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World’s largest chain of volcanoes discovered in Australia

The world’s longest chain of continental volcanoes stretching for over 2,000 kms and formed over the past 33 million years has been found in Eastern Australia.The ancient volcanic chain reportedly runs from Cape Hillsborough on the central Queensland coast, south-west through central New South Wales to Cosgrove in Victoria.“This volcanic chain was created over the past 33 million years, as Australia moved north-northeast over a mantle plume hotspot which we believe is now located in Bass Strait,” the study’s lead author Rhodri Davies of Australian National University, said. “This track, which we’ve named the Cosgrove hotspot track, is nearly three times as long as the famous Yellowstone hotspot tracks on the North American continent,” he said, adding this kind of volcanic activity is surprising because it occurs away from tectonic plate boundaries where most volcanoes are found.

The authors examined 15 extinct volcanoes in eastern Australia that had been known about for quite some time and appeared to follow a generally similar track.“The volcanoes in central Queensland showed an age progression, so they got younger towards the south, and so too did those in New South Wales and Victoria,” Mr. Davies said.

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Origin of Saturn's ring, satellites revealed

Japanese researchers have revealed that Saturn's F ring and its shepherd satellitesare natural outcome of the final stage of formation of Saturn's satellite system.
According to the latest satellite formation theory, Saturn used to have ancient rings containing many more particles than they do today, and satellites formed from spreading and accretion of these particles.During the final stage of satellite formation, multiple small satellites tend to form near the outer edge of the ring.

In their simulations using in part computer systems at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, professor Ohtsuki Keiji and student Hyodo Ryuki from Kobe University revealed that the F ring and its shepherd satellites formed as these small satellites with a dense core collided and partially disintegrated.In other words, the system of the F ring and its shepherd satellites is a natural outcome of the formation process of Saturn's ring-satellite system."As plans are underway in and outside of Japan to explore the satellite system of Jupiter and the satellites of Mars, we will continue to unravel the origin of satellite systems, which is key to understanding the formation process of planetary systems," Ohtsuki said.The F ring is very narrow with a width of only a few hundred km and has two shepherd satellites called Prometheus and Pandora, which orbit inside and outside the ring, respectively.Although the Voyager and Cassini spacecraft later made detailed observations of the F ring and its shepherd satellites, their origin has not been clarified till now.Saturn, which is the second largest planet in our solar system, is known to have multiple rings and satellites.This new finding is expected to help elucidate the formation of satellite systems both within and outside our solar system.The paper was published online in the journal Nature Geoscience.

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India makes debut in top 200 world university rankings; IISc Bangalore, IIT Delhi in the list

Two of the India's premier institutes have featured in the top 200 of the Quacquarelli Symonds' (QS) World University rankings 2015/16 rankings.The Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore has bagged the 147th rank, highest among Indian institutes while IIT Delhi has grabbed 179th place.This marks the first time that IISc has entered the rankings while IIT Delhi has moved up all the way from 235th spot last year.A total of 14 Indian institutes have featured in the QS World University ranking with 7 institutes making it to top 400.7 institutes including IISc Bangalore (147th), IIT Delhi (179th), IIT Bombay (202nd), IIT Madras (254th), IIT Kanpur (271st), IIT Kharagpur (286th), IIT Roorkee (391st) figure in the top 400.IIT Guwahati, University of Delhi, University of Calcutta, Banaras Hindu University, Panjab University, University of Mumbai and University of Pune are on the list as well but beyond the top 400.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has retained the top spot for the fourth consecutive year. Harvard University has moved up two places to rank second, followed by the University of Cambridge and Stanford University in joint third.This is the 12th edition of QS' annual ranking of the world's top universities, which uses six performance indicators to assess institutions' global reputation, research impact, staffing levels and international complexion.

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Indo-Maldivian Joint Military Exercise Concludes

The sixth edition of Ekuverin-2015, the annual joint military training exercise between the Indian Army and the Maldives National Defence Forces (MNDF), concluded at the Military Station, Pangode.Brigadier Samir Salunke, Station Commander, Pangode Military Station, presents a memento to Brig Ali Zuhair of the MNDF in T’Puram 
The 2016 edition will be held in Maldives.   Brigadier Samir Salunke, chief director of the exercise and Station Commander, Pangode Military Station, and Brigadier Ali Zuhair of the MNDF oversaw the final phase of the exercise. Senior officials from both armies, who reviewed the exercise, expressed their satisfaction over the level of training and jointmanship achieved between the troops, a defence spokesperson said.A total of 45 MNDF marines and an equal number of soldiers of the Indian Army’s Bihar Regiment took part in the two-week-long exercise. The bilateral annual exercise commenced in 2009 at Belgavi and is hosted alternately by India and the island nation for enhancing military cooperation and interoperability between the two forces. Ekuverin-2015 was also the first joint exercise involving an international contingent to be held in Thiruvananthapuram.

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Indian American teen Swetha Prabhakaran, entrepreneur to get White House award

Swetha Prabhakaran, an Indian American teen entrepreneur and founder CEO of Everybody Code Now!, will receive the prestigious 'Champions of Change' award at the White House on Tuesday.Prabhakaran, 15, a junior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, in Virginia, founded non profit Everybody Code Now! to empower the next generation of youth to become engineers, scientists, and entrepreneurs."Under Swetha's direction, Everybody Code Now! has taught hundreds of students how to code and has raised thousands of dollars for STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) activities in schools," the White House said."Her mentorship programmes have transformed shy young girls into confident students, community leaders, and budding technologists," it said.Prabhakaran is among 11 young women selected by the White House as recipients of 'Champions of Change'.In addition to her passion for science and computers, Prabhakaran, who was born in Indianapolis, is an avid Bharatanatyam dancer.

