India

  • The World's Dwindling Stock of Tigers

    The number of tigers in India has plummeted to around 1,411, nearly half the previous estimate, according to a government survey. Here are some key facts about the tiger: - The largest of all cats, the tiger is one of the most fearsome predators in the world. It can weigh up to 450 kg (1,000 lb) and measure around 10 feet (three metres) from nose to the tip of the tail. - Tiger numbers in the wild are thought to have plunged from 100,000 at the beginning of the 20th century to between 5,000 and 7,000 today.

  • After Nano, what? (editorial)

    India will choke unless it modernises its city transport systems, and you can't blame the Nano for this. Tata's Nano has set the dovecotes aflutter and reactions are flying in all directions. Some people have hailed it, rightly, as the advent of mobility in India's frozen countryside. Others, wrongly, have denounced it as a bad idea, fearing that these tiny beetles will overwhelm our cities and choke their already badly clogged arteries.

  • Foodgrain crisis will hit India too, warns report

    The global food crisis could continue to wash up at Indian shores as well, with the World Development Report 2008, released on Friday, predicting that cereal production would have to increase by 50% by 2030 to meet the escalating worldwide demand. The increasing shift towards bio fuel, its warned, could only add to the crisis.

  • Ecocide (editorial)

    Where's the forest service in this? TWO items of news in the past week, on India's tiger count and on forest depletion, has caused much anguished comment.

  • SAARC nations to fight illegal wildlife trade

    Eight SAARC countries have agreed to work jointly to tackle the region's illegal wildlife trade that has assumed alarming proportions. The countries have come under the banner of the South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme (SACEP), an inter-governmental organisation, to tackle the illegal trade. The South Asian region is a storehouse of biological diversity and rich terrestrial, freshwater and marine resources. As a result, illegal trade and over-exploitation of wild animals and plants pose a major challenge to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in the region. In a first regional workshop held in Kathmandu, the group agreed to a series of joint action as part of a South Asia Wildlife Trade Initiative (SAWTI). This includes the setting up of a South Asia Experts Group on Wildlife Trade and development of a South Asia Regional Strategic Plan on Wildlife Trade (2008-2013). The SACEP was established in 1982 for promoting regional co-operation in South Asia in the field of environment. The group includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The workshop was organised by the Nepal Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology, SACEP, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Nepal and TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade-monitoring network. Senior wildlife officials from these countries have called upon the international community to support action in South Asia by providing financial and technical assistance in the implementation of the regional plan, an official statement of TRAFFIC said here. The Kathmandu workshop has agreed to focus on a number of key areas of work. These include co-operation and co-ordination, effective legislation policies and law enforcement, sharing knowledge and effective dissemination of information, sustainability of legal trade and livelihoods security, intelligence networks and early warning systems and capacity building. IANS

  • Focus on agriculture

    Economic growth is greatly dependent on the Government's policies in the farm sphere. Ranabir Ray Choudhury

  • Environment protection laws reduced to a travesty of their mandates

    Since 1980, different pieces of legislation have been enacted for environmental conservation. These include the Forest (Conservation) Act (FCA), 1980, the Environmental Protection Act (EPA), 1986 and the Biological Diversity Act (BDA), 2002. These have the potential to strengthen the conservation agenda. But they are at best being used to

  • Coal India, IL&FS to float JV

    Coal India Ltd (CIL) and IL&FS Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (IL&FS IDC), today entered into a memorandum of agreement (MoA) to float a joint venture company, with 50 per cent equity contribution each by the two organisations, to undertake project development for mine, power and other coal-based projects. The MoA document was signed by NC Jha, director (technical) of CIL, and DK Mittal, managing director of IL&FS IDC, at the CIL headquarters in Kolkata today, in presence of CIL Chairman Partha S Bhattacharyya and other officials of the two organisations.

  • Chidambaram needs to do a balancing act Run-up to budget 2008-09

    Ashok Dasgupta The Finance Minister is faced with conflicting demands from different quarters

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