar Boy Dies after Being Cornered by CRPF: Report ’, August 7). The J&K Police denied any deaths and tried to get away with the fiction that no bullets were fired, only to later admit that pellets had been deployed. Indian security forces personnel patrol a deserted street during restrictions after the government scrapped special status for Kashmir, in Srinagar on August 7, 2019. Photo: Reuters/Danish Ismail Commendable was the performance of many smaller media platforms in being able to capture this brutish interregnum through ground reports far better than the “nationalist” big guns with their multi-core media empires. This was possible because they were unburdened by corporate agendas and government appeasement policies. In the process, the world could catch a glimpse – it was only a glimpse – of what was really happening in a region barricaded by the military. Two days after the scrapping of the two Articles, The Wire  could capture the anger in the voices of the young and the trauma of migrant workers scrambling for buses to take them out of the state (‘ Ground Report | In Kashmir, Clampdown on Movement and Communication Fuels Anxieties ’, August 8). By the next day, one of The Wire ’s founding editors was reporting from Ground Zero with hard evidence that “at least 21 young men and boys were brought in to Srinagar’s main hospital for treatment for pellet injuries in the first three days after the Modi government abrogated Article 370 (‘ Ground Report | Pellet Blindings Back as Protestors Challenge Centre’s Kashmir Move ’, August 9). A companion video captured scenes from the hospital and people with their shattered faces, broken voices and raging despair (‘ In Srinagar Hospital Ward, Pellet Victims Belie Official Claims of ‘Calm ‘’, August 9). Over the following days, The Wire also brought to national attention several other reports that together told the overarching story of state terrorism. Akeel Dar (‘ This 17-Year-Old Was the First Pellet Victim of the ‘Union Territory’ of J&K ’, August 10) heard slogans being shouted in the street outside and went to find out to see for himself what the commotion was about: “Even before I could figure out what was happening, I saw one CRPF man already in a position to shoot.” He was left with 90 pellets in his body, including nine in his right eye and four in his left. It could draw the agony of Bilal Mandoo with his stillborn baby in a small box by his side into the frame (‘ Stuck in Hospital After Losing a Child, Waiting 3 Days for 1 Call: Life in Kashmir Today ’, August 12). When his wife developed complications, there was no transportation available – they had to make it on foot. It was too late by the time they reached the hospital. Demonstrators shout slogans outside a hospital emergency unit during a protest after the government scrapped special status for Kashmir, in Srinagar August 9, 2019. Photo: Reuters/Stringer Insha Ashraf , living on the outskirts of Srinagar, was luckier. She went into labour on August 8, during “one of the most repressive moments in Kashmir’s history”. Her mother and sister rushed to their neighbour, an autorickshaw driver, at 5:30 am. Midway, they were stopped, security personnel did not allow the autorickshaw to proceed. The women had to walk, pleading with security personnel all the way. It was around 11 am, and they were 500 m from a private hospital when Insha experienced severe contractions. They rushed to it and within 15 minutes of reaching here, Insha became the mother of a baby girl. Also read |  In a Ravaged Kashmir, One Woman’s Fight to Give Birth When justices of the Supreme Court counsel patience under such circumstances, they are deliberately shutting their eyes to the ground situation and expecting Kashmiris to do the impossible – keep their lives on hold. Meanwhile, anxieties, bitterness and rage at a mass level rise to the surface (‘ I Am More Afraid Than I Have Ever Been’: A Personal Account From Kashmir ’, August 12). This period has brought out extraordinary acts of kindness and connection among ordinary people (‘ Amid Communication Blackout, How One Kashmiri Connected Distressed Families ’, August 12) and created political awareness at a mass level unknown in most parts of India. As a young man, who uses his old radio set to stay abreast of developments, put it to a Wire correspondent, “In a stroke of a few hours, we had lost something precious that was guaranteed to us under the constitution” (‘ As Eid Arrives, People in Kashmir Still Don’t Know What the Future Holds ’, August 12). We are talking about an extremely literate and politically aware community, whether men or women. This was an aspect that struck the fact-finding team of Jean Dreze, Kavita Krishnan, Maimoona Mollah and Vimal Bhai (‘ Across Kashmiri Villages, Talk of ‘Oppression, Excess, Betrayal’: Fact-Finding Team ’, August 14) forcibly. As journalists, we need to keep our gaze on Kashmir – not just today, but in the long term. How will this story evolve? Will Kashmir reconcile itself to being absorbed within the Indian state or will the demand for azaadi