GJM to join talks with Bengal govt.

first_imgThe Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) on Saturday said it would attend the August 29 meeting convened by the West Bengal government after the party received an official invitation.“We have received an invitation last night so it has been decided that GJM will attend the meeting. A delegation of senior GJM leaders will attend the talks. It has not been decided who will be part of the delegation,” GJM MLA and senior leader Amar Singh Rai said.The announcement came even as the indefinite shut down in the Darjeeling hills entered its 73rd day.A senior State government official said, “We have sent letters to various parties including the GJM asking them to attend the talks. Other parties such as the JAP, the GNLF, the ABGL and many other parties of the hills have also been invited for talks.” The State government has called for talks on August 29 in response to a letter form the GNLF requesting a dialogue to restore normalcy in the hills. The GJM on Thursday wrote a letter to the West Bengal government expressing its willingness to attend the August 29 talks to resolve the Darjeeling stalemate. The letter, written by GJM leader Binay Tamang to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, had said, “No other alternative or modified step will do justice to our plight…other than creation of a separate Gorkhaland.” Mr. Tamang’s missive was preceded by a letter of GJM chief Bimal Gurung who wrote to the State government on Wednesday night requesting a “political dialogue” on Gorkhaland.last_img read more

Rohingya issue riles up Valley

first_imgSix police personnel were injured and a police vehicle set ablaze as protesters clashed with security forces in parts of the Valley over the “alleged killings and displacement of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar”.A police spokesman said miscreants from a mob pelted stones on the police and security force deployment at Anantnag’s Lal Chowk on Friday afternoon. “These miscreants set a police vehicle on fire. Six police personnel, including two officers, were injured in the incident,” said the police.The protesters were carrying placards calling for an end to the “persecution of Rohingya Muslims”. In Srinagar, areas under five police stations were placed under restrictions. More than a dozen protest marches were held in the Valley over the issue. Students at Kashmir University also held a demonstration.“A joint resolution framed by the MMU [Mutahida Majlis-e-Ulema] was passed unanimously in all mosques and shrines, where the United Nations and other world human rights bodies were urged to play their part in stopping the genocide of the Muslims of Myanmar,” said an MMU spokesman.Normal life was disrupted in the Chenab Valley, where a shutdown was observed over the issue. Protest marches were also held in Bhaderwah, Doda, Kishtwar and Thathri there.‘Humanitarian crisis’Communist Party of India(Marxist) leader M.Y. Tarigami termed the Rohingya issue “as a big humanitarian crisis”. “There were expectations that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his recent visit to that country, would take up this issue with the Myanmar government. Unfortunately, he did not. The refugee issue must be dealt with humanely,” said Mr. Tarigami.last_img read more

‘Alien’ flies attack villagers in eastern Assam, entomological study sought

first_imgThe administration in eastern Assam’s Sivasagar district has sought an entomological study on ‘alien’ flies that have been on a biting spree for a fortnight now.The fly, presumed to belong to an unidentified non-native species, is distinguished from its common cousin by its black body and pitch-black stripes on the wings.“Reports of attacks by this different-looking fly have come villages in the Dikhowmukh. People have complained of skin irritation and swelling but there is no health hazard as such,” Nawab Alazhar Ali, Sivasagar district’s deputy commissioner in-charge, said.The flies, locals said, appeared from nowhere about 15 days ago. People panicked when the insects, unlike common houseflies, began biting humans and livestock.Mr. Ali said the Regional Medical Research Centre at Lahowal in Dibrugarh district was asked to take samples for an entomological study. A team of doctors was sent to the affected area on Tuesday after entomologists from the research centre collected samples on Monday.Ripun Borpuzari, the district’s joint director health, who led a medical team said there was no reason to panic. “Simple medication is helping treat the itching and skin swelling. The problem is localised but we have ordered spraying of anti-mosquito repellent to prevent the flies from spreading to other areas,” he told The Hindu.Mr. Borpuzari said insect experts in the agriculture deparment have also been asked to study the fly and find out whether it is related to the African black fly that causes sleeping sickness.Health officials did not rule out the possibility of climate change and other ecological factors leading to morphological changes or mutation in flies found in the region.last_img read more

