Hardik, 59 others booked for rioting

first_imgAhmedabad police on Monday booked the Patidar quota agitation leader Hardik Patel and 59 others in a “rioting” case following a complaint by a local BJP councilor in Ramol area of the city. Mr. Hardik Patel and his supporters are accused of vandalising BJP councilor’s house in the city. Following this, the police arrested 11 people after filing an FIR. “They have filed a case against Hardik and others in connection with a complaint by a local BJP leader. This is meant to harass us because the BJP government is using the state machinery to break the agitation ahead of the assembly polls in Gujarat,” said Varun Patel, a media convener of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS). The Patel quota agitation leader, who is already facing two sedition cases in Ahmedabad and Surat and is currently out on bail, allegedly trespassed into the house of Paresh Patel, BJP’s municipal councilor in Vastral, in the city, at around 2 am along with 59 others, as per the complaint filed by Mr. Patel. According to the police, Mr. Hardik and his group were upset as one of their members, Kunal Patel, was arrested on Sunday for allegedly posting an objectionable message on the social media. An FIR was filed against Mr. Hardik and others under sections 147 (rioting), 142, 143, 149 (unlawful assembly), 435(mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to cause damage), 452 (house-trespass after preparation for hurt, assault or wrongful restraint) and 120 (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC. The quota agitation, launched in 2015 to seek quota for the Patidar community, is spearheaded by the 23-year-old Hardik, who was earlier arrested and spent several months in jail before he was granted bail. His agitation had turned violent in August 2015 during which over a dozen persons were killed in police firing, forcing the state authorities to call in army to restore law and order situation in the state.last_img read more

Mayawati mum on participating in Opposition’s Patna rally

first_imgScreenshot of the poster tweeted by a BSP supporter.    In a significant gesture, Ms. Mayawati also distanced herself from the political message of Dalit-OBC unity envisaged by the poster. “The BSP’s policies and principles are based on ‘Sarvajan Sukjay aur Sarvajan Hitay’ and our party does its work keeping it as a goal, whereas the Twitter poster portrays ‘Bahujan Hitay, Bahujan Sukhay,’ which is wrong,” Ms. Mayawati said.‘Sarvajan Sukhay aur Sarvajan Hitay’ or for the good of all and happiness for all, refers to the BSP’s project of linking upper castes Brahmin votes to its core Jatav (Dalit) support.On the other hand, ‘Bahujan Hitay Bahujan Sukhay’ or for the good of the majority and happiness of the majority, is illustrative of the founding principles of the BSP built on bringing together the numerically dominant Dalits and Backwards against the concept of Brahmanism. Apart from this, the poster also has other defects, Ms. Mayawati said, without any specific reference. Raising questions if she would attend the Patna Rally, which is expected to pave the path for Opposition unity for 2019 Lok Sabha election, Ms. Mayawati, however, remained silent on her participation.While the BSP does not have a formal social media policy, during the 2017 UP Assembly elections, the party was uncharacteristically active on the platform. Guided by Paresh Mishra, son-in-law of its general secretary Satish Mishra, and other Dalit and Ambedkarite volunteers the party ran various Twitter handles, Facebook pages and WhatsApp groups. None of them were, however, officially declared by the BSP. The handle in question now for tweeting the poster, @BspUp2017, was one of the many accounts that were active during the elections and have been since.Soon after the BSP dismissal dismissed the content of the poster, the Twitter handle, which is a verified one, also updated its bio on the site.“This is not an official BSP account but initiated by BSP ideology supporter,” it read. Casting a doubt on Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati’s participation in the August 27 rally in Patna called by Opposition parties, she on Monday “condemned” as “mischievous and wrong” an online poster that showed her in the same frame as other top non-BJP leaders.Ms. Mayawati was provoked to issue a clarification after an online poster was shared by a Twitter handle bearing the BSP’s name. The poster themed with a sky blue background showed a standing figure of her along with cut-outs of other Opposition leaders — Akhilesh Yadav, Tejaswi Yadav, Lalu Prasad, Sharad Yadav, Mamata Banerjee and Sonia Gandhi.“Samajik nyay ke samarthan mein vipaksh ek ho (Opposition must unite in support of social justice),” the poster read. After the poster was widely circulated and discussed on social media, Ms. Mayawati issued a clarification condemning the content of the poster as “false propaganda and wrong.”She also stressed that the BSP “does not have any official Twitter account.”The four-time former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister said that the BSP regularly issued press notes in Hindi to express it’s viewpoints in detail for the benefit of media as well as common people.“Twitter does not allow this facility,” she said. last_img read more

Rape case casts shadow over Gurdaspur bypoll

first_imgWith the former Minister Sucha Singh Langah being booked for allegedly raping a woman, the political atmosphere ahead of the October 11 Gurdaspur Lok Sabha byelection has charged up.While the Congress on Sunday questioned the silence of Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal on the issue, the Aam Aadmi Party said the alleged incident had exposed the sorry state of affairs during the Akali regime. “Mr. Sukhbir Badal had not bothered to utter a single word on the issue though two days had passed since the police filed the case, after which Mr. Langah had absconded,” said Sunil Jakhar, Punjab Congress president and party’s candidate from Gurdaspur, as he addressed a series of meetings in Batala. Senior AAP leader Sukhpal Khaira, while demanding strict action against Mr. Langah, said the incident had exposed the double standards followed by the Congress government. “The incident is deplorable and strict action should be taken against the accused. An immoral activity of an Akali leader has been exposed, which reflects poorly on the Akali Dal,” Mr. Khaira told The Hindu. “While the Congress is quick enough to file case against its political opponents, when it comes to its probing allegations of corruption against his own party leaders, it becomes a mute spectator,” the AAP leader alleged.last_img read more

French journalist detained in J&K for filming pellet victims

first_imgJammu and Kashmir Police has arrested a French journalist in Srinagar for making a documentary on pellet victims.“Comiti Paul Edward has been detained for violating visa norms in Srinagar,” a senior police officer said. Mr. Edward was arrested on Sunday evening from Kothibagh area. He was meeting separatists and pellet victims in the city to shoot his documentary, the officer said.Scores of protesting youths suffered injuries from pellet guns used in 2016 following an unrest in the valley after the July 8 killing of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani. Some lost vision totally or partially after their injuries. Mr. Edward has a passport and a business visa for India, valid upto December 22, 2018, the officer said.A business visa does not allow anyone to make a documentary on political or security related issues. An FIR under section 14B of the Passport Act has been registered against the French national, he said. The French Embassy has also been informed about Edward’s detention, the officer said.last_img read more

Northern Army Commander reviews security situation in Kashmir

first_imgNorthern Army Commander Lt Gen. D Anbu on Saturday reviewed the security situation in the Kashmir region during his one-day visit to the valley. He visited the formations and units in north Kashmir for a review of the prevailing security situation in the region, an Army spokesman said. During the visit, Lt. Gen. Anbu was accompanied by Chinar Corps Commander Lt Gen. J S Sandhu who briefed him about the winter preparedness of the formations and measures taken to meet the challenges posed by weather, he said. The northern army commander also interacted with the troops and emphasised on the need for undertaking relentless intelligence-based operations to sustain pressure on terrorist organisations, the spokesman said. Commending the troops for their dedication and high standards of professionalism, the Lt Gen. asked them to continue strict vigil to thwart any nefarious designs of inimical elements despite the prevalent weather conditions, he said. He also reinforced the need for coordination with other security agencies to effectively meet any emerging challenges and maintain a safe, secure and peaceful environment for the people, the spokesman said.last_img read more

