Copper fields Quantum criticality in hightemperature cuprate superconductors

first_img The research team of Asst. Prof. Johnpierre Paglione faced significant challenges in designing and implementing an experiment to determine the relative importance of quantum criticality in the cuprates. “The relevance of quantum criticality to shaping the properties of the cuprates is a pivotal question that remains unsolved,” Paglione tells “There are several ‘phases’ of these materials, including insulating, anomalous metallic, superconducting and normal metallic ground states – and understanding how these phases arise, coexist, and interact will allow for understanding the underlying physics that gives rise to them.” This is, he adds, the key impetus motivating researchers to understand the phase diagram of the cuprates.“One of the main challenges in doing so,” Paglione continues, “lies in the fact that there are few actual compounds that can be tuned through the full phase diagram – that is, from parent compound Mott insulator, through the anomalous non-Fermi liquid metallic/superconducting phase, to over-doped ‘normal’ metal. Well-known compounds like yttrium barium copper oxide (YBCO) have a limited range of chemical tuning – by way of oxygen doping or rare earth substitution – which make it difficult to study their properties through all three of these regions of the phase diagram, resulting in the necessity to patch together results from different systems to obtain what is widely held to be the generic cuprate phase diagram.” Luckily, Paglione points out, there are some systems, such as the “hole-doped” (La,Sr)2CuO4 and “electron-doped” (La,Ce)2CuO4 that allow for a wide range of substitution – and ongoing work has made use of these to answer many questions.“Another challenge,” Paglione explains, “lies in understanding the details and importance of some of the anomalous normal state properties, that is, above the temperature where superconductivity exists. In particular, most studies to date have focused on the hole-doped cuprates because their superconducting phases exhibit the highest transition temperatures, but these systems all harbor the infamous ‘pseudogap’ phase (a state where the Fermi surface of a material possesses a partial gap) on the underdoped side of the superconducting phase. Much effort has been spent on understanding whether this phase is a ‘friend or foe’ of superconductivity.” ( — Superconductivity is a complex phenomenon that is considerably more intricate than many casual observers realize. This caveat applies equally to the subset of this research known as high-temperature superconductivity – which, it should be noted, is described as such only in relation to the near absolute zero temperature range at which conventional superconductors are found, and furthermore is not to be confused with the loftier goal of room-temperature superconductivity. That said, certain aspects of electronic properties in high-temperature copper oxide, or cuprate, superconductors imply that the absence of conventional metallic Fermi liquid behavior – the standard model of electrons in metals – and the presence of unconventional superconductivity are closely related. While such a partnership often occurs proximate to what is known as a quantum critical point (a special class of continuous phase transition that takes place at the absolute zero of temperature in a material where the phase transition temperature has been driven to zero by the application of a pressure, field or through doping), the role of quantum criticality in the cuprates has remained elusive. Recently, however, researchers at the Center for Nanophysics and Advanced Materials and Department of Physics, University of Maryland, have studied the anomalous properties of the cuprate material La2-xCexCuO4, or LCCO, concluding that quantum criticality plays a significant role in shaping the anomalous properties of these superconductive materials. Copyright 2012 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of Another issue was that cuprate superconductivity is an amazing phase, having the highest transition temperatures and critical magnetic fields of any known material – but for the purposes of studying the underlying ground state that gives rise to Cooper pairing this is actually a key difficulty. ”Specifically,” Paglione notes, “to study the true ground state properties at the lowest energy scales – those approaching absolute zero – superconductivity must be somehow suppressed. Such high temperatures and fields make it extremely difficult to do high-sensitivity experiments in a practical manner.”Addressing these issues required no small amount of ingenuity, as well as the particular LCCO compound used in the study. “Firstly,” notes Paglione, “this compound is unique in that it can be synthesized with a wide range of cerium (Ce) concentrations that span across the entire phase diagram, from insulating (x=0) to overdoped metallic (x>0.175). Secondly, this is an electron-doped system, in which the anomalous pseudogap phase is absent. Therefore comparisons of its anomalous properties to those of its hole-doped counterparts with the pseudogap present has allowed us to identify traits common to both, and therefore not associated with the pseudogap phase.” This includes, most importantly, the linear-in-temperature normal state resistivity that surrounds the superconducting phase. “We can now associate this anomalous scattering with the presence of well-characterized magnetic fluctuations that are almost magnetically