Latest Ahmedabad Breaking News & Headlines

Morbi case: Chargesheet names Jaysukh Patel as accused
Times of India | 1 hour ago | 27-01-2023 | 03:52 pm
Times of India
1 hour ago | 27-01-2023 | 03:52 pm

MORBI: The Morbi Police in Gujarat on Friday filed a charge-sheet in the bridge collapse case. Oreva group offers compensation for Morbi bridge collapse, admits 'some wrongs'The police have added Jaysukh Patel — promotor of Ajanta-Oreva group — as an accused and showed him an absconder in the charge-sheet filed in a court.Read AlsoFive unanswered questions about Gujarat's Morbi tragedyAs death toll in Sunday night's hanging bridge collapse mounted to 134 in the worst-ever such catastrophe witnessed in the country in the past decade, several questions about the tragedy remain unanswered.Jaysukh undergroundJaysukh Patel — the main accused in this case — has been incommunicado and underground for the last three months and the police secured an arrest warrant against him under CrPC section 70. Total 135 people had lost their lives on October 30 when a suspension bridge in Morbi town collapsed during Diwali holidays. The police have arrested nine accused in this case including two managers of Oreva group, ticket clerk and security personnel.Before Morbi bridge collapsed: What crowds looked like1,262-page charge-sheetAccording to the police, the charge-sheet contains 1,262 pages and the police have recorded the statements of a total 367 witnesses, including the family members of the deceased and injured people. The charge-sheet also contains the statement of civil hospital doctors and all those doctors of private hospitals who had treated the injured. The statements of other witnesses of this incident were also recorded.CCTV: Morbi bridge collapse caught on cameraThe statement of other concerned persons like the chief officer of Morbi Municipality was also recorded and presented in the charge-sheet. The police recorded around four persons’ statements under CrPC section 164 before the magistrate who provided crucial information which helped police in collecting the evidence. The police impounded documents from Rajkot Mamlatdar, Morbi Municipality and Oreva’s office regarding the contract of maintenance of the bridge assigned to Oreva Group since 2007, the correspondence between collector office, municipality and Oreva also impounded and presented in the charge sheet. The detailed FSL report has not been received yet.The police mentioned the forwarding letters written to the FSL to provide the detailed report, which will be submitted to the court later.

Morbi case: Chargesheet names Jaysukh Patel as accused
  • Morbi bridge collapse: 1,262 pages chargesheet filed, Oreva group’s Jaysukh Patel named as accused
  • Times of India

    MORBI: The Morbi Police in Gujarat on Friday filed a charge-sheet in the bridge collapse case. Oreva group offers compensation for Morbi bridge collapse, admits 'some wrongs'The police have added Jaysukh Patel — promotor of Ajanta-Oreva group — as an accused and showed him an absconder in the charge-sheet filed in a court.Read AlsoFive unanswered questions about Gujarat's Morbi tragedyAs death toll in Sunday night's hanging bridge collapse mounted to 134 in the worst-ever such catastrophe witnessed in the country in the past decade, several questions about the tragedy remain unanswered.Jaysukh undergroundJaysukh Patel — the main accused in this case — has been incommunicado and underground for the last three months and the police secured an arrest warrant against him under CrPC section 70. Total 135 people had lost their lives on October 30 when a suspension bridge in Morbi town collapsed during Diwali holidays. The police have arrested nine accused in this case including two managers of Oreva group, ticket clerk and security personnel.Before Morbi bridge collapsed: What crowds looked like1,262-page charge-sheetAccording to the police, the charge-sheet contains 1,262 pages and the police have recorded the statements of a total 367 witnesses, including the family members of the deceased and injured people. The charge-sheet also contains the statement of civil hospital doctors and all those doctors of private hospitals who had treated the injured. The statements of other witnesses of this incident were also recorded.CCTV: Morbi bridge collapse caught on cameraThe statement of other concerned persons like the chief officer of Morbi Municipality was also recorded and presented in the charge-sheet. The police recorded around four persons’ statements under CrPC section 164 before the magistrate who provided crucial information which helped police in collecting the evidence. The police impounded documents from Rajkot Mamlatdar, Morbi Municipality and Oreva’s office regarding the contract of maintenance of the bridge assigned to Oreva Group since 2007, the correspondence between collector office, municipality and Oreva also impounded and presented in the charge sheet. The detailed FSL report has not been received yet.The police mentioned the forwarding letters written to the FSL to provide the detailed report, which will be submitted to the court later.

  • Morbi bridge collapse tragedy: Court issues arrest warrant against Oreva Group chief Jaysukh Patel
  • Times of India

    AHMEDABAD: A warrant for the arrest of Jaysukh Patel of the Oreva Group has been issued by a court in Gujarat in connection to the collapse of the Machchu river bridge in Morbi on October 30, which resulted in the deaths of 134 people. The Oreva Group, through its subsidiary Ajanta Manufacturing Limited, had been contracted to renovate and repair the bridge, which was originally built during the British colonial era.On Sunday, Chief Judicial Magistrate of Morbi, MJ Khan, issued an arrest warrant against Patel under section 70 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC)."The court issued an arrest warrant against Jaysukh Patel of Oreva Group, which had a contract for the renovation of the Morbi bridge. He has not been arrested for 70 days. No lookout notice issued yet," Government prosecutor Sanjay Vora told ANI yesterday.Notably, Patel had moved to Morbi sessions court on January 20 for anticipatory bail in the case, while the hearing was adjourned till February 1 as the public prosecutor was not present.Patel is not named as an accused in the FIR filed by the police in the case.Nine persons, including four employees of Ajanta Manufacturing (Oreva Group), have been arrested so far in the case. They include two managers and an equal number of ticket booking clerks of the Oreva Group that was managing the British-era bridge.As many as 134 persons lost their lives after a century-old suspension bridge fell into the Machchhu River of Morbi, Gujarat.Gujarat High Court on November 7 took suo motu cognisance of the Morbi accident, issuing notices to officials, including those of the state Home department and seeking a report within a week.The Supreme Court in November said the Morbi bridge collapse incident was an "enormous tragedy", as it asked the Gujarat High Court, which was already holding hearings in the matter suo motu, to hold periodical hearings.(With inputs from ANI)

Tata Salt Encourages Kids of Ahmedabad to Ask Questions for the Nation
Ahmedabad Mirror | 6 hours ago | 27-01-2023 | 10:33 am
Ahmedabad Mirror
6 hours ago | 27-01-2023 | 10:33 am

Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], January 26:Keeping the theme of ‘Desh Ki Sehat, Desh Ka Namak’at its core, Tata Salt, a pioneer and market leader in India’s branded iodized salt segment, has launched a nationwide Republic Day campaign calledDesh Ke Liye#HarSawaalUthega. With its 360-degree approach, the campaign aims to empower children by providing them with a one-of-a-kind platform to raise questions that could spark relevant conversations and nudge a societal change.As a run up to Republic Day, the campaign has gone on-ground and aims to engage with students across India covering states like Maharashtra, Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat, Chennai, Karnataka, U.P and Rajasthan among other states.The on-ground event was successfully conducted in Ahmedabad city in Rajasthan English Higher Secondary School with attendance of more than 250 students.Some pertinent questions were raised by the students including “Why do some people sleep on the roadside?”, “Why do people waste food in the country when many sleep hungry”, “Why do we have electricity but rural India doesn’t?”amongst others.These questions were answered by honorable dignitaries including Srimati Darshanaben Vaghela, MLA, Asarwa Ahmedabad , Shri Sushil Agarwal (IPS), DCP Zone 3 Ahmedabad, Shri A K Khandelwal IRS, Principal Chief Commissioner Income Tax , Dr. Kanan Desai (IPS), Deputy commissioner of Police Zone -4, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, Mr. Ashokji Bafna (School Trustee) & Mr. Deepchandji Bafna (School Trustee)More than 350 exhilarating questions were raised by the students and 50 best questions were shortlisted for the event. The jury awarded prestigious books to Top 3 students from the batch of 50. All the students who participated in the event were lauded by TATA Salt and awarded with participation certificates.As part of the campaign, Tata Salt will organize city wide events across India covering private and government schools educating 30,000+ students and giving them a platform to raise their questions. The brand will reward selected students based on their questions, which will be shortlisted by a jury comprising of Policy Makers, Educationists, School Management, Police Officers, Celebrities and Bureaucrats.Commenting on the launch of the campaign,Deepika Bhan, President, Packaged Foods- India, Tata Consumer Products, states,“Children can really reframe our thinking! They question what we are willing to accept as status quo and that challenge forces change. Desh ke liye #HarSawalUthega is a platform that endeavours to surface these real questions. We’ve received such insightful, provocative questions already and are enthused with the awareness and change the next generation is willing to imagine. Tata Salt is one of India’s most trusted brand, and we definitely want to partner this journey of fuelling an entire generation of kids to raise their questions and contribute to a better tomorrow.”Mr. Sahil Arora, CEO, TSLsaid “We are proud to partner with TATA Salt on this noble and innovative initiative, we look forward to invigorating questions from the students. The questionsasked by students are thought provoking and touch upon several social issues.”Srimati Darshanaben Vaghela, MLA, Asarwa Ahmedabadmentioned“This unique project, designed by Tata Salt and executed by TSL will have a huge impact on the thought process of the students across the country. I thank the TSL team for inviting me to this event and giving me an opportunity to answer some really interesting questions”.Shri Sushil Agarwal, DCP, ZONE 3, Ahmedabadstated “It is my honor to be a part of this thought-provoking initiative by Tata Salt which aims at increasing the confidence of the students to ask more and more questions. I would like to thank theThe Social Lab (TSL) team for inviting me to be a part of the event as such campaigns will help the future generations in understanding how the world, at large, works and will add on to their curiosity of getting answers to all the questions that they have in mind”Shri A K Khandelwal (IRS), Principal Chief Commissioner Income Tax said “Projects like these shape the future of our country and I am glad that we have such talented students in the country who have such unique questions to ask. I would like to thank Tata Salt for coming up with this initiative and The Social Lab team for inviting me to be a part of this campaign.”Dr. Kanan Desai, Deputy commissioner of Police Zone -4, Ahmedabad, Gujarat stated “I am honoured to be a part of this wonderful initiative which has been given shape by Tata Salt and executed by TSL team. I would like to congratulate every student who participated in this campaign and would like to urge the young generation to ask more questions and get clarity on what they think matters to them. The enthusiasm of each of these students showed how important it is for this generation to get answers to their questions.”C.A. Adesh Gupta, Director (Advisory Board), TSL stated “We are delighted by the response we have received for this program not only from the schools but our dignitaries who have had a fantastic time answering these questions. Such programs should be conducted more often to build the confidence of children”

Tata Salt Encourages Kids of Ahmedabad to Ask Questions for the Nation
Oreva admits mistake, offers to pay damages
Times of India | 1 day ago | 26-01-2023 | 01:21 pm
Times of India
1 day ago | 26-01-2023 | 01:21 pm

AHMEDABAD: Clockmaker Ajanta, the Oreva Group contracted to maintain and operate the Morbi suspension footbridge that collapsed on October 30 last year, admitted in the Gujarat high court on Wednesday that "some wrong" happened under its watch, leading to the tragedy of 135 deaths. It offered to compensate the victims' kin for this, including taking care of the seven children orphaned in the disaster. It also promised to either employ or help them find jobs on becoming adults.The company's first admission of lapses in the maintenance and operation of the bridge came within days of police naming Oreva Group's promoter Jaysukh Patel as an accused in the criminal case and issuing an arrest warrant against him. Investigators claim that Patel has been incommunicado since the evening of the bridge collapse."Something happened at the Morbi municipality's end, and some wrong was committed by the company. Ultimately, unprecedented damage has been done," counsel Nirupam Nanavati told the court. Ajanta's commitments were in response to the high court's notice to the company on a suo motu PIL.The court said that based on the available evidence and Morbi municipality's failure to explain why it allowed Ajanta to continue operating the suspension bridge, "an inference could be drawn that there was collusion between the two".The municipality had filed two affidavits, neither of which satisfied the bench of Chief Justice Aravind Kumar and Justice Ashutosh J Shastri. The HC said it appeared the company had been dictating terms to the municipality by putting a clause in the contract that there should not be any interference by any government agency. "Look at their tenor and your tipping point. You are a powerful body. You said you took precaution as expected of a prudent person? Why did you keep quiet? And now you are telling the government not to initiate proceedings," Chief Justice Kumar said of the municipality refusing to reply to the state government's dissolution show-cause last week.The court also noted that the agreement inked by the municipality's chief officer and the company was never placed for approval before the general body.Watch Oreva group offers compensation for Morbi bridge collapse, admits 'some wrongs'