₹100 zero-fuel ‘bulb’ shines bright

first_imgLet there be light, the engineers thought. And they used not electricity, but just a dome, a pipe and sunlight. They named it ‘Surya Jyoti’, and it dispels the darkness in the homes of the poor.The micro-solar dome started as a pilot project to stream diffused sunlight into poorly-lit rooms through the roof in thatched, tiled or tin-roofed houses in the Sundarbans in West Bengal and in Tripura. Now, it has been commercialised.“It works on the principle of capturing sunlight using a micro-solar dome. The light is filtered through a PVC pipe with a highly reflective lining. Bright light emerges at the other end (within the room) through a glass shade,” said S.P. Gon Chaudhuri, former director of the West Bengal Renewable Energy Development Agency and now the chairman of the Helsinki-based International Solar Innovation Council.Easy to installA roof-tile can be removed to install this, and it works equally well in a tin-roofed building too.The device has been developed by N.B. Institute for Rural Technology and adopted by the Centre’s Department of Science and Technology under its Technological Advancement for Rural Areas programme. The device, priced between ₹100-300, comes in three models. Around 5,000 solar domes are in use in the slums of Delhi and in West Bengal, Tripura, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Uttarakhand. The Science and Technology Ministry estimates that ‘Surya Jyoti’ can help some 10 million households. These are off-grid, in urban and rural areas, without reliable access to electricity. The domes provide light equivalent to a 60W bulb.Anupam Baral, who owns Geetanjali Enterprises, a solar equipment firm, said his company was making the domes. Besides a basic model, two others come fitted with solar photo-voltaic panels and a lithium-ion battery to store energy when sunlight is scarce, also enabling mobile device charging. Recently, Central Electronics, a PSU, was asked to make the domes, Mr. Gon Chaudhuri said.last_img read more

TMC plans cyber cell to counter BJP

first_imgThe Trinamool Congress has decided to set up a cyber cell comprising 40,000 members to counter the BJP on social media.Party sources said the decision was taken during the TMC’s Social Media Conclave in Kolkata on Wednesday.A senior Trinamool leader involved with the party’s social media operations revealed that during the conclave the TMC leadership emphasised “identifying and exposing fake news and videos” spread through social media. The conclave was attended by 248 members of the newly-formed cyber cell’s core committee. The cyber cell is under direct supervision of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew and party MP Abhishek Banerjee.Professional help“During the conclave, IT professionals explained to our workers selected for social media operations how fake news and videos are spread by the BJP to polarise people. The experts also spoke about the techniques of identifying and exposing fake news and videos,” the TMC leader told The Hindu.He said the use of software to distort images and the process of identifying such “fake photographs” were also explained to the workers.The TMC sources revealed that one of the key objectives of the cyber cell will be to monitor the “comments of BJP leaders and expose them if they resort to falsehood”.Messaging platformsApart from social networking sites, the TMC’s cyber cell is also planning to take on the BJP’s IT cell on various instant messaging platforms. “Our aim is to set up 10,000 WhatsApp groups to promote the developmental activities of Mamata Banerjee and reach out to at least 2.5 crore people through these groups,” the TMC leader said.“We want to reach out digitally to people even in the far-flung corners of the State and make them aware of the TMC government’s commitment to development,” Diptangshu Chowdhury, joint convener of TMC’s cyber cell, said. He had joined the party after quitting the BJP in December last year. The impact of “fake news, trolling and viral social media posts” were also discussed during the conclave, the TMC leader said.The party sources revealed that during the conclave Trinamool MP and spokesperson Derek O’Brien cited the example of Ms. Banerjee’s prompt reaction against demonetisation on a microblogging site. “The decision of demonetisation was announced at around 8.25 p.m. and Mamata Banerjee tweeted on demonetisation at 9.42 p.m. while other political parties were busy holding meetings. If we have to be Didi’s soldiers, then we have to be alert,” Mr. O’Brien was quoted by the TMC leader.Another party leader, however, indicated that the party “cannot match the BJP in resources” in any area, including the setting up of a cyber cell.last_img read more

‘Mandsaur rape victim wants to go home’

first_imgThe eight-year-old girl, who was allegedly gang-raped in Madhya Pradesh’s Mandsaur district on June 26, has been telling the doctors treating her that she wants to go home, a senior doctor of the hospital where she has been admitted said on Monday.Severe injuriesThe girl, who suffered severe injuries to her neck, face, head and private parts in the incident, is being treated at the State-run Maharaja Yeshwantrao Hospital here since June 27.“She is frequently saying that she wants to go home. We are going to form a team of expert doctors, including the paediatricians treating her, to decide when she should be discharged,” superintendent Dr. V.S. Pal told reporters here.He added that the girl had recovered a lot physically and was mentally stable now.The victim was allegedly abducted from outside her school and raped by two men on June 26.The accused had also allegedly tried to kill her by slitting her throat with a knife.Accused arrestedThe police subsequently arrested the two accused — Irfan alias Bhaiyu (20) and Asif (24) — and charged them under the relevant sections of the IPC and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.They are now in judicial custody.last_img read more

More digital ticketing options for Metro commuters soon

first_imgMumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL) will soon roll out all features of its online ticketing system, Skiiip Q, on Paytm and is expecting more and more commuters to use mobile ticketing options in the coming months. “Mumbai Metro One brought the mobile payment system in Metro ticketing for the first time in India. All the products will soon be available on one of the most widely accepted payment wallet companies: Paytm. We are hopeful that our commuters will benefit from this ticketing option,” an MMOPL spokesperson said. Skiiip Q generates a QR code that can be scanned at the automatic fare collection (AFC) gates to gain access to Metro stations. It was launched in November 2017 on two apps, Ridlr and Paytm. While the former had all the features of Skiiip Q, the latter was limited to journey passes and return tickets. The company recently introduced trip-based passes and is currently testing store value passes, which are likely to be launched in the first week of August.Skiiip Q has been gaining popularity, and the company hopes to have more 50,000 users by the end of the year. In June 2018, around 25,000 passengers were using the app, as against 3,500 users after the first month of its launch.According to MMOPL, nearly 70% of commuters were using Skiiip Q on Paytm, while overall use of the app across all ticketing options — cards, tokens and Skiiip Q — is around 6%. The company has set a target of 15% for the end of the year. MMOPL said use of card-based ticketing was the highest among the three, and hopes that by introducing the options on Paytm, more commuters will switch to the mobile app. At present, only 2% of card-based commuters are using Skiiip Q. The company has engaged two sales promoters at Andheri and Ghatkopar Metro stations during peak hours to assist commuters with the new technology. MMOPL also plans to include it in its corporate contact programme.last_img read more

Amul is an alternate economic model: Narendra Modi

first_imgInaugurating a new chocolate-making factory set-up by dairy giant Amul in Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said a cooperative like Amul is a viable economic alternative to capitalist and socialist models.The new factory opened by the PM is an expansion of an already functional confectionery unit of Amul near Anand. The Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation is India’s largest farmers’ cooperative.Credits Sardar PatelMr. Modi credited Sardar Patel, who founded the Kheda Milk Union, for creating the model. “Sardar saheb sowed the seed for a third economic model — controlled neither by government nor capitalists. Instead, it was created with the cooperation of farmers and people and everybody was a part of it. This is one viable alternative to socialism and capitalism,” Mr. Modi said.“It fills me with pride that it is the result of a farmers’ cooperative movement of over seven decades that Amul has become an identity, inspiration and necessity in the country,” the PM said, while addressing a gathering of farmers after the inauguration.He called upon Amul to set a target for making India the third largest milk processor in the world, from its current ranking of 10th, by the time the nation completed 75 years of its existence.The new plant is a ₹533-crore premium chocolate plant. A nutritional food unit, the Anand Agriculture University Centre of Excellence in Food Processing, and a ₹20 crore Vidya Dairy ice cream plant were launched simultaneously.The PM also launched a solar cooperative society at Mujkuwa village, constructed with the help of the Anand-based National Dairy Development Board.In Kutch, the PM inaugurated a gas pipeline and LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminal set up by the Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation.last_img read more

