Tribal groups in Rajasthan have demanded that the next elected government in the State reveal the status of each of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with reference to tribal communities and declare their status targets. The activists said that no political party had depicted its commitment to work for sustainable development of tribal people.A manifesto for rights of the tribal population, residing mainly in southern Rajasthan, has demanded that they be recognised as “custodians of ecosystem, nature and traditions” and paid an honorarium for their contribution to preservation of natural resources. Their environment-friendly practices were also highlighted in the charter of demands.The document was released by the Tribal Development Forum, Vaagdhara, and other institutions working for tribal rights and food security here last week. Vaagdhara secretary Jayesh Joshi said on Thursday that the manifesto was handed over to the ruling BJP and all Opposition parties for its inclusion in their agenda for the Assembly election.Sustainable farmingMr. Joshi said though 70% population in the tribal area depended on agriculture, which was primarily rain-fed, most of the government’s investment towards agriculture was dedicated to the irrigated crop area. “A sustainable integrated farming system needs to be developed for benefiting small and marginal tribal farmers. Besides, agricultural subsidies should be broadened to promote traditional farming,” he said.A monitoring mechanism should be dedicated to the SDG index in the tribal village panchayats, blocks and districts, said Mr. Joshi. Besides, the next government should take serious steps for stopping the migration cycle triggered by lack of education and skills and large family size, which contributed to tribal people’s poverty, forcing them to leave forests and villages.Rajasthan’s tribal population mainly resides in Udaipur, Sirohi, Dungarpur, Banswara and Pratapgarh districts.
A cross-border motor rally to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi is arriving in Agartala from Bangladesh on Tuesday afternoon. The rally, which got underway at Rajghat in New Delhi on February 4, will culminate on February 24 at Yangon in Myanmar.The Border Security Force (BSF) has made arrangements to support the itinerary of the motorists on the border. The rally entered Bangladesh from Kolkata on Monday, sources in BSF said.“We will facilitate the rally to the Agartala Check Post from Bangladesh. The Ministry of Transport and Highways has organised the rally,” senior BSF official of the Tripura Frontier Arun Kumar Verma told The Hindu.Government officials said the rally would travel 7,250 km before it reaches Yangon. It will cover places historically associated with Mahatma Gandhi, both in India as well as in Bangladesh and Myanmar.Officials said the ultimate aim of the rally is to spread the values of Mahatma Gandhi throughout route of the rally. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) is supporting the event.
There Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terrorists, involved in Friday’s attack on a police post here, have been arrested, police said in Srinagar on Sunday. “We have arrested three persons so far in connection with the Chanapora attack case,” senior superintendent of police (SSP) of Srinagar Haseeb Mughal told reporters in Srinagar. The SSP identified the arrested terrorists as Mushtaq, Junaid and Latief.Mr. Mughal said the three belonged to JeM and were involved in the attack on the Chanapora police post in which a sentry was injured. They had also made a failed attempt to snatch his rifle. “We collected the digital evidence and strengthened the intelligence grid after the attack. We focussed on the suspects already on our radar. We picked them up, questioned them and during questioning, one of them confessed and gave us further details about the group, he said. Giving details of the attack, the SSP said the three came to Chanapora on a motorcycle, but left it some distance away from the police post. One of them, named Junaid, went inside the police post with the excuse of tracking the status of passport verification. He checked the place and when he saw that the sentry there had no visible backup, he came out and told his accomplices that perhaps there is no backup for the sentry, so he (sentry) can be targeted. Then he came back to the post and was accompanied by another person named Mushtaq who was wearing a pheran and a helmet. When Mushtaq was asked to remove the pheran for undergoing search, he took out a pistol and fired on the sentry, the SSP said, adding the sentry was injured and is undergoing treatment at SKIMS Hospital at Soura. The senior police official said the terrorists also tried to snatch the rifle of the injured sentry but had to leave it because the gun was clamped with a chain to his belt. In the meantime, the other policemen fired and they fled from the spot, he said. He said police have recovered a Chinese pistol, two magazines and six live rounds from them. The motorcycle has also been recovered, he said, adding further investigations in the case were on.Mr. Mughal said Mushtaq, a postgraduate from Kashmir University, was in touch with a JeM cadre, named Sameer from Pulwama district of south Kashmir, and has been associated with the group for about a year. “Sameer and Mushtaq were classmates in KU. It was on Sameer’s direction that they tried to loot weapons in Srinagar, he said. Junaid, the SSP said, was involved in a number of stone-pelting cases, while Lateef is an overground worker (OGW) of the militants and helped them with logistics. He said the three were arrested from different places in Budgam district in cental Kashmir.