Akhilesh Yadav reiterates demand for paper ballot

first_imgA day after a large number of faulty EVMs and VVPATs were reported during voting for bypolls in Uttar Pradesh, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday raised the pitch in favour of the restoration of voting through ballot paper.He said common people no longer trusted the EVMs, which were proving to be a “threat to democracy”.‘Boost democracy’“Our demand is that all elections in future should be conducted through ballot paper. Ballot paper will strengthen democracy and increase public trust,” Mr. Yadav told reporters here.He said he would consult other non-BJP parties, including the Congress, to further strengthen his demand for ballot paper and rejection of EVM.Mr. Yadav alleged that the EVMs and VVPATs in the Kairana Lok Sabha and Noorpur Assembly bypolls were deliberately made faulty in the strongholds of the BJP’s opponents as part of a “strategy” to ensure the BJP’s victory.“It was their strategy to spoil the machines in areas where the SP-RLD (Rashtriya Lok Dal) alliance had more votes. The BJP knows that the poor, youth and farmers have rejected it,” Mr. Yadav said.Rejects argumentThe former U.P. CM rejected the Election Commission’s argument that heat may have played a role in the malfunctioning of a large number of the machines.“Why only in booths where the SP and RLD had votes? Was it cold elsewhere,” Mr. Yadav asked.As per the office of U.P. CEO, three ballot units, three control units and 384 VVPATs were replaced after receiving complaints of faults in Kairana and Noorpur on Monday.A total of 2,651 EVM control units, 2,651 ballot units and 2,596 VVPATs were deployed in the two bypolls.The RLD’s candidate in Kairana, Tabassum Hasan, wrote to the Chief Election Commissioner complaining about malfunctioning EVMs and VVPATs in the constituency. Despite raising the flag, the administration was not dealing with the issue and voters were being deliberately deprived of their right, she wrote.‘Systematic anarchy’As per her complaint, EVM-related snags were reported in around 140 booths across all the five Assembly segments in Kairana. RLD leader Jayant Chaudhary said: “So many malfunctioning EVMs point to some sort of systematic anarchy!”last_img read more

Shahkot all set for high-stakes bypoll

first_imgCampaigning for the Shahkot Assembly bypoll ended on Saturday and all necessary arrangements have been made for the polling which will be held on Monday, Punjab Chief Electoral Officer S. Karuna Raju said.Asserting that the Election Commission is committed to holding fair and peaceful election in Shahkot Assembly constituency, he said 25 teams have been formed to ensure no person — including political functionaries and party workers — who is not an elector in the constituency stays in Shahkot after campaigning ends.“These teams will check hotels, community halls, guesthouses and other places to find out the outsiders,” Mr. Raju said, adding check-posts have been set up in the constituency borders to track vehicle movements from outside Shahkot.He said 1,72,676 voters will decide the fate of 12 candidates in fray. Voting will start at 7 a.m. on May 28 and will go on till 6 p.m. Counting of votes will be held on May 31.Of the 236 polling stations in the constituency, webcasting will be done at 103 stations. As many as 1,416 polling staff, 1,022 Punjab police and Border Security Force personnel, and 80 micro observers have been deputed in Shahkot, he said.CEO Raju said EVMs and VVPATs will be deployed at all polling stations and 15% additional EVMs have been kept in reserve in case some machines malfunction during polling.CM’s roadshowSenior Congress leader and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh attended a roadshow on the last day of campaigning for the bypoll and held the Shiromani Akali Dal responsible for “total lack of development” in the constituency represented by it for the last 14 years. He said in contrast, the Congress had in just 14 months brought development back on track across the State.Exuding confidence that Congress candidate Hardev Singh Laddi would win the by-election with a sweeping mandate, he said the momentum for a clear and resounding victory had been built over the past few days by the party.Capt. Singh said that he had announced infrastructure development projects worth ₹113 crore for Shahkot in March this year and promised the people that his government would continue to invest in their welfare.According to the SAD’s demand, CRPF personnel have been deployed for the election and now the opposition will have no excuse for their defeat in the polls, the Chief Minister told reporters during the five-hour-long roadshow.The Shahkot bypoll was necessitated following the demise of MLA Ajit Singh Kohar. Congress has fielded Mr. Laddi while the SAD has given the ticket to Kohar’s son Naib Singh Kohar. The Aam Aadmi Party has nominated Rattan Singh Kakkar Kalan for the bypoll.last_img read more

Congress, AIUDF sniff drive to strike linguistic and religious minorities off NRC in Assam