grow into an unstoppable roar? To do justice to this story would demand reportage that defies the barbed wire-and-blockade tactics of the government of India, and stands the test of media history. Heartbreak in Kashmir … A lot of mail focused on Kashmir, over this fortnight. They ranged from trepidations about movement and connectivity, to what it means to be in a region that was once the state of Jammu and Kashmir. A student studying in NIFT Srinagar wrote in to say how they were left in limbo on August 5, after the state was in lockdown: “We continuously asked about the situation to our authorities and plans for our evacuation. Other institutions, like NIT, Polytechnic and IHM evacuated their students as per the government orders but NIFT authorities hadn’t taken any safety measures as they were waiting for conditions to get worse. Even our parents continuously asked them about the situation but got no reply, instead, we were given a time table with continuous classes from August 5.” When things started getting serious and there was panic among students, the authorities withdrew into their residences and didn’t bother to visit the students or reply to their parents. Finally, the students themselves went to the airport and asked for help from the Indian army in order to make it back to their homes. § Karman Ali mailed on the situation in Kargil: “Kargil has been witnessing a major lock down from the past two days all the shops and establishment have been closed in the headquarters of Kargil district and the day-to-day functioning of local people came to a halt. While the major political parties played safe by not taking any firm stand on the issue, the student associations continuously tried to assemble in order to stage peaceful protests but were prevented from doing so by the district administration. The bigger question before the people was the fate of 1.5 lakh citizens and the future of students.” Also read |  ‘What Did We Do?’: Kargil Seethes At Centre’s Bifurcation Decision “The earlier surety that government jobs would be provided under the J&K constitution through district level reservations, is now gone. Ladakhi students will now have to compete with students from the whole of India for local jobs. This is an impossible task for them given the poor infrastructure, resources and educational exposure. Kargil, especially, will be affected since it is predominantly rural, and most of the aged population is illiterate. It is very hard for local people to comprehend the seriousness of the situation. The whole country believes that Kargil is totally in favour of the biggest blunder in the history of this country – ie, the revocation of Article 370 and the bifurcation of the state, but the truth is that people in Kargil don’t welcome this move. What’s more, the betrayal of the trust of the people of J&K is heartbreaking.” § In view of the situation prevailing in Kashmir, the J&K Students Association (JKSA) – a body of Kashmiri students outside Kashmir Valley – established help lines and online platforms to address the issues students outside the Valley face because it “can feel the vulnerability and panic among all the Kashmiri students outside”. JKSA has now set up a “proper bridge for students in consultation with the authorities of different states, journalists, activists and allied departments”, so that the problems of these students can be promptly addressed. It also appealed to the students to “lodge their grievances openly so that meaningful solution can be found.” Requesting the students to remain patient and calm, a JKSA spokesperson requested those with problems to get in touch on the following numbers: 9149676014, 7006037530, 9682367066, 9634336937, and 7006903341. The email id is: jandkstudentsassociation1111@gmail.com …and an open letter from Kerala While Kashmir was the crisis zone of the moment, there were other places in the country facing serious challenges. Rejeesh Palavila from Kollam District, Kerala, shot off an ‘Open Letter to the Home Minister’. “Respected Home minister, It is noticed that you had visited flood-hit areas of Karnataka and Maharashtra and tweeted on it. Good job! I now write to remind you about my state which is not on your map. In the southwestern part of India there is a state which has the Western Ghats, on one side, and the Arabian Sea on the other. It shares a border with Tamil Nadu to the east and south, and Karnataka on the north and northeast. It is spread over 38,863 km and has more than three crore people who speak Malayalam. It is called Kerala. This state, sir, is struggling to survive from heavy rainfall and floods, many lives including that of children, have been lost, with many villages and town washed away. The impression we have is that you forgot about our existence because the government of Kerala not under the lotus flag. However, as a taxpaying community, Kerala now demands its dues from the Central government – not as a favour but as a right. We hope you update your map with Kerala and do the needful. Thanking you, etc…” Write to publiceditor@thewire.in'

