Monday, February 27, 2017

Mumbai plans houseboats in the creeks on Mumbai coast to woo tourists


Mumbai has plans on the anvil to operate houseboats in the creeks on Mumbai coast in an effort to woo tourists. It could start between the waters of Marve-Manori and Gorai. The Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) has received 11 proposals from coastal districts to set up houseboats.
It will be on the lines of what Kerala has done - houseboats will be promoted in the backwaters of Maharashtra too. They already operate at Tarkarli in Sindhudurg district and have become a big hit with tourists.
This has been reported in timesofindia.indiatimes.com dated 28 February 2017.
The proposed houseboat can accommodate two families at a time and MMB would levy a 10% charge on what the operator will charge for each tourist. Besides, there will be a security deposit. The scheme will be implemented in an environmental friendly way and tourists will be taken through the creeks and shown the mangroves.
MMB also has plans to launch water sports facilities at Juhu, Versova, Aksa, Marve, Manori, Gorai, Ghodbunder, Bhayandar and Vasai. The facilities will include kayaking, banana rides, water scooters and speed boats.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

Barack Obama enters the league of top US Presidents with ranking of 12

Public tours of the White House will begin again from March 7

Explosion in French nuclear power plant in a non-nuclear zone


Didi caught in the whirlpool of industries (satire)

Moody’s love hate relationship with the raincoat (satire)

The curse of social media – cold blooded murders committed


Mumbai will get to see Justin Bieber in action on May 10

Kangana Ranaut is 'fearless Julia' in Rangoon

Shakti Kapoor holds his audience spellbound in the Khandagiri Yatra


ISIS carries out car bombing in Baghdad - kills at least 55

Suicide bomb attack kills at least 72 in a Sufi shrine in Pakistan

Mayor of London worried about ISIS attacks on the city

Haryana flower show reveals an increase in demand for air purifying plants


The two-day lower show or the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) Flower Festival 2017 held at Leisure Valley saw people craving for air-purifying plants to counter the effects of pollution. With more and more people growing plants at home, they prefer air-purifying plants. Some of the most popular varieties of air-purifying plants were sansevieria, areca palm, Boston fern and spider plant.
This has been reported in thehindu.com dated 27 February 2017.
Apart from these plants, other attractions were roses, marigolds, daisies and lilies and a large variety of bonsai plants - their prices ranged from ₹500 to ₹25,000. There was an increasing awareness in NCR about the bonsai plants and both Chinese and Indian bonsai plants were on display.
Then there were the medicinal and vastu plants. However, the number of stalls were less this year - it was only 35 compared to 70 of last year.
To cater to outstation visitors there are a wide variety of street food stalls and ice-cream vendors.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

Barack Obama enters the league of top US Presidents with ranking of 12

Public tours of the White House will begin again from March 7

Explosion in French nuclear power plant in a non-nuclear zone


Didi caught in the whirlpool of industries (satire)

Moody’s love hate relationship with the raincoat (satire)

The curse of social media – cold blooded murders committed


Mumbai will get to see Justin Bieber in action on May 10

Kangana Ranaut is 'fearless Julia' in Rangoon

Shakti Kapoor holds his audience spellbound in the Khandagiri Yatra


ISIS carries out car bombing in Baghdad - kills at least 55

Suicide bomb attack kills at least 72 in a Sufi shrine in Pakistan

Mayor of London worried about ISIS attacks on the city

India to assist Bangladesh in training dogs for security duties


Bangladesh wants to have dog squads to carryout security duties and has requested India to help them to set up a training centre for dogs. The proposal was mooted by the Border Security Force's counterpart, the Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB), when an Indian delegation led by BSF director general made a visit to Bangladesh last week.
The proposal is that Indian trainers from the National Training Centre for Dogs (NTCD) in Tekanpur, Gwalior, will train dogs and handlers at the proposed canine facility in Bangladesh.
In the past the NTCD has imparted training to canines and handlers for police in Nepal and Mauritius.
This has been reported in telegraphindia.com dated 27 February 2017.
The NTCD is run by the BSF and it trains canines of various breeds for all the police forces in the country and, in 2015, BSF-trained dogs had been inducted in the BGB for the first time. Some of these dogs were also inducted in security forces in Bangladesh for VIP duty. At that time the NTCD had trained 20 dogs and a similar number of handlers for the BGB and last year it was 18 pups.
Each of the German Shepherds are procured for Rs 30,000 and were trained for six months along with the handlers before being handed over to the BGB.
This breed of dogs are effective in tracking criminals and patrolling and, especially, for VIP security because they are good at detecting hidden explosives.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

Barack Obama enters the league of top US Presidents with ranking of 12

Public tours of the White House will begin again from March 7

Explosion in French nuclear power plant in a non-nuclear zone


Didi caught in the whirlpool of industries (satire)

Moody’s love hate relationship with the raincoat (satire)

The curse of social media – cold blooded murders committed


Mumbai will get to see Justin Bieber in action on May 10

Kangana Ranaut is 'fearless Julia' in Rangoon

Shakti Kapoor holds his audience spellbound in the Khandagiri Yatra


ISIS carries out car bombing in Baghdad - kills at least 55

Suicide bomb attack kills at least 72 in a Sufi shrine in Pakistan

Mayor of London worried about ISIS attacks on the city

German tourist not allowed to enter Puri Jagannath Temple


A 35-year-old German tourist who tried to enter the Puri Jagannath Temple, was prevented from doing so by the priests because this temple is off limits to non-Hindus. The police detained the German based on a complaint filed by the one of the priests.
This has been reported in timesofindia.indiatimes.com dated 27 February 2017.
The German tourist had arrived in Puri three days earlier and claimed to be a disciple of Lord Krishna and a follower of international society for Krishna consciousness (ISKCON) and when he was prevented from entering from the main gate, he tried to enter from one of the other gates.
He possesses a valid passport and, admitted that he was aware of the temple's restriction on the access of non-Hindus but his argument was that he was a staunch follower of Lord Jagannath and had visited several other Hindu temples in India and, why should he not be slowed to enter this temple.
Incidentally, in spite of such a rule, there have been instances of foreigners who gained entry into the shrine in the past and had to undergo inhuman behavior in the hands of aggrieved priests. In fact, on December 28, 2010, an American woman was humiliated and thrown out of the shrine by a group of priests.
Such actions do not auger well for the tourism industry.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

