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Hindu Press International
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No Delhi Takers for UGC's New Astrology Courses
Posted on 2001/4/1 23:48:02 ( 665 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, March 31, 2001: None of the universities in Delhi seem to be interested in the new Jyotisha or Vedic Astrology course introduced this year. The process of formulation of the new course began in June 2000 and has been on-going. The syllabus has yet to be chalked out. Out of the proposals received, the UGC will set up an expert committee to screen the universities. They will further decide which universities have the credentials, the requisite infrastructure and the resources for such a course before it is awarded. Universities of Kurukshetra, Shimla, Meerut, Gwalior, Indore, Ranchi and Mysore among others have applied for the course. Birla Institute of Technology, Pilani and Ranchi have also applied, said Dr.Gautam of the University Grants Commission. "Here it is important to note that all these are non-traditional and non-Sanskrit universities," he added.




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Deforestation in Nepal
Posted on 2001/4/1 23:47:02 ( 718 reads )


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NEPAL, March 27, 2001: Requiring wood for fuel and new land for farmland, the Nepal populace has created a deforestation crisis. Between 1979 and 1994 forest cover decreased by nine per cent and as a result bare hillsides have created landslides and flooding. The report, with the alarming 9% statistic, produced as a joint endeavor by the U.N. Environment Programme and the Nepali government is a direct appeal to make a serious effort to check the rapid clearing of forests.




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Girls in India: The Lesser Children
Posted on 2001/3/29 22:49:02 ( 644 reads )


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PRIYANKA KHANNA, New Delhi, March 30, 2001: There is little place for the girl child given Indian society's strongly ingrained preference for sons. The ratio of girls per 1,000 boys in the age group of 0 to 6-year-old has declined from 945 in 1991 to 927 in 2001. The shocking studies reported in this article show that out of every 1,000 fetuses that are aborted, 995 are female, often identified through ultrasound scans. Other reasons for the ratio are cited as well. The unnatural ratio is seen in the total population, where there are 933 females to 1000 males in India altogether, but 1,054 women -- biologically the stronger sex -- to 1,000 men in America and 1,064 women to 1,000 men in Europe. China, also with a preference for sons, shows a similar shortage of women as does India.




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Conversion Statistics Collection Thwarted in Darjeeling
Posted on 2001/3/29 22:48:02 ( 719 reads )


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DARJEELING, INDIA, March 13, 2001: The West Bengal Government has withdrawn orders on furnishing details on conversion following strong exception to it from the State Minorities Commission. The matter was taken up with the authorities after the Darjeeling district intelligence branch issued a circular asking for monthly reports on the number of persons converted to Christianity. This article continues with accounts of openly available conversion schemes (www.bethany.com/profile) and statistics. Government recommendations include withdrawal of proselytizing missionaries and prohibition of "quid pro quo"-style medical services -- referred to as the "patients in one end, Christians out the other" style of missionary hospital management.




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International Students Bring Spiritual Variety To U. Texas-Arlington
Posted on 2001/3/29 22:47:02 ( 638 reads )


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ARLINGTON, TEXAS, March 27, 2001: While students with predominantly Christian backgrounds attended the University of Texas-Arlington in the past, there is change. Now there are 1,093 international students, the majority of them Hindus from India. The second largest group with 147, from China, others are from Iran, Japan, Taiwan, Pakistan, South Korea, Nepal and Thailand.




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Scientists Trash University Grant's Commission Astrology Plan
Posted on 2001/3/29 22:46:02 ( 637 reads )


Source: The Hindu





BANGALORE, INDIA, MARCH 27, 2001: The Government's University Grants Commission's decision to "rejuvenate the science of Vedic Astrology in India" by starting departments of Vedic Astrology in Indian universities has infuriated the scientific community. The guidelines said that it would add to a new dimension for research in the fields of Hindu-Mathematics, Vastushastra, Meteorological Studies, Agricultural Science, Space Science. The rationalist and Marxist-leaning scientists are complaining they should have been consulted before the addition of subjects "cloaked in the garb of pseudo-science."




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Lord Murugan Website Popular
Posted on 2001/3/29 22:45:02 ( 808 reads )


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HAWAII, March 29, 2001: A. S. Maniyam reports today that his website (source above) is expanding to include devotional songs and more material for children. He's also providing a translation of the complete Thiruppugazh, the famed songs in priase of Lord Murugan.




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Smoking Biggest Killer in Developing World
Posted on 2001/3/28 22:49:02 ( 791 reads )


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SUSSEX, U.K., March 26, 2001: Smoking will become the biggest killer in developing world countries within the next 20 years, surpassing those deaths caused by the Aids epidemic according to the Institute of Development Studies in Sussex, UK's government- based study. The report forecasts that within two decades 8.5 million people a year will be dying in developing countries because of smoking. A billion people around the world are currently smokers, and tobacco-related illness currently kills 3.5 million a year. At the moment it is mainly a rich country disease, but the report says this is changing fast. The report says the increasing process of globalization will be partly to blame as developing countries are forced to drop tariff barriers against highly successful international brands and that many governments are seduced by the inward investment this brings, but have not realized the long-term cost in human lives.