Oreva admits mistake, offers to pay damages

Ahmedabad Election News

All eyes on BJP as party is yet to decide on candidate for Kasba bypoll
The Indian Express | 1 week ago | 20-01-2023 | 02:35 pm
The Indian Express
1 week ago | 20-01-2023 | 02:35 pm

With more than a month to go for the Kasba Assembly bypoll in Maharashtra, all eyes are on the BJP, which is yet to announce its candidate. The bypoll was necessitated due to the demise of sitting BJP legislator Mukta Tilak. While a few local BJP leaders have demanded that the party field a member of the Tilak family to enable an unopposed election as a tribute to Mukta Tilak, a former Pune mayor, other aspirants are waiting in the wings.After Tilak succumbed to cancer last month, BJP leader Ujjwal Keskar publicly made a statement urging the party to consider her husband Shailesh or son Kunal as their candidate for the bypoll scheduled on February 27.“The Kasba bypoll should be unopposed as a tribute to Mukta Tilak and the party should support a member of the Tilak family. Thus, a request has been made to BJP leaders to provide a ticket to a Tilak family member,” said Keskar.According to BJP sources, while the party is yet to take a decision, the Tilak family is not averse to contesting the election if a family member gets a party ticket.However, as the Tilak family members lack political experience, this has raised hopes among other aspirants, including Ganesh Bidkar, Hemant Rasane and Dheeraj Ghate. The name of Medha Kulkarni, former BJP legislator from Kothrud Assembly seat, is also making the rounds. She was asked to refrain from contesting elections to make way for then state BJP chief Chandrakant Patil to contest from the Kothrud seat, which was considered to safe seat for BJP. Kulkarni had registered her protest but was later pacified and made vice-president of the national unit of the BJP women’s wing.From the Opposition, Congress leader Arvind Shinde, the city unit chief who lost to Mukta Tilak in 2019, said he has already conveyed to the party that the local unit was ready to contest the seat. The Congress also has another aspirant, Ravindra Dhangekar, who contested the seat as a Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) candidate in 2014 and lost to Girish Bapat.Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Rupali Patil Thombare, who recently switched sides from MNS, has also expressed her wish to contest the Kasba bypoll if her party permits. Thombare had pointed out that the BJP has been fielding candidates in bypolls for seats that were vacated due to the demise of other politicians. However, she was pulled up for going public with her wish to contest.Local Shiv Sena (UBT) leaders have also conveyed their readiness to contest the Kasba bypoll.The Opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance is likely to come up with a strategy for the bypoll elections. They are presently contesting state Legislative Council seats as an alliance.

All eyes on BJP as party is yet to decide on candidate for Kasba bypoll
The Numbers Game | BJP, Congress: As go the votes, so go the notes
The Indian Express | 1 week ago | 20-01-2023 | 02:35 pm
The Indian Express
1 week ago | 20-01-2023 | 02:35 pm

As per the annual reports of political parties released by the Election Commission (EC) Tuesday, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has shown total receipts of Rs 1,917.12 crore and expenditure of Rs 854.46 crore in Financial Year 2021-’22. It received contributions through electoral bonds to the tune of Rs 1,033.7 crore.The Congress in its annual audit report for Financial Year 2021-22 has shown its expenditure at Rs 400.41 crore and receipts of Rs 541.27 crore. It has shown grants, donations and contributions to the tune of Rs 347.99 crore.The 2019 to 2020 financial year, which saw the previous Lok Sabha polls, saw the highest income and spending by parties over the last five years. In this period, the BJP’s income touched Rs 3,623.28 crore, as per the Election Commission reports. That year, it declared its expenditure as Rs 1,651.02 crore. The Congress also saw its income go up to Rs 682.2 crore, while its expenditure was Rs 998.15 crore.Analysis of data over the last five years shows that there has been a fluctuation in the incomes and expenditures of the two parties. Besides the poll year, the BJP’s income in the year 2017-’18 was relatively high at Rs 1027.3 crore. The following financial year, 2018-’2019, it was the lowest at Rs 241 crore.A look at how the two parties income and expenditure fared in the previous years:BJP Income over the yearsCongress income over the years

The Numbers Game | BJP, Congress: As go the votes, so go the notes
‘Indo-Pak war’ erupts among clashing cousins
Times of India | 1 week ago | 19-01-2023 | 03:19 pm
Times of India
1 week ago | 19-01-2023 | 03:19 pm

AHMEDABAD: Frequent fights among members of a family that migrated from Sindh to Ahmedabad have taken the form of an Indo-Pak war, with one set of relatives accusing the others of being Pakistani nationals. While his complaint to the Election Commission led to the cancellation of the elector photo identity cards (EPIC) of his two cousin brothers, the duo has now approached the Gujarat high court seeking redressal.Justice Biren Vaishnav has sought a reply from Gujarat's chief electoral officer (CEO) on the cancellation of the voter ID cards and posted further hearing on February 7.Murli (48) and Anil Parpiyani (44), residents of Kubernagar, approached the high court after their uncle and his son alleged they were not Indian citizens and had obtained voter IDs fraudulently, leading to its cancellation.The Parpiyanis' advocate N L Ramnani said Murli and Anil had come from Sindh with their parents - Wadhumal and his wife - in the 1980s. They were minors then. Their parents later obtained Indian citizenship, but the two brothers did not bother to ascertain theirs.Wadhumal's cousin Koromal had also come to India with him. Koromal and his family diligently pursued the procedure to obtain citizenship, and he and his son, Dinesh, became Indian citizens.Meanwhile, serious disputes over finances and other issues cropped up between the two families, who have filed several police complaints against each other over the years.Dinesh raised the issue of Murli and Anil’s citizenship and complained to the authorities that the brothers had fraudulently obtained voter ID cards and Indian passports.“Murli and Anil had applied for Indian citizenship, but the authorities stalled theprocess after they received complaints that the two had procured voter ID cards despite being Pakistani citizens.The electoral registration officer cancelled the EPICs.Since the complaint about nationality was also made before the passport authority, the brothers received a show cause notice,” said their lawyer.The brothers’ passports were impounded on the ground that they were obtained based on forged documents.The two approached the HC in 2021, challenging the actions taken against them. When the hearing on the petition took place on Monday, advocate Ramnani submitted that the election officials had held a camp in Kubernagar and issued voter ID cards to all residents without proof of citizenship. Thus, no forgery was committed to get the Indian passports.The lawyer further told the court the petition had been pending in the high court for two years.The authorities have not decided on their application for Indian citizenship by citing the pendency of the petition. Moreover, the brothers have lived in the country formore than seven years, married Indian citizens, and are entitled to Indian citizenship.When the brothers filed a petition in the HC, Dinesh filed an application to join the litigation to oppose their prayers on the ground that Murli and Anil were a threat to his family.However, his insistence on presenting the case himself as a party-in-person led the high court to reject his application in July 2022.The HC has posted further hearing on February 7, and the chief electoral officer has been ordered to respond about the cancellation of EPICs by then.