first_imgThe Congress and All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) have sniffed a drive by the BJP-led government in Assam and officials to strike the names of millions of people belonging to religious and linguistic communities off the Supreme Court-monitored National Register of Citizens (NRC).The NRC of 1951 is being updated for weeding out illegal migrants, around whom electoral politics is woven in Assam. The first draft with names of 1.9 crore people out of 3.29 crore applicants was published on December 31, 2017. The second and final draft is scheduled to be published by June 30.With less than a month to go for the final draft, the AIUDF has accused the BJP-led government of planning to drop about 4 million minorities from the final draft. The Congress has made a similar allegation while saying the State NRC authority has been “using any possible excuse to try and exclude many genuine Indian citizens from the NRC”.In a letter to State NRC Coordinator Prateek Hajela on Saturday, the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) cited a few cases of harassment to point out how the State NRC authority has suggested non-inclusion of certain names by sending a list to NRC seva kendras that are processing documents related to citizenship of applicants and members of their families.‘Questionable list’Terming the list sent to the seva kendras as questionable, the CLP cited ‘targeted’ names. They include Tanko Bahadur Pradhan, Laxmi Pradhan, Deepa Sarkar and Kumkum Bhattacharjee of Karimganj district; Sudhangshu Das, Kusum Das, Alaka Biswas, Rina Barman and Rafikul Islam of Nagaon district; and Umme Kulsum of Mankachar district.These people, the CLP said, are descendants of people figuring in the voters’ list before March 24, 1971, the cut-off date according to the Assam Accord of 1983 to detect and deport foreigners.“There are sufficient prima facie indications that there is a concerted drive to exclude bona-fide citizens, especially religious and linguistic minorities, from the final draft of the NRC. The extent to which the rot has set in can be gauged from the fate of two members of a family belonging to the linguistic minority community, who are residents of Kulidunga village under Ooluoni police station in (Nagaon district’s) Kaliabor,” the CLP said.Prahlad and Ashutosh Das, two Hindu Bengali brothers cited by the Congress, had their names in the first NRC draft but were picked up from their home by the Border Police personnel last week (May 31). Both were sent to a detention camp for foreigners in Tezpur.Assam police’s border unit is tasked with detecting suspected foreigners as well as D-voters (doubtful voters) and initiating action against them. There are six detention camps in the State for such people.The Congress also cited the example of 39-year-old Subrata Dey who “died in mysterious circumstances” at a detention camp in Goalpara. Mr. Dey had been declared a foreigner by a Foreigners’ Tribunal even though the names of his grandfather and father were included in the NRC of 1951. “His only problem was that the family had to relocate several times over the decades due to erosion caused by river Brahmaputra,” the Congress said.Targeting MuslimsThe AIUDF accused the BJP of raising the bogey of illegal Muslim migrants to shift attention from the angered generated by the “contentious” Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.“BJP legislators urge people to wait for publication of the final NRC draft whenever the Citizenship Bill issue is raised. It is a conspiracy through which the State government plans to drop the names of about 4 million largely Muslim citizens from the NRC. If so many illegal Muslims are detected in Assam, people will automatically support the Bill,” AIUDF general secretary Aminul Islam said on Saturday.He cited two notifications by Mr. Hajela, the NRC coordinator, to deputy commissioners across Assam to underline how the “BJP is trying to manipulate the NRC updating process”.The NRC coordinator’s notice on May 1 said court affidavits, village head certificates, private school or college certificates, birth certificates issued by authorities other than health department, village panchayat, lat mandal and circle officer certificates submitted by men and unmarried women, birth certificates with delayed registration cannot be considered legally admissible for NRC.Through another notice on May 2, the NRC coordinator directed officials in the updating process not to include names of siblings of a person detected as an illegal citizen.“We have moved the Supreme Court against harassment through these two notices meant to drop many minority people from the NRC,” Mr. Islam saidMr. Hajela said the two notices were based on the apex court’s direction. “We are just implementing the orders of the SC that is supervising the whole NRC exercise. It is up to the court to address problems people might face,” he told newspersons.last_img read more

ScienceShot: Some Birds Thrive in Chernobyl’s Radioactive Glow

first_imgNearly 28 years after the worst nuclear accident in history, several bird species are doing the seemingly impossible: flourishing inside the radioactive Chernobyl Exclusion Zone in Ukraine. Due to lingering radiation from the 1986 meltdown of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, humans aren’t allowed to live there—but the region has become an accidental ecological testing ground for scientists interested in studying the effects of radiation on wild animals. Ionizing radiation damages living cells by producing free radicals, leading to genetic damage and, eventually, death. An animal’s only hope is to neutralize those free radicals by upping its production of antioxidants. And that’s exactly what most birds in Chernobyl seem to be doing—with even better results than scientists expected. A team of ecologists used nets to capture 152 birds from 16 species inside and around the 2600-square-kilometer exclusion zone. After assessing the birds’ antioxidant levels, amount of DNA damage, and body condition, the researchers were surprised to find that most of the birds, like the hawfinch pictured above, seemed to benefit from the chronic exposure to radiation. Birds found in areas with higher radiation levels had more antioxidants and better overall body condition, the team reports online this week in Functional Ecology. This is the first known example of wild animals adapting to chronic radiation exposure, the researchers say. The only two bird species negatively affected by the radiation—the great tit (Parus major) and barn swallow (Hirundo rustica)—both produce large amounts of pinkish pheomelanin pigment in their feathers. Because pheomelanin production requires lots of antioxidants, the researchers suspect these birds may not have enough left over to fight off the free radicals. In Chernobyl, it seems that fancy feathers come at a high price.See more ScienceShots.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

