Andhra Pradesh First a Celebration. Positive News, Facts & Achievements about Seemandhra, Coastal Andhra, Telugu People and all the People of Andhra Pradesh – here at Home and Overseas
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    Hyderabad :

    In a major breakthrough, city-based Directorate of Rice Research (DRR), an arm of Indian Council of Agricultural Research, has discovered a gene that is resistant to rice blast. The researches said the new variety will be released as seed in the next Kharif season.

    Rice blast is a plant-pathogenic fungus that affects rice in more than 90 countries across the globe and destroys rice crop which is enough to feed about 60 million people worldwide, experts informed. Over the years, the fungus has developed resistance to both chemical and genetic  treatment in some varieties of rice. After working on the project since 2005, the new gene is now being inserted into a variety of rice which will be blast-resistant, Maganti Seshu Madhav, a DRC scientist said.

    “The worldwide ‘great blast-resistant gene hunt’ began around 10 years back. We surveyed most of the landraces (naturally formed plant varieties) collected from India as well as the varieties from different countries. We even searched wild species which are distantly related to rice. Finally our hunt ended with the discovery of the resistant gene in Vietnamese variety called ‘Tetep’,” Seshu Madhav told TOI. Madhav, who discovered the gene, cloned and transferred it (Pi-54) to popular varieties to save them from the deadly fungus.

    Scientists say the rice blast fungus, also called ‘magnaporthe grisea’ causes a huge yield loss in the country. In Andhra Pradesh , all the zones, including north coastal zone, Godavari zone, Krishna zone and the Telangana zones are prone to blast disease causing an average loss of 40%. Once the varieties are released into the market before Kharif 2014, it would eliminate use of fungicides to control the disease.

    Stating that some fungicides do control the disease partially, Seshu Madhav said when the fungicides are used intensively and regularly, the fungus rapidly develops resistance and finally destroys the crop.

    After winning many national awards and the Ohio state university’s best international research scholar award for his research on the blast resistance genes, Madhav said the Pi-54 gene will address the concern of millions of farmers.

    “Another strategy would be to develop a broad spectrum race-non specific resistance using latest molecular biology approaches,” he added. India’s first blast resistance gene (Pi-54) along with two more genes, Pi1 and Pi2, are being studied extensively. Improved varieties, are now undergoing tests throughout India and after the successful tests in Andhra Pradesh, the new varieties with blast-resistance gene will be released to farmers mostly in Kharif next year,” he added.

    Another important breakthrough for DRC has been the discovery of multiple genes, responsible for the aroma in various landraces. After determining major genes that control the aroma, Seshu Madhav, in association with Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, is working to understand metabolic profile of the chemical compound that causes aroma in rice.

    This would help in transferring the gene to local varieties, making Sona Masuri, Samba Masuri, Jaya, Nelloore Sannalu, Warangal culture, Kurnool Sona among others retain an aroma like Basmati rice. “This is bound to boost the market worldwide,” he added.

    source: / The Times of India / Home> City> Hyderabad> Gene / by Jinka Nagaraju, TNN / September 23rd, 2013

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    October 31st, 2013adminNri's / Pio's, Sports

    North American Telugu Association will conduct a cricket tournament for U13 boys in New Jersey, the organization announced.  Matches begin tomorrow, September 22nd, at Pitches 1 and 3 at the Mercer County Park, in West Windsor, NJ.

    Six matches will be held beginning 9AM, 12:30PM and 4PM on the two grounds.  The final will be held on September 29th.

    The organization, which primarily focuses on celebrating Telugu culture and traditions, has allocated significant resources on building awareness for cricket.  NATA’s North East chapter recently conducted a tennis ball tournament in Parlin, NJ in association with NJPCL and a similar tournament was conducted in New York in association with TLCA.   In May, NATA West conducted its third annual cricket tournament in Anaheim, CA.

    The NATA North East Juniors Cricket Cup marks the first initiative aimed at U13 cricketers playing with a regulation cricket ball.  The tournament is being conducted in association with CricMax.

     CLNJ youth at practice ahead of the NATA tournament.