Why We Need Genetic Engineering to Stave off Climate Change-Induced Global Hunger

Climate thewire.in

Despite what many say, organic farming will not save us from the worst impacts of climate change.
'Last week, the  Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)  released its  Special Report on Climate Change and Land , a document authored by 107 experts from 52 countries. It  warned  that “Land is a critical resource.” The main conclusion of the report is that humans already use nearly half of the planet’s land for food production and, as global population levels rise, agricultural land is going to be in very short supply. This is because one of the effects of climate change will be  a decline in agricultural productivity across the tropics, meaning that we will need to cut down forests and convert unused land into farmland. This deforestation will lead to even more carbon emissions, culminating in a vicious cycle of increasing warming. 🌍 #IPCC Special Report on #ClimateChange and Land: Land is where we live. Land is under growing human pressure. Land is a part of the solution. But land can’t do it all. #SRCCL press release ➡️ https://t.co/yvthAXgk7V SPM ➡️ https://t.co/kIjgQJt7hP pic.twitter.com/anNvDMrpJi — IPCC (@IPCC_CH) August 9, 2019 The report is a frightening 1,400 page-long prediction of rising food costs and starvation of the world’s poor. In fact, behind all the numbers and probability estimates is one truth that carries throughout – that climate change is going to be especially hard on the poor and on people living in the tropics. The IPCC  concludes  that as carbon dioxide levels rise and the planet warms, farms in temperate latitudes (i.e. the wealthier countries of Europe and North America) will in fact see an  increase  in yields . The real damage will occur in the Global South, reducing fruit and vegetable production, causing a decline in the amount of available calories and in the  nutritional quality of food available  to the world’s most at-risk populations. The report concludes that the yields of some vegetables will decline by as much as 30%, and that between 30 and 60% of  bean-producing farmland  and up to 40% of banana-growing regions in Africa will no longer be viable by the turn of the century. Also read |  Zero Budget Natural Farming: Another Case of ‘Raw Wisdom’ Over Science? As a result, the report says that up to 183 million  more  people will be at risk of hunger due to climate change and consequent rising food prices. However, in a particularly horrifying graph, the report also finds that the solutions we need to mitigate climate change will themselves lead to a ~20% increase in hunger in Africa, southeast Asia, and India. There just isn’t any good outcome here for people living close the equator – people who number three billion human beings, including most of my family. The reports states that up to 40% of banana-growing regions in Africa will no longer be viable by the turn of the century. Eritrea, February 21, 2016. Photo: Reuters/Thomas Mukoya/Files And that’s why I came away from the report more frustrated than ever with mainstream public environmentalism and what one policy expert  has called , “the empty radicalism of the climate apocalypse.” One example of this is the modern environmental movement’s  love affair  with organic farming. Organic farming doesn’t even feature once in the chapters of the IPCC report dedicated to food security. This is because it is one of the very  worst  ways of farming if your objective is to conserve land. In 2017, researchers working at the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture in Switzerland (an organisation  partly funded  by the organic industry)  found that if the world converted completely to organic agriculture, we would need between 16 and 81% more land to feed the planet. Also read |  Is Climate Change Making Floods an Annual Affair in Kerala? What  can  help reduce agriculture’s global footprint? One solution that appears frequently in the IPCC report is “genetic improvement” of crops. The report highlights that increasing food productivity through technological solutions like “new cultivars from breeding or biotechnology” will be an important part of climate change adaptation. In fact, the report  explicitly mentions  genome-editing crops using CRISPR-Cas9, the very genetic tool that a European court decided  to ban  just last year and that major environmental NGOs like  Greenpeace  and the  organic farming  community oppose on ideological grounds. It is this fixation on ideological purity by parts of the environmental movement that I take issue with, and that is incompatible with the recommendations of the IPCC. After describing the dire state of global land-use, the latest report also provides some hope by presenting 40 different means of preventing over-use of land due to climate change, eight of which could provide the most benefits. Some of these include measures like maintaining soil health that are common in organic farms. However others like managing cattle-grazing pastures (which can actually sequester carbon) and the genetic improvement of crops are anathema to everyday environmentalism and run counter to organic dogma. To be fair,  some environmentalists  say they oppose genetic engineering as part of a general disgust with companies like Monsanto. I find this argument disingenuous. When the IPCC identifies genome editing as a way to adapt to climate change by creating heat and drought-tolerant crops, no agricultural researcher really expects this challenge to be met by Monsanto or DuPont or any of the large multinational seed companies. For one, these companies simply  don’t have  large   market interests in the countries and kind of   crops that will be most affected by climate change. This argument also places the developed world and its industries at the centre of climate change policy, distracting from the urgency with which the Global South needs new climate-resilient crops. Also read |  Need to Change Ties With Land, Food to Avert Large Scale Climate Crisis: UN Report Instead, scientists like me want  climate change ready crops  to be developed and distributed for free by publicly-funded trans-national organisations like the  CGIAR  network, the group behind the Green Revolution that has already had a greater  impact  on food-security in the tropics than all the large private seed companies combined. And due to the ease of using new genetic tools, we are already seeing such   innovation in crop engineering happening in publicly funded labs around the world: from  cassava plants making better starch ,  banana  and  eggplant  resistant to a deadly disease, to rice  enriched  with vitamins and micronutrients. The  vision  scientists like me have for climate-smart agriculture  includes  publicly-funded genome-edited crops developed by our colleagues in local countries, using local crop varieties and compatible with low chemical-input forms of agriculture. This is a vision that I think deserves support from the environmental movement and by the organic farming community, and as the IPCC points out, is necessary if we’re to adapt to climate change. One common strand that runs through the IPCC report is the importance of compromise and of deploying a combination of diverse solutions to tackle the problem of climate change and land. In Chapter 1, the report  flatly says , “none of these response options are mutually exclusive”, and they really  needn’t be . According to the IPCC, we need to combine biotechnology with soil stewardship, to better manage grazing lands while reducing red meat consumption, and to tax greenhouse gas emissions but also prevent them from raising food costs. Instead, activists prescribe childishly quixotic solutions like turning  entirely to veganism  or to buying  only organic produce , that turns climate discourse into a constant battle, pitting cattle farmers  against  Impossible Foods or plant scientists  against  organic farmers. This latest IPCC report reads like an advance obituary for millions of humans living in the tropics. I believe that unless the environmental movement changes course, it will simply have helped write the eulogy. This article originally appeared on Massive Science .'

