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Website Addresses Issues with How India is Portrayed in California K-12 Schools
Posted on 2015/1/31 15:42:28 ( 402 reads )">Source

FREMONT, CALIFORNIA, January 31, 2015 (press release): Hinduism as presented in California's current 6th grade textbooks is lacking in accuracy, factual content and sensitivity. The 7th grade books don't mention India despite it producing 1/3rd of the world's gross domestic product during the time period (300 to 1700 ce).

The Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) at California Department of Education (CDE) is presently undergoing a review of the states history and social sciences curriculum framework. This is something that happens just once in 10 years.

On this website, you can download various resources on the issue, as well as sign letters of support for changes in the Framework to improve the presentation of Indian history and Hinduism.

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Have We Reached "Peak Food"? Shortages Loom as Global Production Rates Slow
Posted on 2015/1/31 15:42:22 ( 343 reads )


UNITED KINGDOM, January 28, 2015 (Independent): The world has entered an era of "peak food" production with an array of staples from corn and rice to wheat and chicken slowing in growth - with potentially disastrous consequences for feeding the planet. New research finds that the supply of 21 staples, such as eggs, meat, vegetables and soybeans is already beginning to run out of momentum, while the global population continues to soar.

What makes the report particularly alarming is that so many crucial sources of food have peaked in a relatively short period of history, the researchers said. Peak production refers to the point at which the growth in a crop, animal or other food source begins to slow down, rather than the point at which production actually declines. However, it is regarded as a key signal that the momentum is being lost and it is typically only a matter of time before production plateaus and, in some cases, begins to fall - although it is unclear how long the process could take.

"Just nine or 10 plants species feed the world. But we found there's a peak for all these resources. Even renewable resources won't last forever," said Ralf Seppelt, of the Helmholtz Centre. The research, published in the journal Ecology and Society (, finds that 16 of the 21 foods examined reached peak production between 1988 and 2008.

More at 'source'.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/1/31 15:42:15 ( 253 reads )


For seven lives in seven bodies the grateful will remember friends who relieved their anguish and affliction.
-- Saint Tiruvalluvar's Tirukkural, verse 107

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120-year-old Hindu Temple in Singapore Renovated
Posted on 2015/1/30 15:23:11 ( 591 reads )


SINGAPORE, January 25, 2015 (by Melody Zaccheus, NewsAsia): Hunched over trays in the kitchen of a Hindu temple, a platoon of 12 volunteers and four cooks would spend two back-breaking hours on Fridays and Sundays peeling pungent onions. But they will no longer shed tears, as a new machine in the Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple's kitchen has cut the time taken to peel 30kg worth of onions to just two minutes. It will also eliminate the need for volunteers for the task. The automated peeler is one of six new pieces of equipment in the 120-year-old temple's new, state-of-the-art $500,000 kitchen.

The others include an automated vegetable cutter, an automated rice washer, and a combi-oven steamer that can produce 250 pieces of idli (steamed cakes) in 10 minutes. Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple's president, Dr R. Theyvendran, said the new kitchen will help speed up cooking operations to serve some 1,200 devotees, including foreign workers, who swing by on weekends for free vegetarian lunches and dinners.Its vice-chairman, Mr Prama Ganeshan, added: "We can now cook more elaborate meals for the elderly and the needy."

The machines were imported from places such as Germany and Taiwan, and a consultant from Gayatri Restaurant here was brought in for the project. The modernized kitchen is believed to be the first such facility in a temple here. The kitchen upgrade is part of a $4.5 million renovation throughout the temple's Ceylon Road premises that started last August. All Hindu temples undergo renovations and repairs every 12 years to re-energize their Deities.

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Use of Critically Endangered Medicinal Plants to be Phased Out
Posted on 2015/1/30 15:23:05 ( 559 reads )


INDIA, January 25, 2015 (The Hindu): In a few months, numerous "sought-after" ayurvedic medicines will be taken off the shelves as Karnataka Biodiversity Board (KBB) is phasing out the use of critically endangered medicinal plant species. Of the 425 plant species obtained from pharmaceutical companies, the board has reviewed 40 species that were put on the red list -- that is, endangered or vulnerable species -- of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

And of the 40 species, 20 have been declared as being "unsustainably exploited." The board has suggested phasing them out in a timeframe ranging from six months to two years. For instance, the use of the popular Ashoka tree, which is classified by the IUCN as "vulnerable", has been recommended for being phased out within six months. Nearly 15,337 tonnes of its bark, taken primarily from the Western Ghats, is used annually by pharma companies in the State.

"We will also recommend that companies be encouraged to take up cultivation of these species, instead of using them from the wild," said Mr. Sanjappa, former Director of Botanical Survey of India and a KBB member.

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