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India's Minorities Have Special Rights Over Their Institutions

Posted on 2002/7/26 9:46:02 ( 807 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, July 25, 2002: Taking a view very different from that of the Centre (that is, India's central or federal government) on Minority Educational Institutions (MEIs), Attorney General Soli Sorabjee on Thursday told the Supreme Court that minority's right to establish and administer educational institutions under the Constitution was absolute. "The fundamental right of administration of a minority educational institution under Article 30, on its terms and language, is absolute," Sorabjee submitted before an 11-Judge constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice B N Kirpal hearing arguments on several aspects of the MEIs. Solicitor General Harish Salve, appearing for the Centre, had contended last week that in the constitutional framework of schemes no right was absolute and hence the right to establish and administer and educational institutions by the minority community could not be an absolute right. When the Bench asked how a right could be absolute, Sorabjee promptly clarified although no right could be absolute, the right of the minority communities to manage their own schools should not be tinkered by an outside agency. These minority schools receive government funds for teacher's salaries and other expenses, may manage their own affairs and may teach their religion. Hindu schools similarly funded may not teach religion and may be run by a government-appointed administrator.

Amarnath Pilgrimage Temporarily Suspended Due to Weather

Posted on 2002/7/22 9:49:02 ( 859 reads )


KASHMIR, INDIA, July 22, 2002: The Amarnath Yatra was temporarily suspended on Sunday following heavy rains on the Baltal-Cave and the Pahalgam-Amarnath route, official sources said. Authorities later allowed pilgrims to resume their journey on the Pahalgam-Amarnath route. The Yatra remained suspended on the Baltal-Cave route, the shortest route to the cave shrine located at an altitude of 3,880 meters in the Himalayas. 3,838 pilgrims who left Jammu on Sunday arrived safely in Pahalgam, sources said. Meanwhile, the first group of Yatris who left Jammu on July 19 were likely to reach the shrine on Monday morning to worship Lord Shiva.

Bangalore Named One of World's Top Intelligent Communities

Posted on 2002/7/22 9:48:02 ( 867 reads )

Source: Times of India

BANGALORE, INDIA, July 21, 2002: Bangalore has been named one of the top seven intelligent communities in the world for 2002 by Intelligent Community Forum (ICF), a project of the World Teleport Association. An ICF report says Bangalore is one of the world's top centers of technology development and "since the mid-1990's, there has been a creation of fast-growing and affluent community of software professionals." "Bangalore's success is due to the effective economic development marketing of a government agency, software technology parks of India to the grassroots efforts of Indian software engineers and entrepreneurs in the US, who have opened eyes to the potential in their native country and to a local commitment to education and training that has made Bangalore the home of nearly 20 percent of Indian's total institutions of higher education," the report says. Bangalore has more than 100 research universities and technical colleges and employs about 80,000 people in the high-tech industry. ICF notes hundreds of international companies, including IBM, Microsoft, and American Express, have set up software development centers or contracted with local firms in order to take advantage of Bangalore's highly-trained, English-speaking computer graduates. The other six intelligent communities named by ICF are: Calgary in Canada, Florida High Tech Corridor Council and LaGrange in the US, Seoul in South Korea, Singapore, and Sunderland in the UK.

Cow's Urine Product Patented for Therapeutic Use

Posted on 2002/7/22 9:47:02 ( 1044 reads )


INDIA, August 21, 1989: For centuries, Indian medicine has been using cow's urine as an active ingredient in many preparations. Giving further acceptance to its efficiency is a US patent for an Indian product which contains distilled portions of cow's urine. Chemicals in this distilled portion, popularly known as Arka, enhance the activity of antibiotics and anti-cancer agents. Developed by a team of scientists at Lucknow's Center for Medicinal and Aromatic Plants affiliated to the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, it helps reduce the dosage of the drug, its side-effects and the cost of treatment. Its main area of research has been plants of medicinal or aromatic value. The scientists studied the ancient Ayurvedic texts Shushrut Samhita and Ashtanga Samgraha. The two ancient texts provide information about various combinations of natural substances. In these texts, cow's urine (go mutra) is mentioned as an animal secretion with therapeutic properties. The team then heard of a product which is a distillate of go mutra called Arka. Initial research on the distillate showed it could enhance the effects of a drug. The US Patent and Trade Office has granted a patent to the team for the pharmaceutical composition containing cow's urine distillate and an antibiotic (which can be anything from an antifungal agent to an anti-cancer drug). the patent report says: "The invention relates to an absolutely novel use of cow urine distillate as activity enhancer and availability facilitator for bioactive molecules including anti-infective and anti-cancer agents."

