first_imgAhmedabad: The Gujarat BJP on Wednesday constituted three committees, including the State Parliamentary Board, election campaign committee, and manifesto committee, ahead of the Assembly polls scheduled later this year. The 14-member Board, which will screen candidates for the Assembly seats, consists of senior leaders like Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, State party chief Jitu Vaghani, former CM Anandiben Patel, deputy CM Nitin Patel, and Union Minister Purushottam Rupala. Former minister Kaushik Patel is in-charge of the campaign committee. Another committee, consisting 14 members, has been constituted to prepare the party’s manifesto. The party also constituted a three-member disciplinary committee.last_img

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first_imgEstablished in 1854, the College of Engineering Pune (CoEP) is one of the oldest in Asia and one of the hallowed leaders in technical education, harnessing some of India’s best and the brightest.While the CoEP has many firsts to its credit, its inclusion under the Technical Engineering Education Quality Improvement Project (TEQUIP) — supported by the World Bank and implemented by the Ministry of Human Resource Development — has triggered a transformation in the institute’s philosophy, making it sharper enabler of innovation.The TEQIP — the World Bank’s longest-running project in the field of higher education — has proved to be the kiss of life for 163-year-old CoEP, rejuvenating the institute and its education standards.From 2003 onwards, when the college was chosen – through a nationally competitive process – to be one of the 127 engineering and technical institutes supported by the Government of India and World Bank’s Technical/Engineering Education Quality Improvement Project (TEQIP), the institute has undergone a major overhaul in its quality of education besides offering a diverse range of programs.“The Government of Maharashtra had granted us complete autonomy in 2003 as a precondition for participating in TEQIP. We then revamped our curriculum using IIT Bombay as the role model,” said Dr. Bharatkumar Ahuja, Director, CoEP, adding that the CoEP’s curriculum today changes by around 25 per cent each year.The practices under TEQIP- Phase II, like introducing a choice-based credit system, making Mathematics courses in all eight semesters in undergraduate and post-graduate programs mandatory and introducing mandatory courses on ‘Innovation’ and ‘Entrepreneurship’ in the second and third years has immensely bolstered the students’ ability to cope with industry demands.“For instance, given the growing importance of bio-medical engineering, the institute introduced a new course in biology way back in 2007. Now, IIT Bombay has emulated us by introducing a similar course,” he said.Prof. Ahuja commented that while CoEP has always blazed many a trail in technical innovation, it was the TEQIP (Phase II) that resulted in shoring up the college’s Post Graduation education standards. The institute received a massive fund influx of Rs. 25 crore 17.20 crore under TEQIP-II for bolstering their higher education programme.“We ended up introducing five new programs that eventually resulted in increased student intake,” said Dr. Ahuja, remarking that the TEQIP program has led to the empowerment of students and faculty.Its shibboleth of ‘faculty first and students’ always’ chimes in with TEQIP’s aim of producing more employable and higher quality engineers throughout the country.Before TEQIP, the CoEP had 99 regular faculty members of whom only 11 were Ph.D.’s. Now, the institute boasts 217 member-strong faculty — 118 of whom are Ph.D.’s.“There are programs at World Bank which endure for barely four years. But TEQIP has transcended time constraints,” said Prof. Franciso Marmolejo, Lead, Global Solutions Group on Tertiary Education, World Bank.Prof. Marmolejo, who is also the World Bank’s Lead Education Specialist in India, observed of CoEP that its core virtues of transparency, a participatory approach, a willingness to learn and willingness to share has led to the institute not only bolstering its own standards, but actively taking the lead in mentoring ‘weaker institutes’ in economically challenged states.Since its inclusion under TEQIP in 2003, the CoEP’s TEQIP audit score has shot up from 5 grade points in 2005 to 9.5 in 2009.“TEQIP Phase- III, begun recently, will carry forward the quality-oriented reforms initiated under TEQIP-II. Its focus will be on shoring up the quality of engineering education system in India’s low-income states. Around 100 government engineering colleges from these states will be paired with well-performing colleges from previous phases of TEQIP, like CoEP,” he said, noting that an important feature of TEQIP has been to build bridges between institutes.“The project has leveraged the expertise of the best in the country — the IITs and IIMs — to improve the academic rigor in TEQIP colleges while also strengthening leadership practices,” said Tara Béteille, TEQIP’s project leader, adding that this kind of resource-sharing and leveraging was especially vital, given that India has more than 30,000 higher education institutes spread across the country.last_img read more

