After years of arguing over whether Pluto is a planet, in 2006 the International Astronomical Union (IAU) voted to remove Pluto’s planetary status. Now some researchers are challenging this decision, citing the manner in which scientific tradition has dealt with the taxonomy of planets. What was the decision of IAU? The IAU, in 2006, designated … Continued
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Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh tweeted over the weekend that Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir had signed a “historic” agreement on the Shahpur Kandi project, which would be completed in three years and would generate 207 MW power and irrigate 95,000 acres of land “for our farmers”. Power Minister Gurpreet Singh Kangar subsequently said … Continued
The Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry has decided to participate in PISA, an international assessment of student ability, after a gap of almost 10 years. How does this programme evaluate students, and why was India out of it for 10 years? Origin & purpose PISA, short for Program for International Student Assessment, was first administered … Continued
After PMO intervention, NITI Aayog approves guidelines The NITI Aayog has approved the supplementary nutrition guidelines, prepared by the Ministry for Women and Child Development, following intervention by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). The PMO had stepped in to end a more than yearlong stand-off between Ms. Gandhi and the Ministry’s officials in the wake … Continued
The latest incidence of cow vigilantism has shaken up Rajasthan’s Alwar district whereby a victim was beaten to death, by a group of men who stopped him in Lalwandi while he was transporting cows on foot. Here’s what happened On the night of July 20, Rakbar Khan alias Akbar in his early thirties and father … Continued
Different nomenclature used for Scheduled castes Of course, the debate over the appropriateness of using the term ‘Dalit’ to refer to members of the Scheduled Castes is far from new. A decade ago, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes disfavoured the use of ‘Dalit’, which it felt was unconstitutional. This is because belonging to a … Continued
69 medals India’s best-ever Asian Games medal haul at Jakarta, Indonesia has brought much cheer. The Indian contingent raked in 69 medals, including 15 gold. It may have lagged at eighth place on the medals table, way behind China with its 289 medals — but compared to recent Asiads, India registered significant progress in many … Continued
Every year, the Brahmaputra takes away chunks of land from Kaziranga National Park that on paper is 1,030 sq km in area. The park now measures 884 sq km and is shrinking. But the river gives more to the address of the world’s largest population of one-horned rhinos than it snatches from — mostly hog … Continued
Life imprisonment on sacrilege The Punjab Cabinet’s decision to amend the law to make acts of sacrilege against the holy books of major religions punishable with life imprisonment is retrograde and fraught with undesirable consequences. It may also set off a needless flurry of legislation in the rest of India to pander to different groups. … Continued
The “corridor” would bring Pak infrastructure right up to the Indian border. Over the past year, gurdwaras in Pakistan have been used for a pro-Khalistan campaign. Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu has claimed that Pakistan Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa has told him that Islamabad would open a corridor to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib at … Continued