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India: Kerala block office turns fully solar-powered
18 June 2018 - Ambalappuzha has become the first fully solar-powered block panchayat office in the district. Officials said that after meeting the energy needs of the office, the local body was distributing additional electricity to the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB). 'The move has helped us to save a lot of money on electricity bills. We have become a model to the rest of the block panchayats in the district,' said an official. (more)

India: State's first electric bus to hit the capital's road today
18 June 2018 - On Monday (18 June), Kerala will launch its first electric bus, becoming the sixth Indian state to run the service. KSRTC chairman and managing director Tomin J Thachankary introduced the bus, which will operate on trial for 15 days in three cities, starting from the capital at 11 am on Monday. (more)

One tiny India state is leading the charge to ban pesticides
8 June 2018 - Fifteen years ago, the tiny Indian state of Sikkim launched a radical experiment: Its leaders decided to phase out pesticides on every farm in the state, a move without precedent in India -- and probably the world. The change was especially significant for India, a country whose progress in agriculture was defined by the introduction of fertilizers and pesticide ... But with the indiscriminate use of pesticides came a spike in cancer rates in industrial farming areas. Rivers became polluted, and soil infertile. Sikkim's leaders say they were driven to go all-organic by those concerns and because pesticide residue -- including from some chemicals banned in other countries -- was tainting fish, vegetables, and rice. (more)

An Indian state banned pesticides. Tourism and wildlife flourished. Will others follow?
31 May 2018 - Fifteen years ago, the tiny Indian state of Sikkim launched a radical experiment: Its leaders decided to phase out pesticides on every farm in the state .... The cloud-wreathed Himalayan state is starting to see the dividends. Overall health has increased in the state, leaders say, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has embraced Sikkim and organic farming throughout India, pouring about $119 million into supporting organic farmers nationwide. (more)

Monsoon rains to hit India's Kerala coast on Tuesday - weather office source
29 May 2018 - Crop-nourishing monsoon rains are likely to hit the Kerala coast in India's southwest on Tuesday (29 May), a source from the weather office said, in the earliest start to the rains since 2011, which should boost agriculture in the world's fastest growing major economy. The monsoon, the lifeblood of the country's $2 trillion economy, delivers nearly 70 percent of rains that India needs to water farms and recharge reservoirs and aquifers. Nearly half of India's farmland ... depends on annual June-September rains to grow a number of crops. (more)

India: Law proposed to give legal backing to organic farming in Uttarakhand
27 May 2018 - The Uttarakhand government will soon bring in a law to give organic farming a legal backing so that organic produce that is in great demand in domestic and foreign markets fetches local farmers high returns, an official said. Under the proposed law, the locally produced organic crops will be known as 'Organic Uttarakhand'. (more)

India: Village in Assam's Jorhat scripts success story through organic farming
26 May 2018 - What began as a project to mainstream women in agriculture has turned out to be an environment conservation success story at the Borfoidia Gohain Gaon at Lahdoigarh in Jorhat district of Assam. ... Manju Dutta Das, professor and head of the department of Extension, College of Community Science, then College of Home Science under Assam Agricultural University said that she had started off with nine odd women in the Borfoidia Gohain Gaon, who were organized into a self-help group. 'Today, seven years later I can take pride in saying that 70 per cent of the agricultural cultivation, whether paddy, tea, or horticultural crops is being done here in an organic mode,' she said. (more)

Demand for healthy food boosts India's organic exports
23 May 2018 - Exports of organic products from India have risen over 20 percent in the fiscal just ended owing to the 'growing global appetite for healthy food' that is free from chemical and pesticide residues. This is also a leg-up for the government's plans to expand the area under eco-friendly and sustainable farming, stakeholders say. (more)

