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BHU feels accountable towards rising Ganga Pollution, develops research centre for Water Resource Management

The university plans to enlist 100 scientists from various fields to develop environment-friendly technologies and harness their multi-disciplinary expertise

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Rampur Hall of IIT (BHU) Varanasi, an example of Indo-Gothic architecture Image Source: Wikipedia Commons
  • BHU is going to play a major role in coordinating research projects on the Ganga pollution control and river basin management 
  • Spread over 1,300 acres, the Banaras Hindu University started in 1916 on land donated by the then Kashi Naresh Prabhu Narayan Singh
  • It is the only institute in the world where courses ranging from nursery and primary school to post-doctoral studies are offered and studies

On the southern edge of Varanasi, near the banks of the river Ganges, Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya had envisioned an international residential institution that would become the pride of the nation. A hundred years later, the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) is excellence personified. With over 30,000 students and 3000 faculty members, BHU is one of the largest residential universities in Asia.

Now, the BHU’s executive council has decided to establish a research centre for Ganga river development and water resource management that will be named after the visionary founder. BHU is going to play a major role in coordinating research projects on the Ganga pollution control and river basin management under joint collaboration of the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

Pollution at the ghats of Varanasi. Image Source: Wikipedia Commons

According to the India today report, the university plans to enlist 100 scientists from various fields to develop environment-friendly technologies and harness their multi-disciplinary expertise to meet the present and future needs of water resource management and rejuvenation of rivers.

“We will make an extensive study of the stretch of the Ganga between Allahabad and Patna to collect authentic data of the sources of pollution for the formation of a viable and eco-friendly river basin management plan,” said BD Tripathi, noted environmentalist and chairman of the committee constituted recently by the vice-chancellor Lalji Singh to the Times of India.

Vice Chancellor Girish Chandra Tripathi with students. Image source: India Today
Vice Chancellor Girish Chandra Tripathi with students. Image source: India Today

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Spread over 1,300 acres, the Banaras Hindu University started in 1916 on land donated by the then Kashi Naresh Prabhu Narayan Singh. India’s philosopher-president Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was the vice-chancellor of the university for almost a decade, from 1939 to 1948. Now, BHU is organised into 6 institutes and 14 streams with 135 departments. It is the only institute in the world where courses ranging from nursery and primary school to post-doctoral studies are offered and studies.

Shri Vishwanath Mandir is the most prominent landmark and is located in the centre of the campus. The foundation for this 252 feet (77 m) high complex of seven temples was laid in March 1931 and took almost three decades to complete.Bharat Kala Bhavan the art and archaeological museum on the campus was established in January 1920 and had Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore as its first chairman.

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BHU has dedicated institutes highly specialised in the domains of agricultural sciences, medical sciences, environment and sustainable development and management studies. It also has a separate Sanskrit Vidya Dharm Vigyan Sankaya and faculty of Ayurveda. It has 15 specialised centres of study, including a Malaviya Centre for Human Values and Ethics which is aimed at inculcating humanistic values and ethics among students and teachers.

“We impart education based on a holistic approach that emphasises building of character and instils values. It is the confluence of Oriental Indian knowledge and modern scientific temper” ,says BHU vice-chancellor Girish Chandra Tripathi to the India today.

-This article is compiled by a staff-writer at NewsGram.

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5 Events Of November Which Are Ideal For Family Vacations

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Events in November which will give you a vacation mood.
Events in November which will give you a vacation mood. Wikimedia.

As we approach the year’s end, Indians not just bid adieu to their summer outfits but also welcome the festival seasons. October and November are two months in India which are full of cultural events and festivals, which make these months, the ideal time for going on family vacations.

Below are the events of November 2017 which you will regret missing. They are worth the try for family vacations:

1.  Dev Deepavali, Varanasi

family vacations
Representational Image. The ghat of holy city Varanasi. 

Varanasi, the holiest city of India, celebrated Dev Deepavali on Kartik Poornima every year. The festival is celebrated with joy. The ghats of Varanasi are lit with beautiful diyas (earthen lamps). God is believed to have descended to the banks of Ganges, to take a holy dip. The festival will take place on November 3, 2017.

 2. Dharamsala International Film Festival

Filmmaker, cinema buffs or all those people interested in the art of films come together of Dharamsala International Film Festival (DIFF). This film festival will witness filmmakers coming from different regions to show films on various issues- socially relevant, contemporary etc. DIFF will take place from November 2 to November 5. If you are a movie buff, then you should immediately pack your bags and seal a date for attending the festival.

3. Pushkar Camel Fair, Rajasthan

Family vacations
Representational Image. Camel Fair is celebrated in Pushkar. Pixabay

Pushkar Camel fair, a cattle fair, in Pushkar which truly defines the real meaning of culture. The Pushkar Camel Fair has been in tradition for a very long time. The fair attracts a huge crowd every year. One of the most ideal and happy places for family vacations. It will take place between 23rd October to 4th November.

Also Read: 7 Beautiful Places To Visit In North East India

4. NH7 Weekender

The five seasons old Indian multi-city music festival has indeed garnered a lot of attention and love from the musically inclined youngsters across the country. It is a combination of national and international studies coming together. In Meghalaya, the event will take place from October 27 to October 28.