Just before nabbing an insect, a bat emits a rapid series of ultrasonic calls whose echoes back pinpoint the prey’s exact location. Scientists call these sounds “the feeding buzz,” and they’re known to attract other bats presumably in search of a meal. When another bat arrives, it can jam the hunter’s buzz, according to a new study, much like someone blocking a radio signal. That causes the original bat to miss its meal, allowing its competitor to swoop in to grab the insect instead.“It’s a thrilling finding,” says Mirjam Knörnschild, a behavioral ecologist and bat vocalization expert at the University of Ulm in Germany, who was not involved in the study. “Sonar interference has always been an exciting possible explanation … for the fact that certain bat species are highly vocal, and this elegantly designed study is a convincing demonstration.”Aaron Corcoran, a biologist at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, first detected the jamming call while recording bat-moth interactions in Arizona. Other researchers had previously discovered that Mexican free-tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis) make at least 15 types of social calls and even adjust their ultrasonic vocalizations to avoid interfering with those of others. To find out how the bats were using this call, the scientists recorded their competitive bouts on video and with an array of ultrasonic microphones at field sites in Arizona and New Mexico. They matched up the calls to the bats’ flight paths so that they could see at what point hunters made the feeding buzz and competitors emitted a blocking signal. From this 3D reconstruction, Corcoran and William Conner, a biologist also at Wake Forest University, realized that the bats were more competitive than cooperative, and readily wielded their highly effective and disruptive jamming call. “They use it at the moment of truth, when the hunter is zeroing in on its prey,” Conner says.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The jamming call works by overlapping the competitor’s final frenzied feeding buzz, creating sound waves that confuse the processing done by the bat’s auditory neurons and ability to target the prey’s position with its ultrasonic clicks, a process known as echolocation. Still, a jammed bat can turn the tables on its competitor and use the same method to interfere with its hunt. “They whiz back and forth, back and forth, fighting over the prey, until one finally gives up,” Conner says.In Arizona, the scientists documented 145 bat attacks on insects; 85.9% of these attempts failed when another bat emitted the jamming call. Without a competitor to interfere, the bats’ success rate jumped to 30%. The researchers also tested bats with controlled playback experiments. They tethered a moth to a monofilament line about 5 meters above the ground, then played a recorded jamming call just as a hunting bat targeted the insect with its feeding buzz. The bats’ capture success rate dropped by 73.5% compared with when they hunted without interference from the recording, the team reports online today in Science.Five years ago, Corcoran and Conner showed that tiger moths can jam the hunting sonar of brown bats. But this is the first time that this type of competitive interference among individuals of the same species has been discovered in animals, they say.Other researchers had previously heard similar calls from different bat species, including male big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus), and suggested that the sound might be used in cooperative foraging, or to claim food. “It’s clearly not for cooperating,” says Cynthia Moss, a neuroscientist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, whose team proposed the food-claiming explanation—and is sticking to it. “There is evidence for both claiming and jamming,” she says, noting that her group “didn’t see the timing of the call the way” that Corcoran and Conner did, consistently overlapping that rapid, terminal feeding buzz. “While this paper is very provocative, interesting, and important, it is not the last word.”Still, the very idea that bats have not only sonar but also a jamming signal is “cool,” Conner says. “We think engineers are pretty clever when they use a signal to jam sonar and radar. But bats came up with this idea 65 million years earlier.” Now, he and Corcoran wonder if other echolocating species such as dolphins engage in competitive jamming bouts as well.
Killer whales wouldn’t get far without their old ladies. A 9-year study of orcas summering off the southern tip of Vancouver Island in the Pacific Northwest finds that menopausal females usually lead their families to find salmon, particularly when the fish are scarce. Older females’ years of foraging experience may help their clans survive in years of famine, an evolutionary benefit that could explain why—like humans—female orcas live for decades past their reproductive prime.“Menopause is a really bizarre trait. Evolutionarily it doesn’t make sense,” says biologist Lauren Brent of the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, who led the new study. Most animals keep having babies until they drop, part of the evolutionary drive to spread their genes as widely as possible. Only female humans, pilot whales, and killer whales are known to go through menopause: At a certain age, they stop reproducing, but continue to lead long, productive lives. Like humans, female killer whales stop giving birth by about 40, but can live into their 90s.Anthropologists have proposed a controversial explanation for menopause in humans: that grandmothers contribute to their genetic legacies by helping their children and grandchildren survive and reproduce. In hunter-gatherer and other societies, elders find extra food, babysit, and remember tribal lore about how to live through floods, famines, and other hardships. According to the “grandmother hypothesis,” this contribution is so valuable that it helped spur the evolution of women’s long postreproductive lives. Orcas too depend on their elders: Adult killer whales’ mortality rates skyrocket after their elderly mothers die. But how the menopausal whales might help their children survive was not clear, Brent says.