India: In Kerala, a push for organic food turns professionals into gardeners
23 May 2018 - Just five years ago, Kerala, a tropical state in southwestern India, imported almost 70 percent of its food. But today, the state is about halfway toward its ambitious goal of going 100 percent organic and agriculturally self-sufficient by 2020. Kerala hosts a highly literate workforce, and many people choose to work abroad, so the state used to rely on imported food. When doctors and the public started to blame rising cancer rates on chemical pesticides from this imported food, it kickstarted an urgency to go organic. ... many Keralans are now embracing organic agriculture as a side hobby or even a second career. (more)

India now has a railway station that's fully powered by solar energy
18 May 2018 - After experimenting with solar-powered train coaches last year, India's diesel-guzzling railways now have an entire station that runs on renewable energy. The Guwahati railway station in the capital city of Assam is the first railway station in the country to be fully solar-powered. A major railway thoroughfare in India's northeastern region, the station handles around 20,000 passengers every day. (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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India: Maharishi University of Management faculty speak to 2,000 professors at conference
8 April 2018 - College professors in India recently heard presentations by Maharishi University of Management (MUM) Professors Anil Maheshwari and Scott Herriott at the Second National Teachers' Congress, hosted by Maharashtra Institute of Technology-World Peace University (MIT-WPU) in Pune, India. The MUM faculty were invited to give plenary addresses, along with the Dalai Lama and about 30 other eminent educators and political leaders. Over 2,000 teachers took part in the Congress. (more)

Maharishi Effect featured in The Times of India
23 February 2018 - The practice of Transcendental Meditation brings coherence and harmony to create a healing effect, writes Aditi Shrivastava in The Times of India: Research by scientists across the world has shown that when a specific number of people in an area practise Transcendental Meditation (TM) and its advanced techniques together, the influence of coherence and positivity generated is so phenomenal, that it can improve the quality of life of the area, improving the collective consciousness of the people. This leads to an invincible state for society, that is, a state of progressive growth, of stability where no negative influences will disrupt societies and they will be able to rise to true sovereignty and harmony amongst themselves. This phenomenon of increased social coherence was termed the Maharishi Effect in honour of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Founder of the Transcendental Meditation programme, who predicted it in 1960. (more)

Building a business for peace: Maharishi University of Management alumnus
6 September 2017 - Amit Hooda is the co-founder and CEO of Heavenly Organics, an Iowa, USA-based business that imports raw honey made by wild bees in the remote forests of northern and central India. This unique business model helps sustain the economic and cultural survival of indigenous people. In 2005, while Amit was earning his MS in computer science at Maharishi University of Management, he and his father, a renowned agronomist in northern India, founded Heavenly Organics. 'I wanted to create an economic model that created ethical jobs in conflict areas,' said Amit. 'That is the only way to have long-term sustainable peace.' (more)

India: Widespread press coverage of Second International Ayurveda Congress in London
27 May 2017 - The recent Second International Ayurveda Congress, held last month in London, received widespread press coverage in India. Press Trust of India reported in the Financial Express: 'Researchers from across the world have vowed to work with India to promote Ayurveda globally, saying the ancient Indian system of natural and holistic medicine can help address major health problems.' The Congress was also featured in many British publications for the Asian and South Asian community. The International Maharishi AyurVeda Foundation, Netherlands, was one of the organizers of the Congress, whose theme was 'Ayurveda - the Pursuit of Health, Happiness and Long Life through Prevention-Oriented Health Care.' (more)

Maharishi University of Management: Dr. Robert Schneider gives keynote at India conference
15 March 2017 - India continues to show interest in Maharishi University of Management's science-based approach to traditional systems of prevention-oriented health-care. Most recently Dr Robert Schneider, dean of Maharishi College of Perfect Health, was invited to deliver the keynote address at an international conference of the World Association of Vedic Studies. He described how Maharishi AyurVeda programmes may slow or reverse ageing in Western and Indian populations. His audience included scholars, officials, and leaders who are integrating Vedic science and technologies into modern society. (more)

