‘Hope Modi’s US visit will be an action-forcing mechanism … bilateral investment treaty would be a significant milestone’

With the White House having announced that US President Donald Trump will be hosting Prime Minister Narendra Modi later this year in Washington, Ambassador William J Burns, President of Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and former US Deputy Secretary of State, spoke to Nalin Mehta on what New Delhi can expect from the first bilateral Modi-Trump meeting, Indo-US relations and the shifts in US diplomacy:

The White House said President Trump spoke with PM Modi to congratulate him on the outcome of Uttar Pradesh elections, to express support for Modi’s economic reform agenda, and to say that he was looking forward to hosting the PM in Washington. What are your expectations from the PM’s upcoming visit?

My strong hope is that when it comes to India, the Trump administration will look to sustain and deepen the efforts of its Democratic and Republican predecessors to further strengthen the bilateral partnership and put it to work to address shared global challenges.

I hope this visit will be used as an action-forcing mechanism to check off a number of important items from our shared to-do list.This includes the purchase of a US fighter for India’s armed forces and other defence cooperation items.

It includes continued progress in the economic sphere, where i believe we still have a long way to go to fully realise the promise of our strategic partnership.

Concluding the Bilateral Investment Treaty would be a significant milestone worthy of a significant effort by both governments.

President Trump is fundamentally changing long held pillars of US diplomacy. How will this impact India-US relations which have been recast in the last 15 years under both Democrat and Republican administrations?

You are right that beneath the surface, this Trump administration presents a fundamentally different approach to foreign affairs – a profound, and in my view troubling, deviation from the core elements on which American leadership and international order rest.

The United States, for all its imperfections, has stood for political and economic openness, respect for human dignity, and a sense of possibility. We have demonstrated a willingness to mobilise others to deal with shared problems. And we have invested in the institutions at home and abroad that can get ahead of crises and prevent conflict through wise, long-term investments.

To the extent that we walk away from these ideas, initiatives and institutions at the core of American leadership, i fear that we will see serious and long-term damage to America’s standing in the world, and in turn, to the potential for US-India relations.

What impact do you see of US policies on Asia and the balance of power in the region under President Trump?

Much of President Trump’s foreign policy seems to be reverting to the mainstream on first contact with reality, and that includes his approach to the Asia-Pacific.

But it’s clear that the Trump administration believes the United States is being held hostage in many respects by the very international order it created. It seems to see multilateral trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership as constraints rather than opportunities, and international and regional organisations as distracting, if not irrelevant.

That attitude could undermine our capacity and credibility to work together with India to shape a Pacific Century that reflects our shared interests and values.

Carnegie has been in India for a year. How different is working in India compared to other countries?

I have been deeply impressed by what my colleagues in Delhi have accomplished in such a short time. That is not a result of any imports from Washington or any of our global centres in Beijing, Beirut, Brussels or Moscow. It is a consequence of the fact that Carnegie India is led and staffed by extraordinary Indian experts who have a deep stake and commitment to India’s own domestic and international evolution.
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WATCH: Someone traced the woman of ‘yeh bik gayi hai gormint’ and she proves yet again why she is the boss!

The woman’s video went viral multiple times before she became an international meme. The woman’s video went viral multiple times before she became an international meme.

What kind of things catch the fancy of the Netizens is hard to explain. From unusual photographs to movie scenes and even normal interviews of people — fodder for the Internet is just inexplicable. But once something generates interest, people can often go berserk with it. And undoubtedly the biggest meme of 2016 that has still been reigning in 2017 is the ‘Yeh bik gayi hai gormint’ meme. Yes, the elderly Pakistani woman whose ranting against the gormint aka government took Internet by storm.

The famous ‘aunty’ who went on a fierce ranting about how she was fed-up with the local government when a TV journalist interviewed her way back in July 2016, has been finally traced by someone. Yes, owing to her enormous celebrity status it’s not strange that someone took an expedition to trace her down. After all, she is more than a meme now and has become an international phenomenon. More than Pakistan, surely Indian Netizens are biggest fans. From AIB to Netflix India, no one was spared by her aura.