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)“We had an inkling that maybe it had to do with information,” says senior author Darren Croft, a University of Exeter behavioral ecologist. He wondered if orca elders might use their years of experience to lead their families to the best places to find food. This could certainly mean the difference between life and death. The whales almost exclusively eat Chinook salmon during the summer, and their fortunes rise and fall with the salmon runs, Croft says. “These whales live on the knife edge.”Brent, Croft, and colleagues studied the “southern resident” killer whale population, which spends its summers hunting salmon in the Salish Sea between British Columbia and Washington state. As a result of 35 years of observation, marine biologists at the nonprofit Center for Whale Research can identify each orca’s unique markings and know its biography and family tree. Brent and colleagues perused hundreds of hours of video footage of groups of foraging whales, noting which individuals went along for each hunting expedition and who was leading the pack (see clip). Using a statistical analysis to test whether age, sex, family relationships, or other factors predicted leadership, the researchers confirmed that menopausal females were most likely to be at the front of these hunting parties. Big males stayed closest to their mothers, the researchers found, perhaps because they need to eat much more than their sisters to avoid starvation.The researchers compared their leadership observations with data from local Chinook fisheries and found that elderly females were most likely to lead killer whale foraging trips in years when salmon runs were at their lowest. The results imply that menopausal killer whales use their experience to help their families find food in times of hardship, the researchers report online today in Current Biology. “This is the first study to show that these postreproductive females play a key role in their society by storing ecological knowledge,” Croft claims. “With killer whales we’re still looking at a species where information is stored in individuals—it’s not stored in the Internet or books,” he says. The whales may “give us some insight into what forces may have shaped our own evolutionary history.”The team’s approach has impressed some whale researchers. “I really liked the way they did it,” says whale ecologist Hal Whitehead of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada. “Nowadays there’s a huge emphasis on using new technology, some new gizmo or lab technique to discover something. This study is really based on just spending lots of time watching the animals.”(Video credit: Brent et al., Current Biology/Center for Whale Research)
The MoU facilitates bilateral cooperation between India and USA for exchange of information and experience in sectors pertaining to project development in partner countries. Related Items
The chief of the UKs state-funded National Health Service (NHS) Sir Malcolm Grant has embarked on a four-day trade mission to India with a delegation of 13 top British healthcare providers to promote collaborations between the two countries in the healthcare sector.The Chairman of NHS England is leading the team alongside Healthcare UK and Department for International Tradeï¿½to promote innovation in healthcare and collaborations between India and Britain in the healthcare sector.Read it at India Today Related Items
Captive centres in India of global firms have hired nearly 1.3 lakh people last year and they have overtaken for the first time in a decade the number of people hired by Indian IT services and back-office companies, said industry experts. The shift is attributed to a sharp rise in hiring by existing and the new global in-house centres (GICs) due to technology innovation activities in India for their global markets. Read it at Economic Times Related Items
There is a “strong possibility” of Pakistani-Canadian Tahawwur Hussain Rana’s extradition to India before the completion of his 14-year jail term in the US in 2021 for plotting the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, an informed source here has said.Rana, 58, a resident of Chicago, was arrested in 2009 on the charges of plotting the 26/11 terror attack. Read it at Economic Times Related Items
The economy? Don’t talk about it! Real estate in Manhattan? Pricey as ever. The art market? It’s down. And yet, galleries selling Indian art seem to be surviving quite well, thank you.These galleries are a recent phenomenon. A decade ago, if you had wanted to view a Husain or Raza painting, you could have hunted Manhattan high and low, with nary one in sight. Now there are several galleries in Manhattan showcasing Indian contemporary art and photography: Bose Pacia Modern, Talwar Gallery, Artsindia, Sundaram Tagore Gallery, and Sepia International. So how are these galleries faring in these rough economic times? Arani Bose of Bose Pacia Modern, which opened its first show in 1994 is the Indian art gallery pioneer.Bose Pacia Modern, the pioneer, has been around for almost a decade since Arani Bose and his partner Steve Pacia conceived of the gallery in 1993 and had their first show in 1994. At that time it was the only contemporary art gallery in the United States focusing on India.Bose recalls that when their gallery opened in a small space in Soho, it was literally like swinging in the dark for the public knew and cared little about Indian contemporary art: “Since then the energy of the Indian art scene has allowed for multiple locations of streaming around the world. You started noticing various points of activity – it’s as if something has got into the air and it starts to reverberate, from one to the other – from the gallery perspective, from museums, from auction houses.”As Bose points out, art is kept alive by multiple institutions: commercial galleries, museums, foundations, and auction houses, with a whole cast of characters from gallery owners to curators to dealers: “These really provide the engine, and the fuel of the system is the contemporary artist, and ultimately that whole system is essentially motivated or driven by commerce, by the market. None of them could do what they do, if it weren’t for the market of contemporary art.”That market has been burgeoning, along with the expansion in the Indian population in the United States and the Diaspora. Indeed, if galleries highlighting Indian contemporary art are proliferating, it’s because in the past five years a significant market has developed, both amongst the expatriate Indians and western art lovers. The international contemporary art enterprise has come into play and things are heating up. Talwar Gallery’s Deepak Talwar: “A gallery is not a dukan or shop to just buy and sell. It’s got a bigger purpose than that.”Eight years ago the first dedicated auction of Indian contemporary art took place at Sotheby’s and then at Christies, bringing the post-independence art of India and 20th century art to a worldwide audience. Indian contemporary art hit the awareness of the art world, which was further solidified by the Century City exhibition at the Tate Modern, the temple of modern art, which showcased cities that had a significant impact on the art of their times and Bombay was chosen to represent the 1990s.So is having a gallery focusing only on Indian art viable, especially in a city with over 600 galleries? Says Bose, who declined to share his own financial figures, it is. “You can always make a business viable. The question is how much of what you generate you put back into the business. That reinvestment over time has needed to be more and more.”Bose Pacia has moved to a much larger space in Chelsea and is investing in internationally known artists like Atul Dodiya, Bhupen Khakkar, Arpita Singh, Nalini Malini, and Nilima Sheikh. It is also producing art catalogs that are on par with the mainstream offerings.Says Bose, “The reason is if you’re going to represent the artist on the international scene you have to play in that arena. Over 200 galleries in Chelsea are selling work in a genre that sells for hundreds of thousands of dollars, and we are selling in a genre that sells for tens of thousands of dollars, so that’s the rub. ArtsIndia’s Prajit Dutta: “We are seeing globally a very distinct upsurge in Indian art.”