Minister, ex-MLAs listed as ‘Modicare’ beneficiaries

first_imgAn Uttar Pradesh Minister, some former MLAs and prominent businessmen here figure in the list of beneficiaries of Ayushman Bharat, the Centre’s recently launched health insurance scheme meant for the poor and the deprived, officials said. Among the unintended beneficiaries of the recently launched Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana is the State’s Industrial Development Minister Satish Mahana.Probe ordered Mr. Mahana has asked for a probe into the anomaly. The ambitious scheme is expected to provide health insurance cover of ₹5 lakh to about five crore people across the country. “I came to know from some reliable sources that my name and my family members’ names were on the Ayushman Bharat-National Health Protection Scheme website,” he said. The Minister said he then asked the Kanpur District Magistrate to conduct an inquiry and take strict action against those found guilty. Chief Medical Officer Ashok Shukla said the list also has the names of former BJP MLA Salil Vishnoi, former Congress MLA Ajay Kapoor and his brothers Vijay Kapoor and Sanjay Kapoor.Two lakh families Over two lakh families in Kanpur district are listed as beneficiaries under the Ayushman Bharat scheme.last_img read more

Nagaland can reject Citizenship Bill, says BJP ally

first_imgThe Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), a coalition partner of the BJP in Nagaland, said the State had the constitutional provision to reject the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.Nagaland, along with other northeastern States, has witnessed several protests following the passage of the Bill in the Lok Sabha. The NDPP-BJP government, headed by Neiphiu Rio, has been under pressure from tribal groups to oppose the Bill.Article 371 (A)Referring to Article 371(A) of the Constitution, the NDPP in a statement on Thursday said, “The said article begins with the words “notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, no Act of Parliament in respect of…”, which itself means that despite what is in the Constitution, no Act of Parliament shall apply to the State of Nagaland unless the Legislative Assembly of Nagaland by a resolution so decides.”Nagaland is also protected by the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation of 1873, whereby an Inner Line Permit is issued to outsiders for safeguarding the citizenship, rights and privileges of the Nagas, the statement said.Despite such safeguards, the NDPP said the Centre should exempt Nagaland from the purview of Citizenship Bill when it is moved for approval in the Rajya Sabha. The Opposition Naga People’s Front condemned the NDPP “clarification”.last_img read more

J&K highway remains closed for second day

first_imgThe Jammu-Srinagar national highway, the only all- weather surface link between Kashmir and the rest of the country, has been closed for vehicular traffic for the second consecutive day on Friday due to fresh snowfall and landslides, officials said. “There was fresh snowfall and also landslides on highway in Pantiyal-Battery Cheshma-Ramban sector. Restoration work at several places is going on despite shooting of stones at Battery Cheshma and Pantiyal,” Deputy Superintendent of Police Suresh Sharma said. Landslides at Battery Cheshma and Anokhi fall in the morning led to the blockage of the road, he said. Snowfall was continuing till afternoon in Banihal and Jawahar tunnel areas, Mr. Sharma said.Mughal road closed The Mughal road, an alternative road connecting Kashmir’s Shopian district with Poonch district of the Jammu region, has been closed for over a fortnight due to snowfall, Mr. Sharma said. The Jammu-Srinagar highway had reopened on Sunday after remaining closed for over six days following landslides and heavy snowfall.last_img read more

Yogi govt. presents ₹4.79 lakh crore budget

first_imgThe Uttar Pradesh government on Thursday allocated ₹1,200 crore for a scheme for girls and ₹612 crore for stray cattle and construction of cow shelters in its budget for 2019-20 financial year ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.The Yogi Adityanath government presented a ₹4.79 lakh crore budget, which is 12% higher than ₹4,28,384.52 crore earmarked for the current financial year ending March 2019.After the presentation of his government’s third budget, Mr. Adityanath said it is the biggest one in the history of Uttar Pradesh.“The budget should be ‘lok kalyankari’ (welfare-oriented) rather than ‘lok lubhawan’ (populist),” he said even as the Opposition parties described it as a “populist budget”.In his speech, punctuated with Urdu couplets, State Finance Minister Rajesh Agarwal announced new schemes worth ₹21,212.95 crore, including the ‘Kanya Sumangala Yojana’ to improve health and educational facilities for girls and bring in a positive change in the thinking towards women.An allocation of ₹612.6 crore has been made for maintenance of stray cattle and constructing “gaushalas” (cowsheds). The announcement comes against the backdrop of reports claiming that farmers are locking up bovines in schools and public health centres following instances of stray cattle damaging crops.Scheme for minorities The government would provide ₹942 crore towards scholarship scheme for students belonging to minority communities and ₹459 crore proposed for modernisation of Arabi-Farsi madrasas.Ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, the Uttar Pradesh government has earmarked ₹3,194 crore for construction of expressways and₹13,135 crore for laying of roads in the State. It has also allocated ₹3,522 crore for the maintenance of roads and expressways by the Public Works Department.A budgetary provision of ₹2,100 crore would be made for construction and maintenance of bridges apart from ₹850 crore to connect the villages and settlements through concrete link roads under various schemes. Also, ₹1,174 crore would be earmarked for widening and strengthening of important roads on the inter-State and international border.Another ₹500 crore would be provided for acquiring land to develop defence corridor along with Bundelkhand Expressway and ₹100 crore allocated for strengthening of the proposed Agra-Lucknow entry-controlled 6-lane expressway project.Ayodhya developmentAllocations have been made for development of Ayodhya, including ₹200 crore for an airport and ₹101 crore for the development of tourist spots in the city.Mr. Agarwal said Shri Kashi Vishwanath Special Area Development Board has been set up to ensure implementation of Shri Kashi Vishwanath Mandir Expansion Scheme in Varanasi, the Lok Sabha constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.He said ₹207 crore has been pegged for the expansion and beautification of the road from the Ganga bank to Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi. The Opposition parties lashed out at the government for presenting a “populist” budget.“However populist the budget might be in an election year, the works all through the year relating to people’s welfare and interest and control over law and order are important for the common people,” BSP president Mayawati said in a tweet.Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said the budget is a betrayal of the people in the name of “Sab ka Saath, Sab ka Vikas”. Congress spokesman Ashok Singh said the budget was aimed at befooling the people of the State.last_img read more

Jaipur birding fair dedicated to conservation of waders

first_imgThe 22nd Indian Birding Fair, organised on the banks of Man Sagar Lake here over the weekend, was dedicated to the conservation of waders, which are tiny birds mostly confined to the edges of water and are observed feeding across moist surfaces. The Indian subcontinent hosts 84 species of wading birds, 64 of which are migratory.Hundreds of nature lovers, bird watchers and students and teachers of local schools — enthused at the opportunity to spot waders in their natural habitat — thronged the lake banks during the two-day fair. Wading birds such as little stint, green sandpiper, small pratincole, pied avocet, Jerdon’s courser, black winged stilt and many more species were spotted on the occasion.Artificial lakeMan Sagar Lake is an artificial lake named after Man Singh, the then ruler of Amber and a trusted general of Mughal Emperor Akbar, who had built it in 1610 AD by damming the Dravyavati river. A palace, Jal Mahal, is situated in the middle of the lake.The fair was organised by the Tourism & Wildlife Society of India and supported by Jaipur Zoo and some philanthropic bodies and overseas organisations. TWSI honorary secretary Harsh Vardhan said the biggest attraction of the fair were the numerous bird-watching sites available at the lake.Children took part in the activities such as open air sessions, bird watching, tattoo making and face painting as well as quiz, drawings and paintings. Experts at the venue explained the significance of each bird in the environment and laid emphasis on their conservation.Better documentationExperts also called for better documentation of migratory birds, many of which travel annually to India and spend winter at Man Sagar and go back to their native places in Russia, Mongolia and China to breed.The TWSI has brought out a publication on these birds, carrying their taxonomic and common names and identifiable pictures.last_img read more

