Saturday, October 17, 2020

11 Talibs killed in Balkh, including commander, says Afghan Military

Representative Image

Kabul [Afghanistan], October 17 (ANI/Sputnik): The Afghan forces on Saturday said they had killed 11 Taliban terrorists in recent clashes in the northern Balkh province.

The fighting took place on Friday night in Hairatan and Chimtal districts, according to Afghan National Army's Shaheen Corps. Among those killed terrorists is Mullah Shakur, a commander of the elite Red Unit.

The Taliban have yet to comment on the clashes. (ANI/Sputnik)

UP governor flags off 'Pink petrol' in Lucknow

Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel (File Photo)


Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], October 17 (ANI): Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel flagged off 100 'pink' two-wheelers and 10 four-wheeler police vehicles for 'Pink Patrol', under 'Safe City Project' on Saturday.

Under the campaign, the Governor provided vehicles to the police and other depar
tments with an aim to strengthen women's security in public places.

Speaking on the occasion Patel said the 'Pink Patrol' campaign by the Central government and the state government is going to run for 180 days.

"We all have a responsibility towards the safety of women, it is not the responsibility of anyone department or an officer. The proceedings of every case of atrocities against women should be solved on time. We should take a pledge that there should not be a single incident of crime against women," she said.

She also said that vehicles provided by the government under the campaign should only be used for official work, and not for personal purpose.

The Governor further extended her wishes to the nation on the occasion of Navratri.

"Today is the first day of Navratri I wish everyone a very happy Navratri," she said.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had approved the Safe City Project for Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh at a total cost of Rs 194.44 crore under the Nirbhaya Fund Scheme in November 2018.

The project is implemented as a centrally sponsored scheme with the Centre and State sharing the funding in 60:40 ratio.

This approval was a part of MHA's plans to implement 'Safe City projects' in eight selected cities, namely, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Lucknow under Nirbhaya Fund, with the purpose of strengthening safety and security of women in public places.

The major components of the Safe City Project in Lucknow include Setting up an Integrated Smart Control Room, Setting up Pink Outposts (exclusively administered by Women police) for facilitating ease of filing complaint by women, Pink Patrols of Women police, Setting up Women Help Desks in all Police Stations with Counsellors, Augmentation of existing Asha Jyoti Kendra, Implementing Safety measures in buses, including Cameras, Improving Street Lighting in identified Hot Spot areas, Setting up Pink Toilets and the Integration of Women power-help line with single Emergency number '112'.

The 'Safe City Project' for Lucknow also envisages gender sensitisation awareness campaigns and capacity building in collaboration with community and civil society organisations. (ANI)

PM Modi calls for speedy access to COVID-19 vaccines for citizens once ready

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Photo: ANI)

New Delhi [India], October 17 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed the COVID-19 situation in the country and the preparedness of vaccine delivery, distribution and said that access to vaccines should be ensured speedily once they are ready keeping in view the geographical span and diversity of the country.

He noted the steady decline in the daily COVID-19 cases and growth rate and stressed that every step in the logistics, delivery, and administration concerning vaccine should be put in place rigorously.

A PMO release said three vaccines are in advanced stages of development in India, out of which two are in Phase II and one is in Phase-III.

It said Indian scientists and research teams are collaborating and strengthening the research capacities in neighbouring countries - Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

There are further requests from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Qatar and Bhutan for clinical trials in their countries.

"The Prime Minister directed that keeping in view the geographical span and diversity of the country, the access to the vaccine should be ensured speedily. The Prime Minister stressed that every step in the logistics, delivery, and administration should be put in place rigorously," the release said.

It said the steps must include advanced planning of cold storage chains, distribution network, monitoring mechanism, advance assessment, and preparation of ancillary equipment required, such as vails and syringes.

Two Pan India studies on the Genome of SARSCoV-2 (COVID-19 virus) in India conducted by ICMR and Department of Bio-Technology (DBT) suggest that the virus is genetically stable and there is no major mutation in the virus.

