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Who can forge his own signature? Pranab Mukherjee asks

News4u-News Desk- THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: UPA’s presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee today rejected BJP’s charge that his letter of resignation from the Indian Statistical Institute was “fabricated”. “All these issues have been represented by my authorised representatives before the Returning Officer… and the Returning Officer has responded to that”, Mukharjee, here to canvass support of MLAs and MPs from Kerala, told reporters.

Responding to BJP’s charge, Mukherjee countered “who had forged my signature? I myself? I do not know what they have said. Who can forge his own signature? This issue we have debated at the office of the Returning Officer and the Returning Officer responded to that.”

“How can somebody lodge a complaint that you forged your own signature ?,” he said. In a fresh offensive against Mukherjee, BJP had yesterday said his letter of resignation from the ISIwas ”fabricated” and it was considering legal options. Alleging that the resignation letter was prepared at the last minute only to save his nomination, the party asked Mukherjee and eminent scientist MGK Menon, who is the President of the Institute, to come clean on the issue.PTI

Pranab Mukherjee

Pranab Mukherjee

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Kumar Sangakkara surpasses Sir Don Bradman

News4u-Sports Desk-COLOMBO: Sri Lankan cricketer Kumar Sangakkara has been on a record-breaking spree in the second Test against Pakistan at the SSC grounds in the capital.

Sangakkara scored his 30th career Test century and ninth against Pakistan in the rain-hit Test match on Tuesday and was involved in a 200-run partnership with opener Tillakaratne Dilshan, reports Xinhua.

During his innings, the former Sri Lankan captain went on to score the most number of career Test runs against Pakistan, beating the 2,089 runs scored by Indian legend Sunil Gavaskar.

Sangakkara’s ninth Test century against Pakistan was also the most number of Test centuries scored by any international cricketer against Pakistan.

Scoring his 30th Test hundred Sangakkara also joined an elite list of cricketers who haves cored 30 or more Test centuries.

Sangakkara went ahead of Australian legend Sir Don Bradman who scored 29 Test hundreds and is the second Sri Lankan on the list after captain Mahela Jayawardena who has 31 Test hundreds.

Indian master batsman Sachin Tendulkar heads the list with 51 Test hundreds.

Sangakkara led Sri Lanka in the last cricket World Cup last year but his team lost the final to India.

He resigned from the captaincy following the loss but continued to remain in the Sri Lankan team.

Cricket became a hugely popular game in Sri Lanka after the island nation won the cricket World Cup in 1996.IANS

Sangakkara Celebrates

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Ashok Chavan charged in Adarsh housing scam

News4u - News Desk : MUMBAI: Former Maharashtra chief ministerAshok Chavan was among 13 people charged by CBI today in the multi-crore Adarsh Housing scam.

The 10,000-page CBI chargesheet was filed before the registrar of a sessions court, nearly 18 months after the agency registered a case.

The Adarsh scam had fuelled a political storm in Maharashtra leading to the resignation of Chavan as the chief minister.

Earlier in the day, the CBI informed the Bombay high court, hearing a batch of public interest litigations seeking the court’s supervision of the probe, that it would be filing a chargesheet later in the day.

The CBI has registered a case on January 29 last year against Chavan and others which included bureaucrats and retired army personnel.

The agency had in March arrested nine out of the 14 accused after receiving a rap on its knuckles from the high court for not initiating action against the accused persons.

The nine arrested accused are - R C Thakur, secretary of Adarsh, retired brigadier M M Wanchoo, former Congress MLC Kanhaiyalal Gidwani, both promoters of the society, former deputy secretary of urban development department P V Deshmukh, IAS officers Ramanand Tiwari and Jairaj Phatak, retired major generals A R Kumar and T K Kaul and former city collector Pradeep Vyas.

They were released on bail by a special CBI court after CBI failed to file charge sheet within the stipulated 60-day period after arrest.

They have been charged with criminal conspiracy, cheating and the Prevention of Corruption Act.PTI

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Sehwag, Zaheer set to return for Sri Lanka tour

News4u-Sports Desk- The fit-again duo of opening batsman Virender Sehwag and pacer Zaheer Khan is all set to return to the Indian squad after missing the Asia Cup when the selectors meet here tomorrow to choose the side for the upcoming cricket tour of Sri Lanka.
The duo, along with Zaheer’s pace understudy Umesh Yadav, sat out of the Asia Cup in Bangladesh in March on fitness grounds.

They were also not part of the squad for the one-off Twenty 20 International in South Africa on March 30 which was India’s last international engagement.

With these three players expected to be available for selection, the squad for the Lanka tour — comprising only One-Day Internationals and Twenty20 ties — is set to see some changes from the side which flopped in the Asia Cup and lost the rain-hit T20 match to the hosts in Johannesburg by D/L method.

With Sehwag back in action, one of the other middle order batsmen from the Asia Cup squad will have to be sacrificed and Bengal’s Manoj Tiwary could be the man to make way for the former’s return.