Pulwama attack: As it happened| Modi, Rahul pay tributes to slain jawans at Delhi’s Palam Air Force Station

first_imgThe death toll of CRPF jawans in the February 14 terror attack in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir has crossed 40.After a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the withdrawal of the Most Favoured Nation status granted to Pakistan was announced. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) summoned Pakistan High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood and issued a “strong démarche” in connection with the attack.Also Read Congress President Rahul Gandhi, former PM Manmohan Singh, Former Defence Minister A.K. Antony address a press conference in New Delhi on Friday.  11.20 a.m.Dominican Republic extends “deepest sympathy”Ambassador of Dominican Republic Hans Dannenberg Castenllanos extended “deepest sympathy” and said that the country firmly supports India in the fight against terrorism.”On behalf of the Diplomatic Corps, we would like to express our deepest sympathy to the Government and to the people of India, as well as families of the victims of this horrendous act. We firmly support the Government of India in their fight against terrorism,” the country said in a statement.11.15 a.m.J&K Guv failed in his primary responsibility, says Omar AbdullahFormer Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah in a scathing attack on Governor Satya Pal Malik, accused him of “failing” to carry out his “primary responsibility” and asked him to visit those injured in the Pulwama terror attack and take stock of the situation.Mr. Abdullah, the National Conference vice-president, tweeted, “The Governor of J&K has failed in his primary responsibility. He compounds things by preferring to appear on every single news channel he can find rather than rush to the valley to meet the injured and yet somehow Mehbooba & I are to blame for everything (sic).”“It’s mind boggling that the biggest ever terrorist attack in J&K takes place & yet for some channels/talking heads the only people NOT accountable are the central government & the governor’s administration,” he wrote.“Dear Governor Malik, some unsolicited advice from a person who has governed J&K for 6 years. Pls stop giving interviews, let your advisors do it. You will only make things worse by trying to talk your way out of this situation (sic)”, he said in a series of tweets.Accusing Malik of “playing politics” over the issue and trying to “pass the buck”, Mr. Abdullah urged him to be a “statesman for once”.“This should have been done yesterday but yesterday you were too busy passing the buck…You are a politician & obviously your first instinct will be to play politics but this is neither the time nor the occasion. Please suppress your desire to politicise everything & instead be a statesman for once. The nation will appreciate that more even if your party might not,” he said.  – PTI11.10 a.m.Suicide bomber used slip road to join CRPF convoyPreliminary investigations in Pulwama attack in Kashmir has revealed that the suicide car bomber used a slip road to come on the highway where the CRPF convoy was passing by. The explosives-laden car, being driven by a local Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terrorist Adil Ahmed Dar, was driving beside the convoy. After moving ahead of it, the car had suddenly turned back and rammed into one of the buses.The bus was hit on the left side and both the vehicles were blown to pieces. There were 39 occupants in the bus, the third in the 78-vehicle convoy to have entered the highway. CRPF said 37 personnels were killed and five others were seriously injured.Read more Portraits of CRPF Jawans killed in Pulwama attack.  | Photo Credit: PTI Shivsena workers burn Pakistan flags and posters of Imran khan as a protest against the attacks of Pulwama    8:50 pm   Modi, Rahul pay tributes to jawansPrime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi have paid their tributes to the slain CRPF jawans at the Palam airport in Delhi.Both leaders paid their homage to the slain security personnel by laying a wreath where the caskets carrying the mortal remains of the soldiers were kept at the Palam technical area. The Congress chief paid his tributes after the three armed forces chiefs’ homage to them. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and senior Cabinet Ministers including Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, also paid their homage. Members of Raza academy protest against Pulwama terror attack on CRPF  | Photo Credit: Vivek Bendre   7:45 pm Modi likely to pay last repects to slain CRPF jawansPrime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to pay his last respects to the slain CRPF personnel at the Palam technical area, sources say. The bodies of the troopers reached Delhi’s Palam air force area a few minutes ago. Mr. Modi is likely to reach the technical area shortly, add the sources. 7:40 pm Bodies of slain jawans arrive at Palam airportThe mortal remains of the slain CRPF jawans arrive at the Palam airport, ANI reports. Congress president Rahul Gandhi will also pay tributes to the slain CRPF jawans at the Palam airport. 7:10 pm Time to strike inside Pak.: Uddhav ThackerayShiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray says the terror attack had shown that it is now time to “strike inside Pakistan“.“If an intelligence failure led to the terrorist attack on the CRPF convoy in Jammu and Kashmir, those who were in charge should be removed,” he said.After the surgical strikes of 2016, it is now time to “strike inside Pakistan”, he tells reporters in Mumbai. “The issues of alliances, elections will be there. But Pakistan must not be allowed to go scot-free. It should be taught a befitting lesson,” he says.“You [the Union government] conducted a surgical strike in Pakistan occupied Kashmir. Now the time has come to strike inside Pakistan. The entire country supports the government on this issue,” he says.“This is not just a terror attack. It has blown the country’s intelligence system into smithereens,” he notes and demands action against those who failed to take necessary steps to prevent such incidents in spite of being in charge.“Instead of making tall claims, Pakistan needs to be taught a lesson once and for all. If intelligence inputs were not available, one wonders what do the people who are holding the reins were doing. They should be removed,” the Sena chief says.7 pm J&K Congress calls for ‘appropriate and effective response’The Jammu and Kashmir unit of the Congress, in a resolution, calls for “an appropriate and effective response” to avenge the killings of the CRPF personnel.In the resolution made at a meeting in Jammu, the Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee says “the party solidly stands in solidarity with the nation and calls for an appropriate and effective response to avenge the killings“.The meeting was chaired by the party’s State president G.A. Mir.The party shares the grief, anguish and anger of the nation over the dastardly and barbaric terror attack over a CRPF convoy in Awantipora in Pulwama, the resolution reads.The party appeals to the people to express their anger and anguish unitedly in a peaceful and non-violent manner and maintain communal harmony at all costs to defeat “nefarious designs of the enemy“.As a mark of respect to the slain jawans, the meeting decides to defer all scheduled programmes of the party for a week.6:50 pm MEA officials meet representatives of diplomatic missionsRepresentatives of different diplomatic missions arrive at the MEA to attend a meeting called by senior officials to apprise them of the involvement of Pakistan-backed terror groups in the Pulwama attack, ANI reports. Representatives from Germany, Hungary, Italy, European Union, Canada, Britain, Russia, Israel, Australia, South Korea, Sweden, Slovakia, France, Spain and Bhutan are attending the meeting, which began at 6 pm.  Representatives from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Nepal are also present. 6:40 pmPranab, Venkaiah Naidu condemn attackFormer President Pranab Mukherjee says he is “pained by the inhuman act perpetrated by terrorists“.“We must stand together as a nation in this hour of grief,” he says at an event to release a compilation of speeches of Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu in New Delhi.Mr. Mukherjee says the response of international community in condemning the terror attack in one voice will strengthen the resolve to fight terrorism.Neighbour aiding terror groups: Vice-President Mr. Naidu says “our neighbour” has been “aiding, abetting, funding, training terror groups for long“. Such an attempt to “destabilise and impede” the country’s progress will no longer be tolerated. Terror reared its ugly head on Thursday and Indians must stand together with a resolve to make every inch of “our motherland safer,” he says.6:30 pm AMU student booked for tweet on Pulwama attackA student of the Aligarh Muslim University was on Friday booked for allegedly posting an objectionable tweet on the soldiers who died in the Pulwama suicide attack. Basim Hilal, a mathematics student at the university, allegedly posted on Twitter, “How’s the Jaish? Great Sir,” in apparent taunt of a dialogue from Bollywood film Uri, which is based on the surgical strikes conducted by the army in 2016. A case was registered against the student, who hails from Jammu and Kashmir, at Civil Lines police station in Aligarh.—Omar Rashid Read more  11.30 a.m.Mortal remains of CRPF men to be flown to their homes todayThe mortal remains of the CRPF personnel killed will be sent to their homes across the country this afternoon, officials said on Friday. While a majority of the 37 bodies have been identified, some of them have been mangled beyond recognition.A home ministry official said arrangements have been made to hand over the bodies to the families.Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who is visiting Jammu and Kashmir to take stock of the situation in the wake of the terror attack, Governor Satya Pal Malik, DG of CRPF R.R. Bhatnagar will pay their last respect to the departed souls in Srinagar before the bodies are flown out of the State.Read more Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh is among the pallbearers of a slain CRPF jawan on February 15, 2019. Photo: Twitter/@rajnathsingh Pulwama attack: World nations condemn act of terror 11.35 a.m.Perpetrators will be punished: ModiPrime Minister Narendra Modi assured people that the perpetrators of the terror strike would be punished. He said it was important that the country spoke in one voice after the terror strike.India would give a befitting response to the terror attack, Mr. Modi said, calling on the international community to stand together to defeat terrorism.The high-profile CCS meet on Friday morning was chaired by the Prime Minister. Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and Nirmala Sitharaman were also present at the meeting.Top security officials are learnt to have made a presentation on the incident and the overall security situation in the State.Read more 11.50 a.m.Punjab Assembly condemns terror attack in Pulwama, House adjourned for the dayThe Punjab Assembly on Friday strongly condemned the terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama, and passed a resolution for adjournment of the proceedings of the House for the day.Members of the House, cutting across party lines, paid tributes to the CRPF personnel killed in a one of deadliest terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir, and observed two-minutes silence in their memory.Read more  11.45 a.m.Raza Academy, Shiv Sena protest against the attackscenter_img Portraits of CRPF Jawans killed in Pulwama attack.  | Photo Credit: PTI | Photo Credit: Emmanual Yogini  12.00 p.m.This is an attack on India’s soul: Rahul Gandhi What is Most-Favoured Nation status?According to the MFN principle of the WTO’s General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) — to which India is a signatory/contracting party — each of the WTO member countries should “treat all the other members equally as ‘most-favoured’ trading partners.”The WTO says, “Grant someone a special favour (such as a lower customs duty rate) and you have to do the same for all other WTO members.” Hence, though MFN sounds like special treatment, in effect it means non-discrimination.Read more here.10.40 a.m.BJP leaders cancel all political programmesAll political programmes of BJP leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party President Amit Shah, scheduled for Friday have been cancelled following the attack.PM Modi was scheduled to address a rally in Itarsi in Madhya Pradesh and Mr. Shah was slated to attend different political events in Odisha and Chhattisgarh on Friday. These programmes have now been cancelled, party sources said.Top BJP leaders have been holding rallies and other political programmes in the run up to the Lok Sabha polls. Several nations, including the United States, and the United Nations have strongly condemned the attack.Here are the updates:9.40 pmEnough is enough, says RajinikanthCelebrities like Amitabh Bachchan, Rajinikanth and other leading celebrations across India have condemned the terror attack on the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district. Rajinikanth expressed his anger over the attack, in which 49 troopers were killed, saying enough is enough. “I strongly condemn the unpardonable violence of the terrorists at Pulwama in Kashmir enough is enough! Time has come to put an end to all these barbaric acts. “My heart goes out to the families of the jawans who lost their lives and are injured. To those brave hearts departed… May their souls rest in peace,” he said in a statement. Here’s what others have tweeted: Amitabh Bachchan: Distressed… Disturbed. Lata Mangeshkar: I condemn the terrorist attack in Jammu-Kashmir’s Pulwama district. I would like to pay a tribute to the martyrs. I am with the families of these soldiers in this moment of grief. Shah Rukh Khan: Heartfelt condolences to the families of our valiant jawans. May the souls of our countrymen who laid their lives down for us rest in peace. Salman Khan: My heart goes out for the jawans of our beloved country and their families who lost their lives as martyrs to save our families… You stand for India. Aamir Khan: I am heartbroken to read about the terrorist attack on our CRPF jawans in Pulwama. It’s so tragic. My heartfelt condolences to the families of the jawans who have lost their lives. Ranveer Singh: Disgusted at the cowardly terror attack on the CRPF soldiers in Pulwama — my sincere condolences to the families of our brave jawans. Saddened. Angry. Hrithik Roshan: Deeply grieved on hearing about the Pulwama attack. My heartfelt condolences to the families of the jawans martyred. 9:20 pm  J&K Police detain seven youthsJammu and Kashmir Police have detained seven persons from Pulwama district of South Kashmir in connection with the terror attack, officials say.The youths were detained from Pulwama and Awantipora during the night on suspicion of links with the planning of the suicide attack.The overall planning is believed to be done by a Pakistani national, one Kamran of Jaish-e-Mohammed, who has been operating and moving in areas — Pulwama, Awantipora and Tral areas of South Kashmir.The fidayeen (suicide attacker) was identified as Adil Ahmad from Kakapora in Pulwama. He had joined the JeM in 2018.According to initial investigations, the planning for the terror strike was done at Midoora area of Tral in South Kashmir.Police are also looking for another local JeM overground worker who was instrumental in arranging the explosive material. – PTI 9:10 pm NIA team collects material for forensic evaluation“An NIA team, along with the explosives and forensic experts, has collected material required for forensic evaluation from the scene of crime at Pulwama. Considering the status of the scene of crime, the team would continue with sifting of the material on February 15 as well. The outcome would be made known after the analysis is over,” says NIA official.9 pm Portraits of CRPF Jawans killed in the Pulwama attack Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman pays her tributes to the slain CRPF jawans at the Palam Air Force Station in New Delhi on February 15, 2019.  | Photo Credit: PTI  Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, flanked by former PM Manmohan Singh, Former Defence Minister A.K. Antony and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, said that the Opposition stands by the government at this time. “This is an attack on India’s soul. No force can divide our country,” said Mr. Gandhi.  “No amount of hatred can do anything to the love and affection that our country is built on,” he added.As Congress president put it, today is a day of mourning, said Mr. Singh. “Our country has lost forty jawans. Our foremost duty is to convey to families that we are with them. In condemning the act of terror, I also want to say that we will never compromise with terrorism,” added Mr. Singh.”We will do all that is  necessary to keep the country united,” said the former PM.Read more  2.15 p.m.Kashmir regrets every killing, resolve real issue: HurriyatSeparatist amalgam, Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik, on Friday said that “people and leadership of Kashmir regret every killing that happens on its soil”.Referring to the Pulwama incident, the trio said, “The delay in the resolution of the Kashmir dispute, the denial to engage with the sentiments and aspirations of the people of J&K and instead the use of a muscular military approach to counter an essentially political and human problem, is wrecking havoc in Kashmir especially on our next generation and consuming them, while those who are here to execute this  policy are also under stress and paying a price with their lives.”The JRL said if this dance of death has to stop. “If hatred and revenge has to stop, if killing and counter-killings has to stop and if we really want peace in the region, we have to put an end to hostilities,” they said.”And the most effective and civilized manner to do so, is to reach out and engage and listen to the concerns of all three stakeholders and address them in the spirit of humanity and justice. Resolve the Kashmir dispute for all times,” they added.2.10 p.m.Advisory issued to all private channelsIn light of the recent attack, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has issued an advisory to all private channels, advising them to be cautious in telecasting content that is likely to “encourage or incite violence or contains anything against the maintenance of law and order or which promotes anti-national attitudes, and/or contains anything affecting the integrity of the nation.”2.00 p.m.Curfew in Jammu cityCurfew was imposed in Jammu city on Friday as a precautionary measure following massive protests over the terror attack in Pulwama in the Kashmir Valley.The Army has been requested to help the administration in maintaining law and order and conduct flag marches, officials said.Curfew was clamped as authorities feared a communal backlash, officials said. Protesters, particularly in the old city, refused to disperse even after loudspeakers announced that curfew was imposed.1.30 p.m.Rajnath Singh leaves for J&KHome Minister Rajnath Singh left for Jammu and Kashmir on Friday to take stock of the situation in the State. He is accompanied by top home ministry officials.During the visit, the home minister will take part in a high-level meeting in Srinagar to be attended by Governor Satya Pal Malik and top civil, police and other security officials.The home minister will take stock of the security situation in the state in view of the terror attack on Thursday, a home ministry official said.Singh will also pay his last respects to the CRPF jawans who were killed in Pulwama.1.10 p.m.China condemns attackChina on Friday condemned the Pulwama terror attack carried out by a Jaish suicide bomber but once again declined to back India’s appeal to list the Pakistan-based terror group’s chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN.“China has noted the reports of suicide terrorist attack. We are deeply shocked by this attack. We express deep condolences and sympathy to the injured and bereaved families,” spokesman of the Chinese Foreign Ministry Geng Shuang told a media briefing in Beijing.When asked about China’s stand on the listing of Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN Security Council, he said: “As for the issue of listing, I could tell you that the 1267 Committee of Security Council has a clear stipulation on the listing and procedure of the terrorist organisations“.“JeM has been included in the Security Council terrorism sanctions list. China will continue to handle the relevant sanctions issue in a constructive and responsible manner,” he said.1.00 p.m.UP govt announces Rs 25 lakh ex-gratia to families of 12 jawansThe Uttar Pradesh government announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 25 lakhs each to the families of the 12 CRPF jawans of the State killed in the terror attack in Pulwama.The government has also announced job to one member of each soldier’s family besides naming the link road in their native village after the martyrs, a State government official said.Directives have also been issued to ensure that the last rites of the jawans are performed with full state honours in which one minister of the state government besides DM and SSP remain present as representatives of the government, the official said.12.30 p.m.Perpetrators will not go unpunished, says Ravi Shankar PrasadThe perpetrators of the suicide attack in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir, that killed at least 37 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel will not go unpunished, said Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.Talking to the media at Madurai airport on Friday, Mr. Prasad said that the sacrifice of the CRPF jawans will not go in vain.”There will be an appropriate and suitable response as may be strategically decided,” he said. Stating that the entire world has condemned the dastardly attack, Mr. Prasad said that Pakistan now stood isolated.Read more | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy  The Home Minister, Governor Satya Pal Malik, Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, CRPF Director General R.R. Bhatnagar, Jammu and Kashmir DGP Dilbagh Singh besides others attended the wreath laying ceremony.