Government claims pulses prices easing markets and consumers disagree

first_imgThe government on Thursday said prices of pulses were easing as per reports from states due to de-hoarding operations and arrival of fresh crop, but a look at the retail rates reveal that this daily source of protein continues to remain dear.”Retail prices of pulses have registered declining trends as per market reports from the states. Release of pulses seized under de-hoarding operations is being expedited,” the ministry of consumer affairs, food and public distribution said in a statement.”Arrival of new crop has also started. This will help to moderate prices further,” it said, adding that Tur or Arhar dal was cheaper by as much as 3.59 percent in the past week alone at Rs.152.11 per kg on November 18, against Rs.157.77 before that.Similarly, it said the price of Urad dal was down by 6.08 percent — from Rs.150.43 a week ago to Rs.141.28 on Wednesday.But at the retail level, the government’s claims did not appear to hold ground.At the Big Basket online retail store, Tur dal was quoting way above at Rs.201 per kg and Rs.375 for a two-kg bag.Reliance Fresh also priced its Tur dal at a price of Rs.219 per kg.At other retail stores, prices fluctuated anywhere between Rs.190 and Rs.230 per kg.Even the commerce ministry data on wholesale price index for October, released on Monday showed that the pulses remained dearer by 52.98 percent over the past year.Even when compared with the previous month, there was a spike of 9.17 percent.The build-up during the current fiscal year, that is since April 2015, has also been rather steep at 41.45 percent.Similarly, data on consumer price index released by the ministry of statistics and programme implementation showed a 22.24 percent inflation rate of pulses as on July 2015, compared to the previous year.The consumer affairs ministry also said thousands of tonnes of pulses had been seized under the de-hoarding operations by the states, which were auctioned or offloaded in the market to increase availability.Curiously, while data released on November 12 said 1,33,828.31 tonnes had been seized, that released six days later showed a lower quantity of 1,32,777.14 tonnes had been confiscated.At the same time, the prices of some other items of mass consumption — onions and tomatoes — were rocketing.On Wednesday, Cabinet Secretary P.K. Sinha reviewed the prices and availability of essential commodities, especially pulses, tomatoes, onions and edible oils in an inter-ministerial meeting.”It was observed that the increase in prices of tomatoes and onions is largely on account of disruption of supplies due to heavy rains in the southern states which is expected to be temporary,” a press note issued after the review said.”The situation is expected to ease in the coming days,” the statement added.last_img read more

Vedanta prepares legal challenge to India copper plant closure report

first_imgWomen shout slogans during a protest against the government and police forces after at least nine people were killed when police fired at protesters calling for the closure of a Vedanta Resources-controlled copper smelter in Thootukudi, in southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, in Chennai, India, May 22, 2018.REUTERS/P.RavikumarVedanta Resources is working on a legal challenge to the Tamil Nadu government’s closure of one of its copper smelters, but it will not proceed until tensions over the deaths of 13 people during protests last week have eased, two sources told Reuters.The Tamil Nadu government ordered the permanent closure of the smelter on Monday after police fired on protesters demanding its closure on environmental grounds.London-listed Vedanta, majority owned by billionaire Anil Agarwal, considers it is now left with no other option than to file a writ petition challenging the Tamil Nadu government’s decision in the Madras High Court or the Supreme Court in New Delhi, the two sources close to the company said.”They have not presented a single (piece of) evidence against the company,” said one of the sources, both of whom declined to be named. “Vedanta is confident that it has a strong case legally. It has not violated any law.”However, the sources said that with local tensions running high over the deaths of the protesters, the resources company was holding off for now from filing the legal challenge.A Vedanta spokesman did not respond to requests seeking comment. The company earlier said it had broken no rules, and hoped soon to reopen the plant and double its capacity to 800,000 tonnes a year at a cost of more than $700 million.The chief of Vedanta’s India copper business, P. Ramnath, told Reuters on Friday the company would legally fight any attempt to close the plant.D. Jayakumar, a senior Tamil Nadu minister, said the smelter was closed mainly in response to the demands of residents of the coastal city of Thoothukudi, and that the state government would defend itself in court.”We’ve closed the plant based on various violations raised by the pollution control board. They will of course say that they have not violated any rule,” Jayakumar, who speaks for the state government, told Reuters.”People are totally against the plant. We’re with the people only. We go by their demand and the law.”He declined to give details of the violations.D. Sekar, a senior official with the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board, also declined to explain the reasons, saying only that the closure was a “policy decision”.The plant, India’s second-biggest copper smelter known as Sterlite Copper, has been shut since late March for maintenance and pending a renewal of its licence, as residents continued largely peaceful protests demanding it be shut for good.Residents and environmental activists have long demanded a shutdown of the copper smelter, which has annual production of more than 400,000 tonnes, citing air and water pollution. Vedanta denies the accusations of pollution.The opposition escalated last week when thousands of people marched towards a government office on the 100th day of the protest. Ten people were killed in police firing that day, while three more died in subsequent days, piling pressure on the state government as protests spread elsewhere in the state.Minister Jayakumar said his government has been opposed to the smelter since 2013, when a suspected gas leak led to its closure for more than two months. The plant was allowed to reopen after a court-appointed team of experts found no instance of emissions beyond set limits.In recent weeks, however, Tamil Nadu has cancelled a decision to allocate a plot of land to Vedanta for a doubling of the plant’s capacity and cut its electricity connection and water supply, he said.[ Source- reuters]last_img read more