Barack Obama enters the league of top US Presidents with ranking of 12

Public tours of the White House will begin again from March 7

Explosion in French nuclear power plant in a non-nuclear zone


Didi caught in the whirlpool of industries (satire)

Moody’s love hate relationship with the raincoat (satire)

The curse of social media – cold blooded murders committed


Mumbai will get to see Justin Bieber in action on May 10

Kangana Ranaut is 'fearless Julia' in Rangoon

Shakti Kapoor holds his audience spellbound in the Khandagiri Yatra


ISIS carries out car bombing in Baghdad - kills at least 55

Suicide bomb attack kills at least 72 in a Sufi shrine in Pakistan

Mayor of London worried about ISIS attacks on the city

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Naxos, an island in Greece, welcomes spring through carnival


The island of Naxos in Greece welcomes spring by holding a colorful Carnival and, some of the customs followed date back to antiquity. In some of the villages, young men wearing cow bells and carrying a phallic symbol - a common feature of ancient rites celebrating spring - dance their way to the village's main square. They invite the women to dance and the women, in turn, offer them local delicacies and wine.
This has been reported in nzherald.co.nz dated 27 February 2017.
A recent addition from 1994 is the Lampadiforia (Torch Parade) in which young men and women with faces painted to resemble black-and-white masks wear white sheets and hold torches on long poles and parade toward the Temple of Apollo. It was created by young members of the local cinema club. At that time, hardly 50 people took part - today it is a 2000 strong group.
The Torch Parade is now a well-established part of Carnival festivities with revelers dancing to the beat of drums and ends at the town's central square for burning a scarecrow.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

Barack Obama enters the league of top US Presidents with ranking of 12

Public tours of the White House will begin again from March 7

Explosion in French nuclear power plant in a non-nuclear zone


Didi caught in the whirlpool of industries (satire)

Moody’s love hate relationship with the raincoat (satire)

The curse of social media – cold blooded murders committed


Mumbai will get to see Justin Bieber in action on May 10

Kangana Ranaut is 'fearless Julia' in Rangoon

Shakti Kapoor holds his audience spellbound in the Khandagiri Yatra


ISIS carries out car bombing in Baghdad - kills at least 55

Suicide bomb attack kills at least 72 in a Sufi shrine in Pakistan

Mayor of London worried about ISIS attacks on the city

Bengaluru comes up with systen to collect e-waste through post offices


Bengaluru has come to the forefront of managing e-waste - in South Bengaluru, these can be dropped off at the nearest Bangalore One centre and soon, it will be extended to select post offices. In view of rapid up-gradation of technologies, electronic items become obsolete too soon and people are loaded with electronic junk. Unless properly disposed off, these items are environmental risks.
Hence the initiative of Bengaluru needs to be be lauded.
This hass been reported in thehindu.com dated 25 February 2017.
Two organisations who are involved in the waste management sector for over a decade have put up nine e-waste collection units at nine Bangalore One centres in 10 wards in and around J.P. Nagar and, in less than a month, they have collected over 250 kg of e-waste that include laptops, mobile phones, DVDs and other electronic equipment. There is a mobile pick-up vehicle also doing the rounds in south Bengaluru. It is a pre-arranged collection with institutions and residents welfare associations.
Recent e-waste management rules that have been notified by Ministry of Environment and Forests, has added items like tubelights, CFL and other lighting waste to the e-waste list.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

Barack Obama enters the league of top US Presidents with ranking of 12

Public tours of the White House will begin again from March 7

Explosion in French nuclear power plant in a non-nuclear zone


Didi caught in the whirlpool of industries (satire)

Moody’s love hate relationship with the raincoat (satire)

The curse of social media – cold blooded murders committed


Mumbai will get to see Justin Bieber in action on May 10

Kangana Ranaut is 'fearless Julia' in Rangoon

Shakti Kapoor holds his audience spellbound in the Khandagiri Yatra


ISIS carries out car bombing in Baghdad - kills at least 55

Suicide bomb attack kills at least 72 in a Sufi shrine in Pakistan

Mayor of London worried about ISIS attacks on the city

Unchecked prawn farming a threat to the Chilika lagoon in Odisha


Chilika lagoon in Odisha is the largest brackish water lake of Asia and it is faced with heavy silting and unchecked prawn farming which are posing a serious threat to this lagoon. It is believed that the prawn culture is a major factor that has given rise to the silt load of the lake and is, in turn, adversely impacting its bio-diversity.
There are fears that the silting could lead to the shrinkage of the lake area - this fluctuates between 1,165sqkm and 906sqkm. The net result could be that the lake would become shallow.
This has been reported in telegraphindia.com dated 26 February 2017.
In the opinion of environmentalists the combined effect of prawn culture and the growing silt load would have an adverse impact on the salinity level and affect its flora and fauna - part of this is food for local and migratory birds. The catchment area of Chilika covers parts of Khurda, Puri and Ganjam districts and has a rock, sand and mud substratum. It also has a wide range of sedimentary particles like clay, silt, sand and gravel and silt is more.
Prawn farming in Chilika is illegal but it continues with the support of powerful businessmen, bureaucrats and even politicians have stakes in it.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

