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India's Manushi Chhillar is Miss World 2017

BEIJING, Nov 18: Indias Manushi Chhillar today won the coveted Miss World 2017 crown at a grand event in China, bringing to an end the countrys dry spell of 17 years at the top pageant contest.

The 20-year-old from Haryana, who is a medical student, edged out top five contestants from England, France, Kenya and Mexico at the event, which saw participation from 118 countries.

Chhillar was presented the crown by Stephanie Del Valle, the last years Miss World winner from Puerto Rico at an event held at a resort in the coastal city of Sanya.

"Thank you, everyone, for your constant love, support, and prayers. This ones for India," Chhillar wrote on her official Twitter handle.

The first and the second runners-up were Miss England Stephanie Hill and Miss Mexico Andrea Meza at the event, which was televised live globally.

In the top five round, Chhillar was asked which profession according to her deserved the highest salary.

"I think a mother deserves the highest respect and when you talk about salary its not always about cash but I feel its the love and respect that you give to someone. My mother has always been the biggest inspiration in my life.

"All mothers sacrifice so much for their kids. So, I think it is the job of a mother that deserves the highest salary," Chhillar said to a wide-applause.

Chhillar is the sixth Indian to win the coveted crown, which was first won by Reita Faria back in 1966.

Aishwarya Rai had bagged the title in 1994, followed by Diana Haydon in 1997, Yukta Mookhey in 1999 and Priyanka Chopra in 2000, the last for India.

Chhillars win brings India at level with Venezuela as the countries with most victories in the history of the pageant.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated her for the Miss World 2017 crown.
"Congratulations @ManushiChhillar! India is proud of your accomplishment," he said in a tweet.

Taking to the Twitter, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar praised Chhillar and said, "I congratulate Haryanas daughter Manushi Chhillar on winning the Miss World crown."

In a statement, Chhillar said: "The feeling is still sinking in and very excited to make India proud too. Im also looking forward to the year ahead.

"My parents have always been my pillar of support and having them here tonight by my side has only brought me more strength and joy. My final answer also came to me by having them here with me in front of me".

According to Chhillars profile on the Miss World website, her father, Dr. Mitra Basu Chhillar, is a scientist at the Defence Research and Development Organisation, while her mother, Dr. Neelam Chhillar, is an associate professor and department head of neurochemistry at the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences.

Chillar studied at St. Thomas School in New Delhi, and is pursuing a medicine degree at the Bhagat Phool Singh Government Medical College for Women in Sonipat.

She aims to be a cardiac surgeon and wants to open a chain of non-profitable hospitals based in rural areas.

A trained Indian classical dancer, Chhillar has a passion for outdoor sports and actively participates in paragliding, bungee jumping, snorkelling and scuba diving besides sketching and painting.

Her personal motto, as described on the website, reads: "When you cease to dream you cease to live" and "Courage to give flight to your dreams and the ability to believe in yourself makes life worth living".

‘She is gifted’: Miss World Manushi Chhillar is a would-be doctor, poet, painter and dancer

NEW DELHI, Nov 18: As soon as Manushi Chhillar was crowned the Miss World-2017 title in the Chinese city of Sanya on Saturday, her uncle’s house in Rohtak was abuzz with celebrations. She is the first Indian woman to bag the title after Priyanka Chopra won the pageant in 2000.

“She is gifted. Since childhood she liked playing with dolls and dress herself. But she also wanted to serve the people. Even though she has become Miss World she will go on to complete her medical studies,” Manushi’s aunt Dr Usha Chhillar and her professor of dermatology at the BPS Medical College.

The family members said she is a good poet, painter and Kuchipudi dancer. She is working on her project on menstrual hygiene as well.

Manushi, who originally belongs to Bamnoli village in Haryana’s Jhajjar district and is a third-year MBBS student at BPS Medical College for Women, Khanpur Kalan, in Sonepat, wants to be a cardiac surgeon.

Manushi comes from a family of doctors. Her father, Dr Mitrabasu Chhillar, is an endocrinologist at the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), Delhi, and mother, Dr Neelam Chhillar, is a doctor at the Institute of Human Behavior and Allied Sciences (IHBAS), Delhi. Both her parents are presently with Manushi in China.

