DARPA unveils new telescope to protect satellites from space debris

first_imgCurrent estimates suggest there are now up to 22,000 objects floating around in near Earth orbit, all of varying sizes and shapes, (and all catalogued in the SSN) and it has been noted that objects as small as just one centimeter are capable of inflicting a lot of damage to current, fragile satellites. If the SST performs well, it is likely the Air Force will deploy duplicate telescopes around the globe to offer a 360° view of the sky. Nine years in development, and with a price tag of $110 million, the new telescope will likely become ever more crucial as more and more space debris accumulates in orbit around the Earth as older satellites go off-line and new satellites are launched. The primary area of concern will be objects in geosynchronous orbit, (those traveling at speeds to match the Earth’s rotation so as to appear to hover in one place over the planet) as that’s where the military stations most of its spy satellites.To achieve these new feats, engineers at MIT’s aerospace division, used a 3.5-meter aperture that connects to a curved charge-coupled device capable of capturing photons and turning them into electrons, which can then be digitally processed to produce the desired images. This technology allowed for an aperture that is more than three times the size of normal ground based telescopes and gives the telescope the ability to grab wide angle shots of the night sky, rather than the pin-point view that has been available up to now. Coupling that with a frame that allows the telescope to move quickly in its base, the SST is expected to give the Air Force a very precise view of where space debris is located, and where it’s going, giving satellite operators ample time to alter the course of their spacecraft. © 2010 PhysOrg.com Explore further Launch delayed for satellite to watch space debris More information: www.darpa.mil/Our_Work/TTO/Pro … Telescope_(SST).aspx Citation: DARPA unveils new telescope to protect satellites from space debris (2011, April 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-04-darpa-unveils-telescope-satellites-space.html (PhysOrg.com) — The U.S. Defense Department’s, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in conjunction with the U.S. Air Force (and many unknown contractors of course) has announced the addition of a new telescope which it intends to add to the Air Force’s existing Space Surveillance Network (SSN); dubbed the Space Surveillance Telescope (SST), it will be capable of scanning the skies faster than other existing telescope of its size and will be able to collect data faster for dimmer objects to boot. The new telescope’s main mission is to track space debris to help in collision avoidance with the many sensitive satellites now circling the Earth. 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

Reducing noise in quantum operation at room temperature

first_img One of the obstacles involved in building a quantum memory is that it is difficult to get a true quantum effect due to the decoherence associated with noise, when working at room temperature. “With previous demonstrations in this quantum regime, ultracold atomic gases or cryogenic solid state materials have been used as a storage medium,” Walmsley explains.Walmsley is part of a group working to create room temperature solutions for quantum computing. The group, working out of Clarendon Laboratory at Oxford, includes Klaus Reim, Patrick Michelberger, Ka Chung Lee, Joshua Nunn and Nathan Langford as well as Walmsley. The results of their efforts can be seen in Physical Review Letters: “Single-Photon-Level Quantum Memory at Room Temperature.”“Our breakthrough is two-fold,” Walmsley explains. “Using a so-called Raman interaction allowed a dramatic increase in potential bandwidth. The second advantage is that you can use these warm vapors, allowing quantum operation at room temperature.”In order to make their quantum memory work, Walmsley and his colleagues store information in the collective state of atoms in a warm vapor. “This concept has been around for years, but we are looking at how to make it work practically at room temperature.”The team at Oxford uses a strong off-resonant control pulse to store a weak quantum light pulse. “It’s two step,” he says. “We put in the quantum light with a control pulse. Because their frequencies are tuned out of resonance with the atoms, neither is absorbed without the other. This allows you larger bandwidth.” “Additionally, because neither is absorbed without the other, you don’t have extraneous atoms that have absorbed energy from the control pulse alone, and which can then give away this energy in the form of noise photons,” Walmsley continues. “It’s these extra photons that have added to the noise in previous attempts, and been a deal-breaker for room-temperature quantum memories.” The use of warm atomic cesium vapors show that quantum operation can be achieved in ambient conditions.Walmsley says that, already, their technique offers applications. “Even though the memory isn’t perfect yet, there are some things we can do, like entanglement distillation.” He explains that he thinks that this technique could improve the efficiency of quantum repeaters. “The idea of a quantum repeater has been around for about 12 years now, but without a memory you get a degree of degraded quality so that signals are lost. Theoretically, our system could make quantum repeaters a reality.”Room temperature quantum memory would be a great step forward for quantum communications and quantum information processing. Quantum repeaters might need to be placed in remote areas, or in areas that are warm. Reliable quantum memory will be needed in the coming years as secure quantum communications are in greater demand. Walmsley hopes that his group can be at the forefront of turning the possibilities into realities. “While there are things we can do now, there is still a great deal of room for improvement,” he says. “We want to improve efficiency, and the stability of the memory.” Another important point will be to shrink the technology. “We want to miniaturize it so that it is small enough to integrate into fiber optic networks,” Walmsley continues. “This is a definite breakthrough, but we still have some way to go.” Physicists demonstrate 100-fold speed increase in optical quantum memory Copyright 2011 PhysOrg.com. 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. 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. More information: K.F. Reim, P. Michelberger, K.C. Lee, J. Nunn, N.K. Langford, and I.A. Walmsley, “Single-Photon-Level Quantum Memory at Room Temperature,” Physical Review Letters (2011). Available online: link.aps.org/doi/10.1103/PhysRevLett.107.053603center_img Explore further Citation: Reducing noise in quantum operation at room temperature (2011, August 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-08-noise-quantum-room-temperature.html (PhysOrg.com) — “A quantum memory is a crucial component of future quantum information processing technologies. Among these technologies, a quantum communications system based on light will enable vastly improved performance over conventional systems, and allow quantum computers to be connected,” Ian Walmsley tells PhysOrg.com. Walmsley is a scientist at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. “Building such as system will require a means to effect the temporary storage of single light quanta – photons.”last_img read more

