Published: Saturday 15 August 1998

The Punjab government has decided to introduce the study of environment, with major stress on bird and wildlife, as a course in the state universities. Informed official sources recently announced that chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has asked the state ministry for forests and wildlife to call a meeting of the university vice-chancellors to chalk out the required plans.

The Tamil Nadu forest department recently seized sandalwood weighing almost 2.5 tonnes from a few villages in Tiruppatur division. The police also assisted in three separate raids in which four persons were arrested. This is the biggest haul of sandal wood in many years.

The Allahabad high court has directed the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board to monitor the quality of Ganga water on a monthly basis. The board has been asked to take samples from water intake points, which serve as raw water sources for the cities, and bathing ghats throughout the state.

A rare species of pangolin was found recently by villagers near a railway track at Onda in Kamarberia of West Bengal's Bankura district. Official sources said the police later recovered the animal and informed the state forest department. The animal would be released soon in the forest of Bishnupur area in the district.

The latest in the list of patents filed in India is Nestle India. It has recently sought a patent on vegetable pulao, parboiled rice and cooked cereals. The patent applications are pending before the Indian Patent Office.

In a significant achievement, Indian scientists have developed a workable technique to micropropagate virus-free saplings of the elite Nanjangund Rasbale variety of banana from diseased plants through an ingenious process of tissue culture.

A rare virus, enterovirus, has claimed the lives of 41 children in Warangal district of Andhra Pradesh in the last one month, according to state health minister N Janardhana Reddy.

An elephant of the Kaziranga National Park, Assam, was killed on National Highway 37 when a speeding heavy vehicle hit him on the head in the Burhapahar range.

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