After high decibel campaign, Rajasthan, Telangana vote today: All you need to know

Police personnel march in front of the Hawa Mahal ahead of Rajasthan Assembly elections, in Jaipur. (Photo: PTI)

After a high-voltage campaign that saw a fierce war of words among the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress and other regional parties, voting in two of the most crucial states, Telangana and Rajasthan, has started Friday.

What is likely to throw some light on how the 2019 Lok Sabha elections would turn out, these state elections will set the stage for the mega battle next year.

As soon as polling ends on Friday, media outlets, including India Today TV, will announce their respective exit poll results.

TELANGANA

In Telangana, more than 1.50 lakh polling officials, including reserve staff were seen giving final touches on Thursday to make the election to the 119-member House a smooth affair.

Over 2.80 crore electorate are eligible to exercise their franchise in the state, which has a total of 32,815 polling stations for the 119 stations.

High pitched campaigns by political heavyweights across party lines ended at 5 pm on Wednesday.

Additional DG (law and order) Jitender told PTI on Thursday that about one lakh police personnel, including 25,000 central paramilitary forces and 20,000 from other states are engaged in poll duties.

A senior police official said security has been beefed up at bordering areas for the polling on Friday, which were identified as Left Wing Extremist-affected regions.

On Wednesday, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao and several others criss-crossed the entire state to give that final push to the campaign before the state votes on Friday.

While KCR was without doubt the star campaigner for TRS, the Congress and the BJP fielded their bigwigs for campaigning which turned out to be a shrill one.

A massive TRS rally in Telangana’s Vemulawada on Wednesday. (Image: TRSParty/Twitter)

The BJP relied on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the party president Amit Shah.

The assembly polls in Telangana were originally scheduled to be held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha elections next year, but the House was dissolved on September 6 as per a recommendation by the state cabinet.

It is to be seen if KCR’s gamble to opt for early elections pays off while the BJP and Congress have alleged that KCR feared loss if the elections were held simultaneously with the 2019 general elections.

The Congress has stitched the ‘Prajakutami’ (People’s Front) along with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), the Telangana Jana Samiti (TJS) and the CPI to take on the ruling TRS, led by KCR.

The TRS, seeking a second term in office, is going alone, as also the BJP.

The BJP, which won five seats in alliance with the TDP in the last elections in 2014, said it ensured that there is a triangular fight in Telangana this time.

Polling will start at 7 am and end at 5 pm, while in 13 constituencies which were classified as Left Wing Extremist-affected, polling ends one hour before (4 pm).

For the first time, Election Commission is using Voters Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) in Telangana.

As many as 1,821 candidates, including a transgender, are in the fray in the election.

[“source=gsmarena”]

9 Takeaways You Need To Know About Education And Tuesday’s Election

Education issues in the elections.

With the midterms on Tuesday, we’ve devoted our weekly roundup to focus on education’s role in the election. Here are our nine takeaways of key issues and trends to watch:

1. Teachers are flexing their (political) muscles

With just days to go, both of the major teachers’ unions have devoted their considerable resources to the election.

The American Federation of Teachers has its members on the ground, making calls and knocking on doors, for more than 100 key Senate, House and gubernatorial races.

While the AFT is focused more on national races, the National Education Association (the largest U.S. teachers’ union with nearly 3 million members) is primarily targeting state and local races.

This shouldn’t be a surprise. This has been a year packed with teacher activism. There were walkouts and demonstrations in five states. What did they want? Their main concerns were better pay and working conditions. Arizona, West Virginia, Colorado, Kentucky and Oklahoma are also states with some of the lowest education funding rates in the nation, as well as very low rates of teacher pay.

For education advocates, conversations on funding education are long overdue.

In a report, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities called the last 10 years, “A Punishing Decade for School Funding.” Twenty-five states are still providing less total school funding per student than they were in 2008, according to this report by the AFT.

2. Keep an eye on the governor’s races

Education is the No. 2 issue in campaign ads for governors, according to the Wesleyan Media Project. It falls to 15th when you look at federal races, says Travis N. Ridout, the project’s co-director. This, he explains, is reflective of the importance of states vs. the federal government in setting education policy.