India: International Maharishi AyurVeda Foundation participates in 7th World Ayurveda Congress and Arogya Expo
31 January 2017 - The International Maharishi AyurVeda Foundation (IMAVF) participated with three presentations at the 7th World Ayurveda Congress, which was held last month in Kolkata, India. Over 3,500 delegates, mainly from various Asian countries, participated in the Congress. About 150,000 visitors came to the accompanying Arogya Expo, a trade show of many companies and institutions offering products and services in the field of Ayurveda. IMAVF was also present at the Arogya Expo, at the booth of Maharishi AyurVeda Products India, with an exhibition for the next International Ayurveda Congress, to be held in London, 1-2 April 2017. (more)

India: Alliance of Women Scientists and Scholars holds annual conference in Rishikesh
10 December 2016 - The Alliance of Women Scientists and Scholars for a Better World is holding its annual conference this year in India. The conference began yesterday and continues through 12 December at Mahila Dhyan Vidya Peeth, Tapovan, Rishikesh. The theme of the conference is Meeting Point of all Religions: Atma, the Self, the Source, Course, and Goal of Life. Speakers include eminent leaders representing the fields of physics, medicine, physiology and health, including the perspective of Ayurveda, the traditional Vedic science of health care; education; and music. The conference programme also features senior educators and administrators of institutions offering Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's Vedic Science and Technology of Consciousness. (more)

Computer scientist changing lives of young people in rural India
19 September 2016 - Promila Bahadur has trained over 2000 individuals, including children, youth, women, and the elderly, to use computers in Uttar Pradesh, where she has been honored by the government for her work. Last year she joined the computer science faculty at Maharishi University of Management, while keeping daily contact with the organization she runs in India, the Guru Institute of Information Technology. Her next plan is to establish a computer education hub among a cluster of six Indian villages. The hub would also provide other services including banking, insurance, and pharmacy. 'If one day some of our students get the chance to study at MUM, this would be, in fact, a dream come true for me,' said Promila. (more)

Anushka Sharma, the Indian movie star who works hard and meditates twice a day
15 September 2015 - Anushka Sharma is living the dream of many young women in India. After a brief modeling career, she has firmly established herself as one of the top actresses in Bollywood. For an additional boost to her body and mind, Anushka also practises the Transcendental Meditation technique. 'Meditation works wonders for me when it comes to beating stress,' the actress says. 'I meditate twice a day . . . . It has a calming effect which translates into better health.' (more)

Historic Vedic India conference talks available for online viewing
25 March 2015 - Videos of the main talks from the historic three-day International Conference to Re-Establish Ideal Vedic India, which was held 20-22 February in New Delhi and featured many leading Indian and international scientists and Vedic scholars, are now being made available online. Now 'people everywhere can learn of the scientific foundations and reality of Veda and the practical programmes to create an ideal India and a peaceful, prosperous world,' said Dr Bevan Morris, President of Maharishi University of Management in the USA. Dr Morris led a delegation of distinguished MUM faculty and trustees who participated in the conference. (more)


Flops
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Dust storms drag New Delhi air quality back to dangerous levels
14 June 2018 - Air quality in New Delhi plummeted to a dangerous level on Wednesday (13 June), putting residents at risk, mainly due to dust storms from western India, a senior official at the pollution control board said. Air quality has worsened in New Delhi in recent years, prompting Prime Minister Narendra Modi's office to directly monitor measures to clean up the capital's air. (more)

India steps up hunt for origin of mysterious brain-damaging virus
28 May 2018 - India began a fresh round of tests to trace the origin of a rare brain-damaging virus that has killed 13 people, a health official said on Monday (28 May), as initial tests on animals suspected of carrying the Nipah virus showed no sign of the disease. (more)

