Month: August 2019

Cyborg Crickets Could Form Mobile Communications Network Save Human Lives

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first_imgHundreds or thousands of cyborg crickets could form a mobile communications network, transmitting signals through their calls. Credit: Wikimedia Commons. Remembrance of Things Past Influences How Female Field Crickets Select Mates Explore further Citation: Cyborg Crickets Could Form Mobile Communications Network, Save Human Lives (2009, July 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-07-cyborg-crickets-mobile-network-human.html This kind of living, mobile communication network would include groups of not only crickets, but also cicadas and katydids. Like their natural counterparts, the cyborgs would communicate through wing beats. Containing a package of electronics and sensors, the insects would change their call tone in the presence of various chemical and biological agents on the battlefield, or even the scent of humans trapped in rubble after natural disasters.The technology’s designer, Ben Epstein, came up with the idea during a visit to China, where he heard cicadas changing calls in response to each other. Recently, the Pentagon has awarded Epstein’s Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey-based company, OpCoast, a six-month contract to develop a mobile communications network for insects. The biggest challenge will be to fit all the necessary electronics into a tiny body, and then make hundreds or thousands of them in each network. The network could potentially extend across large distances, as some katydids can be heard up to a kilometer away. As the cyborg insects transmit the call from neighbor to neighbor, the cascade effect eventually transmits the signal to ground-based transceivers, where humans can respond.via: New Scientist© 2009 PhysOrg.com This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. (PhysOrg.com) — By taking advantage of the way crickets communicate, researchers are building “cyborg crickets” that could form a mobile communications network for emergency situations, such as detecting chemical attacks on the battlefield, locating disaster victims, monitoring gas leaks, and acting as smoke detectors.last_img read more