And yes, the feisty lady is still nailing it in style. She talked about growing up and how even ‘Oye’ was considered as an expletive. On further query, why now her language is often laden with profanity, she unabatedly replied, “Jaisa desh, waisa besh.”

Watch the full video here

Here are some hit ‘yeh bik gayi hai gormint’ memes of this year. Beyond memes however, there are loads of merchendise and accessories which are widely availble online with the hit aunty’s face and her even more famous line!

Gormint pic.twitter.com/oiCXoEgSiT — All India Bakchod (@AllIndiaBakchod) February 9, 2017

Obama’s last message for the whole world.

@ye_bik_gyi_hai_GORMINT pic.twitter.com/HT0Yq3P2Yh — Rakesh Yadav (@rockyhandso1326) February 10, 2017

Yeh bik gayi hei gormint 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/jknuYppcLv — Ahsan Awan (@Pharmacist_awan) January 14, 2017

The most empowering speeches from women pic.twitter.com/4bpD0iWN6d — Broken News (@NewsParodyPk) January 13, 2017

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Source: http://indianexpress.com/article/trending/viral-videos-trending/watch-someone-traced-the-women-of-yeh-bik-gayi-hai-gormint-4596535/

High wages stop England players venturing abroad, says Tony Woodcock

Young English players are pricing themselves out of career-enhancing moves to European clubs, with damaging knock-on effects for the national team, former England striker Tony Woodcock says.

Assessing the chasm that exists between England and world champions Germany when it comes to results at major tournaments, Woodcock said more young English players should play abroad rather than settle for fat salaries and reserve team football with Premier League clubs.

“I was with the Borussia Dortmund guys last week and they say the problem is that they would probably want to take some young English players who are not getting a kick in the Premier League,” Woodcock told Reuters by telephone.

“The problem is they are earning so much in the Premier League that clubs in Europe are not prepared to pay that. “You are stifling your own career because you want the fancy car and huge salary.”

According to the latest edition of the Global Sports Salaries Survey, the average Premier League wage is just over $3.2 million per year, way ahead of the Bundesliga average of around $1.4 million.

Woodcock’s comments come after England manager Gareth Southgate called for the English game to shed its “island mentality” if it is to catch up with Germany at club and international level.

But Woodcock, who played for Bundesliga side Cologne after winning the English title and European Cup with Nottingham Forest in the late 70s, said there is a long way to go.

While the likes of Tottenham Hotspur’s Dele Alli and Manchester City’s John Stones are being lauded as the future of English football, Woodcock said that Germany set the standard when it comes to developing international class players.

“The statistics show Germany are miles ahead,” Woodcock, who won 42 England caps and also scored 56 goals for Arsenal in a four-year spell, said. “It’s a conveyor belt of talent in Germany and I don’t see that happening in England.

“You have young English lads earning far more money than their German counterparts but they are not improving. They should take less go to Europe and show how good they are.

“Youngsters in England earn three or four times more than they would do in Germany. But in Germany they play every week.”

“Forest sold Oliver Burke to RB Leipzig and while it was a shame for my old club it will do him good,” added Woodcock.

FOREIGN SIGNINGS

With his son-in-law Mike Brown part of the England rugby team that won 18 matches in a row recently — Woodcock says football could learn from the oval-ball game.

“The RFU is focussed on a strong international team,” he said. “(England coach) Eddie Jones has built a situation where there are two or three players pushing each other for one position. “That’s what the English football team needs.”

Woodcock said the power of the Premier League does not help England’s cause — with the continued preference for foreign signings meaning only 31 percent of players who started matches in the top flight last season were English — a record low. In Germany the figure is around 50 percent.

“The Premier League is hyped as the best in the world, it’s good don’t get me wrong, but you have to look at the percentage of foreign players in England and Germany,” he said.

“You would think the FA would be looking at the German model and thinking what are they doing?

“The difference is in Germany there is just one body, the DFB. They obviously want a successful international team because when that happens it lifts the whole country.”