Wings Touch truly wireless earbuds launched in India at Rs 3,999

Gadgets 91mobiles.com

The Wings Touch wireless earbuds offer IPX7 rating for sweat- and splash-resistance.
'“The Wings Touch wireless earbuds offer IPX7 rating for sweat- and splash-resistance” Wings Touch truly wireless earphones have been launched in India. As the name suggests, the brand’s latest offering is a pair of wireless earbuds that come with touch controls. This lets users change songs, adjust volume, and answer calls simply by touching on left or right earbuds. Notably, the Wings Touch wireless audio accessory also supports Google Assistant and Siri. The device comes with an IPX7 rating for sweat- and splash-resistance. The brand says that the Wings Touch earbuds have advanced nano-coating that keeps the wearable safe from sweat and rain. The accessory will be competing against the likes of the JBL wireless earphones and Noise Shots X3. The Wings Touch wireless earphones offer IPX7 rating for sweat and splash resistance Wings Touch price in India The Wings Touch wireless earphones have been priced at Rs 3,999 in India. The audio accessory will be available on Amazon and Myntra. Wings Touch specifications The Wings Touch wearable features 7mm micro Neodymium speaker driver with titanium coating, which is claims to deliver deep bass and clear vocals. The company says that the earbuds are perfect for listening to EDM, Bollywood, rock, and acoustic songs. There’s a built-in microphone onboard that lets you take calls on the go. Notably, both the earbuds of the Wings Touch can automatically connect with each other. Lastly, the accessory is touted to offer up to six hours of usage on a single charge. The bundled case is capable of providing five full charges for the Wings Touch. Speaking about the launch Nishit Sharma, founder of Wings Lifestyle said, “Hands down the Wings Touch is superior to all its competitors. It gives Indian consumers the opportunity to own the highest quality, truly wireless earbuds with touch control, at a relatively affordable price. Unlike its competitors, who charge a massive premium yet sell a less feature-rich product, Wings Lifestyle products are loaded with exceptional features and priced significantly lower than competitor’s products. While its competitor’s products are gaudy and heavy, the Wings Touch is set apart by its lightweight and aesthetic design making it a lifestyle product that complements the lives of trendy individuals”.'

MUSIC: The New Way For Scientists To Transfer Data

IT TechQuila

A team of researchers at ETH Zurich recently developed technology to store data using music or rather, musical notes (the access data is transferred through music) that are imperceptible to the human ear but a smartphone can easily interpret it.
'A team of researchers at ETH Zurich recently developed technology to store data using music or rather, musical notes (the access data is transferred through music) that are imperceptible to the human ear but a smartphone can easily interpret it.Common wireless communication technologies, like Bluetooth, make the use of radio waves in order to transmit data between devices.However, the pairing of devices is essential in order to share files or photos via Bluetooth.Scientists have now considered a bizarre possibility for data transfer – Music!Researchers at ETH Zurich have come up with a new technology which uses a very simple medium: sound.With cell phones already equipped with a built-in microphone (to pick up audio data from a piece of music) thus decoding the data could be as simple as downloading a smartphone app that contains the algorithm developed by the ETH Zurich team. (The application is not publicly available yet though). Data transfer through music LISNR , a start-up company wants to replace NFC and QR codes with a new technology that sends data over audio — a communication protocol called Smart Tone.The technology can be used across a number of applications like ticketing and authentication, offline messaging, device to device connectivity and more.Often, the receiving device will also send a Smart Tone back to the original broadcasting device enabling two-way communications.LISNR actually uses the audio frequency range of ~18.7 kHz to 19.2 kHz for its communications and that is inaudible to 98 per cent of people. (those who can hear it, the audio sounds like white noise anyways).The idea to transfer data via audio isn’t brand new. “Google Nearby” uses this for sharing data between devices, as a rival to Apple’s “AirDrop”. Another company called CHIRP is also doing data over audio.LISNR With companies like Chirp and LISNR experimenting with sound wave data transmission for about a decade, what sets the Zurich team apart is their mission to integrate data into music without affecting the pleasure of listening.The scientists used notes at very high frequencies, so high that the human ear barely registers them, to signal where the decoder algorithm should look for data.In the words of Manuel Eichelberger, an ETH doctoral student –                          “When we hear a loud note, we don’t notice quieter notes with a slightly higher or lower frequency, that means we can use the dominant, loud notes in a piece of music to hide the acoustic data transfer.” A loud piece of music like this one is ideal for data transfer because it has a lot of dominant frequencies.Pop and rock songs usually work well!For reference, in a listening test when the participants were asked to distinguish between original and modified versions, Queen’s “The Show Must Go On” and Van Halen’s “And The Cradle Will Rock” both did extremely well.Surprisingly, more than 40 per cent of participants couldn’t identify the modifications, which is pretty high considering they were actively looking for suspicious sounds.The ETH team figured out that the data transfer rate realistically would be closer to 200 bits per second since some repetition of data is needed to ensure accuracy and quality.Considering the trade-off between the transfer rate, quality of data, and quality of music, this technology works best for short and simple pieces of data, like Wi-Fi passwords.Have you heard about proximity marketing?Proximity marketing refers to communicating with customers at the right place and at the right time with highly relevant and personalized messages on their smartphones, it could be a greeting at the entry points, special offers in the store or getting feedback on a new product.It’s another industry where sharing data through music comes handy.Someday, you might be able to receive special promotions or product information via music played over a store’s speakers.With background music and smartphone users, the potentiality is enormous.Interested in more?Click here to explore. . The post MUSIC: The New Way For Scientists To Transfer Data appeared first on TechQuila .'

