HC seeks Centre, CBI response on reinvestigation of SSC exam leaks

A plea field by several job aspirants alleged that the officials of the SSC, private vendors and others were a part of the syndicate selling seats for Rs 10-20 lakh per candidate.

The Delhi High Court on Thursday asked the Centre and CBI to file their response on a plea by several job aspirants seeking reinvestigation into the cases of Staff Selection Commission (SSC) paper leaks.

Justice S P Garg listed the matter for July 26 on the plea filed by 44 people.

The job aspirants also sought setting up of an enquiry commission headed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court or the High Court in connection with the repeated offences such as cheating in the SSC exam.

The petition said that multiple FIRs are lodged every year over leaks of question papers and several persons are arrested for allegedly aiding the aspirants to cheat for money, but in none of the cases, the probe agencies have been able to bust the racket and arrest the main persons involved in the organised crime.

Advocate Anurag Ahluwali accepted the notice for the Central government and the SSC, while advocate Narender Mann did so on behalf of the CBI.

The plea claimed that the syndicate was still operating as officials from the department of SSC have never been arrested. It alleged that the probe agencies have failed to identify the source of the leaks and the main perpetrators of the crime were still untouched.

“The modus operandi of the syndicate is supported by ultra-modern technologies and the commission of the crime gets detected at very few places as the local police agencies are not well equipped technologically,” it said.

The plea alleged that the officials of the SSC, private vendors and others were a part of the syndicate selling seats for Rs 10-20 lakh per candidate.

The plea said that the exams are conducted for sensitive posts such as inspector, sub-inspector, constables of para-military organisations, National Investigating Agency, Central Bureau of Investigation, Intelligence Bureau, Income Tax, Central Excise, Delhi Police and various coveted post across the government ministries.

“These posts are so sensitive in nature that selection of a tainted candidate can jeopardise the national security of the country,” it said, adding that the future of many deserving candidates has been ruined because of the inaction of authorities to stop the offences since 2013.

The Supreme Court had in March this year dismissed a PIL seeking a CBI probe into the SSC paper leak case after the Centre informed it that the probe agency has already started investigating it.

Amid protests over alleged paper leak, the SSC had recently recommended a CBI probe into it.

 

[“source=hindustantimes”]

With the launch of TESS, NASA will boost its search for exoplanets

illustration of TESS telescpope

NASA is stepping up its search for planets outside our solar system. Its next exoplanet hunting telescope, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), is due to launch from Cape Canaveral on the evening of April 16.

Following the Kepler space telescope’s discovery of more than 5,000 possible exoplanets since 2009, TESS will continue the galactic census — flagging more planetary candidates for further study.

Astronomers expect TESS to find about 20,000 planets in its first two years in operation, focusing on nearby, bright stars that will be easy for other telescopes to investigate later. About 500 of those expected exoplanets would be less than twice the size of Earth — and therefore may be good places to look for life.

NASA’s next exoplanet hunting telescope, TESS

SMALL BUT MIGHTY NASA’s next exoplanet hunting telescope, TESS, is only 1.5 meters tall (shown here with engineers). Its size is partly due to the fact that it was designed to launch on NASA’s small Taurus rocket, but will instead launch on a larger SpaceX Falcon 9 on April 16.

ORBITAL ATK

The TESS mission is “a whole new opening for exoplanet studies,” MIT astronomer Sara Seager, TESS’ deputy science director, said during a news conference describing the upcoming launch.

TESS will be the first NASA science mission launched on the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Once in orbit, the spacecraft will trace an unusual, elliptical path between Earth and the moon that will enable it to observe at least 85 percent of the sky — 350 times as much sky as Kepler saw.

Most of the planets found by Kepler orbit stars 1,000 light-years away or farther. TESS will focus on 200,000 stars that are a few hundred light-years away at most, and shine between 30 to 100 times brighter on average than Kepler’s.

The brighter the star, the easier it is to determine its planet’s characteristics, such as its mass and whether it has an atmosphere, Seager says. “Photons are our currency — the more, the better,” she says.

That follow-up will help TESS avoid some of Kepler’s pitfalls. Because Kepler’s stars were so far and so dim, some of its planet candidates were confirmed as actual planets only by statistics rather than by other telescopes. And not all those confirmations may stick. A recent paper posted at arXiv.org showed that Kepler 452b, an Earth-sized planet that orbits a sunlike star at the same distance Earth orbits the sun, may be a mirage (SN: 8/22/15, p. 16). Many of TESS’ planets won’t face the same uncertainty.

the TESS sattelite

COASTING IN SPACE The TESS satellite’s unusual 13.7-day orbit uses the moon’s gravity to stabilize it, so it needs little fuel. During the part of the orbit colored blue, TESS will observe the sky. During the part marked in orange, it will transmit data back to Earth. The gray ring marks the moon’s orbit.

