800 Interviewed on Student Visa Day at U.S. Embassy


U.S. Embassy arranges a “Student Visa Day” for the aspiring students who desire to study in America. The applicants appeared in large numbers and around 800 students were made to give interview test.

Dressed in attires sporting U.S. university logos, the embassy staff interviewed students applying for visas to pursue higher education in the U.S.

Tips and information on academics and campus life were provided to the applicants.

Speaking at the event, Embassy Charge d’ Affaires Michael Pelletier said: “As you prepare to pursue your studies, I want you to know that you are not only contributing to your personal future, but you are also making a major contribution to the links that bring India and the U.S. together through people-to-people ties.”

Consul General Cynthia Haley noted: “The United States has some of the world’s finest educational institutions and we are seeing record numbers of visa applications.”

Since October 2013, a record number of students have applied for U.S. visa and issuances have increased by 40 percent as compared to the same period in 2013, the embassy said. Nearly 100,000 Indian students are currently studying in the U.S., it said.

According to the aspirants at the embassy, the flexible education system in the U.S. is what attracted them.

“I find the American higher education system to be much more flexible when compared to the system we have in place here. In U.S. , you get two years to decide the subject you want to do your major in but that is not the case here,” said Shaurya Dhankar, who was one of the students to get a visa.

Dhankar is headed to University of California – Los Angeles to pursue his under-graduate course in electrical and electronics engineering.

Agreed Kamakshi Bharadwaj, who too got her visa approved and was looking forward to the prospect of getting exposure to a new country and its culture.

“My uncle and aunt live in the U.S. and I have heard a lot about the country. I am now ready to experience it first hand,” said Bharadwaj, who would be leaving for George Mason University in Virginia in July to pursue under-graduate course in computer sciences.

With inputs from IANS.

Let’s Fight for New Earth – A Better Earth #HappyEnvironmentsDay


World Environment Day – was first established by the UN Assembly on 1972 and it was started celebrating from 1973.
But are we really celebrating the nature and our environment ?
Every March we celebrate Earth hour and we have many reasons to forget that 60mins .Think here !!

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Do you know Nearly 4 billion trees worldwide are cut down each year for paper or 35 percent of the total trees cut around the world are used in paper industries. when will we starting changing for better environment ? this is high time for that ..!!

Are we doing enough to come out of water scarcity we are facing ?
Do you agree Water scarcity occurs even in areas where there is plenty of rainfall or freshwater. ?

LISTEN : Water scarcity affects one in three people on every continent of the globe. The situation is getting worse as needs for water rise along with population growth, urbanization and increases in household and industrial uses.

Almost one fifth of the world’s population (about 1.2 billion people) live in areas where the water is physically scarce.

One quarter of the global population also live in developing countries that face water shortages due to a lack of infrastructure to fetch water from rivers and aquifers. Water scarcity forces people to rely on unsafe sources of drinking water. It also means they cannot bathe or clean their clothes or homes properly.
Poor water quality can increase the risk of such diarrhoeal diseases as cholera, typhoid fever and dysentery, and other water-borne infections. Water scarcity can lead to diseases such as trachoma (an eye infection that can lead to blindness), plague and typhus.
Water scarcity encourages people to store water in their homes. This can increase the risk of household water contamination and provide breeding grounds for mosquitoes – which are carriers of dengue fever, malaria and other diseases. Water scarcity underscores the need for better water management. Good water management also reduces breeding sites for such insects as mosquitoes that can transmit diseases and prevents the spread of water-borne infections such as schistosomiasis, a severe illness.

A lack of water has driven up the use of waste water for agricultural production in poor urban and rural communities. More than 10% of people worldwide consume foods irrigated by waste water that can contain chemicals or disease-causing organisms.

Water is an essential resource to sustain life. As governments and community organizations make it a priority to deliver adequate supplies of quality water to people, individuals can help by learning how to conserve and protect the resource in their daily lives.

So Save Water , Save each Drop – it’s Precious than Diamond…!!

Avoid Plastics :

Every year some 45,000 tons of plastic waste are dumped into the world’s oceans. One of the results of this is that up to one million seabirds and one hundred thousand marine mammals are killed each year by plastic trash such as fishing gear, six-pack yokes, sandwich bags, and styrofoam cups.
* North Americans throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour.

Paper cups consume trees, water, and chemicals, and dump them into streams and landfills- they are not re-cyclable. Paper cups are often wax-coated which reduces their bio-degradeability futher. Paper products make up over 40 percent by weight , slightly higher by volume – of this country’s municipal solid waste, by far the largest contributor. Paper Recycling and its role in Solid Waste Management.