Lord Ganesha Invoked for Cricket Players

Posted on 2002/7/21 9:49:02 ( 808 reads )


CHENNAI, INDIA, July 18, 2002: Road side temples for Lord Ganesha are a common site in this city. One temple of Lord Ganesha has now been built in the city by a cricket fan to remove obstacles in the way of the Indian cricket team. Ramakrishnan got a granite icon of Ganesh installed with the trunk pointing to the right. This is so because he believes that it helped the right-handed batsmen. Another icon has the trunk pointing to the left, which he believes helped the performance of left-handed players in the team. He claims that Ganesa changed the fortunes of Indian cricket dramatically, and the Indian team went on to win the series against Australia.

Computer Touch Screen for Meenakshi Temple

Posted on 2002/7/21 9:48:02 ( 940 reads )


MADURAI, INDIA, July 18, 2002: The famous Sri Meenakshi Temple here will have computer touch screen facility from August 1 which will provide information regarding the temple, including its history, festival and puja rates. The screen would be open to the public from 5:00 am to 1:00 pm and from 4:00 pm to 9:30 pm, temple sources said. The devotees would have to pay US two cents for accessing the touch screen facility and could get details about the temple in Hindi, Tamil or English.

Diamonds First Mined in India

Posted on 2002/7/21 9:47:02 ( 995 reads )


USA, July 16, 2002: "Diamond" comes from the Greek "adamao" meaning, "I tame" or "I subdue," according to this story which appeared on the CBS program, "60 Minutes II." The adjective "adamas" was used to describe the hardest substance known, and eventually became synonymous with diamond. Knowledge of diamond starts in India, where it was first mined. The word most generally used for diamond in Sanskrit is "vajra," "thunderbolt," and "Indrayudha," "Indra's weapon." Because Indra is the warrior God from Vedic scriptures, the foundation of Hinduism, the thunderbolt symbol indicates much about the Indian conception of diamond. Early descriptions of diamond date to the 4th century BCE. By then diamond was a valued material. The earliest known reference to diamond is a Sanskrit manuscript by a minister in a northern Indian dynasty. The work is dated from 320-296 BCE. Today diamonds are mined in about 25 countries, on every continent but Europe and Antarctica. For 1,000 years, starting in roughly the 4th century BCE, India was the only source of diamonds. Diamond production has increased enormously in the 20th century. India's maximum production, perhaps 50,000 to 100,000 carats annually in the 16th century, is very small compared to the current production of around 100 million carats. Major production is now dominated by Australia, Botswana, Russia, and Congo Republic (Zaire), but South Africa is still a major producer, in both volume and value.

Christian "Cross Farming" Causes Tensions

Posted on 2002/7/21 9:46:02 ( 970 reads )

Source: Rediff

KERALA, INDIA, July 8, 2002: The cross is continuing to be used physically by Christianity in Kerala in its centuries-old effort to seize more and more Hindu territories. Official Christian spokesperson Mathew Vadakkemuriyil publicly admitted that crosses have indeed been "set up" in forest lands in Kerala that select parishioners have occupied over the years. The admission came in the context of disclosures by land officials that the Christian encroachers could not produce titles to the precious forest tracts that they had annexed. Encroachers level the forest trees that have bred over uncountable years, sell the priceless timber and use the money to put up buildings and raise novel "cash crops." The money is also invested to build chapels and churches. Hindu writer P.R.J. Pradeep wrote that thousands of acres of land had been plundered by Roman Catholic Christians in the State over the past years. A land department official confessed that officials were helpless in stopping the plunder. He added: "They choose government holidays and arrive for the strike with arms."

Spilled Holy Ash Empties US Post Office

Posted on 2002/7/20 9:49:02 ( 864 reads )


PAOLI, PENNSYLVANIA, July 19, 2002: A leaky envelope of Hindu ceremonial ashes closed down the Paoli Post Office yesterday morning, as police and postal officials worried about anthrax. But it turned out to be just a scare. After an hour and a half evacuation, while postal inspectors confirmed that the package was not dangerous, the office resumed operation, a few minutes after 9:30 a.m. "No mail was delayed," said Debra Whyte, spokeswoman for the Postal Inspection Service. Whyte said postal workers started worrying after they noticed that a letter mailed to a local woman from a temple in India started leaking a "powdery substance" while it was bundled for delivery, about 7:55 a.m. yesterday. The workers called the police, who evacuated the building, and postal inspectors, who determined the powder was ceremonial ash from burnt wood (vibhuti, which is actually burnt cow dung). Hindu temples in America have been careful about mailing vibhuti for concern about just such an incident.

