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NITI Aayog Member extols Nehru’s views on science

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Mumbai, May 8 NITI Aayog Member and defence scientist Vijay Kumar Saraswat on Wednesday extolled the virtues of India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru who believed that only science and technology could remove hunger and poverty from the country.

Inaugurating a mega science expo, the first “Vigyan Samagam” at the Nehru Science Centre before a distinguished audience, Saraswat said it would go a long way in attracting the best brains to science which have been migrating to fields like Information Technology.

“Former PM Nehru had said it is only science and technology which can remove hunger and poverty from the country. From then onwards, India had made great strides in basic research. Science is used not only to create energy but also for cancer research,” Saraswat said.

Besides, atomic energy, India has made great contributions in the field of space science, as evident in Mangalyan and Chandrayan missions, he pointed out.

However, India still faces serious problems like high infant mortality rate and penury for which Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked Indian science to step out of laboratories and solve problems confronting the society, Saraswat said in his inaugural address.

“Commercialisation of research has to happen for economic development. Better understanding of the universe and planet will help solve problems that we have created by adverse use of science and technology without regard for the environment,” he urged.

Other prominent dignitaries speaking on the occasion included Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India (Prof) K. Vijay Raghavan, Department of Atomic Energy Secretary and Chairman Atomic Energy Commission K. N. Vyas and Department of Science and Technology Secretary Ashutosh Sharma, among others.

Other important speakers included CERN Director for Accelerators and Technology Frederick Bordry, Swiss Ambassador to India Andreas Baum, Atomic Energy Commission Secretary Arun Srivastav and National Council of Science Museums Director-General A.D. Choudhary.

Sponsored by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Department of Science & Technology (DST), in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, the 11-month-long science exhibition inaugurated in Mumbai will travel to New Delhi, Kolkata and Bengaluru.

From Mumbai, the exhibition will go to Bengaluru on July 29-September 28, Kolkata November 4-December 31 and finally to New Delhi on January 21, 2020-March 20, after which it will be converted into a permanent exhibition at the NCSM in the national capital.

The expo takes the viewers from the world of micro to macro, unveil the efforts of the global community in understanding the working of the vast universe, its origins and evolution.

It will showcase the work of DAE on nuclear technology, fundamental science and research, discovery of the Higgs Particle to gravitational waves, merger of neutron stars and Black Holes, and India’s contribution to global science in innovations, research, space and nuclear technology.

Well-known scientists and experts in different fields like Shivprasad Khened, Director of Nehru Science Centre, DST’s Head of Scientific Division Praveer Asthana, former AEC Chairman P. Chidambaram, former Principal Scientific Advisor Anil Kakodkar, S. Banerjee, R.K. Sinha and S. Basu also graced the event.

India

Virtual classes, empty rooms, Delhi’s coaching hub’s a ghost town now

In old Rajinder Nagar, there are more than 63 blocks which have more than 630 houses. There are approximately 7,560 rooms, where a large number of students used to stay.

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Delhi School Pollution Mask

New Delhi, July 4 : The national capital’s Rajinder Nagar is a buzzing locality of aspiring youngsters who come here to get coached for their future. They not only dot every length and breadth of the Delhi locality, but collectively drive the area”s economy. Today, with nearly 80 per cent of them gone, the area is not only wrapped in an eerie silence, but the areas economy too has dried up significantly.

Ask Rajat Sapra, who runs a dhaba in Old Rajinder Nagar that he fondly named ”Friend Restaurant”, and he will answer, “Previously, we used to have 100 to 150 students coming to eat everyday. Now, we are left with barely 20 per cent of the orders, including those that we get from online sales.”

He added, “Before the lockdown and particularly during Unlcok 1.0, most of them had gone back home. We have 50-60 dhabas in this locality. But we had more street vendors who would sell food here. None of them are here anymore.”

Empty streets, economy dried up and the buzz gone, Rajinder Nagar, which was known for the youth who stayed here, resembles a ghost town now.