    CLNJ youth at practice ahead of the NATA tournament.

    Dr. Pailla Malla Reddy, CEO of Bactolac and Atlantic Essential Products is the tournament’s grand sponsor.   Gold sponsors include Raghava Reddy Ghosla, Santhosh Reddy Paturi, Siva Meka and Anna Reddy.

    The tournament features six U13 teams in two groups.  Two teams – CLNJ Junior Cubs and CLNJ Junior Colts – represent the CLNJ Youth program.  The two year old program has grown in size with many of the boys coming from DreamCricket Academy.

    The Colts will be coached by Coach Earl Daley and the Cubs by Coach Damion Morgan.  In addition, a handful of boys from the CLNJ Youth program will participate as part of the other teams.  In addition to the two CLNJ U13 teams, the tournament will see the participation of four other teams – Indoor Cricket Sons of Liberty, Bridgewater Tigers, CricMax Tigers and SSU Challengers.

    NATA announced that Alvin Kallicharran, the legendary West Indies batsman will be the Chief Guest in addition to the Grand Sponsor, Dr. Pailla Malla Reddy (CEO of Bactolac and Advisory Council Member of NATA) and Dr. Sanjeeva Reddy (President of NATA).

    The tournament was catalyzed by Nagesh Mukkamalla with the help of Srikanth Lakkasagaram.  The NATA East Coast Junior Cricket committee comprising Srikanth Reddy Penumada (Chair), Nagesh Mukkamalla (Co-chair), Sarath Reddy Mandapati, Ashok Attada, Sridhar Thikkavarapu, Anna Reddy, Sarath Veta and Rajeshwar Reddy (BOD) is helping with the organization.   TV Asia will cover the tournament.  Further details can be obtained by emailing

    source: / DreamCricketUSA / Home> News / September 21st, 2013

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    The Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation is planning to have a tie-up with a Bengaluru-based company for setting up a power generation unit, on pilot basis, utilising locally available solid waste material. It came forward to set up a unit that initially utilises 25 MT of waste. It offered highly sophisticated technology from Germany that would lessen emission of greenhouse gases and other pollutants.

    “The company had put a proposal before the Corporation regarding the unit. Since it has to be approved by the government we suggested they submit in writing,” said chief engineer B. Jayarami Reddy. The modus operandi of the proposed project will be like this— GVMC has to collect waste from the city and supply to the unit for power generation. The entire activity will be on win-win basis where no one pays any costs.

    Further, many international agencies are also showing interest on power-generation from solid waste collected in the city. Reputed companies from Japan and the USA have also come forward to take up the project, said commissioner M.V. Satyanrayana.

    The proposed project would lessen financial burden on the GVMC to shift the entire material to the dumping yard located at Kapuluppada. He said when considering the relative environmental benefits of landfill and energy from waste, the most important factor is their potential contribution to climate change. Environmentalists suggest though there are a number of technologies to produce energy from waste, but the process should be done by direct combustion that reduces emission of gases.

    source: / Deccan Chronicle / Home> News> Current Affairs / DC / October 21st, 2013

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    The company will supply 670 elevators, escalators to metro rail project

    The Rs 400-crore contract signed by Otis Elevator Company (India) Limited with L&T Metro Rail (Hyderabad) Limited this year is the largest-ever to be bagged by any elevator company in the country, according Goldie Srivastava, communication director of United Technologies Corporation India Limited  (UTC). Otis is a UTC company.

    The contract is for supply of 670 elevators and escalators, which will be installed in over 66 stations, workshops and other buildings to be built by L&T Metro Rail. Otis will also maintain the units for 10 years after the two-year warranty period.

    As far as Otis is concerned, this is one  of largest contracts it has bagged world-wide so far for supply of elevators.  The next biggest contract it had won was from Hangzhou metro line 2 in China in 2012 for installation of 349 elevators. It was the second time that the Hangzhou Metro Group had chosen Otis, after the installation of 264 elevators for metro line 1.

    Otis has the distinction of supplying elevators to mass rapid transit lines in different countries, including Malaysia, Taiwan and Singapore.  In India, it had also won a contract to supply 222 escalators to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation  Phase-III project.