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Source: http://indianexpress.com/article/sports/football/high-wages-stop-england-players-venturing-abroad-says-tony-woodcock-4593036/

WI seek parity and impetus in Trinidad’s T20 binge

PAKISTAN TOUR OF WI, 2017

WI seek parity and impetus in Trinidad’s T20 binge

Cricbuzz Staff • Last updated on Wed, 29 Mar, 2017, 08:11 PM

Shadab Khan made a sparkling start to his international career in the first T20I. © AFP

When West Indies meet Pakistan in the second Twenty20 International on Thursday (March 30), they will do so in the first of three successive T20Is between the teams at Queen’s Park Oval, enabling the venue to host as many T20Is inside four days as it has in the last eight years. And so, with the environs set to be monotonous for the rest of this four-match series, the incentive to gain early momentum on tiring pitches lends this game a climacteric context.

The first T20I at Barbados fell amply short of all the floating hype, given this is a limited-overs series between two units which connect on grounds of volatility and domestic turbulence. A seasoned West Indies unit, strengthened by Kieron Pollard and Lendl Simmons, proved no match for Pakistan’s reinforcement by the international debut of Shadab Khan, a stunning bargain for all the controversies from the recently-concluded Pakistan Super League. The 19-year-old legspinner registered figures of 3 for 7 to inspire a six-wicket win, allowing his side to start a long tour on an emphatic note.

West Indies captain Carlos Brathwaite’s unbeaten 34 off 27 balls provided the late impetus to lift his side to 111 for 8 in the allotted 20 overs, but there were never enough runs on the board, even on the spin-conducive surface. Imad Wasim shared the new ball, conceding only 12 runs in his two-stinted spell of three overs, evidencing very early about West Indies’s lack of an unimpeded plan against the slower bowlers. Pakistan, in contrast, played out a wicket-less Sunil Narine for 22 runs in his four overs. That is one domain – perhaps the only domain, for their bowling was at par – that West Indies have to address, and urgently so.

The Trinidad pitch is set to make things easier for the hosts, though. There hasn’t been any limited-overs international cricket played in Port of Spain since July 2013, but the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) games were played on superlative batting conditions. Not only did Chris Gayle (108 off 54) and Colin Munro (100 off 65) raze unbeaten centuries at this very venue but the first innings average for the last season here stands as high as 171, too. The pitch tends to stay flat without much deterioration, with the dew playing its part, and hence teams chasing have won three out of the four CPL games played here in 2016.

A spirited bowling effort short-changed a contest pretty early in the first match, and as much as Ahmed Shehzad’s run out of Evin Lewis veers to deceive, Pakistan will aim for a higher standard in fielding. Kamran Akmal, another PSL-reaper, dropped Kieron Pollard on two runs at backward point, denying Shadab Khan his fourth wicket, when the reigning World T20 champions could have been shut down from 49 for 6 for a total far lesser than 111.

Nonetheless, Pakistan walk into this game as absolute favourites, having won their last four T20Is against the West Indies convincingly, and a win in the second T20I will hand them an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the series.

When: March 30, 2016 at 10:00 PM IST (12:30 PM local time)

Where: Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain, Trinidad

What to expect: Forecast suggests a partly sunny and pleasant day, with temperatures expected to go as high as 32 degrees. The pitch is expected to be good for batting.

Team News:

West Indies

The hosts will expect a better batting performance. Jason Mohammed made an impression during West Indies’s recent 3-0 loss in the One-Day International series to England at home, and might replace 32-year-old Lendl Simmons in the middle order.

Playing XI (from): Samuel Badree, Carlos Brathwaite(c), Jonathan Carter, Andre Fletcher, Jason Holder, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Sunil Narine, Veerasammy Permaul, Kieron Pollard, Rovman Powell, Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons, Jerome Taylor, Chadwick Walton, Kesrick Williams

Pakistan

Pakistan had a commanding win the other night and are expected to go with the same eleven.