The Prime Minister said that the country should make use of experience of successful conduct of elections and disaster management in vaccine distribution.

He said that vaccine delivery and administration systems should be put in place in a similar manner. This should involve participation of states, UTs and district-level functionaries, civil society organisations, volunteers, citizens and experts from all necessary domains. The entire process should have a strong IT backbone and the system should be designed in such a manner so as to have a lasting value to our healthcare system, the release said.

The Prime Minister gave directions that the country "should not limit efforts to our immediate neighbourhood but also reach out to the entire world in providing vaccines, medicines and IT platforms for vaccine delivery system".

He cautioned against complacency at the decline in coronavirus cases and laid stress on keeping up efforts to contain the pandemic.

He insisted on continued social distancing, COVID appropriate behaviour such as wearing the mask, regularly washing hands and sanitation especially in the wake of upcoming festival season.

The National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC) in consultation with state governments and all relevant stakeholders has prepared and presented a detailed blueprint of vaccine storage, distribution, and administration.

The Expert Group in consultation with the states is working actively on vaccine prioritization and distribution of vaccine.

The meeting was attended by Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Principal Secretary to PM, Member (Health) NITI Aayog, Principal Scientific Advisor, senior Scientists, officers of PMO and other departments of the central government. (ANI)

China constructing road at border area in Leh, India should also build one: G Kishan Reddy to road workers

Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy while interacting with road workers in Leh (Photo/ANI)

Leh, (Ladakh) [India], October 17 (ANI): Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy on Saturday interacted with workers involved in road construction near Khardungla Pass in Leh.

Reddy while on his way for campaigning for Leh hills council election in Laddakh stopped his car at Khardung village near Khardungla Pass and interacted with the road workers engaged in contruction activities in the region.

"As I arrived at the serene land of Ladakh, on my way from Leh to Nubra, I had the opportunity to interact with the workers of Border Road Organisation who are relentlessly building infrastructure at an altitude of 18,600 feet, at Khardongla - Nubra Road," Reddy said.

"China is making a road near the border area. Why doesn't India build a road near the border? We should also build the road here," Reddy told the workers.

He also said that for the past 70 years no government from our country has tried to build a road near the border area, a good road."

Khardungla pass in Leh is known as the world's highest motor-able road in the and its height is 18,380 feet from the sea level, where the temperature is mostly reported in minus and oxygen is low.

Minister Reddy enquired about workers' health, accommodation facilities, payment and communication facilities during the interaction. Currently, road construction work is underway in Khardung village near Khardungla Pass.

Workers told Reddy that, "We don't have a problem here. We have been provided heavy jackets, food, sleeping bags and Rs350- 400 in a day."

Before leaving the place Reddy said to the workers, "You know who am I? I am the Home Minister of India, Amit Shah is the Home Minister and I'm the junior minister of state in home ministry."

Most workers who are constructing the road in Leh are from Jharkhand (Giridih). (ANI)

Will react to killing of teacher in 'most decisive way', assures French PM

French Prime Minister Jean Castex

Paris [France], October 17 (ANI): French authorities would respond to the killing of a teacher near Paris in a "most decisive way", Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Saturday.

The school teacher was decapitated in the Conflans-Sainte-Honorine commune north of Paris on Friday afternoon. A suspect was later killed by the French police, with the counter-terrorism department of the prosecutor's office currently investigating the incident.

"The state, in solidarity with teachers, will react in the most decisive way so that the republic and its citizens live freely! We will never give up. Never," Castex wrote on Twitter.

Earlier in the day, the French BFMTV broadcaster reported that nine people had been detained as part of the investigation into the murder. Le Figaro newspaper reported, citing a judiciary source, that the identity of the suspect had been confirmed. It is an 18-year old man of Chechen origin, Abdoulakh A., born in Moscow.

The teacher allegedly showed controversial caricatures depicting the Prophet Mohammed to his students, according to multiple French media outlets, including CNN affiliate BFMTV.