It’s not clear whether Tendulkar, who had set the fabulous record of 100 international hundreds in the previous 50-over competition that India took part in, is available for the Lanka tour following his nomination as a Rajya Sabha member.

According to selection committee sources, things would become clear just before the five-member team sits down to choose the touring squad when the Cricket Board’s convener Sanjay Jagdale apprises them about the availability and fitness concerns, if any, of players in contention.

If by any chance Tendulkar decides to opt out of what is widely perceived to be a low-key series commencing on July 21, Ajinkya Rahane is the man most likely to be named as the third opener after Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir.PTI

Sehwag, Zaheer

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Terrorists are in camps in PoK: Army

News4u - News Desk : The army today said terrorists are deployed at launching pads in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir and are being trained to infiltrate into Jammu and Kashmir.

“We have information on that (terrorists are being trained to infiltrate to J&K to create trouble by Pakistan). Terrorists are camped at launch pads. They have instructions to infiltrate (into Jammu and Kashmir”, General Officer Commanding in Chief (GOC-in-C) Lt Gen K T Parnaik told reporters.

He was replying to a volley of questions on terrorists in camps in PoK, Pakistan’s attempt to increase the arch of militancy in J&K and rehabilitation policy and inilftration attempts.

“There endeavour in the past six months has been to infiltrate militants to this side. They (militants) have made a number of infiltration attempts but were foiled”, Lt Gen Parnaik said. PTI

 

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Eurasia has potential to address India’s energy needs: SM Krishna

News4u-News Desk- Identifying Eurasia as a panacea for its energy security needs, India today asked its top envoys in the resource-rich region to work on converting their country’s “enormous goodwill” into “tangible economic and strategic advantage”.

Addressing a conference in the Tajik capital of Indian Heads of Missions of 11 countries in the region, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna underlined the importance of India’s ‘Connect Central Asia’ policy and its engagement with the strategic region.

He emphasised the need of ‘Commerce, Connectivity, Consular and Community’- to improve its engagement with the natural-resources-rich region.

“I would urge all of you to ponder over four Cs namely ‘Commerce, Connectivity, Consular and Community’–related issues, and initiate innovative solutions with the sole aim of further improving the quality of our engagement with the countries of your accreditation as well as the region,” he said.

“I need not emphasise the significance and importance of the Eurasia region for India. As this region undergoes rapid transformation, a time has come for us to evolve calibrated and coordinated responses in our engagement with each of the countries as well as the region to further secure our core national interests,” the minister said.

Krishna, who is here on a two-day visit, identified the Eurasia region has the potential of “significantly addressing” India’s energy security needs.

Krishna said India’s envoys in the region should deploy all available tools “to capitalise on the enormous goodwill that exists for India, and convert it into a tangible economic and strategic advantage”.

This was the Sixth Regional Meeting of Heads of Mission that the External Affairs Minister has addressed.

In recent months, Krishna has held such meetings of the Indian envoys on a regional basis in Singapore, Cairo, Abu Dhabi, Madrid and Havana.

Those present in the meeting include Indian Ambassadors to Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

“Each country in the region has a unique significance for India. Our policy should be marked by deepening relationships based on political, economic and technical cooperation as a partner, and not merely as an overt contender for the region’s hydrocarbon and other resources,” he said.

Underlining the importance of such regional meetings, Krishna said such deliberations are “very productive”.

“These meetings have enabled the Ministry to listen to the perspectives of Ambassadors on the profound and transformative changes that are taking place in the regions concerned, and more importantly the impact of such changes on India,” he told ambassadors.

Noting that the two-way trade with the Central Asian countries are of just about USD 500 million which is way below the potential, Krishna said there is considerable ground to cover to enhance economic linkages and elevating the trade with the region, that matches India’s cultural and political interaction with this region.

“You need to explore innovative and practical solutions in consultation with the local Governments to overcome the connectivity hurdle,” he told ambassadors.

He also said that Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline project has made progress and a breakthrough in Central Asian energy market was achieved with the signing of a commercial agreement by ONGC Videsh Limited with the Kazakh State Company for oil block in the Caspian Sea.

“I understand few more such projects are in the pipeline,” he said.PTI


SM Krishna

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Kajol to do a cameo in Student of the Year

News4u-Entertainment Desk-Actress Kajol, who has been part of Karan Johar’s each and every film in the past, will be seen doing a cameo role in his upcoming film Student of the Year.

 

“Karan has always considered Kajol as his lucky mascot. So for Student Of The Year, he wanted her to do a special appearance and she readily agreed,” a source told PTI.

Johar, who made his directorial debut with Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, had Kajol and Shahrukh Khan in the lead. His next releases Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, My name is Khan andWe are family. too, had Kajol in the lead.

In his films as a producer, like Kal Ho Na Ho and Kabhi Alvida Na Kehnaas well, Kajol had made an appearance in one song each from both the movies.

“For this film (Student of the Year), she has already shot her part,” the source said.

However, whether Shahrukh Khan, whom Johar considers as his lucky mascot, is also doing a cameo in the film, is yet to be known.