German scientists solve nonclassical 2norbornyl carbocation structure

first_imgProposed 2-norbornyl cation structures. (A) Nonclassical Cs structure of the 2-norbornyl cation, depicted in 3c-2e and “pi” complex formulations. (B) Brown’s rapidly equilibrating C1 classical norbornyl cation enantiomers. Credit: (c) Science 5 July 2013: Vol. 341 no. 6141 pp. 62-64 DOI: 10.1126/science.1238849 Chemists find smallest number of water molecules needed to form an ice crystal (Phys.org) —A team of chemists working in Germany has finally, after decades of debate, solved the crystal structure of the nonclassical 2-norbornyl carbocation. In their paper published in the journal Science, the team describes the arduous process involved in the work they did that led to the eventual determination of the nonclassical crystal structure of the ion. 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: German scientists solve nonclassical 2-norbornyl carbocation structure (2013, July 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-07-german-scientists-nonclassical-norbornyl-carbocation.html More information: Crystal Structure Determination of the Nonclassical 2-Norbornyl Cation, Science 5 July 2013: Vol. 341 no. 6141 pp. 62-64 DOI: 10.1126/science.1238849AbstractAfter decades of vituperative debate over the classical or nonclassical structure of the 2-norbornyl cation, the long-sought x-ray crystallographic proof of the bridged, nonclassical geometry of this prototype carbonium ion in the solvated [C7H11]+[Al2Br7]– • CH2Br2 salt has finally been realized. This achievement required exceptional treatment. Crystals obtained by reacting norbornyl bromide with aluminum tribromide in CH2Br2 undergo a reversible order-disorder phase transition at 86 kelvin due to internal 6,1,2-hydride shifts of the 2-norbornyl cation moiety. Cooling with careful annealing gave a suitably ordered phase. Data collection at 40 kelvin and refinement revealed similar molecular structures of three independent 2-norbornyl cations in the unit cell. All three structures agree very well with quantum chemical calculations at the MP2(FC)/def2-QZVPP level of theory.center_img Journal information: Science © 2013 Phys.org Explore further A debate has gone on for 64 years regarding the classical or nonclassical nature of the 2-norbornyl carbocation. It was in 1949 that Saul Winstein suggested their existence to explain the reactivity of substituted norbornane compounds. Other chemists such as Herbert Brown, reacted negatively to the suggestion because it meant accepting that carbon could be bonded to more than four other atoms. Brown suggested instead that a rapid equilibrium could occur to explain what chemists had been observing, which would allow them to remain categorized as classical.Over the years, the debate has swung back and forth with various chemists arguing for one side or the other, with most eventually leaning towards the nonclassical 2-norbornyl carbocation structure—but now it appears, the chemists in this new effort have finally put the issue to rest. As it turned out, it appeared the vital condition that allowed for settlement of the argument came down to constructing an experiment that involved cooling the crystals with careful annealing at just the right temperature.The breakthrough came at a lab on the campus of the University of Freiburg. The team used soft bromoaluminate anions to stabilize carbocations in a solid state. That allowed for the preparation of regular 2-norbornyl cation salt crystals. Then, after much work revolving around how the crystals react to cold temperatures, the team arrived at a procedure that involved cooling a sample of the crystal to 40K, then allowing it to warm, then cooling it again—five or six times—doing so finally allowed the crystal structure to reveal itself without cracking in the process.With the true nonclassical structure of the crystals finally revealed, several chemists have taken the opportunity to pronounce that the results of the work in Germany did little really but prove what most in the field already knew.last_img read more