Every Indian can now speak of ‘One Nation, One Constitution’: PM

Politics Daily Excelsior

'‘Why Art 370 supporters didn’t make it permanent’? * Spl status led to separatism, terrorism, dynastic rules * Those spreading terror must be razed to ground Sanjeev Pargal JAMMU, Aug 16: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that every Indian can now speak of ‘One Nation, One Constitution’ as he maintained that system which prevailed in Jammu and Kashmir during past 70 years had aggravated separatism, given birth to terrorism, encouraged dynastic rules and strengthened the foundation of corruption and discrimination.In his Address to the Nation from the ramparts of Red Fort on Independence Day on Thursday, Modi referred in detail the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35-A, re-organization of Jammu and Kashmir, discrimination meted out to refugees, Dalits, women, Gujjars, Bakarwals, Gaddis, Sippies, Baltis, safai karamcharis and questioned opponents of scrapping of special Constitutional provisions of J&K asking why they didn’t convert Article 370 into a permanent provision for the last 70 years despite having majority.Acting tough on terrorism, the Prime Minister said it was clear policy of the Government that those who are spreading fear and fostering violence must be razed to the ground and their all malafide intentions are curbed through “our policies and strategies.” “I can proudly say that every Indian today can speak of ‘One Nation, One Constitution’ and we are trying to fulfill Sardar (Vallabh Bhai Patel) Sahib’s dream of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’. So we must develop such systems which strengthen the country’s unity and serve as a cementing force, and this process must go on continuously,” he said.Describing abrogation of Articles 370 and 35-A as “hallmark of Government”, the Prime Minister said: “We don’t avoid problems, nor do we let them fester.There is no time to delay or neglect problems.The work that was not done in last 70 years has been accomplished within 70 days after this new Government came to power”. Noting the fact that both the Articles have been abrogated with two-third majority in both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha, he said this means that everyone wanted this decision, but perhaps they were waiting for somebody to initiate and carry it forward. “I have come to accomplish the task assigned to me by my countrymen.I work selflessly,” he declared.Taking on the Opposition without naming any political party including the Congress, which has been in forefront in opposing special Constitutional provisions of Jammu and Kashmir, Modi asked: “If Article 370 was so crucial then why the ruling parties didn’t make it permanent during last 70 years despite having a majority?If there was so much of conviction, you should have moved ahead and made it permanent.This means that you (a reference towards the Congress) knew all along that the decision taken was not right but you didn’t have the courage and the will to amend it.Concerns about political future kept coming up for them, but for me, the country’s future is everything and political future has no meaning”. He asserted that the system that prevailed over past 70 years in Jammu and Kashmir (a reference towards Special Constitutional provisions) had aggravated separatism and given birth to terrorism besides encouraging dynastic rule and strengthening foundations of corruption and discrimination. “We have to make efforts so that the women of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh get their rights.We have to make efforts so that my Dalit brothers and sisters living there, get the rights which they have been deprived of so far.The rights enjoyed by the tribal people of India must be available to my tribal brothers and sisters of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.There are several such communities, like Gujjars, Bakarwals, Gaddies, Sippies or Balties-all such communities must be empowered with political rights,” the Prime Minister said.Referring to denial of citizenship rights to West Pakistani refugees and safai karamcharis in Jammu and Kashmir, Modi said it was surprising that there were legal restrictions on safai karamchari brothers and sisters and their dreams were trampled upon. “Now, we have freed them from such shackles”. He said when India was partitioned, crores of people had to leave behind their ancestral homes for no fault of theirs. “Those (a reference towards West Pakistani refugees), who settled down in Jammu and Kashmir got neither hymen rights, nor citizenship rights,” he added and said the Government also intend to take steps for welfare of the people of hill regions.Maintaining that Constitution makers and great personalities like Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel took these bold and important decisions even during those difficult times, the Prime Minister recalled that Patel kept the goals of national integration and political unification in mind.The exercise towards national integration was a successful one, but some difficulties have been faced because of Articles 370 and 35-A, he asserted.Referring to re-organization of Jammu and Kashmir, Modi said the Government is moving forward in this direction. “For 70 years, every Government made efforts to do something but the desired results were not achieved, and when desired