ordered, giving strong reinforcement to the well-known hypothesis of quantum critical fluctuations dominating the properties of the normal state,” Paglione explains.The lower transition temperatures and critical fields of this system allowed the team to probe the ground state in their lab using high but practically attainable extremes of temperature (0.020 Kelvin) and magnetic field (17 Tesla). “With this, we discovered a striking quantum critical scaling of the physical properties with the ratio of temperature to field, which is not seen in a normal metal due to an upper energy scale of the electron system – the Fermi energy – that dominates all characteristics of the metal, such that the normally static factor of temperature is now dynamic. This is a telltale sign of quantum criticality.”In addition, Paglione points out, there are other innovations that might be developed and applied to the current experimental design. “Due to the crystallographic nature of the LCCO system, it is only stable in thin-film form and therefore single-crystalline samples cannot be synthesized easily.” This is a drawback, since further study of the thermodynamic properties of the system – such as heat capacity and magnetization, which require more sample mass to detect – in the quantum critical regime would allow further insight into its physical description and origin. “Higher magnetic fields and even lower temperatures would allow us to extend the range of applicability of the anomalous properties and therefore further elucidate the extent to which standard model solid state physics fails to explain these materials,” says Paglione.Relatedly, the team has already defined the next steps to be applied to their research. “Currently we’re most interested in observing the same phenomena in other cuprate materials, allowing for more general conclusions to be made. In particular,” Paglione illustrates, “the similarities of the overdoped side of the phase diagram between hole- and electron-doped cuprates are striking, and they carry a strong potential statement about what governs the demise of superconductivity with increasing doping but require further verification in different compounds.”One particularly interesting outcome of the study is how the team’s findings impact the development of using the selective response of spin fluctuations and superconductivity to magnetic fields and charge doping to segregate the resulting two distinct signatures of criticality. “The observation of two distinct signatures of quantum criticality is an interesting find. We expected to see only one signature of critical magnetic fluctuations, as given by one set of critical exponents, since an incipient magnetic order and its strong quantum fluctuations are what most people believe lies ‘underneath the dome’ and drives the Cooper pairing. The observation of a second flavor of quantum fluctuations, which we conclude arises from the demise of the superconducting transition temperature to absolute zero, suggests that fluctuations of this separate type of order – that is, superconducting, not magnetic – can also cause anomalous physical properties to arise. These may in fact be the cause of most properties associated with the overdoped side of the phase diagram, including the suppression of superconductivity itself and the strong tuning of the eventual normal metal Fermi liquid ground state.” Paglione points out that a theory exists for this type of superconducting fluctuation, but a calculation of the expected transport properties has not been done. However, he adds that they are working with Prof. Galitski at the University of Maryland to do just this.Finally, Paglione explains, there are other research areas and applications that might benefit from their findings. “The study of quantum criticality is a wide field of research that overlaps with superconductivity in several areas, including the cuprates but also in heavy-fermion systems and the more recent discovery of superconductivity in iron-based materials. Our results have implications for all of these areas, where a strong interplay of superconductivity and magnetism results in an easily tunable phase diagram of the sort found in the cuprates. Beyond that,” he concludes, “a deeper understanding of high-temperature superconductivity in cuprates and iron-pnictides has the potential to allow for crystallographic engineering of new compounds that could harbor even higher superconducting transition temperatures useful for room temperature power, electronic and communications applications.” Explore further Swimming upstream: Flux flow reverses for lattice bosons in a magnetic field Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences More information: Quantum critical scaling at the edge of Fermi liquid stability in a cuprate superconductor, PNAS, Published online before print May 9, 2012, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1120273109 Doping evolution of magnetic field-temperature phase diagrams of La2-xCexCuO4. (A-D) The magnetic field dependence of the evolution of superconducting (yellow), Fermi liquid (blue), and non-Fermi liquid (red, white) ground states of the electron-doped cuprate system La2-xCexCuO4 is shown for several electron doping levels (x). Image Copyright © PNAS, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1120273109 Citation: Copper fields: Quantum criticality in high-temperature cuprate superconductors (2012, June 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Study suggests blue hue for tarantulas not about attracting a mate