Barack Obama enters the league of top US Presidents with ranking of 12

Public tours of the White House will begin again from March 7

Explosion in French nuclear power plant in a non-nuclear zone


Didi caught in the whirlpool of industries (satire)

Moody’s love hate relationship with the raincoat (satire)

The curse of social media – cold blooded murders committed


Mumbai will get to see Justin Bieber in action on May 10

Kangana Ranaut is 'fearless Julia' in Rangoon

Shakti Kapoor holds his audience spellbound in the Khandagiri Yatra


ISIS carries out car bombing in Baghdad - kills at least 55

Suicide bomb attack kills at least 72 in a Sufi shrine in Pakistan

Mayor of London worried about ISIS attacks on the city

Little known facts about the dhobi ghat in Mumbai, a Guinness World Record holder


The dhobi ghat in Mumbai is a Guinness World Record holder - the plaque at the entrance says - "The most clothes that people hand-washed simultaneously at a single location were 496. This feat was achieved by the Dhobi Kalyan and Audyogik Vikas Coop Society on March 8, 2011."
Located at Mumbai's Mahalaxmi, its annual turnover is of the order of Rs 100 crore.
The dhobis (washermen) numbering over 7000 work for 18 to 20 hours each day. They flog, scrub, dye and bleach clothes on concrete wash pens, dry them on ropes, neatly press them and then send them off to different locations in the city. It is estimated that over one lakh clothes are washed every day.
This has been reported in timesofindia.indiatimes.com dated 26 February 2017.
It seems a private laundry will charge a customer Rs 50 to wash a pant or shirt and send the clothes to the ghat where each piece is washed for as little as Rs 5.
Similarly, garment dealers bring second-hand clothes in bulk and get them scrubbed at the Ghat. These clothes are then sold as brand new. Same with sarees which arrive in bulk. Each dhobi washes at least 400 sarees a day, most of them old and meant for second sales and the charges are Rs 4 to Rs 5 per saree with guaranteed delivery the next day.
Their biggest clients are neighborhood laundries, garment dealers, wedding decorators and caterers, mid-sized hotels and clubs. One of our largest clients used to be the Indian Railways, but they now have their own equipment.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

Barack Obama enters the league of top US Presidents with ranking of 12

Public tours of the White House will begin again from March 7

Explosion in French nuclear power plant in a non-nuclear zone


Didi caught in the whirlpool of industries (satire)

Moody’s love hate relationship with the raincoat (satire)

The curse of social media – cold blooded murders committed


Mumbai will get to see Justin Bieber in action on May 10

Kangana Ranaut is 'fearless Julia' in Rangoon

Shakti Kapoor holds his audience spellbound in the Khandagiri Yatra


ISIS carries out car bombing in Baghdad - kills at least 55

Suicide bomb attack kills at least 72 in a Sufi shrine in Pakistan

Mayor of London worried about ISIS attacks on the city

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Ranchi gearing up to attract tourists with new Pahari Mandir ropeway


The Pahari Mandir in Ranchi would soon become the second ropeway destination of Jharkhand after Trikut hills in Deoghar - it will give a boost to tourism in the region. The state tourism department has signed an MOU in the recently concluded Global Investors' Summit (GIS) to launch the aerial ride on public-private partnership (PPP) mode.
Apart from Pahari Mandir, there are plans to commission ropeways at four other places - Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary near Jamshedpur, Jonha Falls in Ranchi, Ramrekha Dham in Simdega and Lodh Falls in Latehar.
This has been reported in telegraphindia.com dated 25 February 2017.
The time fame would be a maximum of 12 months to commission the ropeway from the day of acquiring the necessary land ... groundwork of soil testing and site identification had been undertaken at Pahari Mandir around six months ago and the detailed project report has pegged the estimated budget at Rs 4.5 crore.
The land required would be 300 sqm for the lower station, and 150 sqm for the upper station. Some more lad would be required for corridors on both sides of the central line. The ropeway would run for 190 metres at a maximum height of 65 metres.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

Barack Obama enters the league of top US Presidents with ranking of 12

Public tours of the White House will begin again from March 7

Explosion in French nuclear power plant in a non-nuclear zone


Didi caught in the whirlpool of industries (satire)

Moody’s love hate relationship with the raincoat (satire)

The curse of social media – cold blooded murders committed


Mumbai will get to see Justin Bieber in action on May 10

Kangana Ranaut is 'fearless Julia' in Rangoon

Shakti Kapoor holds his audience spellbound in the Khandagiri Yatra


ISIS carries out car bombing in Baghdad - kills at least 55

Suicide bomb attack kills at least 72 in a Sufi shrine in Pakistan

Mayor of London worried about ISIS attacks on the city

Friday, February 24, 2017

Build more habitats for the one-horned rhino for their survival


In order to ensure that the one-horned rhino do not go extinct, it is necessary to build more habitats for them because the Kaziranga National Park and a few other protected areas of the state are home to nearly two-thirds of the rhino. This has been suggested by conservationists.
A report by WWF-India has brought the need to investigate the feasibility of reintroducing rhinos in other areas like the D'Ering Wildlife Sanctuary in Arunachal Pradesh, Katerniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary and Pilibhit Tiger Reserve in Uttar Pradesh apart from the Buxa Tiger Reserve in West Bengal.
This has been reported in timesofindia.indiatimes.com dated 25 February 2017.
Kaziranga has the maximum concentration of over 70% rhinos and any local catastrophe due to poaching, disease or some other factor could have a devastating effect.
Rhinos from Kaziranga and Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary have been reintroduced in Manas National Park and the Laokhowa-Burachapori Wildlife Sanctuary under the state forest department's Indian Rhino Vision (IRV) 2020 which hopes to increase the population in the state to 3,000 by 2020. In order to achieve this target, the population in Assam needs to increase by three per cent every year and, by 2015, it has already reached 2,626.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