results are not achieved, there is a need to think afresh and take new steps.It is our responsibility to see that aspirations of the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh get fulfilled.It is our collective responsibility to give new wings to the dreams of the people of the State.This responsibility has to be shouldered by all 130 crore countrymen.To meet this commitment, we have made endeavours to remove whatever hurdlers were there in the way,” the Prime Minister said.Maintaining that peace and prosperity of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh can be an inspiration for India, Modi said they can greatly contribute to India’s development. “We need to make efforts to bring back their glorious past.The new system that has come into being after the recent step will create facilities that will directly benefit the people of the State.Now, anybody in Jammu and Kashmir, like the rest of Indians, can reach out to the Government in Delhi.There will be no hurdles in between.We have put in place such a system. “Our recent action to strike down Articles 370 and 35A has been welcomed by the entire country and also by people from all political parties of the country, without exception.Some have openly supported us while others give their tacit support.But some in the corridors of power, in a bid to take mileage from vote-bank politics, have been talking in favour of Article 370,” the Prime Minister said.Without naming Pakistan, Modi sent out a strong message to perpetrators of terrorism. “It is our clear policy that those who are spreading fear and fostering violence must be razed to the ground.We have made this clear through our policies and strategies to curb all such malafide intentions.We have no inhibitions.Our Army, Border Security Forces and security agencies have done a commendable job.They always stand tall in their uniforms and guard us from all adversities.They have martyred their lives to ensure a bright future for us.I salute and I pay my homage to them.It is important that we take timely steps towards reforms,” he said.Asserting that India has to play a vital role in reinstating world peace, Modi said at the same time: “We cannot remain silent spectators in the global environment.We are putting up a tough fight against terrorist organizations.In any part of the world, an act of terrorism should be regarded as an attack on humanity”. He called upon all forces to unite against those who promote and give shelter to terrorist outfits.India should contribute in exposing these anti-humanitarian activities and is resolute to unite all world forces to end terrorism, he added.Without naming Pakistan, Modi said India should play a crucial role in the war against terrorism and unite all forces to expose those who give shelter to terrorists, those who encourage terrorism and those who export terrorism. “Some terrorist organizations have not only targeted India, but are also damaging our neighbouring countries.Bangladesh and Afghanistan are also grappling with terrorist activities.In Sri Lanka, sadly, innocent people have been killed en-masse inside a church.This is such a heart wrenching event.Hence, we all have to unite and act proactively to bring security, peace and harmony in this sub-continent,” he added.Modi announces much awaited post of CDS In much awaited and significant decision from the defence point of view, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced creation of the post of Chief of Defence Staff-CDS and said after this post comes into existence all three forces will get effective leadership at the top level. “It (the creation of the post of CDS) was in line with the changing war and security environment in the world and today I want to announce an important decision from Red Fort.The subject experts on the issue have been demanding this for a long time.Today we have decided that we will now have a Chief of Defence Staff.The CDS System is a very important and compelling task in our dream to reform the strategic pace of Hindustan in the world,” he said.Pointing out that deliberations were on since a long time to bring reforms in military infrastructure, armed forces and military resources, Modi said previous Governments have also discussed the same.Several Commissions were formed and all the reports have brought to light the same issues, he added. “There is hardly any difference, but this has been stated repeatedly.There indeed is coordination between our Navy, Army and Air Force.We can be proud of the arrangement of our armed forces.Any Hindustani can be proud of Indian Military.They also strive for modernity in their own way.The world is changing today and the scope of war is also changing, the nature of war is changing.It is becoming technology driven; in the circumstances India too should not have a fragmented approach.Our entire military power will have to work in unison and move forward.Things cannot move smoothly if anyone from the Navy, Army and Air Force is a step ahead from the other two forces, while the other two are lagging behind.All the three should move simultaneously at the same pace.There should be good coordination and it should be relevant with the hope and aspirations of our people,” the Prime Minister said. . The post Every Indian can now speak of ‘One Nation, One Constitution’: PM appeared first on Jammu Kashmir Latest News | Tourism | Breaking News J&K .'

