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India: Prasad Yadav Wants Another Shot At Power

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Lok Janshakti Party chief Chirag Paswan on Thursday sought to rock the boat for the JD(U)-BJP alliance in Bihar, claiming that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will stand “with hands folded and head bowed” before the RJD leadership for another shot at power despite his party’s poor show in the assembly elections.

Addressing a press conference here barely a few hours before the campaign for the final phase of the elections came to a close, Paswan reiterated that the LJP will do well despite having gone solo in the elections and asserted, “We will help the BJP form the next government.”

“You all must have seen photographs of Kumar standing in front of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, at rallies, with hands folded and head bowed. So much bitterness he had for Modi just a few years back, He has sought to swallow it all because of lust for power,” Paswan said.

Jagat Prakash Nadda the National President of Bharatiya Janata Party. Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha).

The LJP chief, who has of late been claiming that the JD(U) boss was poised for another volte-face, said, “This lust for power is not going to leave him. He will not easily give up the chief minister’s chair though his party is bound to be drubbed.”

“So, what we may witness, after the results are out, is Nitish Kumar standing before Tejashwi Yadav just like he is doing now before Modi. If needs be, he will go to Ranchi and seek blessings of the party supremo Lalu Prasad with bowed head and folded hands,” Paswan said.

The LJP chief, who was suspected of enjoying the tacit support from the BJP until the party disowned him in the wake of his brinkmanship, insisted, “Let the results be out. A new government headed by the BJP with LJP as its junior partner will be there for all to see.”

Asked who according to him could be the next chief minister, Paswan quipped, “Two-three names are doing the rounds. It would not be proper for me to make this public at this juncture.”

The state BJP declined to comment on Paswan’s latest averments but a party leader on condition of anonymity said, “All top leaders, including the prime minister, have gone on record saying Nitish Kumar will be the next chief minister. So, that is the party’s official stand.”

The JD(U), which has been at the receiving end of Paswan’s pungent attacks, reacted testily.

“The NDA’s storm has extinguished the lantern (RJD’s poll symbol), what is the standing of a chirag (small earthen lamp)?” JD(U) leader and state IPRD minister Neeraj Kumar tweeted.

“Chirag Paswan seems to have been left with no choice except chanting Tejashwi Yadav Zindabad. Let us see, after the polls, whether he goes back to Delhi or returns to the make-believe world of movies where he made a failed attempt before dabbling in politics,” Kumar had said referring to the Jamui MP

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Suicide Bombers Blow up Church in Indonesia

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An explosion shook a Roman Catholic cathedral compound in the eastern Indonesian city of Makassar on Sunday morning, shattering the calm of Palm Sunday, a holy day for Christians.

The blast took place around 10:20 a.m. at the gate to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral compound, said Inspector General Raden Prabowo Argo Yuwono, the Indonesian National Police spokesman.

No churchgoers were killed, but at least 14 people were being treated for injuries at Makassar hospitals, Mr. Argo said.

Local police had previously said the bomber had acted alone.

Authorities were looking into which radical networks the bombers came from and whether the attack was linked to recent arrests of suspected militants, national police spokesman Argo Yuwono said.

In January, a counter-terrorism unit raided a militant hideout in Makassar and killed two men suspected by police of involvement in twin bombings at a Philippine church in 2019 that killed more than 20 people.

Father Wilhemus Tulak, a priest at the church, told Indonesian media that a suspected bomber tried to enter the church grounds on a motorbike, but had been stopped by a security guard.

Police did not say who might be responsible for the attack and there was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Police blamed the Islamic State-inspired Jamaah Ansharut Daulah group for suicide attacks in 2018 on churches and a police post in the city of Surabaya that killed over 30 people.

Boy Rafli Amar, the head of the country’s National Counterterrorism Agency, described Sunday’s attack as an act of terrorism.

Makassar Mayor Danny Pomanto said the blast could have caused far more casualties if it had taken place at the church’s main gate instead of a side entrance.

