This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. The Japanese electronic trade show Createc is taking place today and runs until October 6, 2007. A prototype wireless recharger created by the joint efforts of Seiko Epson and Murata Manufacturing LTD will be on display. The product will reduce standard charge time from one to two hours down to ten to 15 minutes. Prototype of Wireless Recharger by Seiko Epson & Murata Mfg. Explore further Project aims to develop environmentally friendly, energy-autonomous wireless microsensors Citation: Japanese Trade Show Introduces Quick Wireless Recharger (2007, October 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2007-10-japanese-quick-wireless-recharger.html The Japanese electronic trade show Createc starts October 2 and runs until October 6. The introduction of a prototype wireless recharger manufactured by Seiko Epson and Murata Manufacturing LTD is featured.Recognizing the increased reliance on mobile devices and the significant amount of charge time utilized by more sophisticated graphic displays and programming, Seiko Epson and Murata Manufacturing joined forced. The focus of the R&D at this time was to develop a product that could decrease the time of one to two hours for recharging mobile devices to a fraction of the current time. The result is the ultra-slim prototype currently on display at the Createc Trade Show in Japan. The yet unnamed prototype is a small compact wireless device that will reduce recharging time of one to two hours, down to 10 to 15 minutes. The additional unique feature is the universal wireless recharging unit that will obviate the need for a dedicated individual recharging unit. As the necessity for more frequent recharging become apparent this device has a quick and easy solution.Both Seiko Epson and Murata Manufacturing have a solid history in the development of compact modules and circuitry that complemented one another. Seiko Epson is working on a lithium ion secondary battery. Its expertise in the development of a compact size module battery and circuitry combined with Murata Manufacturing’s expertise in the development of IC for wireless quick charger battery systems proved to be a good synergy. The release date to the public of this wireless quick recharger device is not available. The name and other details of the device are not available as well. The device will be on display at the Createc Trade Show until October 6, 2007.
The researchers, led by Professors Peter Nordlander and Naomi J. Halas of Rice University in Houston, Texas, and Professor Emily A. Carter of Princeton University, New Jersey, have published their study on the technique to improve catalytic chemistry in a recent issue of Nano Letters.In their method, the researchers used a visible-light laser to illuminate a gold nanoparticle surface (the catalyst surface) at room temperature. The incoming laser light optically excites surface plasmons on the metal surface, and the plasmons then decay into hot electrons. Because of their high energies, the hot electrons extend further away from the nanoparticles than electrons with lower energies do. If another atom or molecule that can accept the electron is nearby, the hot electron can transfer into that acceptor’s electronic states. In these experiments, the researchers adsorbed H2 molecules on the gold nanoparticle surface, a procedure that is commonly performed in heterogeneous catalysis, in which the adsorbed molecules act as reactants. The researchers found, as the main result of their study, that some of the hot electrons could transfer into the closed shells of the H2 molecules and cause the two hydrogen atoms to separate, or dissociate. This process, called “plasmon-induced dissociation of H2 on Au,” could improve the efficiency of certain chemical reactions.”In many important chemical reactions, the rate limiting step is the dissociation of closed shell molecules like a hydrogen molecule,” Nordlander told Phys.org. “If this reaction step can be ‘dealt with’ (using our demonstrated hot electron process), the reaction may proceed much faster and require less energy.” (Phys.org)—From petroleum refining to food processing, the vast majority of commercial chemical applications involve catalysts to control the rate of chemical reactions. Anything that can increase the efficiency of catalysts could have a widespread impact in these areas. In a new study, scientists have shown that an efficiency improvement may be possible by creating “hot” electrons (those with a very high energy) from a metallic surface on which the chemical reaction occurs, and using the electrons to control the chemical reaction and make it more efficient. Copyright 2012 Phys.org All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of Phys.org. To measure the dissociation, the researchers exposed the nanoparticle substrate to both H2 and D2 (two atoms of deuterium, a hydrogen isotope containing one neutron). If the hot electrons dissociated these molecules, it would result in the formation of HD molecules. The researchers found that, as soon as they turned the laser on, the rate of HD formation on the nanoparticle surface increased by a factor of 6. They also measured that the rate was strongly dependent on the concentration and size of the gold nanoparticles. The researchers explained that, in a sense, the electrons “do the impossible” because there would be no dissociation without them.”A hydrogen molecule adsorbed on a macroscopic gold surface does not dissociate spontaneously, even at elevated temperatures,” Nordlander said. “It is an impossible chemical reaction. The energy for dissociation is simply too large. We picked the hydrogen-gold system exactly for this reason. We wanted a system where the interpretation of the effect was straightforward. On