Barack Obama enters the league of top US Presidents with ranking of 12

Public tours of the White House will begin again from March 7

Explosion in French nuclear power plant in a non-nuclear zone


Didi caught in the whirlpool of industries (satire)

Moody’s love hate relationship with the raincoat (satire)

The curse of social media – cold blooded murders committed


Mumbai will get to see Justin Bieber in action on May 10

Kangana Ranaut is 'fearless Julia' in Rangoon

Shakti Kapoor holds his audience spellbound in the Khandagiri Yatra


ISIS carries out car bombing in Baghdad - kills at least 55

Suicide bomb attack kills at least 72 in a Sufi shrine in Pakistan

Mayor of London worried about ISIS attacks on the city

Freak of Nature - a plant in New Zealand suddenly begins to grow 15 centimetres every day


This will bring back to memory the fairytale of Jack and the Beanstalk. It has really happened to a woman of New Zealand who suddenly saw a plant in her garden growing at an incredible rate of 15 centimetres a day and it is already attained a height of six metres.
She had bought a small, spiky succulent plant for her front garden nearly a decade ago had no idea that overnight it would reach for the sky.
This has been reported in nzherald.co.nz dated 24 February 2017.
It is a Agave Geminiflora and it flowers very late in its life and the lady has come to know that her agave was in the process of flowering. Normally, the typical agave will not flower until it is at least 10 years old, and they usually grow to a height of 3m and this is an exception because it is already 6m in height and is continuing to grow.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

Barack Obama enters the league of top US Presidents with ranking of 12

Public tours of the White House will begin again from March 7

Explosion in French nuclear power plant in a non-nuclear zone


Didi caught in the whirlpool of industries (satire)

Moody’s love hate relationship with the raincoat (satire)

The curse of social media – cold blooded murders committed


Mumbai will get to see Justin Bieber in action on May 10

Kangana Ranaut is 'fearless Julia' in Rangoon

Shakti Kapoor holds his audience spellbound in the Khandagiri Yatra


ISIS carries out car bombing in Baghdad - kills at least 55

Suicide bomb attack kills at least 72 in a Sufi shrine in Pakistan

Mayor of London worried about ISIS attacks on the city

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Increase in the population of blackbucks in Odisha is a major problem


The increase in the population of blackbucks in Odisha from 1,625 in the 2011 to 3806 in March 2015 is a major problem for the forest department officials of Odisha. They are known as the krushna saar mruga, these blackbucks are found in Ganjam district and its adjoining areas and the villagers treat them reverentially since they are believed to be harbinger of good times.
Due to the increase in their population they are devouring the standing crops and are moving to newer areas in search of food which has forced many villagers to give up agricultural practices.
This has been reported in telegraphindia.com dated 23 February 2017.
Since the animals are not harmed and with their growth rate at around 15 percent annually, the situation is becoming critical. Due to their appetite, vast tracts of land are lying fallow and villagers hope that the government would compensate them for their losses.
The fact is that a sustainable model has to be evolved for conservation of the blackbucks and that is the need of the hour.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

Barack Obama enters the league of top US Presidents with ranking of 12

Public tours of the White House will begin again from March 7

Explosion in French nuclear power plant in a non-nuclear zone


Didi caught in the whirlpool of industries (satire)

Moody’s love hate relationship with the raincoat (satire)

The curse of social media – cold blooded murders committed


Mumbai will get to see Justin Bieber in action on May 10

Kangana Ranaut is 'fearless Julia' in Rangoon

Shakti Kapoor holds his audience spellbound in the Khandagiri Yatra


ISIS carries out car bombing in Baghdad - kills at least 55

Suicide bomb attack kills at least 72 in a Sufi shrine in Pakistan

Mayor of London worried about ISIS attacks on the city

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Two divers caught with more than 500 undersize scallops in their possession


Vigilant members of the public helped to nab two divers who were caught with more than 500 undersized scallops in their possession at Whangarei Heads. Initially, the fisheries officer found 52 scallops dumped on the water's edge apart from a catch bag in which there were another 176 scallops.
Subsequently, there was another haul and the total number of scallops came to 565 out of which 300 were under the legal size of 100mm.
The officers indicated that the duo would be facing charges under the Fisheries Act.
This has been reported in nzherald.co.nz dated 22 February 2017.
As per existing law, the daily limit per diver is 20 scallops and taking out so many of them at a time threatens the sustainability of the scallop fishery and, simultaneously, will have an impact on the number of scallops available to other people.
The two men along with their vehicle and dive gear have been seized and some of the scallops were returned to the sea.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

Barack Obama enters the league of top US Presidents with ranking of 12

Public tours of the White House will begin again from March 7

Explosion in French nuclear power plant in a non-nuclear zone


Didi caught in the whirlpool of industries (satire)

Moody’s love hate relationship with the raincoat (satire)