Researchers explore Liair battery reversibility on the nanoscale

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first_img Explore further The researchers, Thomas Arruda, Amit Kumar, Sergei Kalinin, and Stephen Jesse at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, have published a paper in a recent issue of Nanotechnology in which they explore factors controlling the reversibility of the particle growth on an electrolyte underlying Li-air batteries and nanobatteries.“We believe this work paves the way for studying irreversible or quasi-reversible nanoscale electrochemistry – in materials systems ranging from Li-air batteries to more established fields such as corrosion, electroplating, and many others,” Kalinin told Phys.org.“Primary Li batteries, which are non-rechargeable and disposable, have high energy densities and have been commercially available since the 1960s; however, they can only be used once,” said Arruda. “In order for these cells to be competitive, for example, with fossil fuels (i.e., automotive applications), they need to be recharged hundreds, if not thousands, of times. Consider the average commuter refueling once per week. This equates to more than 500 fills over the course of a decade. An automotive Li-air battery would need to match this criterion, even without considering cost or other important metrics. In fact, reversibility remains the single most important and difficult task to achieve for Li-air batteries, as evidenced by the intense scrutiny of the leading battery experts.” When a charged Li-air battery is in use, the Li ions in the anode travel to the cathode, where they react with oxygen via an oxygen reduction reaction. The electrons resulting from this reaction are then harvested and used to provide electricity for electronic devices. To recharge the battery, the Li ions must travel from the cathode back to the anode. As the researchers explain, the reason it is so difficult to make Li-air batteries rechargeable is because the batteries combine the most difficult processes used in both batteries and fuel cells. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Researchers explore Li-air battery reversibility on the nanoscale (2012, August 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-08-explore-li-air-battery-reversibility-nanoscale.html Li-Air: Argonne opens new chapter in battery research (w/ Video) “Underpinning these processes is an abundance of unfavorable chemistries such as the poor solubility of reaction products (LiOx species), slow reaction kinetics, and the propensity of Li metal to react unfavorably with nearly everything,” Jesse said. “For the case of the anode, the electrodeposition of Li ions to metallic Li often proceeds with the formation of needle-like Li particles called dendrites. These particles negatively affect the battery by (1) becoming disconnected from the anode and thus unavailable to participate in the reaction and (2) increasing the risk of an internal short circuit which could cause thermal runaway and fire. At the cathode, the oxygen reduction reaction remains as big a challenge for Li-air batteries as it is for fuel cells. When the two reactions are combined, they form a mixture of insoluble products which are difficult to react in reverse and eventually choke the cathode.”In their study, the researchers used an atomic force microscope (AFM) to investigate battery reversibility by analyzing the growth of Li particles. While sweeping the bias of a 20-nm AFM tip across the surface of a Li-ion conductive glass ceramic electrolyte, they measured the change in tip height during the cycling process. They found that increases and decreases in the tip height correspond to changes in current, allowing them to demonstrate the existence of reversibility as well as map the degree of reversibility at different locations.In the future, the researchers hope to further improve the reversibility, and note that Li-air batteries still face many other challenges before they can become commercialized.“Technological developments and systems engineering on all major components of Li-air batteries are required to bring this technology to market,” Kalinin said. “Better catalysts are needed on the cathode, Li anode protection without functional hindrance remains paramount, and superior multifunctional electrolytes need development. The ubiquitous necessity to understand fundamental processes at the most basic level of the key battery components remains a top priority. Only after a comprehensive understanding of the elementary processes is achieved can the chemistries be fine-tuned and the systems be properly engineered to meet the metrics demanded by the application.”If researchers can overcome these challenges, Li-air batteries could potentially store energy for a wide variety of applications.“If Li-air batteries could be realized, the primary application would be for transportation and other situations where mobility is necessary (like laptops, etc.) since they will be very lightweight for the amount of energy they store,” Arruda said. “Optimization of Li-air batteries to include a large number of charge/discharge cycles will drive down the cost and make fully electric vehicles a reality without the need for heavy batteries as is the current situation. Beyond this, it is easy to envision this technology (Li-air nanobatteries) being applied to microelectromechanical and nanoelectromechanical systems (MEMS and NEMS). These may be the ideal systems to employ such energy sources as they would have much lower energy demands and could operate for extended periods of time.”center_img Copyright 2012 Phys.Org All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. More information: Thomas M. Arruda, et al. “The partially reversible formation of Li-metal particles on a solid Li electrolyte: applications toward nanobatteries.” Nanotechnology 23 (2012) 325402 (9pp). DOI: 10.1088/0957-4484/23/32/325402 Journal information: Nanotechnology (Phys.org) — As their name suggests, Li-air batteries use air to operate, pulling out oxygen molecules to use in a porous, carbon-based cathode, while using lithium in the anode. Because using air means the battery doesn’t have to store a heavy charge source at the cathode, the batteries can provide an extremely high energy density, holding nearly as much energy in a given volume as gasoline, and 5-10 times more than Li-ion batteries. Despite this major appeal, Li-air batteries still face many limitations that hold them back from commercialization. In a new study, a team of researchers has tackled one of these challenges: reversibility, which is necessary for being able to recharge the battery multiple times.last_img read more