Model simulates chemotaxis with clusters of eukaryotic cells

first_img Journal information: Physical Review Letters More information: Brian A. Camley et al. Emergent Collective Chemotaxis without Single-Cell Gradient Sensing, Physical Review Letters (2016). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.098101 . On Arxiv: http://arxiv.org/abs/1506.06698ABSTRACTMany eukaryotic cells chemotax, sensing and following chemical gradients. However, experiments show that even under conditions when single cells cannot chemotax, small clusters may still follow a gradient. This behavior is observed in neural crest cells, in lymphocytes, and during border cell migration in Drosophila, but its origin remains puzzling. Here, we propose a new mechanism underlying this “collective guidance,” and study a model based on this mechanism both analytically and computationally. Our approach posits that contact inhibition of locomotion, where cells polarize away from cell-cell contact, is regulated by the chemoattractant. Individual cells must measure the mean attractant value, but need not measure its gradient, to give rise to directional motility for a cell cluster. We present analytic formulas for how the cluster velocity and chemotactic index depend on the number and organization of cells in the cluster. The presence of strong orientation effects provides a simple test for our theory of collective guidance. , arXiv Signal-dependent contact inhibition of locomotion creates directed motion. Credit: arXiv:1506.06698 [physics.bio-ph] (Phys.org)—A small team of researchers with the University of California and Rice University has created a model of chemotaxis that shows how individual cells may work together to respond to a chemical-concentration gradient. In their paper published in Physical Review Letters, the team explains what went into creating the model, how it works and why they believe it closely approximates real live cell chemotaxis. Explore further Citation: Model simulates chemotaxis with clusters of eukaryotic cells (2016, March 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-03-simulates-chemotaxis-clusters-eukaryotic-cells.html © 2016 Phys.org 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. Discovered: A cluster of 60 proteins that help cells move and feel Chemotaxis is an action that occurs with cells where they move towards increasing concentrations of a chemoattractant—for food, or to get to a place they know they are supposed to be, to build organs or tissue, for example. Sometimes chemotaxis occurs with individual cells, but other times it occurs in groups when individual cells work together to allow them to move to a desired destination. How cells work together to do so, however, has not been understood—in this new effort, the researchers have built a computer model that suggests one possibility.To build their model, the researchers began with what has already been learned through observation and experimentation—when cells get close together, for example, they react by trying to move farther away—tests have shown that cells also tend to move away from one another more quickly as chemical concentrations increase. The researchers set proportional variables to represent such actions. They also focused on both rigid and non-rigid clusters (where cells are stuck together and are attempting to pull apart or do actually pull apart). For rigid clusters, the researchers noted that general directional movement would be in the direction of the cell that was attempting to move away from the other the hardest. For non-rigid clusters, they noted that the cells still tended to move in the direction of the cell that pulled away the hardest, but they did so slower than with rigid-clusters. Adding such information allowed for the creation of cell movement simulations, that when compared to real world cell movement, coincided, suggesting the model was correctly identifying the means by which chemotaxis works when more than one cell is involved.The researchers suggest that the model could be further validated by additional testing with real world cells—by analyzing how they respond under different conditions, for example, and comparing that with what the model shows.last_img read more

