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Maharashtra government promotes ‘nature tourism’

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Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday announced the setting up of Maharashtra Nature Tourism Development Corporation to attract tourists to various forests and natural reserves in the state.

The MNTDC will specifically promote tourism to 48 wildlife sanctuaries, six national parks and four reserved green areas across the state which abound in nature and wildlife.

The new body – to be structured on the lines of the existing Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation, will be headquartered in the state’s second capital, Nagpur, Fadnavis added.

Presently, he said that an estimated one million tourists descend on various sanctuaries and national parks every year and this is expected to grow significantly in the coming years.

Accordingly, the MNTDC will ensure better facilities and amenities for the tourists, besides taking up conservation programs, ensuring the protection of local peoples and their social cultures without damaging the vast natural heritage the state is endowed with.

This in turn would boost employment prospects for the local population and help develop these regions to global standards, Fadnavis said.

Some of the major wildlife sanctuaries in the state include Chaprala Wildlife Sanctuary, Tadoba National Park, Chikhaldhara, Dajipur, Bharmragarh Wild Life Sanctuary, Navegaon National Park, Tipeshwer, Bor Wildlife Sanctuary while the Pench Jungle camp is a special accommodation facility available at the Pench National Park, on the Maharashtra-Madhya Pradesh borders.

These sanctuaries abound with a vast variety of wild animals, reptiles, and birds, including tigers, leopards, nilgais, wild boars, chitals, bears, wolves, foxes, jackals jungle cats and dogs, flying squirrels, sloth bears, barking deers, hyenas, besides many species which are protected or on endangered lists.

Presently, many of these forest destinations offer facilities like jeep rides, night safaris, libraries with audio-visual facilities, comfortable accommodation, and efficient transportation at nominal rates.

(Inputs from IANS)

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UK-based scholar John Ralston Marr and Maharashtra Chief Devendra Fadnavis to get SIES-Sri Chandrashekarendra Saraswati National Eminence Award

Fadnavis shall be honoured with the award in Public Leadership, Marr will get the award in the international category

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Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. Twitter

Mumbai, Dec 15, 2016: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and UK-based scholar in Sanskrit, Tamil and Telugu John Ralston Marr have been named for this year’s SIES-Sri Chandrashekarendra Saraswati National Eminence Award, an official said on Thursday.

While Fadnavis shall be honoured with the award in Public Leadership, Marr will get the award in the international category at a ceremony here on December 18.

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Marr is a scholar in Sanskrit, Tamil and Telugu, besides being a Carnatic music teacher for 30 years in Britain.

Other awardees include ISRO Chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar for science and technology and Hari-Katha exponent Kamala Murthy.

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Instituted by the South Indian Education Society (SIES) in 1998 in memory of the late Sri Chandrashekarendra Saraswati, who passed away in 1994 aged 100, each award carries a cash prize of Rs 250,000, a citation, a shawl and an ornamental lamp.

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Some of the earlier recipients of the award include the late President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the late President Shankar Dayal Sharma, the late M.S. Subbulakshmi, the late Nani Palkhivala, the late Verghese Kurien, Lata Mangeshkar, Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan. (IANS)

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Granny of Indian soldier Chandu Babulal Chavan captured by Pakistan, dies of Shock

Patil fostered Chavan and his brother, who too is in the army after the siblings lost their parents at a young age

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Indian military
Indian Army. Wikimedia
Dhule (Maharashtra), October 1, 2016: The aged grandmother of Indian soldier Chandu Babulal Chavan, who was captured by Pakistan troops, died of apparent shock on Friday on hearing of the news, a relative said.
Lila Chindha Patil died after hearing of his capture by the enemy forces, a close relative told media.

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Patil fostered Chavan and his brother, who too is in the army after the siblings lost their parents at a young age. Chavan is a resident of Borvihir town near Dhule.
Chavan is attached to the 37 Rashtriya Rifles while his brother Bhushan Babulal Chavan is posted with the 9th Maratha Light Infantry in Gujarat, their maternal uncle Ajit Patil said.

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Chandu Chavan, 22, who was planning to get married around Diwali, was captured by Pakistani forces after he accidentally strayed across the Line of Control (LoC) on Thursday afternoon.

The development was confirmed by both governments and India is making efforts to secure his release.

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Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who in New Delhi, has taken up the issue with the Centre, while the Indian government has raised the matter with Pakistan to bring back Chavan from captivity.
“I don’t have the details. I am told the (Indian) government is working to bring him back,” Fadnavis told media. (IANS)

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Delhi government launches environment competition along with Chicago varsity

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Picture Courtesy:-www.uchicago.in

New Delhi: University of Chicago’s Urban Labs and the Delhi Dialogue Commission, an advisory body of the Delhi government, on Tuesday, launched a competition focused on improving air and water quality in the capital by soliciting grassroots ideas from citizens, civic leaders, academics, corporations, and other institutions across India.

Urban Labs Innovation Challenge: Delhi” will award up to Rs.2 crore in funding to the most promising solutions, said the DDC, in a statement.

Proposals should broadly confront the challenges that Delhi faces in energy reliability and efficiency and help reduce environmental hazards to public health and climate for the residents of the national capital, it added.

Welcoming the initiative, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said: “I am glad that DDC has entered into the first of its kind agreement with the University of Chicago to find novel solutions to tackle pollution and environment related issues in Delhi.”

Through (the) spirit of citizen participation, citizens and organizations will help Delhi government in finding lasting solutions for one of the biggest concerns in Delhi. In return, we will provide funding up to Rs. 2 crore to the best ideas for scale up. I request citizens to enthusiastically participate in the competition.

The Urban Labs will work with the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago’s India Office (EPIC-India) and the Delhi government to pilot and test the winning projects that could then be scaled up across the region and become important models for other cities, the statement said.

Letters of Interest for the competition should be received by March 1, 2016. To learn more about the challenge and submit an idea, the participants may visit: urbanlabsDelhi.uchicago.in

(Inputs from IANS)