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Black Hole Caught in a Feeding Frenzy

“Black holes, like sharks, suffer from a popular misconception that they are perpetual killing machines,” said Ryan Chornock of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA). “Actually, they’re quiet for most of their lives. Occasionally a star wanders too close, and that’s when a feeding frenzy begins.”

Sophie Cras Is Awarded the 2012 Terra Foundation for American Art International Essay Prize

Cras is the third winner of the $500 prize, which recognizes excellent research and writing by a scholar in the field of American art history based outside the United States. The annual award, established in 2009, supports essays that advance the understanding of historical American art and demonstrate new findings and original perspectives.

Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History to Build New Dinosaur Hall

The existing dinosaur hall will remain open until spring 2014, when it will be closed to the public to allow construction to begin; selected dinosaur specimens will remain on view in other public areas of the museum.

National Portrait Gallery’s “Portraits After 5” Recognizes Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

The event, taking place in the museum courtyard, will incorporate composed music performed by an eight-piece orchestra and Korean artist CYJO’s art to explore different facets of cross-cultural identity. Three projection screens will be used to display slideshow projections of 240 people profiled and moving words from the “KYOPO project,” which will be manipulated by a dancer using Wii technology. These projections will be choreographed to the music in select movements. Together they will demonstrate the collective and individual experience of KYOPO (a term used to distinguish Koreans who live outside of Korea).

Smithsonian Hosts Exhibition of Robert Weingarten’s Portraits

“‘Pushing Boundaries’ engages visitors through images of objects and places that capture the spirit of individuality,” said Marc Pachter, interim director of the museum. “The exhibition opens up conversations on what portraiture is and asks visitors to contemplate how Weingarten’s biographic portraits reveal their subjects in ways other than representing their faces.”

New virtual reality study and book series help advance educational opportunities for children with autism

In the U.S., 80 percent of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) go to public schools, and at least 50 percent of them are in general education classes throughout the school day. More than 60 percent have average IQs and are not affected by intellectual disabilities, yet they have the worst graduation rates of any group.

Fishman gives keynote at Federation of State Medical Boards meeting

The intensive three-day educational forum for physicians, state medical and osteopathic boards, and health leaders nationwide brought together national experts who discussed a wide range of controversial issues, including safe and effective pain management.

Flash-heating breastmilk to inactivate HIV is feasible for women in resource-poor countries, UC Davis study finds

Flash-heating breastmilk is recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for HIV-infected mothers during times of increased transmission risk. The technique involves expressing breastmilk into a glass jar that is placed in a small pot of water and heated until the water boils.

Biomedical researchers receive Hartwell Foundation Awards

The awardees are: Frederic Chedin, associate professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, College of Biological Sciences; Noriko Satake M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics in the UC Davis School of Medicine and Comprehensive Cancer Center; and Paula Goines, postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Molecular Biosciences in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

Pt. Ravi Shankar to get the First Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony

The Government of India subsequently established the Tagore Award for promoting values of Universal Brotherhood. The award shall carry an amount of Rs. One Crore, a Citation in a Scroll, a Plaque as well as an exquisite traditional handicraft/handloom item. The award is open to all persons regardless of nationality, race, language, cast, creed or sex.

WCD Minister meets CBOs Working for Transgenders, Sex Workers and Urban Poor

The delegation of representatives from these CBOs met the Minister and shared their problems and issues of integrating with the society because of the discrimination and stigma that is associated with their work. They informed the Minister that many of their problems emerged due to their nature of profession and lack of permanent address. Because of this they cannot access several schemes of the government. One of their vital needs is safe shelter for themselves and their children, they informed the Minister. They also informed the Minister of the problems they face during their interaction with government offices.

Agreement with Nepal for Floods Control of Kosi River

Detailed Project Report (DPR) of Sapta Kosi High Dam Multipurpose Project is scheduled to be completed by February, 2013.

Setting up Water Regulatory Authority

While recommending the setting up of a Water Regulatory Authority in each State, the Thirteenth Finance Commission observed that injudicious inter-sectoral and intra-sectoral distribution of water amongst various categories of water users, low water use efficiency, fragmented approach to water resources planning and development, low water user charges and meagre recovery are some of the major problems associated with the management of water resources in the country. A statutory autonomous institution at the state level could help in addressing these issues. Government of India has accepted the recommendations.

River Interlinking Project

At present Interlinking of Rivers programme is being pursued in a consultative manner. Its implementation is dependent upon consensus and cooperation of the concerned states, agreement with the neighbouring countries ( in case link involved area lying in other countries), preparation of Detailed Project Report (DPR) and obtaining various clearances including statutory clearances.

Storage Capacity of Water

The Government of India supplements the efforts of the State Governments for increasing storage as well as utilization of water for irrigation, domestic and industrial uses, etc. As a result storage capacity of about 253 BCM has been created in the country so far. In addition the total estimated storage capacity of the various projects under construction is about 51 BCM. Further, the State Governments have identified various other schemes for investigation and planning and the estimated storage for such schemes is about 110 BCM. The percentage of live storage capacity created viz-a-viz the average annual water availability is 13.56%.

Permission for Solar Energy Projects

The Government has brought out schemes for setting up grid connected solar power projects and to promote various off grid applications. In addition, the Government notified reduced customs duty and exemption from excise duty on all items of machinery required for the initial setting up of a solar power generation project or facility. The Government provides capital subsidy upto 30% of the benchmark cost and / or soft loan at a rate of 5% interest to support deployment of various off grid solar applications. India is emerging as one of the leading countries in the field of solar power.

Subsidy for Solar Power Projects

The Ministry has issued a Scheme of extending 90% subsidy subject to a maximum of Rs.1,35,000/- for each of the 100 numbers of solar charging stations per district having module capacity of 300 Wp for charging 50 lanterns and 10 mobiles in all the LWE affected districts including in Jharkhand. For other solar photovoltaic systems, the Ministry provides a subsidy of 30% of the benchmark cost subject to a maximum of Rs.81/- per watt peak with battery storage in Jharkhand.

Installation of Solar Water Pumps

The Ministry has not allocated funds separately for the solar water pump sets under the Off-grid Solar Application Scheme of Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) during 2012-13. However, an amount of Rs.20.62 crores was released for the installation of 2406 solar pump sets in Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh during 2011-12.

Centre concerned over slow pace of rural road construction.

1. States have been requested to augment executing capacity.

TRAI issues the Standards of Quality of Service Parameters for 3G Voice Calls

TRAI, after considering the Quality of Service requirements for 3G networks, felt that in the case of voice service provided by the 3G Networks the existing network related Quality of Service parameters would suffice, except that the nomenclature for some of the terms used in the existing regulations and the measurement methodologies would be different. TRAI has, accordingly, issued the amendments to the regulations.

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