The curse of social media – cold blooded murders committed


Mumbai will get to see Justin Bieber in action on May 10

Kangana Ranaut is 'fearless Julia' in Rangoon

Shakti Kapoor holds his audience spellbound in the Khandagiri Yatra


ISIS carries out car bombing in Baghdad - kills at least 55

Suicide bomb attack kills at least 72 in a Sufi shrine in Pakistan

Mayor of London worried about ISIS attacks on the city

Western Railway to have food plazas at seven stations for a start


As envisaged by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, and in order to generate revenues from non-tariff sources, Western Railway plans to have food plazas at seven stations for a start - the stations selected for the first phase are Churchgate, Dadar, Andheri, Bhayender, Vasai Road, Vapi and Valsad.
These plazas will be operational 24 hours a day, and will offer wide variety of Indian, Continental, Chinese, and fast food.
This has been reported in thehindu.com dated 21 February 2017.
Indian Railways (IR) enjoy the highest captive eyeballs in a railway system internationally but it earns less than 5% of its revenue through non-tariff sources while many railway systems in the world are able to generate 10 to 20% of their revenues from non-tariff sources. Therefore, within next five years, the Railways wants to monetise its assets and undertake other revenue-yielding activities.
Hence, the Western Railway' scheme of establishing food plazas at railway stations within the next six months. The first batch of sensations have been identified and the viability of four more at Palghar, Borivali, Bandra Terminus and Boisar is being studied.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

Barack Obama enters the league of top US Presidents with ranking of 12

Public tours of the White House will begin again from March 7

Explosion in French nuclear power plant in a non-nuclear zone


Didi caught in the whirlpool of industries (satire)

Moody’s love hate relationship with the raincoat (satire)

The curse of social media – cold blooded murders committed


Mumbai will get to see Justin Bieber in action on May 10

Kangana Ranaut is 'fearless Julia' in Rangoon

Shakti Kapoor holds his audience spellbound in the Khandagiri Yatra


ISIS carries out car bombing in Baghdad - kills at least 55

Suicide bomb attack kills at least 72 in a Sufi shrine in Pakistan

Mayor of London worried about ISIS attacks on the city

Monday, February 20, 2017

Delhi Metro creates an eco-friendly park near Shastri Park Station


The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has created an eco-friendly station at Shastri Park Metro Station and it is decorated with artistic installations that has been created from waste material recovered from Metro construction sites.
The park is powered by the solar energy and water required for horticultural use will be provided by the Sewage Water Treatment Plant (STP).
This has been reported in thestatesman.com dated 21 February 2017.
The park located near Shastri Park Metro Station is spread across 10 acres and will be offering a host of facilities like auditorium, amphitheatre, meditation corner, playground for children and gymnasium apart from a lake with a fountain in it.
Top soil from various underground station sites have been used in the park and it is furnished with "medicinal and pollution absorbing plants". It has received 'Platinum' rating from the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC). With this Prakriti Park, the DMRC has initiated a new chapter in CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility).


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

Barack Obama enters the league of top US Presidents with ranking of 12

Public tours of the White House will begin again from March 7

Explosion in French nuclear power plant in a non-nuclear zone


Didi caught in the whirlpool of industries (satire)

Moody’s love hate relationship with the raincoat (satire)

The curse of social media – cold blooded murders committed


Mumbai will get to see Justin Bieber in action on May 10

Kangana Ranaut is 'fearless Julia' in Rangoon

Shakti Kapoor holds his audience spellbound in the Khandagiri Yatra


ISIS carries out car bombing in Baghdad - kills at least 55

Suicide bomb attack kills at least 72 in a Sufi shrine in Pakistan

Mayor of London worried about ISIS attacks on the city

Migratory birds from Chilika are leaving early because of soaring temperatures


Migratory birds had made the Chilika their winter home and have started to leave early and begin their homebound journey because of soaring temperatures. Over 50 per cent of them have already left while the rest are likely to fly off shortly. Same is observed in the Bhitarkanika National Park also.
Usually, the migratory birds arrive from Siberia, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan in October and return by March but, this year, the return is early, about a week before their usual time of departure.
This has been reported in telegraphindia.com dated 21 February 2017.
It is estimated that around 9.47 lakh birds belonging to 176 species had arrived this year to spend the winter at the wetland spread over 1,100sqkm. - it has been designated as a Ramsar site (wetland of international importance). The corresponding figures for 2015 was more than 4.6 lakh birds of 161 species. However, in the Bhitarkanika wetland sites, there was a drop in the number of winged visitors from trans-Himalayan region.
In the opinion of ornithologists, the duration of stay of migratory birds is on the decline and this can be ttributed to early arrival of summer. Earlier, summer used to set in from mid-March.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

Barack Obama enters the league of top US Presidents with ranking of 12

Public tours of the White House will begin again from March 7

Explosion in French nuclear power plant in a non-nuclear zone


Didi caught in the whirlpool of industries (satire)

Moody’s love hate relationship with the raincoat (satire)

The curse of social media – cold blooded murders committed


Mumbai will get to see Justin Bieber in action on May 10

Kangana Ranaut is 'fearless Julia' in Rangoon

Shakti Kapoor holds his audience spellbound in the Khandagiri Yatra


ISIS carries out car bombing in Baghdad - kills at least 55

Suicide bomb attack kills at least 72 in a Sufi shrine in Pakistan

Mayor of London worried about ISIS attacks on the city

India can develop a space station says ISRO Chairman


The Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) was in Indore to attend the foundation day ceremony of Raja Ramanna Center for Advanced Technology (RRCAT) where he said that India can develop a space station - only, it needed a long-term approach and an ambitious planning.
His statement was against the backdrop of the successful launch of 104 satellites in a single mission by ISRO which is proof of the country's technological prowess.
This has been reported in timesofindia.indiatimes.com dated 20 February 2017.
He asserted that the capability is there, and once the policy decision is taken and necessarily funds made available, the work can go ahead - ISRO would OK the project. He went on to add that the hesitation on the part of the authorities appear to be on the immediate benefits of a manned space mission.
A long-term thinking was needed to establish a space station.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