Now let’s ask ourselves, are you doing enough to preserve our environment ?

This is not the time to THINK , it’s the time to ACT.

Let’s treat every hour as our earth hour.

Take a pledge to yourself that you will ,


* Save Water
* Reduce paper usage
* Plant more trees.

Will you join this campaign ?

Go Green to make our Earth Smile.

Happy Environments Day

With Inputs – Murali Iyengar

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U.S. Maintains Silence on Modi’s Visa Status


The U.S. continued to maintain silence on granting a visa to BJP leader Narendra Modi, whose party-led NDA is projected by exit polls to form the next government in India. “We don’t speak on visa acceptances, applications, etcetera, so I don’t have anything for you on that,” State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters at her daily news conference.

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“We view our relationship with India as one that’s vitally important for economic, strategic reasons, and one that we look forward to continuing to grow in the future,” she said when asked about the issue of visa for Modi, who is BJP’s prime ministerial candidate. In 2005, the U.S. State Department had revoked a visa that Modi had for travelling to the U.S. on the ground of alleged human rights violations after the 2002 Gujarat riots.

 

The U.S. has repeatedly said there is no change in its long-standing visa policy relating to Modi but he is free to apply for a visa and await a review like any other applicant. Last year, Modi’s plans to address by video a University of Pennsylvania conference were scrapped following opposition from Indian-American professors, alumni and students. However, in a sudden u-turn in February, the U.S. signaled the end of its boycott of Modi when its ambassador to India Nancy Powell met him in Ahmedabad.

 

U.S. Officials have since said whoever is elected India’s next leader would be welcome to the U.S. “We look forward to working with the leaders chosen by the Indian people to advance this important partnership and to set an ambitious agenda,” Psaki said.

She refused to comment on the results of the exit polls according to which Modi could be the next Prime Minister. Meanwhile, a top American expert has said the prospect for a dramatic resuscitation of Indo-U.S. relations under a Modi government in India looks less than promising, which he mainly attributed to visa issue related to him. “Today, both Modi and the United States are trapped in a catch-22: in understandable pique, Modi has declared that he will never apply for an American visa again and there is no way to revalidate his now-expired visa if he will not apply anew,” said Ashley Tellis, from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a prestigious American think-tank.

 

 

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TOTAKASHTAKAM – for Stress Relief #Spritituality #Hinduism


VIDITAKILA SASTRA SUDHA JALATHE

MAHITOPA NISATKATHI TARTHANIDHE

HRDAYEKALAYE VIMALAM SARANAM

BHAVA SANKARA DESIKA ME SARANAM ||1||

 

O THOU, THE KNOWER OF ALL THE MILK-OCEAN OF SCRIPTURES! THE EXPOUNDER OF THE TOPICS OF GREAT UPANISADIC TREASURE-TROVE! ON THY FAULTLESS FEET I MEDITATE IN MY HEART. BE THOU MY REFUGE O MASTER, SANKARA

 

KARUNA VARUNALAYA PALAYA MAM

BHVASAGARA DUKHA VIDUNAHRDAM

RACAYAKHILA DARSHANA THATVANIDAM

BHAVA SANKARA DESIKA ME SARANAM ||2||

 

O THE OCEAN OF CAMPASSION! SAVE ME WHOSE HEART IS TORMENTED BY THE MISERY OF THE SEA OF BIRTH! MAKE ME UNDERSTAND THE TRUTHS OF ALL THE SCHOOLS OF PHILOSOPHY! BE THOU MY REFUGE O MASTER, SANKARA

 

BHAVATA JANATA SUHITA BHAVITA

NIJABODHA VICARANA CHARUMATE

KALAYESHVARA JIVA VIVEKAVIDAM

BHAVA SANKARA DESIKA ME SARANAM ||3||

 

BY THEE, THE MASSES HAVE BEEN MADE HAPPY. O THOU WHO HAST A NOBLE INTELLECT SKILLED IN THE INQUIRY INTO SELF-KNOWLEDGE! ENABLE ME TO UNDERSTAND THE WISDOM RELATING TO GOD AND THE SOUL. BE THOU MY REFUGE O MASTER, SANKARA

 

BHAVA EVA BHAVANITI ME NITARAM

SAMAJAYATA CHETASI KAUTUKITA

MAMAVARAYA MOHA MAHAJALADHIM

BHAVA SANKARA DESIKA ME SARANAM ||4||

 