Playing XI (from): Ahmed Shehzad, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Hafeez, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Fakhar Zaman, Sarfraz Ahmed(c), Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Hasan Ali, Sohail Tanvir, Wahab Riaz, Rumman Raees, Usman Khan

Quotes:

“We struggled with their slow bowlers, and it’s a situation where we need to counteract their slow bowlers in the middle. Those were the guys who really put the strangle on us up front.” — Jason Holder, West Indies all-rounder

“Imad [Wasim] gave us a great start, then Shadab [Khan], followed by our pacers Wahab [Riaz] and Hasan [Ali] who bowled really well. Especially Wahab, the two overs he bowled against the wind, it was quite difficult to bowl in those conditions.” — Sarfraz Ahmed, Pakistan captain

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Source: http://www.cricbuzz.com/cricket-news/93648/wi-seek-parity-and-impetus-in-trinidads-t20-binge

NASA assigns five astronauts for future missions aboard International Space Station

Between now and their launches, each of the astronauts will undergo a busy regimen of training on space station systems and the experiments they’ll work with while in space. (Image for representation, Source: Reuters) Between now and their launches, each of the astronauts will undergo a busy regimen of training on space station systems and the experiments they’ll work with while in space. (Image for representation, Source: Reuters)

NASA has assigned five astronauts for upcoming missions aboard the International Space Station (ISS), the US space agency said today. Astronauts Joe Acaba, Ricky Arnold, Nick Hague, Serena Aunon-Chancellor and Shannon Walker all have begun training for missions launching later this year and throughout 2018. Acaba will be the first to launch, assigned to the Expedition 53 and 54 crews that already include Mark Vande Hei of NASA, and Alexander Misurkin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos. They will launch aboard a Soyuz spacecraft in September. Walker will train as a dedicated backup for Acaba.

Arnold will join NASA’s Drew Feustel and a Russian cosmonaut for Expeditions 55 and 56 to launch in March 2018. Arnold and Acaba’s assignments were enabled by the recent agreement to add additional crew members in 2017 and 2018 to boost space station science and research. First-time fliers Hague and Aunon-Chancellor will fall into the standard rotation for NASA astronauts. Hague will launch in September 2018 on Expeditions 57 and 58 with two Russian cosmonauts. Aunon-Chancellor will join the Expedition 58 and 59 crews in November 2018, along with Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques and a Russian cosmonaut.

“It’s great to get to announce so many assignments at once,” said Chris Cassidy, chief of the Astronaut Office at NASA’s Johnson Space Centre in Houston. “There’s plenty of work to be done at the space station, and the research opportunities are almost limitless. These folks are all going to do great work and bring a lot of value to their crewmates,” said Cassidy. Between now and their launches, each of the astronauts will undergo a busy regimen of training on space station systems and the experiments they’ll work with while in space. This will be Acaba’s third trip to the space station and his second long-duration mission.

Also Read: NASA developing a new mixed reality space station simulator to help train astronauts

He was selected as an astronaut in 2004, and flew on space shuttle Discovery’s STS-119 station assembly mission in 2009, before returning for a longer stay in 2012, as part of the Expedition 31 and 32 crews. Arnold will be visiting the space station for the second time, but this trip will be much longer than his last. He also was selected in the 2004 class and flew with Acaba on STS-119. On that mission, he conducted two spacewalks, spending 12 hours and 34 minutes outside the space station. Selected as a member of the 2013 astronaut class, Hague is a colonel in the US Air Force.

Prior to his selection, he worked as an adviser to the US Senate on matters of national defence and foreign policy. Aunon-Chancellor joined the astronaut corps in 2009, and has been at NASA since 2006, when she became a flight surgeon. She also served as the deputy lead for medical operations for NASA’s Orion spacecraft before being selected as an astronaut. Walker spent 163 days as a flight engineer for Expedition 24 and 25 in 2010.

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Source: http://indianexpress.com/article/technology/science/nasa-assigns-five-astronauts-for-upcoming-missions-aboard-the-international-space-station-4590847/

Panjab University to launch Global Summer School for foreign students

Panjab University (File Photo) Panjab University (File Photo)

In A move apparently aimed at generating funds as well as expanding its profile, the cash-strapped Panjab University (PU) will launch a ‘Global Summer School’ to start in the academic session of 2017- 2018 for international students.

The applications process of the courses will start in April. The students will be required to pay in foreign exchange. The fee has been fixed for now at $550, said Dean (International Students) Deepti Gupta.

