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This Uttar Pradesh village got its power supply back after 14 years

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By Newsgram Staff Writer

After the village transformer stopped working 14 years ago, about 500 people of the Chakshyam village in Uttar Pradesh’s Allahabad district, had to travel more than 1km to charge their cell phone till recent days.  Now under the Dr Ram Manoha Lohia Samagra Gram Vikas Yojna, the village has finally got its electricity back, reported an English newspaper

The houses in this village are now being powered by the solar energy.”For 60 people living in huts pucca houses, solar panels are being fitted and also roads are being constructed in the village as part of the Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Samagra Gram Vikas Yojna,” a state government employee said.

He also mentioned that the majority of the youth are well educated, but they are lagging behind due to the unavailability of electricity.

The people in the village got an opportunity to light their homes in mid 2000 but after three months the transformer stopped working. The power department later fixed it but two months after that it was again out of order, the Times of India report said.

Gram Pradhan Shiv Babu Gupta said, “In these 14 years we complained all the way from the power department authorities to the local MLA but we only got assurances. We had stopped complaining when six months ago officials started visiting our village, and then we got to know that our village has been selected under a state government scheme for solar power.”

 

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‘You Never Lamb Alone’: Indian Christians Raise Objections to Ad Campaign by Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) Featuring Gods to Sell Meat

The advertisements feature Lord Ganesha, revered in India, Lord Buddha, Jesus Christ, Thor, Zeus and others seated at a table enjoying what is a sumptuous non-vegetarian feast

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Meat and Livestock Australia MLA)
Unite Over The Meat More People Can Eat | You Never Lamb Alone advertisement by MLA. Youtube

Mumbai, Sep 12, 2017: The Catholic Secular Forum (CSF) on Monday raised strong objections to a new Australian advertising campaign featuring revered Hindu and Christians gods and other mythical figures to ‘sell’ its red meat and meat products.

CSF Founder-General Secretary Joseph Dias said the latest advertising campaign by Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) is “bad in taste and offensive to all” and sought boycott of MLA and a ban of their products.

The advertisements feature the elephant-headed God, Lord Ganesha, revered in India, Lord Buddha, Jesus Christ, Thor, Zeus and others seated at a table enjoying what is a sumptuous non-vegetarian feast.

The ads have reportedly made an oblique reference to Prophet Mohammed, who is not pictured but is heard excusing himself from the party through a mobile phone call since he has to pick-up a child from daycare.

What has hurt Christians is that the caricature of Jesus Christ who performs what is termed as a ‘reverse miracle’ by turning wine into water so a Grecian goddess, who is a ‘designated driver’ can drive home safely, Dias said.

“We have written to Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj to take note of these ‘insensitive advertisements’ and raise the issue with the top authorities in Australia immediately. We also demand that MLA Chairman Michele Allan and MD Richard Norton withdraw the ads and tender an apology,” Dias told IANS.

Besides writing to Sushma Swaraj, the CSF has shot off emails to Australian Deputy High Commissioner in Mumbai Martin Huber, Indian High Commissioner to Australia Harinder Sidhu and other top officials raising serious objections to the MLA campaign.

“The CSF has always protested against commercial exploitation of religious figures for profit, irrespective of which religion the figures belong to. The MLA ads have hurt not only followers of different faiths, but atheists and agnostics all over,” Dias pointed out.

He termed the campaign as ‘culturally insensitive’ to vegans and communities like Hindus, Jains or Buddhists and said Lord Ganesha is a vegetarian and meat is never offered to him, as depicted in the MLA ads.

Dias warned that unless MLA yanks off the offensive ad campaign and apologises, the global Catholic community would be compelled to boycott its products as “there are many alternatives available worldwide”. (IANS)

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Green initiative? Indian Railways to produce 1,000 MW Solar energy

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Indian Railway. Pixabay

New Delhi, March 9, 2017: Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said on Thursday that the Railways had taken several green initiatives and would produce 1,000 MW solar energy.

Addressing a function to mark signing of Letters of Intent by Railway Ministry with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to formalise joint cooperation in environmental conservation, he said the priority of Railways was to reduce carbon footprints.

“Railway is already taking several green initiatives and is going to produce 1,000 MW solar energy. This joint co-operation will help Indian Railways in its green objectives,” he said.

Representatives of Indian Railways and UNEP signed and exchanged Letters of Intent.

UNEP Executive Director Erik Solheim said that the focus of the partnership was on three main areas – waste management, reduction in water consumption and sustainable public procurement.

Officials said that Indian Railways, which carries 23 million passengers every day, has taken a number of steps towards water management, energy conservation, solid waste management and green buildings. (IANS)

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Indian Researchers develop Solar Tree that will require less space

Indian researchers at Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi develop a new technique that will require a less lot land

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Indian scientists have designed a “solar tree” that they hope will help overcome one of the key challenges the country faces in the generation of solar power.

With photovoltaic panels placed at different levels on branches made of steel, “solar trees” could dramatically reduce the amount of land needed to develop solar parks.

“It takes about four-square meters of space to produce energy which otherwise would have required 400 square meters of space. So almost 100 times the space is saved, which as you know is very valuable,” said Daljit Singh Bedi, chief scientist at the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in New Delhi, whose laboratory in Kolkata developed the tree.

Watch the video:

https://youtu.be/-vZqlApcGG4

A scarce resource in India, acquisition of land to develop roads, factories and other infrastructure is a sensitive issue that has led to frequent and sometimes violent protests from displaced people.

Scientists estimate the energy generated by a solar tree would be sufficient to light up five homes. They say the space-saving tree would not only make it easier to increase solar power generation to light up homes and streets in cities, but also in rural areas where farmers are unwilling to give up large tracts of land for solar panel installations.

The solar tree will also harness more energy compared to rooftop panels. “This design, it facilitates placement of solar panels in a way that they are exposed more towards sun and that way they are able to harness 10 to 15 per cent more energy, which is more or less equivalent to one hour more than the conventional format,” said Bedi.

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India’s pledge to reduce its carbon emissions relies heavily on increasing the generation of solar energy. The world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases, India pledged at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Paris last year to slow the rate at which it emits greenhouse gases by one third over 2005 levels by 2030.

To achieve this, India has set an ambitious target of generating 40 percent of its total capacity from renewables by 2030 and reducing its reliance on polluting coal-based thermal energy. In the sun-drenched country, the main focus will be on solar power.

While the falling cost of photovoltaic panels in recent years has made solar power much more viable, and investment has been flowing into the growing sector, worries remain about acquiring large tracts of land to set up solar parks.

“It takes quite a bit of time which results in cost escalation and all those things,” said Amit Kumar at the Energy and Resources Institute, a research institute in New Delhi.

But will solar trees provide a sustainable option? Kumar cautions that innovations that aim at concentration of solar power so far have not made much headway.

“Unless we put those [trees] on a large scale, [only] then will we be able to get that answer,” he said.

However Indian officials like Bedi are optimistic.

“When we talk about plantation of trees, we would now talk about plantation of solar trees,” he said. (VOA)