“It’s the same investment, but our revenue stream is less, because that’s where Indian art is trading right now. But the good news for those interested in collecting, it’s the ability to get involved in a field that is on the launch pad, and that’s what makes it so exciting.”Bose, whose gallery caters to both Indians and Americans, says the number of sales to second generation Indians has declined since the 1990s bubble burst as many of these collectors were fed largely by the engine of Wall Street and the stock market. Established collectors, however, are still buying. Big prices for art always whet interest and last year a Tyeb Mehta painting sold for over $317,500 at Christie’s.“We’ve been in the black ever since we opened our Fifth Avenue location in 2001,” says Prajit Dutta of Gallery Artsindia. “We do upwards of a million and a half turnover every year. Our traveling shows are successful in winning new clients, but we’ve done well with the New York shows too.”Before opening its doors, the gallery already existed on the web. Now Prajit and his brother Projjal have taken it a step further by taking the art on the road with exhibitions in cities like San Francisco, Dallas, Chicago and Washington, which have large Indian populations. “We are seeing globally a very distinct upsurge in Indian art,” says Dutta. “Basically it’s the Indians of the Diaspora who are this new audience. There is some amount of non-Indian interest as well, but I don’t think in general there has been a crossover.”The gallery has featured artists like Jehangir Sabarvala, Sanjay Bhattacharya, and Satish Gujral as well as Husain and Jamini Roy. It also recently acquired about 2,000 paintings from the Herwitz Collection, many of them works from the 1960s and 1970s.Says Dutta, ” We are reaching out to all the Indian communities. It’s a young market that’s growing and it’s a market that hasn’t reached maturation. Many don’t have access to Indian art. Our role is to go out and offer that service.”Deepak Talwar, who opened the Talwar Gallery on 16th Street in 2001, says, “It is a vast market out there, because the contemporary art collecting market in this country is huge. It doesn’t matter where the artist is from, what filters through the artist’s work is important. So I don’t put the limitation of that very narrow definition of Indian contemporary art on my artists.”Talwar Gallery shows avant-garde artists of Indian origin such as Los Angeles- based conceptual photo artist Allan deSouza, film artist Alia Syed from London and the installation art of A. Balasubramanium, based in Bangalore. He adds that a large portion of his clientele is not Indian, and the discourse should be about art, not about geographical or political boundaries on art.“My artists may be of Indian origin, that may be the common thread, but when you step into the gallery, it’s the art that counts. People still expect Indian art to be like two-dimensional paintings that are hanging on the wall, with some Indian motif. You have to get beyond the image, and the Indian audience is still making efforts to develop that.”While he says that the gallery has been successful beyond his expectations, Talwar too declines to give figures.“The gallery is doing fine. If not, the doors would have closed. I think survival should not be measured in numbers. If the doors are open, and it’s showing quality art, it lives – it’s breathing. So long as it’s breathing, it’s alive.”Talwar says that in their obsession with prices and numbers, people are missing the big picture: they are missing the art. He believes the success of a gallery goes beyond the financial picture to the educating of first time buyers and the pleasure art gives. “It’s not a simultaneous exchange where a gallery gets art and starts to sell it immediately to cover its cost. It’s not about that. It’s about investing in something you believe in and it’s about making people realize the power of art. So a gallery is not a ‘dukan’ or a shop to just buy and sell. It’s got a bigger purpose than that.” Related Items
Religious festivals hold magical sway over Hindus and food is often at their center. Shree Krishna Janmashtami, which falls on Aug 14, celebrates Lord Krishna’s birthday, during which temples create cradles and decorate them with fragrant, multi- hued flowers, decorative beads, zari borders, nuts and fruits. Devotees fast all day. As midnight approaches, Lord Krishna is bathed in a mixture of holy water from the Ganges, milk, honey and yoghurt. He is then dressed in beautiful clothes and jewelry and returned to his cradle. At the stroke of midnight, firecrackers are lit to the sound of cymbals and the beating of drums to usher in the lord’s birth. The devotees break their fast in the morning with Krishna’s favorite sweets and savories.SWEETSChocolate Burfi2 liters milk½ lb slab of milk chocolate1 oz. each of sliced almonds, pistachios and walnutsA few drops of vanilla essence5 oz. sugarSilver foilMelt chocolate and keep warm. Heat milk and sugar over slow fire and stir until it turns thick and separates from the sides of the vessel. Blend in nuts, essence and melted chocolate. Mix thoroughly and remove from fire. Spread on a greased thali and cover with silver foil. Set aside until cold, then cut into neat squares and store in airtight container.Peda2 liters milk 5 oz. powdered sugar1 tsp. cardamom seeds½ tsp. saffron strands1 tbsp. milk½ tsp. refined flourHandful of finely sliced pistachio nutsBoil milk and sugar over slow fire until mixture turns thick. Add ½ teaspoon refined flour and cook until mixture separates from sides of vessel. Remove from fire, cover and set aside for 5 hours in refrigerator or cool dry place. Soak saffron in 1 tbsp. hot milk for five minutes and then crush to paste. Mix saffron with other ingredients except pistachios. Form mixture into small, round flat discs and press few sliced nuts in center of one side of peda. Set aside until it hardens and