Atlantic sharks making a comeback

first_imgAtlantic white sharks may be at the top of the food chain, but trophy fishing and inadvertent catch by fisherfolk—known as by-catch—decimated their numbers in the western North Atlantic Ocean by as much as 73% in the 1970s and 1980s. That led to major international protections, restricting, in some waters, finning or commercial harvesting—and a new database on shark sightings in the western North Atlantic Ocean suggests the measures are working. The study, which included 649 confirmed records of shark captures or sightings between 1800 and 2010, combined new records gathered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration with previously published data. Since 1990, scientists found, the sharks’ abundance is now “comparable to what it was in the 1930s and 1940s,” wrote authors in PLOS ONE this week, noting that this is “a more optimistic outlook for the recovery of this iconic predator.” Although rebounds are also apparent in the southern Atlantic and Pacific oceans, preventing by-catch worldwide can help protect “the long-term sustainability of their populations,” the authors add. Some celebratory chum for shark fans: The biggest animal documented in the study was more than 5 meters long.last_img read more

Some good Ebola news for a change: Nigeria outbreak over and other developments

first_imgThere is some welcome good news about the Ebola epidemic today: The outbreak in Nigeria is officially over. Today the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that the country has gone the required 42 days since the last new case was isolated and is “free of Ebola virus transmission.” The news follows several other hopeful notes. On Friday, Senegal received the same designation, after following up on contacts from a case imported from Guinea. Yesterday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that close contacts of the first case diagnosed in the United States had completed their 21-day isolation period and were uninfected. In addition, a nurse in Spain and a Norwegian worker for Doctors Without Borders have both recovered from their infections.Nigeria’s success at stopping the outbreak was due to a rapid response by health authorities, as well as a healthy dose of good luck—a patient who exposed many people to the virus but infected few. As the WHO statement details, the outbreak began when a Liberian man infected with the virus flew to Lagos for a meeting. He was visibly ill before boarding the plane, vomited on the flight, and collapsed on arrival. He died a few days later, but infected several of the people who met him at the airport as well as nine health care workers.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)One of the close contacts escaped the epidemiological monitors who were tracking people who had been exposed. He secretly flew to Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers state in Nigeria and was treated by a private doctor in a hotel room. He survived and flew back to Lagos, but the doctor became infected. The doctor continued working after developing symptoms, and he did not tell anyone he had had contact with an Ebola patient even after he was admitted to a hospital. He was diagnosed with Ebola only 5 days after his death. His behavior exposed at least 200 people to the virus, 60 of whom WHO considered high-risk or very high-risk exposures. Just a few of those became infected, however: his wife and his sister, who both recovered, and one other patient at the hospital where he was treated, who died.*The Ebola Files: Given the current Ebola outbreak, unprecedented in terms of number of people killed and rapid geographic spread, Science and Science Translational Medicine have made a collection of research and news articles on the viral disease freely available to researchers and the general public.last_img read more

Could digital badges clarify the roles of co-authors?