Govt cell to stop rumours ahead of polls Tarana

first_imgTarana HalimState minister for information Tarana Halim on Wednesday said the government has taken an initiative to set up a monitoring cell ahead of the next general election aiming to identify rumours in social networking sites.The ‘Rumour Identification and Removal Centre’ will be in operation 24 hours round the clock at the PID section of information ministry from this month, she told reporters at the Secretariat.The cell will continuously monitor different social networking sites and will inform the local media through a press release within three hours if any rumour is found, she added.”The monitoring cell will also inform the media about the truth,” she said.The state minister also said that seven experts will be appointed for working in each shift.”The BNP-Jammat [alliance] has opened a publicity cell in London and spreading rumour from 300 websites,” she informed.Replying to a question, the state minister said the cell will be opened to raise awareness among people.Referring to the Bangabandhu Satellite-1, Tarana said Bangabandhu-1, the country’s first ever communications satellite, made its debut with the live coverage of the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship 2018 on BTV.Besides, a letter was sent to private television channels requesting them to use Bangabandhu-1 as it is capable to provide service, she added.last_img read more

Researchers use sound waves to levitate objects in three dimensions

first_img © 2014 Phys.org (left) Levitation and manipulation of particles. (right) Scooping up and holding particles. Credit: arXiv:1312.4006 [physics.class-ph] Laser tripod for better levitation Journal information: arXiv More information: Three-dimensional Mid-air Acoustic Manipulation by Ultrasonic Phased Arrays, arXiv:1312.4006 [physics.class-ph] arxiv.org/abs/1312.4006AbstractThe essence of levitation technology is the countervailing of gravity. It is known that an ultrasound standing wave is capable of suspending small particles at its sound pressure nodes. The acoustic axis of the ultrasound beam in conventional studies was parallel to the gravitational force, and the levitated objects were manipulated along the fixed axis (i.e. one-dimensionally) by controlling the phases or frequencies of bolted Langevin-type transducers. In the present study, we considered extended acoustic manipulation whereby millimetre-sized particles were levitated and moved three-dimensionally by localised ultrasonic standing waves, which were generated by ultrasonic phased arrays. Our manipulation system has two original features. One is the direction of the ultrasound beam, which is arbitrary because the force acting toward its centre is also utilised. The other is the manipulation principle by which a localised standing wave is generated at an arbitrary position and moved three-dimensionally by opposed and ultrasonic phased arrays. We experimentally confirmed that expanded-polystyrene particles of 0.6 mm and 2 mm in diameter could be manipulated by our proposed method. (Phys.org) —A trio of researchers with the University of Tokyo in Japan has expanded the science of sound wave levitation by adding more speakers and controlling the focal point of the waves that are created. In so doing, as they describe in their paper they’ve uploaded to the preprint server arXiv, they have created a means for levitating and moving objects in three dimensional space. Three-Dimensional Mid-Air Acoustic Manipulation The levitating device the team created is also very clean—it produces no noise that the human ear can hear and manipulating objects in three dimensional space is as easy as moving a joystick. It doesn’t of course herald in the age of hover-boards as seen in “Back to the Future,” but it definitely opens the door to new possibilities, limited only perhaps, by the amount of energy an application is willing to exert in order to levitate ever heavier objects. Scientists have come up with several ways to levitate objects—using compressed air, or magnetics, are just two examples—most such efforts have left a lot to be desired, however, when the goal has been clean (no noise, simple ways to move an object, etc.) levitation. That has led researches to investigate using ultrasonic