The courses cover Indian law, history, culture, relgion, cuisine, handicrafts, and India’s economy, and one course specifically on Punjab’s famous Phulkari embroidery.

“In the courses, students coming from abroad will be provided with practical and outdoor experience of India by taking them to see the Parliament, Supreme Court, Amritsar and other sites that are part of their course study. Some courses will take the students across India,” said Gupta. She also stated the information of the time-table that will be followed during the course will be put up on the PU official site by March 31.

PU is hoping to get students from universities with which it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOu). The MoUs are spread over institutions in 45 countries. They include the Universities of Nottingham and Birmingham.

Nottingham Trent University (UK) and the University of Western Sydney (Australia). PU also has collaborations with National Science Technology and Development Agency, Thailand; University of Missouri, US, and Universidade de Aveiro, Portugal, among others.

“We will apprise them about the school and the courses it is offering for the international students so that they come visit and gain knowledge at our national campus. Given the historical importance and its stand in world rankings, PU has a student-friendly campus where students can gain a lot about India and it significance. The exposure in Chandigarh will also be invaluable,” added Gupta.

Speaking on their experience of attending a summer school in Strasbourg in France organised by the Nottingham University, Shvetanshu Goel, said, “Summer schools are great for exposure. The experience of attending a summer school enables you understand diverse culture of other country. It help understand the functioning of their court proceedings, parliament and other highest offices which run the country.” Goel is a law student at PU.

Nihar, another law student, said, “The exposure of culture and working of governments supersedes the educational exposure. The summer school in PU will help the international students about India and functioning of our system in depth, plus the university should cash in on its international reputation.”

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Source: http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/panjab-university-to-launch-global-summer-school-for-foreign-students-4590811/

International News: Latest World Breaking News Headlines Today

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Courtesy: http://www.mid-day.com/

Source: http://www.mid-day.com/news/international/index.htm

Headingley’s Test future assured after funding agreement with city council

HEADINGLEY’S TEST FUTURE

Headingley’s Test future assured after funding agreement with city council

Rob Johnston • Last updated on Tue, 28 Mar, 2017, 05:52 PM

Having reached a funding agreement with Leeds City Council, Headingley’s Test future could be secured. © Getty

Leeds City Council have agreed in principle to a funding agreement which will allow the redevelopment of Headingley’s North-South Stand to go ahead. The decision will ensure Test cricket can continue to be played at the ground from 2020.

Last week, Yorkshire’s Chief Executive Mark Arthur warned that Headingley would not comply with the England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) facilities requirements for international cricket unless they redeveloped the ageing part of the ground. With the current staging agreement finishing in 2019, it raised the prospect of Headingley not being considered to host Test cricket.

At that stage, Leeds City Council had unexpectedly withdrawn the offer of a GBP 4 million grant and the county were struggling to fund their share of the GBP 40 million project, one they are completing with the Leeds Rhino rugby league team who share the ground.

However, after a concerted campaign which included overtures from former England captain Michael Vaughan, it now appears that Leeds City Council have agreed to broker a GBP 35 million investment with the Rhinos investing GBP 5 million. However, the agreement still needs to be approved by the council’s Executive Board.

“We would like to thank Councillor Judith Blake and Leeds City Council for their support in reaching this point,” said Arthur. “There is still a long way to go. However, it is a significant step in securing the future of international cricket at Headingley.

“Yorkshire County Cricket Club will continue to work hard to ensure that all remaining funds are in place to ensure that the redevelopment is completed in time for the Cricket World Cup in 2019.”

Yorkshire, who are investigating the possibility of a naming rights sponsor for Headingley, have over GBP 18 million worth of debt, much of which is owed to family trusts of ECB chairman Colin Graves. Losing international cricket would be a major blow to their hopes of reducing that amount over the next five years.

