Harsh Vardhan, India’s new health minister, has pledged to bring transparency in health-care services and provide health insurance to all citizens. Vardhan, an ear, nose, and throat surgeon by qualifi cation, is touted by
many health experts as the pioneer of India’s Pulse Polio programme. Vardhan, an ear, nose, and throat surgeon by qualification, is touted by many health experts as the pioneer of India's Pulse Polio programme. He has also served as the health minister of Delhi from 1993 to 1998.

Health has been a neglected issue in past Indian general elections. But this year, it has received more recognition by those vying to lead the world’s largest democracy.

Weight loss is no more a simple calculation of calories consumed and burnt. Studies show exposure to certain toxins in the environment can make it difficult for one to shed extra pounds. What are these toxins? How do they affect body?

A maroon car, powered by fuel obtained from photosynthetic microorganisms, was flagged off for a test run by Union minister of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, Vilasrao Deshmukh in New Delhi on March 30. The event brings alternative fuels from microorganisms closer to reality. With fossil fuels set to get exhausted in the next few hundred years and the spectre of global warming looming over the planet, the world is increasingly looking at alternative energy options.

Geoscientist Harsh Gupta speaks to Dinsa Sachan on the need for an early warning system for earthquakes.

The strong and mighty bacteria are all around us. They have hardened themselves to fight back the antibiotics administered to patients. This is because we allowed them to, by overusing drugs. Government has woken up from slumber and formulated a policy that targets antibiotic resistance. It restricts sale. But will it be able to contain irrational use of drugs?

Countries move from labs to seas to study the implications of ocean acidification. On a pleasant morning when fifty-four-year-old Australian marine diver David Hannan was gearing to plunge into the deep sea, a bunch of American scientists were ready to set sail for the Arctic Ocean. In another corner of the world at Dona Paula in Goa oceanographers were contemplating plans to measure coastal pH along the entire Indian coastline.

For full text: http://www.downtoearth.org.in/content/changing-basic-nature