“The nation will not forget the supreme sacrifice of our brave CRPF jawans. I have paid my last respects to the martyrs of Pulwama. The sacrifice will not go in vain,” Mr. Singh said.5:25 pmDeath toll rises to 40The CRPF has confirmed that the number of jawans died in the Pulwama attack has risen to 40.5 pm Indian envoy to Pakistan called back for consultationsAjai Bisaria, Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan, has been called back to New Delhi for consultations, sources in the Ministry of External Affairs told The Hindu.4:50 pmNeed to halt cultural exchange with Pakistan: Shabana AzmiActor Shabana Azmi has called for snapping cultural ties with Pakistan in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack. “I am filled with pain and grief and all else by the dastardly Pulwama attack. For the first time in all these years, I feel weakened in my belief that people to people contact can force the establishment to do the right thing. We will need to call halt to cultural exchange,” she has tweeted.“There is no way we can carry on with cultural exchanges between India and Pakistan even as our martyrs are laying down their lives for us. I stand in solidarity with the grieving families,” she added. “But lets not lose sight of the fact that there is a difference between the Pakistani Establishment and the people of Pakistan and vice versa. On both sides of the border stand sisters and brothers divided by circumstances with which they had nothing to do.”In an earlier tweet she said she and her husband, lyricist-writer Javed Akhtar have decided not to attend Kaifi Azmi’s birth centenary celebrations in Karachi in the wake of Pulwama terror attack. “@Javedakhtarjadu and I were invited for a 2 day event celebrating Kaifi’s Centenary and were truly looking forward to it. I appreciate that our hosts the Karachi Arts Council mutually agreed to cancel the event at the nth hour in the wake of Pulwama attack,” she said.Mr. Akhtar said in a tweet: “Kranchi art council had invited. Shabana and me for a two day lit conference about Kaifi Azmi and his poetry . We have cancelled that . In 1965 during the indo Pak war Kaifi saheb had written a poem. AUR PHIR KRISHAN NE ARJUN SE KAHA”.4:10 pmKarnataka government offers job to slain jawan’s wifeKarnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy said the government would offer a job to the wife of CRPF soldier H. Guru, who died in the Pulwama terror attack on Thursday. He spoke to mediapersons at Channarayapatna near Hassan on Friday.”It was a heinous act by terrorists, should not have happened. I pray the god to bestow the families of the soldiers with the strength to bear the loss. This is the time when all of us have to join hands to fight terrorism”, Mr. Kumaraswamy said.Answering a question, the Chief Minister said he had asked the minister in-charge of Mandya district to collect information about educational qualification of Mr. Guru’s wife. “We will take a decision on offering her a job after collecting the required data”, he said.3:40 pmPutin condemns attackCondemning the Pulwama attack, Russian President Vladimir Putin Friday said perpetrators and sponsors of the attack should be brought to book and reiterated his country’s support for further strengthening counterterrorist cooperation with India.In a message to President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Putin said, “Please accept the most sincere condolences in connection with the loss of Indian law enforcement officers in the terrorist act in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. We strongly condemn this brutal crime. The perpetrators and sponsors of this attack, undoubtedly, should be duly punished.“I would like to reiterate the readiness for further strengthening counterterrorist cooperation with Indian partners. In Russia, we share the grief of friendly people of India and hope for speedy recovery of the injured.”3.25 pmTempers run high in slain CRPF soldier’s village in UP’s DeoriaAs tempers run high in neighbouring Deoria’s Jaidev Chapia, the native village of 30-year-old CRPF jawan Vijay Kumar Maurya who was killed in the Pulwama terror attack, the proud father of the soldier seeks a befitting reply to Pakistan.Vijay Maurya joined the paramilitary force nine years ago and got married in 2014. He is survived by wife and a one-and-a-half-year-old daughter. He was home on February 2 on vacation and left for Jammu only on February 9.“I am proud that my son gave up his life for the nation but Government should give a befitting reply to Pakistan as soon as possible. The action should be so strong that Pakistan dare not enter our territory and kill our soldiers ever again, Vijay’s father Ramayan Maurya said.Vijay Maurya’s inconsolable wife said, “I lost my husband and my daughter lost her father. Whenever such incidents take place a lot of people express their emotions but after 4-5 days everything becomes normal and Government never does anything.The family came to know of the attack from Vijay’s cousin Rajesh Maurya, who is posted as DSP, CRPF in Jammu and Kashmir, Ramayan Maurya said.The entire village is angry over the terror attack and is raising slogans against Pakistan. Hundreds of people are gathered outside the martyr’s house since early Friday morning.A huge number of youth of the village with tricolour in hand also demanded that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath visit the village and family.“We will continue demonstration until CM comes here,” villager Arun Dubey told newspersons.SDM Vineet Singh and BSP state president R.S. Kushwaha rushed to the village on Friday morning to meet the family.3.15 pm Nitish condemns Pulwama attackStrongly condemning the “cowardly terrorist attack” in Pulwama, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday expressed hope that a “befitting reply” will be given to the perpetrators.The martyrdom of the CRPF men “will not go in vain”, he told reporters outside the premises of the Assembly in Patna, where proceedings were adjourned till 2 pm after the members observed a two-minute silence in memory of the deceased jawans at 11 am.“I strongly condemn the cowardly terrorist attack on the CRPF convoy in Pulwama. The nation stands united against the terrorists and I am confident that a befitting reply will be given. My condolence to the bereaved family members. The martyrdom of the slain soldiers will not go in vain,” Mr. Kumar said. 3:00 pmMovement of convoy of forces in Kashmir Valley suspendedThe movement of convoy of security forces in Kashmir Valley was suspended on Friday apprehending law and order situation.Movement of isolated vehicle is strictly prohibited while movement of Army and CRPF vehicles in the interior, inter-district and intra-district in the valley is also banned on Friday, a Home Ministry official said.2:40 pmPakistan envoy summonedPakistan High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood was summoned to the External Affairs Ministry and issued with a “strong demarche” by Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale on Friday in connection with the Pulwama car bomb strike by a Pakistan-based terrorist group. Mr. Gokhale demanded that Pakistan should take immediate and verifiable action against the JeM and stop individuals associated with JeM from operating in Pakistani territory.2:30 pmThe CRPF has released the details of 36 personnel killed in Pulwama attack. One person is yet to be identified.”In memory of the Martyrs of Pulwama terrorist attack, all formations of CRPF observed 2 minutes silence. The CRPF flag will fly half mast today,” the official account of CRPF has tweeted.Name of the jawanStateRathod Nitin ShivajiMaharashtraVirendra SinghUttarakhandAwadhesh Kumar YadavUttar PradeshRatan Kumar ThakurBiharPankaj Kumar TripathiUttar PradeshJeet RamRajasthanAmit KumarUttar PradeshVijay Kumar MouryaUttar PradeshKulwinder SinghPunjabManeswar BasumatariAssamMohan LalUttarakhandSanjay Kumar SinhaBiharRam Vakeel Uttar PradeshNaseer AhmadJammu and KashmirJaimal SinghPunjabSukhjinder SinghPunjabTilak RajHimachal PradeshRohitash LambaRajasthanVasantha Kumar V.V.KeralaVijay SorengJharkhandSubramanian G.Tamil NaduGuru H.KarnatakaManoj Kumar BehraOdishaNarayan Lal GurjarRajasthanPradeep KumarUttar PradeshHemraj MeenaRajasthanRamesh YadavUttar PradeshSanjay RajputMaharashtraKoushal Kumar RawatUttar PradeshPradeep SinghUttar PradeshShyam BabuUttar PradeshAjit Kumar AzadUttar PradeshManinder Singh AttriPunjabAshvni Kumar KaochiMadhya PradeshSudip BiswawsWest BengalSivachandran CTamil NaduWE WILL NOT FORGET, WE WILL NOT FORGIVE:We salute our martyrs of Pulwama attack and stand with the families of our martyr brothers. This heinous attack will be avenged. pic.twitter.com/jRqKCcW7u8— CRPF (@crpfindia) February 15, 2019  6 pmAmit Shah’s party programme cancelledBJP president Amit Shah’s programme at Godda in Jharkhand has been cancelled following the Pulwama terror strike, party sources say. Fresh date of the party function would be announced later, BJP State unit spokesman Pratul Shahdeo tells reporters in Jharkhand’s Pakur.Following the terror attack, all party programmes scheduled for February 15 and 16 have been cancelled. As such party national president’s programme in Godda stands cancelled, he says.5:40 pm‘Civilian traffic to be restricted during movement of troops in J&K’“Civilian traffic movement will be restricted for some time during movement of army and security forces convoys. This may cause inconvenience and I apologise for this but this is necessary for safety of jawans,” Home Minister Rajnath Singh announces in Srinagar after a high-level security review meeting.Mr. Singh also says security given to people getting funds from Pakistan and its snooping agency, ISI, should be reviewed.“Some elements in Jammu and Kashmir have links with the ISI and terrorist organisation. We will win decisive war against terrorism,” he says.He says he has instructed the State government to ensure communal harmony.Earlier in the day, Mr. Singh, accompanied by a high-level team comprising officials from the CRPF, NIA and Home Ministry, arrived in Srinagar and drove straight to the adjacent CRPF campus where a wreath laying ceremony was held for the slain jawans.As the bugler played the ‘last post’ and guard called for ‘shok salami shastra’ (reversing of arms in honour of fallen soldiers), a two-minute silence was observed after which the Union Home Minister gave a shoulder to the coffin of a jawan.  11.00 a.m.Pakistan rejects India’s charge on Pulwama terrorist attackPakistan has condemned the terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district and said it is a matter of grave concern even as it rejected India pointing out Islamabad’s link to the incident without investigations.Pakistan’s Foreign Office, after keeping quiet for hours, issued a statement after midnight.The attack in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir “is a matter of grave concern,” it said. “We have always condemned heightened acts of violence in the Valley,” the FO said.Pakistan also rejected that it was in any way involved in the attack.“We strongly reject any insinuation by elements in the Indian government and media circles that seek to link the attack to the State of Pakistan without investigations,” the FO added.10.50 a.m.Most favoured nation status of Pakistan withdrawn: JaitleyUnion Minister Arun Jaitley, who resumed charge as the Finance Minister on Friday, said that a detailed assessment of the terror strike was made at the CCS meeting.”MEA will initiate all diplomatic steps to ensure the complete isolation of Pakistan from the international community. Most favoured nation status of Pakistan stands withdrawn,” he added.Mr. Jaitley said that Pakistan has direct hand in suicide attack and that the Home Minister will call an all party meeting after his return from Kashmir on Saturday.Read morelast_img read more