other metals, like transition metals, a hydrogen molecule can dissociate spontaneously, in particular near defects and at elevated temperatures. But not on gold.”These results demonstrate how the field of plasmonics – which involves interactions between photons and nanostructures – can have applications in the field of catalytic chemistry, particularly photocatalysis, The researchers hope that this demonstration of the ability to control chemical reactions using light could be extended for specific uses. By using the laser frequency to tune the surface plasmon resonances, it may be possible to create hot electrons with specific energies that populate specific electronic states of molecules adsorbed on the nanoparticle surface. “The immediate application is to improve the efficiency of metallic catalysts by illuminating them with light,” Nordlander said. “Our groups have a very ‘green agenda’ and our intent is to design novel types of catalysts that are driven by sunlight. This is something we have an abundance of here in Houston. “Another important application is to investigate to what extent we can steer and control chemical reactions by having hot electrons of particular energies transferring into specific molecular orbitals. This is a relatively unexplored research topic. Normal electrons have positive energies and are much ‘hotter’ that our hot electrons. Such high-energy electrons typically do not stay on a molecule sufficiently long for the atoms to start to move.” In (a), (b), and (c), surface plasmons excited by a laser generate hot electrons on a gold nanoparticle surface. In (d), (e), and (f), hot electrons transfer to H2 molecules and cause them to dissociate. Since dissociation is the rate-limiting step in many chemical reactions, this hot electron process can increase the reaction efficiency. Image credit: Shaunak Mukherjee, et al. ©2012 American Chemical Society Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Hot electrons do the impossible in catalytic chemistry (2012, December 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-12-hot-electrons-impossible-catalytic-chemistry.html Scattering of hydrogen makes calculation easier Journal information: Nano Letters More information: Shaunak Mukherjee, et al. “Hot Electrons Do the Impossible: Plasmon-Induced Dissociation of H2 on Au.” Nano Letters. DOI: 10.1021/nl303940z
(Phys.org)—The past ten years have seen an uptick in research into hydrogen production through electrolysis as an alternative fuel source. In electrolysis water decomposes into its components, hydrogen gas and oxygen gas, environmentally friendlier gases compared to fossil fuel reactions. However, electrolysis of water requires additional energy, known as overpotenial, above beyond its thermodynamic reaction barrier. Catalysts, such as platinum, decrease the overpotential allowing the reaction to progress at a practical rate, but platinum is too expensive for use at an industrial scale prompting researchers to explore other types of electrocatalysts. Researchers have explored molybdenum-based catalysts, particularly MoS2, as a possible alternative electrocatalyst for hydrogen evolution reactions. Studies of MoS2 nanoparticles demonstrate that catalysis occurs on edges or at defect sites. This means that controlling the MoS2 morphology could lead to controlling its catalytic activity. However, there are still several barriers to making MoS2 a feasible industrial material.In new research reported in Science Advances, Jianwei Miao, Fang-Xing Xiao, Hong Bin Yang, Si Yun Khoo, Jiazang Chen, Zhanxi Fan, Ying-Ya Hsu, Hao Ming Chen, Hua Zhang, and Bin Liu from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and National Taiwan University have devised a molybdenum-nickel-based hydrogen evolution catalyst that can be deposited on a flexible, conductive carbon fiber cloth. Analytical studies show that their Ni-Mo-S/C catalyst, when prepared using the reaction solution with a nickel-to-molybdenum ratio of 1:1, has better overpotential values and is more stable than MoS2 in neutral electrolyte.Their synthesis for making the Ni-Mo-S/C catalyst is a straight-forward process that is biomolecule-assisted using L-cysteine as its sulfur source. They found that by adding Ni2+ to the initial solution, they were able to control the morphology of the nanoparticles deposited on the carbon cloth. They tested several different ratios of nickel-to-molybdenum, 3:1, 1:1, and 1:3, and confirmed via various methods that the Ni-Mo-S/C (1:1) was the best overall catalyst. SEM and TEM showed that the Ni-Mo-S/C (1:1) provided the most consistent nanostructured film. Importantly this film resulted in more edges, as well as multiple pores, both of which should enhance catalytic activity. Other structures, including MoS2, formed unwanted aggregates when deposited on the carbon cloth. X-ray diffraction, energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy, and XPS confirmed the chemical composition of their nickel-molybdenum catalyst and ensured that there were no nickel-sulfur bonds. Citation: Functional catalyst for alternative fuel source by depositing nanosheets on a flexible carbon cloth (2015, September 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-09-functional-catalyst-alternative-fuel-source.html More information: “Hierarchical Ni-Mo-S nanosheets on carbon fiber cloth: A flexible electrode for efficient hydrogen generation in neutral electrolyte” Science Advances, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1500259AbstractA unique functional electrode made of hierarchal Ni-Mo-S nanosheets with abundant exposed edges anchored on conductive and flexible carbon fiber cloth, referred to as Ni-Mo-S/C, has been developed through a facile biomolecule-assisted hydrothermal method. The incorporation