Computer generated math proof is too large for humans to check

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first_img © 2014 Phys.org Credit: arXiv:1402.2184 [cs.DM] Journal information: arXiv Citation: Computer generated math proof is too large for humans to check (2014, February 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-02-math-proof-large-humans.html Mathematician announces that he’s proved the ABC conjecture Anyone who has taken a high level math course can attest to the fact that math proofs can sometimes grow long—very long. Some mathematicians have dedicated years to creating them, filling whole text volumes in the process. Quite naturally then, mathematicians have increasingly turned to computers to perform some of the more mundane parts of proof creation. It wasn’t long, however, before some began to realize that at some point, the proofs spit out by the computer would be too long, complicated or both for a human reader to fully comprehend. It appears, with this new effort that that day might have come.Erdős discrepancy problem revolves around trying to find patterns in an infinite list of just the two numbers “1” and “-1”. Named after Paul Erdős, the discrepancy problem arises when cutting off the infinite sequence at some point and then creating a finite sequence using a defined constant. When the numbers are added up, the result is called the discrepancy figure. Lisitsa and Konev entered the problem (with a discrepancy constant of 2) into a computer running what they describe as state of the art SAT solvers—software that has been written to create mathematical proofs. The proof that the computer came up with proves, the two researchers claim, “that no sequence of length 1161 and discrepancy 2 exists.”Unfortunately the file produced was too large to read—for comparison’s sake, it was a couple of gigabytes larger than the whole of Wikipedia. This leads to an interesting conundrum for mathematicians going forward. Do we begin accepting proofs that computers create as actual proofs if they are too long or perhaps too difficult for our minds to comprehend? If so, we might just be at a crossroads. Do we trust computers to handle things for us that our beyond our abilities, or constrain our reach by refusing to allow for the creation of things that we cannot ever possibly understand?center_img (Phys.org) —A pair of mathematicians, Alexei Lisitsa and Boris Konev of the University of Liverpool, U.K., have come up with an interesting problem—if a computer produces a proof of a math problem that is too big to study, can it be judged as true anyway? In a paper they’ve uploaded to the preprint server arXiv, the two describe how they set a computer program to proving a small part of what’s known as “Erdős discrepancy problem”—the proof produced a data file that was 13-gigabytes in size—far too large for any human to check, leading to questions as to whether the proof can be taken as a real proof. Explore further More information: A SAT Attack on the Erdos Discrepancy Conjecture, arXiv:1402.2184 [cs.DM] arxiv.org/abs/1402.2184AbstractIn 1930s Paul Erdos conjectured that for any positive integer C in any infinite +1 -1 sequence (x_n) there exists a subsequence x_d, x_{2d}, … , x_{kd} for some positive integers k and d, such that |x_d + x_{2d} + … + x_{kd}|> C. The conjecture has been referred to as one of the major open problems in combinatorial number theory and discrepancy theory. For the particular case of C=1 a human proof of the conjecture exists; for C=2 a bespoke computer program had generated sequences of length 1124 having discrepancy 2, but the status of the conjecture remained open even for such a small bound. We show that by encoding the problem into Boolean satisfiability and applying the state of the art SAT solvers, one can obtain a sequence of length 1160 with discrepancy 2 and a proof of the Erdos discrepancy conjecture for C=2, claiming that no sequence of length 1161 and discrepancy 2 exists. We also present our partial results for the case of C=3. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Leaves of ancient carnivorous plants found in Baltic amber

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first_img(Phys.org)—A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in Germany has discovered samples of two types of carnivorous plants that apparently date from the Eocene, embedded in Baltic amber. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team describes the plant leaves and offers opinions on their possible ties to modern carnivorous plants. The amber was part of a trove that has been found in a mine near Kaliningrad, Russia, where tons of samples have been taken over the past couple hundred years. The researchers obtained their samples from a pair of German amber collectors. Embedded inside two pieces of amber the researchers found leaves from what they believe to be the oldest known examples of a carnivorous plant.The researchers believe the leaves date back approximately 35 to 47 million years ago, a time when Europe was warmer than today and still isolated from Asia. The find is rare, the team notes, as plants doesn’t fossilize well. They think the original plants might be part of the Roridulacea family of carnivorous plants, which of course includes Roridula, which lives in modern times in South Africa. While technically a carnivore, the Roridual (and likely the newly found fossils) don’t actually eat other creatures, instead they capture insects with sticky leaves and then wait for other insects to come by and eat them. The plant gets its nourishment from the excrement left by the bigger insects.The team reports that the leaves were very well preserved and very different from other flowering plants—they have tentacley hairs which are believed to have exuded sticky fluid. They’re also very small, just five millimeters long. They suggest the original plant likely had larger leaves as well, but can’t say for certain. The leaves also offer no clues as to how big the plant might have been. Larger leaves (and bugs, animals, etc.) don’t tend to become trapped in tree resin, they note, which means modern scientists have very little to work with when attempting to reconstruct conditions from so long ago.The research was part of a larger ongoing effort to better understand the early history of the area which led to so much amber being produced. They want to know, for example, if it was dense forest or woodlands with the occasional meadow. © 2014 Phys.org Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Citation: Leaves of ancient carnivorous plants found in Baltic amber (2014, December 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-12-ancient-carnivorous-baltic-amber.html More information: Carnivorous leaves from Baltic amber, Eva-Maria Sadowski, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1414777111 AbstractThe fossil record of carnivorous plants is very scarce and macrofossil evidence has been restricted to seeds of the extant aquatic genus Aldrovanda of the Droseraceae family. No case of carnivorous plant traps has so far been reported from the fossil record. Here, we present two angiosperm leaves enclosed in a piece of Eocene Baltic amber that share relevant morphological features with extant Roridulaceae, a carnivorous plant family that is today endemic to the Cape flora of South Africa. Modern Roridula species are unique among carnivorous plants as they digest prey in a complex mutualistic association in which the prey-derived nutrient uptake depends on heteropteran insects. As in extant Roridula, the fossil leaves possess two types of plant trichomes, including unicellular hairs and five size classes of multicellular stalked glands (or tentacles) with an apical pore. The apices of the narrow and perfectly tapered fossil leaves end in a single tentacle, as in both modern Roridula species. The glandular hairs of the fossils are restricted to the leaf margins and to the abaxial lamina, as in extant Roridula gorgonias. Our discovery supports current molecular age estimates for Roridulaceae and suggests a wide Eocene distribution of roridulid plants.center_img Fossil leaf of a flypaper trap plant in Baltic amber. Credit: Alexander R. Schmidt, University of Göttingen Explore further Secrets of dinosaur ecology found in fragile amber This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Experiments suggest dogs and monkeys have a humanlike sense of morality