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first_imgMarking a clear departure from its stand against any out-of-court settlement in the long simmering Mahadayi water dispute with Karnataka, the Goa Minister for Water Resources, Vinod Palyekar, said on Thursday they were open to talks with Karnataka and Maharashtra to explore an out-of-tribunal settlement.He was replying to a question by The Hindu on the state government’s response to Karnataka Chief Minister’s letter requesting the Goa Chief Minister to come for talks to which Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadanvis has also given support.Mr. Palyekar said that once Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar returns from U.S. on Friday, he will discuss the issue with him. When asked what made Goa government change its “very rigid stance” of sticking to tribunal verdict only, Mr. Palyekar, who represents the Goa Forward Party in the BJP-led coalition government in the state, remarked that all three States have been spending huge money over the dispute and the legal battle has been on for long. It would be in the fitness of things to explore an amicable solution, he said.When asked whether Goa would change its earlier stand that it will not allow one drop of water to Karnataka beyond what the tribunal accepted, as a precursor to talks for an out-of-court settlement, Mr. Palyekar said that Goa has only Mahadayi as its main source of water as against Karnataka which has many such sources. Therefore, he would not like to commit anything at this stage.“But they have some other suggestions, what is the harm in discussing and talking to find if some solution emerges which will not adversely affect us and at the same time will have something for them as well?” asked Mr. Palyekar.Mr. Palyekar said he had recently met Karnataka Minister for Water Resources M.B. Patil at a function in Karnataka where the latter broached the water dispute issue and indicated that they have some proposals like building power plants in joint association with Goa.“At least it is my personal view that it would be advisable for all the three States as well as for the country if we can sort out our issues through talks. It would save money as well as time and energy,” he said.When asked about the strong pressure exerted by environmentalists and civil society that with the tribunal expected to give its verdict next month before the expiry of its term, any deviation by the Goa government would compromise it’s interest, the Minister said that his view was that “talks is an option to negotiate and discuss issues, to have a give and take, to reduce the differences and to come to a solution where, as long as Goa’s interest is not compromised, there should not be any problem.”“I am of the opinion that it would be a better option to work for an out-of-court settlement by agreeing to discuss the issue. That is what I will tell the Chief Minister,” Mr. Palyekar reiterated.“We have made it clear that Goa cannot release water. But if they have some other suggestions, why not hear them and try and see of some solution can come out,” he said. asked the Minister when asked Goa has taken firm stand over some works continued by Karnataka despite tribunal order to the contrary.Goa and Karnataka are battling out the long simmering dispute over the latter’s controversial Kalsa-Bhandura dam projects across the Mahadayi, which is known as the Mandovi river once it enters Goa. Considered the lifeline in the northern parts of the state, it originates in Karnataka and meets the Arabian Sea in Panaji. While the river traverses 28.8 km in Karnataka, its major length of 81.2 km is in Goa. Karnataka plans to construct seven dams on the river, aimed at diverting the waters into its water-starved Malaprabha basin in North Karnataka. Goa has opposed any plans of Karnataka to divert waters from one basin to another. Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, whose earlier attempts to get previous BJP Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar to come for talks for an out-of-court settlement failed, has written to Mr. Parrikar on Wednesday asking him to agree to a joint meeting with their Maharashtra counterpart in order to find an ‘out of court’ and amicable resolution to the Mahadayi water dispute issue.last_img read more