    Stage I of Rs 14,132-crore Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited (HMR),  comprising a stretch of 8 kilometre, is expected to be opened for public on Ugadi, the Telugu new year day, in 2015. The construction of the 72-km project, comprising three corridors, is being taken up in six stages.  Stage I is from Nagole to Mettuguda and Stage  II is from Miyapur to Sanjeevareddy Nagar, a stretch of 11 km.

    source: / Business Standard / Home> Economy & Policy> by BS Reporter / Hyderabad – October 23rd, 2013

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    Many among the 40 women farmers are now growing bitter gourd in rainy season at Pilarichettipalem village in Krishna District./ Photo: T. Appala Naidu / The Hindu

    Many among the 40 women farmers are now growing bitter gourd in rainy season at Pilarichettipalem village in Krishna District./ Photo: T. Appala Naidu / The Hindu

    Turn their patches of land into vegetable fields and make money round the year

    Women have turned into successful farmers by developing their small holdings that were not viable to grow paddy into vegetable fields and making money round the year at Pilarichettipalem of Machilipatnam rural mandal in Krishna District.

    Among the 40 women farmers engaged in producing a dozen varieties of vegetables, including leaf vegetables, most of them are landless who entered into tenancy in recent times.

    Men help out

    “Earlier the small holdings, not exceeding 5 cents in and around the village, were either left without any cultivation or used for cattle ground. Now, the average monthly profit has touched to Rs 5,000 to Rs 6,000 on these fields,” P. Krishna Kumari, who raises bitter gourd told The Hindu.

    The women grow vegetables such as bitter gourd, ladyfinger, drumstick, green chilli to amaranth and sorrel leaves based on the weather conditions. At a distance of barely 5 km from the Krishna District headquarters, Machilipatnam, the men from these families join hands to take the produce to the market and sell at remunerative prices.

    “The practice is merely to generate additional income for the family and not to lose the benefit from the fertile soil. It is clearly evident that major crops cannot be raised on these holdings due to rising input cost and thus vegetable farming has been proved viable and lucrative,” said another farmer, Yelagani Nagamani, a regular worker in the imitation jewellery industry.

    Like Nagamani, every woman active in vegetable farming also had an additional source of income from cattle rearing too. Having gained experience, a clear competition exists among the women farmers on how best one can be innovative.

    After the village witnessed a tremendous change brought by the women farmers, there were hardly any small holdings readily available to newcomers for farming.

    “The tenancy rates have also gone up to Rs 2,500 to Rs 3,000 per year on any given small land in the village, witnessing a huge demand for them,” said other farmers.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Vijayawada / by T. Appala Naidu / Machilipatnam – September 25th, 2013

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    October 29th, 2013adminLeaders, Sports


    A brain stroke, partial paralysis, a battle with cancer and a bypass surgery later, the retd. Additional SP still does a 10-kilometre run every single day

    Nothing deters him! Not a brain stroke, a cancerous growth, stones in his stomach or even five blocks in his heart.

    Overcoming all these hurdles, 63-year-old retired Additional SP Hari Har Singh, is training hard to complete yet another 10-kilometre run during the upcoming Hyderabad Marathon in the relays category next Sunday.

    In fact, finishing a 10K run is no big deal for this Sardar.

    “I do it daily since I underwent a series of surgeries. This is my way of motivating and telling youngsters that one should not neglect a playground. If they do, then they might as well get ready to be hospitalised,” he says.

    His daily routine could easily put the young to shame.

    “At 3 a.m., I start from my home in Hanuman Tekdi and head to Tank Bund. I run along the Tank Bund stretch for 80 to 90 minutes and later do Pranayama for 90 minutes. I keep a tab on my diet and make sure that I eat small portions for at least five to six times a day,” he reveals.

    The ordeal for Mr. Singh, began in 2000 when he suffered a brain stroke and suffered partial paralysis. In the next five years, the retired police officer underwent surgery that involved removal of 80 per cent of cancerous part of the stomach, a heart bypass surgery to clear five blocks and again a stomach surgery to remove stones.