first_img Explore further A greenbottle blue tarantula (C. cyaneopubescens) on a branch. Despite its name, saturated, bright green color rarely occurs in tarantulas. Credit: Michael Kern, A look at the critically endangered gooty sapphire ornamental tarantula (P. metallica) from the underside. Metallic blue color can be seen on the femurs. Credit: Michael Kern, © 2015 A look at the critically endangered gooty sapphire ornamental tarantula (P. metallica) from the underside. Metallic blue color can be seen on the femurs. Credit: Michael Kern, A microscopic image of a multilayer nanostructure inside a tarantula’s hair that is responsible for its vibrant blue color. Credit: Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego A microscopic image of a multilayer nanostructure inside a tarantula’s hair that is responsible for its vibrant blue color. Credit: Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego A front view shot of a critically endangered gooty sapphire ornamental tarantula (P. metallica) and its reflection. Credit: Michael Kern, Scientists have known for quite some time that many species of tarantula have parts that are colored blue, but have not been able to figure out why that is. In this latest effort, the researchers sought to find that answer by looking at digital image of 53 genera, focusing on the different hues between species and the location of the coloring. They followed that up by obtaining samples of several species and examined them under a normal microscope and then used reflectance spectroscopy and electron microscopy to get a better look.Their close analysis revealed that the blue hue comes about due to the arrangement of nanocrystals in the hairs that grow on their body, which reflect blue wavelengths of light, though not all the shades in the different species are the same—they are very close. They also found evidence that indicated that the blue color evolved separately at least eight different times in different species, suggesting there must be a strong purpose for it, though they still do not know what it is. They also found that not all species cause blue light to be reflected in the same way, suggesting that it is not related to a different trait such as an ability to repel water. Journal information: Science Advances In addition to having poor eyesight, the researchers report that the tarantulas do not appear to try to use their blue color to capture the attention of a mate, suggesting the purpose is likely for signaling, such as to help with evading predators, or fooling prey. How that might work though, remains a mystery especially when noting that tarantulas are nocturnal—they hunt at night. Despite not solving the riddle of the blue hue, the work by the team did show that the colorations though bright, are not very iridescent, a finding that with more study could lead to wide-angle lenses for phones that are less energy intensive. More information: B.-K. Hsiung et al. Blue reflectance in tarantulas is evolutionarily conserved despite nanostructural diversity, Science Advances (2015). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1500709AbstractSlight shifts in arrangement within biological photonic nanostructures can produce large color differences, and sexual selection often leads to high color diversity in clades with structural colors. We use phylogenetic reconstruction, electron microscopy, spectrophotometry, and optical modeling to show an opposing pattern of nanostructural diversification accompanied by unusual conservation of blue color in tarantulas (Araneae: Theraphosidae). In contrast to other clades, blue coloration in phylogenetically distant tarantulas peaks within a narrow 20-nm region around 450 nm. Both quasi-ordered and multilayer nanostructures found in different tarantulas produce this blue color. Thus, even within monophyletic lineages, tarantulas have evolved strikingly similar blue coloration through divergent mechanisms. The poor color perception and lack of conspicuous display during courtship of tarantulas argue that these colors are not sexually selected. Therefore, our data contrast with sexual selection that typically produces a diverse array of colors with a single structural mechanism by showing that natural selection on structural color in tarantulas resulted in convergence on similar color through diverse structural mechanisms.Press release (—A team of researchers affiliated with the University of Akron and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography has found via lab study that the blue color present in many species of tarantula does not appear to be related to attracting a mate. As they report in their paper published in the journal Science Advances, both genders have limited eyesight and do not appear able to discern the color blue. A critically endangered adult female gooty sapphire ornamental tarantula (P. metallica), native to India. A blue hair is observed under an electron microscope. The hair is symmetric with an array of rod-like, tubular foldings projecting longitudinally on its periphery.  Organized multilayered nanostructures were observed, which produced the bright blue reflection as seen under the microscope. Credit: Tom Patterson [upper]; B.-K. Hsiung, UAkron [lower]; D. Deheyn. UC San Diego (SIO) Image: Pluto’s blue sky Citation: Study suggests blue hue for tarantulas not about attracting a mate (2015, November 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Study highlights differences between cities planning efforts for global warming