Caterpillars found to use vibrations to attract other caterpillars

first_img © 2017 Phys.org Journal information: Nature Communications Prior research had shown that the tiny birch caterpillar uses parts of its body to communicate with other caterpillars. In this new effort, the researchers found that the caterpillars use more body parts than originally thought, and use them to communicate in a number of ways.To learn more about communication among birch caterpillars, the researchers captured several specimens and brought them into their lab for study. They placed them on birch leaves and then set up microphones capable of capturing the sounds made by the insects, which are inaudible to humans, along with cameras to capture the action.In studying the resulting videos the researchers found that the caterpillars made four main types of sounds, all believed to be associated with feeding and making silk—birch caterpillars make cocoons as a group, sharing the workload. The actual sounds, the team found, were made in several ways—by rubbing or scraping mouth parts (mainly mandibles) against a leaf, by shaking their bodies or by dragging anal parts against a leaf surface.The research team has not yet figured out why the simple caterpillar needs to make such a variety of sounds, but suggest it has to do with drawing others of its kind closer and to help with working together. Some sounds may indicate that food has been found, for example, while others note problems. The team also found that on occasion, a solitary caterpillar would make a certain sound and within a couple of hours, several other caterpillars would make their way over to it. It has been noted that cracking the communications used by caterpillars could lead to developing a new kind of pesticide—jammers that prevent them from sharing feeding tips, engaging in cocoon building or perhaps from resolving differences among themselves. Explore further Study suggests virus impacts caterpillar’s phototactic response causing them to climb 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. , Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology (Phys.org)—A small team of researchers with members from institutions in Canada and Brazil has found that one species of caterpillar uses parts of its body to create vibrational noises that attract others of its kind. In their paper published in the journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, the team describes their study of the tiny insects and the possible impact their results could have on pesticide development. Caterpillar, Drepana arcuata. Credit: Nature Communications 1, 1–9. doi:10.1038/ncomms1002 Citation: Caterpillars found to use vibrations to attract other caterpillars (2017, March 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-03-caterpillars-vibrations.html More information: C. Yadav et al. Invitation by vibration: recruitment to feeding shelters in social caterpillars, Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology (2017). DOI: 10.1007/s00265-017-2280-xAbstractSociality is widespread in caterpillars, but the communication mechanisms used for group formation and cohesion are poorly understood. Here, we present the first evidence that caterpillars produce complex vibratory signals to advertise food and shelter sites to conspecifics. We first tested the hypothesis that early instars of the masked birch caterpillar (Drepana arcuata) actively form groups. Larvae placed alone on different leaves of a birch twig began assembling within minutes and forming groups of 2–6 at a median time of 2 h. In Y-choice experiments, larvae joined arms occupied by conspecifics significantly more frequently than unoccupied arms. To test the hypothesis that group formation is vibration-mediated, signals were monitored in solitary residents of silk leaf shelters before and during natural recruitment events. Four distinct signal types were recorded: anal scraping, mandible drumming, mandible scraping, and buzz scraping. Anal scraping and buzz scraping were the most common in residents prior to being approached, and these signals were strongly correlated to feeding and laying silk. Signaling occurred in 100% of residents, and higher signal rates resulted in significantly faster recruitment times. As a recruit approached a resident, complex signaling interactions occurred, which may communicate information about resource quality or location. We conclude that caterpillars, similar to other social animals, use acoustic communication to advertise resources. The vibratory signaling repertoire of these tiny caterpillars exhibits a complexity rivaling that of eusocial insects. Further investigations of vibroacoustic communication are essential to fully appreciate the intricacies of social interactions in caterpillars and other juvenile insects.last_img read more

Newly discovered giant viruses have the most complete translational apparatus of known