Manushi did her schooling from Bengaluru and Delhi. She scored 96% in Class 12 boards and topped the CBSE in English examination.

Her uncle, Dr Dinesh Chillar, who is posted at the Gohana civil hospital, said she has taken a break from studies for one year and will continue with her third year in next batch. “Her college is extremely supportive and celebrated all her achievements,” he said.

Manmohan Singh chosen for Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development

NEW DELHI, Nov 18: Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will be conferred the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development for 2017.

The award jury, which chose the 85-year-old economist and politician for the award, was chaired by former President Pranab Mukherjee.

The Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust said in a statement that Singh was chosen for his leadership of the country and its achievements during the momentous ten years from 2004 to 2014.

The trust said Singh got the prize for his contribution to the cause of economic and social development, for improving India’s stature in the world and its relationship with its neighbours and the leading nations, and for his dedication to the security and well being of ordinary citizens regardless of their faith, caste, religion or language.

An internationally renowned economist, Singh entered politics as finance minister in the PV Narsimha Rao government, where he piloted the 1991 economic liberalisation programme. He was leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha between 1998 and 2004, and became Prime Minister when the United Progressive Alliance formed the government in 2004.

As Prime Minister, he was responsible for significant initiatives, including the nuclear deal with the US and the Copenhagen climate change accord. “The ten years of his prime ministership were not only period of rapid economic and social change, they witnessed the lowest terrorist violence, prolonged communal harmony, peace on the country’s borders and a globally acknowledged rise in India’s standing in the global community of nations,” the statement said.

Born in Gah (now in Pakistan), Singh is only the third Indian Prime Minister to complete two full terms.

He obtained a doctorate from Oxford University and worked with the United Nations in the 1960s before joining the Indian government as an adviser in the ministry of commerce.

Singh handled several roles during his career such as chief economic adviser, the governor of Reserve Bank of India and deputy chairman of the Planning Commission. He was also Secretary General of the South Commission based in Geneva.

NASA warns of melting ice caps; Mumbai, Mangalore at high risk of flooding

New Delhi, Nov 17: A NASA report has issued a warning for Mangalore in Karnataka and Mumbai saying that the two cities are in grave danger from floods due to melting ice caps.

Rainfall had heavily doused the two cities this season causing floods in many parts of the region. As per the report, India's southeastern coast in the state of Tamil Nadu witnessed up to 550 mm (21.7 inches) of rain in the past week, while total rainfall in southeastern India was measured at around 200 mm (7.9 inches).

NASA further confirmed information received from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center saying that computer models indicate that rains are expected to move in a northerly direction, wind speed is predicted at approximately 37 to 46.3 kilometers per hour, and with a minimum central pressure near 1004 millibars.

Moreover, the low-pressure continued to produce heavy rain in Tamil Nadu and in remote areas over south coastal Andhra Pradesh, NASA revealed.

The research, detailed in the journal Science Advances, could provide scientists a way to determine which ice sheets they should be "most worried about".

The researchers explained that as land ice is lost to the oceans, both the Earth's gravitational and rotational potentials are perturbed, resulting in strong spatial patterns in sea-level rise (SLR).

Over the next 100 years, the glacial melt may potentially rise Mangalore's sea levels by 15.98cm as and to 15.26cm in Mumbai and 10.65cm for New York, the research said.

These insights are based on data collected by a tool developed by NASA to forecast which cities are vulnerable to flooding due to the melting of ice in a warming climate.

“This provides, for each city, a picture of which glaciers, ice sheets, and ice caps are of specific importance,” researchers said, WION reported.

“As cities and countries attempt to build plans to mitigate flooding, they have to be thinking about 100 years in the future and they want to assess risk in the same way that insurance companies do,” said Erik Ivins, senior scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the US.

'I was asked to take my clothes off'

NEW YORK, Nov 4: 35-year-old popular model Sara Ziff claims that she was sexually harassed during one of her casting sessions when she was 14.