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first_img Common sense suggests that most people prefer to deal with other people who are fair and in some cases, helpful. In this new effort, the researchers sought to learn if the same might be true of dogs and capuchin monkeys regarding human interactions. To that end, they set up three experiments designed to test how dogs and monkeys reacted to humans behaving rudely.In the first experiment, a capuchin monkey was allowed to watch a scene in which a person was trying to open a can. After failing, the person asked another person for help—in some cases, the other person complied, and in some cases, they did not. Also in some cases, there was another person present who did nothing, serving as a passive actor in the scene.In the second experiment, the researchers positioned a capuchin monkey to watch as two people arrived with three balls each. One of the people then asked the other person to give them all of their balls and the other person complied. Next, the person who had given up their balls asked the other to return them—in some cases the other person complied, and in other cases refused.The third experiment was nearly identical to the second, except it involved dogs, their owners and another person unknown to the dog.At the conclusion of all three experiments, the people involved (including passive actors) all offered a treat to the monkey or dog that had been observing the action. The researchers report that in all three scenarios, the animals showed a clear disinclination to accept a treat from a person that refused to help with the can or refused to give back the balls, as compared to those that were helpful or fair or were passive actors. The researchers claim this shows that capuchin monkeys and dogs make social judgments in ways similar to human infants, and that it might even offer clues regarding the development of morals in humans. Citation: Experiments suggest dogs and monkeys have a human-like sense of morality (2017, February 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-02-dogs-monkeys-human-like-morality.html Credit: CC0 Public Domain Explore further Study shows capuchins less receptive to others who refuse to help when asked More information: James R. Anderson et al, Third-party social evaluations of humans by monkeys and dogs, Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews (2017). DOI: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2017.01.003AbstractDevelopmental psychologists are increasingly interested in young children’s evaluations of individuals based on third-party interactions. Studies have shown that infants react negatively to agents who display harmful intentions toward others, and to those who behave unfairly. We describe experimental studies of capuchin monkeys’ and pet dogs’ differential reactions to people who are helpful or unhelpful in third-party contexts, and monkeys’ responses to people who behave unfairly in exchanges of objects with a third party. We also present evidence that capuchin monkeys monitor the context of failures to help and violations of reciprocity, and that intentionality is one factor underlying their social evaluations of individuals whom they see interacting with others. We conclude by proposing some questions for studies of nonhuman species’ third party-based social evaluations. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. (Phys.org)—A team of researchers from Kyoto University has found that dogs and capuchin monkeys watch how humans interact with one another and react less positively to those that are less willing to help or share. In their paper published in the journal Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, the team describes a series of experiments they carried out with several dogs and capuchin monkeys and what they discovered about both species social preferences. © 2017 Phys.orglast_img read more

