NEW DELHI: Even as the government has put the revised no-go scheme for mining in forest areas in suspended animation, it has decided to auction another 17 coal blocks with several of them falling in dense forest patches including some that were banned for mining under the earlier no-go regime. The list of 17 coal blocks released in December last year and to be auctioned to public sector units this year includes one - Kente Extension -- in the rich forests of Hasdeo Arand in Chhattisgarh which the environment ministry had specifically put off the mining map, noting that the biodiversity and forest loss would be immense. It had done so as a condition to permit mining on the fringes of the green patch.
The NGO Greenpeace commissioned an analysis and mapping of the coal blocks by Bangalore-based research institution ATREE based on government data to assess the overlap of biodiversity and forest areas with the coal blocks now in offing - the first after the Coalgate scam broke. In its report, Greenpeace noted that 5,200 hectares of forests fall in these 17 blocks with more than half falling within the blocks being high or
moderately dense forests - the kinds the no-go policy had barred the miners from entering earlier. In its assessment, 11 of the coal blocks could lead to substantial damage to forests and biodiversity.
Using data from the government-run Wildlife Institute of India, the analysis also concluded that while some of these blocks were situated close enough to existing national parks and sanctuaries to require clearance from the National Board of Wildlife, some others impinged upon recorded elephant migratory routes and yet others were known to be biodiverse zones though wildlife records did not exist in detail. The inviolate or no-go policy was initially scripted on the insistence of Coal India Limited to ensure that the environment ministry was not forced to give a green nod as fait accompli to coal blocks which are allocated without its prior consultation - which is what eventually happened in several cases even as the government asked the ministry to revisit the policy. The environment ministry set up a committee to revise the norms which have now been hanging fire with the government since July 2012.
GM cows without horns?
PTI | Apr 29, 2013
LONDON: Scientists in the UK are genetically altering dairy cows so they have no horns, in a bid to make them safer and to cut the risk of injury to farmers and animals. The sophisticated geneediting technique involves inserting a DNA patch into the genome of holstein cows, UK's foremost dairy breed. The extra DNA is taken from other breeds of cattle, in which it is known to suppress horn growth. Scientists aim to create a genetically modified dairy cow, identical in every respect to existing livestock but without the horns and safety risks, The 'Sunday Times' reported.
"This would be a major advance in animal welfare," said Geoff Simm, a professor of animal breeding who chairs the government's Farm Animal Genetic Resources Committee. Simm championed the idea in a report on livestock genetics published by UK's Department for Environment , Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the food and farming ministry.
Simm's technique is a new form of genetic engineering that lets scientists make precise changes to DNA and was recently used by scientists at Edinburgh's Roslin Institute to create gene-edited pigs that can resist disease. Scientists are now working with Scott Fahrenkrug, professor of genetics at the University of Minnesota, who is using similar techniques to create hornless holstein cattle.
Fahrenkrug has already taken a short strip of DNA from the genome of Red Angus cattle, where it is known to suppress horn growth, and inserted it into cells taken from an elite holstein bull named Randy. Each of the resulting animals will be a clone of Randy — but without horns.
Educational PowerPoint Presentation
GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOODS
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Now, Gujarat to cover Narmada canals with solar panels!
Gandhinagar, April 23:
Close on heels of commencing use of wastelands in northern districts and rooftops in towns and cities, Gujarat is set to potentially use the existing 19,000 km-long network of Narmada canals across the State for setting up solar panels to generate power. The Chief Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, will inaugurate the first of a series of this project, known as Canal Solar Power Project, when he launches a 1 megawatt (mw) pilot project, which is already commissioned, on Narmada branch canal near Chandrasan village of Kadi taluka in Mehsana district on Tuesday.
Last week, he inaugurated a 600-MW solar power project spread across 11 districts. This included a 214MW Solar Power Park, the largest such generation centre at a single location in Asia. Also, Azure Power, leading independent power producer in solar sector, announced a 2.5 MW rooftops project in Gandhinagar. Gujarat, which invests nearly Rs 2,000 crore an year on renewable energy, has attracted investments of Rs 9,000 crore so far on solar energy projects.
The pilot project has been developed on a 750-m stretch of the canal by Gujarat State Electricity Corporation (GSECL) with support from Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd (SSNNL), which owns and maintains the canal network.
