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Battling century's worst drought, India's farmers revive traditional grains
21 August 2017 - For Nel Jayaraman, the realization that hybrid seeds, chemical fertilisers, and pesticides were making farmers more vulnerable to extreme weather came slowly. In fields near the town of Thiruthuraipoondi in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, Jayaraman saw yields falling and farmers' debt rising as their reliance on modern seeds and pesticides grew, even as the rains became increasingly fickle. Fifteen years ago, Jayaraman gave up both, returning to traditional varieties and organic farming methods that had become nearly extinct in the Cauvery river delta region where his family had lived for generations. Since then, he has revived about 150 indigenous varieties of rice, and become an evangelist for traditional seeds and organic farming, which he sees as key to combating the impacts of climate change and protecting harvests and farmers' incomes. (more)

India: Poet Laureate Kuvempu's Kuppalli house comes alive at Lalbagh Flower Show
6 August 2017 - Marking 50 years of the first Jnanpith Award (1967) to Rashtrakavi Kuvempu, this year's Annual Flower Show at Lalbagh has a major attraction -- a replica of Kavimane, the Poet Laureate's house in Kuppalli, Shivamogga. Governor Vajubhai R. Vala inaugurated the show yesterday. (more)

India: Solar units on rooftops brighten 12k properties in Pune
6 August 2017 - There has been a steady rise in the installation of solar units by households, residential societies and commercial establishments across the city [of Pune]. Over 12,000 properties have opted for solar units. An addition of 2,000 properties was registered in the 2016-17. Most establishments are tapping solar energy for household purposes like water heaters, lamps, and air-conditioning units. Besides saving on power bills, these properties are also availing discounts in property tax for installation of solar equipment. (more)

Indian scientist to head global body of solar energy experts
4 August 2017 - A group of international solar energy experts, innovators, and environmental activists have come together to form an international body -- the International Solar Innovations Council -- headed by Indian solar scientist Santi Pada Gon Chaudhuri as its global body chairman. (more)

India: HP to bring 2,00 hectares under organic farming, develop 200 bio-villages
31 July 2017 - Himachal Pradesh is set to bring 2,000 hectare of additional land under organic farming besides developing 200 bio-villages. Nearly 22,000 hectare of land has already been brought under organic farming in the state and 40,000 farmers have ... registered under the scheme. A senior official from agriculture department said, to encourage farmers towards organic farming, the state government has announced attractive prizes for the farmers with excellent work in organic production. (more)

India: Fruit basket Krishnagiri's organic turnaround
28 July 2017 - There are many reasons why the Krishnagiri district of Tamil Nadu should consider itself blessed. Sitting in the middle of black granite hills on a plateau that rises a kilometre above the sea level, it enjoys a salubrious climate -- conducive for growing a large variety of fruits and vegetables. By providence, Krishnagiri is at the junction of not less than five major national highways, the lifeline of horticultural commerce. Here, a revolution of sorts has been taking place in the last few years. An 'organic' fever appears to be sweeping across the district -- farmers are giving up chemical fertilisers and pesticides and returning to 'traditional farming'. (more)

Indian Railways creates history: Launches first solar powered train in India
22 July 2017 - Indian Railways introduced its first solar powered train this month which promises to save almost 21,000 litres of diesel every year. This newly launched, first solar-powered train in India is government's initiative to start an eco-friendly transportation system plying to the of widest networks of trains. The solar panels have been installed on the top of the trains to get charged by the sunlight during the day time. The new solar powered train has become operational from Delhi, which is the medium of transport of over 23 million passengers every day. (more)

Indian Railways has just given its new train a futuristic makeover
20 July 2017 - Asia's largest rail network is taking a big step towards being sustainable. The Indian Railways has launched its first ever train equipped with rooftop solar panels in a first step towards what could be a massive renewable energy coup. While India has been uncharacteristically bullish about renewable energy, especially solar, in the last few years, the new train could herald the beginning of a new era in sustainable energy and public transport. (more)

Indian Railways launches first solar-powered train
14 July 2017 - Indian Railways on July 14 launched first solar-powered DEMU (diesel electrical multiple unit) train from the Safdarjung railway station in Delhi. The train will run from Sarai Rohilla in Delhi to Farukh Nagar in Haryana. A total of 16 solar panels, each producing 300 Wp, are fitted in six coaches. The railways are planning to introduce nearly 50 more such coaches in the coming days. Solar power would be introduced first in urban trains and later in long-distance trains as well. (more)

