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By Gaurav Sharma

The territorial and political entity which has wreaked havoc on large swathes of Syria and Iraq since the last decade has assumed many monikers through its barbaric and rapid rise.

Preferring to be earlier known by names such as the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL), Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS), al-Nusra Front etc., the terror outfit since June 2014 has branded itself as the Islamic State.

The appellation was undertaken by the group to highlight and give precedence to the caliphate’s claim of representing military, religious and political authority of Muslims all over the world.

This would help in establishing the group as a sovereign, independent and borderless unit under the self-styled khalif Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.

Furthermore, the idea behind the name was to underscore the point that with the expansion of its troops on different countries, the legality of all emirates, organizations, groups and states would become null and void.

To prevent the group from staking and propagating to such an ideology, countries all over the world are now rubbishing the name and instead calling it through its Arab acronym, Daesh or DAISH–a title which the group hates to be called as.

One might ask what is in a name, especially because it is the activities of a unit that define it and not the name itself.

Since the group is in expansion mode, the name is part of a broader branding exercise akin to commercial advertisements. The more appealing and sentimentally valuable the name, greater would be the galvanization of recruitment.

In the case of Islamic State, its leaders and followers want to promote the unit as a successor to Islamic Khilafat, established after the death of Prophet Muhammed in 632 AD.

The epoch was witness to long period of Islamic rule, first under the Arab leadership and subsequently under the Ottoman Empire, finally withering into oblivion after the establishment of the modern Turkish state.

However, time and again calls for reinstating the Khilafat under the tutelage of al-Qaeda and Hizb ut-Tahir, have arisen with a view to rule the world under an umbrella leadership, though not with much success.

Islamic State wishes to change the dismal track record. And that is the precise reason why it chooses to be known as the Islamic State.

Moreover, the term DAISH is looked upon as a denigrating term by the terror outfit.

Nonetheless, the name is more suitable and rather synonymous with the modus operandi of the group. Dais, the etymological term for DAISH means “one who sows discord” or “one who crushes something underfoot”, an apt description of the brazen, brutal way by which the Islamic State operates.

Another fact which adds to the credibility and accuracy of DAISH as the moniker for the terror group is the fact that most Muslim governments and organizations have denounced the IS as being antithetical to the way the previous Khilafat worked, viz. peaceful and humane methods.

Most Muslim scholars and clerics have dubbed the organization as “fake”. Politicians have called it “an apocalyptic death cult”.

Keeping in mind Islam as a religion, it would be insulting and abhorrent to term the terror outfit’s Caliphate mission as “Islamic”. More than that, it would be far from the truth.


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Scientists temporarily attached a pig's kidney to a human body and watched it begin to work, a small step in the decades-long quest to one day use animal organs for lifesaving transplants.

Pigs have been the most recent research focus to address the organ shortage, but among the hurdles: A sugar in pig cells, foreign to the human body, causes immediate organ rejection. The kidney for this experiment came from a gene-edited animal, engineered to eliminate that sugar and avoid an immune system attack.

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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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