‘Indo-Pak war’ erupts among clashing cousins
Decision 2023: After massive gains last time, task cut out for BJP in coming NE polls
The Indian Express | 1 week ago | 18-01-2023 | 05:35 pm
The Indian Express
1 week ago | 18-01-2023 | 05:35 pm

The coming elections in the Northeastern states of Tripura, Nagaland, and Meghalaya will see the BJP fighting to keep hold of the gains it made in the region in 2018. While the BJP is in power in Tripura, it is a part of the ruling coalitions with the National Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) in Nagaland and with the National People’s Party (NPP) in Meghalaya.The term of the three assemblies, which have 60 members each, is set to end in March. Tripura will vote on February 16 and Meghalaya and Nagaland on February 27. Votes will be counted on March 2.A look at how the previous elections panned out and what is at stake now:The Nationalist Democratic People’s Party (NDPP) and the BJP contested the elections together. While the BJP won an unprecedented 12 seats, the NDPP’s Neiphiu Rio became the Chief Minister.This year, the state will again see an election in the shadow of the long-awaited final settlement to the Naga political question. It was in hope of this that all parties here joined hands in 2021 to form the UDA.The Naga People’s Front (NPF), which once ruled the state, has announced that it will be contesting the election alone and against the NDPP-BJP coalition. Like in 2018, both parties have announced a pre-poll alliance, with the BJP set to contest 20 seats and the NDPP the remaining 40.NPF – 26 (38.78%)NDPP – 17 (25.30%)BJP – 12 (15.31%)Independents – 1 (4.28%)JD(U) –1 (4.49%)There are fissures between the BJP and the National People’s Party (NPP) led by Chief Minister Conrad Sangma. In the 2018 election, Sangma’s party was backed by the BJP and the regional parties but contested 53 of the 60 seats on its own. The impression that the BJP is anti-Christian has been hard to shrug off, with misgivings of the community further strengthened after the surfacing of a letter by the Assam Police Special Branch seeking information from local police stations in BJP-ruled Assam on religious conversions and the number of churches in the state.The most vocal Opposition party against the BJP in the state is the Trinamool Congress (TMC), a new entrant in Meghalaya. In November 2021, 12 of 17 sitting Congress MLAs, led by former Chief Minister and six-time MLA Mukul Sangma, switched over to it. Mukul Sangma, a popular leader, can help the party, especially in his home turf of Garo Hills, which sends as many as 24 MLAs to the 60-member Assembly.BJP – 2 (9.63%)Congress – 21 (28.50%)Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) – 2 (5.35%)NPP – 19 (20.6%)United Democratic Party – 6 (11.61%)Khun Hyniewtrap National Awakening Movement – 1 (0.9%)The BJP came to power in the state for the first time in 2018, ending a 25-year reign of the Left Front. On May 14, 2022, in an abrupt change, the BJP dropped Biplab Deb and brought in the relatively low-key Manik Saha as CM. The Congress and CPI(M) are trying to put up a fight together, and there is increasing talk of an alliance between the two, while the tribal TIPRA Motha party, formed in 2021, may take away tribal votes of BJP’s ally IPFT. TIPRA Motha may end up being a decisive factor in the elections.BJP – 35 (43.59%)CPI(M) – 16 (42.22%)IPFT – 8 (7.38%)

Decision 2023: After massive gains last time, task cut out for BJP in coming NE polls

Ahmedabad Education News

No sense, sensibility
Ahmedabad Mirror | 1 day ago | 26-01-2023 | 06:00 am
Ahmedabad Mirror
1 day ago | 26-01-2023 | 06:00 am

Nashy Chauhan,Director, Anand Niketan group of schoolsAs educators we have to understand when to educate kids about sexuality. Class 1 and 2 are ages when children have to be taught more about their surroundings rather than introducing them to body parts in a way meant for pre-puberty age. We teach children of age 11-12 about the body parts in a scientific language only. I have attended national, international seminars on the subject but have not come across the concept of introducing them to it at such a young age. For class 1-2 students, we stick to good touch and bad touch education, without using anatomical references.PrashantBhimani,Consulting PsychologistAt the age of 6 or 7 children’s cognitive, social and psychological development is underway. It is too early an age to introduce them to human anatomy. I have a simple question to educators who endorse it: ‘Do you take your kids to the moon when they ask about the moon?’ Naming the organs may create other issues of sexual orientation. I am not denying the fact that sexuality education is important and grades 5-6 are the right age to do it.Dhvanit Thakar,ParentAs a parent, I would not want my children to get exposed to subjects that are not appropriate to their age. Through these market-driven and commercial agendas, we have created a world of adults and are snatching away the innocence of children. It is unnatural to expose them to sexuality at such a young age. I believe in sexuality education to children at a right age, when their bodies are going through hormonal changes.Minal Desai,Director, Gems Genesis International SchoolIn our school, we teach the concept of good touch-bad touch without naming the organs. They are only taught to raise objections when touched in an inappropriate manner. At our school, body parts are named and introduced in grade 5-6. We impart such education to students of younger classes only when they raise queries and not push it under the carpet. We also include parents in the process and conduct sessions with the help of counsellors.Jaison Manjaly,Parent, faculty at IIT-GnI support the school (Redbricks) and feel it is a good practice to introduce education of body parts from the beginning. When my son came to us asking questions like: Where did I come from? We introduced him to the process in a responsible manner. His curiosity was addressed and he hasn’t asked the same question again. However, the means of introducing the kids to the subject of sexuality is also important. It’s best to take along the parents in the process.Prof Prashant Das,Parent​​​​​​​I would want my kids to be sensitised about sex education and want them to be informed. I wish the narrative on the subject is normalised rather than being scandalised. It is unsettling at a young age to be introduced to sexual jargons. As a parent, I am not qualified to decide the right age and leave that to experts to decide. We need to sensitise young people via school curriculum in a responsible manner to set the tone for their future social behaviour.

