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India

The year of ecobabble

Author(s): William Moomaw
Issue Date: Feb 28, 1994
"WHAT DID we achieve in 1993?" The simple answer is: "Not much!" If that is an unsatisfying note to begin a new year on, we could rephrase the question: "What did we lose in 1993?" The answer, once again, is: "Not much!" Wordplay and sarcasm aside, 1993 was an extremely eventful year in which very little was actually achieved. For historians that would make 1993 more of a rule, than an exception.

Pumping iron

Author(s): Shukla Basu
Issue Date: Feb 28, 1994
"WE'VE BEEN repairing this pump since November 1989," says Ajufa Begum, a 27-year-old handpump mechanic in village Hathkhoapara in Assam's Kamrup district. "It has broken down 10 times in the past few years, but now we can handle it confidently."

Sunpower is for free

Author(s): Koshy Cherail
Issue Date: Feb 28, 1994

Bicycles race ahead of automobiles

Issue Date: Feb 28, 1994
GLOBAL bicycle production rose by more than 5 million in 1992 but world automobile production remained almost stagnant at the 1991 level of 35 million. In 1992, 100 million bicycles were produced the world over -- a remarkable journey indeed for the cheap and most environment-friendly mode of transport.

Aswamedh Yajna - the burning question

Issue Date: Feb 28, 1994
THE ASWAMEDH Yajna has a special importance in the Indian tradition. Though this yajna is generally associated with the horse sacrifice, it seems that its form has undergone a change over the millenia. A close reading of the Rig Veda tells us the Aswamedh Yajna may have been a description of metal smeltery rather than a horse sacrifice in those times. Therefore, it is of interest to see how the meaning of this yajna has changed over time.

Inundated by colonial misconceptions

Author(s): Rohan D'souza
Issue Date: Feb 28, 1994
FLOODS have ravaged India from times immemorial and people have controlled and turned them into beneficial processes. But today they are seen as catastrophic events that are to be forcefully contained by dams and embankments.

A haven for dumping

Issue Date: Feb 28, 1994
THE SIX Nations native reserve in Ontario, Canada, has been reduced to an ugly waste dump, according to Multinational Monitor. Situated close to the industrial heartland of the country, the reserve is susceptible to refuse from neighbouring communities.

Flight to extinction

Author(s): Pia Sethi
Issue Date: Feb 28, 1994
THE FAILURE of the Siberian cranes to pay their annual migratory visit, in mid-November, to the Keoladeo Ghana National Park in Bharatpur is fuelling anxiety that these birds may be on the brink of extinction. The number of Siberian cranes coming to Bharatpur has declined steadily since 1969. In 1964, they had totalled more than 200. In 1982, there were 38 cranes and by 1990, the figure had gone down to 10. Last year, just five birds arrived.

Traditional cruelty

Issue Date: Feb 28, 1994
Animal rights activists were outraged when jallikattu, a bloody bull-fighting sport, was displayed at the Republic Day pageant in Madras. Tamil Nadu Governor M Channa Reddy reviewed a series of cultural floats on the Marina seafront, one of which depicted jallikattu as a folk sport. In the sport, prize bulls with horns sharpened for the kill are goaded to fury and let loose on a crowd of bull-fighters.

The strength of the future

Issue Date: Feb 28, 1994
TEN YEARS of sustained research on the properties of composite materials at Delhi's Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) is now bearing fruit. Composites consist of glass fibres, carbon fibres and jute fibres, bound together in a matrix of a polymer like polyester and nylon.
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