Tanker water bookings pile up at PWD office

Garden The Navhind Times

NT NETWORK Panaji Over the last two days, the water supply division of PWD at St Inez received 240 bookings for supply of tanker water but could attend to only 24 calls because there was no water available at water storage facilities in Altinho, and
'NT NETWORK Panaji Over the last two days,the water supply division of PWD at St Inez received 240 bookings for supply oftanker water but could attend to only 24 calls because there was no water availableat water storage facilities in Altinho, and the nearest Assonora watertreatment plant for supply. The PWD received daily100 bookings since Thursday and managed to attend to not more than ten callsdue to water shortage thereby increasing the number of pending bookings everypassing day. Maximum calls werereceived from the areas of Taleigao, St Cruz and Panaji which were themost-badly affected areas and went without water for past 48 hours. Many residents stood inthe queue to enquire about the booking status at PWD office in St Inez but theattendants at the booking counter had to turn them back with assurance thatthey will supply water tanker at the earliest. The PWD pressed itsservice tankers to get water from two water treatment facilities in Salaulimand Opa located in South Goa to cater to the needs. But the water cannot besupplied to all pending requests in next 24 hours as it is time consuming tocover the long distance to bring and supply water. Senior officials fromthe PWD division-III (PHE), at St Inez told ‘The Navhind Times’ that it isunlikely for them to repair and restore the water supply from Opa at a givenstipulated period of three days if there is heavy downpour and it may take atleast a week. They described the majorbreakdown of two water supply lines at Curti as shocking and informed that suchbreakdown had never happened in the past.'

Quick weight loss: How to lose weight really fast

Training and Health The Health Site

Almost everybody, at some point of time, need a quick weight loss plan.But very few succeed.Here we reveal a few secrets of really quick weight loss for both men and women.
'Losing weight is never easy. And if you need to get rid of those extra kilos really fast, you will have to be totally dedicated and motivated. Quick weight loss is not an impossible task. With a few nudges and tips, you can easily lose weight really fast. Today, you may be confronted with numerous diets, supplements and meal replacement plans that promise really fast weight loss. But all are not scientific and may not have any significant impact on your weight loss goals. In fact, some of these so-called highly effective diets can have adverse effects on your health and can even cause long term complications. So, it is always better to consult your doctor before you go on any weight loss trip. Here, we tell you how you can lose weight fast and keep it off too. QUICK WEIGHT LOSS TIPS   Let us start with some quick weight loss tips. These are simple and easy to follow. At the end of it, you will not feel deprived. These tips will never tempt you to binge on the sly. Just try it for a week and you will be amazed at the difference you see on your weighing scale and in the mirror. It is very important to eat a hearty breakfast. It should be the heaviest meal of the day. Try to incorporate as much fruits and vegetable as you can in your diet for fast weight loss and limit your salt intake . You may include a cup of coffee or tea after each meal. These act as diuretics and will help prevent water retention. Saying no to carbs and sugar will help. Eat a lot of protein and healthy fats. Protein will boost your metabolism and suppress your appetite. Just following the ideal diet for quick weight loss is not enough to help you realise your goal. You need to keep in mind other things too. Sleep plays a very important role in quick weight loss. Make sure you sleep for 7 to 8 hours every night. Also maintain a food diary and note down everything that you eat or drink during the day. This will help you realise if you are doing something wrong. Also, never ever skip a meal. You will just overeat later. QUICK WEIGHT LOSS FOODS Are you a foodie? Don’t despair, you can lose weight really fast by eating all you want. But there’s a catch. You must try to include the following super foods in your diet for quick weight loss. Chillies   According to a study in the British Journal of Nutrition, chillies can aid in burning off stubborn calories. Capsaicin in chillies increases fat burning. Green tea Green tea contains catechins. These boost metabolism and burn calories. Milk This contains nicotinamide riboside. This compound helps your body to burn fat at a faster rate. The protein in milk also build up muscle mass. Apples These have a high fibre content. If you munch on an apple just before a meal, you will consume fewer calories. Water Drink a couple of glasses of water just before your meals and watch the kilos disappear. Water will fill you up and you will eat less as a result. Protein A quick weight loss diet will always include a lot of protein. It increases metabolism and keeps you full for longer. Spinach The best diet for quick weight loss will always include this leafy green. Spinach contains ecdysteroids. This natural compound increases the levels of protein adiponectin. This makes fat cells more sensitive to insulin and breaks down fat. Complex carbs These will keep you full for a longer period. Your body takes longer to digest complex carbs. This is a perfect addition to a diet for quick weight loss QUICK WEIGHT LOSS MEAL PLAN A fast weight loss meal plan is one that excludes carbs. Try it for yourself. Go off carbs and see the difference in just a week. Include a lot of lean protein and low carb veggies and fruits in your diet. You can have as much eggs, fish and lean meats as you like in this quick weight loss meal plan. If you feel thirsty, don’t reach for sugary or carbonated drinks. Let water be your drink of choice. And, don’t even let thoughts of processed and junk foods enter your mind. It will also help if you maintain a weight loss chart. This will help you plan balanced weight loss meals and also help you to keep track of your daily calorie intake . You can download a calorie tracker and do this daily. It is easily available online.   YOGA FOR QUICK WEIGHT LOSS Yoga poses are great for fast weight loss. Let us look at the best yoga asanas for quick weight loss. Aerial yoga This pose requires you to engage your muscles to complete the yoga poses while you are suspended in the air. It makes your muscles toned and lean. At the same time, it burns off body fat. Ardha   Chandraasana or the half moon pose This pose helps burn off love handles and strengthens your core. It also causes rapid weight loss. Surya namaskar or sun salutation In this, a set of yoga  aasanas  are done in quick succession. It induces really fast weight loss. It is a full body workout. Ardha Matsyendrasana or Half spinal twist This  asana  stretches the spine and tones the thighs and abdominal muscles. It stimulates the digestive system and thereby helps you digest food more efficiently and lose weight.   QUICK WEIGHT LOSS TIPS FOR MEN It is very easy to fall back on old habits and get side-tracked from your weight loss goals. Look at some of our quick and easy weight loss tips designed especially for men. Exercise regularly. Avoid fad diets. Say no to processed foods. Stock up on fruits and vegetables. Watch your portions size. QUICK WEIGHT LOSS TIPS FOR WOMEN Sometimes, it becomes absolutely necessary for women to lose weight really quickly. Don’t panic. Just follow our tips and watch the weight drop off you. Stay away from refined carbs. Try to include resistance training to your routine. Drink a lot of water. Add more protein to your diet for quick weight loss. Try and keep a food journal.'