No sense, sensibility
ATLAS SkillTech University Students Experience The Best Of Global Education On Their Mumbai Campus
The Indian Express | 1 week ago | 20-01-2023 | 02:35 pm
The Indian Express
1 week ago | 20-01-2023 | 02:35 pm

The ATLAS International Faculty Week organized by ATLAS SkillTech University marks a new wave of ‘Internationalization at Home’ in India. It presents the young learners of India with a never-seen-before opportunity to access the best in world-class education from top-ranked universities on their very own campus in Mumbai. Throughout this week, ATLAS SkillTech University will host over 25 distinguished and eminent faculty members from 14 leading UK universities including Imperial College London,University of Bristol, University of Bath, Royal College of Art, University of Arts, London, University of Westminster, Nottingham Trent University and Manchester Metropolitan University. Emphasizing on the significance of this initiative for creating global leaders of the future, Dr. Indu Shahani, President and Chancellor, ATLAS SkillTech University said, “At ATLAS SkillTech University we are committed to empowering the ATLAS students as leaders who can fuel global innovation and impact. The ATLAS International Faculty Week is a reinforcement of our vision of creating meaningful collaborations with highly distinguished faculty to bring in the best of international practices in teaching, learning and research on the ATLAS campus”.During this power-packed week, the international faculty visiting the ATLAS SkillTech University will deliver nearly 400 hours of teaching across 175 credit-bearing sessions at the intersection of Design, Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management. Masterclasses, lectures and workshops have been designed to reflect the international curriculum, coursework, pedagogy and culture from universities that are considered the Ivy-League of UK. Highlighting the global impact created by the initiative taken by ATLAS SkillTech University, Dr. Veselina Stoyanova from the University of Birmingham said “The International Faculty Week by ATLAS SkillTech University will serve as a fundamental building block to add onto synergies between the East and the West. It lays a strong foundation to teach, learn, share and exchange knowledge that will enable us to collectively address global challenges around climate change, urban living, rising world population and various other issues”.Nearly 3000 ATLAS students will have the opportunity to be a part of this initiative and explore a diverse range of subjects such as Digital Finance, International Business Dynamics, Data Visualization, Sustainable Fashion Futures, Creative Entrepreneurship and Interaction Design. These new-age subjects have been very specifically curated by ATLAS SkillTech University to meet industry demands for jobs of the future and to enable the ISDI & ISME students with a global perspective on the most pressing topics being discussed globally.During one such interaction, Professor Iwona Abrams from the University of Westminster said, “It is impressive to see the level of conversation the students of ATLAS SkillTech University have been able to engage in and the personal connect they have established with us in such a short span of time. It clearly demonstrated that this initiative is a two-way exchange and while it will enable the students with international academic experiences, it will also be a unique opportunity for us faculty to find great takeaways from these young and bright ATLAS students”.The success of this landmark global initiative has established that ATLAS SkillTech University is on the forefront of reimagining the globalization of Indian higher education.Get in touch for more info.Abhinav Madan, Director – Strategy & Growth Operations+91 99309 25993, abhinav.madan@atlasuniversity.edu.in

ATLAS SkillTech University Students Experience The Best Of Global Education On Their Mumbai Campus
NCPCR pulls up UP govt for not investigating madrasas allegedly enrolling children of other faiths
The Indian Express | 1 week ago | 20-01-2023 | 02:35 pm
The Indian Express
1 week ago | 20-01-2023 | 02:35 pm

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has pulled up the Uttar Pradesh government for not taking action regarding an earlier commission direction, issued on December 8 last year, in which it had asked the state government to investigate allegations that Hindu children were being taught at madrasas. The commission had also written to the Uttar Pradesh chief secretary to map the unmapped madrasas in the state.In his letter to the special secretary of the minorities department of the UP government on Friday, NCPCR chairperson Priyank Kanoongo has said that while directions to the chief secretary had been forwarded to the department for “necessary compliance”, no action has been taken so far. “…no action taken report in compliance as sought by the commission has been received from your good office in the matter,” the letter says.The NCPCR has asked the UP government to take “urgent appropriate action in the matter”. It has also directed the UP government to submit an action-taken report to the commission within the next three days.Kanoongo has further raised the issue of the UP State Madrasa Board chairman allegedly saying that children of other faiths would be taught at madrasas.“Besides, the commission has come across various media reports wherein the chairman of UP State Madrasa Education Board Dr Iftikhar Ahmed Javed has given irrelevant and divergent statements in various media, advocating the continuance of children of other faiths in the madrasas. The commission totally disagrees with the statement of the chairman of UP State Madrasa Education Board which not only violates the constitutional rights of the children but also shows disrespect to the commission’s mandate,” it has said.“We have been receiving reports and complaints from UP that Hindu children are being taught at madrasas in the state. Why should this be? The UP madrasa board was set up to ensure that children studying at madrasas also receive some kind of formal education to make them employable. But this has not been the case. The medium of instruction, as prescribed by the board, is Arabic, Persian and Urdu – how can children build their careers based on this and without appropriate knowledge of English or Hindi? Besides this, the instructions imparted at these madrasas is religious in nature and about Islam – why should Hindu children learn this,” said Kanoongo, speaking with The Indian Express.

NCPCR pulls up UP govt for not investigating madrasas allegedly enrolling children of other faiths
‘Refer to Constitution’: Saxena replies to Kejriwal’s ‘Who is L-G?’ question
The Indian Express | 1 week ago | 20-01-2023 | 02:35 pm
The Indian Express
1 week ago | 20-01-2023 | 02:35 pm