Directed by Johar, Student Of The Year is a romantic-comedy. The film marks the debut of Alia Bhatt, daughter of filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt and Varun Dhawan, younger son of David Dhawan and newcomer Siddharth Malhotra.

The film has been produced by Johar and Shahrukh Khan under the banner of Dharma Productions and Red Chillies Entertainment.PTI

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Soon, 3D tech to help grow organs

News4u - Features Desk :LONDON: Scientists claim to have moved a step closer to developing lab-grown meat using a new 3D printing technique which they say could also be used to create working artificial organs for transplant in the future. 

Bioengineers can already make 2D structures out of tissue - but attempts to make organs or larger piece of meat usually lead to sludge. Now, a team from the University of Pennsylvania and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that 3D printing “templates” of sugar and growing meat over them can create living artificial “organs” with blood vessels.

The new technique, detailed in journal Nature Materials, works by printing organs “inside out” so that the blood vessels are printed first, then flesh is grown around them.

“Sometimes the simplest solutions come from going back to basics ,” study researcher Dr Jordan Miller was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail. “I got the first hint when I visited a Body Worlds exhibit , where you can see plastic casts of free-standing , whole organ vasculature,” he said.

The rapid casting technique hinged on the researchers developing a material that is rigid enough to exist as a 3D network of cylindrical filaments but which can also dissolve in water without toxic effects on cells. After much testing, they found the perfect mix of material properties in sugar.

“Since there’s no single type of gel that’s going to be optimal for every kind of engineered tissue, we also wanted to develop a sugar formula that would be broadly compatible with any cell type or water-based gel,” Miller said.

The whole process is quick and inexpensive, allowing the researchers to switch with ease between computer simulations and physical models of multiple vascular configurations.

The researchers found human blood vessel cells injected throughout the vascular networksspontaneously generated new capillary sprouts to increase the network’s reach, much in the way blood vessels in the body naturally grow. They then created gels containing primary liver cells to test if their technique could improve their function.

When researchers pumped nutrient-rich media through the gel’s template-fashioned vascular system, the liver cells boosted their production of albumin and urea, natural components of blood and urine, respectively, which are important measures of liver-cell function and health.PTI

3D tech to help grow organs

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Row hits heritage plan for Dilip Kumar’s Pakistan house

News4u-Entertainment Desk- The government’s plan to turn the ancestral home of Bollywood actor Dilip Kumar in Pakistan’s Peshawar city into a heritage site has come a cropper because there are too many claimants to the property.

The culture department was keen to preserve the ancestral home of the legendary actor and convert it into a heritage site, reported a newspaper.

The house is located in Mohalla Khudadad near Qissa Khwani Bazaar. A dingy building, it located at the end of a narrow street.

The authorities have been planning since February this year to buy the house where Dilip Kumar was born in Dec 11, 1922.

Yusuf Khan, who later took on the name Dilip Kumar, stayed in the house till the age of 12 before moving to Mumbai with his family.

The plan was also to bring Dilip Kumar’s personal belongings to the house from India to put it on display for visitors. A library of his films was also in the works.

But the plan hit a roadblock as government failed to buy the house as there were many claimants to the property.

“Now there are legal complications and till the time the rightful owner is not known, the directorate would not go ahead with the plan,” Culture Director Pervez Khan was quoted as saying.

The building is now being used as a warehouse.

The media report said that chances of getting old houses of Bollywood stars Shah Rukh Khanand Raj Kapoor, also located in Peshawar, have gone down.

“The extended family of Shah Rukh Khan is living in his ancestral house whereas a local family owning Kapoor’s house is not ready to sell it to the government,” Pervez Khan said.IANS

Dilip Kumar & Saira Banu

Dilip Kumar & Saira Banu

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UN designates Western Ghats as world heritage site

News4u-News Desk- UNITED NATIONS: India’s 1600-km longWestern Ghats mountain chain, which has forests older than the Himalaya mountains, has been added to list of world heritage sites by the United Nations.

The Western Ghats mountain chain is recognised as one of the world’s eight “hottest hotspots” of biological diversity. The chain’s forests, which are older than the Himalaya mountains influence the Indian monsoon weather pattern.

The ghats, which start at the border of Gujarat and Maharashtra and runs through the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala ending at Kanyakumari, was added to the World Heritage list by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco).

A historic opera house in Germany, a border town and its fortifications in Portugal, and 18 interconnected lakes in Chad are some other sites that have been added to the list.

The Margravial Opera House Bayreuth in Germany, which was built in the 18th century, is considered a masterpiece of Baroque theatre architecture. It is the only entirely preserved example of its type where an audience of 500 can experience Baroque court opera culture and acoustics authentically, as its auditorium retains its original materials.

The border town of Elvas and its fortifications in Portugal, was also added to the list, as the site represents the largest bulwarked dry ditch system in the world. While Elvas contains remains dating back to the 10th century, its fortification began when Portugal regained independence in 1640.

The World Heritage Committee meets once a year, and is responsible for the implementation of the Unesco World Heritage Convention, which defines the kind of natural or cultural sites which can be considered for inscription on the World Heritage List.PTI

Western Ghats

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