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first_imgAt least 33 passengers of a bus were killed when the vehicle plunged into the Banas river in Sawai Madhopur district of Rajasthan after its driver apparently lost control on a 100-foot-high bridge near Dubi village on Saturday. Among the victims were seven women and four children.The condition of two of the seven injured persons was stated to be critical. Twenty-six bodies were handed over to the families after post-mortem.The passengers included pilgrims from the nearby towns of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh going to visit the famous Ramdev temple at Malarna Chour village. Police said the private bus was travelling at a high speed. There was poor visibility due to the early morning fog. Reports also suggested that the driver was recklessly trying to overtake another vehicle on the bridge. The bus broke the railing of the bridge and fell into the river.The vehicle was carrying about 40 passengers. Local authorities fear the death toll could increase.Rescue workers used gas-cutters to enter the bus through its windows to retrieve the bodies. The bus was later brought out with the help of a crane.Sawai Madhopur Collector Kailash Chand Verma said ambulances were called in to rush the injured persons to a government hospital. All private medical institutions in the district were alerted for admitting the injured.Industries Minister Rajpal Singh Shekhwat, who is in charge of the district, announced financial assistance of ₹2 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased and ₹50,000 each to the injured persons. Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje said she had spoken to the district officers and instructed them to carry out rescue operations.Prime Minister Narendra Modi, expressing anguish, said the State government was closely monitoring the situation.Union Minister of State Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Pradesh Congress president Sachin Pilot, former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Sawai Madhopur MLA Diya Kumari also expressed grief.last_img read more

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first_imgBJP MLA Vikram Saini, who waded into controversy with the claim that India is a country for Hindus as it is known as ‘Hindustan’, on Wednesday clarified that his outburst was against Pakistan and not Muslims.The Khatauli MLA publicly said on Monday that .“irresponsible leaders” had allowed some Muslims to live in India.“During Partition, due to them [Muslims], the Hindus are facing problem in the country. If they [Muslims] had not stopped in India, property of crores would be of the Hindus,” Mr. Saini had said.However, Mr. Saini on Wednesday sought to wriggle out of the controversy by saying he did not intend to hurt any religious sentiments.His remarks, he said, were directed against Pakistan in the backdrop of the discourteous treatment meted out to imprisoned Indian Kulbhushan Jadhav’s wife and mother in Islamabad.“I did not intend to hurt religious sentiments. I was enraged over Pakistan’s behaviour with Jadhav’s family members. My remarks were not against Muslims,” he said.Meanwhile, on Mr. Saini’s remarks, Uttar Pradesh Minister Dharam Singh Saini said they were his personal views.Last year, Mr. Saini sparked controversy when he threatened to break the limbs of those who kill and disrespect cows. Mr. Saini is an accused in the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots case and was detained under the National Security Act.last_img read more

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first_imgThe traditional tribal village authority of Kotlen in Kangpokpi district of Manipur has drawn flak for banishing six tribal families as a punishment for not sending their children to the local government school. They had put their wards in the school of the neighbouring Hengjol village. Village chieftain Dongjang Haokip asked the six families to leave by April 28, which they did after demolishing their tin-roofed houses.Tonglet Haokip, one of the victims, said that as there are not enough teachers, they had decided to send their children to the neighbouring village.Despite complaints by the victims, police are yet to intervene. The victimised families said the government school in the village is in a bad shape with two local youths, recruited as substitutes, looking after all the seven classes. District officials also admitted there were not enough teachers in the school. They further alleged that the chieftain, himself, was sending his children to schools in Imphal, the State capital.The victimised tribal families said they are taking shelter in Hengjol and Tintong Laijang villages. The village elders said the families had gone against the resolution of the authority that all parents shall send their children up to Class V to the local government school.The parents said they opted for the Tongsat Memorial Junior School in the neighbouring village about 1 km away. All the eight children of these six families are now studying there.last_img read more