    By the end of so many life-altering surgeries, the will to survive and fight usually wanes away.

    “I never even thought of giving up. I started jogging for good health in 2005. Since then, I am a regular in the Hyderabad 10K run and hopefully I would participate in the relay marathon too. I want young people to be active, fit and always healthy,” he adds.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Hyderabad / by M. Sai Gopal / Hyderabad – August 21st, 2013

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    October 29th, 2013adminSports
    Participants at the fourth Hyderabad Triathlon conducted by the Great Hyderabad Adventure Club at Gachibowli Stadium on Sunday./ The Hindu

    Participants at the fourth Hyderabad Triathlon conducted by the Great Hyderabad Adventure Club at Gachibowli Stadium on Sunday./ The Hindu

    Athletes from all walks of life, including members of the Andhra Pradesh Police, participate in the event

    Over 600 athletes from Hyderabad and other parts of the country participated in the fourth Hyderabad Triathlon organised by the Great Hyderabad Adventure Club (GHAC) at Gachibowli Stadium on Sunday.

    Four categories

    The event, conducted in four categories (Novice, Sprint, Olympic and Half-iron), attracted athletes from all walks of life, including competitors from the A.P. Police, notably Additional DG, Sports, Rajiv Trivedi, who completed Olympic Triathlons, consisting of 1.5 km swim, 40 km cycling and a run of 10 km.

    The toughest event (Half-iron), which included swimming (1.9 km), cycling (90 km) and running (21.1 km) attracted 40 athletes.

    National athletes

    The national athletes who participated in the Half-iron event included Madhurjya Borah, Richard McDowell and Sunil Menon.

    A special Para Triathlon Olympic Relay event for physically challenged athletes was held, in which Aditya Mehta, an above-knee amputee, cycled; Kiran Kanojia, a below-knee amputee, ran and Srinivasa Naidu, an above-knee amputee, swam in sequence to complete the Olympic Level Team Triathlon.

    GHAC founder director Diyanat Ali said the Hyderabad Triathlon had acquired a national footprint.

    “It is India’s biggest open Triathlon event, and we had more than 150 participants from across the country, a good indication of the event’s popularity,” he said.

    Event director Deepam Moraparia said the Triathlon had no winners as it was meant only to test the endurance of the participants.

    “There were 100 spot registrations which reflected the growing awareness about health and fitness among the public.

    “The next Hyderabad Triathlon will have full iron-level and preferably in an open lake for swimming,” he said.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Hyderabad / by Staff Reporter / Hyderabad – October 21st, 2013

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    Picture for representational purposes only.

    Picture for representational purposes only.


     The Adivasis of Gosigutta and Poshigutta habitations, located in the deep forests in Ichoda mandal and Purushothampur, in Neredigonda and Rampur, in Kadam mandals, have for the first time seen lit lamps in their huts and a sachet for recharging their mobiles if any.

    At last nature came to the rescue of the Adivasis, living in interior areas, in the form of solar light. The Transco staff has fixed two 10 volts CFL bulbs to each family and a sachet kit for other purposes, including charging their mobiles. Adivasis of these habitations are slowly getting used to the solar energy lighting their lives.

    NPDCL is setting up solar plants at identified 19 Adivasi habitations, in interior areas, in the district, while 20 habitations in Khammam district, will be under Rajiv Gandhi Grameena Vidyudeekarana Yojana. The Gosigutta habitation consists of six households, located in the dense forests, nearly 25 km from the Ichoda mandal headquarters.

    Atram Somu, of Gosigutta, said they were for the first time seeing lit lamps in their houses. He said the lighting in their houses and in the habitation will be helpful in protecting themselves from the forest animals.

    The NPDCL has set up solar plants having each 4 KW capacity with SPV panels (Solar photo voltaic panels) at these four habitations and the batteries get charged with solar energy and have five days back up and supply power to the households.

    In Adilabad region, Transco officials have completed work related to setting up solar power plants at four habitations, out of total 19 identified habitations, in the district and will be inaugurated officially soon.