KNOWING THAT THOU ART VERILY THE SUPREME LORD, THERE ARISES OVERWHELMING BLISS IN MY HEART. PROTECT ME FROM THE VAST OCEAN OF DELUSION. BE THOU MY REFUGE O MASTER, SANKARA

 

SUKRTE DHIKRETE BAHIDHA BHAVATO

BHAVITA SAMA DARSHANA LALASATA

ATIHINAMIMAM PARIPALAYA MAM

BHAVA SANKARA DESIKA ME SARANAM ||5||

 

DESIRE FOR THE INSIGHT INTO UNITY THROUGH THEE WILL SPRING ONLY WHEN VIRTUOUS DEEDS ARE PERFORMED IN ABUNDANCE AND IN VARIOUS DIRECTIONS. PROTECT THIS EXTREMELY HELPLESS PERSON. BE THOU MY REFUGE O MASTER, SANKARA

 

JAGATIMAVITUM KALITAKRITAYO

VICHARANTI MAHAMANA SASCHALATAH

AHIMAM STURIVATRA VIBHASI GURO

BHAVA SANKARA DESIKA ME SARANAM ||6||

 

OH TEACHER! FOR SAVING THE WORLD, THE GREAT ASSUME VARIOUS FORMS AND WANDER IN DISGUISE. OF THEM, THOU SHINEST LIKE THE SUN. BE THOU MY REFUGE O MASTER, SANKARA

 

GURUPUNGAVA PUNGAVA KETANA TE

SAMATAM AYATAM NAHI KO’PI SUDHIH

SARANAGATAVATSALA TATTVINIDHE

BHAVA SANKARA DESIKA ME SARANAM ||7||

 

O THE BEST OF THE TEACHERS! THE SUPREME LORD HAVING THE BULL AS BANNER! NONE OF THE WISE IS EQUAL TO THEE! THOU WHO ART COMPASSIONATE TO THOSE WHO HAVE TAKEN REFUGE! THE TREASURE TROVE OF TRUTH! BE THOU MY REFUGE O MASTER, SANKARA

 

VIDITA NA MAYA VISHATAIKAKALA

NACHA KINCANA KANCANAMASTI GURO

DRUTAMEVA VIDEHI KRUPAM SAHAJAM

BHAVA SANKARA DESIKA ME SARANAM ||8||

 

NOT EVEN A SINGLE BRANCH OF KNOWLEDGE HAS BEEN UNDERSTOOD BY ME CORRECTLY. NOT EVEN THE LEAST WEALTH DO I POSSESS, O TEACHER. BESTOW ON ME QUICKLY THY NATURAL GRACE. BE THOU MY REFUGE O MASTER, SANKARA

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There is Nobody to Blame for Anything


Let’s start by stating a bold claim that you’ve probably never heard before. Upon first hearing this claim, you’ll most likely think it to be ridiculous and absurd, but by the end of this article, you’ll see the utterly obvious truth of it, and you’ll never look at the world the same way again. Are you ready for it? Here it is…

 There is no cause of anything.

 That’s right. Nothing “causes” anything else to happen… ever. Now let me explain why.

 As an example, let’s say that a man needs milk, and he walks several blocks to the corner store to buy it. After purchasing the milk he begins his walk home, but while crossing the street there’s a drunk driver that doesn’t notice the stop sign at the intersection where the man is crossing. At the very last second the drunk driver slams on his breaks, but it’s too late, and he hits the man crossing the street.

 Now, with our current mindset, the vast majority of people would automatically say that the drunk driver “caused” this to happen. Or did he?

 If we just take a step back in the way we perceive things, we could just as easily say that the man was hit by that drunk driver because cars were invented. Or because the wheel was invented. Or because of the development of technology. Or because somebody figured out how to make pavement for driving on.

 Maybe the man was hit because of his neediness for milk. Or because his wife sent him to the store. Or because of his wife’s enjoyment of breakfast cereal. Maybe it’s because people drink milk. Or perhaps it happened because cows exist.

 Maybe it happened because the man chose to live in the exact location that he does. Or maybe it was because that was the only house on the market that he could afford, and he could only afford that house because of the job he has, and he has that job because he dropped out of high school.

 Maybe he was hit by the drunk driver because of the precise speed in which the man walks, and the exact time he got there. Or because he had to stop to re-tie his shoe lace that had come undone. Or because he didn’t tie them properly when he first left his house. Or because he chose to wear that specific pair of shoes to walk to the store. Or because he chose to buy those exact shoes. Or because he could only afford those shoes.