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first_imgTerming the incident a violation of right to equality and dignity, the NHRC on Tuesday issued notices to the Madhya Pradesh government and police over candidates for the post of constable from reserved categories being stamped on their chests.The NHRC took suo motu cognisance of media reports on the issue. The photos led to the State police ordering a probe.According to reports, the NHRC said, the stamps were used in order to prevent confusion as the norms for height and chest measurements for general and reserved category applicants are different.last_img

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first_imgTwo of Kolkata’s oldest colonial buildings, Currency Building and Metcalfe Hall, both built in the 19th century, will soon become museums and galleries showcasing art and urban history. The three-storied Currency Building in Dalhousie Square was built in 1833. Designed in the Italian style with Venetian windows and cast iron gates, its vaults and strong room once housed some of India’s oldest banks, including Agra Bank and the Reserve Bank of India. But now the western wing is all set to become the office of the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA). Once the NGMA moves in, the Currency Building will host an exhibition of sketches and sculptures by Ramkinkar Baij, a pioneer of modern Indian sculpture. “We are expecting that a portion of the Currency Building will be handed over to us by September. There are plans to have a large exhibition on Ramkinkar Baij,” said Adwaita Gadanayak, director general of NGMA. Archaeologists say the Currency Building was not a mint but a place where currency was kept. Till 1937, it was occupied by the RBI, after which it fell into neglect. Its central dome collapsed later. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) took over its upkeep in 2005. Barely 200 m away is Metcalfe Hall, with 30 Corinthian pillars built between 1840-1844. Located at the junction of Strand Road and Hare Street, it draws its name from Lord Metcalfe, the Governor General of India in 1835-36. It is in this structure that the city’s history will come alive as the ‘Calcutta to Kolkata’ exhibition. Renovation dilemma The ASI grappled with the question whether to rebuild the Currency Building’s dome, but decided to keep the existing structure. In Metcalfe Hall, it shifted one lakh books for repair work. “The exhibitions will bring them back to life,” said G. Maheswari, Superintend- ing Archaeologist, ASI, Kolkata circle.last_img read more

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first_imgThe Jammu and Kashmir police on Tuesday started an inquiry into the death of a youth in police custody.According to the police, Rizwan Pandit, a resident of Awantipora in south Kashmir, was in police custody and died during the night of March 18-19. Pandit was a schoolteacher by profession.”Pandit was held in pursuance of a militancy case under investigation,” said the police.A magisterial inquiry is underway in the case under Section 176 of the Code Of Criminal Procedure, the police said.The police also initiated a separate case of alleged violation of police jurisdiction. Pandit was allegedly lodged in the Cargo Camp of the police Special Operations Group in Srinagar.The authorities closed the Islamic University of Science and Technology in Awantipora on Tuesday. All the examinations were postponed due to precautionary measures.last_img read more

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first_imgSoon after the Naxal attack on policemen in Gadchiroli on Wednesday, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis promising all help and calling the attack an “act of cowardice and desperation.” “Spoke to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis regarding the tragic incident in Gadchiroli and expressed my grief at the loss of brave police personnel. MHA is in constant touch with the State administration,” the Minister said. Mr. Fadnavis said all help will be provided to the families of the jawans. “I strongly condemn this attack and we will fight this menace with even more and stronger efforts in the future,” he said. The latest attack takes the total death toll of security forces in naxal-related violence in Maharashtra to 163 since 1991. In 2015, an internal security report of the Maharashtra Police had assessed the security threat as ‘low’ after losing only two jawans, compared to 11 in the previous year, asking the forces to concentrate on the Southern parts of Gadchiroli. However, a senior police official said enough intelligence inputs were available of a possible strike in the Northern parts during the Lok Sabha elections, sources said. Denying any intelligence failure, Director General of Police Subodh Kumar Jaiswal said the attack was ‘indigenous’ and did not have support from any external organisation.last_img read more