Sara Ziff was working as a model in New York City at the age of 14 when started doing runway shows and ad campaigns.

She recently opened about her sexual encounters where she faced sexual harassment at a very young age. At the commencement of her career, Ziff went to a photographer's apartment for one of her first castings her parents were unable to go with her since the appointment was set up on short notice.

'I was standing there in a pair of Mickey Mouse underwear and a sports bra; I didn't even have breasts yet. "We might need to see you without your bra," he told me. I did what he told me to. I was just eager to get liked and get the job. I didn't know any better.'

Not only the above, Sara faced another stagger when she went to a photo shoot where drugs were circulating freely, and she was made to pose in front of a backdrop of explicit images, she told a daily newspaper in New York.

At age 18, Ziff began to work on a project about the prevalent abuse models face on a regular basis which turned out to be a documentary in 2010.

Artificial Intelligence will cause mass extinction, warns Stephen Hawking

LONDON, Nov 4: Earth is becoming too small and humanity is bound to self-destruct, with AI replacing us as the dominant being on the planet, according to scientist Stephen Hawking.

Professor Hawking says that our time on Earth is numbered after we passed the point of "no return".

The theoretical physicist says that developments in AI have been so great that the machines will one day be more dominant than human beings, express.co.uk reported.

He told Wired Magazine: "I fear that AI may replace humans altogether. If people design computer viruses, someone will design AI that improves and replicates itself.

"This will be a new form of life that outperforms humans."

Hawking, 75, said that humans need to leave Earth if we are to continue as a species.

He said a new space programme should be humanity's top priority "with a view to eventually colonising suitable planets for human habitation".

This will allow us to leave Earth and colonise another planet to ensure our survival, otherwise there will be "serious consequences".

Professor Hawking added: "I believe we have reached the point of no return. Our earth is becoming too small for us, global population is increasing at an alarming rate and we are in danger of self-destructing."

Last year, at the opening of Cambridge University's artificial intelligence centre, Professor Hawking said that AI could either be the best or worst invention humanity has ever made.

"This will be a new form of life that outperforms humans."

"The potential benefits of creating intelligence are huge. We cannot predict what we might achieve, when our own minds are amplified by AI.

"Perhaps with the tools of this new technological revolution, we will be able to undo some of the damage done to the natural world by the last one - industrialisation.

"And surely we will aim to finally eradicate disease and poverty. Every aspect of our lives will be transformed, In short, success in creating AI, could be the biggest event in the history of our civilisation.

"But it could also be the last, unless we learn how to avoid the risks. Alongside the benefits, AI will also bring dangers, like powerful autonomous weapons, or new ways for the few to oppress the many."

Professor Stephen Hawking's PhD viewed two million times

LONDON, Oct 29: Stephen Hawking's PhD thesis was accessed more than two million times within days of it being made available to the public, it has been revealed.

Prof Hawking's 1966 work proved so popular on the day of its release it crashed the publications section of Cambridge University's website.

More than 500,000 people have also tried to download the paper, titled "Properties of expanding universes".

Dr Arthur Smith, from the university, called the figures "monumental".

"This is far and away the most accessed item we have in the university's Apollo repository," Dr Smith, deputy head of scholarly communication, said.

"I'd hazard a guess that Prof Hawking's PhD thesis is also the most accessed item from any research repository ever. We've never seen numbers like this before."

Prof Hawking wrote the 134-page document as a 24-year-old postgraduate student while studying at Trinity Hall, Cambridge.

The astrophysicist, who has been at Cambridge University since 1962, would later go on to write A Brief History of Time, one of the most influential scientific works ever.

Since it went live at 00:01 BST on Monday, the PhD has been accessed about two million times by about 800,000 unique browsers "from every corner of the globe", according to the university.

The next most read PhD thesis has received just 7,960 downloads in 2017.

Previously, to read Hawking's PhD in full, people had to pay £65 to the university library to scan a copy or physically go to the library to read it.

Cambridge University hopes to encourage its other former academics to make their work available to the public, like Prof Hawking has.

Dr Smith added: "Locking knowledge and information behind closed doors benefits no-one."

 



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