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India: Food regulator wants packaged food labels to display if they contain GM ingredients
8 May 2018 - Seeking to introduce GMO labelling for the first time in India, the country's food regulator has proposed all packaged food products containing genetically modified (GM) ingredients must clearly state it on their labels. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) also suggests mandatory declaration by packaged food manufacturers about nutritional information such as calories, total fat, trans fat, sugar, and salt per serve on the front of the pack. (more)

India: E-buses set to hit Kolkata streets next month
7 May 2018 - To curb both air and noise pollution levels, 80 electric buses will start plying in the city [of Kolkata] next month. These noiseless, zero-pollution vehicles will hit the streets in phases. If they run successfully, the state transport department will gradually add more such buses to the fleet under West Bengal Transport Corporation (WBTC). Though the cost of these buses are comparatively higher than the normal ones but the running and maintenance cost is considerably low. (more)

India's Q1 solar power production surges 103%
4 May 2018 - Solar photovoltaic (PV) parks in India generated 8.54 billion kWh of electricity in the first quarter of 2018, registering a 103% year-on-year jump, Mercom Capital Group said on Friday (4 May). Solar power production was also 31% higher as compared to the fourth quarter of last year. (more)

India: Government offices in Vizianagaram meet energy needs through solar power
15 April 2018 - The government offices in Vizianagaram district, including the Collectorate, the Zilla Parishad, and the municipal offices are making extensive use of solar energy to meet their power needs. The Collector's office emerged as the first in the State to use solar power to meet its power requirements. ... 'We have been asking hotels, commercial complexes, and other organizations to opt for solar power since it would be a clean and renewable resource. Maintenance is also cost-effective,' Collector Vivek Yadav told The Hindu. (more)

India: Two years after it was launched, the world's first solar cooperative has transformed Gujarat's Dhundi village
14 April 2018 - The unrelenting heat of the summer afternoon sends us scurrying for cover under a large tree as we reach Dhundi village in Gujarat's Kheda district. We are making our way to Udaysinh Chawda's home. ... Exactly two years after the launch of the world's first solar irrigation cooperative here, the Dhundi Saur Urja Utpadak Sahakari Mandali or DSUUSM, nine famers, including Chawda, have become successful solar entrepreneurs: they harvest solar energy as they would a remunerative crop. They irrigate their fields using solar pumps, and they earn by selling surplus power to the Madhya Gujarat Vij Company Ltd., and by selling water to other farmers in the area. (more)

Hope trundles into remote hamlets on India's hospital train
12 April 2018 - Lifeline Express, a seven-coach train converted into a rolling hospital . . . has crisscrossed India for 27 years to treat people . . . living in areas with scarce healthcare. Lifeline Express has treated about 1.2 million people since its launch in 1991 by the non-profit Impact India Foundation, said chief operating officer and doctor Rajnish Gourh. (more)

Indian services firms return to growth as demand picks up - PMI
5 April 2018 - India's services industry returned to growth in March as new business picked up on improved demand, a private survey showed on Thursday (5 April), encouraging firms to hire at the fastest pace in nearly seven years. Optimism was at an eight-month high, the survey found, which alongside increasing demand pushed firms to hire at the fastest pace since June 2011. (more)

ISA summit: French President Macron applauds India's efforts in promoting solar energy
11 March 2018 - As world leaders gathered here [New Delhi] to discuss ways to promote more efficient and feasible methods of harnessing solar energy for power generation, visiting French President Emmanuel Macron today [11 March] pledged over $860 million for solar projects in developing countries and lauded India's efforts in making International Solar Alliance (ISA) a reality. The French president in 2015 joined hands with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to cobble together a solar alliance of over 120 nations, situated between the two tropics. On Sunday [11 March], the alliance held its first summit in Delhi, which was attended by heads of 23 nations and 10 ministerial representatives. (more)

