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Contents page
May 15-31, 1999

Cover Story

The thirst for diesel in India is growing. Diesel mania grips the Indian automobile industry and the customers with more and more companies going for diesel variants. What most people are ignorant of or prefer to ignore is the fact that diesel fumes are highly carcinogenic and pose a serious threat to public health. Many Indian cities, especially Delhi, are already reeling under high concentrations of diesel-related pollutants like small particulate matter, oxides of nitrogen and ozone. What was supposed to be cheap fuel for the poor - farmers for whose pumpsets and tractors the government had subsidised the price of diesel - is now driving the cars of the rich. Morally and environmentally reprehensible, yet there is nobody in the government to stop this killer trend

Editor's page

T he country is clearly not in a mood for a bash. But that did not stop the event-managers of India Incorporated, the Confederation of Indian Industry ( cii ), from holding its annual bash with the fancy title of National Conference and Annual Session on Preparing for the Next Millennium. But unfortunately, in typical Bollywood style, the bash (wrongly called a conference) had mostly form rather than substance. The state of the economy was the highlight of the meeting.

T he judges were angry. Very angry. They had reason to be. It is a well-known fact that pollution has already risen dramatically in the last two decades in India. To make matters worse, the automobile fleet was also growing by leaps and bounds. If automobiles with poor engine technology are allowed to hit the road, they will only contribute to air pollution. In a nutshell, the sullied air in the capital will become even worse.

News

Environmentalists score a major victory as the Supreme Court tightens emission standards in Delhi,

Fruits and vegetables in Pakistan are laced with pesticides

Fires ravage forests in many parts of northern India

Participants from five countries, including India, discuss ways to improve water harvesting systems

Why do humans have such large brains? Switching over to eating meat may have been responsible

Interview

P Pushpangadan , director, National Botanical and Research Institute (NBRI), Lucknow,speaks to ...

Science & Technology

Breaking past records, the city Atlanta was enveloped by a coat of pollen from the trees of northern Georgia

The link between Atlantic temperatures and an atmospheric effect that influence winters could lead to prediction of stormy winters in Europe

Industrial activity threatens the wetlands of east Calcutta

Although researchers have improved on their skills to predict extreme climate changes like the El Nio, they still have a long way to go

Bamboo could be a potential source of green gasoline

The growth of wind energy is fastest among all renewable sector energy sources

Some strains of the AIDS-causing virus are developing resistance to whatever drugs are available

For those suffering with heart diseases, scientists just found drugs that are more effective than aspirin

Some people may be predisposed to suffer vertigo due to a weak bone in the temple. And the cure may be quite simple

Though India woke up late to the millennium bug, most large
organisations seem on course to fix the problem

A few small holes in the manifold may be all that takes to improve engine efficiency

A new 'tableting' technology will make tablets smaller and easier to swallow

A new technique helps recover metals from water. It could be toxic metals, or even gold

Early exposure to mosquitoes may help develop resistance to malaria where chances of infection are high

The latest on calcium's role in regulating expression or repression of genes

There is one in our genes. And scientists are surprised at the distance signals can travel along DNA strands

It is a possibility thanks to a seemingly insignificant scientific observation

Special Report

Worried about the state of the world's largest underground source of freshwater, Australia gears up to save the Great Artesian Basin from mismanagement

The decline of the frog population is an early warning that something is seriously wrong with living conditions on Earth

Life & Nature

The modern onslaught: talus being pulled down. They are earthen walls surrounding plots of land, and have trees planted on them

Feature

Panchakarma , an ayurvedic treatment, holds the key to Bhopal gas victims' recovery

The modern onslaught: talus being pulled down. They are earthen walls surrounding plots of land, and have trees planted on them

Leader

T he judges were angry. Very angry. They had reason to be. It is a well-known fact that pollution has already risen dramatically in the last two decades in India. To make matters worse, the automobile fleet was also growing by leaps and bounds. If automobiles with poor engine technology are allowed to hit the road, they will only contribute to air pollution. In a nutshell, the sullied air in the capital will become even worse.

Crosscurrent

If the current trend towards genetic uniformity in rice varities continues, our food security will be severely imperilled

Review

THE SONG OF THE DODO: ISLAND BIOGEOGRAPHY IN AN AGE OF EXTINCTIONS·David Quammen· Frank Bros & Co·Rs 325

Grassroots

Panchakarma , an ayurvedic treatment, holds the key to Bhopal gas victims' recovery

Letters

Mindless research

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