 Maybe it’s because the city chose to install a stop sign instead of traffic lights. Or because stop signs aren’t twice as big. Or because they’re not fluorescent yellow.

 What if the whole incident happened because the man decided to walk to the store instead of driving? Or what if it was because the store was built at that location? Or because the owner of the store decided that was a good place to set up shop?

 Perhaps it was because the drunk driver was born. Or because the man buying milk was born. Or because either of the men’s parents had sex. Or because his parent’s parents had sex. Or because any of these people ever met each other in the first place.

 What if it was because the human species evolved in the manner that it did? Or because life came to be on the planet? Or maybe it was because of the “big bang” (if that’s how it happened). Maybe it’s because the physical universe exists.

 It might have been because of the location of the bar that the drunk driver was drinking at. Or because the drunk driver had to be home at a certain time. Or because the drunk driver had to work in the morning. Or because his taste buds like the taste of alcohol. Or because he’s not able to overcome his addiction despite all of his efforts. Or because nobody has taken him to an AA meeting.

 The drunk driver may certainly be irresponsible, and maybe he lacks proper judgment, but that certainly isn’t “the cause”. It’s only one tiny minute reason out of a literally infinite and unending number of factors within all of existence. There is no end to the amount of circumstances that come into play, and not a single one of them is the cause of anything else.

 So let us repeat the lesson learned… There is no cause of anything… ever. There are only automatic effects and consequences. Everything is happening of its own, as a spontaneous result.

 Most importantly of all, if there is no cause of anything, there is nothing and nobody to blame for anything, and if there is nothing to blame, then there is absolutely nothing to be angry about. Everything just is what it is, and we have no choice but to accept it. No matter what’s happing in the universe, it’s perfect, and it can’t possibly be anything but. This understanding literally forces us to fully accept absolutely everything as it is. There is nothing to complain about and we have no choice but to forgive everybody for everything they have ever done, no matter what that might have been.

 What a person does, and chooses, is determined by what a person is, and what they are is determined by what they are aware of. Everybody is exactly what they are currently aware of, and what they are currently aware of is based upon an infinite number of factors.

 We might all be learning from “mistakes”, but at least we can all be at peace (of mind) with each other as life unfolds. The whole concept of causation is an entirely false ingrained perception that is in everybody’s best interest to let go of. If everybody had this understanding, we would have total world peace because nobody would be acting out of anger, blame, resentment, hate, or fear. Everybody would fully accept, forgive, respect, and love all of life for what it is. And we would no longer need lawyers.

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China Doubles Down on New Thorium Reactor #India


As the smoggy skies over China’s northern industrial cities thicken into soupy murkiness, life spans plummet and citizens are getting testy. Over a billion sullen people would frighten any politician, elected or not. Ratcheting up a response, concerned leaders just pushed to develop a revolutionary thorium nuclear reactor in only 10 years, elevating a long=term research program to an urgent Manhattan Project. Although it’s a symbolic gesture at this point, as an attempt to cut down China’s destructive reliance on coal, it plays to the country’s reputation as the global infrastructure king after building the Three Gorges Dam and nation-wide high speed rail.

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To gauge the government’s resolve, look no further than Premier Li Keqiang, who told the national legislature on March 5th that the government had declared “war on pollution” (borrowing a handy Washington cliche). Although China is the world leader in clean energy investment, with $54 billion poured into 14 GWs of wind and 12 GWs of solar last year alone, the government has targeted nuclear as an important part of its low-carbon strategy.

Leap-frogging uranium

China hasn’t abandoned traditional nuclear, according to thorium-ophile Ambrose Evans-Pritchard at The Telegraph. It’s already building 26 conventional reactors to fire up in 2015, with 51 more planned, and 120 more stuffed into the pipeline. But for the government they have a big drawback: a reliance on pricey, imported uranium.

Since China has enough thorium to last for “20,000 years,” starting just three years ago, China’s Academy of Sciences (an arm of the government) began the long pursuit of a “thorium-based molten-salt reactor system” at the Shanghai Institute of Nuclear and Applied Physics. Originally, its scientists had been given a manageable 25-year mandate to develop the thorium plant – and leap-frog uranium – but a 10-year deadline is pushy by any autocrat’s standards.

Ironically, this story leads back to the United States, a slower -moving democracy, and Kirk Sorensen, a former NASA rocket engineer, who, by trying to develop a thorium reactor, has become the 90th element’s biggest advocate, which makes him both the Johnny Appleseed and the world’s biggest Chicago Cubs fan of nuclear energy. He’s definitively American.