first_imgEver look at a research paper and wonder how the half-dozen or more authors contributed to the work? After all, it’s usually only the first or last author who gets all the media attention or the scientific credit when people are considered for jobs, grants, awards, and more. Some journals try to address this issue with the “authors’ contributions” sections within a paper, but a collection of science, publishing, and software groups is now developing a more modern solution—digital “badges,” assigned on publication of a paper online, that detail what each author did for the work and that the authors can link to their profiles elsewhere on the Web.   Those organizations include publishers BioMed Central and the Public Library of Science; The Wellcome Trust research charity; software development groups Mozilla Science Lab (a group of researchers, developers, librarians, and publishers) and Digital Science (a software and technology firm); and ORCID, an effort to assign researchers digital identifiers. The collaboration presented its progress on the project at the Mozilla Festival in London that ended last week. (Mozilla is the open software community behind the Firefox browser and other programs.)Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The infrastructure of the badges is still being established, with early prototypes scheduled to launch early next year, according to Amye Kenall, the journal development manager of open data initiatives and journals at BioMed Central. She envisions the badge process in the following way: Once an article is published, the publisher would alert software maintained by Mozilla to automatically set up an online form, where authors fill out roles using a detailed contributor taxonomy. After the authors have completed this, the badges would then appear next to their names on the journal article, and double-clicking on a badge would lead to the ORCID site for that particular author, where the author’s badges, integrated with their publishing record, live.The digital badges reflect dissatisfaction with efforts to include simple published descriptions of author contributions. Most journals don’t mandate such a section, or, even if it is present, it is not standardized—meaning it’s often vague, with not enough detail on the skills, techniques, or methods each author brought to work. Some journals, including Psychological Science, Cortex, and the Journal of Research in Personality, already offer badges that reflect something about the overall study rather than specific co-authors. For example, if the results of the study are proven to be reproducible from other researchers, the article is given a “reproducibility” badge; or, if the authors decide to choose the open-data application, which allows other scientists to reuse their data, the article is assigned an “open data” badge. These badges are “a good illustration of the flexibility of badge infrastructure,” Kenall says, “but our aim with the [authorship] badges is to allow for transparency and credit.”The parties behind the digital badge effort are “looking to change behavior” of scientists in the competitive dog-eat-dog world of academia by acknowledging contributions, says Kaitlin Thaney, director of Mozilla Science Lab. Amy Brand, vice president of academic and research relations and VP of North America at Digital Science, says that the collaboration believes that the badges should be optional, to accommodate old-fashioned or less tech-savvy authors. She says that the digital credentials may improve lab culture, countering situations where junior scientists are caught up in lab politics and the “star,” who didn’t do much of the actual research apart from obtaining the funding, gets to be the first author of the paper and receive the most credit. “All of this calls out for more transparency,” Brand says.Kenall says the process by which contributions are assigned to specific digital badges—i.e., “so and so did this”—should be agreed upon by all the authors. “In that way, it’s not terribly radical. It’s just a way of catching the information in a machine-readable and standardized way,” she says.The Wellcome Trust, in collaboration with Digital Science, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and data software company Access Innovations, has recently created a 14-role “taxonomy” to classify author contributions. An online survey of corresponding authors of recently published articles was conducted to provide community input on the proposed taxonomy. Of the authors who completed the survey, 82% felt the taxonomy presented the authorship in the work at least “the same” (37%) or “better” (45%) than how the contributions were originally recorded. Thaney says that, given the favorable response from researchers and publishers, it would be advantageous to implement the badges using this taxonomy. The Contributor Roles Taxonomy is now being reviewed, and the Wellcome Trust and Digital Science are awaiting additional community feedback from subject experts.One factor that may initially limit the usefulness of digital credentials is the massive amount of already published research, for which badges would still need to be implemented retroactively. Kenall says that it’s possible to cover those older publications, but that would not be implemented until later versions of the badge infrastructure.Thaney says the digital credentials may also offer additional job security for researchers, which could lead to social benefits such as funding, specialist training that is required, and respect between peers. The badges could also offer a more detailed, transparent measure of researcher productivity than existing metrics such as the h-index. “I believe that new metrics will be built on top of [the badges]. They will be better metrics,” Brand suggests. “I’m a fan of having a range of metrics.” Thaney adds. “Whether one beats the other in the end, we’ll see. More data is never bad.”*Editor’s note: The author worked at BioMed Central from September 2012 until June 2014, but had no involvement with the digital badges project.last_img read more

As Trump seeks to tighten visa rules, Indian IT firms are spending freely to lobby US policymakers

first_imgAs President Donald Trump threatens to tighten the United States’ immigration policies, Indian technology giants are lobbying harder than ever in Washington.In 2017, India’s second-largest information technology services company, Infosys, spent $2,00,000 on lobbying the US Congress, four times more than it did in the previous year, data from the non-profit Center for Responsive Politics showed. Wipro, the third-largest company in the sector, spent $1,30,000, five and a half times more than a year ago.Read it at Scroll Related Itemslast_img

US Journalist Covering Sterlite Asked To Leave India For Allegedly Violating Visa Rules

first_imgA freelance journalist from the United States who was covering the Sterlite copper plant case in Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi district was asked to leave India for allegedly violating visa rules, reports said on Tuesday. Superintendent of Police Murali Rambha said he, as foreigner registration officer in Thoothukudi district, issued Mark Scialla a Leave India Notice, The Hindu reported.Read it at Scroll Related Itemslast_img

Canada And UK Become Top Destinations For Indian Job Seekers

first_imgIndian job seekers, especially techies, have started to look for new destinations after the United States tightened its immigration policies. According to a recent report by job portal Indeed, Canada and UK emerged as the top destinations among Indians, and other nationals as well. There has been a substantial decline in job searches in the United States, and most of this chunk of international job seekers have shifted their interest towards Canada and UK. High paying jobs in technology, research and finance feature on top of these searches.Read it at Financial Express Related Itemslast_img

Jet closure impacts air traffic to Tier 2 cities

first_imgAirports like Bhuj, Rajkot and Aurangabad (categorised as Tier 2 cities) have lost out the most due to the closure of Jet Airways. They reported the highest drop of 85%, 55% and 42% in air traffic respectively, while sectors like Mumbai-Delhi that had a considerable share of Jet flights at its peak is back to nearly the same number of flights.After Jet Airways suspended flights on April 17, airlines have been quick to fill the slots by inducting aircraft and adding flights across their networks. There are some airports which have been hit harder than others. While Bhuj reported an 85% impact, Mumbai was impacted 23%.According to data released by the Airports Authority of India (AAI), Jet Airways operated four flights daily between Mumbai and Rajkot, while Bhuj and Aurangabad had two daily departures. Post April 17, Bhuj is now serviced by Alliance Air with four flights a week. Rajkot and Aurangabad similarly have a single daily flight by Air India.While airlines have taken up most of slots vacated by Jet Airways, Spicejet on Tuesday reported the highest loads for May. “For the 50th month in a row, Spicejet has flown with the highest loads in India. In May, our Passenger Load Factor stood at 93.9%. This is a feat unparalleled in global aviation industry and a huge milestone for Spicejet,” said Shilpa Bhatia, chief sales and revenue officer, Spicejet.Data analysed by aviation analyst Ameya Joshi shows the number passengers who departed from Rajkot in April was 12,896 down from close to 30,000 at the same time last year. “In Bhuj, the drop is steeper. It fell from 15,633 passengers in April 2018 to 2,269,” he said. Mr. Joshi pointed out that in the case of Bhuj, the impact is so serious that Nashik, Durgapur, Vijaynagar and Lilabari together had more passengers in April.Kinjal Shah, vice-president and co-head, corporate sector ratings, CRA, said that while the increased airfares have supported the profitability of airlines during the fourth quarter of financial year 2018-2019 and the first quarter of the current financial year, the impact on passenger growth did not bode well for the industry.last_img read more

