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Prof. Manoj Dhar elected Fellow of The National Academy of Sciences, India



Jammu Oct 04: Prof. Manoj Dhar, currently Professor at School of Biotechnology, University of Jammu has been elected as Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, India. The National Academy of Sciences, India is the oldest and most prestigious Science Academy of the Country, founded in the year 1930, with the objectives to provide a national forum for the publication of research work carried out by Indian scientists and to provide opportunities for exchange of views among them. Currently, the Academy has 1730 members and 1759 Fellows from all parts of the country; including 20 Honorary Fellows and 100 Foreign Fellows from various disciplines of Science and Technology. The Academy is financially supported by the Department of Science & Technology, Ministry of Science & Technology, Govt. of India; and it is also recognized as the Scientific and Industrial Research Organization by the DSIR, Govt. of India.

Pertinent to mention,Prof. Dhar was elected as Fellow of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences during 2016. His work on Genomics of Plants, especially the plants of regional importance such as Apple, Saffron and Isabgol has been widely acclaimed. His contribution towards understanding the origin of Specialized Chromosomes is pioneering and has been cited by peers throughout the world. Besides, he has also made notable contribution in identifying the genetic basis of rare human Genetic disorders in some population groups of J & K State. His research group is involved in Network projects with various research institutions and Universities of the country. As a pioneering effort to identify genes for scab resistance, improved quality traits and higher productivity in apple, his research group is committed to genetic improvement of apple, which will revolutionize the apple industry of the state. Prof. Dhar and his team are actively involved in developing strategies for removing the bottlenecks in increasing the production of Saffron, the world’s costliest spice, cultivated in Kashmir and Kishtwar regions of India. Focus of research on Saffron includes Functional genomics of Apocarotenoid Biosynthetic pathway and and also on induction of variability. With the present recognition, Prof. Dhar has joined the elite group of Scientists of the country who have been recognized by three prestigious science academies of the country, namely Indian National Science Academy (INSA – as Young Scientist), National Academy of Sciences, India (NASI – as Fellow) and National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS – as Fellow).

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President condemns Kathua gangrape, murder



President Ram Nath Kovind today termed as “barbaric” the Kathua gangrape and murder case and said it was the collective responsibility of society to ensure such things do not happen with any girl in the country.

The President spoke on the matter while addressing the 6th convocation of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University here.

“It is the collective responsibility of all of us, anything like this should not happen with any girl in any part of the country”, he said, terming the incident as “heinous and barbaric”.

The president said he was hopeful that “all among us will fulfill the responsibility of securing our girl child”.

The brutal gang rape and murder of the eight-year-old girl has already seen a nationwide outrage with protests being observed across the country.

Earlier in the day the president arrived here on his maiden two-day visit to Jammu.

The president was received by Governor N N Vohra, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, Legislative Assembly Speaker Kavinder Gupta and Legislative Council Chairman Haji Anayat Ali at the Technical airport here, a spokesperson said.

Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh and Revenue Minister Abdul Rehman Veeri were among those who received the president.

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EC to hear plea against Congress’ election symbol



The Election Commission of India on April 18 will hear the petition seeking cancellation of party’s election symbol ‘Palm of Hand’.

The petition was filed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson and advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay. It will be heard by Chandra Bhushan Kumar, deputy election commissioner, at 3 pm on April 18.

Upadhyay wrote a letter to the EC in January this year invoking Article 324 of the Constitution which gives the Election Commission autonomy and power to carry out free and fair elections.

“Superintendence, direction and control of the election is vested in the Election Commission of India and under Article 324 of the Constitution, it has complete autonomy and plenary power to take appropriate steps, essential to ensure free and fair election in the country. It is pertinent to state that free and fair election is essential to achieve the great golden goals as set out in Preamble of the Constitution of India,” his letter read.

In his letter, he also said the EC allotted the election symbol “Pair of Bullock carrying Yoke” to the Congress and it contested the first four general elections with this symbol. After an internal split, the EC allotted the election symbol “Cow and Calf” to Congress. After another internal split, the Commission allotted the election symbol ‘Palm of Hand’ to the party.

“The ‘Palm of Hand’ is the only election symbol, which is a part of the human body, and therefore available as an inseverable part of the human body at any point of time,” his letter read.

In his letter, he stated that the election symbol has been misused by the Congress party.

He said, “The Model Code of Conduct clearly describes the cessation of election campaign before 48 hours of the polling and Section 130 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, bans exhibition of the election symbol within 100 meters periphery on polling day. However, election symbol ‘Palm of Hand’ allotted to Indian National Congress is such that it is been misused even after election campaigning has come to an end.”

In his letter, he said “The agents appointed by Congress candidates, brazenly solicit vote for Congress candidates by showing ‘Palm of Hand’ to voters on polling day within the polling premises. Applicant has observed such violation of the Model Code of Conduct and Section 130 of the Representation of the People Act 1951.”

Upadhyay requested the ECI to take appropriate steps to cancel the party’s election symbol with immediate effect to ensure free and fair elections.

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Mehbooba is India’s 26th most powerful person, Azad 59th, Omar 72nd: IE survey



The weight of the 2019 general election hangs heavy on the list, with new faces coming in and old ones shooting up and down dependent on what they bring to the table.Take a look at the Express power list.

#26: Mehbooba Mufti, 58

J&K Chief Minister

PDP-BJP alliance govt turns three in J-K: A look at what keeps them together

WHY: Stepping into the giant shoes of her late father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, and despite being stymied by an overpowering BJP in a coalition government, she has proved she is no pushover. She got the Centre to agree to amnesty to over 8,000 youth named in stone-pelting cases and sees the appointment of interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma as a political victory.

POWER PUNCH: She recently sacked powerful Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu, in what was seen as a strong signal to the BJP.

WHAT NEXT: Can she keep walking the tightrope in her alliance with the BJP and deliver on governance as well?

BY THE WAY: Having ditched green, she is now mostly seen in blue clothes.

#59: Ghulam Nabi Azad, 69

Leader of Opposition, Rajya Sabha

Ghulam Nabi Azad

WHY: The veteran, who has worked with four generations of Gandhis, remains central to the Congress’s plans, both inside and outside Parliament.

POWER PUNCH: Continues to frustrate BJP efforts in the Upper House.

WHAT NEXT: Will be key to Congress coalition building besides leading the Opposition charge as BJP emerges as single-largest party in Rajya Sabha.

BY THE WAY: A nature lover, he doesn’t mind stepping out in the rain or sun.

#72: Omar Abdullah, 48

Working President, National Conference

WHY: His is the most potent voice against the PDP-BJP government in the state. Omar is also believed to have played an important role in father Farooq Abdullah’s return as MP from the prestigious Srinagar seat.

POWER PUNCH: His social media following ensures he is heard on all important debates.

WHAT NEXT: As the PDP-BJP government is seen to fritter away its mandate, Omar has to ensure the NC remains on track.

BY THE WAY: Frequents a new gym in Srinagar.

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