first_img Citation: Newly discovered giant viruses have ‘the most complete translational apparatus of known virosphere’ (2018, March 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-newly-giant-viruses-apparatus-virosphere.html It has been only a little more than a decade since a team of researchers identified Mimivirus, a giant virus that caused biologists to rethink the nature of viruses. That effort will likely heat up as two new strains of a giant virus have been discovered, both in Brazil—one in Soda Lake, the other off the coast of Rio de Janeiro. Together, the two new strains have been named Tupanvirus, after the Brazilian god Tupã.More remarkable than their size is the complexity of their genome—they were found to have approximately 1.5 million DNA base pairs and enough genes to create 1,425 types of proteins—a translational apparatus larger than all other viruses. It is their ability to produce their own peptides using RNA instructions that sets them and Mimivirus apart from other viruses—all others must rely on their hosts for protein synthesis. It is this ability that has biologists scratching their heads—before the discovery of Mimivirus, they were not even willing to call viruses forms of life—for example, they do not have metabolism because they do not eat or digest anything. These new findings suggest that viruses might have to be reclassified. The giant viruses, which are so large they are actually bigger than some bacteria, are also able to perform DNA replication and repair as well as transcription and translation—something only living organisms are supposedly able to do. Intriguingly, approximately 30 percent of their genome is still undocumented, so there is more to learn.The researchers note that like Mimivirus, Tupanvirus infect amoebae, which they use as a form of viral factory to produce copies of themselves. Unlike Mimivirus, however, the two new strains are able to infect multiple types of amoebae. A team of researchers with members from several institutions in France, Brazil and Sweden has discovered two new strains of giant viruses, which they note have “the most complete translational apparatus of the known virosphere.” In their paper published in the journal Nature Communications, the group describe characteristics of the viruses including details about their genomes. Credit: Nature Communications (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-03168-1 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. Journal information: Nature Communicationscenter_img Explore further More information: Jônatas Abrahão et al. Tailed giant Tupanvirus possesses the most complete translational apparatus of the known virosphere, Nature Communications (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-03168-1AbstractHere we report the discovery of two Tupanvirus strains, the longest tailed Mimiviridae members isolated in amoebae. Their genomes are 1.44–1.51 Mb linear double-strand DNA coding for 1276–1425 predicted proteins. Tupanviruses share the same ancestors with mimivirus lineages and these giant viruses present the largest translational apparatus within the known virosphere, with up to 70 tRNA, 20 aaRS, 11 factors for all translation steps, and factors related to tRNA/mRNA maturation and ribosome protein modification. Moreover, two sequences with significant similarity to intronic regions of 18 S rRNA genes are encoded by the tupanviruses and highly expressed. In this translation-associated gene set, only the ribosome is lacking. At high multiplicity of infections, tupanvirus is also cytotoxic and causes a severe shutdown of ribosomal RNA and a progressive degradation of the nucleus in host and non-host cells. The analysis of tupanviruses constitutes a new step toward understanding the evolution of giant viruses. Giant virus found in marine predatory plankton © 2018 Phys.orglast_img read more

Altius Fortius Citius

first_imgA lady with a decade of experience with television and a zeal for sports has decided to give India a reason to smile. Meet Aparna Apte Gupta, documentary film maker, who has taken on the herculean task of revealing a sparkling side to Indian sports in a documentary called India Sporting Struggle. We call the task at hand a tough one as Gupta herself admits that we Indians have the terrible habit of harping on that that is bad with our country. We talk about crumbling infrastructures, lack of facilities and lack of government initiatives. Especially in the field of sports, we have all debated or heard people complaining about how Indians haven’t bagged enough trophies and medals in international events – we blame the government, we blame the players.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Gupta points out that there are sports facilities that work on pay-and-use option and no one seems to be using them. These places were created for the recent Commonwealth Games and post the whole hoopla, now lie unused. ‘It is not like the government doesn’t do anything – it is time we accepted that there are shortcomings from our end as well,’ says Gupta. However she does admit that there is obvious scope for the government to up their efforts in this front, but the process must be two-fold.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixIndia has a very dismissive attitude towards sports says Gupta. Children are made to choose academics over sports as almost every parent considers sports to be a waste of time. Only in rare cases would people find parents encouraging kids to pursue a sport seriously. And then again cricket, tennis and now badminton get the thumbs-up while athletics, basketball, hockey, football, et all lie ignored. It is all about where the glamour lies and little glory.  Gupta blames the lack of awareness for this phenomenon, ‘Most people are not aware of sports that can offer ample chances to flourish. The motivation and the will is lacking because no one knows enough,’ she says. To turn the tide, Gupta has picked three child prodigies from the country. Shubham Jaglan (8) a milkman’s son is currently playing three Golf tournaments back to back in the USA. He has already won the World Championship. He’s currently playing the U.S. Kids Championship. Bipasha Mukherjee (14) is autistic. This January, Bipasha brought back a gold and a silver medal in Ice Speed Skating at the World Paralympics held in Korea. Bipasha’s parents have dealt with taunts from family members who value education more than anything else, says Gupta.  Prayag Chauhan (15) from Haryana, an automobile dealer’s son is a  boxer. Prayag’s parents pushed him and his brother into sports. Their parents have a passion for sports but struggled to deal with school authorities and family members who taunted them for ‘misleading’ their children. Even neighbours gossiped when Prayag’s mother learnt to drive so she could drive both the boys to training and back – such is India. Bringing their stories to the forefront will hopefully make people sit up and pay attention, explains Gupta. While her documentary is not necessarily a pro-government discourse, there are problems that the government must acknowledge and deal with – it is more about creating an awareness and trying to read the larger issue in Indian society which prohibits us from utilising real potential.last_img read more