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Solving the Fukushima problem

Sorenson explained to Evans-Pritchard that his thorium reactors could solve the Fukushima problem: they would operate at atmospheric pressure to eliminate the same hydrogen explosions. If a reactor began to overheat, a plug melts and the salts drain out. “There’s no need for computers, or the electrical pumps that were crippled by the tsunami. The reactor can save itself.” He’s ingeniously practical.

Then he went big-picture and very Spockian, ignoring legacy energy systems, dysfunctional politics, and greed:  ”Once you start looking more closely, you can run civilization on thorium for hundreds of thousands of years, and it’s essentially free. You don’t have to deal with uranium cartels.” Or humans. He’s also insanely rational. And eternally hopeful. A terminal Cubs fan.

The Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee built a molten-salt reactor in the 1960s, but it was shelved by the Nixon Administration. At the time, the Pentagon needed uranium to build nuclear bombs, so the project was aborted. The blueprints were gathered up, archived, and forgotten, until Kirk Sorensen, a young engineer prowling NASA looking for a new research project, found and studied them. Convinced of their value, he later published the results. Although the small thorium research community shared them and reporters publicized them, the US government ignored them; however, China did not.

Taking the technology back to China

Jiang Mianheng, the next link in the thorium story, is the son of former Party leader Jiang Zemin, which makes him a princeling, a rich and pampered member of the ruling Communist government’s second generation. That world of privilege and access gave him the clout to bring his thorium project to China’s National Academy of Sciences and wrangle a start-up budget of $350m.

Mr Jiang made a special trip to the Oak Ridge labs and obtained the designs – legitimately, just by asking  – after reading an article in American Scientist that touted thorium’s many benefits. He’d decided that a molten-salt reactor could be the answer to China’s ongoing energy and climate crisis. He took this disruptive technology back to China and suddenly it’s moved into the mainstream, just like Sorenson has hoped.

A hundred thousand years from now

Under the original 25-year research plan, Jiang’s Shanghai team would have built a tiny 2 MW plant using liquid flouride fuel by the end of the decade, before gradually scaling up to commercial size during the 2020s. Now those plans have been jump-started by a nervous regime.

One hundred thousand years from now, if Jiang’s scientists managed to develop a working molten-salt reactor that created an energy revolution, Beijing pedestrians will be able to look up into the clear night sky and see an immense, state-sponsored hologram of Kirk Sorenson floating overhead, flashing an eternal Vulcan salute as he sucks up the endless free energy supplied by one of his reactors. Unfortunately, it will be too late to snag a book deal with best-selling author Michael Lewis.

By Kent Harrington

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Multiple Bombings In Russian City Ahead Of Winter Olympics


Deadly explosions ripped into the Russian city Volgograd for the second day in a row, causing the death of at least 14 people, and raising security concerns in the weeks before the Sochi Winter Olympics.

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Monday’s explosion of an electric trolley bus follows follows a blast at Volgograd’s main railway station on Sunday that killed another 17 and injured 50 civilians. According to Russia’s Investigative Committee, a male suicide bomber caused the blast, though his remains still need to be analyzed to determine an identity and possible affiliation. “The blast was so strong that the windows of the five-storey building opposite were blown out,” said Vladimir Markin, the committee’s spokesman, in a statement. “According to our preliminary data, the power of the explosive device was equivalent to at least 4kg TNT.”

Both Sunday and Monday’s bombs contained shrapnel that was “identical,” pointing to a link between the explosions, the Investigative Committee said. “That confirms the investigators’ version that both terrorist attacks were linked,” Vladimir Markin told Russian television. “They could have been prepared in one place.”

While no individual or group has claimed credit for the bombings, Dmitiri Trenin, Carnegie Institute’s Moscow Director, sees the outlines of a strategic goal in the targets that the perpetrators have chosen. “For the time being, and maybe in preparation for bigger strikes, the terrorists have focused on some of the softer targets in the south of Russia,” Trenin writes. “Soft, but not unimportant. Volgograd, formerly Stalingrad, a symbol of Russia’s tragedy and triumph in World War II, has been singled out by the terrorists precisely because of its status in people’s minds. Their aim was to hurt Russia’s pride, as well as its people.” So far in response, St. Petersburg has cancelled its New Year’s fireworks amid safety concerns.

For now, it remains unclear just how these latest attacks will effect preparations for Sochi, due to take place in just six weeks. Russia had already begun stepping up “security efforts” ahead of the Olympics, including preparing to monitor all communications in the Black Sea city. Moscow has also banned rallies and protests scheduled to coincide with the Olympics, and begun collecting DNA samples from Muslim women. The DNA sampling began after another suicide bombing in Volgograd in October. “In response, security forces have blown up the homes of attackers’ relatives, sealed off mountain villages and rounded up young men suspected of having ties to armed fighters,” Radio Free Europe reported at the time.