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Malcolm Turnbull Is Sworn In as Australia’s New Prime Minister

The  party coup to install Malcolm Turnbull as Australia’s fourth prime minister in just over two years has exposed deep unease about the resource-dependent country’s sharply slowing economy and a political system that lets small groups of politicians oust elected leaders.

The 60-year-old former investment banker unseated Tony Abbott as leader of the ruling Liberal-National coalition government  in a party rebellion, as voter surveys pointed to defeat for the ruling Liberal-National coalition at federal elections due next year. Mr. Turnbull was sworn and became the country’s 29th prime minister.

He now faces many of the same challenges as his predecessor, first among them how to revive an economy in which a recession may be imminent after 24 years of avoiding one. Australia’s economy expanded just 0.2% in the second quarter from the first, the slowest pace in four years, as China’s slowing economy translates into less construction of skyscrapers, bridges and railways—hurting demand for raw materials like iron ore. 
“We need to have in this country…an economic vision, a leadership that explains the great challenges and opportunities that we face, that describes the way in which we can handle those challenges, seize those opportunities, and does so in a manner that the Australian people understand,” Mr. Turnbull said.
The latest ouster caps nearly a decade of instability in Australian politics that has splintered both major political parties.

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Bangladesh PM Hasina wins UN award for leadership on climate change

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been announced as one of the winners of the United Nations Champions of the Earth award in recognition of her country's initiatives to address climate change.

"Serving as Prime Minister of Bangladesh - one of the world's least-developed countries - Sheikh Hasina has proven that investing in climate change is conducive to achieving social and economic development," said the announcement issued by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), which confers the awards.UNEP noted that Bangladesh is one of the world's most populated countries, with over 159 million people. It is also one of the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Cyclones, floods and droughts have long been part of the country's history, but they have intensified in recent years.

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Gujarat tops ease of doing business ranking

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state Gujarat has ranked at the top of an assessment of state implementation of business reforms sponsored by the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP).Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh are the remaining states in the top five.While poll-bound Bihar placed 21st, Arunachal Pradesh came last with a rank of 32.The DIPP on 8 June released a framework to assess and rank states in terms of ease of doing business on 98 parameters. Its aim was to assess various factors enabling the ease of doing business in each state, and to compare the states.

The DIPP had mentioned eight areas in which states would be ranked: setting up a business, allotment of land and obtaining construction permit, complying with environmental procedures, complying with labour regulations, obtaining infrastructure-related utilities, registering and complying with tax procedures, carrying out inspections and enforcing contracts.

The move is expected to encourage states to carry out reforms in areas such as land acquisition and labour laws, where the Modi-led central government is finding it difficult to make legislative headway.

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Utkal Alumina gets IDA Award for CSR in education

Utkal Alumina International Ltd has been conferred with 'IDA Award 2015 for Excellence in CSR in Education' by providing access to quality education for the underprivileged sections of society.In all, 28 companies were in contention for the category, of which four corporates reached the final stage and were invited to the awards function on September 10 at Bengaluru International Exhibition Centre, the company said in a statement.

'IDA Awards' are presented by India Didactics Association, the premier trade association for the education and training fraternity, it added.The trophy, along with a certificate of award, was received by M Ramesh Kumar, Senior Vice President (HR, Admin & CSR) and Siba Mahapatra, AGM (CSR) from the Deputy Prime Minister of Jordan, Dr Mohammad Thneibat, the statement said.Utkal Aluminas activities in this sphere include setting up of an ITI at Kashipur and providing artisan training to displaced and project affected persons.

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India ranked at 22nd in the AFC technical rankings

India's recent defeats to Guam, Oman and Iran may have been disheartening, but the Asian Football Confederation's (AFC) newest technical ranking system is bound is to spread cheer. According to the latest input, India are ranked at 22nd amongst 46 Asian countries and the highest amongst all of its South Asian neighbours. 

As per guidelines, the latest ranking methodology by the AFC takes into account the performance of the national team and the clubs in AFC bracket of competitions (AFC Cup and AFC Champions League) over the last four years. 30 per cent of points weightage is handed to the national team whilst clubs' performance in the AFC competitions carries the remaining 70 per cent of allocated marks.It is also to be noted here that the AFC Cup participant teams earn less points than their AFC Champions League participating counterparts. One AFC Cup point carries 1/3 the value of the AFC CL point awarded. 

India meanwhile, being ranked at 22nd in the AFC table and 27th best Asian team according to FIFA's rankings, has accumulated a total of 18.636 points. The national team's performances have earned the team 11.951 points whilst clubs performances in the continental competiton have earned the nation a total of 6.685 points. Indian clubs who finish the preceeding season as champions do get the opportunity to play in the AFC CL through a qualifier but generally don't make it through and they are then automatically slotted into the second tier competition. All second placed teams in the I-League have a direct entry into the AFC Cup. Of all the clubs to have participated at the Asian-level, East Bengal are the most predominant having taken part in three of the last four AFC Cups, in 2012, 2013 and 2015. They are followed by Churchill Brothers, now in I-League division two, and most recently Bengaluru FC. 

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