waves. Up till now, researchers have been able to use the energy of sound waves to push an object from a surface up into the air, and then to hold it there. Because the object isn’t moved in any other direction, this type of levitation is considered two dimensional. In this new effort, the research team has taken the idea further by adding more speakers and a control mechanism that allows for moving the focal point of the sound waves generated. Objects are captured in the focal point and are then moved around by causing the focal point to be moved.In their experiments, the researchers first levitated and moved around very tiny Styrofoam balls. They demonstrated an ability to move the balls at will in virtually any direction—in tandem. Subsequent tests revealed that their apparatus was capable of levitating and moving tiny electric parts, a piece of wood and a metal nut. The nut was perhaps most impressive as it represented a much heavier object. The researchers explain that two of the speakers are used for levitation, while two more are used to move the focal point. Explore further Citation: Researchers use sound waves to levitate objects in three dimensions (2014, January 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-01-levitate-dimensions.html 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

How Cybercrime Has Changed Infographic

first_img Register Now » Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global August 6, 2016 1 min read Cybercrime is not new, but it seems it is getting worse as time goes on. As the rate of cyber attacks increases, so does the cost of damage control and security for businesses.An infographic from security firm BTB Security shows how many more breaches and incidents of indentity theft there were in 2015 than in 2005. As a result, 190 million consumers were compromised last year, compared to only 44.2 million ten years earlier. Check out the infographic below to see how much these online attacks are costing businesses, then make sure you have a secure password.Related: 4 Foolish Cybersecurity Mistakes Robert Herjavec Is Shocked People Still Makelast_img read more

A34 closed overnight due to roadworks

first_imgGet the biggest Daily stories by emailSubscribeSee our privacy noticeThank you for subscribingSee our privacy noticeCould not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailA major North Staffordshire road will continue to be closed overnight for the next two evenings as roadworks continue. The A34 Stone Road will be shut in both directions between the A5035 Longton Road (Trentham Roundabout/Trentham) and the A51 (Dalraston Island/Meaford). The road is shut between 9pm and 5am on Thursday night (May 31) and Friday night (June 1), according to traffic data company INRIX, having previously been closed on Wednesday night. Staffordshire County Council are carrying out the works on the road. A Stoke-on-Trent City Council spokesman said motorists should factor the closure into their travel plans. He said: “Work is ongoing on the A34, Stone Road, at Meaford & the roundabout at Strongford. The road will be closed in both directions between points A and B (Image: Inrix) “Although this is not city council work, it is having an impact on our roads & your journey may take longer. “The road will be closed overnight tonight and tomorrow from its junction with the A5035 (Longton Road) to Meaford to allow these works to take place safely. “Diversion routes will be signed.” Read MoreFirst class! Post Office will deliver a new branch in town centre after community has been left without a facility for months Want to keep up to date with the latest traffic and travel news?Each day Stoke-on-Trent Live journalists bring you the latest news on the roads and railways across Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire, South Cheshire and further afield to help keep you on the move. For the very latest updates on roads including the M6, A500, A50 and more, visit our dedicated traffic and travel news channel here. We also run a live news feed each weekday, which you can access on our website’s homepage from 7am to 9pm from Monday to Friday. And for more as-we-get-it updates on the roads across the region and beyond, join The Sentinel’s traffic and travel Facebook group here.last_img read more