UPSC topper Shubham Kumar has said that he was not sure about cracking the examination this year, which was his third attempt.
His first attempt was in 2018. "After the second attempt in 2019, I got the 290th rank, and then I got into the Indian Defence Account Service," he said.
The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) on Friday declared the results of exams held in 2020. Kumar, a resident of Katihar district of Bihar, who has topped the Civil Services Examination 2020, said he is happy with his performance.
A total of 761 candidates have been recommended by the Union Public Service Commission for appointment in the bureaucracy of the country.
"I am very happy and feeling very good because I gave as much as I could... I was not sure that I would be able to do it this time," he told IANS.
Kumar has done civil engineering from IIT Bombay and hails from Katihar in Bihar.
"Currently, I am in National Academy of Defence Financial Management Pune and I am an official trainee in Indian Accounts Service," he said.
He said: "I was not that confident in the Mains this time as I was not able to answer all the questions well."
"Due to Covid, I was not able to prepare last year... I was all alone... friends became less and I could not talk to anyone, so it was like preparing by staying locked in a room."
Apart from Shubham, Jagriti Awasthi and Ankita Jain have secured the second and third positions respectively in the Civil Services Examination.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on Monday tabled a Bill seeking the withdrawal of National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for the state.
The DMK led by its President Stalin had come to power in the state promising that it would cancel NEET.
This is the second time a bill for such a purpose is being tabled in the Assembly. A similar bill was passed by the assembly during the AIADMK regime which did not get the President's assent.
Tabling the Bill, Stalin said the DMK has been opposing NEET from the beginning and after coming to power, has started the legal fight against it.
He sought the support of the opposition parties for the Bill.
Stalin said the government is trying to bring the admission process for medical seats based on 12th standard marks.
According to him, the Bill provides for 7.5 per cent reservation in medical colleges for students who had studied in government schools.
Stalin said the government will try to get the assent of the President for the Bill after it is passed in the Assembly.
Former Chief Minister and the Leader of Opposition, K. Palaniswami said AIADMK will extend its support to the Bill.
There has been severe opposition to the NEET in Tamil Nadu by students and the political parties.
On Saturday, a 19-year old Dhanush, a medical seat aspirant, was found dead at his home at Kooliyur village in Tamil Nadu's Salem district.
Police sources said the deceased Dhanush was to appear for his third attempt in the national entrance test on Sunday.
Dhanush had cleared his Class 12 exam in 2019 and was preparing for the exam on Sunday. However, he was found lying dead when his parents went to wake him up early in the morning.
Police rushed to his home and the body was taken to the government general hospital at Mettur. A case has been registered and police are investigating the matter.
Even after the stiff opposition from the DMK government and the slugfest with the AIADMK-BJP combine in Tamil Nadu against conducting NEET exams, a total of 1,10,971 students from the state will take the exam scheduled from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Tamil Nadu has 225 examination centres for NEET. In the state capital, 17,992 students will take the exam in 33 centres.
Students will be allowed into the examination halls on a staggered basis with the first batch to enter classrooms by 10.30 a.m. and this will continue till 1.30 p.m., half an hour before the commencement of the examination.
Strict Covid-19 protocols will be ensured at the examination centres and students will be provided N-95 masks.
Coaching centres and schools had conducted mock examinations on Saturday as last-minute preparation for the mode of exam. Several students complained that by attending the exam wearing N95 masks created problems for them.
M.R. Geetha, a NEET aspirant from Triplicane in Chennai said, "I am attending the coaching classes of a private entrance coaching institute. On Saturday, there was a mock exam at the institute and we were told to wear N 95 masks and for the first one hour, it was fine but later it was irritating. I don't know how I will perform in such a situation."
Many students have been advised to do "Pranayama" by the coaching institutes and schools as a preparation for wearing the mask continuously for three hours and to increase lung power.
Helen David, a teacher of Physics of a prestigious school of Chennai told IANS, "It is indeed a tough proposition for students to take the NEET examination with the N 95 masks on. However, students are geared up and I don't think that they will underperform."
US President Joe Biden's Special Envoy for Climate, John Kerry is slated to visit India next week to launch an initiative for mobilising funds for battling climate change ahead of the UN climate change conference in October, according to the State Department.
This will be his second visit to India as Biden's point-person on climate change, a priority area for the President.