Two men threatened, forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ in Aurangabad

first_imgTwo men were allegedly threatened and forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ in Aurangabad city by some unidentified persons, the second such incident here in the last four days, the police said on Monday.The incident, which took place on Sunday night at Azad Chowk, triggered tension in the area, following which police stepped up security.A case has been registered and search is on to nab the miscreants, an official said.Shaikh Amer (24), a delivery boy with food ordering app Zomato, and his friend Shaikh Nasir (26) were waiting to hire an auto-rickshaw when four to five men in a car allegedly intercepted them, abused their religious identity and threatened to kill them if they did not say ‘Jai Shri Ram’, he said.The two men, out of fear, then chanted ‘Jai Shri Ram’, the police official said, adding that later on seeing some passersby, those in the car fled.The incident was captured on a CCTV camera and the footage is being examined to identify the car, the official said, adding that it was not clear if the miscreants were armed.Commissioner of Police Chiranjeev Prasad told reporters that “a complaint has been received of two youths being intercepted and forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ by four to five men in a car.”last_img read more

Udayanraje Bhosale declares assets worth ₹170 crore

first_imgThe Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate from Satara for the Lok Sabha bypolls, Udayanraje Bhosale, has declared assets worth ₹170 crore. A former Nationalist Congress Party MP from the constituency, Mr. Bhosale had announced his entry into the BJP last month. He filed his nominations this week, after his name featured in the party’s first list of candidates. The declared assets include five cars — two Mercedes-Benz (one with number 007), a Ford Endeavour, an Audi, a Maruti Gypsy and a Volkswagen Polo (belonging to his wife). He also declared jewellery worth ₹1.5 crore, among other movable and immovable assets. Mr. Bhosale was the richest candidate in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls with declared assets worth ₹199 crore.last_img

Separating Jagga and Balia: How AIIMS doctors separated high-risk twins from Odisha