Two days after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal came down heavily on alleged interference in the affairs of the elected AAP government during his address in the Delhi Legislative Assembly, asking “Who is the LG, where did he come from?”, Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena wrote to him, asking him to refer to the Constitution for the answer.In his letter, L-G Saxena termed Kejriwal’s statements against him both in the Delhi Assembly and outside it as “substantively misleading, untrue and derogatory”.Questioning his alleged interference in matters of the Delhi government over a range of issues, Kejriwal had accused Saxena of constitutional overreach during his address to the House before leading a march to Raj Niwas and demanding that the L-G meet him and the 61 other AAP MLAs.Referring to media reports related to his allegations against him, Saxena said some of these did not deserve a reply since they “cater to a very low level of discourse.” He also termed as “posturing” Kejriwal’s allegation that the L-G did not meet him after his march to Raj Niwas.“I came to know through media reports that on Monday…you left the Assembly and were protesting with others outside Raj Niwas, demanding to meet me. Thereafter, I invited you and the Dy. Chief Minister to come and see me. I would have, indeed, loved to have you over and served you lunch as well” Saxena stated.“However, you chose not to come on the pretext of wanting to meet me with all of your MLAs. You would appreciate that, given the short notice and sudden demand on your part, it would not have been possible to at once have a meeting with 70-80 people, nor would have it served any concrete purpose,” he added.Terming it unfortunate, Saxena accused Kejriwal of political posturing by announcing that he had refused to meet him. “I must mention here that I was rather astounded at the fact that even as the city is grappling with several serious developmental issues, you found time to walk for long and stage a protest meant solely for posturing, rather than taking the issue to a logical conclusion by meeting me,” Saxena stated.The L-G said he was glad that the issue of education and teacher training was being raised by the CM and AAP MLAs, following which he took on the AAP government over it. The L-G flagged that average attendance in government schools, which was 70.73% in 2012-2013 “consistently fell year on year” reaching 60.65% in 2019-2020, despite concerted efforts after their closure due to the Covid pandemic between March 2020 and June 2022, the numbers “went up to only 73.74%.““Enrolment in government schools that stood at 16.1 lakh during 2013-2014, consistently came down to 15.1 lakh in 2019-2020. This, despite the fact that population of the city grew and enrolment should have increased proportionately,” L-G Saxena said.He also brought up the issue of no new schools having been built during the last eight years in Delhi despite the Delhi Development Authority allotting 13 plots to the education department since 2015.“In this regard, right after taking over, I personally ensured that six plots were allotted in August 2022 for building schools by GNCTD (Government of NCT of Delhi). Adding classrooms in existing schools and counting toilets as classrooms, do not, by any stretch of imagination, amount to opening new schools, as you would appreciate,” he added.Despite the AAP government’s “claims of unprecedented improvement in government education system in Delhi”, Saxena stated that the National Achievement Survey (NAS) 2021 pegged the performance of about 30% students in Delhi government schools till Class VIII below basic levels and for about 44% students “barely basic”.“Similarly, performance of about 33% students studying in Class X is below basic and for about 30%, it is barely basic. There is rampant math and science phobia among students of Delhi government schools and this results in the fact that only 21,340 out of 2,31,448 students studying in Class XII are in the Science stream,” he stated.The L-G also questioned the AAP government’s claims related to higher enrolment in government schools. “Contrary to claims, the number of students going to private schools has increased in Delhi. While the share of private schools in 2013-2014 was 35%, the same went up to 43% in 2019-2020, and despite migration from private schools to government schools due to the pandemic distress, this number yet hovers around 40%,” Saxena said.He also questioned the need to send teachers for training to Finland. “Irrespective of whether a 5-day trip to Finland will serve any purpose of substantive training to the visitors or would serve as an event to be played up in the media, I did not reject the proposal thereof,” he sought to clarify.“I raised a few queries with respect to the impact assessment and cost benefit analysis of such visits which have been going on for past few years, and asked the department, whether such training could be obtained in a more cost-effective manner in our own Institutions of Excellence, like the IIMs,” L-G Saxena added.Saxena pointed out that recently, he had cleared proposals of sending 55 principals and vice-principals of government schools to Cambridge in 2 batches for 10 days each, with specific training goals.“While being on the subject, I would also like to bring to your attention the plight of 12 colleges of Delhi University that are funded by GNCTD. Their representatives met me and submitted a memorandum detailing their grievances in terms of deliberate stopping of already sanctioned funds, non-payment of salaries and non-sanction of posts,” Saxena said.There was much more in terms of scholarships to minorities and marginalised sections that he wanted to discuss with CM Kejriwal, the L-G stated.“I reiterate, that I write to you, not only as the Lt. Governor of Delhi, but also as a concerned resident of the city. You are indeed a driven person, and I am sure that you will take cognizance of the facts stated above and take remedial measures to engage meaningfully and constructively to rectify the grave shortcomings, for better outcomes,” Saxena added.

‘Refer to Constitution’: Saxena replies to Kejriwal’s ‘Who is L-G?’ question

Ahmedabad Covid News

Climate misinformation ‘rocket boosters’ on Musk’s Twitter
The Indian Express | 1 week ago | 20-01-2023 | 02:35 pm
The Indian Express
1 week ago | 20-01-2023 | 02:35 pm

Search for the word “climate” on Twitter and the first automatic recommendation isn’t “climate crisis” or “climate jobs” or even “climate change” but instead “climate scam.” Clicking on the recommendation yields dozens of posts denying the reality of climate change and making misleading claims about efforts to mitigate it.Such misinformation has flourished on Twitter since it was bought by Elon Musk last year, but the site isn’t the only one promoting content that scientists and environmental advocates say undercuts public support for policies intended to respond to a changing climate.“What’s happening in the information ecosystem poses a direct threat to action,” said Jennie King, head of climate research and response at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a London-based nonprofit.“It plants those seeds of doubt and makes people think maybe there isn’t scientific consensus.” The institute is part of a coalition of environmental advocacy groups that on Thursday released a report tracking climate change disinformation in the months before, during and after the U.N. climate summit in November. The report faulted social media platforms for, among other things, failing to enforce their own policies prohibiting climate change misinformation.It is only the latest to highlight the growing problem of climate misinformation on Twitter. Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, allowed nearly 4,000 advertisements on its site — most bought by fossil fuel companies — that dismissed the scientific consensus behind climate change and criticized efforts to respond to it, the researchers found.In some cases, the ads and the posts cited inflation and economic fears as reasons to oppose climate policies, while ignoring the costs of inaction. Researchers also found that a significant number of the accounts posting false claims about climate change also spread misinformation about U.S. elections, COVID-19 and vaccines.Twitter did not respond to questions from The Associated Press. A spokesperson for Meta cited the company’s policy prohibiting ads that have been proven false by its fact-checking partners, a group that includes the AP. The ads identified in the report had not been fact-checked.Under Musk, Twitter laid off thousands of employees and made changes to its content moderation that its critics said undercut the effort. In November, the company announced it would no longer enforce its policy against COVID-19 misinformation. Musk also reinstated many formerly banned users, including several who had spread misleading claims about climate change. Instances of hate speech and attacks on LGBTQ people soared.Tweets containing “climate scam” or other terms linked to climate change denial rose 300% in 2022, according to a report released last week by the nonprofit Advance Democracy. While Twitter had labeled some of the content as misinformation, many of the popular posts were not labeled. Musk’s new verification system could be part of the problem, according to a report from the Center for Countering Digital Hate, another organization that tracks online misinformation.Previously, the blue checkmarks were held by people in the public eye such as journalists, government officials or celebrities. Now, anyone willing to pay $8 a month can seek a checkmark. Posts and replies from verified accounts are given an automatic boost on the platform, making them more visible than content from users who don’t pay.When researchers at the Center for Countering Digital Hate analyzed accounts verified after Musk took over, they found they spread four times the amount of climate change misinformation compared with users verified before Musk’s purchase.Verification systems are typically created to assure users that the accounts they follow are legitimate. Twitter’s new system, however, makes no distinction between authoritative sources on climate change and anyone with $8 and an opinion, according to Imran Ahmed, the center’s chief executive.“We found,” Ahmed said, “it has in fact put rocket boosters on the spread of lies and disinformation.”