NASA

But the way TESS will search for exoplanets is the same as Kepler: The satellite will watch stars for signs of dimming, which can indicate that a planet is transiting, or crossing in front of, the star. Measuring how much starlight is blocked can tell astronomers the size of the planet.

Once TESS finds a planet, astronomers will need more information to understand its qualities, such as whether it’s rocky or gassy (SN Online: 6/19/17). For that, other telescopes will follow up. Ground-based telescopes will measure the gravitational tug of a planet on its host star to learn the planet’s density, which is a clue to its composition. Astronomers plan to measure masses for at least 50 TESS planets that are smaller than Neptune in the hopes that many of them will have rocky, and therefore potentially habitable, surfaces.

Undiscovered country

Before TESS, most known planets were more than 1,000 light-years away, with a few closer than 30 light-years (a parsec is 3.26 light-years). TESS (orange circles) will fill in the gap. The size of the circles represents how easy the planets are to find.

graph showing where TESS will be able to detect planets
ZACH BERTA-THOMPSON

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, now scheduled to launch in 2020, will then check some of those planets for signs of life (SN: 4/30/16, p. 32).

“This is one of the major questions that TESS is intended to answer: Where will we be pointing Webb?” said the mission’s principal investigator, MIT astronomer George Ricker, at the press conference. Webb will peer at the starlight filtering through planetary atmospheres to try to detect molecules that could be produced by something living on the surface.

It will take a few months for TESS to swing into its regular orbit before it begins collecting data. At that point, it will be able to use the moon’s gravity to stabilize itself for decades in orbit without using extra fuel. The mission is set to last two years, but could continue taking data almost indefinitely.

“TESS is not going to be limited by any expendable or other aspects,” Ricker said. “It will be basically limited by how long NASA has the patience to fund the mission.”

[“Source-sciencenews”]

PM Narendra Modi congratulates ISRO for launch of navigation satellite IRNSS-1I

Image result for PM Narendra Modi congratulates ISRO for launch of navigation satellite IRNSS-1I

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Moditoday congratulated ISRO scientists for the successful launch of navigation satellite IRNSS-1I and said it will benefit the common man of the country.

ISRO’s navigation satellite INRSS-1I was today launched by PSLV-C41 from the spaceport at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh and was successfully placed in the designated orbit.

“Congratulations to our scientists on the successful launch of navigation satellite IRNSS-1I by PSLV. This success will bring benefits of our space programme to the common man. Proud of team @isro!” the prime minister tweeted.

The PSLV-C41/IRNSS-1I Mission blasted off at 4.04 am from the first launchpad at the Sathish Dhawan Space Centre. It was a normal lift-off, ISRO officials said.

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)Chairman K Sivan described the mission as a success and congratulated the scientists.

He said IRNSS-1I was successfully placed in the designated orbit.

IRNSS-1I is expected to replace IRNSS-1A, the first of the seven navigation satellites, which was rendered ineffective after its three rubidium atomic clocks failed. The seven satellites are part of the NavIC navigation satellite constellation.

The launch is ISRO’s second attempt at sending a replacement satellite.

[“Source-economictimes”]

46% of marketers aren’t sharing regular customer insights with sales

Almost half (46%) of marketers only share customer insights, data and feedback with sales teams at most once a month, according to a new study.

New research from experience management company Qualtrics, conducted with 260 in-house marketing professionals, examines the extent to which marketers are working in a silo across many businesses. While integration with sales is lacking, the disconnect with other departments and teams is even more pronounced.

While 54% of marketers regularly share customer insights and feedback with sales, only 50% do so with customer service teams, 29% with the wider workforce, and 27% with the board or C-level executives.

While some marketers may question the need to keep the wider business in touch with customer insights, according to Qualtrics it is only by sharing data that businesses can develop truly effective customer experiences. Leonie Brown, Customer Experience Consultant for Qualtrics EMEA, explains: “Great customer experiences cannot exist in a vacuum. Brands must guarantee that every aspect of the customer journey is delivering a consistent, seamless and high quality experience. To achieve this, everyone involved – from sales staff to delivery drivers to the CEO – must understand how the customer thinks, behaves and what they are looking for.

“Access to data goes a long way to improve each interaction along the customer journey, but information alone isn’t enough. Today the vast amount of data that brands are using look only to the past for insights, reflecting previous shopping habits, purchases and behaviours. By bringing together insights from every customer touchpoint we can unlock “Experience Data” — or X-data — which reveals why consumers behave in the way they do and predicts their next move. That is the real secret to a successful customer experience.”

To find out more about the role of X data in customer experience management, download Qualtrics’ full report here.

Methodology

Qualtrics commissioned a survey with a panel of 260 marketing professionals in July 2017. All respondents worked in-house (rather than agency-side) in UK-based organisations employing at least 50 people and had a minimum of two years’ experience in a marketing role. A second survey of 250 consumers was conducted in August 2017 using the Qualtrics platform.

[“Source-netimperative”]