store in airtight container.Rabdi2 liters milk4 oz. sugar1 tsp. cardamom seeds1 oz. almonds and pistachios blanched and slicedA few drops of rose essence Place milk in a heavy pan with sugar and cardamom seeds and cook on slow fire, stirring until mixture is reduced to ¾ of its original quantity. Remove from fire. Mix in nuts and essence and serve hot or cold.Besan Ladoos1 lbs. chickpea flour2 ½ oz. ghee (clarified butter)1 lbs. powdered sugar1 tbsps. cardamom seeds2 tbsps. each of sliced almonds and pistachiosHeat ghee and fry chick pea flour over slow fire, stirring often until golden. Remove from fire, blend in remaining ingredients. Cool till warm, form into lime-sized balls with wet hands and store in airtight container.Churma Ladoos1 lbs. whole-wheat flour1 oz. semolina1/4 lbs. ghee4 tbsps. sliced almonds, cashewnuts and pistachios1 tbsp. cardamom powderMix flour and semolina, add ¼ lb. ghee and enough milk to form stiff dough. Make small balls and set aside. Heat ½ lbs. ghee and fry balls over a slow fire until crisp and golden. Drain, cool fried balls and grind to a paste. Mix nuts and cardamom seeds, add enough ghee to bind ingredients together. Form into round balls cool thoroughly and store in airtight container. Dry Fruit Kheer2 liters whole milk5 oz. blanched, ground almonds and hazelnuts1 oz. whole roasted pistachios, cashew nuts and almonds1 tbsp. cardamom seeds½ 1bs. sugar½ tsp. saffron dissolved in 1 tbsp. hot milkHeat milk, sugar, and cardamom slowly in heavy vessel. When sugar dissolves, add ground nuts and stir until mixture is reduced to half its original quantity. Add saffron and put in serving bowl and decorate with whole nuts.SAVORIES Dry Fruit Kachori¼ lbs. flour 2 tablespoons gheeSea salt to tasteFor filling ¼ lbs. green peas shelled and boiled1 tbsp. each of diced walnuts, groundnuts,cashewnuts and raisins2 chilies mincedHandful of coriander leaves¼ tsp. sugar½ finely grated coconut1 tsp. dhania-jeera powder1 tsp garam masalaSea salt, chili powder and lime juice to tasteMix flour and salt, rub in ghee and then add enough water to form stiff dough. Mash peas coarsely and mix with all filling ingredients. Divide dough into small cups, stuff with filling, gather the edges together and form into round and smooth balls. Flatten with hands into small disc. Heat 1 lb ghee until smoking, lower heat and fry over a gentle heat to golden brown color. Drain and serve with sweet tamarind or green chutney.SamosasFor shell 8 oz. flour2 tbsps. oilSalt to tasteFor filling 8 oz. boiled, peeled and mashed potatoes2 oz. boiled peas 2 tbsps. chopped coriander leaves or cilantro1 green chili chopped finely 1 teaspoon garam masala 1 teaspoon dhania jeera powderSalt to taste Mix flour, salt and oil. Add enough water to form stiff dough. Mix filling ingredients. Make small ball of dough, dab with dry flour and roll out each ball into small circle. Cut circle into two. Make a cone of one half of circle and stuff with filling. Use water along edges to seal properly and deep fry in medium hot oil until crisp and golden.Jholdaar Aloo Subzi5 oz. potatoes boiled and peeled1 cup yoghurt1 cup water1 tbsp. chopped coriander leaves½ tsp. grated ginger2 green chilies slit in middle½ tsp. cumin seeds1/8 tsp. turmeric powder½ tsp. chick pea flour 1 tbsp. dhania-jeera powderPinch of asafetidaSalt and chili to taste.Slice all but one potatoes into pieces. Crush one potato to a paste. Heat one tablespoon oil, add potatoes and fry lightly. Mix spices and salt. Add yoghurt and gram flour and cook over a slow fire until thick. Sprinkle with coriander leaves and remove from fire. Heat 1 tbsp. oil and add cumin seeds and asafetida. When seeds start popping pour over potatoes and garnish with ginger and green chilies. Serve hot with puries.Puri 2.5 oz. wheat flour4 oz. refined flour1 tblsp. gheeSalt to tasteCombine ingredients with enough water to form stiff dough. Divide dough into small balls and roll into small circle. Heat enough ghee for deep frying till hot, drop each puri in the ghee and heat till it floats to the top and puffs up, fry both sides till golden. Serve piping hot.Sweet Chutney½ cup tamarind paste ¾ grated jaggery or molasses1 teaspoon chat masala1 teaspoon rock salt to suit the tasteGrind ingredients to paste.Green Chutney1 cup coriander leaves¼ cup mint leaves ¼ teaspoon grated ginger1 green chilly Salt to tasteGrind ingredients to a paste.Natural Food ColorsHere are some techniques to create natural food colors. For a deeper shade in mithais add undiluted color. For softer shades dilute with water.Green Wash and grind raw spinach leaves, strain juice through a fine cloth.Red or Pink Grind raw tender beets to a paste and strain through a fine cloth. Saffron Dissolve ¼ teaspoon of saffron strands in 1 tbsp. hot milk Related Items
An Indian-origin man who admitted to causing the death of three teenagers due to his dangerous driving under the influence of alcohol was sentenced to jail for 13 years by a UK court on March 28.Jaynesh Chudasama, 28, of Hayes, was initially sentenced to 20 years and six months in jail, however, the sentence was reduced to 13 years for entering an early guilty plea. Chudasama has also been disqualified from driving for 13 years and six months.Chudasama pleaded guilty on Feb. 26 to three counts of causing death by dangerous driving. The incident took place when three teenagers — 17-year-old Harry Louis Rice, 16-year-old George Toby Wilkinson and 16-year-old Josh McGuiness — were walking along the pavement with friends in Shepiston Lane, Hayes, on Jan. 26. They were on their way to a birthday party when an Audi A5 with two occupants mounted the pavement at an estimated speed of 71 mph and collided with the group of boys. The teenagers were killed at the scene, according to the Metropolitan Police.The occupants of the car fled, abandoning the vehicle after the collision. Chudasama, the driver of the car, was nabbed by the public and arrested at the scene. He was charged on Jan. 28.“The thoughts of the Metropolitan Police are with the families and friends of Wilkinson, McGuiness and Rice at this unimaginably difficult time. Jaynesh Chudasama took the decision that evening to drive at excess speed while under the influence of alcohol–a decision that resulted in the death of three young men,” detective superintendent Andy Cox of the Roads and Transport Policing Command said.“It is obvious that nothing any court can do can measure the loss of Josh, Harry and George for the obvious reason that their loss is immeasurable,” Judge Wendy Joseph QC said.The friends and families of the teenagers who were present at the courtroom during the sentencing said that Chudasama was a “coward” as he left the boys to die while trying to run away from the scene. “You are going to rot in hell,” McGuiness’ mother told Chudasama, the Guardian reported.During the sentencing, protesters gathered outside the court and demanded for a harder sentence for those driving dangerously. “I’m protesting because my brother was ruthlessly taken away with his two friends by a callous driver who got in a car knowing he was going to drive the vehicle under the influence. He should not see the light of day, end of story,” the report quoted Rice’s brother, Matthew, who was one of the protesters, as saying. Related ItemsBritish IndianHayesUK