Announcing the visit on Friday, the State Department said: "The Special Envoy's travel will bolster the US' bilateral and multilateral climate efforts ahead of the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which will be held October 31 to November 12 in Glasgow."
The Climate Action and Finance Mobilisation Dialogue (CAFMD), which will be inaugurated during the trip, is one of the two main tracks of the US-India Agenda 2030 Partnership that Biden and Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced at the Leaders Summit on Climate in April, the Department said.
Kerry is coming to India after failing to get any deals on climate change from China.
He met China's climate envoy Xie Zhenhua in Tianjin, away from the capital Beijing, but Foreign Minister Wang Yi spoke to him only by a video link.
Wang told him that cooperation on climate change cannot happen unless bilateral relations improved overall, according to China's Foreign Ministry.
The US should "cease containing and suppressing China all over the world", Wang reportedly told him as a pre-condition to cooperation on climate change.
While in Delhi, Kerry will meet Indian government officials and private sector leaders "to discuss efforts to raise global climate ambition and speed India's clean energy transition", according to the State Department.
Last month, India's Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav spoke to Kerry on the phone and tweeted afterward that they "discussed at length how the largest and oldest democracies can set examples for other countries on Climate Action. India stands committed to working with the US on Clean Energy".
On another front of the war on climate change, India's Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Hardeep Singh Puri worked with US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm on developing clean energy, the other track of the India-US partnership.
On Thursday, Puri and Granholm co-chaired the first ministerial meeting of revamped India-US Strategic Clean Energy Partnership (SCEP) "to advance the climate and clean energy goals of both countries".
India's Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry said: "The two sides announced the addition of a fifth Pillar on Emerging Fuels, which signals joint resolve to promote cleaner energy fuels. A new India-US Task Force on Biofuels was also announced to build on the scope of work on cooperation in biofuels sector.
"The meeting also reviewed the progress on the India-US civil nuclear energy cooperation."
Ahead of the meeting, Puri spoke to her on Wednesday and tweeted: "We agreed to work closely through the revamped India-US SCEP, as part of the India-US Climate & Clean Energy Agenda 2030 Partnership, scheduled for tomorrow."
Kerry visited India in April before the Climate Leaders Summit that Biden convened virtually to increase commitments to cutting greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing the use of clean energy.
The US pressuring India to set a net-zero emissions target that would require it to bring down its greenhouse gas emissions and to neutralise them with carbon and greenhouse gases being absorbed through more forests that absorb them or use new technologies to capture them.
The US paints India as the world's third-biggest emitter of carbon dioxide, accounting for 7.17 percent of the world output.
It ranks below the US, which puts out 27.92 percent of the global emissions, and China, which emits 14.5 percent.
But this hides the fact that an Indian's greenhouse gas emission is only 1.91 tonnes per year, compared to 15.52 by an American even as Biden and Kerry press other countries to cut their emission.
New Delhi, Aug 10 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of the World Lion Day on Tuesday said the big cat population in the country has seen a steady increase in the last few years.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said India's
"The lion is majestic and courageous. India is proud to be home to the Asiatic Lion. On World Lion Day, I convey my greetings to all those passionate about lion conservation. It would make you happy that the last few years have seen a steady increase in India's lion population," Modi said in a series of tweets.
"When I was serving as Gujarat CM, I had the opportunity to work towards ensuring safe and secure habitats for the Gir Lions. A number of initiatives were taken which involved local communities and global best practices to ensure habitats are safe and tourism also gets a boost," a government release said quoting Modi.
Minister of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav also tweeted, "A great conservation success story that must be told on #WorldLionDay. As many as 674 #AsiaticLions spread across 30,000 sq km reside and thrive in Gujarat. The big cat is re-colonising its lost territories. Let's continue to build on this."
The number of lions went up from 523 in 2015 to 674 in 2020. The same period witnessed a 36 percent increase in the distribution area of the lions from 22,000 sq km in 2015 to 30,000 sq km in 2020.
Asiatic lions are found in the protected areas such as Gir National Park and Gir Wildlife Sanctuary, and the agro-pastoral landscape of Saurashtra, covering nine districts in Gujarat.
Earlier in 2020, as many as 92 had died in the Asiatic Lion Landscape, many of them due to the canine distemper virus. Gir area also suffered massive damage, especially the loss of thousands of trees, due to Cyclone Tauktae this year.
