Study reveals higher proportion on antibacterial agents in Ganga
A study commissioned by the Union Water Resources Ministry to
probe the “unique properties” of the Ganga found that the river water
contains a significantly higher proportion of organisms with antibacterial
The study, ‘ Assessment of Water Quality and Sediment To
Understand Special Properties of River Ganga ,’ began in 2016 and was
conducted by the Nagpur-based National Environmental Engineering and
Research Institute (NEERI), a CSIR lab.
The NEERI team was tasked with assessing the water quality for
“radiological, microbiological and biological” parameters in the Bhagirathi
(a feeder river of the Ganga) and the Ganga at 20 sampling stations.
As part of the assessment, five pathogenic species of bacteria
(Escherichia, Enterobacter, Salmonella, Shigella, Vibrio) were selected and
isolated from the Ganga, Yamuna and the Narmada and their numbers compared
with the bacteriophages present in the river water. Because bacteriophages
are a kind of virus that kill bacteria, they are frequently found in
proximity to each other.
Though it isn’t evident that there are bacteriophage species
unique to the Ganga, the study suggests there are many more of them in the
Ganga than in other rivers. Thus, samples drawn from the Ganga contained
almost 1,100 kinds of bacteriophage, and proportionally there were less than
200 species detected in the samples obtained from the Yamuna and the Narmada.
However, these antibacterial properties varied widely along the
length of the river. For instance, the stretch from Gomukh to Tehri had 33%
more bacteriophage isolates than from Mana to Haridwar, and Bijnor to
Varanasi. In the stretch from Patna to Gangasagar, the bacteriophages were
only 60% of that in the Gomukh to Tehri stretch.
SC to consider victim’ age while computing compensation in cases
The Supreme Court has held that when a bachelor dies in a road
accident, his age, and not that of his dependants, should be taken into
consideration while computing compensation.
A Bench led by Justice S.A. Bobde was determining the question
whether it was the age of the bachelor road accident victim or his
dependants which should be taken in account for calculating the multiplier.
Writing the verdict for the Bench, Justice Sanjay KishanKaul said
when a married man dies in an accident, his age is taken to compute the loss
and compensation to the family. So, why should the same principle not apply
to a bachelor, who may also have people and family dependent on him?
“It is trite to say, and in fact conceded by the learned counsel
for the insurance company, that in case the deceased is a married person, it
is the age of the deceased which is to be taken into account.”
“The question is whether in case the deceased is a bachelor, a
different principle for calculation of the multiplier should be applied by
shifting the focus to the age of the claimants? We are of the view that the
answer to this question should be in the negative,” the apex court
BBB identifies senior management personnel for PSB’s
The Banks Board Bureau (BBB), the apex body for selection of
whole-time directors of state-owned lenders, has identified 75 senior
management personnel of public sector lenders to take over leadership roles
in the future.
From a pool of 450 senior management personnel across nationalised
banks, an inaugural batch of about 75 personnel has been identified this
year to help these banks take on the current and emerging challenges as well
as help create a leadership pipeline, the Bureau said in its activity report
for the October 2018-March 2019 period.
“They are presently undergoing deeper assessments after which
individual development plans will be generated. Shortly, a globally-ranked
Indian institution will be identified, where every year, the identified
personnel will undergo intensive leadership development journey,” the Bureau
It has made a case for giving complete autonomy to banks to decide
organisational structure for better efficiency.
The Bureau also suggested revamping the credit governance
architecture in nationalised banks to reinforce efforts to minimise credit
costs and enhance efficiency of credit allocation.
“Incentivise maximisation of risk-adjusted income and
disincentivise operational inefficiencies by aligning compensation with
right performance metrics through the introduction of performance-based
compensation through Employee Stock Option Scheme, which is different from
Employee Share Purchase Scheme, and Performance-Linked Incentives,” the
Bureau said in its report.
China claims differences with India not to affect BRI
China on Friday said its ties with India had a “bright future” and
they were preparing for a summit between their leaders as a follow-up to
last year’s two-day across-the board Wuhan informal summit between President
Xi Jinping and Prime Minister NarendraModi
At a press conference on a three-day Belt and Road Forum for
International Cooperation that begins on May 25, Chinese foreign minister
and state councillor Wang Yi was emphatic that ties between India and China
were insulated from their differences on the Beijing-led Belt and Road
“The Indian side wants to put our differences at a proper level in
order not to interfere in the proper development of our relations. This is
in fundamental interest of the people of two countries and China is happy to
see [that],” he noted.
China, he said, understood India’s “concerns” about the China
Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), but counselled New Delhi not to view the
project a flagship of the BRI as an infringement of its “sovereignty”.
India has slammed CPEC, stating that it was an affront to its
sovereignty as it passes through Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).
Mr. Wang contended that the CPEC did not “target any third
country” and had “nothing to do with sovereign and territorial dispute left
over from history between the two countries.
An “advisory council”, comprising eminent international
personalities, had been formed to impart “high quality” to projects under
the BRI banner. “To my knowledge, the advisory council will submit a policy
suggestion report to the second forum, which contains many good suggestions.
We welcome more constructive voices to the Belt and Road,” Mr. Wang
Egypt votes to extend President Al Sisi’s tenure
Egyptians are voting in a referendum that aims to cement the rule
of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the former coup leader. The three-day
plebiscite is expected to approve sweeping constitutional changes that will
extend Sisi's term until at least 2024.
The amendments would allow Sisi, to run for another six-year term
while boosting his control over the judiciary and giving the military even
greater influence in political life. Egypt's parliament had already passed
the proposed amendments.
Sisi overthrew Morsi in 2013 and the following year won his first
term as president. He was re-elected in March 2018 with more than 97 per
cent of the vote after standing virtually unopposed.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
Scientists detect the most ancient type of molecule
Scientists have detected the most ancient type of molecule in our
universe in space for the first time ever.
Helium hydride ion (HeH+) was the first molecule that formed when,
almost 14 billion years ago, falling temperatures in the young universe
allowed recombination of the light elements produced in the Big Bang.
At that time, ionised hydrogen and neutral helium atoms reacted to
form HeH+, said researchers from The Max Planck Institute for Radio
Astronomy (MPIfR) in Germany.
Despite its importance in the history of the early Universe, HeH+
has so far escaped detection in astrophysical nebulae cloud of gas and dust
in outer space.
Operating the GREAT far-infrared spectrometer onboard the flying
observatory SOFIA, an international team reported unambiguous detection of
the molecule towards the planetary nebula NGC 7027.
The detection of this special molecule brings a long search to a
happy ending, and eliminates doubts that we might not understand the
underlying formation and destruction as well as we thought, researchers
MirabhaiChanu to spearhead India’s campaign at Asian weightlifting
Former World Champion, MirabaiChanu will spearhead India’s
challenge at the Asian Weightlifting Championship, 2019 that begins at
Ningbo, China today.
Chanu will be competing in the 49kg category from 48kg following
the International Weightlifting Federations’s rejig of weight categories.
She has made a strong comeback after having suffered a lower-back injury
that kept her out of action for nearly nine months. She will have potent
Among male weightlifters, India’s hopes will be on Jeremy
Lalrinnunga, the gold medallist at the Youth Olympic Games. Commonwealth
Games champion, SathishSivalingam has pulled out owing to performance