first_img As the planet warms, cities are beginning to feel the pressure of protecting the people that live in them and the assets that keep them running. But to date, the authors note, little research has been done to find out just how much effort is being taken by city planners, as measured in money spent on mitigation projects or how much difference there is between major cities. The authors sought to partially remedy that situation by combing through documents that detail city planning, expenditures and other measures taken by 10 mega-cities across the globe, during the years 2009 to 2015, to deal with environmental problems likely to be caused by global warming, e.g. flooding, water scarcity, increased rates of disease.In looking at the data and analyzing the results, the team was able to generate numbers that represented how much was being spent by different cities along with percentages of GDP for those cities on mitigation efforts, which allowed them to compare and contrast the different efforts between the cities under study, which included New York, Mumbai, London, Addis Ababa, Paris, Beijing, Sao Paul, Mexico City, Jakarta and Lagos.The team reports that it was no surprise to learn that cities in more developed countries have been spending more on such efforts than those in developing countries—the surprise was how huge the differences between them was. They found for example, that New York City spent approximately a hundred times as much as Addis Ababa last year. There were also differences in the amount spent compared to population size—Paris for example, spent approximately 397 Euros per person, whereas Addis Ababa spent just 4.7.The team also reports that though it is difficult to measure, there appears to be a bias towards protecting capital assets over the people that live in the cities and not enough effort is being put into research to determine which threats individual cities face so that funds for mitigation efforts can be allocated more wisely. On an optimistic note, they found that all of the cities in the study were spending more each year on mitigation efforts. © 2016 The Manhattan skyline at night. Credit: Michael Mase Explore further More information: Lucien Georgeson et al. Adaptation responses to climate change differ between global megacities, Nature Climate Change (2016). DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2944 Stanford scientist examines ways to put stormwater to use in big citiescenter_img Citation: Study highlights differences between cities planning efforts for global warming (2016, March 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. A small team of researchers with University College London and kMatrix Ltd, Greetham House has conducted a study of urban preparedness efforts by ten major cities around the world in an effort to learn more about how resources are being allocated to deal with changes coming due to global warming. The group has published the results of their efforts as a LETTER article in the journal Nature Climate Change. Journal information: Nature Climate Changelast_img read more