Kohinoor group in trouble, yet again

first_imgSpelling more trouble for the Kohinoor group, run by former Chief Minister and senior Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi’s son Unmesh, the State-run Bank of Maharashtra has taken possession of immovable properties of Kohinoor Education Trust for failing to repay loans totalling ₹65 crore. This amount will go up after adding interest. Bank of Maharashtra, acting on behalf of other lenders — State Bank of India, and Bank of India — has taken possession of the trust’s properties in Kurla and Khandala under the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Asset and Enforcement of Security Interest Act (Sarfaesi ). A public notice to this effect was issued on Monday.This is not the first time that the group is facing financial troubles. Earlier this year, it lost control over Kohinoor Square at Dadar after it failed to repay loans worth over ₹900 crore.Monday’s notice names borrower M/s Kohinoor Education Trust and personal guarantors Unmesh Manohar Joshi, Madhavi Unmesh Joshi and Anagha M Joshi along with corporate guarantor M/s Hotel Airport Kohinoor Pvt Ltd and M/s Kohinoor Planet Construction Pvt Ltd and asks them to repay the loan amount with interest within 60 days from the date of the notice.The Kohinoor Education Trust owes nearly ₹16 crore to Bank of Maharashtra, ₹38.63 crore to State Bank of India and ₹13.18 crore to Bank of India.“Since the borrowers having failed to repay the amount, notice is hereby issued to the borrowers/guarantors that the banks have taken possession of the properties,” reads the notice. The properties include a land parcel in Kurla in central Mumbai, and in the nearby Khandala area. The lenders also took possession of two buildings of the trust situated in Khandala, according to the notice. A detailed questionnaire sent to the Kohinoor Group by The Hindu seeking a response went unanswered. Mr Joshi could not be contacted.last_img read more

