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Chandigarh: The controversy over the exclusion of the Sikh Regiment from the Republic Day parade in Delhi refuses to settle down, with Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Sunday describing the episode as “sad and regrettable” in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and saying that the community was “hurt”.
In his letter, Badal said “the absence of the Sikh regiment from the Republic Day parade was sad and regrettable”.
“A widespread feeling of hurt and resentment (has been) caused by the non-inclusion of the Sikh Regiment in the Republic Day parade where French President Francois Hollande was the chief guest,” Badal said in the letter.
According to reports, the Sikh Regiment, which had participated in the parade earlier, was excluded this time.
The Sikh community has been at loggerheads with the French government due to the latter’s ban on students wearing turbans in schools in France as it was seen as a religious symbol.
“The Republic Day parade is always regarded as a great occasion to showcase India’s multi-cultural and multi-religious identity, highlighting its secular ethos.
“As a vibrant and fiercely patriotic minority community in the country, the Sikhs are always seen as the most powerful symbol of this multi-dimensional identity and secular character of the country,” Badal said.
“The exclusion of the Sikh Regiment from the parade would be regrettable at any time but it was doubly so this year because of the presence of the French president as a special guest at the event.
“The Sikhs have been facing several practices in France which amount to the denial of freedom to observe the fundamental religious practices to the community, including a ban on the wearing of turbans one of the five symbols of their religion,” Badal said.
Incidentally, the French president started his India tour on January 24 from Chandigarh, the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana which was designed by French architect Le Corbusier.
Hollande was received at the Chandigarh airport by Haryana Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki, who is also the acting Punjab governor, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Chandigarh MP Kirron Kher.
However, Punjab Chief Minister Badal was admitted to a hospital a day earlier and could not meet Hollande. But his son and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal did not step in to receive the French president.
Modi, breaking protocol, specially flew to Chandigarh to welcome the French president at the famous Rock Garden. (IANS)
The prestigious British-based, Booker Prize, is one of the most prestigious and acclaimed awards given annually to the best work of fiction. This award is given to a work of fiction which is primarily written in English language and published in the United Kingdom or Ireland by the writers of any nationality.
This year, six authors were nominated for their work of fiction, and the winner will be announced on the 3rd of November.
The books which were shortlisted for the prestigious Booker Prize 2021 are:
1. The Fortune Men by Nadifa Mohamed
British-Somali writer, Nadifa Mohamed's novel, 'The Fortune Men', is a chilling reimagining of Mahmood Mattan's story. Mattan, who is the main character in the book, was a Somali seaman who was wrongfully imprisoned and executed for a murder in Wales.
2. Bewilderment by Richard Powers
Pulitzer-winner, Richard Powers' book is a story of a young astrobiologist, who is in search of finding life on other planets, and his troubled son, Robin. The book is a mixture of sci-fi and family romance. Interestingly, this is Powers' first book after winning the Pulitzer Prize in the year 2019.
3. Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead
This book is about the lives of pilot Marian Graves and Hadley Baxter, who was a troubled Hollywood actress. In the 1950s, Marian embarked on a journey to travel the world but then disappeared without a trace. Fifty years later, Hadley is drawn to play Marian's character, which indirectly leads her to probe the mysteries of the latter's life.
4. No One is Talking About This by Patricia Lockdwood
This is the first book by the American poet and memoirist. " 'No One Is Talking About This' is like a love letter to the endless scroll and a profound, modern meditation on love, language, and human connection from a singular voice in American literature," reads the book's blurb. This book was also one of the finalists for this year's Women's Prize for Fiction.
5. A Passage North by Anuk Arudpragasam
The Sri Lankan author's book tells the story of a young man who travels to Sri Lanka's war-torn North. The story deals with the themes of loss, longing, the legacy of war, and how it affects everyone. The author had earlier won the DSC Prize for his debut book "The Story of a Brief Marriage".
6. The Promise by Damon Galgut
Damon Galgut is a South African author. In this book, the author pens down the story about a white South African family living around in Pretoria, and the crisis they face during the last few years because of apartheid.
Today, 17 September,marks the 133rd birth anniversary of Michiyo Tsujimura, who was a Japanese scientist, and worked extensively on decoding the nutritional value of green tea.
Tsujimura spent her early career as a science teacher. And, in 1920, she chased her dream of becoming a scientific researcher at the Hokkaido Imperial University, where she began to analyse the nutritional properties of Japanese silkworms, in which she was very much interested.
After a few years, Tsujimura transferred to the Tokyo Imperial University, and began researching the biochemistry of green tea alongside Dr. Umetaro Suzuki, who is well known for his discovery of vitamin B1.
In their joint research in this area, it was revealed that green tea contained significant amount of vitamin C, which is the first of many, yet unknown molecular compounds in green tea.
Later on, in 1929, Tsujimura isolated catechin, which is bitter ingredient of tea. Then, the next year, she isolated tannin, which is an even more bitter compound. All these findings formed the foundation for her doctoral thesis– "On the Chemical Components of Green Tea", and through all this hard work, she graduated as Japan's first woman doctor of agriculture in the year 1932.
Moreover, Tsujimura also made history as an educator when she became the first ever Dean of the Faculty of Home Economics at the Tokyo Women's Higher Normal School in the year 1950.
Even today, a stone memorial in honor of Dr. Michiyo Tsujimura’s achievements can be found in her birthplace of Okegawa City.
Inspiration4 is the first human spacecraft to revolve around the Earth with just private people on board. The mission created awareness about the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and raised funds to support the expansion of St. Jude's childhood cancer research programme. Inspiration4 is headed by Jared Isaacman, the CEO of Shift4 Payments, who has over a decade of expertise as a pilot, including training in military aircraft.
Isaacman arranged for the trip and its four seats by SpaceX, with two of the seats being given to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Hayley Arceneaux, a medical assistant at the hospital who is also a bone cancer survivor, is chosen by the hospital to go on the trip. The second ticket was given away as part of a drive titled St. Jude Mission: Inspired, which raised US$200 million for the hospital. An unidentified person won the seat from Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University. For personal reasons, he chose to donate the seat to his friend, U.S. Air Force veteran Christopher Sembroski, who was also one of the 72,000 people who entered the raffle. In a competition patterned like "Shark Tank," Shift4 Payments chose entrepreneur Sian Proctor to join them on the trip.
During the three-day trip, no professional astronauts will be on board, making it the first time this has happened. | Photo by SpaceX on Unsplash
During the three-day trip, no professional astronauts will be on board, making it the first time this has happened. According to Wikipedia, all four crew members received commercial astronaut training by SpaceX, which encompassed lessons in orbital mechanics, operating in a microgravity environment, stress testing, emergency preparedness training, and mission simulations. Additionally, the crew completed over 90 different training programmes and practised what to do in the case of an emergency while in orbit. The drills included spending 30 consecutive hours in the simulator, going through various anomalies that might occur during their trip.
A five-episode television series, Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission to Space, will be shown on Netflix in September 2021 as part of the mission documentation. Although early space tourism flights may be beyond the grasp of all but the wealthiest of individuals, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk believes that these pioneering missions will lay the foundation for more frequent and cheaper journeys to space in the future. If the Inspiration4 mission is successful, it will be a milestone moment in the history of space travel.
Keywords: SpaceX, Elon Musk, Inspiration 4, cancer, children, astronaut, space