That response mirrors what has been seen in parts of the Russian Federation, including the Caucasus states of Chechnya and Dagestan, that have been home to intermittent fighting over the decades, as the Kremlin has clashed with nationalist sentiments from the regions’ inhabitants as well as Islamic extremism. Earlier this year, the Caucasus Emirate’s Doku Umarov called for fighters to disrupt the the Olympics. Fingers have already begun to be pointed towards the region, with Russian news service Interfax reporting a man who received training in Dagestan conducted the first bombing. The governor of Ingushetia also took to Russian television to warn about the need to combat “radical Islam.”

The United States, though at loggerheads with Russia over several other issues — including Syria and the crackdown on gay rights ahead of the Olympics — was quick to offer its sympathies. “The United States condemns in the strongest terms today’s terrorist attack in Volgograd,” State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement on Sunday. “We send our sincere condolences to the families of the victims and stand in solidarity with the Russian people against terrorism of any kind.” U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, himself a target of Russian animus at times, tweeted out, “All my thoughts and prayers – about victims of these heinous atrocities.”

By Hayes Brown

Indian Dignitaries Who Once Tasted Humiliation in the US


The most recent spat of a deputy consul general at the Indian Consulate in New York, Devyani Khobragade over a visa fraud has once again highlighted how Indians are battered in the foreign country in spite of holding a high official post. Here are the noted personalities who were detained or underwent a pat-down search while passing through or during their stay in United States, reports Yahoo India.

APJ Abdul Kalam

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APJ Abdul Kalam, the 11th president of India and the first scientist to hold the post was also once targeted during his visit to the U.S. There, he was twice frisked at New York’s JFK Airport with U.S. security officials even taking his jacket and shoes to check for explosives and also by staff of Continental Airlines at New Delhi airport. This was one such incident that left India fuming. Later, a written apology to Kalam and the Indian government was sent by the U.S. stating, “Appropriate procedure for expedited screening of dignitaries had not been followed”.

George Fernandes

GF

George Fernandes, former Defence Minister has claimed that he was strip searched twice at Dulles Airport in the U.S. Capital area, during an official visit as a defense minister to Washington in early 2002 and again while en route to Brazil in mid-2003. Later, the then United States Deputy Secretary of State, Richard Armitage, personally apologized to Fernandes over the incident.
“Just as we were saying good-bye to Fernandes, a member of our delegation innocently asked him when he would next be coming to Washington. His demeanor abruptly changed. It was as though he was glad to have an excuse to tell us how he really felt about our country,” recalls Richard.

Meera Shankar


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Meera Shankar, the Indian ambassador to the U.S. between 2009 and 2011, was subjected to a pat-down search in December 2010 by security personnel at Mississippi, Jackson-Evers International airport though she was travelling on a diplomatic passport. The reason behind the security search was nothing but wearing traditional attire—sari. The hands-on search also embarrassed the university officials who invited Meera Shankar to give a speech for an international studies program at Mississippi State University.

Shah Rukh Khan

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The king Khan of Bollywood, who arrived in the U.S. to visit the Yale University, was detained for over two hours at a New York airport in 2009 and 2012. Shah Rukh Khan was accompanied by Nita Ambani when they arrived in a private plane at the New York’s White Plain airport. Media sources stated that while everybody else was cleared by the immigration immediately, Khan was stopped for over two hours before being cleared by the immigration officials. On another incident, he was detained at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey when he had gone to promote his movie ‘My Name is Khan’, which ironically was about racial profiling of Muslims in the U.S. “Nothing seemed to convince the immigration officer, even when other officers (who recognized me) vouched for me. I feel angry and humiliated,” Shahrukh said afterwards.

Praful Patel

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Former union minister Praful Patel, who was in Chicago for attending an official engagement was detained at the O’Hare airport in Chicago in September 2010. He was held for questioning as his name and date of birth matched with those of a man on America’s watch list. Despite telling the immigration authorities that he was a minister in the Indian government, they kept asking him why he was visiting the U.S. and whether he had stayed in the country earlier.

Azam Khan

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Uttar Pradesh Cabinet Minister and senior Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan has alleged that he was insulted at the Boston airport in April 2013. Khan, who was accompanying state Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav for a Harvard University event in the U.S., was detained briefly for questioning. Khan also alleged that officials at the Boston Airport not just frisked him but also misbehaved with him.