There are 36 gubernatorial races on Tuesday. Seventeen of those, because of retirements and term limits, will see a new governor in office. And 12 states will elect governors who appoint the state school chief (often called a superintendent).

New Mexico and Maryland are two states where the governor will have to make tough choices right away: rewriting the formula used to determine how funds are distributed to schools.

3. Follow the money

Voters in Georgia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Colorado, Missouri and Utah will see education funding measures on the ballot. All told, these could add $2.6 billion for early childhood, K-12 and higher education. That’s according to the Center for American Progress.

“We’re seeing voters are looking to find ways to increase state funding for public education,” says Jessica Yin of CAP. (You can read the full report here.)

Colorado is considering the biggest increase in education funding: $1.6 billion. Amendment 73 proposes to create a Quality Public Education Fund through tax hikes for corporations and individuals who earn more than $150,000 a year.

4. ‘Non-traditional’ funding sources

Three states are looking at new sources of education revenue.

Michigan is mulling whether to legalize recreational marijuana. If approved, 35 percent of excise taxes on weed in the state would go towards K-12 education, with the rest of the revenue devoted to local governments and road repairs. Voters in Missouri are considering a similar measure. If passed, the proposal would legalize medical marijuana and funnel tax revenue towards veteran healthcare and early childhood education.

(The idea to fund education by taxing marijuana sales has appeared on state ballots before. Voters in Nevada, Oregon and Colorado approved similar measures, since as early as 2012.)

Maryland, meanwhile, is looking at casino revenue to support early education, career and technical education, dual enrollment programs and more. The measure is anticipated to generate at least $750 million in supplemental funding from 2020 to 2022.

5. A “blue wave?”

Many Democrats are predicting an anti-Trump blue wave that will lead their party to take the House. Democrats only need 23 seats to take control. The numbers, however, seem less favorable to Democrats when it comes to taking over the Senate.

So what does that mean for education policy?

Democratic control of the House could bring a new push to update the Higher Education Act. This is the main federal law governing approximately $120 billion in annual federal financial aid spending through grants, loans and work-study. It also covers anti-sex discrimination rules found under Title IX. The legislation was first passed in 1965 and last updated in 2008.

In the past year, both parties submitted their own bills with — wait for it — major differences. The two sides are currently are at an impasse, particularly on guidelines for federal student aid and regulations of for-profit colleges. A Democratic majority in the House could allow for enough bipartisan cooperation to pass a renewal, says Bethany Little, a principal of the Education Counsel, an educational consulting firm.

6. The DeVos factor

The controversial U.S. Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, has been mentioned in $3 million worth of political TV ads and dozens of Facebook ads, overwhelmingly Democratic, according to a new analysis by Politico.

In races and states where public education is a big issue, her work advocating for vouchers and charter schools, scaling back civil rights protections for students, and siding with loan servicing companies over student borrowers could motivate many voters, even though DeVos’ name isn’t on the ballot.

7. Key Race: Arizona governor

David Garcia, a professor at Arizona State University, is running on the Democratic ticket against incumbent Republican Gov. Doug Ducey.

Ducey is campaigning on how he ended the teacher walkouts this spring: by signing a bill that promised a 20 percent raise to teacher salaries. NPR has reported that the legislation does not require that every teacher get a 20 percent raise.

The race could be a nailbiter. Garcia has attacked Ducey’s record on education but has faced a “crush of spending from incumbent Ducey and his allies,” reports Bret Jaspers of member station KJZZ.

Arizona will also be voting on the future of school vouchers. Proposition 305 will try to expand the state’s voucher program from special-needs students to all students in the state.

Republican Ducey is a firm supporter of charter schools in the state, saying he’s skeptical of the “profit motive” of charter institutions.

8. Key Race: Wisconsin governor

Democrat Tony Evers, the current superintendent of public instruction, is up against Republican incumbent Gov. Scott Walker, with education as the spotlight issue of the race.

About 40 percent of voters there put K-12 education as one of their top two issues, according to polling by Marquette University Law School.