Beyond the naked eye

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first_imgNature has no boundaries. The more you try to explore it, the more it makes you realise your rawness. And then the search for the unknown takes the form of an art. Works by artist DP Sibal, who is primarily inspired by nature, is being exhibited at the Hungarian Culture Centre. The exhibition that kicked off on 21 March showcases twenty of his paintings.Great art picks up where nature ends. Justifying this famous qoute of Marc Chagall, Sibal’s works are embeded in nature. We got to talk to the artist. Read on to know more… Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’What are your major influences?I think my childhood is the biggest influence for me, being a child I was always surrounded with lush green spaces, peacocks used to come on our roof tops. Clear skies with endless shining stars as if we were living admits nature unlike today where greenery is shrinking and pollution had taken over the night skies, these all have inspired influenced me time to time to relive the beauty of childhood gone by.What is the theme of your painting? Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixI have always painted on nature as a theme and this time I’m exploring natures unknown dimensions, going a step ahead into the vastness of the cosmos, the unknown spaces which are ‘beyond the naked eye’.Do you follow a particular style of painting?I think freedom is the style of my work, to have no boundaries when painting, being able to express limitlessly and  have a vibrancy in the colours is my style.What is the uniqueness of your work?Well uniqueness is in the eye of the beholder. Everyone interprets art in their own way which is unique by itself. What  message do you want to convey through your pieces?The message we focus on the beauty nature holds, which we miss in the rush of today’s times and think how to preserve nature for generations to come so they can inherit the beauty it has to offer.What lies next in the pipeline?Difficult to answer right away, my love for natures remains strong, I’m thinking of the moon and planning to showcase different dimensions of the moon. I guess that might be what is in pipeline.last_img read more

IITKGP pilot project to protect heritage along Hooghly river

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first_imgKolkata: IIT Kharagpur, the oldest and largest one in the country, has initiated a pilot project to protect the rich cultural heritage of the cities and towns along the Hooghly river. The project would focus on five former trading posts and garrison settlements near Kolkata along the Hooghly river – Bandel, Chinsurah, Chandernagore, Serampore and Barrackpore, an IIT KGP statement said .The pockets bear traces of Portugese (Bandel), Dutch (Chinsurah), British (Barrackpore), French (Chandernagore), Danish (Serampore) presence, as well as India’s own rich culture. The pilot project has been initiated by IIT Kharagpur’s department of humanities and social sciences, in association with the University of Liverpool, UK, the statement said.Principal Investigator on behalf of IIT KGP, Prof Jenia Mukherjee said, “These places, being peripheral cities surrounding Kolkata, are not getting enough exposure. And yet, in these cities too, heritage buildings are making way for apartments, multiplexes and so on.”Among the top priorities of the project is the conservation of centuries-old buildings, which are mainly private houses, she said.Lack of funds makes maintenance difficult for even those willing to preserve their properties, Mukherjee said adding, “We will be seeing if it is possible to build up a public-private-partnership for the upkeep of these structures.” The project is being jointly funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK, and the Indian Council for Historical Research and the idea is to involve the people of the region as “owner-custodians” of this heritage, she said. The project team recently held an exhibition at Chandernagore with the Institut de Chandernagore which got an overwhelming public response. The Institut de Chandernagore is one of the oldest museums of the region and boasts a collection of French antiques.last_img read more

Unfolding nature

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first_imgPark Myung-Hee is a Korean artiste who majored in painting and design and has been working in Busan. She has been working with Ottchil (Korean Traditional Lacquer Painting) on woods for a very long time. An exhibition, My universe by the Korean Artiste will be on display till March 20 at the Exhibition Gallery at the Korean Cultural Centre, Lajpat Nagar in the Capital.Park Myung-Hee’s works are patient with continuous recoat of black Ottchil (Korean Traditional Lacquer) for smooth and shiny surface to achieve her purpose. She has been studying about the Ottchil substance with much perseverance and patience. Like the big-bang theory, her head is full of life energy and tissue cells dancing in it. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’According to the Artiste the beauty of life has vitality to be unfolded and folded by itself.Her works intend to express the movements of small lives that we cannot see with our eyes and their life force.Perhaps that is the approaching way of biological dimension to know her own self. Not understanding where it comes from, always moving in the internal side, cannot deny, the energy of life is reflected in her Ottchil works.Ott tree grows in Korea, China, Japan, and the likes mainly in Southeast Asia as a special product of the Orient. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixOttchil is extracted from Ott trees, which is a thick (kind of) liquid of light grayish white color at the first, but if it is exposed to air then it is changed to brown. Ottchil which is the pure paint that we get from nature has a lot of excellent characteristic with dignified and rich gloss. Once Ottchil is dried, its gloss is peculiarly beautiful. And dried Ottchil has strong aseptic ability, water-resistance, durability, adhesive strength, and its disinfection effect, antioxidant effect, and so on are superior. Ottchil  which has such aesthetic and practical value has been used very much as paint for metal or woodwork, and particularly for all instruments and industrial art object that is need durability, in Korea, China, and Japan from old days. Especially, Ottchil becomes dry in a warm and humid place which has a temperature of 25-30% with a humidity of 75-85% and its color appears differently according to the drying condition. Such fussy drying condition makes the progressing of Ottchil work slow, but we could even say that such point is also the attractiveness of Ottchil.When: On till March 20 Where:  Exhibition Gallery, Korean Cultural Centre, A – 25, Lajpat Nagar IVlast_img read more