India: 'Organic farming is the gateway for healthy living'
6 March 2018 - A group of more than 100 farmers from Puducherry and Karaikal regions were provided an orientation with organic farming practices at the Sharanam campus in Ousteri of the Sri Aurobindo Society recently. Inaugurating the meet, Agriculture Minister R. Kamalakannan, pointed to the Centre's plan to double the farmers' income by 2022 and expressed optimism that the thrust on organic farming would pave the way for raising a farmer's income. 'The seeds of organic farming have started to bloom across Puducherry,' he said. (more)

1st phase of world's largest solar park to be inaugurated today in Karnataka, India
1 March 2018 - The first 600MW phase of the world's largest solar park, standing at 2GW(AC) capacity at the Pavagada Solar Park in the Indian state of Karnataka, will be inaugurated today (1 March). The INR165 billion (US$2.53 billion) mega park, now named 'Shakti Sthala', involved a unique lease programme that had not been seen in India before, where the government took on a long-term lease from the farmers that owned the land. ... (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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India: Maharishi University of Management faculty speak to 2,000 professors at conference
8 April 2018 - College professors in India recently heard presentations by Maharishi University of Management (MUM) Professors Anil Maheshwari and Scott Herriott at the Second National Teachers' Congress, hosted by Maharashtra Institute of Technology-World Peace University (MIT-WPU) in Pune, India. The MUM faculty were invited to give plenary addresses, along with the Dalai Lama and about 30 other eminent educators and political leaders. Over 2,000 teachers took part in the Congress. (more)

Maharishi Effect featured in The Times of India
23 February 2018 - The practice of Transcendental Meditation brings coherence and harmony to create a healing effect, writes Aditi Shrivastava in The Times of India: Research by scientists across the world has shown that when a specific number of people in an area practise Transcendental Meditation (TM) and its advanced techniques together, the influence of coherence and positivity generated is so phenomenal, that it can improve the quality of life of the area, improving the collective consciousness of the people. This leads to an invincible state for society, that is, a state of progressive growth, of stability where no negative influences will disrupt societies and they will be able to rise to true sovereignty and harmony amongst themselves. This phenomenon of increased social coherence was termed the Maharishi Effect in honour of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Founder of the Transcendental Meditation programme, who predicted it in 1960. (more)

Building a business for peace: Maharishi University of Management alumnus
6 September 2017 - Amit Hooda is the co-founder and CEO of Heavenly Organics, an Iowa, USA-based business that imports raw honey made by wild bees in the remote forests of northern and central India. This unique business model helps sustain the economic and cultural survival of indigenous people. In 2005, while Amit was earning his MS in computer science at Maharishi University of Management, he and his father, a renowned agronomist in northern India, founded Heavenly Organics. 'I wanted to create an economic model that created ethical jobs in conflict areas,' said Amit. 'That is the only way to have long-term sustainable peace.' (more)

India: Widespread press coverage of Second International Ayurveda Congress in London
27 May 2017 - The recent Second International Ayurveda Congress, held last month in London, received widespread press coverage in India. Press Trust of India reported in the Financial Express: 'Researchers from across the world have vowed to work with India to promote Ayurveda globally, saying the ancient Indian system of natural and holistic medicine can help address major health problems.' The Congress was also featured in many British publications for the Asian and South Asian community. The International Maharishi AyurVeda Foundation, Netherlands, was one of the organizers of the Congress, whose theme was 'Ayurveda - the Pursuit of Health, Happiness and Long Life through Prevention-Oriented Health Care.' (more)

Maharishi University of Management: Dr. Robert Schneider gives keynote at India conference
15 March 2017 - India continues to show interest in Maharishi University of Management's science-based approach to traditional systems of prevention-oriented health-care. Most recently Dr Robert Schneider, dean of Maharishi College of Perfect Health, was invited to deliver the keynote address at an international conference of the World Association of Vedic Studies. He described how Maharishi AyurVeda programmes may slow or reverse ageing in Western and Indian populations. His audience included scholars, officials, and leaders who are integrating Vedic science and technologies into modern society. (more)