According to French newspaper Le Monde, some Muslim parents complained to the school about the slain teacher's decision to use one or more of the cartoons as part of a discussion about the Charlie Hebdo attacks, CNN reported.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmamin said on Twitter that he was "keeping himself directly informed" of the situation "from the crisis room (he) had opened, in liaison with the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister."

Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer described the attack as a "despicable assassination of one of its servants, a teacher," and said his thoughts were with the family of the victim.

Friday's attack comes as a trial continues relating to a series of January 2015 terrorist attacks which began with a massacre at the Charlie Hebdo offices following the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed, CNN reported.(ANI)

With landslide victory, Jacinda Ardren secures second term as New Zealand's PM

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardren

Wellington [New Zealand], October 17 (ANI): Prime Minister Jacinda Ardren secured a landslide victory in New Zealand's general election to serve a second term after her success at tackling the coronavirus situation in the country.

"With 87 per cent of the votes counted, Ardern's center-left Labour Party has won 48.9 per cent of the vote, meaning her party looks likely to score the highest result that any party has achieved since the current political system was introduced in 1996," CNN reported.

On Saturday, Arden gave a powerful victory speech where she said, "Tonight, New Zealand has shown the Labour Party its greatest support in at least 50 years."

Acknowledging the difficult times New Zealand might face in the future, she said "And I can promise you: we will be a party that governs for every New Zealander."

The center-right National Party, labour's main opposition, is on 27 per cent which is probably the party's worst result since 2002.

While results are still being counted, National leader Judith Collins said that she accepted defeat and called Ardren to congratulate Ardren on an "outstanding result" for the Labour party.

The final result will be released in about three weeks, once special votes are counted, including those cast by New Zealanders living overseas.

CNN further reported that the preliminary count also shows a major swing to the left, with Labour picking up a significant boost on last election's 37 per cent, while its current coalition partner the Green Party is sitting on 7.6 per cent, up on last election's 6.3 per cent

Labour has been hovering on 50 per cent and it won't be clear if a coalition needs to be formed until the final results are announced. In New Zealand, coalitions are the norm. Victoria University politics lecturer Claire Timperley was quoted by CNN as saying that Labour would be "foolish" not to have a conversation with the Greens about working together, even if Labour won an outright majority.

Labour's other present coalition partner New Zealand First has not secured sufficient votes to make it back into parliament, while the right-wing ACT party is currently on 8 percent, up on last election's 0.5 per cent.

Arden's "go hard and go early" approach to handling the coronavirus has helped New Zealand avoid the kind of devastating outbreaks seen in other parts of the world. The country was one of the first to close its borders, and Ardern announced a nationwide lockdown in March when it only had 102 cases. This is speculated to be the reason for her re-election.

At the beginning of the year, polls suggested National and Labour could be in for a tight competition. However, that changed during the pandemic. Despite New Zealand's largest quarterly economic decline on record and a second outbreak in the country's largest city, support for Ardren increased.

Collins during her concessions speech on Saturday, said, "We always knew it was going to be tough, didn't we?" She added, "We will take time to reflect, and we will review, and we will change. National will reemerge from this loss a stronger, more disciplined and more connected party"

"I say to everybody: we will be back," Collins announced.

Politics lecturer at the University of Auckland, Lara Greaves was quoted by CNN as saying the high level of advance voting may have been related to COVID-19 as citizens wanted to avoid the chance that a new Coronavirus outbreak could impact their ability to vote on that day

She further said the turnout could also have been increased by two referendums running with the election, the first one on legalizing euthanasia, and the second on legalizing the recreational use of cannabis.

Ardern looks set to face another tough term ahead, as she attempts to address those issues while steering the country through the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. But political analysts aren't expecting flashy flagship policies -- instead, they predict Ardern will continue making incremental changes, CNN wrote.