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first_imgFermentation is critical to winemaking. But sometimes the yeast that ferments the wine shuts down prematurely, and bacteria consume the remaining sugar and spoil the drink—a chronic problem called stuck fermentation. Researchers report in the 28 August issue of Cell that they have discovered a biochemical communication system behind this problem. Normally, when grape sugar is present, a biological circuit based in the yeast’s cell membrane blocks the fungus from consuming carbon sources other than the sugar, a process called glucose repression that allows people to use yeast for winemaking and baking. But sometimes, bacteria can send signals that trigger prions—infectious, misfolded proteins infamous for causing mad cow disease in humans—to replicate on the yeast’s cell membranes. The prions interfere with the glucose repression process, enabling the yeast to consume other carbon sources and slow down glucose metabolism—which makes fermentation inefficient. The researchers suspect a similar mechanism might explain type 2 diabetes in humans: Cells monitoring blood sugar levels start to change their metabolism and ignore the glucose signal, possibly due to prion infection, leaving the sugar circulating in the blood. Prions that induce mad cow disease in humans work in a different manner, the researchers say. They suggest that winemakers can avoid the problem of stuck fermentation by adding sulfur dioxide early when crushing the grapes to kill bacteria that induce prion growth in the yeast.last_img read more

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first_imgWASHINGTON, D.C.—Reciting the days of the week is a trivial task for most of us, but then, most of us don’t have cooling probes in our brains. Scientists have discovered that by applying a small electrical cooling device to the brain during surgery they could slow down and distort speech patterns in patients. When the probe was activated in some regions of the brain associated with language and talking—like the premotor cortex—the patients’ speech became garbled and distorted, the team reported here yesterday at the Society for Neuroscience’s annual meeting. As scientists moved the probe to other speech regions, such as the pars opercularis, the distortion lessened, but speech patterns slowed. (These zones and their effects are displayed graphically above.) “What emerged was this orderly map,” says team leader Michael Long, a neuroscientist at the New York University School of Medicine in New York City. The results suggest that one region of the brain organizes the rhythm and flow of language while another is responsible for the actual articulation of the words. The team was even able to map which word sounds were most likely to be elongated when the cooling probe was applied. “People preferentially stretched out their vowels,” Long says. “Instead of Tttuesssday, you get Tuuuesdaaay.” The technique is similar to the electrical probe stimulation that researchers have been using to identify the function of various brain regions, but the shocks often trigger epileptic seizures in sensitive patients. Long contends that the cooling probe is completely safe, and that in the future it may help neurosurgeons decide where to cut and where not to cut during surgery.last_img read more

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first_imgThe Donald Trump administration which will take charge on 20 January in the US has announced that it will push for legislative measures to curb misuse of H1-B and L1 work visas significantly used by Indian IT professionals. Related Itemslast_img

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first_imgUS-based business intelligence & visualization software provider Qlik has carried a unique survey, to find out how literate employees are when it comes to usage and knowledge of data and information.And India has secured top spot in all categories.When compared to countries in the Asia Pacific, the average data literacy rate was found to be just 20%; but when it comes to Indian employees, then the data literacy rate was found to be a staggering 45%, which is more than double of the average rate.Read it at Trak Related Itemslast_img

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first_imgThe U.S. trucking industry is so massive that not only does it cater to myriads of different verticals, but also houses different ethnicities under its roof, who are part of the industry as truckers, owner-operators, fleet owners, and even as people in gas stations, truck stops, and maintenance sheds. In this mix, the Punjabis or rather the Sikh population have built themselves a bastion in the North American trucking market that is second to none.Read it at Freight Waves Related Itemslast_img

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first_imgA man who killed Indian origin doctor Jasjot Singhota in a road traffic collision in January 2017 after failing to clear frost from his car windscreen has been jailed after he pleaded guilty to careless driving and driving uninsured.Read it at Hindustan Times Related Itemslast_img