An Indian tourist was killed and another was injured during a shooting incident between two gangs in Bangkok on Oct.7. The exchange of fire took place near the parking space of a shopping mall.A Lao tourist also died due to severe injuries sustained in the shootout while two Thai men were seriously injured.The Indian tourist Dheeraj Gakhreja, 42, succumbed to severe injuries in hospital, while another Indian national named Dharmendra Sharma, 45, was injured, the Nation reports.The deceased and the injured Indian men belonged to Udaipur, according to Udaipur Times. Gakhreja was an agent with ICICI Lombard and was among 400 agents selected from all over the country to be sent on a trip to Thailand.The incident happened when members of two gangs fired at each other near the parking space of Centara Watergate Pavilion shopping mall, news agency Xinhua reported.Three youngsters fired at the rival group following a spat at a snooker parlor near the shooting site, Pol Maj Gen Senit Samararn Samruajkit, commander of the Metropolitan Police Division 1, was cited as saying by The Nation.Samruajkit also quoted witnesses as saying that around 20 young men carrying pistols, knives and sticks were seen coming out of the snooker parlor, running into an alley near the parking space of the mall. Three young men armed with rifles opened fire there. The members of gangs are youngsters and belong to the area, the police said, according to the report.The shells of fired bullets found at the scene of crime are from an AK47 assault rifle, Samruajkit added.The Indians caught in the shootout were part of a group of tourists who came to have dinner at the India Gate restaurant on the ground floor of the shopping mall, a tour guide named Juli Sawang-aroon was quoted by the publication as saying.After having their dinner, the group members were given some time for shopping. Tourists who were done with their shopping returned to the car park on the side street to wait for their vehicle when the shooting started. Related ItemsbangkokThailand
Asking the Madhya Pradesh government to refrain from dabbling in matters of religion, BJP leaders have objected to an advisory issued by the district administration making it mandatory to declare with it idols more than three feet tall, ahead of the Durga Puja on October 6. The first such advisory in the State comes days after 11 youths drowned in a lake here as their boats capsized during the immersion of an 18-foot-tall Ganesh idol. “The accident was not caused because of the idol’s height. It was a result of the administration’s negligence,” said Vishvas Sarang, Narela (Bhopal) MLA. The government had no right to restrict an idol’s height or impose conditions on it, he said, “it should be left to the Hindu community.”Bhopal MP Pragya Thakur said it was a crime to play with sentiments of Hindus. “If the administration is trying to discourage immersion of tall idols, it should do the same for tazias.”Collector clarifies“We have not restricted the height but asked people to keep us informed in case they are keeping an idol more than three feet tall,” said Bhopal Collector Tarun Kumar Pithode. “Especially if the height goes beyond six feet, we need to be informed so that arrangements could be made accordingly at immersion sites.”BJP State media chief Lokendra Parashar said the administration should instead focus on ensuring safety during immersions. “They should not talk such things.”At least a week before the festival, organisers and puja committees must register idols more than three feet tall with either the Municipal Corporation or the police, says the advisory. Without it, they will not be allowed to take out processions or immerse idols. Mechanised immersionsMoreover, the use of boats for immersions will be prohibited, and only mechanised immersions of idols more than three feet tall, using a crane or other means, will be permitted, that too only during the hours fixed by the administration. And use of loudspeakers and idols made of Plaster of Paris (PoP) will be prohibited. Although the State government has no law regulating idol immersion, an informed source in the district administration said a proposal for it would be sent to the Chief Minister soon. Bengal ruleAt present, only West Bengal has rules regulating idol immersions. It prohibits idols more than 20 feet tall and makes it mandatory for puja committees to submit a declaration before the Municipal Corporation on the compliance with rules such as no use of PoP idols, synthetic colour or toxic materials, and height of the super structure below 40 feet. The State Pollution Control Board could penalise committees in case of violation.
A youth on Tuesday threw ink at Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Ashwani Kumar Choubey when he was about to board his SUV after meeting dengue patients at the Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH).The youth, Nishant Jha, however, managed to escape.“The ink was thrown on public, democracy and the pillar of democracy,” said Mr. Choubey. “I condemn this act done by some lumpen elements nursing political ambition… the ink was thrown at journalists also”, he said while coming out. His SUV and the bodyguard too had sprinkles of ink. Later, the youth told a private news channel that he belonged to the Jan Adhikar Party (Secular) of former MP from Madhepura Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav. “But, I threw ink at the Minister in my personal capacity as I was perturbed over the rising number of Dengue patients in the city and the government’s apathy to contain it”, he said.Mr. Yadav said later, “I have come from Delhi only this morning… and this incident should not be linked with my party as we do not know Nishant Jha. But this reflects the public outrage against the government”.After prolonged waterlogging in some areas of Patna from September 28 to October 6, the number of patients of dengue and gastro-enteritis had increased manifold at the government-run PMCH. On Monday, a seven-year-old died of dengue and several policemen at the policeline are said to be suffering from it. Sanjiv Chaurasia, a local BJP MLA, too is recuperating from the disease. The local civic and health department are engaged in fogging and sprinkling of bleaching powder to check spread of dengue but local residents said these were proving to be inadequate.