"Real change requires steps that bring people with us,"

"I stand by my record ... I am not done yet," Ardern said at the country's final election debate on Thursday. (ANI)

USCI launches innovative programme with focus on emerging technologies

Computational Intelligence

Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], October 17 (ANI/NewsVoir): With the COVID-19 pandemic, our lives have moved further into the digital world. It is highly impossible to imagine how life would have been in 2020 without technology - without video calls and OTT platforms during lockdown, virtual classes or online meetings.

Internet usage has gone up manifolds since the global pandemic struck. Industries around the world are under pressure to respond to the ever changing market needs. The challenges of learning online have necessitated economies to experiment with newer technologies.

The crisis has put a special focus on the fields of Data Science, AI and Machine Learning, Robotics and Automation and Blockchain Technology. The world is seeing an accelerated adoption of these emerging technologies, leading to a new wave of demand for Robotics Engineers, Data Scientists, and Artificial Intelligence specialists. It has been predicted that smart transportation is part of the next wave of AI innovation.

It is because of these tremendous demands for jobs on cutting edge technologies, Ahmedabad based Karnavati University has established a new school, Unitedworld School of Computational Intelligence (USCI) which will offer 3-year undergraduate honours programmes leading to BSc (Hons) in Data Science, BSc (Hons) in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, BSc (Hons.) in Robotics and Automation and BSc (Hons) in Cryptography and Blockchain.

USCI has excellent infrastructure and talented faculty members from reputed institutions. "We are establishing four laboratories - Data Science Lab, Artificial Intelligence Lab, Cryptography and Blockchain Development Lab and Robotics Lab in addition to basic Physics Lab, Electrical Lab, Electronics Labs and Circuit Design Lab," said Ritesh Hada, President, Karnavati University.

USCI's Data Science Lab is equipped with high performance computing systems and required software. The institute's AI Lab has NVIDIA Workstations equipped with CUDA Processor. Blockchain Development lab has systems with high configuration and required software. Robotics Lab has Kits for designing robots, arms for experiments by students.

"With the coronavirus pandemic, we have witnessed more disruption than what we have witnessed in decades. Post-Covid, it makes sense to predict what the role of technology will be in the recovery process. I would encourage all parents to make sure that their children do not rely on the technologies of tomorrow for jobs of the future. And that is possible only if they shift their focus towards the emerging technologies," said Raju Shanmugam, Founding Dean, Unitedworld School of Computational Intelligence (USCI) at Karnavati University.

USCI has academic collaborations with Oracle Academy for Data Science and Analytics, Red Hat Academy for professional Certifications and UiPath Academy Robotics Process Automation. All faculty members will be trained by these multinational corporations (MNCs) for continuous skill upgradation on cutting edge technologies.

The following cutting edge technology jobs are determined to be the most attractive for next 20 Years and will grow up to 74 per cent. Innovation happens with AI, Machine Learning and Data Science.

* Artificial Intelligence Specialist: Unique skills required for this kind of job are Machine Learning, Deep Learning, TensorFlow, Python, Natural Language Processing.

* Robotics Engineer: It is an industry on demand. Careers in Robotics Engineering can vary greatly between software and hardware roles. Unique skills required for this role are Robotic Process Automation, UiPath, Blue Prism, Automation Anywhere, Robotics.

* Data Scientist: Data science is another field that has emerged recently on top of the jobs list. It has played a vital role significantly across all industries. It started replacing the previously existing jobs, like Statisticians, and increased emphasis on data in academic research. Unique skills set required for this role are Machine Learning, Data Science, Python, R, Apache Spark and Scala Programming.

* Full Stack Developer

* Site Reliability Engineer and Cloud Engineer

* Data Engineer: Data has become most valuable resource of every firm and therefore every firm requires data engineer. The demand for Data Engineer/Scientist jobs grows at the rate of 35 per cent every year. The unique skills required for this role are Apache Spark, Hadoop, Python, Extract/Transform/Load (ETL), Amazon Web Services etc.

* Cyber Security and Cryptography Specialists

* Back-end Developer

* Java Script Developer

* Blockchain Developer and Blockchain Engineer

This story is provided by NewsVoir. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/NewsVoir)

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