Hardeep Puri

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Hardeep Puri, India’s former UN envoy was detained for more than 30 minutes in a holding room at Houston Airport after refusing to remove his turban in December 2010. Puri refused to do the same as Sikh men are expected to keep their heads covered in public at all times. It is even forbidden to touch the head dress in public as it symbolizes self-respect, honour and piety.

Irfan Khan

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Irrfan Khan, a noted Indian actor who worked in Oscar-winning films like ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, ‘Life of Pi’ and ‘Spider-Man’, was also detained twice at the U.S. airports at Los Angeles airport in 2008 and at New York airport in 2009. Irrfan said,  “It’s humiliating. They don’t even disclose the reason,” reports PTI. “The policemen with big guns just take you to a room and ask you to sit. They don’t allow you to speak to anybody, nor use cellphones. And after long waits, they come and simply say ‘Go, please go’, he added.

Neil Nitin Mukesh

NNM

Actor Neil Nitin Mukesh was detained at an airport in the U.S. for over an hour because the immigration officials refused to believe that he is an Indian. Neil said that the incident happened when he arrived in New York to shoot for Kabir Khan’s film ‘New York’ which has a backdrop of 9/11 terror attacks, reports PTI.

Most Followed Trending Topics On Twitter in 2013


From breaking the news of a royal baby to a presidential election or the retirement of the cricketing legend, twitter continued to be the platform for mass interaction. So, let’s have a look at some of the most tweeted topics in 2013 that rocked the internet world.

Presidential inauguration, United States

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The United States ushered in a second term for Barack Obama this year. Many people recorded the event by collecting social media and updates from around the Web, especially from twitter. The White House story drew heavily from the official presidential social media accounts, and continued with the updates even after the day of the actual event. There were around 1.1 million inauguration-related tweets during the ceremony. First Lady, Michelle Obama too tweeted: “Honored and blessed to be joining so many of my fellow Americans gathered to watch the Inauguration.” With over 34.7 million followers, U.S. President Barack Obama is the most followed head of state in Twitter.

Sachin Tendulkar Retirement

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As cricketing legend, Sachin Tendulkar, played his 200th and final Test, tributes poured in on twitter in honor of the Master Blaster. From cricketers to politicians to celebrities from all walks of life, all took to twitter to express their feelings and to pay their tribute. In tribute to Sachin, BCCI ran a campaign in twitter called #ThankYouSachin, which generated over 3 million tweets. #ThankYouSachin was used not only by common Twitter users but also by celebrities like Mahendra Singh Dhoni. As Sachin acknowledged the campaign, he wrote on Twitter page, “I am really touched with #ThankYouSachin messages. Your support all these years have inspired me to give my best,” reports TOI. The tweet was retweeted over 16,000. This makes it the most tweeted news in India, reveals Twitter. “I am really touched with #ThankYouSachin messages. Your support all these years have inspired me to give my best,” tweets Sachin.

Death of Nelson Mandela

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After the former South African president—Nelson Mandela’s death, Twitter spiked at 95,000 tweets per minute  and has been flooded with tweets that are  tributes to this great legend. Madiba, also became a trending topic on Twitter with public figures, including former president Bill Clinton, tweeting affectionately about the leader. Over six million tweets were recorded and even the funeral ceremony generated around 328 000 tweets.

Election of Pope Francis

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The election of Pope Francis does clock in as one of the biggest Twitter event of all time in the tweets per minute range. He is the most influential world leader on Twitter, with the highest number of re-tweets worldwide. Pope, with 7.2 million followers is also the second most-followed leader of the world, after U.S. President Barack Obama. The new Pope’s papal inauguration generated more than 130,000 tweets per minute at its peak. Cardinal of Buenos Aires Jorge Mario Bergoglio‘s election dominated online discussion to such a degree that it became the subject of eight of the top 10 trending topics at one point, says Twitter.

The Birth of Royal Baby, UK

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The news of the new born Prince of Cambridge earlier this year, brought Twitter close to meltdown as millions from around the world shared their excitement and offered congratulations. Incredible 487million Twitter users have posted about the Duchess of Cambridge going into labour even before the baby’s birth was announced. A spark of conversation came in the minutes following the initial announcement, with over 25,300 tweets per minute. According to Twitter, the highest volumes of tweets came from the UK, the United States, Canada, France and Italy. It was thought to be one of the busiest days the social network has ever experienced.