5. Guru Purab

family vacations
Sikhs celebrating Guru Purab. Wikimedia.

Guru Purab, one of the most important festivals for Sikhs. The golden temple celebrates it with a lot of joy. The celebration which Amritsar witnesses at this time are unbelievable. It will take place on November 2017. Golden temple is indeed one of the best places for family vacations.

-by Megha Acharya of NewsGram.  She can be reached at @ImMeghaacharya.

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India Demands Data on UN Staff Misconduct, Use of Immunity

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United nations
India has demanded the secretariat disclose information about misconduct by UN staff. Flickr

United Nations, Oct 7: In an attempt to break the wall of silence around the crimes and UN staff misconduct and those on its assignments, India has demanded the secretariat disclose information about such cases and the immunity invoked against prosecutions.

Yedla Umasankar, the legal advisor in India’s UN Mission, touched a raw nerve here by criticising the UN on Friday for not vigorously following up allegations of serious wrongdoing by its employees who enjoy the equivalent of diplomatic immunity, a prized possession of its staff.

“It appears that the UN system itself may be reluctant to waive immunity even for serious misconduct carried out by its personnel while serving on its missions, so that such cases can be prosecuted by the host governments,” he told the General Assembly’s committee on legal affairs.

“Even a few of such instances or allegations of crimes committed by UN personnel is highly damaging for the image and credibility of the United Nations system and its work around the world,” he added.

His statement also touched on the practice of some countries that protect their wrongdoers at the UN.

Umasankar demanded that secretariat disclose how many cases of serious misconduct by UN personnel were registered and the number of cases where the UN refused to waive immunity to allow their prosecution.

He also wanted to know in how many cases the host country wanted the immunity waived so it can prosecute those accused; the number of times the UN asked the host country or the country that sent them to prosecute them; how many times it consulted countries before waiver of the immunity of their personnel and how many of them refused UN’s request to waive their citizens’ immunity.

The information he wanted does not cover the diplomats sent by member countries to represent them at UN bodies and enjoy diplomatic immunity with the nations hosting the UN facilities.

After scores of serious allegations of sexual misconduct by peacekeepers, especially exploitation of children, the UN vowed to uphold a policy of zero tolerance and began publishing data on such cases in peacekeeping operations including how they were dealt with.

Starting with the year 2015, it began identifying the nationalities of those accused.

However, it has not made public a roster detailing all the allegations and proven cases of serious misconduct across the entire UN.

While the focus has been on sexual exploitation and abuse reported on peacekeeping operations, Umasankar said that “at a broader level, the issue of accountability has remained elusive in some cases”.

He attributed it to “the complexities of legal aspects relating to sovereignty and jurisdiction”, the immunity or privileges that may be necessary for UN operations, and the capability or willingness of countries to investigate and prosecute the accused.

He noted that the UN itself cannot make criminal prosecutions.

While Indian laws has provisions for dealing with crimes committed abroad by its citizens, not all countries have them, he said.

Those countries should be encouraged and helped to implement such measures, he added. (IANS)

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Indo-Pak Peace Talks Futile Unless Islamabad Sheds Links with Terrorism, says Study

A Study by a U.S. think tank calls India and Pakistan talks futile, until Pakistan changes its approach.

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India and Pakistan
India and Pakistan. Wikimedia.

A Top United States of America (U.S.) think tank, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace called the relations between India and Pakistan futile, unless Islamabad changes its approach and sheds its links with Jihadi terrorism.

A report “Are India and Pakistan Peace Talks Worth a Damn”, authored by Ashley J Tellis stated that such a move supported by foreign countries would be counterproductive and misguided.

The report suggests that International community’s call for the India and Pakistan talks don’t recognize that the tension between the two countries is not actually due to the sharp differences between them, but due to the long rooted ideological, territorial and power-political hatred. The report states that these antagonisms are fueled by Pakistani army’s desire to subvert India’s powerful global position.

Tellis writes that Pakistan’s hatred is driven by its aim to be considered and treated equal to India, despite the vast differences in their achievements and capabilities.

Also ReadMilitant Groups in Pakistan Emerge as Political Parties : Can Violent Extremism and Politics Co-exist? 

New Delhi, however, has kept their stance clear and mentioned that India and Pakistan talks cannot be conducted, until, the latter stops supporting terrorism, and the people conducting destructive activities in India.

The report further suggests that Pakistan sees India as a genuine threat and continuously uses Jihadi terrorism as a source to weaken India. The report extends its support to India’s position and asks other international powers, including the U.S., to extend their support to New Delhi.

Earlier in September, Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) slammed Pakistan for its continuous terror activities. She attacked the country by saying that India has produced engineers, doctors, and scholars; Pakistan has produced terrorists.

Sushma Swaraj further said that when India is being recognised in the world for its IT and achievements in the space, Pakistan is producing Terrorist Organisations like Lashkar-e-Taiba. She said that Pakistan is the world’s greatest exporter of havoc, death and inhumanity.

-by Megha Acharya  of NewsGram. Megha can be reached at @ImMeghaacharya.