first_imgPuspanjali Kanhar, 33, vividly remembers the first time she took her newborn twins to her village Milipada, located in the lush green tribal belt of Kandhamal district in Odisha. She was nervous and frightened. Hers were no ‘ordinary’ twins, they were joined at the head. The entire village gathered around her in curiosity. Puspanjali also recalls her own horror and confusion when she saw her children for the first time. “The doctors and nurses called out to each other when they realised in the middle of the delivery that everything wasn’t going as expected,” she says. “The delivery itself was tough. I was in a lot of pain. When they showed me the children, I screamed.” She pauses. “I couldn’t cradle them. I couldn’t breastfeed them. They had to be given feeding bottles. After a few months in the hospital, we went home with the twins.”That unexpected day was April 9, 2015. Puspanjali had no idea then that her twins would go into history books two years later. On August 28, 2017, a battery of doctors working round the clock at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi began the extraordinarily complicated process of separating the twins, Jagannath (Jagga) and Balaram (Balia). There was nervousness and expectation in the air; the stakes were high. But three months and two major surgeries later, the doctors were successful. Following their separation, Jagga and Balia were kept under observation in Delhi for two years. Now they are back in Odisha, in the busy Srirama Chandra Bhanja Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack, over 260 km from Milipada, where they are undergoing care and rehabilitation. Jagga and Balia are still subjects of curiosity everywhere, but in a different way now: they are famous as the country’s only surviving twins who were craniopagus conjoined and then separated. They are being hailed by some as little medical marvels. ‘I was terrified’ While their mother speaks to me near the window of the hospital room of Srirama Chandra Bhanja, the stronger of the twins, Jagga, is busy singing the English alphabet and staring at a book that he is holding upside down. “Jagga is calm, curious and easygoing, while Balia is moody. Jagga loves to interact with people; Balia is more reserved,” says Puspanjali. For Puspanjali, Milipada has been her home for as long as she can remember. She had never stepped out of the confines of her village until the time she was taken to the city hospital in Phiringiya in Kandhamal district 10 days before the babies were due. Milipada is a village without a motorable road, where most women deliver at home. When the time comes, midwives are summoned, the baby is delivered, and the umbilical cord cut.“My two other boys were delivered at home, and this was to be no different,” Puspanjali recalls. “But I felt a strange uneasiness towards the final term of my pregnancy. I was in severe pain in the last 15 days before the delivery. That’s when my husband Bhuyan and I took a ride down to the city hospital.” Bhuyan does odd jobs and the family does not have a steady source of income. “I don’t remember a lot about the trip, except that I was in constant pain,” she continues. “I walked some distance and when I got tired, we hired an auto to reach the hospital. Doctors assured us that everything was fine, but I felt uneasy. A midwife at the Phiringya hospital who had massaged me told me that I was carrying twins. But nothing prepared me for what was to follow. We decided to stay back near the hospital instead of heading back to the village that day. Coming to the hospital again would have been too expensive and physically demanding.” “Immediately after the delivery at the city hospital, a nurse told me that we had been blessed with twins,” Bhuyan joins in. “She then said they were fused together, and that the doctors were wondering what to do. I could not comprehend what she was saying and kept asking her about my children. She took me to see the children. I was terrified. I could not even begin to imagine the medical strain and turmoil that awaited us. I started crying,” he says. Puspanjali and Bhuyan took their twins back to their village in Kandhamal, to a devastated family. Bhuyan’s mother, however, got over the shock and took to the children almost instantly. She fed them, initially in a bottle and then with a spoon, and bathed them, even as Puspanjali was recovering from the normal delivery that wasn’t easy.One in 25 lakh The twins were often taken to the city hospital for treatment. The doctors there realised that Jagga and Balia were high-risk babies. Even attempting an invasive intervention could prove fatal for both. Admitting that the case needed a skilled, collaborative effort for any favourable outcome, they referred the children to AIIMS. The twins were first brought to the Delhi hospital in July 2017, aged two, with a combined weight of 20 kg. They underwent a series of tests.  Twins joined at the head are rare. AIIMS records only 116 such births since 1912, of which both the twins in the set survived only in 15 cases. “Craniopagus is the rarest form of conjoined twins with an overall occurrence rate of 0.6 per million births,” says A.K. Mahapatra, the co-lead of the final surgery. S.S. Kale, the head of department of neurology at AIIMS, says that these twins are always genetically identical and thus same sex, which is often female. (The female to male ratio among these babies is 4:1.) “Race, maternal age, heredity or environmental reasons are not known to cause this. Relatively few craniopagus twins survive the perinatal period — approximately 40% of the twins are stillborn and an additional 33% die within the immediate perinatal period, usually from congential organ anomalies,” he says. “We knew that the stakes were very high,” says Deepak Gupta, professor of neurosurgery and head of the team that separated the twins on October 25 after a 25 hour-long surgery that brought together 125 doctors and support staff from AIIMS. Together with the first surgery of 20 hours, the combined surgery time to separate the twins was 45 hours. The Odisha government sanctioned ₹1 crore for the surgery. It continues to bear the costs of treatment and rehabilitation. AIIMS has now returned ₹80 lakh to the Odisha government. It charges the twins only for medicines and equipment that are not available with the State government. It was with many medical personnel, advanced technology, intensive research and practice sessions, and countless hours of care that the medical team at AIIMS performed what is being called a breakthrough in the medical fraternity the world over. “The world was watching us. Our success has put India on the world map. Of course, the fact that we would save the lives of two children was our driving force. There were times when we hit lows, yet our team persisted,” Gupta says.Paediatricians Rakesh Lodha and Sheffali Gulat add: “The goal was to ensure the best outcome for these little boys. When Jagga responds to us positively, and when we see him growing, the struggle seems like an opportunity to learn more.” Separation and complicationsThe doctors explain the case. Jagga and Balia shared brain tissue and venous sinus and needed two invasive procedures before their final separation. “Technological developments helped,” says Gupta. 