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Monthly Archives: December 2018

‘260 leopards poached since 2015’

At least 260 leopards were poached in the country between 2015 and 2018, with Uttarakhand accounting for 60 cases and Himachal Pradesh reporting another 49, according to information given to Parliament by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC). Of this, 64 cases of leopard poaching were recorded …

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Leh makes short work of a mountain of waste

Authorities in tourist hotspot Leh have put 65 tonnes of waste to productive use after the ecologically sensitive region’s garbage output went up drastically following the release of 3 Idiots on Christmas day nine years ago, drawing tourists in hordes. “The 65,000 kg of waste was first collected from the …

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PM opens Bogibeel Bridge, India’s longest

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday underlined the NDA government’s focus on improving connectivity in the northeastern region while inaugurating the 4.94 km Bogibeel Bridge, India’s longest rail-cum-road span, across the Brahmaputra. The strategic bridge, which connects Dibrugarh district on the river’s south bank in Assam to Dhemaji district on …

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Pictures of moon from spacecraft

The U.S. Apollo 8 astronauts to-day [December 24] beamed a television broadcast to earth from their spacecraft skimming the surface of the moon. The first picture came about two and a half hours after the moonship swooped into lunar orbit. It showed a brightly-lit stretch of the moon’s surface, including …

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Towns without musicians

Recently, while covering Cyclone Gaja, I stayed in Thiruvarur, the birthplace of the Carnatic Trinity (Thyagaraja, Muthuswami Dikshitar and Shyama Shastri) and of many other famous musicians. Thiruvarur V. Namasivayam, flautist N. Ramani, nagaswaram player T.N. Rajarathinam Pillai and mridhangam player Thiruvarur Bhaktavatsalam were born and trained in this temple …

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A disquieting exit

While the string of high-profile departures from the Donald Trump White House is longer than in the case of any of its recent predecessors, last week’s announcement by the President that Defence Secretary James Mattis would step down by the end of February 2019 set alarm bells ringing in Washington …

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Course correction?

Under attack on how the indirect tax regime has panned out, the Goods and Services Tax Council on Saturday announced a set of feel-good moves to reassure diverse stakeholders. For consumers, the peak tax rate of 28% levied on cinema tickets above Rs. 100, large screen television sets or monitors, …

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Implementing NOTA in the right spirit

In People’s Union For Civil Liberties v. Union Of India (September 27, 2013), the Supreme Court had ruled that a None of the Above (NOTA) option “may be provided in EVMs” so that voters are able to exercise their “right not to vote while maintaining their right of secrecy”. On …

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A solution in search of a problem

Last week, in its report, ‘Strategy for New India@75’, the NITI Aayog mooted the creation of an All India Judicial Service (AIJS) for making appointments to the lower judiciary through an all India judicial services examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) in order to maintain “high standards” …

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