of Ni atoms in Mo-S plays a crucial role in tuning its intrinsic catalytic property by creating substantial defect sites as well as modifying the morphology of Ni-Mo-S network at atomic scale, resulting in an impressive enhancement in the catalytic activity. The Ni-Mo-S/C electrode exhibits a large cathodic current and a low onset potential for hydrogen evolution reaction in neutral electrolyte (pH ~7), for example, current density of 10 mA/cm2 at a very small overpotential of 200 mV. Furthermore, the Ni-Mo-S/C electrode has excellent electrocatalytic stability over an extended period, much better than those of MoS2/C and Pt plate electrodes. Scanning and transmission electron microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, x-ray diffraction, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and x-ray absorption spectroscopy were used to understand the formation process and electrocatalytic properties of Ni-Mo-S/C. The intuitive comparison test was designed to reveal the superior gas-evolving profile of Ni-Mo-S/C over that of MoS2/C, and a laboratory-scale hydrogen generator was further assembled to demonstrate its potential application in practical appliances. Synthesis processes of MoS2/C and Ni-Mo-S/C. (A) Schematic illustration of syntheses of MoS2 and Ni-Mo-S on carbon fiber cloth. (B) Photographic image of freshly prepared Ni-Mo-S/C (1:1). Credit: Science Advances, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1500259 Journal information: Science Advances Miao, et al. conducted several voltammetry studies in both neutral and acidic electrolyte to test the catalytic behavior of their electrodes. Ni-Mo-S/C (1:1) showed the best hydrogen evolution catalytic activity with a smaller overpotential compared to MoS2/C and the other catalysts prepared with 3:1 and 1:3 nickel-to-molybdenum precursor ratio. Tafel plots showed that Ni-Mo-S/C (1:1) had the smallest slope which corresponds to a good reaction rate and low overpotential.The authors wanted to qualitatively evaluate the potential at which catalysis occurs as well as gas evolution of different electrodes at the same time. They designed a special electrode comprised of single bundles of MoS2/C and Ni-Mo-S/C (1:1) attached to a home-made titanium connector. By linking these in parallel, they could apply a synchronized potential bias to both. Gas bubbles appeared first on the Ni-Mo-S/C (1:1) and were generated faster and more continuously along the bundle. MoS2 turned a pale color due to the adsorption of oxygen bubbles while the Ni-Mo-S/C (1:1) maintained the same physical appearance.Finally, they tested catalysis stability using controlled potential electrolysis in a neutral electrolyte. Ni-Co-S/C (1:1) retains 97.5% of its initial current density after their initial test, while MoS2 maintains 85% of its current density. This is compared to a Pt electrode which has 15% of its current density after one hour. Miao, et al.’s last experiment was to create a prototype of a hydrogen generator in the lab. The purpose of finding an alternative electrocatalyst is to identify one that that could feasibly be used in an industrial setting. They were able to role and shape their Ni-Mo-S/C (1:1) electrode to fit their apparatus and collected hydrogen gas in a relatively short amount of time at a potential bias of -0.5 V (vs. RHE). While this is a small prototype, it adequately demonstrates that this electrode could be a good candidate for larger scale hydrogen evolution reactions and is flexible enough to accommodate several hydrogen generator designs.Overall, Ni-Mo-S/C (1:1) was made in a relatively straight-forward synthesis and all analyses point to its superior catalytic properties compared to MoS2 making it a robust alternative to a platinum catalyst. Explore further © 2015 Phys.org Moving toward a cheaper, better catalyst for hydrogen production This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
Citation: Reversible interconversion between alkenes and nitriles without using HCN (2016, March 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-03-reversible-interconversion-alkenes-nitriles-hcn.html Researchers from Max Planck Institute have devised a synthetic strategy that opens the door to many medicinally important molecules. Their strategy is a reversible reaction that converts alkenes to alkyl nitriles without using or producing noxious HCN gas. Their work appears in the recent issue of Science. Explore further The retro-hydrocyanation reaction also has a broad range of reagents that are compatible with its test conditions. They were able to transform primary, secondary, and tertiary nitriles using various styrene derivatives. Additionally, Fang et al. combined their retro-hydrocyanation reaction with known organic mechanisms, demonstrating that their mechanism has practical advantages to current laboratory processes. Mechanism studies with deuterium confirm that there is, indeed, a transfer between a hydrogen and the (-CN) group among the reagents. Furthermore, they confirmed that the reaction is reversible and reaches equilibrium under the reaction conditions. “We believe that the current reaction is directly useful to research laboratories in both academia and industry and might find applications in fine chemicals synthesis,” says to principle investigator, Dr. Bill Morandi. The next step in their research, according to Dr. Morandi, involves refining their method for large scale applications, “There are a few aspects that need to be further developed, such as minimizing the amount of catalyst and recycling the alkene by-product.”Overall, the hydrocyanation mechanism is safer than traditional methods, reversible and thermodynamically controllable, exhibits specific regiochemistry, and works for a wide range of starting materials. This work has much