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Source: http://www.cricbuzz.com/cricket-news/93622/headingleys-test-future-assured-after-funding-agreement-with-city-council

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Four militants killed in Bangladesh raid, death toll rises to 10 28-Mar-2017 Security forces have killed at least four militants, including a woman, who were holed up in a residential building in Bangladesh’s Sylhet city, a military spokesman said on Monday

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Courtesy: http://www.mid-day.com/

Source: http://www.mid-day.com/news/international

Nano Race is on: The world’s first international race for molecule-cars

The vehicles, which consist of a few hundred atoms, will be powered by minute electrical pulses during the 36 hours of the race, in which they must navigate a racecourse made of gold atoms, and measuring a maximum of a 100 nanometers in length.

Nanocars will compete for the first time ever during an international molecule-car race on April 28-29, 2017 in Toulouse (south-western France).

The vehicles, which consist of a few hundred atoms, will be powered by minute electrical pulses during the 36 hours of the race, in which they must navigate a racecourse made of gold atoms, and measuring a maximum of a 100 nanometers in length. They will square off beneath the four tips of a unique microscope located at the CNRS’s Centre d’élaboration de matériaux et d’études structurales (CEMES) in Toulouse.

The race, which was organized by the CNRS, is first and foremost a scientific and technological challenge, and will be broadcast live on the YouTube Nanocar Race channel. Beyond the competition, the overarching objective is to advance research in the observation and control of molecule-machines.

More than just a competition, the Nanocar Race is an international scientific experiment that will be conducted in real time, with the aim of testing the performance of molecule-machines and the scientific instruments used to control them. The years ahead will probably see the use of such molecular machinery—activated individually or in synchronized fashion—in the manufacture of common machines: atom-by-atom construction of electronic circuits, atom-by-atom deconstruction of industrial waste, capture of energy.

The Nanocar Race is therefore a unique opportunity for researchers to implement cutting-edge techniques for the simultaneous observation and independent maneuvering of such nano-machines.

The experiment began in 2013 as part of an overview of nano-machine research for a scientific journal, when the idea for a car race took shape in the minds of CNRS senior researcher Christian Joachim (now the director of the race) and Gwénaël Rapenne, a Professor of chemistry at Université Toulouse III – Paul Sabatier. Three years later, the nanocars are operational and ready to face off on the circuit’s gold surface.

There were numerous challenges in organizing this race, from selecting the racecourse, which must accommodate all types of molecule-cars, to adapting the scanning tunneling microscope. The participating teams also had to overcome a series of difficult tasks (depositing and visualizing the molecules beneath the microscope), as well as meet numerous criteria (the molecules’ structure and form of propulsion) in order to participate in this race.

Of the nine teams that applied before the end of May 2016, six were selected, and four will take their place at the 4-tip microscope’s starting line on April 28, 2017 for the 36-hour race in Toulouse.

The challenges facing researchers in the race will be so many steps forward in novel fields in chemistry and physics. In the process, each team will build up new skills, data, and know-how that will one day contribute to the development of surface chemistry (which enables chemical synthesis directly on a particular surface), or in the new science of surfaces known as membrane science, which makes it possible to deposit a molecule-machine on the surface of a cell, or to control the movement of a single molecule in a liquid.

The CEMES-CNRS microscope is the only one in the world allowing four different experimenters to work on the same surface. The development of such multi-tip microscopes will enable synchronizing a great number of molecule-machines in order to increase capacity, for instance for storing energy or capturing it from a hot metallic surface. A genuine “atom technology” is dawning.

Those who would like to attend the race in Toulouse on April 28-29 will have a chance to meet the teams and visit the control room where the pilots maneuver the nanocars. However the white room housing the CEMES’s four-tip microscope will be entirely closed off, so as not to disturb the race.

The rules of the race:

– The racecourse: 20 nm + one 45° turn + 30 nm + one 45° turn + 20 nm, for a total of 100 nm

– 36 h maximum duration

– Authorization to change one’s nanocar in case of an accident

– Pushing one’s nanocar is forbidden

– One sector of the gold surface per team

– Maximum 6 hours to clean one’s portion of the course before starting

– No tip changes allowed during the 36 hours
Courtesy: http://www.deccanchronicle.com/

Source: http://www.deccanchronicle.com/science/science/260317/nano-race-is-on-the-worlds-first-international-race-for-molecule-cars.html