A New Reason Why Newborns Can’t Fight Colds

first_imgOne of newborns’ biggest vulnerabilities is largely invisible: In the weeks after birth, babies are especially susceptible to infection because their immune systems aren’t fully functional. There are a handful of theories to explain this liability, and now a research team has added a new one to the list: Immune suppression in early life might help prevent inflammation in the infants’ intestines as they become colonized by the helpful bacteria they need to stay healthy.Newborns are more likely than older babies to catch, and die from, serious infections. The reason is fuzzy—indeed, there may be more than one explanation. One theory is that much like their brains, their lungs, and the rest of their bodies, infants’ immune systems just haven’t fully matured yet. Another is that both mothers-to-be and their in utero companions have suppressed immune systems, so that neither rejects the other. After birth, the thinking goes, it takes babies a month or so to boost their immunity.Seeking new ways to better understand this process, Sing Sing Way, a pediatric infectious disease doctor at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Ohio, wondered whether transferring immune cells from adults might rev up their immune systems. Yet when he and his colleagues injected infection-fighting cells from the spleens of adult mice into 6-day-old pups, nothing happened: The pups were just as vulnerable to harmful bacteria as control animals. Probing more deeply into this surprise, they found that the injected cells simply stopped functioning in the newborn animals. Then Way’s group did the reverse transplant—they gave adult mice newborn immune cells that were inactivated in the pups and found that they “turned on” in the mature animals. These experiments “told us it wasn’t a problem with the neonatal cells themselves,” Way says. Rather, he believes, the environment—either a newborn body, or an adult one—guided how the cells behaved.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(*)Others in Way’s lab study the gut microbiome, the constellation of healthy bacteria that populates our intestines. Newborn mice, just like human babies, are born “clean,” with little intestinal bacteria. Very rapidly that changes. Way wondered whether there might be some connection between this colonization and what looked like a purposeful suppression of the immune system in his mice.To find out, his group focused on immune cells that eventually develop into red blood cells and that express a surface receptor called CD71, which causes immune suppression of other cells. Knocking out about 60% of these CD71 cells—as many as their technology could manage—was followed by significant inflammation in the intestines of the mouse pups. Way and his colleagues also found that, as the mice grew, fewer and fewer cells boasted CD71 receptors, suggesting the suppression wasn’t needed. He theorizes that that’s because the gut has been colonized by that point.The work, reported online today in Nature, “adds a new and very important chapter” to the story of how the immune system develops, says Mike McCune, an immunologist at the University of California, San Francisco. Immune suppression, at least in newborn mice, appears to reflect a purposeful shift in the balance of immune cells. The concept is definitely a plausible one, agrees Heather Jaspan, a pediatric infectious disease specialist and immunologist at the University of Cape Town and at Seattle BioMed in Washington. She wonders about other cell types, in addition to those with CD71 receptors, that might play a role. “It would be interesting to follow this up with more cause and effect studies,” she says, to nail down definitively that specific immune suppression allows bacteria to colonize the gut without harming a newborn.One big caveat is whether what Way’s team observed will hold up in human babies. A baby’s immune system develops differently than that of a mouse, and Way is interested in looking for CD71 cells in babies born around their due date, as well as those born prematurely. Very premature infants often die of a condition called necrotizing enterocolitis, a massive inflammation of the intestines. Way and McCune wonder if that’s driven partly by a lack of CD71 cells in these babies—if, essentially, their immune systems are still fetal, not ready for the natural colonization of gut bacteria that happens after they’re born. In theory—and far in the future—say the researchers, preemies could receive immune cells that would make their immune system more like a full-term baby’s, allowing their guts to stay healthy.last_img read more

Salmon Over Science: House Spending Panel Goes Fishing at the Expense of NSF and Census

first_imgAlthough most U.S. researchers probably think it exists, and both Republican and Democratic administrations play along, there is no federal science budget. Instead, there is one pot of money to be divvied up as legislators see fit. A congressional spending panel made that very clear yesterday by choosing salmon over science.The case in point is an amendment passed on a voice vote by the House of Representatives’ Appropriations Committee. It would move $5 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and $10 million from the Census Bureau’s research activities to strengthen a Pacific salmon recovery program run by the Commerce Department’s National Marine Fisheries Service.In his 2015 budget request to Congress, President Barack Obama proposed cutting the salmon recovery program by $15 million, to $50 million. Last week, the House spending panel that controls the budgets of the Commerce Department, NSF, and several other agencies went along with that request. At the same time, it gave NSF $154 million more than the president had asked for. The subcommittee, chaired by Representative Frank Wolf (R-VA), also embraced the president’s request to give the Census Bureau $176 million more in 2015 as it ramps up for the 2020 decennial census.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(*)Those funding decisions gave Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) the chance to make a classic political gambit: raid the budgets of distant agencies seen as ripe for the picking to beef up a program vital to her constituents.Herrera Beutler’s press secretary, Amy Pennington, explains it in more positive terms: “Salmon recovery efforts are extremely important to the economic and environmental well-being of Jaime’s district, and she strongly opposed the President’s 23% cut to the program.” In introducing her amendment, Herrera Beutler said “these funds … mean jobs—family wage jobs.”But the contrast with NSF’s status was also a factor in meeting the congresswoman’s goal of making her amendment “revenue-neutral,” according to Pennington. “As Chairman Wolf stated in the mark-up, this is the highest funding level NSF has ever received,” she notes.NSF officials aren’t surprised by the small raid on the agency’s research account, which the House panel wants to boost by 3% over 2014, to $5.98 billion. “We were up so much over the [president’s] request,” notes one NSF staffer. A blogger for the Census Project had some strong words for what she called the committee’s attack on the bureau, warning that it may not be the last time legislators use it as a “piggy bank.”The amendment was one of five adopted yesterday by the Appropriations Committee. The bill now goes to the floor for a vote by the full House. The legislation is one of 12 spending bills House leaders hope to pass by the July recess to fund the government in the 2015 fiscal year that begins on 1 October. The Senate has yet to take up any of its spending bills.*Update, 9 May, 2:30 p.m.: This article has been updated to include a reaction from a blogger for the Census Project.last_img read more

Fauci and Collins agree to agree on Ebola vaccine development and NIH funding

first_imgOn Meet the Press yesterday, Anthony Fauci was asked whether it was “hyperbole” that the world would have an Ebola vaccine today if Congress had more generously funded the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). “You can’t say we would or would not have this or that,” said Fauci, who heads NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in Bethesda, Maryland, a leading supporter of Ebola vaccine research.A week earlier, here’s what Fauci’s boss, NIH Director Francis Collins, told The Huffington Post: “Frankly, if we had not gone through our 10-year slide in research support, we probably would have had a vaccine in time for this that would’ve gone through clinical trials and would have been ready.”NIAID’s high-profile director challenging the NIH director is the kind of political contretemps that easily explodes into a great inside-the-Beltway brouhaha. Witness the story in The Washington Post story today, “A public dispute between NIH officials over Ebola,” that references several other related stories.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(*)As it turns out, Fauci and Collins agree that big pharma’s lack of interest in Ebola vaccine development is the main reason no product was ready for this epidemic.In 2000, NIH researchers published the first convincing evidence that an Ebola vaccine—built around an adenovirus “vector” that carried a gene for the Ebola surface protein—could protect monkeys. A review article about the field in 2003, co-authored by leading Ebola vaccine developer Thomas Geisbert now at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, noted that the “small global market has generated little commercial interest.” But preclinical research into different Ebola vaccines, in part funded by NIAID, continued apace. Five years later, in a study that used the vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) as the vector for an Ebola gene, Geisbert and co-authors wrote: “Remarkable progress has been made over the last few years in developing candidate preventive vaccines that can protect nonhuman primates.”Geisbert told ScienceInsider he “completely” agrees with Fauci’s assessment. “His comment is spot on,” Geisbert says. “The smaller companies that were working on Ebola vaccines and treatments did not have the financial resources” to make the clinical grade product needed to stage human studies. NIH funding typically supports research, not product development.There were also problems with the strain of adenovirus that served as a backbone of the NIH vaccine in the 2000 experiment—known as Ad5. It was also used in an AIDS vaccine, but in 2013 was clearly linked to increased risk of transmission of HIV. Researchers using Ad5 for other vaccines promptly dropped it; NIH’s current Ebola vaccine now in early human trials uses a chimpanzee adenovirus. If NIH had invested in the scale-up of the Ad5-based Ebola vaccine, the vials may well have ended up in the trash.Geisbert’s VSV approach was funded primarily by the Public Health Agency of Canada, not NIH. That vaccine entered human trials last week. Geisbert is now pursuing yet another VSV vaccine, made by Profectus Biosciences in Tarrytown, New York and Baltimore, Maryland, that he believes has a better safety profile.Collins says he and Fauci agree that if the NIH had not lost “purchasing power” over the past decade, “NIH-funded Ebola research would be further along,” he wrote ScienceInsider in a statement. “[C]onstrained resources have slowed the process in developing an Ebola vaccine,” he wrote. But Collins backpedaled on his earlier comment, echoing Geisbert. “Because of the extremely limited market potential prior to the 2014 outbreak, there was little industrial interest in an Ebola vaccine,” he noted.  “So while NIH readiness might well have advanced to a later stage without the budget situation, it would still have been difficult to have hundreds of thousands of doses of a vaccine in vials, ready to administer.”*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