Astronomers discover a giant planet spinning up its star

first_img Astronomers discover seven new giant exoplanets Unbinned instrumental r band light curve of HATS-18 folded with the period P = 0.8378434 days resulting from the global fit. The solid line shows the best-fit transit model. In the lower panel we zoom–in on the transit; the dark filled points here show the light curve binned in phase using a bin-size of 0.002. Credit: arXiv:1606.00848 [astro-ph.EP] Explore further More information: HATS-18 b: An Extreme Short—Period Massive Transiting Planet Spinning Up Its Star, arXiv:1606.00848 [astro-ph.EP] report the discovery by the HATSouth network of HATS-18 b: a 1.980 +/- 0.077 Mj, 1.337 +0.102 -0.049 Rj planet in a 0.8378 day orbit, around a solar analog star (mass 1.037 +/- 0.047 Msun, and radius 1.020 +0.057 -0.031 Rsun) with V=14.067 +/- 0.040 mag. The high planet mass, combined with its short orbital period, implies strong tidal coupling between the planetary orbit and the star. In fact, given its inferred age, HATS-18 shows evidence of significant tidal spin up, which together with WASP-19 (a very similar system) allows us to constrain the tidal quality factor for Sun-like stars to be in the range 6.5 <= lg(Q*/k_2) <= 7 even after allowing for extremely pessimistic model uncertainties. In addition, the HATS-18 system is among the best systems (and often the best system) for testing a multitude of star—planet interactions, be they gravitational, magnetic or radiative, as well as planet formation and migration theories. In order to find exoplanets orbiting HATS-18, the team used the Hungarian-made Automated Telescope Network-South (HATSouth) to obtain over 10,000 images of this sun-like star. This observation campaign was carried out between April 2011 and July 2013. The astronomers also conducted a series of follow-up spectroscopic observations in 2015, utilizing the 2.3 m telescope at the Siding Spring Observatory in Australia and the 2.2 m MPG/ESO telescope at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Chile.The radial velocity signals collected by the researchers allowed them to distinguish a sinusoidal variation in phase with the transit ephemeris, confirming the presence of a massive planet around HATS-18. According to the study, the newly detected exoplanet has a radius of about 1.34 Jupiter radii and is two times more massive than our solar system's biggest planet. The orbital period of HATS-18b equals 0.84 days. This exoworld is a typical example of a "hot Jupiter"—a gas giant planet with characteristics similar to the solar system's biggest planet. Hot Jupiters have high surface temperature as they orbit their host stars very closely.What intrigues the scientists about the newly found planetary system is that the planet appears to be tidally spinning up the star."The high planet mass, combined with its short orbital period, implies strong tidal coupling between the planetary orbit and the star. In fact, given its inferred age, HATS-18 shows evidence of significant tidal spin up," the researchers wrote in the paper.Penev and his colleagues believe that this system could be one of the best laboratories for testing theories of star–planet interactions and planet formation. They noted that modeling this "spin-up" effect for this system alone would bring promising results regarding the tidal dissipation efficiency."Such modeling may begin to disentangle some of the very poorly understood physics behind tidal dissipation by measuring its dependence on various system properties. (…) Extremely short-period planets like HATS-18b provide a fantastic laboratory to test a range of interactions between the planet and the star, and hence, expanding this sample is extremely valuable for the study of extrasolar planets," the paper reads.The researchers propose performing similar studies on a larger number of exoplanet systems, especially on all planets with extremely short orbital periods like HATS-18b. These future analyses could provide new insights on the dependence of tidal dissipation on planetary system parameters. In conclusion, the team endorses more systematic studies of other giant exoworlds similar to HATS-18b."Clearly, a more systematic effort to analyze all suitable exoplanet systems and properly account for the stellar angular momentum loss uncertainties is bound to yield very meaningful constraints on the stellar tidal dissipation, as well how it changes with various system properties," the team wrote. (—A giant "hot Jupiter" exoplanet has recently been detected by an international team of astronomers led by Kaloyan Penev of Princeton University. The newly found alien world, designated HATS-18b, is an interesting case of a planet tidally spinning up its parent star. Moreover, this planetary system could be a great laboratory for researchers when it comes to testing theories of planet–star interactions. The new findings were presented in a paper published online on June 2 on © 2016 Citation: Astronomers discover a giant planet spinning up its star (2016, June 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Life in cartoon motion

first_img‘It is amazing to bring Dora here. The Indian market is absolutely ready for live shows of this scale and size,’ said Australian director Luke Gallagher, whose company Life Like Touring conceptualised and designed the show.The 80-minute-show titled ‘Dora’s Pirate Adventure,’ based on one of the tele-episodes of Nickelodeon, is scheduled to run at Siri Fort for three days, beginning 27 December, with three shows a day.‘This particular episode is the writer’s favourite and it has always had a wonderful response. Children get involved in this production,’ Gallagher told in an interview. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’‘Dora the Explorer’ show is based on a girl named Dora and her quest to reach a place. The play promises to be a ‘play and learn’ extravaganza for children.‘Dora will ask children questions and then they will respond to her queries. She will ask them which way she should go and she should do, so in that way she will engage them. It is more like empowering children by giving them an opportunity to speak their mind,’ Gallagher said.The original episode, which is 22 minute long, has been expanded to close to an hour long play with many changes and additions. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix‘There have been moments added where decisions have to be made going from place to place. The tele-episode typically hosts three locations but for the play it is all about the process of going from one location to another.‘Songs have also been added. Dora will also have her best friend Boots the monkey, Diego and rest of her friends with her in her adventures,’ the director said.‘Dora’s Pirate Adventure is an impressive production. The LED behind the performance will have the animated series going on. It was an intensive process. The background will move, ocean will go on, sea gull will fly by and things like that,’ Gallagher said.WHEN: 27 December onwards, 12 pmWHERE: Siri Fort Auditoriumlast_img read more