Praveen, who preferred only to give his first name, coordinates the KSG Institute. Ask him the reason and pat he will answer, “From June 19, we started online classes. There used to be around 600 students who used to come for coaching. But now, all have shifted to online classes.”

The KSG Institute is not alone. There are approximately 50 coaching centres around the area that trains thousands of students for competitive exams like the Indian Administrative Service (IAS).

While the students going back haven”t hurt the coaching centres, but they have hurt the rest, including the real estate agents who broker rent deals for them.

Sahil Bachani, who owns one such outlet at Sad Guru Kirpa Properties, told IANS, “If you ask me, there”s not even 1,000 students left out of 5,000 students in the radius of 3.5 km.”

Another broker, Ashok Agarwal, said that students who left in a hurry before the lockdown returned during Unlock 1.0, only to take back their belongings and return home.

In old Rajinder Nagar, there are more than 63 blocks which have more than 630 houses. There are approximately 7,560 rooms, where a large number of students used to stay.

One broker claims, the collective loss in brokerage in the area comes to the tune of Rs 4 crore.

With libraries shut, vendors vanishing, classrooms which shifted to the online mode and minimal eateries opening, Rajinder Nagar is not just braving the loss of income, but is adjusting to a more silent, empty neighborhood that it hasn”t seen in decades.

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Business

Corona impact: CAIT demands de-sealing of Delhi shops

According to CAIT National Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal, estimates show that about 6,000 shops have been sealed in Delhi.

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DELHI LOCKDOWN

New Delhi, July 4 : The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on Saturday demanded that shops in Delhi be de-sealed immediately without further delay.

Accordingly, in a letter to the Union Urban Development Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, CAIT demanded that “Delhi sealed shops should now be de -sealed immediately without further delay”.

Besides, the traders’ body also called for the finalisation of Delhi Rent Act, “ending a long running dispute between the land lords and tenants in Delhi”.

Furthermore, CAIT demanded that traders should be allowed to participate in the consultation process of Master Plan 2041 which is being prepared for Delhi.

According to CAIT National Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal, estimates show that about 6,000 shops have been sealed in Delhi.

“Corona started since the beginning of the year 2020 and the traders of Delhi are faced with a big crisis of livelihood and in such a situation, it has become imperative that shops are immediately de-sealed,” he was quoted as saying in a statement.

“Keeping this in view, the Central government should take an initiative in this matter and pass an ordinance in which all sealed shops should be opened and all other problems related to sealing should be postponed for the time being thereby giving all traders a fair chance to do business.”

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Cities

Out to catch dogs, NGO staff thrashed by locals

The police said that when the people from the NGO tried to flee from the spot in their car, 3 local residents were hit by their car, inflicting some minor injuries.

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Stray dogs

New Delhi, July 5 : The volunteers of an NGO, ”Neighbourhood Woof”, were thrashed by locals in Rani Bagh of outer Delhi.

The NGO workers, including a woman, were out in the area to catch dogs when the locals confronted them. In view of late night hours, local residents enquired about their identities on which heated argument started and a scuffle broke out between them. Later, the Delhi police registered a case against the residents on the complaint of the NGO worker.

On the night of July 3 at around 10.30 p.m., 3 PCR calls were received in Rani Bagh police station regarding a quarrel between two parties, i.e., one belonging to an NGO named “Neighbourhood Woof” and the local residents of Rishi Nagar, Rani Bagh. Immediately, the police reached the spot and it revealed that some persons from an NGO named “Neighbourhood Woof” had come to catch stray dogs in Rishi Nagar, said a senior police officer.

However, the locals grew suspicious and raised questions on the operation of the NGO staff which also had a woman with them. An argument started between the NGO workers and the local residents which soon turned ugly. The NGO workers alleged that they were brutally assaulted by the locals.

The police said that when the people from the NGO tried to flee from the spot in their car, 3 local residents were hit by their car, inflicting some minor injuries.

“On the complaint of the NGO worker Ayesha Christina, a case u/s 323/341/506/427/34 IPC has been registered against residents. Further investigation is under progress,” the police said.

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