Published: Friday 15 March 2002

The Supreme Court has asked the chief secretary of Bihar to file an affidavit regarding the killing of District Forest Officer (DFO) Sanjay Singh by " perhaps those indulging in illegal mining activities".

Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot is seeking funds from the Union government for the development of the five zoos that are located in the state. Gehlot has told Union minister for environment and forests T R Baalu that the forest department is preparing concrete financial proposals for developing zoos in accordance with the Central Zoo Authority guidelines.

Ganga Vahini (a rural task force formed by Eco-Friends, a Kanpur-based non-governmental organisation) boycotted the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections to draw the attention of political parties, government institutions and the public towards the plight of the hapless villagers who are being supplied highly toxic tannery waste as irrigation water. Eco-Friends Ganga Vahini is demanding that slow poisoning of the villagers should be stopped immediately.

Jaipur's Mahatma Gandhi Hospital, with the help of George Washington University of the US, will introduce the embryo stem cell technique shortly. A special embryo stem laboratory has been set up at the hospital. "Therapeutic cloning is different from reproductive cloning. We will not go for the latter," said M L Swarankar, chairperson and managing trustee of the Mahatma Gandhi National Institute of Medical Sciences, the first recognised private sector medical college in the state.

Food safety is threatened by the excessive use of pesticides and the Union government has to put in place a system for regular monitoring of contaminants in food. This need was highlighted at a recent workshop organised by the Confederation of Indian Industries , the Union ministry of health and family welfare and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

A Kolkata-based company, Herbicure, has applied for international patent for a herbal drug for asthma, 'Asmakure'.

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