    NPDCL chairman and MD Kartikeya Misra conducted a test change of solar power plant and power connections to the houses.

    source: / Deccan Chronicle / Home> News> Current Affairs / DC / Pillalamarri Srinivas / October 24th, 2013

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    One of the most respected names in archaeological circles of India is that of the late Padma Bhushan Ghulam Yazdani, who founded the archaeology department of Hyderabad state in 1914.

    He served the department for 30 years and his exemplary contributions are yet to be paralleled in the annals of the department. One of his most notable contributions is the scholarly work on Bidar and its monuments which to date remains the defining text on the subject. He is also remembered in academic circles for his exhaustive study of Arabic and Persian inscriptions which are reproduced with exhaustive explanatory notes in 14 volumes of the Epigraphica Indo-Moslemica that he edited during his long and distinguished career. The enduring contribution of Yazdani to Indian archaeology is undoubtedly his work on Ajanta and Ellora which earned him international recognition and placed Hyderabad on the archaeological map of the world as pioneers in the field of exhaustive documentation of antiquated cultural assets. It was customary for the various departments of the Nizam’s government to publish annual reports of their activities. These comprehensive documents listed out the work undertaken by the organization in the preceding year and included details of the expenditure incurred. Considering the fact that old Hyderabad has been accused of being an autocratic state, one wonders at the availability of such information for public consumption as the need for similar information today would require an invocation of the RTI Act. The reports of the archaeology department are most comprehensive and include graphic descriptions of field trips undertaken by its personnel. They record even minor observations regarding monuments and sites visited making them a much sought after source of information to this day. Scholars undertaking historical research within the jurisdiction of the department, which today is spread over three states, consider these reports to be a vital source of information. It is no surprise that the most notable and scholarly contributions to these reports are by Dr Yazdani. His very first account, one relating to the Ajanta caves, appears in the 1914 edition , leading one to conclude that the tremendous international interest generated by the discovery of Ajanta and Ellora was instrumental in setting up of the department at Hyderabad.

    The Archaeological Survey of India was established in 1861 and provided training to young officers from Hyderabad in the nascent stages of development of its department of archaeology. This opportunity enabled budding archaeologists to gain vital expertise which enhanced the quality of their work on returning to serve the state. The dynamic leadership provided by Dr Yazdani resulted in such a remarkable transformation that within a few years his department was acknowledged as the best in the sub-continent precipitating an astonishing reversal of roles with aspiring archaeologists from British India now being deputed to Hyderabad for superior field training. Percy Brown in his canonical text on the architecture of India notes that the success of the department under Yazdani changed perceptions in the field of Indian archaeology to such an extent that Justice Imlay of Calcutta, criticizing the deterioration in standards of archaeological conservation in British India, suggested that all monuments under colonial administration be handed over to the Hyderabad government for proper care and upkeep. Unfortunately this hard earned reputation has taken a severe beating in the recent past with the Andhra Pradesh state department of archaeology and museums now largely notorious for neglect and apathy instead of scholarship and excellence which had been its hallmark.

    It is regrettable that the state government chose to rename the State Archaeological Museum after Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, the former chief minister who has no known contributions to his credit in either the fields of archaeology or protection of heritage and culture to justify such an action. It would have been a befitting tribute to have named the museum after Ghulam Yazdani, founder of the department and unquestionably the most outstanding Indian scholar of archaeology of his times. But then, as all the perfumes of Arabia could not sweeten the little hand, the stigma of having been a subject of the Nizam is difficult to be rid of in our state. Even for one who was honoured with a Padma Bhushan by an appreciative nation.

