West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee seems definitely in mood to revamp the party organisation in the run up to the Assembly elections in 2016. At a recent meeting with party leaders, Banerjee not only reshuffled the Trinamool Congress’ (TMC) district leadership, but asked her party leaders to highlight the achievements of the government “with proof”– in the run-up to the Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJIAssembly polls. “There should be a list of schools, colleges, ITIs, hospitals with the party workers when they campaign. The people must know what we have done for them”, Sobhondeb Chattopadhyay, chief whip of the TMC in the Bidhan Sabha told Millennium Post.The Chief Minister reiterated how the public must be made aware of the various schemes that the government is offering and how to avail them.“Most of the people don’t know about schemes”, Chattopadhyay pointed out. Also Read – Health remains key challenge in India’s development: KovindThe Labour Department, for example, has schemes for the unorganised sector such as bidi workers, construction workers and so on. There are schemes for those living Below the Poverty Line (BPL) – like Amaar Bari Amaar Thikana, Geetanjali, etc. “The government provides housing for the homeless and also 3 kathas of land for building a small house and a kitchen garden, where vegetables can be grown. A small pond can also be used to develop pisciculture on this land”, he added.The district administration will also work hand-in-hand with the committees on development schemes.read more
New research has found that the seeds of jackfruit – a large fruit found in many tropical countries – are a potentially low-cost substitute for cocoa beans, the primary ingredient of chocolate.Considering that the worldwide demand for chocolate is outstripping the production of cocoa beans, the finding reported in the American Chemical Society Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry would be welcome news for chocolate lovers.While in some countries, the sweet-smelling jackfruit seeds are boiled, steamed and roasted before eating, providing a cheap source of fibre, protein and minerals, they are mostly thrown away as waste. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfGlobally, farmers produce about 3.7 million tonnes of cocoa annually, but estimates suggest that demand for these beans will grow to 4.5 million tonnes by 2020.Researchers at the University of São Paulo who were looking to put the waste jackfruit seeds to better use discovered that compounds found in them produce many of the same aromas as processed cocoa beans and therefore could potentially be a cheap substitute for use in chocolate manufacturing. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe Brazilian researchers made jackfruit seed flours by acidifying or fermenting the seeds prior to drying. They roasted these flours for various times and temperatures using processes similar to those used to enhance the chocolaty flavour of cocoa beans.Using gas chromatography and mass spectrometry, the team identified several compounds from the jackfruit flours that give chocolate its distinctive aromas – such as caramel, hazelnut or fruity.While there are several reports on the use of waste jackfruit seeds to produce starch, “for the first time we found that after roasting, jackfruit seeds imparted an aroma similar to that of chocolate”, the researchers say.They conclude that the cheap and abundant jackfruit seeds are thus “a potential replacement” for cocoa beans for the manufacture of chocolate.read more
Kolkata: Two persons including a five-year-old girl died in the city in two separate accidents in Nagerbazar and Chinar Park.The traffic at Nagerbazar came to a halt on Tuesday as local people put up a blockade after a five-year-old girl was crushed under the wheels of the bus in which she was travelling. Immediately after the incident, the locals got agitated, protesting against the death of the child due to rash and negligent driving. The girl, identified as Anushka Kar, was a resident of Kalindi near Lake Town and studied at a local English medium school in class one. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseOn Tuesday morning, the five-year-old had boarded a private bus while travelling to her school, accompanied by her mother. Witnesses said that as soon as the mother-daughter duo got down at Kajipara near Nagerbazar, the bus increased its speed at an alarming rate and before the child could move from the spot, the rear wheels of the bus crushed her underneath. The child was immediately taken to a nearby hospital, where the doctors declared her brought dead. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataAfter the incident, local people took to protests in anger over the incident, blocking the road. But even after the police arrived at the spot, the locals refused to withdraw the blockade. Eventually, an altercation erupted between police and the protesters. The locals complained that although the vehicles move recklessly in the area during the wee hours, the police have not taken any adequate measure. The footpath has been taken away by the hawkers, leaving no sidewalk for the pedestrians. The area has become an accident-prone zone as a result. The protesters further claimed that if no action is taken to ensure the safety of common people, the blockade will continue. A resident of the area said: “The little child died as the driver drove the bus in an extremely reckless manner. Exemplary punishment should be given to the perpetrator. Police need to be strict against the rash drivers.” Although police seized the bus which mowed down the child, the driver had managed to escape. The condition in the area later returned to normal in the evening, as the locals ceased their protests. In another incident, at around 3.45 am on Tuesday, a truck which was coming from New Town rammed into another smaller truck, arriving from the Rajarhat Road at Chinar Park, resulting in the death of one person, leaving seven others injured. The injured were later admitted to a local hospital in New Town. The deceased has been identified as a resident of the Basirhat area, a 30-year-old man identified as Bablu Mondal, who succumbed to his injuries at the hospital. Both the vehicles have been detained. A case of causing death by negligence has been initiated.read more
Kolkata: A joint forum of state and Central government employees, public sector employees, teachers and non-teaching staff has written to the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Ariz Aftab on Wednesday, urging him to make adequate security arrangements for polling personnel on the days of election.The forum, under the banner of ‘United Movement of Workers, Employees and Teachers’, requested the CEO to ensure a proper atmosphere in and around the polling stations, so that polling personnel and officials may discharge their duties without the fear of being intimidated. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataIn their letter, some of the government employees told the CEO that in a few previous incidents, the polling personnel were threatened. They urged the Election Commission to ensure that no polling persons feel frightened while performing their duties on the days of poll. The forum also raised another issue with the Election Commission. They said that the polling officials are supposed to exercise their franchise either by Electronic Data Capture (EDC) system or through postal ballot, which they get well in advance to the date of poll. However, during the last Parliamentary polls in 2014, the Assembly polls in 2016 and also in the Panchayat polls in 2018, most of the officials received their ballots either immediately before the elections or after the date of election. Some others did not receive the ballots at all. As a result, a section of the election officials could not cast their votes in previous elections, the letter says. The letter also points out that the forum members came to know from the postal department that the ballots were delivered to the addressees immediately after the postal department received them. The members of the forum urged the CEO to ensure that there is no recurrence of such incidents in the Lok Sabha polls.read more
Get the biggest Daily stories by emailSubscribeSee our privacy noticeThank you for subscribingSee our privacy noticeCould not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailPolice are advising motorists to expect delays on the roads of North Staffordshire this weekend due to a football match and a wide load passing through the area. The load will set off from Stafford at around 8am on Sunday December 17 – having previously being postponed due to bad weather. Police say the load will be travelling from the county town to Newcastle via the A34 Northbound. The load’s route will take it from Stafford, through Stone and then onto Newcastle and Talke. There are also expected to be delays around the Bet365 stadium as Stoke City play West Ham at home. Read MoreHave you seen these parking spaces taped off? This is why A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: “Please be aware or some potential traffic congestion over this weekend with Stoke City FC at home on Saturday, and a wide load movement on Sunday from Stafford to Talke along the A34. “Please be patient and follow any Police officer instructions to help minimise your delay.”read more
UK broadcaster Channel 5 is launching an on-demand player for its Milkshake! kids programming strand on connected TV platform YouView.Targeted at two-to-seven year-olds, Milkshake! offers a range of shows including Little Princess, Fifi and the Flowertots and Roary the Racing Car.“We’re very pleased to have Milkshake! on board and that they have chosen YouView as the platform on which to launch their player. We want YouView to entertain the entire family and, with favourites such as Mr Men available on-demand, there is no doubt kids will love the latest addition to YouView. We look forward to welcoming other content providers onto the YouView platform in due course,” said Richard Halton, CEO of YouView.