India: International Maharishi AyurVeda Foundation participates in 7th World Ayurveda Congress and Arogya Expo
31 January 2017 - The International Maharishi AyurVeda Foundation (IMAVF) participated with three presentations at the 7th World Ayurveda Congress, which was held last month in Kolkata, India. Over 3,500 delegates, mainly from various Asian countries, participated in the Congress. About 150,000 visitors came to the accompanying Arogya Expo, a trade show of many companies and institutions offering products and services in the field of Ayurveda. IMAVF was also present at the Arogya Expo, at the booth of Maharishi AyurVeda Products India, with an exhibition for the next International Ayurveda Congress, to be held in London, 1-2 April 2017. (more)

India: Alliance of Women Scientists and Scholars holds annual conference in Rishikesh
10 December 2016 - The Alliance of Women Scientists and Scholars for a Better World is holding its annual conference this year in India. The conference began yesterday and continues through 12 December at Mahila Dhyan Vidya Peeth, Tapovan, Rishikesh. The theme of the conference is Meeting Point of all Religions: Atma, the Self, the Source, Course, and Goal of Life. Speakers include eminent leaders representing the fields of physics, medicine, physiology and health, including the perspective of Ayurveda, the traditional Vedic science of health care; education; and music. The conference programme also features senior educators and administrators of institutions offering Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's Vedic Science and Technology of Consciousness. (more)

Computer scientist changing lives of young people in rural India
19 September 2016 - Promila Bahadur has trained over 2000 individuals, including children, youth, women, and the elderly, to use computers in Uttar Pradesh, where she has been honored by the government for her work. Last year she joined the computer science faculty at Maharishi University of Management, while keeping daily contact with the organization she runs in India, the Guru Institute of Information Technology. Her next plan is to establish a computer education hub among a cluster of six Indian villages. The hub would also provide other services including banking, insurance, and pharmacy. 'If one day some of our students get the chance to study at MUM, this would be, in fact, a dream come true for me,' said Promila. (more)

Anushka Sharma, the Indian movie star who works hard and meditates twice a day
15 September 2015 - Anushka Sharma is living the dream of many young women in India. After a brief modeling career, she has firmly established herself as one of the top actresses in Bollywood. For an additional boost to her body and mind, Anushka also practises the Transcendental Meditation technique. 'Meditation works wonders for me when it comes to beating stress,' the actress says. 'I meditate twice a day . . . . It has a calming effect which translates into better health.' (more)

Historic Vedic India conference talks available for online viewing
25 March 2015 - Videos of the main talks from the historic three-day International Conference to Re-Establish Ideal Vedic India, which was held 20-22 February in New Delhi and featured many leading Indian and international scientists and Vedic scholars, are now being made available online. Now 'people everywhere can learn of the scientific foundations and reality of Veda and the practical programmes to create an ideal India and a peaceful, prosperous world,' said Dr Bevan Morris, President of Maharishi University of Management in the USA. Dr Morris led a delegation of distinguished MUM faculty and trustees who participated in the conference. (more)


Flops
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India's farmed chickens dosed with world's strongest antibiotics, study finds
1 February 2018 - Chickens raised in India for food have been dosed with some of the strongest antibiotics known to medicine, in practices that could have repercussions throughout the world. Hundreds of tonnes of an 'antibiotic of last resort' -- only used in the most extreme cases of sickness -- are shipped to India each year to be used, without medical supervision, on animals that may not require the drugs but are being dosed with them nevertheless to promote the growth of healthy animals. (more)

Smog chokes Indian capital as emergency measures fail to bring relief
13 November 2017 - A thick cloud of toxic smog 10 times the recommended limit enveloped India's capital, New Delhi, on Monday, as government officials struggled to tackle a public health crisis that is well into its second week. A U.S. embassy measure showed levels of poisonous airborne particles, known as PM 2.5, had reached 498 on Monday afternoon, compared with the upper limit of 'good' quality air at 50. (more)

Severe pollution hits India's capital, causing health worries
7 November 2017 - A thick gray haze enveloped India's capital on Tuesday [7 November] as air pollution hit hazardous levels, prompting local officials to ask that schools shut down and a half marathon scheduled for later in November be called off. As winter approaches, a thick, soupy smog routinely envelops most parts of northern India, caused by dust, the burning of crops, emissions from factories, and the burning of coal and piles of garbage as the poor try to keep warm. Over the past two years, New Delhi has earned the dubious distinction of being one of the world's most polluted cities. (more)