The Gujarat government on Wednesday announced a relief package of ₹700 crore for the farmers in the state, whose crops have been damaged due to excess rains this year.Talking to reporters, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said the move would benefit over four lakh farmers in the State.Farmers in Gujarat witnessed damage to their crops due to excess rains that lashed the state even after the monsoon season officially ended.“The cabinet meeting held today decided to declare a relief package for farmers who have faced crop losses due to excess rains in the last week of October and early part of November,” Mr. Patel said.“We have decided to give a relief package of ₹700 crore for the farmers. The main crops that have been damaged are groundnut, cotton and rice…Over four lakh farmers will benefit from this package,” he said.The relief package will be over and above the crop insurance that the companies will provide to the farmers who under the insurance cover. The relief will be given as per the rules of the Central government’s Calamity Relief Fund, Mr. Patel said.According to him, a survey is being carried out in different parts of the state to assess the crop damage and it will soon be completed.“Chief Minister Vijay Rupani had promised to provide relief to all the farmers even if they have not taken crop insurance. To keep that promise to the farmers in the state, this relief package has been announced,” he said.However, the opposition Congress termed the relief package to farmers as a mere “lollypop” and asked the state government to provide crop insurance to them.The Gujarat government’s announcement came at a time when Congress leader Hardik Patel was about to end his day- long symbolic fast at Paddhari in Rajkot district over the issue of crop insurance and farm loan waiver in the wake of unseasonal rains.“Farmers are committing suicide as they are not paid 100 per cent crop insurance. While we welcome the government’s move (relief package), we want prompt disbursement of crop insurance,” Hardik said.“The BJP government was forced to announce a package of ₹700 crore because of the Congress. We will continue our fight for the farmers in the coming days,” he added.Congress MLA Lalit Kagathara, who accompanied Hardik during the fast, claimed that the relief package would hardly cover the actual losses incurred by the farmers.“This package is just another lollypop by the BJP government. As per the package, a farmer would get ₹2,000 to ₹1,000 per bigha as compensation. You can hardly cover the cost of hiring two labourers in that money. This announcement is misleading. Farmers must get 100 per cent payment towards the loss of their crop,” the legislator said.
LATEST STORIES Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Read Next Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games View comments Watson was the league’s second-youngest active coach behind the Lakers’ Luke Walton, and the Suns were tied with the Chicago Bulls as having the youngest opening-night roster in the NBA this season.“I’d like to see the fight be a little bit more,” Watson said after the blowout loss to the Clippers. “Or a lot more, until you know they’re just fatigued.”The Suns came into this season with only four losses by 40 or more points in franchise history. They’ve had two in the first three games of this season. Phoenix has not made the playoffs in seven years, the longest drought in the franchise’s 49-year history.Watson was the 17th Suns coach in the franchise’s history.This was the first NBA season where every coach who started one year had the same job to begin the next. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Kin of Misamis Oriental hero cop to get death benefits, award — PNP NBA: Kyrie Irving fined for NBA fan spat Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA MOST READ Assistant coach Jay Triano, a former head coach of the Toronto Raptors, was named interim coach. Triano was an assistant at Portland before coming to Phoenix last year.Watson was promoted from assistant to interim coach of the Suns after Jeff Hornacek was fired Feb. 1, 2016. The interim tag was removed on April 19 of that year.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutWith an extremely young team, the Suns struggled under Watson. He compiled a 33-85 record. Watson’s only full season was 2016-17, when the team went 24-58.The 38-year-old Watson played collegiately at UCLA and in the NBA for 10 seasons. He often spoke of his long talks with John Wooden, emphasized togetherness and a family atmosphere to nurture the young squad but wins were hard to come by. QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort In this Oct. 21, 2017, photo, Phoenix Suns head coach Earl Watson watches action during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers in Los Angeles. The Suns have fired coach Watson just three games in to the NBA season. Phoenix announced the firing Sunday night, Oct. 22, after hours of meetings at the team’s headquarters. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)PHOENIX — The Phoenix Suns have fired coach Earl Watson just three games in to the NBA season.The Suns announced the firing Sunday night after hours of meetings at the team’s headquarters.ADVERTISEMENT Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. And owner Robert Sarver apparently didn’t like what he saw. Phoenix is 0-3 and two of the losses were especially ugly. The Suns were blown out 124-76 by the Portland in their season opener Wednesday night, the most one-sided loss in franchise history and the most one-sided season opener for any NBA team.Phoenix was routed by the Clippers in Los Angeles 130-88 on Saturday night.“I Dont wanna be here,” point guard Eric Bledsoe tweeted Sunday, just as the news of Watson’s firing surfaced in an ESPN report.The tweet by Bledsoe, a former Clipper, was followed by one from the Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan saying “Come back home bro.”Bledsoe has been rumored in possible trades for months.Watson’s dismissal is the first NBA coaching change in well over a year. Hornacek’s hiring by the New York Knicks, which was finalized in June 2016, had been the most recent change — and the irony there is that Watson got the job in Phoenix with 33 games left in the 2015-16 season, after the Suns fired Hornacek.ADVERTISEMENT
