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Uttarakhand: Human Skeletal Remains Found near Kedarnath Temple

Chief Minister Harish Rawat confirmed that 31 skeletons had been recovered and that 23 had been cremated

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Representational image. Pixabay

Dehradun, October 17, 2016: The Uttarakhand government on Monday admitted that many skeletons had been recovered from near the Kedarnath temple that was badly hit by flash floods and heavy rains in 2013.

Chief Minister Harish Rawat confirmed that 31 skeletons had been recovered and that 23 had been cremated.

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The shocking discovery was made at Triyuginarayan, a spot on the Kedarnath trek which was hit by flash floods and heavy rains in June 2013.

The DNA of the skeletons has been preserved for forensic tests and identification at a later stage, he added.

The disclosure comes after sketchy and unconfirmed reports of recovery of several human skeletons in the Kedarnath region.

Officials fear the skeletons were possibly of devotees who fled the raging river waters after the cloud burst over Kedarnath and trekked to higher altitudes but died due to lack of food and water.

The cremation of the remaining eight skeletons would be conducted on Tuesday, an official told IANS.

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Chief Minister Rawat has directed officials to do a threadbare combing of the region for the next days to look for more skeletons.

Officials pointed out that the discovery of the 31 skeletons in the Triyuginarayan area indicated that there could be more skeletons buried in the area.

Massive rains struck the Kedarnath-Badrinath and Gangotri routes in 2013, even as the annual ‘Chaar Dhaam’ pilgrimage was underway.

Several thousands had died in the calamity and hundreds had gone missing.

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A brief search operation was conducted then but was aborted. Some families conducted their own search and combing expeditions but with very little success.(IANS)

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Modi Lashes out at Congress for Rejecting 2013 Proposal to Redevelop Kedarnath

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Kedarnath
Kedarnath is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Wikimedia

Kedarnath, October 20: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday attacked the Congress for rejecting his proposal in June 2013 when he was Chief Minister of Gujarat for the redevelopment of the revered Himalayan shrine of Kedarnath that was badly damaged in the catastrophic flash floods.

“The floods of 2013 had made all of us extremely sad. That time I was not the Prime Minister, I was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. I came here to do all that I could for the victims,” Modi said while addressing a public meeting here after offering prayers at the Kedarnath temple ahead of its closure for the next six months.

“I had met the then Chief Minister (Vijay Bahuguna) and the state government officials and offered that Gujarat would redevelop Kedarnath. During the meeting, they agreed. And I announced it outside in the media.

“But when the news was flashed on television, and it reached Delhi, the people there (UPA government) panicked and within hours the state government was pressurized to announce that it will redevelop Kedarnath itself,” Modi alleged.

Modi said after the BJP government came to power in Uttarakhand earlier this year “I understood that the work of Kedarnath redevelopment will be done by us”.

In June 2013, then Chief Minister Bahuguna and the Congress party had rebuffed Modi’s offer for the redevelopment of the temple and his Rs 3 crore cheque, which was in addition to a Rs 2 crore his state had donated for rain disaster relief.

The Congress and other parties had criticised Modi for trying to be the “Rambo” of rescue. The Congress had alleged he was trying to communalize a natural calamity.

Modi, in his address to the gathering in Kedarnath on Friday, said: “Through the work we are doing in Kedarnath, we want to show how an ideal ‘Tirth Kshetra’ (pilgrim centre) should be like, how it should be pilgrim friendly and the wellbeing of the priests should be given importance.

“We are building quality infrastructure in Kedarnath. It will be modern but the traditional ethos will be preserved. We will ensure the environment is not damaged,” Modi added.

He was speaking after laying the foundation stone for a slew of reconstruction projects in Kedarpuri, including renovation of Adi Guru Shankaracharya’s tomb which was devastated by the flash floods. (IANS)

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Raja Chari: Indian American Astronaut chosen by NASA

Raja Chari, an American of Indian descent, has been chosen by NASA as one of the 12 astronauts for a new space mission.

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Raja Chari. Twitter.
  • Raja Chari is an American of Indian descent chosen by NASA for the new batch of astronauts
  • Currently, he is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force
  • Chari will have to go through two years of astronaut training which begins in August

June 06, 2017: NASA has chosen 12 astronauts out of a record-breaking 18,300 applications for upcoming space missions. An American of Indian descent, Raja Chari, has successfully earned his spot in the top 12.

The astronauts were selected on the basis of expertise, education, and physical tests. This batch of 12 astronauts is the largest group selected by NASA since two decades. The group consisting of 7 men and 5 women surpassed the minimum requirements of NASA.

Born in Waterloo, Iowa, Chari graduated from Air Force Academy in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in Astronautical Engineering and Engineering Science. He went on to complete his master’s in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The astronaut is also a graduate of US Naval Test Pilot School.

Currently, Raja Chari is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force. He is the commander of 461st Flight Test Squadron and director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

After Late Kalpana Chawla, Lt. Col. Raja Chari is the second Indian American astronaut chosen by NASA.

The 12 astronauts will have to go through two years of training. Upon completion, they will be assigned their missions ranging from research at the International Space Station, launching from American soil on spacecraft by private companies, to flying on deep space missions on NASA’s Orion Spacecraft.

The US Vice-President Mike Pence visited the Johnson Space Centre in Houston to announce and congratulate the new batch. Pence also said that President Trump is “fully committed” to NASA’s missions in space.

by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2393

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Over 5,000 Plant Varieties in Last 3 Years sent in by Tribal Farmers to protect the species : Minister

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Tribal Farmers
tribal farmers submitted more than 5,000 plant varieties in last three years (representational Image). Wikimedia

New Delhi, June 8, 2017: Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh on Wednesday said tribal farmers submitted more than 5,000 plant varieties in last three years through Krishi Vigyan Kendras for registration at the Protection of Plant Variety and Farmers Rights Authority.

It will play an important role in the development of climate resilient and sustainable varieties in future, he said at the National Workshop on Empowerment of Farmers of Tribal Areas here.

“New technological innovations in agriculture must reach to the fields of tribal areas but before taking such steps we must keep in mind the unique conditions of these areas, which are the gift of nature and therefore, we should promote natural farming in those areas,” he said, as per an official release. (IANS)

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