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US names mountain in Antarctica to honour a Bihari zoologist Prof Akhouri Sinha

    Akhouri Sinha, adjunct professor in the Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development at the University of Minnesota The United States has named a mountain in Antarctica in honour of an eminent Indian-American scientist whose pioneering biological research expedition has provided critical data about animal populations. Akhouri Sinha, adjunct professor in the Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development at the University of Minnesota, was recognised by the US Geological Survey, which named the mountain Mt Sinha, for his work he did as an explorer in 1971-72. Mt Sinha,... 

Should Coal companies be made smaller: to increase production of power?

Coal in India: abundant or scarce? For a coal producer trying to navigate India’s complex federal structure, size matters. And the smaller the better. That harsh lesson was learnt by S Narsing Rao, the outgoing chairman and managing director of Coal India Ltd, the world’s biggest coal miner. While Rao has been at the helm in the past two years, Coal India has missed its annual output targets. But in the six years before that, Rao-led Singareni Collieries and the company beat output targets every year. Even though it is India’s second-biggest coal producer, it is small compared... 

Encephalitis spreads beyond Muzaffarpur: to Vaishali, Samastipur, Sheohar…

  Acute Encephalitis Syndrome : mystery unsolved Patna: Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES), so far limited to Muzaffarpur district, has now spread to neighbouring districts of Vaishali, Samastipur, Sitamarhi, Sheohar and East Champaran as 33 cases were reported from these districts recently. Confirming the spread of the disease, Principal Secretary of Health Department, Deepak Kumar, said, “Cases have been reported from adjoining districts of Muzaffarpur. We are providing all facilities for treatment of the ill children.” The spread of AES has put the state government on its toes,... 

Environmental activist Ramesh Agrawal awarded Goldman Environment Prize

  Environmental activist Ramesh Agrawal Environmental activist Ramesh Agrawal, who helped villagers stop a massive coal mining project, is among six people around the world to be awarded the prestigious Goldman Environment Prize, the organisation said. The annual prize honours outstanding grassroots environmentalists for their sustained and significant efforts to protect and enhance the natural environment, often at great personal risk. The individual cash prize of $175,000 makes it the largest award of its kind. “With a small internet cafe as his headquarters, Ramesh Agrawal organised... 

Earth Day: web portal organizes documentation of Indian trees

Trees: Earth Day awarenessThe web portal India Biodiversity will organise a nation-wide ‘Neighbourhood Trees Campaign’ from Tuesday (Earth Day) to Sunday. The campaign aims to spread awareness on the importance of trees and crowdsource information on trees in the country. Volunteers just need to click photographs of trees in their gardens and neighbourhood and post their observations on them. The campaign will be conducted online at http://treesindia.indiabiodiversity.org/. There are about 7,500 tree species in India. The organisers of the campaign are hoping to create a web page on every tree... 

Bihar developing grasslands in VTR to conserve tigers and prey

    What a camouflage: why tigers love grasslands According to reports, Bihar is developing India’s biggest grassland of over 800 acres in its only tiger reserve in the state’s northeast to provide a wildlife friendly environment for the big cats whose numbers have doubled in the last three years. “We have decided to turn 800 hectares of forest in the tiger reserve into the biggest grassland in the country. The work has already begun to clean the bushes of unwanted species like mikenia, eupatorium and phoenix – which are the main cause of fires – to convert it into... 

22 farmer suicides in 3 weeks: outcome of crop failure in Vidarbha/ Marathawada

  Hailstorms led to 9 deaths in 3 days! The Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti, a farmers’ advocacy group, has said in a report that 22 farmers have ended their lives in the Vidarbha and Marathawada regions, in the past three weeks. Nine of these deaths took place in just the past three days, after a prolonged and unusual hailstorm destroyed acres of crops, the group says. The Maharashtra government has not confirmed these grim statistics, but has asked for Rs. 5,000 crore from the Centre. Jolted by reports of 22 farmer suicides in three weeks driven by massive crop failure, the Maharashtra... 

Patna zoo blessed with birth of four tiger cubs

  Tiger cubs: Patna zoo[illustration only]Patna: according to reports, Patna zoo has been blessed with a bonanza as their  conservation programme for tigers has led to the birth of four cubs at one go. Swarna, a white Royal Bengal Tigress at Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park, gave birth to the quadruplets on Tuesday evening. Two of the newborn cubs are white like their mother while the others are normal coloured. There are eight tigers at Patna zoo now. The tigress was brought from Nehru Zoological Park, Hyderabad in 2011. Before this, the she had given birth to three cubs but all of them died... 

Why ancient Indus Civilizations declined: monsoon cycle stopped for 200 years?

  undeciphered Indus script: stories unread Scientists in the past have explained the decline of Bronze-Age civilizations in Egypt, Greece and Mesopotamia by a long-term drought that began around 2000 BC. Now paleoclimatologists propose that a similar fate was followed by our own Indus Valley Civilization, at about the same time. Based on isotope data from the sediment of an ancient lake, the researchers suggest that the monsoon cycle, which is vital to the livelihood of all of South Asia, essentially stopped there for as long as two centuries. The Indus Valley, in present Pakistan and northwest... 

Money from Black rhino hunting permits will help conserve the animal: what logic!

    Black: conservation through killing? Dallas, USA: The opportunity to hunt an endangered African black rhino in Namibia went to the highest bidder over the weekend. Wealthy U.S. and foreign hunters gathered at a Dallas convention center on Saturday, or joined by phone, to participate in the Dallas Safari Club’s auctioning off of a permit to kill a black rhino, something the club has maintained was done in the name of “conservation.” According to multiple sources, the permit sold for $350,000, although the club previously stated the permit could go for as much as $1 million. The... 
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