Public education has experienced a bumpy road in Wisconsin since Walker took office in 2011. Funding for K-12 schools saw a $749 million cut during Walker’s first two years in office. Last year, the state boosted funding by $649 million, a figure Walker has frequently cited in his campaign ads.

Although Wisconsin wasn’t a part of the 2018 wave of teacher walkouts, teachers there did express their brooding discontent in 2011. Teacher unions in the state lost collective bargaining rights when Walker passed an anti-union act.

(Following its passage, median salaries dropped by 2.6 percent and median benefits by 18.6 percent, and many teachers left their jobs, according to the left-leaning Center for American Progress.)

Evers is proposing increased investment in all levels of education, from early childhood through higher ed. Polling suggests Evers has an edge with independents, but according to Shawn Johnson of Wisconsin Public Radio, “Wisconsin’s Republican Party has a proven record of getting its voters to turn out.”

9. One key congressional race

Keep an eye on this one: West Virginia’s 3rd Congressional district. It’s an open seat in an impressively red district that’s currently held by a Republican, and yet Democrats see a chance to flip it blue.

Polls suggest a competitive race between two state lawmakers: Democrat Richard Ojeda and Republican Carol Miller.

Ojeda is a state senator, army veteran and former high school teacher. Miller is a member of the state House of Delegates and a small business owner.

As state senator, Ojeda has been a fierce advocate for education, including better pay for teachers. He became the face of teacher walkouts in the state earlier this year, to the point where some protesters chanted his name, reported Politico.

For her part, Miller has focused her campaign on economic growth, particularly for the coal industry, gun rights and combating the opioid epidemic.

Miller is a pro-Trump candidate, riding on the tailcoat of the president’s success in the region. Ojeda, on the other hand, has vocalized regret for voting for Trump in 2016. (In 2016, 73 percent of voters in the district voted for President Trump.)

[“source=ndtv”]

Xiaomi Mi A2 Set to Launch in India Tomorrow: Here’s Everything You Should Know

Xiaomi Mi A2 Set to Launch in India Tomorrow: Here’s Everything You Should Know

Xiaomi Mi A2 India launch live stream is scheduled to start at at 4pm tomorrow

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Xiaomi Mi A2 launch event is scheduled to start at 4pm on August 8
  • It will be live streamed for fans to watch in real-time
  • Xiaomi will give 100 people who register for the live stream F-codes

Xiaomi Mi A2 India launch is scheduled to start in less than 24 hours, marking the entry of only the second Xiaomiphone part of the Android One initiative in the country. The new Mi A2 smartphone is the follow-up to last year’s Mi A1, and the company is emphasising its cameras in its social media teasers. Gadgets 360 has previously learnt the smartphone’s base variant, unveiled in Spain last month, will not be coming to the Indian market. Instead, the 4GB RAM and 64GB storage model will serve as the entry point for the new model. Also, the smartphone will be an Amazon exclusive in India. The specifications of the handset are already known, so the Xiaomi Mi A2 price in India will be the big draw for all the fans. Here’s what you should know about tomorrow’s launch:

Xiaomi Mi A2 live stream

The Xiaomi Mi A2 India launch is scheduled for 4pm IST, and there will be a live stream. However, the link is not yet live, and we will update this story as and when it becomes available. Xiaomi fans looking forward to the Mi A2 launch in India can register for the live stream on the official site and 100 of these registrants will win F-codes for the handset.

Xiaomi Mi A2 price in India, specifications

As mentioned above, the Mi A2 price in India is not yet known. The smartphone was unveiled with price tag of EUR 279 (about Rs. 22,500) for the 4GB RAM + 64GB storage variant and EUR 349 (about Rs. 28,000) for the 6GB RAM + 128GB storage option. While the former is confirmed to launch in India at tomorrow’s event, the company was said to be still deliberating on the latter.

ALSO SEEXiaomi Mi A2 vs Mi A2 Lite: What’s Different?

As for the specifications, the dual-SIM (Nano) Xiaomi Mi A2 runs an optimised stock version of Android 8.1 Oreo, certified by Google’s Android One programme, and sports a 5.99-inch full-HD+ (1080×2160 pixels) display with a 18:9 aspect ratio, 2.5D curved glass, and Gorilla Glass 5. It is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC, paired with an Adreno 512 GPU.