Second Set of Pilgrims Leaves for Amarnath

Posted on 2002/7/20 9:48:02 ( 829 reads )


JAMMU, INDIA, July 20, 2002: A second batch of 3,771 pilgrims on Saturday left for the Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas from here amid heavy security, official sources said. The batch, comprising 3,022 men, 322 women, 14 children and 413 sadhus, left in 198 vehicles from MAM stadium, which is the base camp of pilgrims arriving here from different parts of the country, they said. The total number of pilgrims who left for the shrine situated at 3,952 meters in Kashmir Himalayas has risen to 6,452 for the month-long yatra which commenced on Friday. The first batch of the pilgrims will pay their obeisance at the shrine on July 22, after walking the last 35 kilometers to the cave over rough terrain. Each year, a natural ice Siva Lingam forms in the cave.

Uttar Pradesh Government Bans Pan Masala and Gutkha

Posted on 2002/7/20 9:47:02 ( 892 reads )


DELHI, INDIA, July 19, 2002: Acting on a high court directive, the Uttar Pradesh government on Friday banned manufacture and sale of all brands of pan masala and gutkha (a tobacco product) in the state with immediate effect. Both are carcinogenic. The Allahabad high court had on Thursday banned manufacture, sale and advertisement of pan masala and gutkha in Uttar Pradesh and had directed the state government to issue a notification in this regard. On Wednesday, the Maharashtra government had announced a similar ban in the state.

UK Hindus Irked by Beefy Chicken

Posted on 2002/7/19 9:49:02 ( 856 reads )

Source: Press Reports

LONDON, ENGLAND, July 8, 2002: Vast quantities of frozen chicken adulterated with beef proteins are reportedly being consumed in Britain, presenting the risk of madcow disease, a development that has outraged the Hindu community in the country. Beef proteins are added to make the chicken absorb extra water in a process called "tumbling" so that it can be sold for big profits. Thai and Brazilian chicken breasts have been doctored in Netherlands and imported into UK in this way for at least five years. Food safety authorities have been aware of the problem since 1997. But they have only recently developed DNA tests sophisticated enough to pinpoint the beef proteins. "It's disgusting and a crime. People will not eat chicken if this is happening," said Daayal Sharma, former president of the Hindu Cultural Society of Bradford. It's also a lesson in why to be a vegetarian.

Arthritis Sufferers Find Relief Doing Yoga Asanas

Posted on 2002/7/19 9:48:02 ( 886 reads )


SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, July 13, 2002: Teaming up with the American Yoga Association, the Arthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis foundations have produced a guide called "Remain Active with RA Yoga." As one patron put it, "I have found it enormously helpful for my arthritic, cartilage deprived hip. The poses of yoga act like isometric exercises to strengthen and stabilize my affected right hip and weakened right leg." According to the RA foundation, "Yoga may be beneficial for people with arthritis because it balances physical and mental health and teaches stress management through breathing techniques and meditation." The guide has helped people suffering with arthritis to slowly incorporate the routines into their daily life under the guidance of their doctors and physical therapists.

First Human Clone To Be Born in December

Posted on 2002/7/19 9:47:02 ( 834 reads )


LONDON, ENGLAND, July 18, 2002: A French newspaper, Liberation, quoted controversial Italian doctor, Severino Antinori, that the first cloned human will see the light of the day in December. Fifty couples unable to conceive because of masculine infertility had volunteered for his cloning program. "I transferred 18 embryos created by cloning, and I obtained one pregnancy," he said. "The foetus has a good morphology." Though the identity of the parents was not divulged, Antinori said that the baby would not be born in Italy. A professor at the University of Torvergata, Antinori has been controversial. He made headlines in the past by helping a 62-year-old woman become the oldest mother ever, and last year in Rome he declared that he would clone a human within a year. Other researchers have warned that humans born of cloning would suffer from a number of physical abnormalities, including fatty livers, under-developed lungs and a defective immune system.

Fourth International Seminar on Ayurveda

Posted on 2002/7/19 9:46:02 ( 886 reads )


JAMNAGAR, INDIA, July 11, 2002: Gujarat Ayurved University invites participation for its Four International Seminar on Ayurvedic Education, Research and Drug Standardization to be held at Jamnagar, Gujarat, India, January 5-7, 2003. The GAU is exclusively devoted to ayurvedic education, research and drug development since last more than 35 years. The seminar will focus its attention on strengthening and globalizing Ayurvedic Education in its original classical forms. For more information on this meeting, e-mail "source" above.

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