The police in Assam have arrested more alleged members of the extremist group Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM), believed to have been planning to launch a disruptive “start-up” in the State.On Monday, the police in central Assam’s Nagaon and adjoining Hojai districts, arrested three men — Riyazuddin Bhuyan, Joynal Ahmed and Baharul Islam. Sleuths, police said, had been keeping a watch on the trio after inputs that they had assisted HM operative Qamar-uz-Zaman during his visit to the State in August.Qamar, hailing from Jamunamukh in the Hojai district, was arrested last week from Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh. Four of his associates, including one from Meghalaya, had been arrested till Sunday.Cashing inThe police said the HM had sent Qamar to Assam to radicalise Muslim youth, possibly to cash in on a feeling of victimisation because of the exclusion of many from the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC). “They had plans to launch a start-up in Hojai district. We had kept tabs on the suspects but did not have concrete evidence on their connection with the HM. The arrests were made after collecting technical evidence,” Ankur Jain, Hojai district Superintendent of Police, said.He did not specify the nature of the start-up the HM or Qamar’s associates had been planning to set up.Tracing contactsAssam’s Director General of Police (DGP) Kuladhar Saikia, who is monitoring the investigation, said police traced the people Qamar had contacted or moved around with during his “recruitment trip” in August.Qamar had avoided his home in Jamunamukh but stayed in the house of one Shahnawaz Alam arrested last week. Police said Qamar had also used Riyazuddin’s motorcycle to move around during his stay.Qamar is believed to have been radicalised in Kashmir, where he had gone on some business a few years ago. Police came to know about his joining HM from his photo, in fatigues and holding an AK-47 rifle, uploaded on social media.Assam had a few short-lived Islamist groups that allegedly worked for Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Bangladesh’s Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI) to help militant outfits such as the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) in the 1990s.
The Supreme Court on Thursday deferred to September 27 the hearing on Congress leader Kamal Nath’s plea seeking draft voter list of Madhya Pradesh in word format, and said the issue requires substantive hearing. The Congress leader said that Election Commission of India (ECI) had provided voter lists in word format during Karnataka and Rajasthan elections as also during Madhya Pradesh Assembly polls in 2013. ECI said it received complaints of voter profiling and to prevent the misuse of data it has taken a conscious decision to provide it in PDF format (non-editable). A Bench of Justices A.K. Sikri and Ashok Bhushan said that the matter requires substantive hearing and listed the matter for further hearing on September 27. During the hearing, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Mr. Nath, said that when the ECI can provide the draft voter list in word format in other States, then what is the problem in providing the list in Madhya Pradesh. “We want the list to be provided in word format. They have provided us during Karnataka election, they are giving us in Rajasthan and even in Madhya Pradesh they have given in 2013. Now they are saying it was a mistake,” Mr. Sibal said.PDF format Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for ECI along with advocate Amit Sharma, said that they have received complaints of voter profiling and therefore a conscious decision was taken to provide the draft list in PDF format. He said it was done to thwart any attempt of misuse of voters data. Mr. Sibal said that in PDF format they are providing the same data like they will do in word format, then where is the question of misuse.
People vote behind booths at a polling station in Bangkok on 2 February 2014. — Photo: ReutersThailand will hold a much-delayed general election on 24 February 2019, the election commission said on Tuesday, after the junta lifted a ban on political activity it imposed after taking power in a coup in 2014.The junta imposed the strict ban on political activity citing the need for order after months of street protests against the democratically elected government of former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra.The election, which many hope will restore democracy in Southeast Asia’s second-biggest economy, will likely pit the populist political movement backed by former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and supported by many in rural areas against the military and royalist establishment.The Bangkok-based establishment seized power in successive coups in 2006 and 2014 and now has its own proxy political parties.The junta began easing the ban in September, when it allowed political parties to resume organising ahead of an election expected in February.It still retains sweeping powers to maintain law and order despite lifting the ban, including conducting searches, freezing assets, and making arrests.The election commission confirmed the Feb. 24 election date on Tuesday, just before a statement announcing the ban on political activity had been lifted was published in the Royal Gazette.“The people and political parties will be able to take part in political activities during this period leading up to the election in accordance with the constitution,” the statement said..Thailand last held a successful election in 2011 but the election commission said it was ready to go ahead with the 24 February poll.“The lifting of the ban means political activities can resume, including political campaigning, but this has to be done under the law,” deputy election commission secretary-general Sawang Boonmee told Reuters.