 

In the camera department, the handset sports a dual rear camera setup. It consists of a 12-megapixel Sony IMX486 with f/1.75 aperture and 1.25-micron pixels, and a 20-megapixel secondary Sony IMX376 sensor with f/1.75 aperture and a 2-micron 4-in-1 Super Pixel size. The rear camera setup comes with dual-tone LED flash and PDAF. On the front, the handset gets a 20-megapixel Sony IMX376 selfie camera with f/1.75 aperture, fixed focal length, and a soft-LED flash. There is a 3,010mAh battery under the hood, and the India variant will come with Quick Charge 4 for fast-charging support.

In terms of connectivity, the smartphone includes 4G LTE, Bluetooth v5.0, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Miracast, an IR emitter, and USB Type-C. There is no 3.5mm headphone jack on the Xiaomi Mi A2. Sensors on the handset include accelerometer, ambient light sensor, gyroscope, and proximity sensor.

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Xiaomi Mi A2

Xiaomi Mi A2

  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS
Display5.99-inch
Processor2.2GHz octa-core
Front Camera20-megapixel
Resolution1080x2160 pixels
RAM4GB
OSAndroid 8.1 Oreo
Storage32GB
Rear Camera20-megapixel
Battery Capacity3010mAh
BUY AT
  • Xiaomi Mi A2
    Launching 8th August
    Buy

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

India Successfully Test-Fires Agni-5 Ballistic Missile: All You Need To Know

India Successfully Test-Fires Agni-5 Ballistic Missile: All You Need To Know

ICBM Agni-V is most advanced missile in the Agni series.

India successfully test-fired nuclear capable surface-to-surface Agni-5 Ballistic Missiletoday, boosting indigenous missile capabilities and deterrence strength of the country. Agni-5 is the most advanced missile in the Agni series with a strike range of over 5,000 kilometres. Agni-5 was test-fired at about 9:54 am from launch pad number 4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Abdul Kalam Island, earlier known as Wheeler Island, off Odisha coast. During the test-fire, the sophisticated missile travelled for 19 minutes and covered 4,900 km. With the first testing of Agni-5, India had become a part of the super-exclusive club of countries with ICBMs or inter-continental ballistic missiles in 2012.
Here are 10 Facts about Agni-V Ballistic Missile:
  1. Agni-5 is most advanced missile in the Agni series with new technologies incorporated in it in terms of navigation and guidance, warhead and engine. It has a range of over 5,000 km.
  2. The redundant Navigation systems, very high accuracy Ring Laser Gyro based Inertial Navigation System (RINS) and the most modern and accurate Micro Navigation System (MINS) had ensured the missile reached the target point within few metres of accuracy, said an official of Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO).
  3. After four successful developmental trials, this was the first user associate test of Agni-5 missile, sources said.
  4. Agni-5 missile has a high speed on-board computer and fault tolerant software along with robust and reliable bus. Its path is precisely directed by the advanced on-board computer and inertial navigation system.
  5. The three-stage, 17-metre tall, two-metre wide Agni-5 missile is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead of about 1.5 tonnes.
  6. The missile so programmed that after reaching the peak of its trajectory it will turn towards Earth to continue its journey towards the intended target with an increased speed due to the attraction of the earth s gravitational pull, DRDO official said.
  7. The first two successful flights of Agni-5 missile in 2012 and 2013 were in open configuration. Agni-5 has higher reliability, longer shelf life, less maintenance and enhanced mobility.
  8. At present, Agni series missiles that India has in its armoury are: Agni-1 with 700 km range, Agni-2 with 2,000 km range, Agni-3 and Agni-4 with 2,500 km to more than 3,500 km range.
  9. The first test of Agni-5 was conducted on April 19, 2012, the second on September 15, 2013, the third on January 31, 2015 and fourth trial on December 26, 2016 from the same base.
  10. With testing of Agni-5, India had become a part of the super-exclusive club of countries with ICBMs or inter-continental ballistic missiles after US, Britain, Russia, China and France.

(With Inputs From PTI)

[“Source-ndtv”]