India's farmed chickens dosed with world's strongest antibiotics, study finds
1 February 2018 - Chickens raised in India for food have been dosed with some of the strongest antibiotics known to medicine, in practices that could have repercussions throughout the world. Hundreds of tonnes of an 'antibiotic of last resort' -- only used in the most extreme cases of sickness -- are shipped to India each year to be used, without medical supervision, on animals that may not require the drugs but are being dosed with them nevertheless to promote the growth of healthy animals. (more)

Smog chokes Indian capital as emergency measures fail to bring relief
13 November 2017 - A thick cloud of toxic smog 10 times the recommended limit enveloped India's capital, New Delhi, on Monday, as government officials struggled to tackle a public health crisis that is well into its second week. A U.S. embassy measure showed levels of poisonous airborne particles, known as PM 2.5, had reached 498 on Monday afternoon, compared with the upper limit of 'good' quality air at 50. (more)

Severe pollution hits India's capital, causing health worries
7 November 2017 - A thick gray haze enveloped India's capital on Tuesday [7 November] as air pollution hit hazardous levels, prompting local officials to ask that schools shut down and a half marathon scheduled for later in November be called off. As winter approaches, a thick, soupy smog routinely envelops most parts of northern India, caused by dust, the burning of crops, emissions from factories, and the burning of coal and piles of garbage as the poor try to keep warm. Over the past two years, New Delhi has earned the dubious distinction of being one of the world's most polluted cities. (more)

Floods, landslides kill more than 800 people across South Asia
21 August 2017 - Widespread floods have killed more than 800 people and displaced over a million in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh, with aid workers warning of severe food shortages and water-borne diseases as rains continue to lash the affected areas. Seasonal monsoon rains, a lifeline for farmers across South Asia, typically cause loss of life and property every year between July and September, but officials say this year's flooding is the worst in several years. (more)

Fashion brands bring hand-washing but little else to India's garment workers, say critics
20 July 2017 - Five years and $630,000 later, the Ethical Trading Initiative has done little more than teach workers hand washing. The agenda was to improve the conditions for tens of thousands of India's women garment workers who stitch everything from jeans to jackets for the world's leading fashion brands. Five years and 485,000 pounds ($630,000) later, the ETI, which brings together labels like H and M, GAP, and Burberry with unions, factory owners and civil society groups, has done little more than teach workers hand washing, campaigners say. Trade unions and labour rights charities, some of them partners in the initiative, say its shortcomings show big stores are merely paying lip service to the rights of garment workers. (more)

Dying 'Mother Ganga': India's holy river succumbs to pollution
10 July 2017 - India's holy Ganges begins as a crystal clear river high in the icy Himalayas but pollution and excessive usage transforms it into toxic sludge on its journey through burgeoning cities, industrial hubs, and past millions of devotees. Worshipped by a billion Hindus and a water source for 400 million, 'Mother Ganga' is dying, despite decades of government efforts to save it. (more)

India's rising temperatures are already deadly, study shows
8 June 2017 - India is now two and a half times more likely to experience a deadly heat wave than a half century ago, and all it took was an increase in the average temperature of just 0.5 degrees Celsius (less than 1 degree Fahrenheit), a new study shows. The findings are sobering considering that the world is on track for far more warming. (more)

Foreign GMO seed firms rally behind Monsanto in Indian alliance
26 August 2016 - Major international seed companies in India formed an alliance on Friday, seeking the support of their peers after a flurry of regulatory steps in recent months by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government. Executives from companies including the local businesses of Monsanto, Bayer, Dow, Dupont Pioneer, and Syngenta announced the alliance in a crowded Press Club of India conference room. India is Monsanto's biggest market outside the Americas. Monsanto objected to a government proposal that would force it to share its technology with local seed companies. It has also taken the government to court over a cut in the royalty it gets from seed companies for licensing use of its patented technology. The New Delhi press conference was a show of solidarity with Monsanto... on Friday its India head, Shilpa Divekar Nirula, said there was a need to align Modi's goal of doubling farmers' income by 2022 with what firms like Monsanto can offer. (more)

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