Climate misinformation ‘rocket boosters’ on Musk’s Twitter
In PM Modi’s message to BJP, the subtext: To find another gear, create soft power and goodwillPremium Story
The Indian Express | 1 week ago | 20-01-2023 | 02:35 pm
The Indian Express
1 week ago | 20-01-2023 | 02:35 pm

BJP leaders have said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address at the concluding session of the party’s national executive meeting had a clear message — focus on creating a “soft power” and “goodwill” to expand the party and increase its tally in the 2024 general elections to take the BJP’s journey of electoral victories to the next level.In the address, which emphasised on reaching out to more of the marginalised, minorities and small communities, Modi urged the BJP cadre to embrace the fact that the BJP is the ruling party at the Centre and many key states, and “think beyond conventional politics and electoral politics”.“To me, Prime Minister Modi was saying that the BJP should adopt a new style of politics to create soft power and goodwill among all sections of the people. He wants the BJP to create a positive atmosphere. The goodwill and soft power should help increase the BJP’s tally in the next Lok Sabha elections,” said a senior BJP leader.Modi’s reference to the age group of 18-25 in his speech also indicated that the party would also focus on that age group — youths in that age group are keen on development and a corruption-free government, according to Modi — to turn it into a strong loyal BJP support base.Party sources said the prime minister’s speech had given a clear signal that both the government and the party would take several initiatives in the coming days to see that the BJP gets more seats in the Lok Sabha elections. “Every step in the coming days, including the Budget, would keep that in mind,” said a party MP.In his speech to the national executive, Modi asked party members to reach out to every section of society, including the marginalised and minority communities, “without electoral considerations”. He wants BJP workers to reach out to Pasmandas, Bohras, Muslim professionals, and educated Muslims as a confidence-building measure and without expecting votes in return.Modi, who had a notebook with points scribbled on it while speaking, reiterated his message of reaching out to marginalised groups among the minorities at the Hyderbad National Executive meeting too. He also spoke about the Sikh community that, according to him, has a positive feeling about the BJP. He pointed out that the Sikh community is present in many districts outside Punjab too and the BJP cadre “should not ignore them” thinking they are too small to make any electoral difference.Recalling what the PM spoke about, a BJP leader said, “He said don’t always think about votes only. He also mentioned the small groups of backward communities and said they always stood by the BJP since the Jana Sangh days. He said there are small communities like Bohras, among whom there are several educated Muslims. They do not vote for the BJP but cooperate with the party in many activities. The Prime Minister specifically said Muslims would not vote for the BJP, but that should not stop us from reaching out to them.”A party leader said, “The target is to increase the BJP’s tally from 303 and return to power with more glory. Because the positive atmosphere will create a favourable situation for us — to talk about development work and to expand our base.”Another significant point the Prime Minister harped on was India’s global positioning. According to Modi, the global situation post Covid has a “lot of prospects and chances” and India should let them pass by. Even the national executive statement on the G-20 presidency mentioned the changed world order in the last nine years. According to BJP vice president Baijayant Panda who briefed the media on the statement, the G-20 and, in general, the world is “full of admiration” as India not only dealt with the Covid crisis but also reached out with help to other countries.Panda said BJP workers, in their individual capacity, would work to connect society as the country hosts over 200 G20-related events in more than 50 places. He added it was an opportunity to connect the society and showcase India’s progress and its rich heritage as delegates from not only the elite bloc of 20 leading economies but also many multilateral bodies such as the International Monetary Fund would visit India.

In PM Modi’s message to BJP, the subtext: To find another gear, create soft power and goodwillPremium Story
Only 52% Class 8 kids in Guj can read Class 2 text
Times of India | 1 week ago | 19-01-2023 | 06:06 am
Times of India
1 week ago | 19-01-2023 | 06:06 am

AHMEDABAD: The much feared learning loss during two years of Covid pandemic when academics shifted online is indeed a reality. The learning levels of children in the state, both in reading basic text and solving basic math problems, has registered a significant decline as compared to pre-Covid data, revealed findings of the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2022 for Rural India released by Pratham Foundation, Wednesday.The ASER tests for reading and arithmetic involved closed to 16,500 children of the age of 6 to 14 years and 15,200 households.Other noteworthy findings included the fact that government schools recorded a rise in the number of children in 6-14 age groups attending government schools. The pandemic saw this number rise from from 85.6% in 2018 to 90.9% in 2022.Gujarat recorded the sharpest decline of 20 percentage points in Class 8 where only 52% of state students in government schools could read Class 2 level basic text. In pre-Covid times in 2018, 72% of Class 8 students could perform this reading task. State recorded one of the steepest declines in learning in this category across Indian states. The number of Class 5 students who could read Class 2 level basic text also dropped from 52% in 2018 to 33.9% in 2022.The loss was lesser in Class 8 students who could do basic division which fell from 35.8% in 2018 to 31.3% in 2022. Marginal learning loss was recorded in Class 5 students who could do plain division which dropped from 18.4% in 2018 to 14.5% in 2022. In Class 3, number of students who could read Class 2 level text dropped from 32.3% in 2018 to 23.2% in 2022. Here, states like Kerala, Maharashtra and Himachal Pradesh recorded higher decline than Gujarat. The number of Class 3 students who could do substraction which was 22.8% in 2018 was found static at 22.9% in 2022.State education secretary Vinod Rao said that while learning loss due to Covid is universal, internal assessments by the state education department and National Achievement Survey (NAS) have indicated learning loss due to Covid has been minimal in Gujarat as compared to other states. "I will not be able to comment on ASER report as we are yet to study the findings," Rao said.President of Gujarat State Primary Teachers Association Digvijaysinh Jadeja said that absence of physical teaching took a toll on learning. "We are witnessing learning loss among students due to Covid which disrupted physical teaching at schools. Some 25% of students in each Class have suffered learning loss. We have been trying to reverse this by holding extra Classes before and after school hours and hope to reverse the same as soon as possible," Jadeja said. State, however, recorded an improvement in the percentage of multigrade Classrooms for Class 2 and Class 4 (standards with sections) which rose from 50.9% in 2018 to 69.3% schools in 2022. State also recorded an improvement in enrollment of children in the age group 6 to 14 years which increased from 85.6% in 2018 to 90.9% in 2022.