Ambrane fitness band AFB 38 with colour display and heart rate monitor launched at Rs 2,999

Gadgets 91mobiles.com

The Ambrane AFB 38 fitness wearable is IP68 water and dust-resistant certified and feature 11 different sports mode.
'“The Ambrane AFB 38 fitness wearable is IP68 water and dust-resistant certified and feature 11 different sports mode” Ambrane has added a new fitness band, called the AFB 38, to its portfolio in India. The Ambrane AFB 38 is touted as the smart fitness band that motivates for a smarter and healthier lifestyle. The wearable comes with colour TFT display, a built-in heart rate monitor, battery with seven days standby time, 11 sports mode, and 18+ activities tracking features ranging from the pedometer to calories burnt, and sleep monitoring. The Ambrane AFB 38 fitness band is also IP68 water- and dust-resistant certified, which means you can take it with you for a swim and submerge in water  up to a maximum depth of 1.5m for up to thirty minutes. The Ambrane AFB 38 fitness band price in India is set at Rs 2,999. It comes in the black shade and is available with all major retail stores and e-commerce platforms across the country. The band comes with a one-year warranty. Coming to the specifications, the Ambrane AFB 38 features 24 hours dynamic heart rate monitoring to keep a tab on your heartbeats. The wearable has modes including default,  walking, running, and cycling, along with optional tennis, soccer, climbing, spinning, yoga, dance, treadmill, hiking, fitness, basketball, and badminton. Apart from this, there is sedentary, goal completion, hydrated reminders. The last one reminds you to drink water to keep you hydrated. The band is compatible with Android 4.4+ and iOS 8+ devices that can be used to compile and analyse your activity data. It can also be used for smartphone notifications like incoming calls, text messages, email alerts, and other realtime alerts from Facebook and WhatsApp. The Ambrane fitness band also features a camera remote shutter that allows you to take photos from your phone’s camera and ‘anti-lost feature’ for phone tracking.'

[Exclusive] Vivo V17 series will have four rear cameras with enhanced zooming capabilities

Gadgets 91mobiles.com

The Vivo V17 will be one of the first smartphones to feature dual pop-up selfie cameras
'“The Vivo V17 will be one of the first smartphones to feature dual pop-up selfie cameras” Vivo V17 series smartphones will come with four rear cameras, 91mobiles has exclusively learned from retail chain sources. Our sources have also revealed that these handsets will come with enhanced zooming capabilities, just like the upcoming OPPO Reno 2 , which will offer 20x level of zooming features. According to our earlier report, the Vivo V17 will be one of the first smartphones to flaunt dual pop-up selfie cameras, which will come out of the top whenever you want to capture self-portraits. The company is expected to launch the Vivo V17 in the Indian market right before Diwali, which will take place in October. Vivo V17 will be among the first phones to feature dual pop-up selfie camera module Apart from the Vivo V17, the Chinese tech giant is also expected to introduce the Vivo V17 Pro smartphone as well. These smartphones are expected to be priced on the higher end of the price spectrum. Sadly, no other details about the handsets are available at the moment. In related news, Vivo recently launched its latest smartphone called the Vivo S1 in the Indian market. The smartphone arrived as a mid-range offering with an under-display fingerprint sensor, an AMOLED display, and a triple primary camera setup at the rear. The handset comes with a 6.38-inch Super AMOLED display bearing a resolution of 1,080 x 2,340 pixels. Powering the device is the MediaTek Helio P65 processor, accompanied by up to 6GB of RAM and up to 128GB of storage. The rear camera specs include a 16MP main sensor, an 8MP secondary snapper, and a 2MP depth sensor. For selfies, there’s a 32MP camera onboard. A 4,500mAh battery keeps the whole package running. The Vivo S1’s price in India starts at Rs 17,990 for the base variant, which goes up to 19,990 for the most high-end offering. The phone is available to buy in the country across channels. With inputs from Mukesh Singh'