Performed with perfection

first_imgSanchayan Screening of archival films and video recordings, Sangeet Natak Akademi is presenting Mitra a play in Marathi featuring Shreeram Lagoo  on Saturday, December 6, at Meghdoot III, Rabindra Bhavan, Copernicus Marg, New Delhi. Entry is free. The play is directed by Vijay Kenkre, and the duration of the play is 160 minutesShreeram Balkrishna Lagoo, born in 1927 in Satara, Maharashtra, became involved in theatre as a student of medicine at Pune. Eventually, he left the medical profession in 1968 to devote himself to the theatre, acquiring a reputation as an actor by his forceful portrayal of central characters in Marathi plays such as Gidhare, Nat Samrat, Surya Pahilela Manoos, Udhwasta Dharmashala and Mitra. At the same time he stared appearing in Marathi and Hindi films. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Lagoo has been associated with many prestigious theatre groups and institutions. He is a founder-member of the Progressive Dramatic Association in Pune, the city where he also established his own theatre group Roopwedh. Lagoo has published an autobiography, Lamaan, centred on his life in the theatre. He has also written a book on voice culture, Vachik Abhinay, and prepared an adaptation of Ugo Betti’s Queen and Rebels in Marathi. A compilation of articles on his work was published by Rohan Prakashan on his 75th birthday in a book titled Amhala Bhetalele. He is the recipient of various honours including the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1971), the Padma Shri (1974), and the Kalidas Samman (1996-97), Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship (2009) and many other awards including the Filmfare Award and the Maharashtra State Film Award.last_img read more

Food dept to offer dealership to 1500 more ration shops

first_imgKolkata: The state Food and Supplies department will offer dealership to 1,500 more ration shops in the state, after the state Panchayat elections. “We presently have dealership of 21,000 shops. We will be giving 1,500 more in different districts across the state,” state Food and Supplies minister Jyotipriya Mallick said.Sources in the Food department said that self-help groups and cooperatives will be given priority in the dealership offer. “Offering of dealership to ration shops had been stalled since the Left regime. We are now opening it up,” a senior official of the department said. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsIt may be mentioned that for dealership, members of self-help groups will have to form a group with 10 people and then apply for the same. “They will be allowed to open up a ration shop in any of their residential premises. The government will not charge anything from the SHGs,” the official maintained. According to the official, the department will go for individual dealerships only when applications of SHGs and cooperatives fall short of the 1,500 target. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killed”We have found out that SHG women are very serious and dedicated to their duties and responsibilities. We are hopeful that the ration shops will function well under them,” he added.The decision of the department comes in the wake of a number of ration shops being closed due to various factors. “Some ration dealers have died while some licenses have been cancelled due to corruption of the dealers. People are being compelled to travel long distances for their rations. The new ration shops will be of great help to them,” the official said.Most of these ration shops will come up in the rural areas, while a handful of them will also come up in urban areas, as per plans of the Food department.The Food department’s notification will come up after the conclusion of the Panchayat elections.last_img read more

46yearold man arrested for raping minor in Balurghat

first_imgKolkata: A 46-year-old man has been arrested on charges of raping a minor girl. The incident took place in Battala area of Balurghat in South Dinajpur.The accused Swapan Patoari took the girl to one of his relative’s house where he allegedly raped her. Patoari lives in the same village as the victim does. The victim was taken to Balurghat hospital for examinations.According to the police, the victim, a student of class X was returning home from a private tuition riding her bicycle on Sunday morning when the accused took her to his relative’s house. He asked the victim to keep her bicycle at the Balurghat bus stand and then both of them took a bus to the destination. It was alleged that Patoari raped the girl there. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedAfter returning home, the victim girl narrated the matter to her family members. The family members lodged a complaint with the local police station on the basis of which police have started a probe andarrested the culprit.The victim said she agreed to accompany the accused as she knew him and he used to come to her house. The victim also fell ill during night as a result of which she was taken to the hospital where tests were performed. It was learnt that during the interrogation, the middle aged man admitted to his crime.last_img read more