Only 52% Class 8 kids in Guj can read Class 2 text
We are creating people who, in old technologies, will be called cyborgs: Siddhartha Mukherjee
The Indian Express | 1 week ago | 18-01-2023 | 05:35 am
The Indian Express
1 week ago | 18-01-2023 | 05:35 am

FROM the pandemic and the “tumbling” we took right when we had thought we understood our immune system, to why science lacks rock stars, to the “new humans” that science has created, oncologist and author Siddhartha Mukherjee spoke on a range of subjects at the Express Adda in New Delhi on Monday.Author of Pulitzer Prize-winning The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer (2010), and The Gene: An Intimate History (2016), New York-based Mukherjee is also a noted haematologist and oncologist, whose recently published work of non-fiction, The Song of the Cell: An Exploration of Medicine and the New Human (Allen Lane), takes off from the study of the fundamental unit of life — the cell — and leads readers through the integral role it plays in medical science.Speaking on what he means by “new humans”, Mukherjee said, “I think that in many ways — including the creation of organs, organoids, and the interface between cells and devices… we are creating humans that we haven’t encountered before… In fact, there are people walking amongst us here who may have had a bone marrow transplant and are living chimeras — so their body is their own body, but their blood is being made from someone else’s body.”Giving the example of artificial pancreas in the making, people who undergo neural stimulation to alleviate symptoms of diseases such as depression, and of Louise Brown, the first child conceived in a petri dish, Mukherjee said, “We might as well be creating what in science fiction is a cyborg.”“We are creating people who, in some old technologies, will be called cyborgs. Although they are not really cyborgs, they are cellborgs. They are interfaces between cellular therapies and human beings. And, in so being, really sit at the borderlands of the limits of our current technologies… They are amongst us; they are much more real than the science-fictional new humans. And, they raise many, many questions about who we are, what we do, and what our future looks like,” said Mukherjee.In his new book, Mukherjee, who has demystified and humanised public discourse on medicine and health with his empathetic writing, also explores the pandemic, how it upended our lives and the interaction of the Sars-CoV-2 with our cells that enabled the virus to unleash the global pandemic. Even with his deep knowledge of the immune system – he has been working on immunological cures for cancers – Sars-CoV-2 took him, much like other scientists, by surprise, challenging the understanding of how the immune system tackles a bacterial or viral infection. “The tumbling that happened, I think, is very important. There was a moment of time in which we as a scientific community thought that we understood vaccination, virology, and immunology. And then, all of a sudden, here comes a virus that really challenges very fundamental things that we know and don’t know about how the immune system works.”Talking about why some people tend to get severe Covid-19 while others don’t, he said we have learnt a lot of surprising things through the pandemic. Surprise number one, he said, was that apparently healthy people, men more than women, have a pre-existing auto-immune disease that invisibly affects their capacity to respond to viruses. It’s only when Covid-19 strikes, that previously invisible incapacity to respond to the virus becomes visible. Surprise number two, he said, was that some people carry mutations in genes connected to the immune system – totally invisible for most parts, until Covid-19 hits. Citing the example of long Covid, he wondered whether other viral infections like influenza or Epstein-Barr also lead to such long duration syndromes. “It’s because Covid-19 was such a global pandemic that we have learned to understand the autoimmune consequences of Covid-19 in the long run,” said Mukherjee, who disclosed his voice had changed as a consequence of Covid-19.Replying to a question on whether the pandemic was a result of bio-warfare, Mukherjee said he didn’t think it was but he did not dismiss a lab leak theory completely. The author also spoke on the anti-vax movement in the United States and on the paradox of this being an anti-science moment in an era of medical breakthroughs. The anti-vax movement, he pointed out, was largely driven by three sets of people – the libertarians who say that my body is my body; those who have an anti-science stance; and those who are facing vaccine exhaustion. As for the disdain for medicine, he says, it is driven by medical men not being able to convey their full power and politics that scapegoats it. It is medicine and larger social changes driven by it that has led to child-birth becoming non-fatal and people living up to the ages of 80 and more.Big pharma and pricing of drugs came up for discussion, too. Mukherjee’s recent initiative in Bengaluru, Immuneel Therapeutic Ltd, in collaboration with biotech entrepreneur Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, has been rolling out a crucial clinical trial on the treatment of cancer, called the Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy, already in use in several countries, that will significantly bring down the cost of therapy for patients in India. He said pharma companies should not be pricing products based on what failed in the valley of death – the phase between an encouraging find and a final product. Developing medicines costs money, he acknowledged, but most large pharma companies he said were surviving by gobbling up highly successful start-ups.The author was in conversation with the Anant Goenka, Executive Director, Indian Express Group, and Devyani Onial, National Features Editor, The Indian Express.A question-answer session with the audience was followed by rapid-fire round with Goenka in which the author revealed that he did not believe in a predetermined destiny, that he believes in life on other planets and named Albert Einstein as his favourite scientist. When asked whether people should “use, reduce, or stop” the following objects, he said yes to microwaves, 5 G and cellphones, and no to hair dyes and artificial sweeteners.The Express Adda is a series of informal interactions organised by the Indian Express Group and features those at the centre of change. Previous guests at the Adda include Union Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar, Union Minister of Health Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs and Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri, election strategist Prashant Kishor, Union Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav and Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari.

We are creating people who, in old technologies, will be called cyborgs: Siddhartha Mukherjee