Venus Williams of the United States pauses between points as she plays Spain’s Garbine Muguruza in the Women’s Singles final match on day twelve at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London Saturday, July 15, 2017. (David Ramos/Pool Photo via AP)NEW YORK — Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova and John Isner will headline World TeamTennis, which begins its 42nd season on Sunday.Williams, who finished runner-up at Wimbledon on Saturday, will play her sixth season for the Washington Kastles. She’ll travel to Philadelphia to face the Freedoms on July 24 and be home for the Springfield (Missouri) Lasers on July 25.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Harden plans to be in Houston ‘forever’ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet El Nido residents told to vacate beach homes Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant MOST READ National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress The six-team coed league also features Wimbledon semifinalist Sam Querrey and Australian Nick Kyrgios on the Kastles.Sharapova recently returned to the WTA after a doping ban and skipped Wimbledon because of a thigh injury. She plays for the Orange County Breakers, who face the defending champion San Diego Aviators on Sunday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsIsner and Eugenie Bouchard play for the New York Empire.The WTT final is Aug. 5 in San Diego. Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ LATEST STORIES View comments
For all that the World Cup is billed to be, there are a few contests that carry their own baggage, irrespective of the forum and format. Sri Lanka and Australia contests are played on a tinder box ready to burst into action any moment.Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga during a training sessionThe two teams face off at the Premadasa Stadium on Saturday in a Group A match that will have a bearing on the quarter-final line-up and also prove how the teams have coped with recent off-field ‘incidents’. Players from both teams have been accused, directly or indirectly, of indulging in fixing in this World Cup. If Australian openers Brad Haddin and Shane Watson were reportedly under the lens of the ICC anti-corruption unit for unusually slow batting against Zimbabwe during a game in Ahmedabad, a local channel in Sri Lanka accused Mahela Jayawardene and Thilan Samaraweera of throwing a match against Pakistan. Both episodes have since died down but such accusations don’t leave the players’ mind so easily. These incidents have added spice to an already fiery encounter, given what happened in the 1996 World Cup.That time, Australia and West Indies refused to tour Sri Lanka following bomb blasts in Colombo and the hosts entered the quarter-finals even before playing a single game. The Sri Lankans then had a dream run to the final, where they, ironically, met the Aussie and beat them in the final at Lahore.But when the teams enter the ground on Saturday, the baggages will have to be left in the dressing rooms. Current form and team balance will matter and this is where the difference between the two teams has narrowed down. The Australian team of the previous World Cups were so far ahead of the competition, most teams lost a large part of the battle even before the toss. But the current Australian side has a few shortcomings which Krejza – and will rely on their pace attack.advertisementBut it’s not a bad attack to rely on. Brett Lee, Shaun Tait and Mitchell Johnson form one of the fastest and most potent pace battery seen in recent times. A lot of sides have opened the bowling with spinners this World Cup but teams can expect a barrage of thunderbolts from the Aussies first up. On the batting front, the form of Watson and Clarke will be of comfort. Skipper Ponting is slowly returning to form and fitness and will be the backbone of the line-up. The Sri Lankans have a few niggling concerns in their batting. Their middle order was exposed by Pakistan last Saturday and with a lethal pace attack to contend with, any frailties will be out in the open.They, however, have a trump card up their sleeve in paceman Lasith Malinga. He played his first game of this World Cup against Kenya and picked up a hat-trick and will be expected to give the initial breakthroughs on Saturday.The wicket at the Premadasa isn’t the minefield it used to be under lights, so chasing won’t be disadvantage. But with the overcast conditions seen over the past few days, the pacers could have a say in the game. There is very little separating the two teams. The Aussies have a proud record in ICC tournaments and Sri Lanka make the best possible use of home conditions. It could well turn out to be a case of who blinks first. the Sri Lankans know can be exploited.With Michael Hussey out of their side, the ability of their batting lineup to handle the Lankan spin attack will be severely tested. Skipper Ricky Ponting, Shane Watson and Michael Clarke will be the best bet against an attack which might have three spinners in Muttiah Muralitharan, Ajantha Mendis and Rangana Herath.The defending champions have a spinner with modest abilities – Jason Krejza – and will rely on their pace attack. But it’s not a bad attack to rely on. Brett Lee, Shaun Tait and Mitchell Johnson form one of the fastest and most potent pace battery seen in recent times. A lot of sides have opened the bowling with spinners this World Cup but teams can expect a barrage of thunderbolts from the Aussies first up. On the batting front, the form of Watson and Clarke will be of comfort. Skipper Ponting is slowly returning to form and fitness and will be the backbone of the line-up.The Sri Lankans have a few niggling concerns in their batting. Their middle order was exposed by Pakistan last Saturday and with a lethal pace attack to contend with, any frailties will be out in the open.advertisementThey, however, have a trump card up their sleeve in paceman Lasith Malinga. He played his first game of this World Cup against Kenya and picked up a hat-trick and will be expected to give the initial breakthroughs on Saturday.The wicket at the Premadasa isn’t the minefield it used to be under lights, so chasing won’t be disadvantage. But with the overcast conditions seen over the past few days, the pacers could have a say in the game. There is very little separating the two teams. The Aussies have a proud record in ICC tournaments and Sri Lanka make the best possible use of home conditions. It could well turn out to be a case of who blinks first.