Energy, water security
The pilot project will generate 16 lakh units of clean energy per annum and also prevent evaporation of 90 lakh litres of water annually from the canal, an official told Business Line here on Monday. The concept will, therefore, tackle two of the challenges simultaneously by providing energy and water security. The cost of per megawatt of solar power, in this case, is likely to be much less than the estimated Rs 10-11 crore, as the two banks of the canal will be used to cover the canal by installing solar power panel and the government will not have to spend much on creating basic infrastructure, including land acquisition .
Today, Gujarat has about 458 km of open Main Canal, while the total canal length, including sub-branches, is about 19,000 km at present. When completed, the SSNNL's canal network will be about 85,000 km long. Assuming a utilisation of only 10 per cent of the existing canal network of 19,000 km, it is estimated that 2,200 MW of solar power generating capacity can be installed by covering the canals with solar panels. This also implies that 11,000 acres of land can be potentially conserved along with about 2,000 crore litres of water saved per annum.
Educational PowerPoint Presentation
SOLAR ENERGY (Darkness to Light)
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Tell centre to scrap Sethu Samudram, TN urges SC
New Delhi, Apr 30 (IANS): The Tamil Nadu government has urged the Supreme Court to direct the central government not to proceed with the implementation of the Sethu Samudram Shipping Channel Project in the Palk Strait. The channel will facilitate navigation between India's east and west coasts. In his affidavit before the apex court, Tamil Nadu government's chief secretary said that besides its questionable economic viability, the shipping channel project would adversely affect the extreme eco-fragility of the surrounding area. The state government said that shipping channel project was not in public interest.
The Tamil Nadu government sought the court's direction to the centre to "give careful consideration and to accept" the conclusion and recommendation of Dr. R.K. Pachauri's
report. The affidavit filed April 15, 2013, urged the apex court bench of Justice H.L. Dattu and Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar to direct the centre to declare Rama Sethu as a national monument and stay away from currying out any activity which may affect it.
Justice Dattu and Justice Khehar directed the listing of the matter for final hearing in August. In its report, Rajender Pachauri's Committee said that the alternate alignment for building Sethu Samudram Ship channel, while saving the mythical Rama Sethu, was "neither ecologically nor economically" feasible. Pachauri gave his report after the government asked him to look into the possibility of an alternate alignment for the Sethu Samudram channel which was to cut through the spit of land just east of Dhanushkodi, bypassing and saving the mythical Rama Sethu.
The committee was set up by the centre July 30, 2008. The report said: "It should also be emphasised that prudent adaptation strategy to deal with projected impacts of climate change should ensure that infrastructure investments are made in away that will not pose any risk to life or property." The centre has not accepted the committee's report, saying that it had gone beyond its terms of reference.
Read this beautiful Information about Japan
1 - Did you know that Japanese children clean their schools every day for a quarter of an hour with teachers, which led to the emergence of a Japanese generation who is modest and keen on cleanliness.
2 - Did you know that any Japanese citizen who has a dog must carry bag and special bags to pick up dog droppings. Hygiene and their eagerness to address cleanliness is part of Japanese ethics.
3 - Did you know that hygiene worker in Japan is called "health engineer" and can command salary of USD 5000 to 8000 per month, and a cleaner is subjected to written and oral tests!!
4 - Did you know that Japan does not have any natural resources, and they are exposed to hundreds of earthquakes a year but do not prevent her from becoming the second largest economy in the world?
5 - Did you know that Hiroshima returned to what it was economically vibrant before the fall of the atomic bomb in just ten years?
6 - Did you know that Japan prevents the use of mobile in trains, restaurants and indoor
7 - Did you know that in Japan students from the first to sixth primary year must learn ethics in dealing with people -
8 - Did you know that the Japanese even though one of the richest people in the world but they do not have servants. The parents are responsible for the house and children -
9 - Did you know that there is no examination from the first to the third primary level; because the goal of education is to instill concepts and character building, not just examination and indoctrination. -
10 - Did you know that if you go to a buffet restaurant in Japan you will notice people only eat as much as they need without any waste. No wasteful food.
11 - Did you know that the rate of delayed trains in Japan is about 7 seconds per year!! They appreciate the value of time, very punctual to minutes and seconds
12 -. Did you know that children in schools brush their teeth (sterile) and clean their teeth after a meal at school; They maintain their health from an early age -
13 - Did you know that students take half an hour to finish their meals to ensure right digestion When asked about this concern, they said: These students are the future of Japan