    ( The writer is a heritage activist)

    source: / The Times of India / Home> City> Hyderabad / by Sajjad Shahid / December 12th, 2011

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    October 28th, 2013adminArts, Culture & Entertainment
    For playwright and actor Mohammad Ali Baig, theatre is a blend of poetry, folk performing arts, cultural pride and obsession. (Photo: RVK Rao)

    For playwright and actor Mohammad Ali Baig, theatre is a blend of poetry, folk performing arts, cultural pride and obsession. (Photo: RVK Rao)

    With his neat moustache and a strong voice, award winning playwright-director-actor Mohammad Ali Baig, son of one the most popular theatre personalities, late Qadir Ali Baig, is proud of his rich cultural heritage. Baig, who was a special invitee at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London in July, says he stayed away from Shakespeare and Western playwrights, because that culture is alien to him. “I find it extremely difficult to put on an accent. I love to write in Urdu about my heritage. If you ask me to do a Shakespearean play with the same amount of money and time, I’d refuse. I take pride in my culture. I don’t have to look outside to recreate, be it sets, costumes or even actor’s body language. It gives you a certain sense of fulfillment when you do original work deep-rooted in your own culture,” says Baig, who had earlier presented Indian Tempest, Footsbarn Theatre’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic with a desi twist.

    His Quli – Dilon ka Shahzaada, has been invited to Footsbarn’s Theatre Festival in France. Written, directed and acted by Baig, the heritage play is based on poet king Quli Qutub Shah. Quli-Dilon ka Shahzaada has a unique structure; a dialogue between Quli and Bhagmati, embellished with live shadow dance, Qawwali on stage, with nazms written by Quli Qutub Shah himself. The Footsbarn Theatre Festival marked a first for the group in terms of the performance venue. Baig has won magical reviews for his latest stage role as Quli. Plays at Footsbarn were performed in a specially-built theatre tent, to an audience much smaller than the sort Baig and his group are used to. “We had never performed in a tent before, so that was a challenge. I consciously conceived and designed the play to make it contemporary. I enjoyed performing to large audiences in the open,” he says adding, “It’s based on Baba’s idiom of theatre and his unforgettable historical pageant Quli Qutub Shah staged at Golconda Fort in 1970.”

    Founded in the UK in a barn in Cornwall that’s how the name has come about — owned by the Foot family, the travelling theatre performs the classics of Shakespeare and Moliere with multicultural actors. “The format is interesting. It uses puppeteers, acrobats, singers and clowns and is performed in huge tents and makes theatre accessible to everyone. The troupe travels in trucks and a bus,” says Baig. Despite his success on stage, as a boy growing up in Hyderabad, the young Mohammad Ali had designs on a different future. “I never aspired to become an artist,” he says. “Theatre happened by accident. In 2005, on the occasion of the 20th death anniversary of my late Baba (Qadir Ali Baig), when the Government of Andhra Pradesh and the art fraternity of Hyderabad decided to start and name a theatre foundation in his memory. I felt I should take his legacy forward. For me it’s a tribute to Baba,” adds Baig, who initially ran away from theatre fearing he would not be able to live up to the stature of his father. “In order to revive the theatre, we established the Qadir Ali Baig foundation. It is an annual festival where the best of Indian and international theatre find a platform,” he adds.

    His theatre productions featured Anupam Kher, Shabana Azmi, Farooq Shaikh, Kabir Bedi, Suhasini Maniratnam, Vani Ganapathy, Sharon Prabhakar, Arif Zakaria, Rahul Sharma, MS Sathyu, Bharat Sharma, Kaarthik Illaiyaraja and many others.

    “I hold two people in very high esteem, Abba (late Qadir Ali Baig) and Habib Tanvir,” says Baig. He explains, “My father blended art and commerce. That’s the blend I try to get in my work. Habib saheb created a language of theatre that speaks of India’s diversity. I met him five years ago in Hyderabad. He had come to watch Charandas Chor. He was aging and looked tired. But his energy and clarity of thought were the same. His thirst was still the same,” says Baig.

    So does Baig plan to venture into films? “I enjoy telling a story in 30 seconds that would otherwise take three hours to narrate,” he says. What would he say to aspiring artistes? He says, “Many youngsters come with the impression that theatre is just acting. They go to institutes of popular actors, mostly in the West, with aspirations of learning to act. On return, they pitch for Bollywood. If theatre doesn’t come completely with an obsession and love with it, it’s not for you.”

    source: / The New Indian Express / Home> Magazine / by Swati Sharma / September 22nd, 2013

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