SC refuses to hear plea for bail cancellation of NSEL scamster Shah

first_imgA bench headed by Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose did not entertain the petition filed by a group of investors on the ground that it had no locus to challenge the Bombay High Court order granting bail to Shah in the case.The court said that certain individuals had approached it and not the state government or the prosecuting agency. Shah, former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Financial Technologies India Ltd, is an accused in the National Spot Exchange Limited payment crisis case. Also Read – I-T issues 17-point checklist to trace unaccounted DeMO cashThe Bombay High Court had on 22 August granted bail to Shah on a bond of Rs 5 lakh and a surety of like amount. He was arrested on 7 May for his alleged involvement in the Rs 5,600 crore payment crisis at subsidiary National Spot Exchange. The police have charged Shah with criminal conspiracy, breach of trust, cheating and forgery under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, and under certain provisions of the Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors Act. Also Read – Lanka launches ambitious tourism programme to woo Indian touristsMeanwhile, the turnover of the commodity bourses fell by 52 per cent to Rs 34.52 lakh crore during the April-October period this fiscal due to sluggish volumes in almost all commodities, according to the Forward Markets Commission (FMC).The exchanges had generated a business worth Rs 71.60 lakh crore in the same period last year, the FMC said in its latest report. The commodity markets regulator said that the business fell in almost all commodities — agriculture, bullion, metals and energy on the exchanges platform. Experts attributed the fall in business mainly to higher transaction costs especially after the imposition of commodity transaction tax (CTT) from last year onwards. The turnover from bullion fell by over 62 per cent to Rs 12.13 lakh crore in the April-October period of the 2014-15 fiscal, from Rs 32.17 lakh crore in the year-ago.Similarly, the business from energy items declined by over 53 per cent to Rs 8.16 lakh crore from Rs 17.48 lakh crore, the turnover from metals declined by 43 per cent to Rs 7.51 lakh crore from Rs 13.11 crore in the review period.The turnover from agricultural commodities too fell by 24 per cent to Rs 6.70 lakh crore in the April-October period of this year, as against Rs 8.82 lakh crore a year ago. At present, there are four national and six regional level exchanges operating in the country.last_img read more

Let second be the first

first_imgThe women who have been a foil to the innocent-as-lamb image of the leading lady by their courage, their boldness and their sexual freedom take a centre-stage in this exhibition. It will showcase B-grade horror cinema like – Zibah Khana,  Zinda Laash,  Aurat Raj from Pakistan and Indian movie  Miss Lovely.The debate around representations of women in Hindi cinema and its surrounding cultural production has often exposed the unabashed sexual objectification that the female form has been subjected to. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’This strain of argument, while not altogether false, seems simplistic and buys into the much-contested narrative of the ‘woman as victim’. It is surprising how within the seemingly homogenous fabric of sexualised representations of women on film, there are multiple and diverse narratives of women of the entertainment industry who claimed their sexual identities with pride and earned their living, in spite of perceived social stigma, by generating a sexual ethos through their bodies within the language of Hindi films, an ethos which was central to cinema becoming a truly mass medium. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixIn a moment of art imitating life, many of the women who played these roles were in reality from backgrounds very different from the prima donnas of Bombay. This exhibition takes a look at visual representations of the second-heroines, anti-heroines and vamps, attempting to interrogate how the tropes have changed and modified over time. Paul noted, ‘ I had been collecting oleographs from calendar art and advertising materials for some years, when a dealer came by with hundreds of lobby cards and posters. These were fragile paper objects and I realised that they would soon be destroyed. It seemed like an urgent project to me, and I started collecting as many such artefacts as I could.  I looked for images that had a strong graphic quality; that juxtaposed tradition with modernity; that were amusing or curious in some way; and of course, those that had actors and films I could recognise.’Where: Khoj Studios, Khirkee Extension When: 26 November – 8 December Timing: 11 am to 7 pmlast_img read more