potential for application in many organic syntheses including medicinal chemistry. More information: X. Fang et al. Catalytic reversible alkene-nitrile interconversion through controllable transfer hydrocyanation, Science (2016). DOI: 10.1126/science.aae0427 The structure of a nitrile: the functional group is highlighted blue. Credit: Wikipedia Alkyl nitriles are excellent reagents for many types of reactions. The nitrile group (-CN) is electron withdrawing, thus activating the neighboring atoms for various transformations. However, to add a nitrile group to a molecule typically requires a reaction with an alkene and HCN. Because HCN is highly toxic, corrosive, and explosive, it is impractical for the laboratory setting.Xianjie Fang, Peng Yu, and Bill Morandi of Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung in Mülheim an der Ruhr decided to explore the synthetic possibilities of a reversible hydrocyanation reaction by devising a scheme that is analogous to H2-free transfer hydrogenation. In a hydrogenation reaction, a metal catalyst promotes the stereoselective addition of hydrogen to an alkene or carbonyl.For this experiment, Fang, et al. used a nickel catalyst because nickel is known to be highly reactive in traditional hydrocyanation reactions using HCN, and nickel complexes are often used for the oxidative addition of polar bonds. After testing various catalysts and catalyst combinations, they found that a nickel catalyst generated in situ from Ni(COD)2 and DPEphos along with an aluminum co-catalyst, AlMe2Cl, worked best for their reaction plan. Notably Fang, et al. found that less flammable AlCl3 could also serve as a co-catalyst.They then selected model reagents to investigate how to thermodynamically control the forward and reverse reactions. Producing a gaseous product and releasing ring strain are two typical ways to drive the equilibrium of reaction forward. They used isovaleronitrile as their test reagent for producing a gas and norbornadiene as their test reagent for releasing ring strain. They found that these factors, plus the level of substitution on the hydrocyanation by-product, adequately drove the reaction forward. They also found that the product from the isovaleronitrile reaction could be used to test the reverse reaction.In order to test the scope of the hydrocyanation reaction, they tested several styrene derivatives and found that products showed anti-Markovnikov regioselectivity. Typically, addition across an alkene will demonstrate Markovnikov regioselectivity in which the hydrogen adds to the least substituted carbon. Since the reverse is observed here, it is reasonable to assume that this is a reversible reaction in which the thermodynamic product is favored. Additional studies found that a wide range of reagent types tolerated this reaction, including several heterocycles, non-activated linear alkenes, allylic alcohols, cycloalkanes, norbornenes, some alkynes, and several types of functional groups. Journal information: Science © 2016 Phys.org Cooperative catalysts offer unique route to alkenes This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
Federal Agency Accuses Vermont Hospital Of Forcing A Nurse… by NPR News Selena Simmons-Duffin 8.29.19 12:28am The federal government says the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington, Vt., violated federal law by forcing a nurse to participate in an abortion despite her objections. The hospital issued a statement saying that the allegation is “not supported by the facts,” as Vermont Public Radio reported.At the center of the dispute is a nurse, whose name is not public. According to a complaint her lawyers filed last May with the Office for Civil Rights, the nurse is Catholic and had informed her employer she could not participate in abortions because of her religious beliefs. Federal law protects health workers from discrimination based on religious or moral beliefs.In 2017, the complaint alleges, the nurse was misled by her employer to believe she was assisting in a procedure scheduled after a miscarriage. “After [she] confirmed that she was, in fact, being assigned to an abortion, [her employer] refused her request that other equally qualified and available personnel take her place,” the complaint reads. She then participated in the procedure and “has been haunted by nightmares ever since,” according to the complaint.On Wednesday, the Office for Civil Rights announced a notice of violation against the hospital — its first such action since Director Roger Severino launched the Division of Conscience and Religious Freedom in 2018. The Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services receives and investigates complaints from health organizations and workers over issues of privacy violations, civil rights discrimination and discrimination based on moral or religious beliefs. As NPR has reported, Severino has made clear that protecting religious freedom is his priority, though most of the complaints his office handles have to do with patient privacy or civil rights.Severino told reporters Wednesday this nurse’s story was the “quintessential violation” of conscience. “This should never happen in America,” Severino said. “There is room for disagreement on these issues without having to coerce people to choose between a career dedicated to supporting life versus instances and situations where they were being forced to take life.”The notice of violation says the hospital’s policies violated federal law “by discriminating against health care personnel who have religious or moral objections to abortion.” It gives the medical center 30 days to agree to work with the agency “to change its policies so it no longer requires health care personnel to participate in abortion against their religious or moral objections, and