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393 Elephants Died in Odisha in last 5 Years, Poaching being one of the major Reasons

According to official figures, most of the deaths occurred during 2015-16 and 2012-13 with 81 elephants killed during that time

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Bhubaneswar, Sep 27, 2016: As many as 393 elephants have died in the past five years in Odisha, Forests and Environment Minister Bikram Keshari Arukh said on Tuesday. The minister did not elaborate how the pachyderms died.

However, according to a senior official of the forest department, several elephants suffered unnatural deaths owing to poaching, poisoning, train and road accidents as well as electrocution.

According to official figures, most of the deaths occurred during 2015-16 and 2012-13 with 81 elephants killed during that time.

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Arukh told the state assembly while replying to a question by Biju Janata Dal MLA Amar Prasad Satapathy that the state government was taking several steps to protect the jumbos and stone walls, trenches and solar powered wire fencing were put up in sensitive areas to prevent elephants from entering human habitats.

“We are taking a number of steps to confine elephants in forests. New forests having plant species relished by elephants are being created. Besides, fresh water bodies are being created and those existing are being renovated,” Arukh said.

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Apart from putting up solar fencing to ward off elephants, anti-depredation squads, and elephant trackers were engaged in monitoring movement of elephants and prevent them from entering human habitats, said the minister.

The forest and the energy departments were coordinating to raise the height of electric poles to prevent sagging of wires.

The minister said the elephants enter human habitats in search of food due to forest fire, urbanisation, industrialisation, increasing population and land encroachment.

According to him, the state government was developing 14 identified elephant corridors.

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There were three elephant reserves namely Mayurbhanj, Mahanadi and Sambalpur while 14 elephant corridors in the state spreading over 870 sq km. Besides, nine fragmented corridors are also formed, said sources. (IANS)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google adds support for hashtags on Maps for Android devices. Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?