Barack Obama enters the league of top US Presidents with ranking of 12

Public tours of the White House will begin again from March 7

Explosion in French nuclear power plant in a non-nuclear zone


Didi caught in the whirlpool of industries (satire)

Moody’s love hate relationship with the raincoat (satire)

The curse of social media – cold blooded murders committed


Mumbai will get to see Justin Bieber in action on May 10

Kangana Ranaut is 'fearless Julia' in Rangoon

Shakti Kapoor holds his audience spellbound in the Khandagiri Yatra


ISIS carries out car bombing in Baghdad - kills at least 55

Suicide bomb attack kills at least 72 in a Sufi shrine in Pakistan

Mayor of London worried about ISIS attacks on the city

Deposit-Return Scheme for plastic bottles could keep the environment clean


One of the UK largest waste management companies has indicated that a deposit-return scheme (DRS) would go a long way to keep the environment clean. It would make make environmental and economic sense. However, Government officials feel that such a system would be "unlikely" to form part of a national litter strategy.
The company argued that DRS would put "pounds in the pocket of both households and business through reduced waste disposal costs and reduced need to buy raw virgin materials".
This has been reported in news.sky.com dated 20 February 2017.
Britain has already shifted from a throw-away society to embrace the culture of re-use and recycling and should not lose an opportunity to make further improvements. Introducing DRS would be a step towards a circular economy.
The reluctance of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to pursue a DRS scheme was attributed to a trial in Scotland. However, those who support DRS say that, if implemented, it would reduce litter and the amount of plastic entering the oceans.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

Barack Obama enters the league of top US Presidents with ranking of 12

Public tours of the White House will begin again from March 7

Explosion in French nuclear power plant in a non-nuclear zone


Didi caught in the whirlpool of industries (satire)

Moody’s love hate relationship with the raincoat (satire)

The curse of social media – cold blooded murders committed


Mumbai will get to see Justin Bieber in action on May 10

Kangana Ranaut is 'fearless Julia' in Rangoon

Shakti Kapoor holds his audience spellbound in the Khandagiri Yatra


ISIS carries out car bombing in Baghdad - kills at least 55

Suicide bomb attack kills at least 72 in a Sufi shrine in Pakistan

Mayor of London worried about ISIS attacks on the city

National Folk Festival of Kerala to showcase dances from 10 states


Folk artists from 10 states will converge on Kerala on the occasion of the National Folk Festival of Kerala which will be held for three days starting from 24 February. The states would include Rajasthan, West Bengal and Jammu and Kashmir.
There will be three venues and over 500 artists who will participate to showcase the centuries-old folklore culture and tradition of the country through different art forms.
This has been reported in thestatesman.com dated 19 February 2017.
This is the first time such a festival is being held in the state. The NFFK 2017 is organized by the state Youth Welfare Board, in association with Bharat Bhavan and the Vyloppilli Samskrithi Bhavan - these are the state-run cultural centers. The event will provide an opportunity to display the rich legacy of the country's folklore tradition before the art and culture buffs.
Kashmir - a group of 20 artists will showcase over 10 dance and music programs.

Bengal - noted folk music band 'Sahajiya' would reader Bengal's legacy of the folk arts

Punjab - would perform traditional dances like Bhangra, Giddha and Jago

Rajasthan - would showcase 'Kalbelia', the famed folk dance mainly performed by tribes of the same name. The performances of artists from Jaisalmer would provide the audience to get an idea about the traditional dress and lifestyle of the place

Kerala - would showcase the state's traditional art forms including 'Theyyam'


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

Barack Obama enters the league of top US Presidents with ranking of 12

Public tours of the White House will begin again from March 7

Explosion in French nuclear power plant in a non-nuclear zone


Didi caught in the whirlpool of industries (satire)

Moody’s love hate relationship with the raincoat (satire)

The curse of social media – cold blooded murders committed


Mumbai will get to see Justin Bieber in action on May 10

Kangana Ranaut is 'fearless Julia' in Rangoon

Shakti Kapoor holds his audience spellbound in the Khandagiri Yatra


ISIS carries out car bombing in Baghdad - kills at least 55

Suicide bomb attack kills at least 72 in a Sufi shrine in Pakistan

Mayor of London worried about ISIS attacks on the city

Sunday, February 19, 2017

To boost tourism, 20-Km seafront driveway planned between Digha and Mandarmani


The Bengal government has undertaken construction of a 20-Km seafront driveway between Digha and Mandarmani that will give a boost to tourism in the region. The driveway will reduce the distance between the two beach resorts by almost half and is being built on the lines of Mumbai's Marine Drive.
It was part of the chief minister's dream beautification project and will give the tourists a clear view of the sea all along the stretch and will reduce the distance between Digha and Mandarmani from 46-Km to 20-Km.
This has been reported in telegraphindia.com dated 20 February 2017.
Officials of the Digha-Shankarpur Development Authority have indicated that the Rs 36 crore driveway was expected to be completed by this year. For this, two bridges would have to be built across two canals - Champa and Sapua. To start with, it will be a single-lane road with a width of 5.25 metres and will later be widened into a double-lane road. At present, vehicles ferrying tourists will only be allowed to use the driveway.
There are plans to extend the driveway up to the Peuaghat fishing harbour which is located 19-Km from Mandarmani. The new beach road will also help the tourists reach the 30-odd homestays that the government is planning to start soon. A total of 100 homestays are planned along the stretch between Mandarmani and Digha.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

Barack Obama enters the league of top US Presidents with ranking of 12

Public tours of the White House will begin again from March 7

Explosion in French nuclear power plant in a non-nuclear zone


Didi caught in the whirlpool of industries (satire)

Moody’s love hate relationship with the raincoat (satire)