to take immediate steps to remedy the effect of its past discriminatory conduct.” If not, its federal funding could be at risk.University of Vermont Medical Center disputes the events described by the nurse and that its policies violate federal law. It also disputes the government’s allegation that it has been uncooperative in the course of the investigation.”I will tell you that we carefully investigated this complaint and we’re very, very comfortable that the allegations are not supported by the facts,” says Dr. Stephen Leffler, interim president of the University of Vermont Medical Center. Leffler seemed baffled by Severino’s characterization of the medical center as not complying with the agency’s investigation. “From the outset — and as recently as this month — we offered to discuss our policies and practices with them,” Leffler says. “We asked to receive their advice on how those policies and practices could be improved consistent with our obligation to our patients. Unfortunately, OCR instead chose to proceed with this announcement today, as opposed to meeting with us to work to improve the policy together.”Neither the medical center nor the government offered any details about the patient who had that procedure in 2017. Severino told reporters it was a dilation and curettage procedure but would not say whether there were any other medical issues at play or how far along the pregnancy was. He noted the law protecting health workers who don’t want to participate in abortions does not make any distinctions about gestational age.Leffler, of the medical center, says he is concerned that its federal funding could be at risk if it doesn’t change its staffing policy regarding abortions.”All the funding we receive is important,” he says. “But we do believe that our policy is correct and just. We do believe our policy protects the rights of the patients who seek our services and protects the rights of our staff. And so we do stand by our policy.”Leffler says the hospital’s policy is that no health care worker would be forced to participate in a procedure that’s against his or her beliefs except in cases of life or death.”I don’t know of any cases where we’ve compelled someone to do something against their will,” he adds.Emily Corwin of Vermont Public Radio contributed reporting to this story.Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit NPR. Lisa Rathke
There is no menu card – you have to let them know what you want to eat depending on what is available and be rest assured that it is going to be quite a treat.In the words of Chef Prem Kumar Pogakula, Executive Sous Chef, The Imperial, ‘Coorgi cuisine authentically includes lot of meat specialties along with sea food. We have brought in lamb, prawns and chicken delights with a fine mix of select authentic spices like tamarind for a perfect tangy flavour, green chillies for warmth, pepper, ginger, garlic, onion and star anise for making the recipes more flavourful. The Mushroom coconut soup is a must try to keep the winter at bay. For vegetarians, Coorgi cuisine is by far the only South Indian cuisine which relies heavily on vegetables and stems of plants.’ Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Danielle’s Tavern is dishing out some authentic Coorgi cuisine starting from Mutton Chops, Chicken Fry in Red Masala, Yam Fry, some incredible Coorgi Prawns and the traditional Neyi Kolu (ghee rice). This menu is on till the 17th of this month. A meal for two (without alcohol) is Rs 4000 plus taxes. Book your table and head over!Coorgi Chicken CurryIngredients:1/2 kg chicken pieces1 tea spoon red chili powder1/4 tea spoon turmeric powder1/2 tea spoon coriander seeds Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix2 piece cinnamon, 4 cloves1/2 tea spoon poppy seeds7-8 strands coriander leaves and 1/4 cup chopped coriander1/2 tea spoon chopped garlic and chopped ginger2 green chilies, 1/2 cup chopped onion, 1/4 cup chopped tomato, 1/2 cup fresh coconut paste, 1/4 tea spoon tamarind extract or 2 pieces of tamarind soaked in warm waterMethod:Apply red chili powder and turmeric to chicken pieces and leave it aside. Grind together coriander, ginger-garlic, green chilies, cloves, cinnamon, poppy seeds. This is called raw masala. Roast (without oil) grated coconut till it turns slightly brown. Grind to a smooth paste. Heat a little oil and fry onions till they are slightly brow, add tomatoes and fry. Add raw masala and fry till a nice aroma comes out of it. Add the chicken pieces, salt and fry for about 5mins. Add 2 cups of water cover and cook till chicken is tender. Add the ground coconut, tamarind extract and cook for about 7-8 mins till the curry thickens. Coorgi Prawn CurryIngredients:250 gms raw prawns, shelled and deveined1/2 tbsp coriander powder1/4 tsp chilli powdera pinch of turmeric powder1/4 tsp pepper powder1 green chilli, slit1 tsp red chilli pasteCurry leaves1/2 cup chopped onions1/2 tsp chopped ginger6 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced, 2 pieces of tamarind washed and soaked in 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cups coconut milkMethod:Grind together coriander, chili, turmeric and pepper powders along with the half the onions to a coarse paste. Keep aside. Heat oil in a wok and add green chili, curry leaves, onions and chili paste. Sauté till onions turn a light brown. Put in ginger and garlic and cook till the raw smell disappears. In goes the ground masala paste. Be careful not to burn the mix, if you feel it’s charring, then add a teaspoon of water and keep stirring. Stir in the tamarind pulp and coconut milk. Season with salt and bring to gentle boil. Add the prawns, mix it into the gravy, close with a lid and cook on low heat till the prawns are well cooked. Once the gravy becomes thick serve hot with rice.
