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Sunflower relish

Issue Date: Aug 31, 1993
The suspicion that the exotic Mexican beetle (Zigogramma bicolorata) may be causing more harm than good has been confirmed by the Union agriculture ministry. The ministry's plant protection adviser, R L Rajak, has asked agricultural universities to stop immediately multiplication and distribution of the species. The beetle was introduced in India in 1983 to control biologically the rampant weed, parthenium.

Digging their own grave

Author(s): Uday Shankar
Issue Date: Aug 31, 1993
WITH THE run-up to the assembly elections under way in Rajasthan, one would expect senior politicians to be busy plotting campaign strategy -- and not be immersed in the problems of mining in the Aravallis. But their concern is not surprising, given the fact that mining has become one of the major issues in the elections, which are to be held later this year.

Eucalyptus exonerated

Issue Date: Aug 31, 1993
DOES eucalyptus harm soil? Environmentalists who say it does may be barking up the wrong tree, says a recent study.

A long road ahead

Issue Date: Aug 31, 1993
Western scientists set the trends RAGHAVENDRA GADAGKAR TO BEGIN with, we must realise there is a lot that is right with it. Even without considering those Indian scientists working outside the country, a significant number of Indian scientists have individually excelled in their fields of research and are easily comparable with the best scientists in the world.

The model man

Author(s): Sumanta Pal
Issue Date: Aug 31, 1993
You seem to have a fascination for models on diverse subjects. Does your background have something to do with this?

Cauvery Calamity

Issue Date: Aug 31, 1993
AS THE Cauvery water dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu lurches from one deadlock to another, water resources experts in India are even more disturbed at the prospect of a larger crisis. The "resource hysteria" generated by the Cauvery tangle may just be a precursor to similar "flashpoints" in India, given the importance of irrigation development for the country's food security.

Acknowledging the role of the arbitrator

Author(s): Amit Mitra
Issue Date: Aug 31, 1993
FIRST, Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalitha began a highly publicised fast to back her state's claims to Cauvery water. Then, a flustered Union government came up with a proposal that presumably satisfied Jayalalitha, because she called off her fast. And, finally, Karnataka chief minister Veerappa Moily ungallantly played the spoilsport by rejecting the Centre's proposal outright.

Energy consumption patterns vary in Asia

Issue Date: Aug 31, 1993
EMISSIONS of sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides play a key role in the formation of acid rain and consequently, the acidification of soils. Production of nitrogen oxides leads to ozone build-up in the troposphere -- the layer of the atmosphere closest to the earth -- and, in turn, affects the concentration of the hydroxyl radical (OH), which determines the life of greenhouse gases.

Rao wants more opportunities for young talent

Issue Date: Aug 31, 1993
LESS THAN a week before he faced a no-confidence motion in Parliament in July, Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao found time to keep an appointment with 25 top scientists. The meeting, called at the instance of minister of state for science and technology P R Kumaramangalam, was ostensibly a follow-up to the setting up of the cabinet committee on science and technology and its advisory council.

Unravelling science for the lay person

Issue Date: Aug 31, 1993
HUNDREDS of small voluntary organisations across the country have dedicated themselves to simplifying the mysteries of science for amateurs and giving them hands-on experience in the subject. NCSTC-Network, a voluntary organisation set up in 1991, has linked 50 such people's science organisations and some government bodies, including the computer section at Doordarshan and a few state science and technology councils.
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