Nepal Opp to hold up constitution drafting via majority votes

first_imgA meeting of the 19-party alliance led by UCPN (Maoist) on Sunday decided to strongly retaliate if the new constitution is bulldozed through majority votes without considering the rights of minorities including the Madhesis.The Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)-led alliance has accused the ruling parties, Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN- UML, of conspiring to promulgate new constitution on January 22 by mobilising the army, police and government employees. It has also decided to oppose the promulgation of constitution through any such process. Also Read – Pro-Govt supporters rally as Hong Kong’s divisions deepenUCPN (M) Chairman Prachanda proposed the defiance accusing the ruling alliances of trying to adopt the procedural way to draft the constitution without forging consensus among political parties.The political parties have been trying to find common grounds on the key contentious issues such as federalism, judiciary, electoral process and forms of governance in the constitution.They have set January 22 deadline to draft the new constitution. Meanwhile, pro-Hindu Rastriya Prajatantra Party Nepal has demanded to reconvert the country into a Hindu nation. Also Read – Pak Army ‘fully prepared’ to face any challenge: Army spokesmanNepal was declared a secular state through Parliament declaration in 2008 when monarchy was abolished after Maoists came to power.At a function organised here to mark the National Unity Day coinciding with the birth anniversary of late Prithvinarayan Shah, who unified smaller states into a bigger country two and half a century ago, party president Kamal Thapa ruled out the possibility of drafting a new constitution by the stipulated deadline. He said his party will organise protests if the country is not re-converted to a Hindu nation in the new constitution.Former Home Minister Thapa also claimed that national unity and sovereignty of the country have weakened and his party is launching a campaign to strengthen it. Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, attended the function.last_img read more

Paint the world festive

first_imgHave no concrete plans for Holi yet and are bored with the usual farm house parties in Delhi? Get a car and drive down to Bharatpur, Rajasthan. Three hours and we assure you that you will have the chance to experience a very different kind of Holi. The Braj Holi Festival organised by the Department of Tourism (DOT), Government of Rajasthan and the District Administration is being celebrated with lot of fervor and enthusiasm. The event, which will go on for the entire week ending with the final celebrations of Holi on 6th March, was held across Bharatpur, Deeg and. The district administration conducted a nature walk, photography exhibition and a seminar at the Keoladeo National Park. Spread over 29 square kilometers the reserve, locally known as Ghana, boasts of 366 bird species, 379 floral species, 50 species of fish, 13 species of snakes, 5 species of lizards, 7 amphibian species, 7 turtle species, and a variety of other invertebrates.      Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Besides a calming dose of a long walk through the reserve, Rajasthani folk artistes performed at the Udyog Mela, Gramin Haat in the evening of 28th February. Renowned singer, Anuradha Paudwal enthralled the audience at a mega evening concert, organised at the MSJ College Ground in Bharatpur. Known for her songs like Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahi and many more, Paudwal got the city ready for Holi, not letting rains dampen spirits. On 1st March, various rural sport competitions like kabaddi, cricket match, wrestling and tug of war were organised at the Lohagarh Stadium. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe Deeg Palace grounds thronged with people as artistes livened the mood with their performances. The sprawling palace grounds were bright with people celebrating amidst fountains of coloured water and spring flowers. Everyone present there, young or old, irrespective of their caste or creed participated happily as the rain clouds gave way to the sun.Later in the evening, the well known Shree Krishna Dance Ballet was performed by the Delhi-based Shree Ram Kala Kendra. At Kaman, various Holi festivals like Gulal Holi, Doodh-Dahi Holi, Laddu Holi, Phoolon ki Holi, Latthmar Holi were organised at Gokul Chandramaji temple, Madan Mohanji Temple, Radha Vallabhji temple, while Rajasthani folk artistes performed at different bazaars throughout the day. At Kot Upar Stadium, Kaman, artists performed at the Maharaas which was the centre of attraction for the audience.  Entry to all the events during the festival was free of cost with high security around.The Braj Holi Festival was celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm in the state and the entire region looked magnificent with the beauty of dashes of colors in the air. So if Delhi isn’t cool enough – you know where to head to! Have a great Holi!last_img read more