Kolkata: To project the pride and glory of Indian culture in Indonesia Resource Indica: Roots & Revelations, in collaboration with Embassy Of The Republic Of Indonesia and Indonesia Tourism is organising a multimedia presentation on this rich cultural relation – ‘The Pride And Glory Of Bali-yatra’ at The Rabindranath Tagore Centre ICCR from June 9 to 11.Overseas trade and maritime activities of ancient Kalinga (Bengal, Orissa) played a significant role, thus creating an everlasting bond of Indian’s glorious cultural relation with Indonesia. Indians, more specifically the people of Kalinga, had established their colonies in South Eastern Asia, like Indonesia.While these are well known, we know little of the ports and port towns in the East. Of the many, perhaps the most important was Tamralipti, a great centre of trade and commerce.Also known as Tamralipta, the most prominent port of Kalinga kingdom which is located in the present day town of Tamluk in Midnapur, played a major role in transcending the treasure of our ethnicity to the far island of Bali in Indonesia.Historians speculate that it was the desire to access the rich ports on the Eastern coast of Tamralipti, that led Asoka to invade Kalinga. The port certainly played a big role in making big urban centres like Sisupalgarh thrive. Tamralipti became an important port in the Mauryan Empire.Ptolemy describes the famous port town called “Tamilitis”, a flourishing port town on the Ganga in the second century, which was a gateway to the countries like Indonesia.The Pride & Glory Of Bali-yatra, an initiative of Resource Indica: Roots & Revelations, is a never-before multimedia project – on this great passage of time and glorious tides – that throws new light on the impact of Indian tradition and culture that is visible in Indonesia and in the minds and hearts of people in the far away island of Bali, Indonesia.The ‘The Pride And Glory Of Bali-yatra’ presentation in Kolkata will include a Pictorial Exhibition, Coffee-table Book & Documentary Film – all of which were put together by writer, photographer and film maker Sudip Sen.
As the Congress gasps for recovery, still facing the aftershocks of humiliating defeat in last year’s Lok Sabha poll, it faces the challenge of rejuvenation. Will it’s Vice President Rahul Gandhi’s elevation as President give the party the oxygen it needs? Maybe India’s grand old party needs RaGa in his new avatar, instilling fresh ideas and embellishing it with youthful energy. But therein lies the dichotomy.A deep ideological chasm separates the Congress’ Old Guard and Team Rahul members in executing this concept in its entirety. But the pertinent question is – are all the ‘foot soldiers’ of the Congress ready to accept the accession of Rahul Gandhi as Congress President? Will the Sonia Gandhi loyalists who have worked hard all these years to garner her trust and loyalty, Also Read – Find your own happinessreadily shift to the Rahul camp, or will they be rendered redundant in the process?Most importantly, has the ideal time come for Rahul to take over as the party’s chief? Noted sociologist Dipankar Gupta pertinently pointed out, “Organisationally people get cross-eyed when there are two or more people on the top of equal eminence. So to be able to remove that problem, it is best that either the mother or the son take over as chief of the party. I would think if the Congress’ plan is that if Rahul Gandhi should move in that position then it is best that he should do that now, without his mother standing in the shadows or obviously pulling the strings. So, it is either mother or son whoever it is, otherwise it creates a lot of confusion in an organisation. Especially if the leadership position is not clear this holds true for a political party as much of a corporate structure as much for a university.” Also Read – Into the wildRahul’s succession as party’s President is in the pipeline, but when is the question that looms. “It is clearly not a decision that will be forced down our throats. If his name comes up for the post of President then of course there will be open resentment in the party. It is not that all of us are willingly sitting to accept him as our President,” said a senior Congress leader.After Rahul’s dramatic comeback to the country, his party and also the political terrain, have discovered a ‘new-found’ energy. Featuring daily in news, Rahul has ensured his comeback is visible to everyone. In fact his homecoming was highlighted in the mega farmers’ rally that he addressed on 19 April in the Capital. Post sabbatical, media went gung-ho about Rahul Gandhi’s power-packed return to the Parliament and his political antics. Whether it was about raising the issue of Net Neutrality in Parliament, attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s foreign tours or the suit-boot sarkaar jibe, Gandhi was all over the place repeating his favourite tagline “This government is anti-farmer and pro-corporates.”The newly installed or updated software in Rahul’s system, ever since 19 April, has been playing this line. Slip back to the pre-Lok Sabha poll scenario last year. When Rahul was asked about any possible issue in the country, his befitting reply invariably echoed three things – “MNREGA, Women empowerment and RTI”. Now those three issues have been replaced by the “farmer-corporate” phrase.Let’s now analyse Rahul’s tryst with the farmer issue, something which has been made to be very close to his heart… an issue