In Short

Published: Saturday 04 July 2015

ms office on linux: Computer users can now use Microsoft Office software on the Linux operating system. German Linux specialist SuSE has launched the Linux Office Desktop. This is an important development for the free operating system as it will allow people unfamiliar with Microsoft's popular Office software to use Linux on desktop. Till now, the Linux system was mainly confined to servers, which were looked after by technical managers. The system has often been viewed as too difficult for non-technical desktop computer users.

rainwater harvesting: All universities in India will now have to harvest rainwater. A directive to this effect was issued by the University Grants Commission to all colleges, which will give financial assistance to the institutions for this purpose.

tele-healing: Therapeutic help is generally out of reach for the people of Leh. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is now trying to take medical care to the region through telemedicine conferencing. Satellites will connect hospitals in Leh to prestigious medical institutions in India. These bodies will provide the best possible medical advice through teleconferencing.

curbs on pachyderms: Following a recent incident in which an elephant went on the rampage and killed its mahout (trainer) in Cochin, authorities in Kerala have banned the movement of pachyderms on city roads during peak hours. Mayor C M Dinesh Mani said the Corporation of Cochin will hold discussions with the police, fire force and various temple committees on the issue.

medicinal plants: In Delhi, the focus is on growing trees with medicinal properties which can absorb pollution. The state environment department has identified three plots of land on the outskirts of the city, where at least 20 different varieties of trees and shrubs will be planted.

smooth sailing: The shrinking Arctic icecap has been beneficial for ship owners. The meltdown has transformed an ice graveyard into a shorter trade route for ships between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The phenomenon has otherwise proved disastrous, threatening traditional habitats of people and wildlife. According to UN studies, the Arctic region could be completely devoid of ice by year 2080.

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