UK heart disease deaths fall by over 20 per cent since indoor smoking ban
25 June 2017 - Deaths from heart disease and strokes caused by smoking have fallen dramatically since lighting up in pubs, restaurants, and other enclosed public places in England was banned 10 years ago. (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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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)

Faculty of Maharishi University of Management address Delhi conference to re-establish Vedic India
14 March 2015 - Last month Maharishi University of Management President Dr Bevan Morris and nine faculty members and trustees participated in and helped to organize a historic conference to re-enliven the Vedic tradition in India. The International Conference to Re-Establish Vedic India, held 20-22 February in New Delhi, was notable for bringing together government ministers, leaders of Indian spiritual organizations, and leaders of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's worldwide organizations. (more)

International Conference to Re-Establish Vedic India: 20-22 February, New Delhi
19 February 2015 - Under the joint auspices of the Foundation for Vedic India and Maharishi Veda Vyas Pratishthan, a historic first International Conference to Re-Establish Vedic India is being held in New Delhi from 20 to 22 February. The purpose of the conference is to re-enliven interest in Veda on the basis of the scientific reality that the application of Veda can benefit every area of human life and endeavour. The conference is gathering some of the most distinguished intellectuals, scientists, and scholars from India and around the world on one platform to present the Vedas in a scientific light and truly make India a great lighthouse of peace for the world. (more)

India: Consciousness-Based Education students win Times Science Quiz
31 January 2015 - The Times of India reported recently from Chennai that the Times Science Quiz was won by students of Maharishi Vidya Mandir Schools. Over 1,000 students from 120 schools across Chennai took part in the quiz, held last week. The largest chain of privately owned public schools in India, Maharishi Vidya Mandir Schools offer Consciousness-Based Education in 118 cities across 16 states. (more)


Flops
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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)

Desertification eating into agricultural land in India, satellite images show
18 August 2016 - More than a quarter of India's land is turning to desert and the rate of degradation of agricultural areas is increasing, according to new analysis of satellite images. A report from the Indian Space Research Organization says land degradation -- broadly defined as loss of productivity -- is estimated at 96 million hectares, or nearly 30 percent of Indian land. (more)

Over one million people hit as floods worsen in India's tea region of Assam
26 July 2016 - More than 1.2 million people in northeast India have been hit by floods which have submerged hundreds of villages, inundated large swathes of farmland, and damaged roads, bridges, and telecommunications services, local authorities said on Tuesday, 26 July. Incessant monsoon rains in the tea and oil-rich state of Assam have forced the burgeoning Brahmaputra River and its tributaries to burst their banks -- affecting more than half of the region's 32 districts. The Brahmaputra, Assam's main river which is fed by Himalayan snow melt and monsoon rain, has been overflowing in many areas along its course. The fast-flowing waters have also breached embankments and eroded dykes, leaving some parts of national and state highways inaccessible and compounding efforts to rescue marooned villagers and distribute food aid. (more)

Crippling drought in central India leaves millions on brink
20 May 2016 - Some 400 farmers have killed themselves so far this year in the parched Marathwada region, a central Indian region devastated by two successive failed monsoons and a crippling drought. Home to about 19 million people, it is located in the otherwise prosperous Maharashtra state. And it's not alone in its sweltering misery. The dry wells, shriveled stubble of sugarcane fields, and withered fruit trees across the region reflect the suffering of hundreds of millions of Indians across at least a dozen other states that are under the grips of a severe drought. (more)

Wetland loss, development put Kashmir bird migration at risk
17 December 2015 - The cackle and cry of Kashmir's annual bird migration has long been a welcome ruckus for those living in the Indian-controlled Himalayan territory. It signals the summer's end, the coming snows, and the global importance of Kashmir's environment for species arriving from as far as northern Europe and Japan. But these days, wildlife experts say they have never seen so few birds -- and so few species -- feeding and breeding around the wetlands nestled between the region's mountain peaks and plateaus. A combination of climate change and haphazard urban development are to blame, scientists say. (more)

India's nuclear industry pours its wastes into a river of death and disease
14 December 2015 - Indian and Japanese scientists have found that Indian citizens living downstream from the country's enormous uranium mining and processing complex are routinely exposed to exceptionally high levels of radiation. The Indian government has either rebuffed or suppressed some of these findings, insisting that any illnesses are caused by poverty, not radiation. (more)

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