he has been proactively involved in for a long time. Recently he did a kisan padyatra in Vidarbha and visited farmers in Punjab’s mandis. After which he came back to Delhi and in the Parliament created a furore about the pricing in mandis, addressed rallies on the issue and later visited the hospital immediately after the farmer Gajender Singh died in an Aam Aadmi Party rally in the Capital.While talking about one such visit some time back, a party insider, who had accompanied Rahul recounted, “This incident took place at a public interaction that Gandhi had with the farmers in Punjab. Several farmers from various districts had gathered to hear him speak. He started by saying, “Aap log ghehu ke paidh kaise ugate ho… (how do you grow wheat trees?)” Hearing this farmers were dumbfound. At this point a party worker intervened saying what Rahul means is how do you sow wheat. To which Rahul cut him short and asked again, “Nahi, main janana chahta hu ghenhu paidh pe kaise ugta hai”. The farmers and party workers remained clueless to what he seemed to be talking about. Finally someone intervened and told him wheat is not grown on trees it is sown in the ground.Hilarious as it may sound, his disconnect with ground reality is a disturbing thought. “This man has no idea of basic things. I mean how can he not know that wheat is not grown on trees. It is sad. Even if his succession is pushed at us, there will be resentment from all quarters. We all have worked with Sonia and seen a clear distinction in their style of functioning. She at least heard us out, unlike him,” added the insider.Questioning Rahul’s visit to Kedarnath, some Congress leaders viewed this exercise as a softening of stand towards Hindutva. “What kind of political advisers is he consulting? To garner a particular vote-bank you set off to Kedarnath and what next? Maybe hop onto a plane and head to Mecca for Muslim votes and then travel to Bethlehem for Christian votes? It is just being foolish,” said one such leader.Criticism against Rahul has been flowing in from all quarters. Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit had clearly said that he wanted “Sonia Gandhi to remain as party chief.” He had also talked about the culture ailing in the party, “The culture [in Congress] has become elitist and arrogance grows from it; our cadres are uncomfortable in such a situation,” he said. Meanwhile Rahul’s loyalist Digvijaya Singh had tweeted, “If Rahul wants to reflect what went wrong why criticise him? Everyone wants some peace to reflect. Only timing could have been better.” The party’s general secretary had said the timing of his sabbatical could be better and then later he said Rahul needed to be active on social media to counter the BJP.The Old Guard is furious at what this young man is doing. Sources say that senior leaders have poured their heart’s woes to Sonia’s political secretary and party’s old timer Ahmed Patel. The question now is where are the big guns of the previous government, be it Kamal Nath, Salman Khurshid, Kapil Sibal and most of all P Chidambaram. The Old Guard that helped Sonia run the party successfully primarily include Ahmed Patel, Janardhan Dwivedi, Motilal Vora, Ambika Soni, A K Antony and some others.The new age faces which are seen to be on the fringes of Rahul’s inner circle include – Anand Sharma and Mallikarjun Kharge – that too because of their pivotal role in the Parliament. The young team of his loyalists include – Ajay Maken, R P N Singh, Sachin Pilot, Jitin Prasada and Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia. One of the members of Rahul’s core team explained, “He is a nice man with a clear heart but then does that really help us politically? For example in LS polls he and in fact all of us just couldn’t see what was coming our way. Modi was selling a dream to the people of the country, but at least he was doing so. Rahul was clueless. There was no vision or dream to be delivered to the people. This bankruptcy of ideas and reeling under the tarnished and corrupt image of the UPA II government led us to a dismal fall in the elections. Still we never anticipated 44 in our dreams.”The usual grouse of any party worker includes the fact that Rahul cannot be reached. “We are unhappy with the way Rahul deals with people in the party. One tries to get time with him and it has been months since he would even reply to a text or take out time to meet. The way he has dealt with issues related to state units is also very harrowing. I have particularly raised several issues affecting our state unit but he has not got back till now,” said a minister from UPA-II, who has been close to Rahul.Talking about Rahul’s comeback making headlines, former union minister and senior party leader Salman Khurshid said, “He is there and has always been there. In fact Rahul Gandhi has always been a very active vice president. It is just that unfortunately the media wanted to paint him in a certain colour and now the media has got tired of doing that. This little break seems to have worked, because the media now is giving him a chance. They are giving him space which is good because he has always been very active. There are certain areas where he has laid priorities like the issue of farmer’ lands, young people and he is doing it in his own style.”What about Rahul taking over as party’s President? “I don’t give any response to this as Soniaji is my President, Rahul is my Vice President and Manmohan Singh is the