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Indian-origin Nobel laureate calls for ‘sensible’ immigration system post-Brexit

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London : The India-born scientist, who as president of the UK’s Royal Society is the country’s key advocate for science, warned that Britain is in danger of losing its position as a leading scientific hub in the event of a no-deal or bad-deal scenario in the ongoing negotiations on the country’s future ties with the EU.
The European Parliament voted on Wednesday (September 12) to sanction Hungary for flouting EU rules on democracy, civil rights and corruption in an unprecedented step that left Prime Minister Viktor Orban isolated from powerful allies.
“We in the Royal Society and the rest of the scientific community are working very hard to have a new sensible system for immigration that would be fast, transparent, efficient and with proportionate costs,” said Prof. Venki, as he is known.
“We plan to fight very, very hard to make mobility straight forward, regulations transparent and efficient so that this is less of an issue. This is a political fight, but we intend to do our best,” he said at a Royal Society event in London on Monday.
Sir Venki, who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2012 for his contribution to science, was joined by two former Royal Society presidents – geneticist Sir Paul Nurse and astronomer Lord Martin Rees – to warn that the political aspects of the Brexit debate threatened to drown out the interests of the scientific community.
Venki, who was born in Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, and went on to study biology in the US before moving to the UK 19 years ago, recalled a “fairly simple” process he underwent at the time.
“The requirements today are so onerous that they act as a barrier,” he said.
“The current immigration system for non-EU migrants is utterly not fit for purpose. It is onerous, it puts people off, it costs too much money. The present political drivers for Brexit have very little sympathy for these arguments because of the anti-immigration impact,” noted Paul Nurse, Director of the Francis Crick Institute in London.
The latest intervention by Britain’s scientists comes at a time when British Prime Minister Theresa May is getting ready to present her so-called Chequers strategy to the EU, which is based on a common rulebook approach to trade.
The scientific community is calling on her government to retain a close association with European science, in the form of a “closest possible associate membership” within the overall deal with the EU.
“We feel that we are at a crossroads for British and European science as a result of the current negotiations that are going on… There is a lot of talk about various issues around Brexit and we are worried that in all these talks and negotiations, somehow science should not take a back seat,” said Prof. Venki.


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National

Chaiwala vs doodhwala: Akhilesh’s battlecry in Azamgarh

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AZAMGARH: Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav coined a new battle slogan to counter Prime Minister Narendra’s chaiwala (tea seller) catchphrase.
“If PM Modi is chaiwala, then we are doodhwala. Without good milk, good tea cannot be made,” said the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister while addressing a rally at Baitholi bypass after filing his nomination from Azamgarh parliamentary constituency for the Lok Sabha election 2019 .
Targetting PM Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party, the SP chief said, “BJP is calling the alliance of SP, Bahujan Samaj Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal as Mahamilawat. And what will be the coalition of 38 parties be called?”
Ahead of the general election, SP, BSP and RLD announced their alliance on March 6. BSP is contesting on 38 seats, SP on 37 and RLD on three seats in Uttar Pradesh.
In a subtle reference to UP CM Yogi Adityanath while urging voters to remove the “dictatorial” BJP government in the state, Yadav said, “BSP, RLD and SP will hold a new history. First the chowkidar will go away from the country and then the thekedar too.”
“The BJP showed just dreams to everyone, but did not even complete the work. BJP’s talk starts with the toilet and ends there. In any case, there is no special difference between the Congress and BJP in the matter of toilets. If one digs a pit for the toilet then the other has two crates,” said the 45-year-old SP chief.
The SP chief said Azamgarh is the ‘karmabhoomi’ of ‘samajwadis’ and that the SP-BSP-RLD coaliton is an alliance of ‘mahaparivartan’ (grand change) and not ‘mahamilawat’ (adulteration) as alleged by the BJP.
Thousands of BSP supporters joined SP chief and raised slogans like Kaam bolta hai (work speaks).
Akhilesh Yadav is seeking election Azamgarh, a seat won by his father Mulayam Singh Yadav in the 2014 general elections. The BJP has pitted Bhojpuri superstar Nirahua or Dinesh Lal Yadav against him.
Uttar Pradesh is witnessing polling during all seven phases of the election. The first and second phases were held on April 11 and April 18. The next phases are scheduled to be held on April 23, April 29, May 6, May 12 and May 19. The votes will be counted on May 23.

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Hardik Patel slapped at a Gujarat rally

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New Delhi : Congress leader Hardik Patel was slapped at a public meeting in Gujarat on Friday morning. Patel was slapped in Gujarats Surendernagar district during a Jan Aakrosh Sabha.
Television visuals showed Patel was slapped when he was addressing the gathering. A man could be seen walking on the stage and slap Patel from his right side. Soon, others present at the venue climbed the stage and caught hold of the man.
The man was later detained, reports said.
The incident came a day after a farmer refused to let Patels chopper land on his field. This led to the delay in Congress leaders visit to Lunawada in Gujarats Mahisagar district at the last moment.

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Not going to retire; will be by Rahul’s side when he becomes PM: Deve Gowda

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Bengaluru: Former prime minister and JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda has said that unlike BJP veteran LK Advani, he is not going to retire from active politics, and that if Rahul Gandhi becomes the Prime Minister of the country, he will be by his side.
Talking about his decision to contest the Lok Sabha polls, Deve Gowda said, “I announced three years back that I will not contest elections. There are circumstances now in which I have been forced to contest. There is nothing to hide. I have no ambition of anything but what I always said is that I am not going to retire from active politics.”
Deve Gowda is contesting from Karnataka’s Tumkur parliamentary constituency against GS Basvaraj of BJP.
When asked if he wants to retire like Advani, he replied with an emphatic ‘no’, adding, “I want to save my party first and last the office building.”
Commenting on his son and Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy’s statement that there is a possibility that Deve Gowda might become the Prime Minister as a consensus candidate, he said: “I am not bothered about this. My concern is Modi will come to Parliament. I have got the guts and conviction to tell it to the face of the PM. I have the courage. If Rahul Gandhi becomes the Prime Minister, I will sit by his side. It is not necessary to become the Prime Minister.”
Speaking about his commitment to the Congress, he said: “Madam Sonia Gandhi has taken the decision to support Deve Gowda even though we are a small party. Now it is my responsibility to move forward with Congress, though I do agree in some states there is no question of any coalition. But in Tamil Nadu, there is a coalition between Congress and DMK and with Sharad Pawar’s party in Maharashtra.”
Responding to accusations of saving the family rather than the party, the JD(S) chief said: “Several leaders who worked with me collectively, have left. Some people are in Congress, some in BJP. I was able to keep the party intact but suffered. I have not allowed my family members to become president of the party.”

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