Filter by Dates

 

A spoonful of salt, butter

The Ladakhi way to beat the cold by Ravleen Kaur, Leh and Kinnaur In the chilly month of December when nerves freeze and hands shiver, there is nothing more comforting than a hot cup of tea. But even the spiciest and strongest brew would fail at 3,500 metres above sea level, where temperatures plunge below -20°C in a ruthless winter. People in the Himalayan region, the highest mountain range in the world, know how to beat this cold—with a cup of warm gurgur cha.

The tourist does leave a footprint

But eco-tourism could still be people friendly by Neelambry Phalkey and Seema Purushothaman, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment, Bengaluru The holiday season is just over. Many of us would have encountered advertisements with words like “eco hotel” and “eco tours” to lure us to experience “nature’s lap” or “wilderness”. You might think such businesses are nature friendly. But they could turn out to be quite the contrary.

e-Driven

Electric and hybrid vehicles are gaining a foothold because they are cheap and clean. But batteries are either expensive or short-lived. Their future rests with industry’s innovation and government’s support. by Vivek Chattopadhyaya The glitz and glamour at the biggest auto show in Delhi drew the highest number of footfalls ever. The show unveiled dreams and many of them had a green wrap this time. Amid the slew of small cars at the expo, held on January 5-11, was a line-up of electric and hybrid vehicles.

24X7 water in the 1700's

People living in and around Aurangabad were getting round the clock water supply through underground pipelines at a time when most cities in medieval India relied directly on wells, ponds and rivers. These conduits dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries transported water over long distances through gravitational pull much like the aqueducts of ancient Rome that supplied water to cities, their public baths and fountains.

Foodwise

Dark brown seeds pointed at both ends resemble the kind of wild seeds growing just anywhere that children would collect to play with. Only, this seed is one of the rare and nutritious foods losing out to the rush for market food. To the Mahadeo Koli and Thakar tribals in the rain-shadow areas of Sahyadri hills, this millet is known as batu . The agriculture department of Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra has no records of this crop, and the local agriculture universities have not been able to put a scientific name to it.

Their own suppliers

Thirty-something Gulab Kunju remembers the days when she would drink milk to quench thirst because drinking water was scarce. Her village Dhaurada had three hand pumps to meet the needs of more than 120 families settled in four hamlets. Each day she would make several trips to the nearest hand pump on the outskirts of her hamlet.

Lethal games

Toys can be dangerous. Laboratory analysis by the Centre for Science and Environment shows the presence of phthalates, a highly toxic chemical, in toys sold in the Indian market. Worse, and almost predictable now, the Indian government does not regulate or monitor the use of these inimical chemicals, putting children at risk by CSE team

Run from cover

Health insurance companies pursue customers till policies are sold. Then they disappear. The nature of business has already changed the treatment mechanism. A market awaits capture. Without stringent regulation, where is the industry headed? by Vibha Varshney Saif Siddiqui spent a little under Rs 14,000 on his appendicitis operation three years ago. The 35-year-old dentist from Bhubaneswar relied on an insurance cover for his family from Reliance General Insurance Company Ltd. He paid Rs 5,184 as premium for the policy.

How Bt brinjal was cleared

Anti-GM groups say expert panel acted under pressure by Savvy Soumya Misra A coalition of organizations opposed to genetically modified food in India has written to the minister of state for environment and forests seeking withdrawal of clearance given to Bt brinjal. The Coalition for GM-free India alleged the expert committee that cleared the genetically modified brinjal for commercial cultivation in the country was neither impartial nor thorough.

Nature's own water purifiers

River banks are efficient water filters. Haridwar shows how to make most of them   by Bharat Lal Seth The holy town of Haridwar on the banks of the Ganga has of late been receiving pilgrims of a different kind. They are students and professors from India and abroad who come to study its water supply system. Over a third (38 per cent) of the water supplied in Haridwar is naturally treated as it passes through the river banks.