The idea of relocating Asiatic Lions from Gir to Madhya Pradesh's Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary has been around since 1990. But it is still pending.
New Delhi, Aug 4 (IANS) Indian researchers have come up with an innovative hydrogen manufacturing route that increases its production three times and lowers the energy required that could pave the path towards environment-friendly hydrogen fuel at a lower cost.
As a fuel, hydrogen has a critical role to play in driving the paradigm shift towards a green and sustainable economy.
In addition to having about three-fold higher calorific value compared to non-renewable energy sources such as coal and gasoline, the combustion of hydrogen to release energy produces water and is thus completely non-polluting.
Due to the extremely low abundance of molecular hydrogen in the earth's atmosphere (350 ppbv), electric-field driven breakdown of water is an attractive route for the production of hydrogen.
However, such electrolysis requires high energy input and is associated with a slow rate of hydrogen production. The use of expensive platinum and iridium-based catalysts also discourages it for wide-spread commercialisation. Therefore, the transition to 'green-hydrogen-economy' demands approaches that lower the energy and material costs and simultaneously improve the hydrogen production rate, said a release from the Department of Science and Technology (DST) under the Ministry of Science and Technology.
A team of researchers from IIT Bombay, led by C. Subramaniam, have come up with an innovative route that provides viable solutions to all these challenges. It involves electrolysis of water in the presence of an external magnetic field.
In this method, the same system that produces 1 ml of hydrogen gas required 19 pr cent lower energy to produce 3 ml of hydrogen in the same time. This is achieved by synergistically coupling the electric and magnetic fields at the catalytic site, the scientists explained.
The simple approach also provides the capability to retrofit any existing electrolyser (that uses electricity to break water into hydrogen and oxygen) with external magnets without a drastic change in the design, leading to the increased energy efficiency of H2 production.
This proof-of-concept demonstration for producing hydrogen has been published in the journal ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering.
The electrocatalytic material -- cobalt-oxide nano-cubes that are dispersed over hard-carbon based nanostructured carbon florets -- is of prime importance to achieve this effect and was developed with the support of a grant from the Department of Science & Technology's Material for Energy Storage Programme in the Technology Mission Division.
"The intermittent use of an external magnetic field provides a new direction for achieving energy-efficient hydrogen generation. Other catalysts can also be explored for this purpose," Subramaniam said.
"A basic electrolyser cell of 0.5 nm3/h capacity can be immediately upgraded to a 1.5 nm3/h capacity by replacing the catalysts and supplying the magnetic field," added Jayeeta Saha and Ranadeb Ball, both students supported by the DST funding.
Having shown that the method is not very complicated either, the team is now working with an industrial partner to increase the TRL level and ensure its successful commercialisation.
"Given the importance of hydrogen-based economy, we aim to implement the project in a mission-mode and realise an indigenous magneto-electrolytic hydrogen generator," said Subramaniam, adding: "If their efforts are successful, we might be looking at an environmentally friendly fuel, hydrogen, replacing petroleum, diesel, and compressed natural gas (CNG) in the future."
New Delhi, July 23 (IANS) Bharatiya Janata Party MP from Uttar Pradesh Ravi Kishan and a few other MPs in the Lok Sabha are going to introduce a Private Member Bill on population control on Friday.
According to the List of Business prepared for the proceedings of the Lok Sabha on Friday, between 3.30 p.m. and 6 p.m., many MPs will bring Bills on different subjects.
Lok Sabha MPs Ravi Kishan, Sushil Kumar Singh, Vishnu Dayal Ram and Dr Alok Kumar Suman have informed the House about introducing the Private Member Bill on population control.
There has been a long-standing demand for strict laws to control the population in the country. Some states have started taking initiatives in this direction.
Uttar Pradesh and Assam have made preparations to give shape to the rules and regulations for population control in their states.
Leh, July 22 (IANS) For a region that remained snowbound for six months and whose children had to travel nearly 400 kms to seek admission in a graduate-level college, Thursday's decision to establish a central university comes as a historic development.
The Union cabinet decision to establish a central university as a centre of learning and research, will also address the intellectual imbalance of the region.
Union minister Anurag Thakur made the announcement in Delhi that the central university would be established at a cost of Rs 7,500 crore in Ladakh and the news was received with delight in Leh.
Thakur said the first phase of the university would be completed in four years.