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UK Project to Record Experiences of Hindus in Britain
Posted on 2001/3/28 22:48:02 ( 644 reads )


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LONDON, ENGLAND, March 28, 2001: A study center here has launched a project that will record the impressions and experiences of Hindus in Britain, especially older generations. "The project, Life of Hindus in Britain will mark the beginning of an important process of documenting that which makes pluralistic United Kingdom a multi-ethnic and multi- cultural democracy," Indian High Commissioner in Britain Nareshwar Dayal said at the launch at India House Tuesday. "The experiences of the people who came here to find a home away from their homes are an integral part of the achievements and aspirations, destiny and development of the contemporary British society," Dayal said. The project aims to capture stories of first generation Hindus in Britain and record them for posterity. It involves interviewing leaders and elders from the Hindu Britons. A major portion of the project is being funded by a grant of US$120,000 from the heritage lottery fund.




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Knighthood for Ravi Shankar
Posted on 2001/3/28 22:47:02 ( 749 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, March 27, 2001: Maestro Ravi Shankar was bestowed with an honorary knighthood in recognition of his services to music. "My heart is full. If only I could express the deep emotion and gratitude that I feel," said the overwhelmed sitarist, sharing the moment with wife Sukanya and daughter Anoushka. While conferring the award, England's High Commissioner, Rob Young, commended Shankar's versatility and desire to spread the knowledge and understanding of Indian music.




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South Africa likely to Commemorate Gandhi's Contributions
Posted on 2001/3/28 22:46:02 ( 663 reads )


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DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA, March 27, 2001: The name of Mahatma Gandhi, whose campaign of passive resistance was born in South Africa, is expected to be one of 20 to be immortalized in marble here. Special marble tiles, each engraved with the still closely guarded names, and in some cases, the palm prints of those to be honored, will be unveiled in a park outside the City Hall here Saturday as a prelude to the annual African Renaissance Festival.




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Technology-Sector Slump Threatens Foreign Workers
Posted on 2001/3/28 22:45:02 ( 639 reads )


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USA, March 28, 2001: Thousands of foreign workers in America's slumping high technology sector are set to lose their jobs and their right to stay in the US. In the past few years, the US government has given hundreds of thousands of foreigners with high-tech skills H1-B temporary work permits. If they are laid off, they are not allowed to remain in the US or begin another job unless they have another visa application pending. The collapse of many Internet start-ups and recent layoffs in Silicon Valley mean that tens of thousands of workers, mainly from India, China and Western Europe, could be forced to return home.




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Paying Homage to a Hindu Holy Man
Posted on 2001/3/28 22:44:02 ( 661 reads )


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DALLAS, USA, March 24, 2001: According to Hindu tradition, the saint Shri Dnyaneshwar -- while still a child, in response to a challenge -- made a buffalo recite the Vedas, proving that all creatures are united by the soul. Later he wrote Dnyaneshwari, a religious work still popular today. Maharashtrians here are staging a play on his life, "Om Namoji Aadhya," written by Deepak Karanjikar of Dallas. Mr. Karanjikar said he decided to focus on the saint as he noticed similarities between the value systems prevalent in the late 13th and early 21st centuries. "During that time (1200 ce), the values of life had gone down. People were just fighting for their own lives, their own family," Mr. Karanjikar said. "History is completing a cycle here."




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Open House as Sikhs Read Scriptures at Home
Posted on 2001/3/28 22:43:02 ( 602 reads )


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DALLAS, USA, March 03, 2001: Participants in the Sikh ceremony called the Akhand Path, a continuous reading of the 1,430 pages of the Sikh sacred book, the Sri Guru Granth, can drop in at any time day or night. There's a religious requirement that the kitchen always be open. The ceremony, done for reasons such as a birthday or anniversary or the death of a loved one, was born in India two centuries ago as a reaction to persecution, and has become a mark of the faith's identity in 21st-century America. Recently, the Suri family consecrated a new home in Plano with the religious reading. Shortly after 8 a.m. on a recent Thursday, the Suris and friends prepared for the prayers. "Anything good in the religion starts in the morning," Mrs. Suri said.




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Educator Calls for Warning Stickers on "Harry Potter" Books
Posted on 2001/3/28 22:42:02 ( 667 reads )


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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, March 27, 2001: The Rev. Robert Frisken of Christian Community Schools Ltd. here does not want the stories about Harry Potter, the trainee wizard, banned, but suggests the books should carry warning stickers before they are placed in school libraries. "The ordinary person is typified as being bad because they have no magic powers, and heroes are the people who are using the occult. Good finds itself in the occult, which is an inversion of morality for many Christian people." Frisken will, this month, send letters to parents in each of the 90 independent member schools across Australia asking them to consider the issues raised in the stories and discuss them with their children. The books have become a controversial addition to classrooms in America -- figures show they were the most challenged books of 1999. Efforts to restrict their use, or remove them from classrooms and school libraries were reported in 19 states.




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