third part of our leadership. When they take a call we will respond. It is not for us to speculate when and how it will happen as this will just add to unnecessary gossip. All of them are doing their job along with our leaders. They have our unflinching support. The decision about generational change must be left to the leadership and we will join in once the leadership takes the final call.”On record, this is essentially what the Congress leaders have mostly said. Echoing similar sentiments as Khurshid’s, his party colleague Anand Sharma explained, “This is a needless speculation. The Congress is traditionally the oldest political party of India which is pan Indian and representative of India’s rich diversity. It has remained vibrant till this time because it has ensured the infusion of fresh blood through transitions and space for the younger leadership to grow. Therefore there was definitely a reason that a collective decision was taken in January 2012 at the AICC session in Jaipur.”“We are a traditional party and in our collective wisdom we will take the appropriate decision at the right time. We have an established process in the party and even regarding this issue (of Rahul being made the President), the Congress will take an appropriate decision at the right time.”The tone set by Rahul in January 2012 when he was elevated as the party’s Vice President, raised expectations of people. A popular notion was that the prodigal son would bring positive change in the party and radicalise dynamics of politics in the country. But then from then and now… there have been a series of disappointments, making not only the voter but many in his own party question his antecedents. The decision for Rahul’s elevation “will be taken at the right time” indeed, but with the current flux of contradictory ideologies in the party, the probability of a smooth takeover seems dismal.
Real Madrid’s La Liga title hopes were dealt another huge blow as they suffered a third league defeat in five games to Roberto Soldado’s solitary goal at Villarreal.Atletico Madrid’s 2-1 win over Athletic Bilbao earlier in the day means Real now trail their city rivals and Barcelona by five points at the top of the table.Real were outplayed in the first-half on Sunday, but reacted after the break and were left to rue a hat-trick of missed chances by troubled French striker Karim Benzema as defeat piles the pressure on under-fire coach Rafael Benitez.Elsewhere, a late own goal salvaged a point for Valencia in Gary Neville’s first taste of La Liga action as Los Che battled back with 10 men to draw 1-1 at Eibar. Real had won five consecutive games since being thrashed 4-0 at home by Barca last month, but were forced onto the back foot by a whirlwind start from Villarreal.
Kolkata: Urging farmers not to panic due to unusual rainfall in 10 districts of Bengal, the state Irrigation and Waterways minister Soumen Mahapatra assured that there will be no shortage of water for the purpose of agriculture if farmers go for planned irrigation.In reply to a question in the state Assembly, Mahapatra said there was less rainfall in West Midnapore, Hooghly, Birbhum, Murshidabad, Malda, Cooch Behar, East and West Burdwan and North and South Dinajpur. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe unusual rainfall in the monsoon led to less water reserve compared to that of the same last year. Giving a detailed data on water reserve in different reservoirs, the minister said it is around 5,13,000 acre feet this year at Panchet and Maithon dams. It may be mentioned that the same was 889000 acre feet in 2017-18. In Kangshabati, it was 433000 acre feet in 2017-18 while it is 180000 acre feet this year. Similarly, in Mayurakhi, it was 568000 acre feet last year and it is 99000 acre feet this year. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedMahapatra said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had given directions to take necessary steps so that farmers do not face any problem due to unusual rainfall. She also stressed on better water management. A committee has also been formed in this regard and at the same time, all sorts of steps have been taken to tackle the situation. The minister further added that the task of “identifying critical areas” in this regard has been undertaken and farmers are also urged to change both the irrigation and cultivation pattern that will ensure better water management. The minister further said that farmers have been urged to use the variety of seeds that require less water for cultivation. He also suggested alternate farming like cultivation of pulses and oilseeds that need less water. He further maintained: “It was found in many places that farmers go for “flood irrigation”. In a bid to ensure proper utilisation of water, farmers are urged to avoid the same.” Mahapatra said: “Farmers should not panic. If they go for proper and planned irrigation, then there will be no shortage of water for the purpose of agriculture.” He further added that the Block Development Officers are also holding awareness campaigns at different places to extend all sorts of support to farmers. It may be mentioned that the Mamata Banerjee government has taken a series of steps in the past seven years which has ensured a massive development in the growth of the agriculture sector in Bengal. In such a situation, the state government is taking all necessary steps so that farmers do not face any problem due to unusual rainfall.