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Banana leaves being sold

By Nithin Sridhar



Mysore: Mysore is getting ready for Swarna Gauri festival that falls on September 16 and Ganesha Chaturthi festival that will be celebrated on September 17 this year.

Vendors and hawkers have started selling various essential commodities that would be used during the festival. The banana, its leaves and the stems are all used in the festival. The stem is used for decorating the Puja Mandap (porch like structure where the idol is seated for worship). The banana leaves are used by some people for cooking foods as well as for eating the food in a traditional manner. Bananas are also used for offering to God during puja (worship).


Banana leaves being sold

Apart from items like coconut, flowers, and fruits that are used during most of the Hindu festivals, the items like traditional mura (winnows) etc. which have specific uses during Gowri festival are also sold.

Winnows are used as a plate in which various items like turmeric, kumkum, cereals, rice, coconut, blouse piece, bangles, etc. are kept and the whole arrangement called as baagina is offered to Mother Gauri during the Gauri festival. Such baaginas are also exchanged among married women.


Baagina being prepared by a widow

But, the main attractions of the festival are the idols of Ganapati and Gauri. The idols, especially of Ganesha, come in all sizes and colors. From unpainted clay Ganesha idol to idols painted in pink or white. In fact, the attire of the idols are embellished with a sundry colour palette.

Even the posture of Ganesha is not always the same. While some idols depict the deity in a sitting posture,others portray him standing. Moreover, some idols, show the deity playing veena or seated along with his consort.

On the other hand, Gauri idols do not have much variety. Most of the idols show only the torso of Mother Gauri and they are usually painted yellow. Some painted in pink are also available, but are lesser in number.

The setting up of pandals (platforms) for housing huge idols of Ganesha for public worship have also started at few places. The temples are also cleaning their premises and making preparations for the festival.


The spick & span temples

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Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Killer Smog in Delhi.

Developed by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, a Decision Support System (DSS) that extends the ability of the existing air quality early warning system (AQEWS) to have decision-making capability for air quality management in Delhi-NCR was launched on Tuesday.

The website for the DSS (https://ews.tropmet.res.in/dss/) is designed to help the Commission for Air Quality Management for NCR and Adjoining Areas (CAQM) by delivering quantitative information about the contribution of emissions from Delhi and its 19 surrounding districts; the contribution of emissions from eight different sectors in Delhi; and the contribution from biomass-burning activities in the neighbouring states.

These information would assist in managing the air quality in a timely manner, a release from the Ministry of Earth Sciences said.

The need was stated by the CAQM, which was formed by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, during a meeting held in January 2021.

Recently, the Commission reviewed the progress made by IITM and had in principle approved the current version of DSS for air quality management in the Delhi-NCR. The IITM has also developed a new website for DSS with the entire system made operational, the release said.

Union Minister of State for Earth Sciences, Jitendra Singh, while launching the website for AQEWS on the occasion of 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' week organised by the Ministry of Earth Sciences, said, "DSS is a significant contribution to 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' on behalf of MoES and IITM and suggestions are invited on this issue."

The website also has a feature whereby the users can create their own emission reduction scenarios (from 20 different districts, including Delhi) so as to examine the possible projected improvement in air quality in Delhi for the next five days.

"This information would explicitly highlight the most important emission sources responsible for the degradation of air quality in Delhi and suggest possible solutions to ameliorate the same. With a plethora of quantitative data, the AQEWS integrated with DSS could become a user-friendly tool for air-quality management in and around Delhi," the release said. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Delhi, India, Pollution, IITM, Ministry of Earth Sciences


Photo by GOI.

On the first day of the two-day meeting of BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leaders on Tuesday, discussions were held on important issues related to education and the National Education Policy-2020

On the first day of the two-day meeting of BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leaders on Tuesday, discussions were held on important issues related to education and the National Education Policy-2020. Apart from senior RSS leader Suresh Soni, representatives of various organisations associated with the Sangh Parivar -- working in the field of education -- were present in the meeting in New Delhi.

According to sources, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who attended the meeting on behalf of the government, shared information related to the National Education Policy-2020 and the government's policy on important issues related to the education sector. Pradhan also shared details of the efforts being made by the government in the field of education.

Discussions were also held regarding the impact of the situation arising out of Corona and how much it has affected the education sector. In the meeting, the RSS leaders asked several questions and provided suggestions to the Union Minister regarding the education policy of the government.

According to the sources, RSS wants the policy to be implemented expeditiously. All aspects related to the policy were discussed in Tuesday's meeting. On the second and the last day of the meeting on Wednesday, special issues related to education will be discussed in which representatives of various organisations of the Sangh, Union Ministers and several BJP leaders will be take part.

Meanwhile, in order to convey its point of view to the government on various issues, the Sangh keeps on calling such coordination meetings related to specific issues, in which RSS representatives -- working in that particular area -- provide feedback to the government. (IANS/JB)


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