3-D prints and models were made after preliminary investigations for drawing the road map to operate. The world over, neurosurgeons use a high-definition 3-D imaging device to see inside the brain during surgery, allowing them to map safer pathways to reach and remove tumours.In the first phase of the surgery, doctors created a venous bypass to separate the veins returning blood to the heart from the brain of the twins. In the final separation, skin grafting and minor neurosurgical procedures were done by the plastic surgery team to cover skin defects. But despite their “best-laid plans and despite having the best brains and hands on the operation table during the final separation”, Jagga suffered a cardiac arrest during the surgery, Gupta says. That adversely affected his renal system. “He required dialysis for some time. And Balia suffered seizures which caused intellectual impairment,” he says.“During the final separation, our cardiac and neuro-anaesthetists played a very important role in pulling Jagga through,” he continues. “In the last few hours of the marathon 20-hour surgery, Jagga’s heart stopped after being physically separated from his twin. When that happened, our cardiac anaesthesiologist Sandeep Chauhan resuscitated the child for almost 35 minutes non-stop and brought him back to life again.”  In the final surgery, the twins’ head skin flaps were covered.The long road aheadA year after the surgery, AIIMS considered discharging the boys. “But parents and State authorities weren’t sure if they would be able to provide the best for the children. So we decided to host them for some more time,” says Maneesh Singhal, a plastic surgeon at the hospital. After coordination with the Odisha government, the twins were taken to Cuttack in September by train, after a lot of preparation and teary farewells in Delhi. Though separated, the twins have a long medical, developmental, and social battle to win, for a semblance of normal life to begin. For one, they will need hospital assistance for care and rehabilitation, and going back to their village any time in the near future seems impossible, say the hospital staff at AIIMS. They will also need skin grafts and extensive physiotherapy to allow them a good quality of life. Besides this, other challenges too await the boys. Jagga, 4, has to go to school and needs to wear a special helmet to protect the part of his skull that has to grow back. This will protect him from falls and injuries. He has to avoid contact sports, says Singhal. “He will need strong psychosocial support and rehabilitation during his growing phase. He will also undergo cranioplasty [surgical repair of a bone defect in the skull],” says Gupta. Besides the medical challenges, the boys are still to get to know their family, especially their two older brothers, Dhaitya, 10, and Ajit, 8. “They have to relearn the normal life of a child — play with children of their age, have social interactions with family, friends and neighbours and even pets. They have to basically outgrow their hospital way of life,” Gupta explains. While Jagga is “thriving”, Balia is currently battling chest infection after the duo was discharged from AIIMS over a month ago. He is on ventilator support. Balia will need a lot of time to recover from his neurological status and needs special supportive care for a few years at least, say doctors.‘Maybe God has a plan’ Jagga lives with his parents on the second floor of the same hospital unit where Balia is undergoing treatment. Given all these challenges ahead, “I don’t know where life is going,’’ says Puspanjali as she helps Jagga drink his milk. She speaks of both of them lovingly, sharing little details of their development. Like any child, Jagga is fussy about the food he eats. “He loves fish fry, chicken and flavoured milk.” Nobody is allowed to mess with Jagga’s prized possession, a multicoloured plastic ball with which he plays every day. Walking around in his helmet, Jagga is like any other four-year-old — he cannot wait to play with his older brother who recently visited him at the hospital. The twins recovering after their surgery in AIIMS, Delhi.  | Photo Credit: PTI center_img The couple’s older children Dhaitya, 10, and Ajit, 8, in their village Milipada in Kandhamal district of Odisha.  | Photo Credit: Biswaranjan Rout For Puspanjali, life has been full of twists and turns and surprises. She describes her journey to Delhi: “It was like a foreign country!” But the kindness of the staff there made things easy, she says. “We were told before every operation that either or both the children may not survive, but I was sure that I wanted them to be separated. They could not have lived like that. Maybe God has a plan. I hope he has a good plan because we have no plan, no idea, no resources of our own,’’ she says. Despite all the odds and hardship and the constant fear that her twins may not survive, Puspanjali says that the struggle has been worth it. “I can’t remember how we descended from the hills of my village and came to Delhi with nothing but hope. The doctors at AIIMS told us that this is the children’s destiny. Nurses also say that God will show us the way forward,” she says.Puspanjali and Bhuyan also miss their home. “We have been out for over 700 days now. We don’t know if we will finally take back our children alive from here,” says Bhuyan.“I miss my bed, the food there, my pond, and I miss having a life without so much chaos and uncertainty,” says Puspanjali, in the broken Hindi that she has picked up in Delhi. Back in Milipada, villagers feel that the twins’ arrival has also drawn the attention of the State government to the condition of the village. The villagers are protective of the twins. “Poverty has driven my children and grandchildren away from us when we need them the most. But we wish them a good life and all the comfort that we can’t even imagine. If not anything else, they will at least have good food once a day and access to a hospital when they are sick. That itself is a miracle,” says the boys’ grandfather, Turuda.Spotlight on KandhamalThe case has also put the spotlight on Kandhamal. The district has about 810 inaccessible villages that can only be reached by foot. This is why most women deliver at home. But things are also changing for women like Puspanjali. The district is showing admirable growth in institutional delivery, following interventions by the State government. Use of bike ambulances, delivery vans and ‘Janani’ autorickshaws have helped Kandhamal shed its ‘backward’ tag and emerge at the top of the 30 districts in Odisha, says a State health official. The government estimated a 103% rise in institutional deliveries in Kandhamal from April to July this year. This was the highest rate of institutional deliveries in the State, and higher than the State average of 76% during this period, the official says. Puspanjali and Bhuyan hope to go back some day to this improved district, where everyone waits for them eagerly. “We are totally dependent on charity for our children’s survival. While Jagga is making progress, Balia isn’t doing well. I know that Balia may not make it, but I feel that at least one of my children should have a better life than me,” Puspanjali says.last_img read more