The curse of social media – cold blooded murders committed


Mumbai will get to see Justin Bieber in action on May 10

Kangana Ranaut is 'fearless Julia' in Rangoon

Shakti Kapoor holds his audience spellbound in the Khandagiri Yatra


ISIS carries out car bombing in Baghdad - kills at least 55

Suicide bomb attack kills at least 72 in a Sufi shrine in Pakistan

Mayor of London worried about ISIS attacks on the city

Araku coffee from Andhra to make its debut in Paris


Araku Valley of Andhra Pradesh has come up with a unique project under the blessings of four business leaders. It is the outcome of an agri enterprise by the tribal farmers who are growing top-notch quality coffee that is set to make its debut in Paris.
The men behind this project are Anand Mahindra (chairman, Mahindra & Mahindra), Kris Gopalakrishnan (co-founder, Infosys), Satish Reddy (chairman, Dr Reddy's Laboratories) and Rajendra Prasad Maganti (chairman, Soma Enterprise, a construction company).
This will give a boost to the 150-odd tribal communities who live in the Maoist-infested belt.
This has been reported in timesofindia.indiatimes.com dated 20 February 2017.
Coffee cultivation in Araku Valley is not new — the British did it and the government continues to grow the beans under its own brand doing it on a large scale has been done by the tribals only now. From 1,000 acres some years ago, the land under coffee production has gone up to 20,000 acres and the four investors have stepped in to assist them in increasing bean production by roping in global experts.
The Araku coffee will be sold under five variants with the most expensive stock priced around Rs 7,000 a kg. It has already obtained the geographical indication (GI) tag, which authenticates the unique properties a region can offer to a product. The next set of retail stores would come up in New York and Tokyo - obviously, Araku coffee will compete with world famous Columbian and Sumatra coffees.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

Barack Obama enters the league of top US Presidents with ranking of 12

Public tours of the White House will begin again from March 7

Explosion in French nuclear power plant in a non-nuclear zone


Didi caught in the whirlpool of industries (satire)

Moody’s love hate relationship with the raincoat (satire)

The curse of social media – cold blooded murders committed


Mumbai will get to see Justin Bieber in action on May 10

Kangana Ranaut is 'fearless Julia' in Rangoon

Shakti Kapoor holds his audience spellbound in the Khandagiri Yatra


ISIS carries out car bombing in Baghdad - kills at least 55

Suicide bomb attack kills at least 72 in a Sufi shrine in Pakistan

Mayor of London worried about ISIS attacks on the city

Three year old panda Bao Bao leaves for China


Bao Bao was born way back in August of 2013 and is part of the National Zoo’s cooperative breeding program with the China Wildlife Conservation Association. She has spent her entire life at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington D.C. and the 3-year-old is now heading for China.
The zoo will be holding a number of celebratory events leading up to her departure on Feb. 21.
This has been reported in foxnews.com dated 19 February 2017.
Sending the panda off to China is because of a loan agreement. The parents are in America on loan, and the loan agreement stipulates that any cub born can stay here up until they are four years old and then would have to go back to China. The cub is three and a half years old and it is the right time for her to go back.
The flight to China is of 16 hours duration and, since she loves bamboo, there will be 50 pounds of it in the flight along with sweet potatoes and apples.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

New luxury cruise liner Seabourn Encore is labeled as 'sexiest ship at sea'

Mahatma Gandhi’s samadhi at Rajghat gets a new look

200-year-old banyan tree uprooted by cyclone Vardah replanted in Chennai


The curse of social media – cold blooded murders committed

Saraswati Puja means entering a new phase of life

Moody on UFO, Mangalyaan and Moon Mission for monkey baat (satire)


Naomie Harris gets Oscar nomination in the best-supporting actress category for Moonlight

Nicole Kidman could earn $8 million if she writes her autobiography

Sets of the film Padmavati in Jaipur vandalised, Bhansali cancels shooting


Mayor of London worried about ISIS attacks on the city

Militants in Indonesia looking for women terrorists

Six people shot dead by gunmen in a mosque in Quebec City during evening prayers

Saturday, February 18, 2017

India can meet its total energy requirements from the Moon by 2030


A distinguished professor of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has indicated that India could meet all her energy requirements from the Moon - Helium-3 is available in abundance on the Moon and it can be mined. If successful, India may be able to meet all its energy requirements from this resource by 2030.
The professor was delivering the valedictory address at the three-day ORF-Kalpana Chawla Space Policy Dialogue, organised by Observer Research Foundation.
This has been reported in thestatesman.com dated 19 February 2017.
The professor is a former chief of BrahMos Aerospace and, in his opinion, mining lunar dust, which is rich in Helium-3 will pay dividends and is a priority program for the ISRO. Many other countries are also working on the project and the amount of Helium on the moon is sufficient to meet the energy requirements of the whole world.
He also added in a lighter vein that in a few decades time, people will be going to the moon for honey-moon.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

New luxury cruise liner Seabourn Encore is labeled as 'sexiest ship at sea'

Mahatma Gandhi’s samadhi at Rajghat gets a new look

200-year-old banyan tree uprooted by cyclone Vardah replanted in Chennai


The curse of social media – cold blooded murders committed

Saraswati Puja means entering a new phase of life

Moody on UFO, Mangalyaan and Moon Mission for monkey baat (satire)


Naomie Harris gets Oscar nomination in the best-supporting actress category for Moonlight

