Kalawati Eknath Mangela and Parvati Bai Somna do not consider themselves fisherwomen any mo

DROUGHT conditions triggered a pest attack in 12 paddy growing districts of Orissa. The swarming caterpillars (Spodoptera mauritia) ruined crops on 89,000 hectares (ha) of the four million ha under paddy cultivation in the state. Sambalpur district was the worst affected; paddy crops on nearly 33,000 ha were destroyed by the pest, called leda poka in Orissa. In Malkangiri district,

TWO months ago, a fleet of hydraulic trucks of a private company started collecting garbage from homes in many areas of Nagpur. The trucks transport the garbage directly to the landfill site managed by another private company. This privatization of garbage collection has alarmed some 5,000 ragpickers who earn their living by rummaging through the city

indian space agency isro is yet to release its final report on the early death of its moon mission Chandrayaan, but speculations abound about the cause. One of the explanations is the late decision to carry a probing instrument in the spacecraft. In the original plan the spacecraft was to just orbit the moon. The decision to make the instrument with an imprint of the national flag land on the

ON AUGUST 24, the Meghalaya government decided to hand over a large parcel of land in West Khasi Hills to the Uranium Corporation of India Limited. Citizens

THE Union environment ministry has adopted an unusual conservation strategy to save the dwindling population of edible-nest swiftlets (Aerodramus fuciphagus) in the Andamans. It has taken them off the Schedule-I list of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, which accords the highest protection to a species. The nests of these swiftlets are made of hardened saliva and are taken away

CROP DISEASE Bananas at risk in Africa Two banana diseases spreading fast across central and southern Africa threaten 30 million people who depend on the fruit for food and income. vTo check the diseases, agriculture scientists at an emergency meeting in Tanzania with policymakers from across the continent recommended drastic measures: excavating entire banana fields,

THIS is the variety of rice without which biryani, the royal gastronomical delight, would not feature so prominantly in the history pages on Mughal influence in India. Aromatic, long-grained, nonsticky are the words that describe it. It is the Basmati. India grows 1.6 million tonnes annually. Two-thirds is exported every year. India claims its traditional knowledge of the climate, the

WHILE we are yet to ascertain whether aerosols are warming or cooling our planet, a scientific team has traced a new source: deciduous trees. These are plants that shed their leaves seasonally. So far aerosols were described as particles of pollutants like sulphur dioxide, black carbon (soot) and sea salt that remain suspended in the air. Deciduous plants release around 500 teragrammes

BY ITSELF, silicon is not an effective conductor. It does not leave its electrons free for smooth flow of information. To make it less rigid, impurities are introduced into a pure silicon chip. The impurities free an electron or two and make the element a better conductor. This is called doping