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first_imgA Sashastra Seema Bal jawan was killed and four others were injured in an encounter between the security forces and Maoists in Dumka district of Jharkhand early on Sunday, police said.At least five ultras also suffered bullet injuries in the encounter, but they retreated into the forest of Taldangal where a search operation has been going on, Superintendent of Police Y.S. Ramesh said. The Maoists fired on the joint team of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and local police around 3:30 a.m. after noticing the personnel, who also retaliated.During the shootout, five SSB personnel suffered bullet injuries and one of them identified as Niraj Chetry, a resident of Sonitpur district in Assam, died. Of the four others, Rajesh Kumar Rai and Karan Kumar were airlifted to Ranchi for better treatment, while Sonu Kumar and Satish Gujar have been admitted to the Dumka Sadar Hospital, a statement by SSB said.Chief Minister Raghubar Das paid his tribute to the deceased jawan and said the entire state is with the bereaved family. He said the State is committed to root out the Maoist menace.last_img read more

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first_imgMembers of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Tuesday staged a demonstration outside the office of the State Coordinator for National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Guwahati to protest the “sudden” notices served on thousands of people belonging to the minority communities for reverification of their documents. The protestors demanded the revocation of the “inhuman” reverification process for people who were asked to go to NRC centres 300-500 km away within 24-36 hours. “This was unnecessary as the Supreme Court had rejected the Centre and State government’s plea for reverification,” CPI(M) secretary Deben Bhattacharya said.last_img

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first_imgA former guest lecturer of the Delhi University’s Hindu College has sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention in his “arbitrary removal” as the guest faculty of Manipur University (MU) allegedly because of his political ideology.The MU had on August 6 terminated the service of Ningombam Bupenda Meitei as the guest lecturer in the Department of Philosophy much before his six-month agreement was to end. The university had appointed him on June 26.The Federation of Central Universities’ Teachers’ Associations had condemned the “arbitrary termination” of Mr. Meitei’s service who “was asked to clarify whether he was a member of a political party throwing all academic freedoms to the wind”.Mr. Meitei has been associated with the Congress in Manipur.In a letter to the Prime Minister submitted online, Mr. Meitei said that he was disgracefully and arbitrarily removed as a guest faculty despite having been recommended for appointment by the MU’s selection committee.Three conditionsHe said that the MU Vice-Chancellor or administrator had stated only three conditions while making the offer — his term as guest faculty would be for six months, he would be given an honorarium of ₹1,500 per lecture subject to a maximum of ₹ 50,000, and he should not claim regular appointment.“My nature of engagement with the university was not non-academic,” Mr. Meitei said, outlining a few ordinances related to the appointment of the MU’s academic staff that made it clear he was neither an employee nor were the rules binding on him.Since he was not bound by these ordinances, Mr. Meitei said that a rule of the university barring an employee from taking part in politics and elections did not apply to him. He said that the university had asked him to clarify on his political affiliation but he did not reply to the queries “as I was answerable to only the three stated conditions mentioned in the administrator’s offer letter”.“Unfortunately, my genuine right to remain silent – by not replying to any irrelevant query or queries – was officially concluded as ‘amounting to disobedience to his superior authority’. The administrator was neither my superior authority nor was I his subordinate,” he said.Mr. Meitei said he was a primary member of the Congress and its designated spokesperson in Manipur. “As I respect your philosophy and ideology towards our nation and our people, I also do expect you to have the same honour for my philosophy and my ideology towards our nation and our people,” he said in the letter.“As our Prime Minister, I strongly believe that you would look into the matter raised here on whether the action of the administrator Jarnail Singh (Manipur’s former Chief Secretary), in the capacity of the Vice-Chancellor of the university, removing me by breaching the terms of the three stated conditions was justified or not,” he added.last_img read more

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