HC grants anticipatory bail to BJP leader Mukul Roy

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first_imgKolkata: The Calcutta High Court today granted anticipatory bail to BJP leader and former railways minister Mukul Roy on a bond of Rs 50,000 in connection with a complaint over the death of his “mentor” Mrinal Kanti Singha Roy in 2015. A division bench comprising Justices Joymalyo Bagchi and R K Kapur directed Roy to meet the investigating officer at Bijpur police station in North 24 Parganas district once a fornight, apart from furnishing Rs 50,000 bail bond as conditions for granting anticipatory bail to him. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flights Roy, who was a senior Trinamool Congress leader before joining the BJP in November last year, was also directed by the court to cooperate with the investigation by the state police. The court had in January directed the police not to arrest Roy during the pendancy of his anticipatory bail application. Roy had moved the bail application challenging an FIR filed by the sister of Mrinal Kanti Singha Roy who was said to be his mentor during his early days in politics and had died of complications after a road accident. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killed Singha Roy had allegedly suffered a road accident on June 8, 2011 at around midnight while returning home at Kanchrapara from Halisahar in North 24 Parganas district and was treated at a nursing home there and then at a private hospital in Kolkata. Following his release from the hospital, Singha Roy was kept in a lodge under the supervision of Roy, who was then in TMC, according to the complaint. Singha Roy’s sister Sonali alleged that he was shifted to the Kolkata hospital and on his release was kept in the lodge on the instructions of Roy instead of being taken home. It was stated that during his stay at the lodge, Singha Roy suffered a throat infection and died after prolonged treatment at the city hospital. Sonali alleged that she had learnt from the hospital that Singha Roy had suffered internal haemorrhage, which she claimed could be due to serious injury and suspected Roy’s role in the matter. Lawyers for Sonali Singha Roy had told the high court that her attempts to lodge a police complaint had failed, following which she had moved the local court which directed the police to file an FIR.last_img read more

Govt to sell 3 stake in BPCL to raise Rs1800 cr

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first_imgThe government plans to sell 3 per cent stake in Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd, the nation’s second largest state oil firm, this fiscal to raise around Rs 1,800 crore. Finance Ministry has moved a Cabinet note for inter-ministerial consultations for selling 2.16 crore shares in BPCL through a public offer, official sources said.At current trading price of Rs 820, the stake sale will fetch the government over Rs 1,778 crore. The government holds 54.93 per cent stake in BPCL. Divesting 3 per cent interest will help government keep its shareholding well above 51 per cent — the minimum strategic holding it has decided to keep in key public sector unit. Also Read – I-T issues 17-point checklist to trace unaccounted DeMO cashBPCL operates refineries at Mumbai and Kochi with a combined capacity of 21.5 million tonnes. It also has a 6 million tonnes a year unit at Bina in Madhya Pradesh in joint venture with Oman Oil. It has 12,809 petrol pumps, about one-fourth of the total petrol pumps in the country. When contacted, BPCL Chairman and Managing Director S Varadarajan said the company has “heard from the government on a possible stake sale.” Also Read – Lanka launches ambitious tourism programme to woo Indian tourists”They (government) were planning this even three years back. It is up to them to decide on divestments and we have sent our general views,” he said. The government is targeting Rs 69,500 crore from stake sale in PSUs this fiscal. Of this, Rs 41,000 crore is to come from minority share sale in PSUs and Rs 28,500 crore from strategic stake sale. Although the Department of Disinvestment (DOD), under the Finance Ministry, has got approval from Cabinet for selling minority stakes worth about Rs 50,000 crore in a host of PSUs, it has only been able to divest stake in one company — REC — so far this fiscal.last_img read more