He informed that the Bill to amend the Central Universities Act, 2009 will be introduced to facilitate the formation of the central university in Ladakh.
The jurisdiction of the central university will cover the entire Ladakh including Leh and Kargil districts.
People of the Ladakh region said the decision marks the fulfilment of their ages-old aspiration while local students and scholars said they would work in the fields of science and technology with the objective of making the region an enviable place.
"We have always wished to have a top-level higher education centre in Ladakh and the decision to establish a central university will open up new vistas and nurture loftier dreams of our students", said Sonam Narbu, a resident of Leh town.
In addition to furthering the dreams of the local students and scholars, the central university will also attract Ladakhi teachers and researchers engaged in universities outside the region.
J. Tsering Namgyal, the BJP Lok Sabha member from Ladakh, has always been critical of a left-handed deal the region had been allegedly receiving when it was part of the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state.
Thursday's cabinet decision should give Namgyal reason to celebrate for the establishment of the central university is a milestone in the 'unshackling of Ladakh' from darkness and exploitation.
The Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) data shows that the pollution level in the Yamuna has worsened this year.
The Yamuna enters Noida with no dissolved oxygen in it and exits in the city even with higher level of pollution.
The UPPCB report does not mention the data for industrial effluents like quantity of hard metals -- mercury, arsenic, lead, etc -- the state pollution body has tested water on basic parameters -- dissolved oxygen (DO) and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) -- and found the pollution levels very high.
According to the data, in May 2021, the dissolved oxygen (DO) level of Yamuna was nil at Okhla barrage, the entry point of the river.
The minimum requirement of DO is 4 mg/l for category D (propagation of aquatic life) water and 6 mg/l for category A (drinking).
As per the UPPCB report, Noida is the only city in Uttar Pradesh where the Yamuna falls under 'E' category, that makes the river unfit for drinking even after conventional treatment and disinfection, bathing or survival of fish and other aquatic organisms.
January has been the only month when the river entered the city at Okhla barrage with some life in it with the DO value of 1.4 mg/l, which died at Tilwada where it meets the even more polluted Hindon. The two rivers support no aquatic life.
Praveen Kumar, regional officer, UPPCB, said that the 'untapped sewage' from Shahdara drain that enters from Delhi was responsible for the poor condition of Yamuna, besides additional pollutants from Kondli drain and Hindon river.
"Shahdara drain from Delhi meets the Yamuna after Okhla barrage near Sector 15A. The drain is untapped and brings effluents that fall directly into the river. It is the major source of pollution. Besides, there is Kondli drain that also originates in Delhi, but work on its remediation is under process in Noida through engineered wetlands. Then Hindon water that is very polluted falls in the Yamuna. The pollutants in the source drains vary from time to time," he said.
New Delhi, July 12 (IANS) The majority of respondents in the IANS-CVoter Live Tracker say the time has come to bring a population control law for the entire country. The Yogi Adityanath government of Uttar Pradesh is preparing to bring a population control law in the state.
To a question in the survey on do you think the time has come to bring the population control law for the entire country, 52.14 percent said the time has come to bring population control law for the entire country.
On the other hand, 38.03 percent said there is no need to bring population control laws for the entire country, and such laws should be introduced only in the states with more population.
The sample size of the survey is 1,225. CVoter NewsTracker Surveys in India are based on a national representative random probability sample as used in the globally standardised RDD CATI methodology, covering all geographic and demographic segments across all states. This daily live tracker survey is based on interviews of adult (18+) respondents across all socio-economic segments. The data is weighted to the known census profile. The standard margin of error: +/- 3 percent at National trends and +/- 5 percent at Regional/Zonal trends with 95 percent confidence level.
Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari has said that the surging petrol prices are 'agitating' people, and given the formula to bring down the fuel price to Rs 60-65/litre. Gadkari said more use of ethanol would bring respite from increasing petrol price.
Following this, 49.6 per cent of respondents said Gadkari should be given charge of the Petroleum Ministry as well while 34.5 percent said the new Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh will handle the affairs of the ministry efficiently and effectively.
Ahead of the 2022 Assembly elections in different states, while AAP leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has announced to give free electricity in Uttarakhand, SP leader Akhilesh Yadav has promised free electricity in Uttar Pradesh.