Nicole Kidman could earn $8 million if she writes her autobiography

Sets of the film Padmavati in Jaipur vandalised, Bhansali cancels shooting


Mayor of London worried about ISIS attacks on the city

Militants in Indonesia looking for women terrorists

Six people shot dead by gunmen in a mosque in Quebec City during evening prayers

Tigers in Pilibhit tiger reserve kill 7 villagers - panic in the air


Pilibhit tiger reserve is facing the terror of a tiger believed to be a "man-eater". It is on the prowl and has already killed seven villagers in the last three months. There is almost a tiger curfew in the thirty villages of the area. Moreover, some feel there is more than one tiger involved.
The farmers muster attend to their fields during the day and in tight little bands armed with whatever weapons they can manage. Children go to school under escort, or are just kept at home.
This has been reported in timesofindia.indiatimes.com dated 19 February 2017.
A forest department team managed to corner and tranquilise a tiger which is believed to have killed six villagers since November 28. It was then sent to Lucknow Zoo. But, there was a seventh killing on February 16 and forest officials did not arrange for a second hunt because the woman who was killed had crossed the outer boundary of the reserve and had gone inside to a distance of 300 m. The tiger did not enter a human settlement.
There are six teams led by experts who are monitoring the villages and are trying to fence the forest area. There are 44 tigers in the reserve and nine cubs had been spotted. Since the villagers are unable to protect their fields at night, animals like nilgai and wild boars are destroying the crops.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

New luxury cruise liner Seabourn Encore is labeled as 'sexiest ship at sea'

Mahatma Gandhi’s samadhi at Rajghat gets a new look

200-year-old banyan tree uprooted by cyclone Vardah replanted in Chennai


The curse of social media – cold blooded murders committed

Saraswati Puja means entering a new phase of life

Moody on UFO, Mangalyaan and Moon Mission for monkey baat (satire)


Naomie Harris gets Oscar nomination in the best-supporting actress category for Moonlight

Nicole Kidman could earn $8 million if she writes her autobiography

Sets of the film Padmavati in Jaipur vandalised, Bhansali cancels shooting


Mayor of London worried about ISIS attacks on the city

Militants in Indonesia looking for women terrorists

Six people shot dead by gunmen in a mosque in Quebec City during evening prayers

Barack Obama enters the league of top US Presidents with ranking of 12


In a survey released by the C-SPAN television network ahead of the Presidents Day weekend, a list of the top Presidents of the USA has been drawn up and Barack Obama has entered the list at the ranking of 12. This was the third such survey undertaken by historians of the TV network.
The top five were Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower.
This has been reported in nzherald.co.nz dated 18 February 2017.
The survey had been held earlier in 2000 and 2009 and it was done by asking 91 presidential historians to rank the 43 former presidents based on 10 attributes of leadership. Obama was ranked third in the "pursued equal justice of all" category and 39th in the "relations with congress" category.
At the bottom of the list were Andrew Johnson, Franklin Pierce and James Buchanan - they were ranked as the worst presidents in US history lower even than William Henry Harrison, who had been President for only one month.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

New luxury cruise liner Seabourn Encore is labeled as 'sexiest ship at sea'

Mahatma Gandhi’s samadhi at Rajghat gets a new look

200-year-old banyan tree uprooted by cyclone Vardah replanted in Chennai


The curse of social media – cold blooded murders committed

Saraswati Puja means entering a new phase of life

Moody on UFO, Mangalyaan and Moon Mission for monkey baat (satire)


Naomie Harris gets Oscar nomination in the best-supporting actress category for Moonlight

Nicole Kidman could earn $8 million if she writes her autobiography

Sets of the film Padmavati in Jaipur vandalised, Bhansali cancels shooting


Mayor of London worried about ISIS attacks on the city

Militants in Indonesia looking for women terrorists

Six people shot dead by gunmen in a mosque in Quebec City during evening prayers

India's first solar-powered catamaran-type ferry in Kochi


Kochi has begun to operate India's first solar-powered ferry and wants Central subsidy to procure 10 more of the solar-powered catamaran-type ferries for Kochi and Alappuzha. The 75-seater ferry was introduced into service a month ago in the Vaikom-Thavanakadavu route and has provided impetus to the demand for solar-powered ferries in other routes.
The Centre had given 50 per cent subsidy for the vessel that cost approximately ₹2 crore.
This has been reported in thehindu.com dated 18 February 2017.
The normal subsidy of the center is 30% and, in view of the success, efforts are on to get 100% subsidy for the vessels proposed. Suitable changes could be incorporated in design, considering the difference in condition of water bodies in Kochi and Alappuzha because there is an acute shortages of ferries in these regions. Two partly air-conditioned ferries are under construction at two private yards at Aroor and these are expected to join the fleet shortly.
The daily operating cost of each ferry would be about ₹200 (equivalent to 20 units of power) as compared to ₹8,000 for conventional ferries. This would mean savings of approximately ₹2.5 lakh per vessel per month. Moreover, the solar ferry is more stable than regular ferries because of it has twin hulls and it weighs 17 tonnes as compared to 35 tonnes of other ferries.


Image courtesy wikimediacommons.org

New luxury cruise liner Seabourn Encore is labeled as 'sexiest ship at sea'

Mahatma Gandhi’s samadhi at Rajghat gets a new look

200-year-old banyan tree uprooted by cyclone Vardah replanted in Chennai


The curse of social media – cold blooded murders committed

Saraswati Puja means entering a new phase of life

Moody on UFO, Mangalyaan and Moon Mission for monkey baat (satire)


Naomie Harris gets Oscar nomination in the best-supporting actress category for Moonlight

Nicole Kidman could earn $8 million if she writes her autobiography

Sets of the film Padmavati in Jaipur vandalised, Bhansali cancels shooting


Mayor of London worried about ISIS attacks on the city

Militants in Indonesia looking for women terrorists

Six people shot dead by gunmen in a mosque in Quebec City during evening prayers