Government Shutdown, United States

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The government of U.S. when shutdown for 16 days after Congress failed to enact legislation appropriating funds for fiscal year 2014. Regular government operations resumed after an interim appropriations bill was signed into law. During that period, millions of tweets have been generated all over the world. Social media like twitter served as a megaphone for dozens of politicians airing their opinions to masses.

India’s Mars Mission

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With India’s mars mission successfully launched, it became the first Asian country and fourth nation in the world to leap into the interplanetary space with its Rs.450-crore exploratory mission to Mars, about 400-million km from earth. Even this event took lots of netizens to voice their opinion in the social media especially in twitter. Here are some of the tweets- “Actually that’s how I celebrate #Diwali. By firing small rockets like #Mangalyaan. #MissionMars #MarsMission #IndiaMarsMission #lol.” “Its incredible that @ISRO_India managed to put together #IndiaMarsMission is just 15 months!”

The Boston Marathon Bombings

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Twitter have brought the best and worst scene of the Boston Marathon Bombings that took place in April at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Gossip and poorly reported news spread like wildfire over social networks, creating some confusion regarding the identities of the suspected bombers. But Twitter also provided a way for people to spread accurate news, and more importantly, come together in grief and support. There were more than 27 million tweets sent related to the Boston Marathon Bombings.

International Linear Collider (ILC) — What new discoveries can bring to us?


The ILC is a proposed next high energy particle collider. If built, it will collide electrons and positron at the highest energy that we’ve collided these particles.  Electrons and positrons are elementary particles, which means that when you collide them, they don’t break apart into their constituents like the protons of the LHC do.  This means that energy that is quoted, is the actual energy of collisions.  At the LHC, the vast majority of collisions are at vastly lower energies.  For instance, at the LHC the past run had an energy of 8000 GeV, but there were very few collisions with energies more than 2000 GeV. 
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The ILC is planned to run at several energies: 250 GeV, 500 GeV and 1000 GeV.  As such, it won’t be the highest energy collider in the world, but energy isn’t the only thing.

The ILC is a linear collider rather than a collider built upon a circular storage ring.  As such, it is more like a drag race rather a NASCAR race.  The longer you have to accelerator, the more energy you have.  Thus the increase in energy corresponds to actually extending the accelerator.  I believe the full length is slated to be 30km long!  Yes, a single room 3000 football fields long.  This is roughly  the size of the LHC, which is a circular tunnel 27km long.   So nothing that is beyond what current civil engineering projects can easily achieve.

The benefit of colliding electrons and positrons is that the events are immensely clean, meaning that there are very particles produced, a few dozen to a few hundred in a typical event.   In contrast, the LHC is produce thousands of particles.  You can really understand what every particle is doing. This means, that the ILC will be able to measure properties of particles very well.  It may also be able to discover particles that had been hidden in the messy environment of the LHC.  Essentially the background (or “noise” in engineering parlance) is much lower, so signal-to-background is much better.

One of the killer apps of the ILC is to be able to measure the properties of the Higgs boson to the several percent accuracy level.  This is will let us know really if the Higgs boson is the particle that we think it is.

Another aspect of the ILC is that it can potentially discover dark matter in a much more robust way than the LHC can. 

The current status is that the Technical Design Report (TDR) was just completed (about 5 days ago) after a decade of work.  This is the document that specifies all of the details that will go into the engineering and construction designs. 

Currently Japan has shown the most initiative at building the ILC. It is in the political party material of both major political parties.  Isn’t that shocking, a government and populace that really cares about science!  Contrast that with the US which is all about scaling back the future of science and it’s shocking.  Japan currently says that it needs some sizeable international contribution to make the project happen, it’s unclear whether this is a true necessity, or whether it is the government trying to gauge the international level of interest.  If Japan green-lights the project, it will take roughly a decade to build the site and to install the accelerator and construct the detectors, meaning that first collisions will take place at earliest in the mid-2020s. 

The US federal government is currently completely uninterested in the ILC, having essentially zeroed out the funding for detector and accelerator R&D several years ago.  It also seems skeptical to provide any material contribution towards the funding of the accelerator.   Essentially, the Department of Energy has been given guidance that congress will not fund anything not on US soil and simultaneously not support any major new initiative. 

Europe seems potentially receptive to contributing to a Japanese ILC, but given that it the LHC upgrades and the future of CERN to map out, it isn’t an guaranteed.  Additionally, CERN also has the possibility of building another linear collider called CLIC that would start in the mid-to-late 2030s and be 1500 – 3000 GeV in energy, so while not directly competing with the ILC, this has not led to CERN being more aggressive in supporting the ILC.