To this, 50.29 per cent of respondents in the survey said the promise of free electricity is becoming a winning formula for elections while 35.28 per cent said no, that a party can't win elections just by the promise of free electricity. As many as 50.92 percent said providing free electricity affects the revenue of the states, which affects other essential services that are provided to the public.
With Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Gurnam Singh Chadhuni's proposal to contest the upcoming Punjab Assembly elections, rejected by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, 54.3 per cent respondents said farmers should launch a political platform and contest the Punjab Assembly elections to carry forward the fight for the rights of the farming community while 35.4 percent said farmers issues will not be solved by contesting Punjab Assembly elections.
The Haryana government has decided to open schools for students of classes 9 to 12 from July 16 even as the threat of the third wave of Corona is not over yet. To a question on do you think in such a situation, schools should be opened now, 47.1 per cent said no, schools should not be opened now while 44.02 percent said schools should be reopened.
After the Punjab and Haryana unit of Congress, now infighting is being witnessed in the party's Chhattisgarh unit as well, and 48.33 per cent said the Congress leadership is consistently failing to resolve the infighting in state units of the party.
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday unveiled the new population policy 2021-30, on the occasion of World Population Day.
Through the proposed policy, efforts will be made to increase the accessibility of contraceptive measures issued under the Family Planning Programme and provide a proper system for safe abortion and on the other hand, through improved health facilities, efforts will be made for population stabilization by providing accessible solutions to impotence/infertility and reducing the infant and maternal mortality rate.
Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister said that bringing the bill is necessary to control and stabilize the population to promote sustainable development with more equitable distribution.
He also underlined the need or creating awareness among the people on this issue.
In the new Population Policy, a target has been set to bring the birth rate to 2.1 per thousand population by 2026 and to 1.9 by 2030.
One of the key points in the new policy is to make comprehensive arrangements for the care of the elderly, apart from better management of education, health, and nutrition of adolescents between 11 to 19 years.
The period of Population Policy 2000-16 of the state has ended and now a new policy is the need of the hour.
The new policy has an innovative proposal to set up 'Health Clubs' in schools with the awareness efforts for population stabilization, as well as a system for digital tracking of infants, adolescents, and elderly people in line with the spirit of the Digital Health Mission.
While preparing the new population policy, efforts have been made to maintain the - demographic balance in all the communities; easy availability of advanced health facilities, and to bring down the maternal and child mortality rate to the minimum level through proper nutrition.
Meanwhile, the State Law Commission has also prepared the draft of the Uttar Pradesh Population (Control, Stabilization, and Welfare) Bill-2021, on which the public can give suggestions till July 19.
In the draft of the Uttar Pradesh Population (Control, Stabilization, and Welfare) Bill-2021 issued by the State Law Commission, 'Bacche Do He Acche' has been highlighted.
According to the proposal, parents who limit their family to only two children and are in government service and undergoing voluntary sterilization will be given facilities like two additional increments, promotion, the exemption in government housing schemes, increasing employer contribution in PF.
There are also provisions to provide exemptions in water, electricity, house tax, home loan, and other such facilities to couples with two children who are not in government jobs.
If the law is implemented, then within a year, all government officials, employees, and elected representatives of local bodies will have to give an affidavit that they will not violate this policy. Ration cards would be limited to four units.
It is proposed in the draft that the election can be cancelled if the rules are broken.
The single child will get preference in admission in all educational institutions including but not limited to the Indian Institute of Management and All India Institute of Management Science.
Free education up to graduation level, scholarship for higher studies in case of a girl child and preference to the single child in government jobs are other benefits which couples with a single child will receive.
The draft bill further explains, "(a) The personal law governing A allows polygamy. A has three wives B, C and D. A and B, A and C, and A and D shall be counted as three distinct married couples so far as the status of B, C, and D is concerned but as far as the status of A is concerned, it shall be counted as one married couple for the purpose of calculation of a cumulative number of children. For example, A has one child from B, two children from C and one child from D, the total number of children of A shall be four. (b) The personal law governing B allows polyandry. B has two husbands A and C. B and A shall be counted as one married couple. B and C shall be counted as another married couple."
This Act shall be called the Uttar Pradesh population (Control, stabilization, and Welfare) Act, 2021, and it will extend to the whole of the state. It will come into force after one year from the date of publication in the Gazette.
A State Population Fund would be constituted, and it will be utilized to implement this Act.