Floods, landslides kill more than 800 people across South Asia
21 August 2017 - Widespread floods have killed more than 800 people and displaced over a million in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh, with aid workers warning of severe food shortages and water-borne diseases as rains continue to lash the affected areas. Seasonal monsoon rains, a lifeline for farmers across South Asia, typically cause loss of life and property every year between July and September, but officials say this year's flooding is the worst in several years. (more)

Fashion brands bring hand-washing but little else to India's garment workers, say critics
20 July 2017 - Five years and $630,000 later, the Ethical Trading Initiative has done little more than teach workers hand washing. The agenda was to improve the conditions for tens of thousands of India's women garment workers who stitch everything from jeans to jackets for the world's leading fashion brands. Five years and 485,000 pounds ($630,000) later, the ETI, which brings together labels like H and M, GAP, and Burberry with unions, factory owners and civil society groups, has done little more than teach workers hand washing, campaigners say. Trade unions and labour rights charities, some of them partners in the initiative, say its shortcomings show big stores are merely paying lip service to the rights of garment workers. (more)

Dying 'Mother Ganga': India's holy river succumbs to pollution
10 July 2017 - India's holy Ganges begins as a crystal clear river high in the icy Himalayas but pollution and excessive usage transforms it into toxic sludge on its journey through burgeoning cities, industrial hubs, and past millions of devotees. Worshipped by a billion Hindus and a water source for 400 million, 'Mother Ganga' is dying, despite decades of government efforts to save it. (more)

India's rising temperatures are already deadly, study shows
8 June 2017 - India is now two and a half times more likely to experience a deadly heat wave than a half century ago, and all it took was an increase in the average temperature of just 0.5 degrees Celsius (less than 1 degree Fahrenheit), a new study shows. The findings are sobering considering that the world is on track for far more warming. (more)

Foreign GMO seed firms rally behind Monsanto in Indian alliance
26 August 2016 - Major international seed companies in India formed an alliance on Friday, seeking the support of their peers after a flurry of regulatory steps in recent months by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government. Executives from companies including the local businesses of Monsanto, Bayer, Dow, Dupont Pioneer, and Syngenta announced the alliance in a crowded Press Club of India conference room. India is Monsanto's biggest market outside the Americas. Monsanto objected to a government proposal that would force it to share its technology with local seed companies. It has also taken the government to court over a cut in the royalty it gets from seed companies for licensing use of its patented technology. The New Delhi press conference was a show of solidarity with Monsanto... on Friday its India head, Shilpa Divekar Nirula, said there was a need to align Modi's goal of doubling farmers' income by 2022 with what firms like Monsanto can offer. (more)

Desertification eating into agricultural land in India, satellite images show
18 August 2016 - More than a quarter of India's land is turning to desert and the rate of degradation of agricultural areas is increasing, according to new analysis of satellite images. A report from the Indian Space Research Organization says land degradation -- broadly defined as loss of productivity -- is estimated at 96 million hectares, or nearly 30 percent of Indian land. (more)

Over one million people hit as floods worsen in India's tea region of Assam
26 July 2016 - More than 1.2 million people in northeast India have been hit by floods which have submerged hundreds of villages, inundated large swathes of farmland, and damaged roads, bridges, and telecommunications services, local authorities said on Tuesday, 26 July. Incessant monsoon rains in the tea and oil-rich state of Assam have forced the burgeoning Brahmaputra River and its tributaries to burst their banks -- affecting more than half of the region's 32 districts. The Brahmaputra, Assam's main river which is fed by Himalayan snow melt and monsoon rain, has been overflowing in many areas along its course. The fast-flowing waters have also breached embankments and eroded dykes, leaving some parts of national and state highways inaccessible and compounding efforts to rescue marooned villagers and distribute food aid. (more)

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