Share Twitter User @umamistreetfoodThanksgiving is perhaps the quintessential American holiday. The fourth Thursday in November provides a moment to reflect on the good fortune of the past year and a chance to share a meal with friends and family. Iconic images of Thanksgiving place America’s native bird, the turkey, at the center of the feast, as are corn, pumpkins and other indigenous species. Unlike other holidays including Valentines Day, Halloween and even Christmas, though, the flavors of Thanksgiving are savory rather than sweet. And just as there is a history to the Thanksgiving menu, so too, there is a history to the holiday’s primary taste: umami. Most Americans are taught, although this is changing, that there are four basic tastes: sweet, sour, salty and bitter. However, more than a century ago, the Japanese chemist Kikunea Ikeda posited a fifth primary taste, which he called umami. In an effort to describe this new taste in 1912, he suggested: “An attentive taster will find … something common in the complicated taste of asparagus, tomato, cheese, and meat, which is quite peculiar and cannot be classified under any of the above mentioned qualities sweet, sour, bitter, or briny. It is usually so faint and overshadowed by other stronger tastes, that it is often difficult to recognize it unless the attention is specially directed towards it. “The existence of umami as a basic taste like sweet, sour, salty or bitter seems “new” to the American palate. But in my research on US food systems in the 20th century, I’ve found that the recognition of umami followed the spread of Asian cuisine in the US decades ago. A taste is bornIn order to better explain this subtle taste, Ikeda attempted to describe the difference between umami as it is found in food and its pure form. By way of analogy, he explained: “Had we nothing sweeter than carrots or milk, our idea of the quality of “sweet” would be just as indistinct as it is in the case of this peculiar quality. Just as honey and sugar gave us so clear a notion of what sweet is, the salts of (the amino acid) glutamic acid are destined to give us an equally definite idea of this peculiar taste quality. “Based on over two years of research, he was convinced that another – “new” – basic taste existed. He found umami in “fish, meat and so forth” or in foods with high-protein content. Ikeda’s “discovery” of umami was based as much on his mastery of physical chemistry as it was on his own taste experiences and the flavors endemic to Japanese foods. Japanese cuisine, more than European and Eurocentric cuisines, is centered on umami as a foundational element and is a key taste in the Japanese palate. The two foods Ikeda focused on to extract glutamic acid were konbu and bonito, the key elements in dashi – a savory broth ubiquitous throughout Japanese cooking. As it happens, both konbu (a dried brown kelp) and katsuobushi (bonito or skipjack tuna which is fermented, dried, smoked and flaked) contain large amounts of glutamic acid. In fact, miso soup, a twice-daily habit in most Japanese households even today, is a combination of two strong umami flavors, dashi and miso (a fermented soy paste). Ikeda also singled out soy sauce as a food that amplifies umami. In particular, soy sauce, with its high salt and glutamic acid content, was an excellent example of how salt intensified the taste of umami. As research in umami took hold in the second half of the 20th century, scientists found that umami was far more complex than any of the other basic tastes. One of the first major breakthroughs was the discovery that compounds other than glutamic acid produce umami. For example, both MSG – a combination of salt and glutamic acid – and other acids each produce distinct umami flavors. But when they are combined, the perception of umami is more than the sum of its parts. No other basic taste has this capability to ratchet up taste perception. Getting to know umami in the USIkeda’s and the Japanese palate was trained to experience umami, unlike palates in either Europe or the United States. By the end of the Vietnam War, though, shifting immigration patterns to the United States included more East Asians from Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, China and South Korea. These immigrants brought a variety of new cultural influences to the US, particularly on the West Coast. By the mid-1980s, when Japan Inc dominated headlines and was thought to threaten American prosperity, Chinese restaurants were more common than Italian ones, and sushi, whether loved or reviled, defined Japanese food for most Americans. Immigration and assimilation of East Asian flavors into American cuisine as well as a plethora of industrial foods that incorporated glutamates made umami a far more common taste and altered the American taste landscape and the American palate in the late 20th century. Eating soy sauce, tofu, fish sauce and other foods high in glutamates not only integrated East Asian flavors into the American palate but also wove those communities into America’s social fabric through the sense of taste. It took until the early 2000s for the scientific community to recognize umami as the fifth taste. So as you are eating your Thanksgiving turkey with gravy and relishing all the side dishes, such as mushrooms, brussel sprouts or stuffing, that make the meal delicious, remember the savory taste of umami only became obvious once Americans assimilated the flavors of distant lands into their everyday lives. That’s something for which we can all be thankful. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article here: http://theconversation.com/the-asian-roots-of-umami-the-fifth-taste-central-to-thanksgiving-fare-50699.
Lending support to the Government’s efforts to promote cleanliness, GAIL (India) Limited has adopted two historical monuments in Delhi- Purana Quila and Safdarjung Tomb – for upkeep and sanitation purposes as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan. It is a part of GAILS’s corporate social responsibility. Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan is a national level campaign by the Government of India, covering 4041 statutory towns to clean the streets, roads and infrastructure of the country GAIL employees have also been regularly participating in cleanliness drives in and around the company’s corporate office at Bhikaiji Cama Place for atleast two hours every week since the commencement of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Activities such as cleaning of office peripheral areas, roads, railway stations, government schools, beaches, villages, delivering lectures to school going children on health tips, sensitizing contract personnel regarding importance of hygiene, etc. are being carried out at GAIL work sites across the country. In addition to this, GAIL (India) Limited has taken over the work of constructing over 1,000 toilets in schools across the country in a significant move towards fulfilling the PM’s commitment towards providing hygienic sanitation facilities for girl students. GAIL (India) Limited is the largest state-owned natural gas processing and distribution company in India.