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New Delhi: Mobile telephonic services still hasn’t reached 55,669 villages in India, as the government informed the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

At September-end, the teledensity at rural and urban levels stood at 48.79 percent and 152.36 percent, respectively, said Ravi Shankar Prasad, the minister for communications and information technology.


“541,939 villages out of total 597,608 villages in the country are already covered with mobile services, leaving only 55,669 villages ie. 9.31 percent without coverage,” said Prasad during Question Hour.

Prasad informed that the reason for this shortage, despite the government’s endeavor to ensure telecom connectivity, is because the teledensity level is determined by the consumer’s purchasing ability.

“The increase in rural teledensity has gathered momentum in recent times but the wide gap between rural and urban teledensity can be explained by the difference in purchasing power of rural and urban consumers,” he said.

As per the National Telecom Policy objectives, rural teledensity will be increased to 70 percent and 100 percent by 2017 and 2020 respectively.

Several steps are being taken in this regard and “2,199 mobile towers are being set up in Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected states with a total estimated cost of Rs 3,567.58 crores,” said the Communications Minister.

As of November 30, 2015, 1,134 mobile towers were in working order.(image: theguardian)


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When you're pregnant, the immune system is seeing the placenta for the first time in decades.

The US researchers have discovered a class of immune cells that plays a role in miscarriage, which affects about a quarter of pregnancies.

Researchers at the University of California-San Francisco found that the recently discovered subset of cells known as extrathymic Aire-expressing cells in the immune system may prevent the mother's immune system from attacking the placenta and fetus.

The researchers showed that pregnant mice who did not have this subset of cells were twice as likely to miscarry, and in many of these pregnancies fetal growth was severely restricted.

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"When you're pregnant, the immune system is seeing the placenta for the first time in decades -- not since the mother made a placenta when she herself was a fetus," said Eva Gillis-Buck, from UCSF.

"Our research suggests that this subset of immune cells is carrying out a sort of 'secondary education' -- sometimes many years after the better-known population of the educator cells have carried out the primary education in the thymus -- teaching T cells not to attack the fetus, the placenta and other tissues involved in pregnancy," she added. The findings are published in the journal Science Immunology.

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It's not surprising that over half of those surveyed feel more comfortable using emojis than talking on the phone or in person.

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Adobe's global emoji study found that emoji even helps people overcome language barriers and form connections that would otherwise be difficult to do.

"We were surprised and delighted by the discoveries made in the survey, most notably how enthusiastic respondents were for emoji as a means to express themselves," the company said in a statement.

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Emojis sometimes get criticized for being overly saccharine, but this sweetness is key when it comes to diffusing some of the heaviness of online communication.

"Many of the emoji are focused on positive emotions, so it's easy to insert them into our conversations and lighten the mood," the Adobe study said.

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Jeff Bezos at the ENCORE awards.

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Billionaire Bezos is set to fly to the edge of space aboard what is touted as the world's first unpiloted suborbital flight. Born in Kalyan, Maharashtra, Gavande is a systems engineer at Blue Origin who always dreamt of designing aerospace rockets.

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After completing Bachelor's in mechanical engineering from the University of Mumbai, she flew to the US in 2011 to pursue a Master's in mechanical engineering from the Michigan Technological University. She also applied for an engineering job at the US space agency NASA but finally landed her dream job at Blue Origin

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