Makassar, Sulawesi’s biggest city, reflects the religious makeup of Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority country with a substantial Christian minority and followers of other religions.

“Whatever the motive is, this act isn’t justified by any religion because it harms not just one person but others, too,” Yaqut Cholil Qoumas, Indonesia’s religious affairs minister, said in a statement.

Gomar Gultom, head of the Indonesian Council of Churches, described the attack as a “cruel incident” as Christians were celebrating Palm Sunday, and urged people to remain calm and trust the authorities.

Indonesia’s deadliest Islamist militant attack took place on the tourist island of Bali in 2002, when bombers killed 202 people, most of them foreign tourists.

In subsequent years, security forces in Indonesia scored some major successes in tackling militancy, but more recently there has been a resurgence of militant violence.

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India Celebrates National Science Day

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On February 28th, India celebrates the annual National Science Day commemorating Indian physicist C V Raman’s discovery in 1928 of the Raman effect, the scattering of photons or light particles by matter.

India has registered notable advances in the missile, space technology, medicine, IT and many other fields with this former British colony now emerging as a leading country in the comity of nations.

This is a moment to celebrate the progress that India has made in science and technology research, thanks to its science policies.

Science and technology has assumed great significance and the theme for the current year is : Future of STI-Impacts on Education, Skill and Work”.

The event is now organized with seminars, conferences, public debates and discussions in schools, colleges, universities and other academic, scientific, technical, medical and research institutions all over the country.

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, a top scientist who had served as the 11th President of India in his book “India 2020” had strongly advocated for an Action Plan to develop India into a knowledge superpower and developed nation.

He had worked on high positions in DRDO, ISRO and was popularly known as the Missile Man of India for his work on the development of ballistic missile and launch vehicle technology as also India’s Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998.

India is on the right tract of science and technology highway and it must now go with quick and sure steps.

Key to Advancement The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been underscoring the role of scientific knowledge, technology and innovations through bold initiatives for overall speed development so that India emerges as a safe and super strong nation.

Some positive signals are emerging with leading advanced educational and other institutions already in place coupled with lot of promise, scope and talent .

India has made tangible strides it has still to move forward for transformation of society to attain the status of super power with a mission of working for peace, progress and spiritual enlightenment for humanity.

The report published by the National Science Foundation of the U.S. in December 2019, India was the third largest publisher of peer-reviewed science and engineering journal articles and conference papers, with 135,788 articles in 2018.

This milestone was achieved through an average yearly growth rate of 10.73% from 2008, which was greater than China’s 7.81%.

However, China and the United States had about thrice and twice the number, respectively, of India’s publications.

According to Stanford ranking, hope for Indian science The not-so-good news is that publications from India are not impactful.

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7.1-magnitude Earthquake Jolts Japan

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Japan has been hit by a 7.1-magnitude earthquake, which struck at 11:07 p.m. local time (9.07 a.m. ET), was located 73.9 kms northeast of Namie, a coastal town about two hours from Fukushima.

Japan’s Meteorological Agency said at least 50 people were injured and the quake knocked multiple power plants offline. No tsunami warning was issued for Saturday’s earthquake.

Some 830,000 households in the Kanto region, which includes greater Tokyo, and about 90,000 households in Tohoku region, were without power following Saturday’s quake, Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, Katsunobu Kato, said.

Japan’s Meteorological Agency says it considers Saturday’s earthquake off the east coast to be an aftershock of the deadly 9.0-magnitude earthquake that struck the same area almost 10 years ago.

Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said although the damage is still being assessed, no major casualties have been reported.

However, he asked residents in the affected area to stay indoors and be prepared for aftershocks.

The March 11, 2011, earthquake caused the country’s worst nuclear disaster when three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant melted down, releasing radioactive materials into the air and forcing more than 100,000 people to be evacuated.

More than 20,000 people died or went missing in the quake and tsunami, while hundreds of thousands more lost their homes.

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