Developing a smarter framework

first_imgWith the simultaneous launch of the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), Housing for All and the coveted Smart Cities Mission (SCM) on June 25, 2015, it was a landmark day in the evolution of India’s urban agenda. The message of convergence emerging from the common launch of all three programmes will hopefully be sustained in the future while implementing them.The Smart City guidelines seek the convergence of different schemes like AMRUT, Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY), Digital India, Skill Development, Housing for All, construction of Museums funded by the culture department and other programmes connected with social infrastructure such as health, education and culture. SCM, with an outlay of Rs.48,000 crore ($7.5 billion), is expected to enhance the quality of life in 100 cities, which will be identified over the next few months. Also Read – Gateway of criminal justiceSince the initial declaration of building Smart Cities in the BJP’s election manifesto in early 2014, the Modi government’s plans on this front have been taking shape slowly, and will need time to evolve. The SCM guidelines highlight the need for a holistic approach to urban development. This will require an integration of physical, institutional, social and economic infrastructure. Thus emerges the need for a strategically articulated framework to address a city’s urban challenges, which will greatly aid this process of integration. This framework should focus on a more process-oriented path than a  Also Read – Turning a blind eyesimple project-oriented path.The guidelines provided by the government do not mention a specific definition of Smart City. There are, however, four key imperatives that emerge from the guidelines along with various other perspectives on smart cities obtained from both academic literature and deliberations in India over the last 15 months. The first imperative is that a city needs to be sustainable in order to be smart. This will mean that the interventions under the Smart Cities Mission need to align their goals, objectives and processes to the overarching principle of sustainability. The Draft Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) released by the United Nations can be a useful and handy reference. The key principles emerging from SDGs include ensuring well-being, equity, efficiency, and embedding foresight in all plans and actions. Adhering to these principles at all stages of all programmes will ensure consistency in the outcomes achieved and thus enable the much-intended convergence of programmes sought by the Smart Cities Mission Guidelines.The second imperative that emerges is the importance of imbibing the characteristics of good governance for achieving sustainability. For example, transparency, accountability, participation and consensus-building are some of the key characteristics of good governance, which form the foundation for ensuring equity.The third imperative is to understand the role and use of technology in urban development. There needs to be a departure in the way technology is being portrayed as the panacea of all urban ills. It is, in fact, an important enabler, which can yield the desired results only when applied in a context-specific manner. Collective vision, supportive policy instruments and domestic stability are equally important in achieving smartness in a city through technology.The fourth and a frequently discussed imperative is that urban institutions, especially the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) need the capacity to work towards the three imperatives mentioned so far. This gains additional significance as the prime minister himself has said that ULBs will be key instruments in implementing the Smart Cities Mission.The four imperatives mentioned above suggest that India needs to formulate concrete Terms of Reference (ToR) to realise the Mission’s objectives, drawing from the initial ideas proposed in the Guideline. A reference framework based on a set of guiding principles is needed to enable state and city governments to implement different schemes, understand the complementarity of schemes and maintain consistency. This Smart City Reference Framework (SCRF) for India can be envisaged to be the point of departure from other urban development initiatives. The Smart Cities Mission needs to initiate this to gain both short-term (such as meaningful utilisation of investments under various schemes) and long-term benefits (such as initiating important structural reforms in urban planning and management processes, empowered by technology). The Reference Framework should be the overarching and all-encompassing umbrella that will guide all urban development and related schemes to achieve sustainable urban development in India. Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP), a Bengaluru-based Think Tank, has been working on reconceptualising various notions associated with smart cities in India. The culmination of this study is a set of ToR, which is also being referred to as the Smart City Reference Framework(SCRF). The final report of this study will be released in mid-July, under the aegis of NITI Aayog.The positioning of SCM can be seized as an opportunity to address the challenges discussed in this article and achieve the larger goals of urbanisation featured in the national development agenda. The complementarity of the schemes presents the biggest opportunity in this trajectory of urban development. It could also be the biggest challenge! Streamlining the efforts of various organisations by ensuring that various aspects of sustainable urban development are addressed will be a critical factor in taking this Mission forward “smartly”.last_img read more