Even more than tempting liquors like tequila, tobacco is a pleasure that the Old World wishes it had never taken from the New. In 1492, when Christopher Columbus was met by tribesmen with "fruit, wooden spears and certain dried leaves which gave off a distinct fragrance', he threw the last gift away. But his shipmates brought home the custom of sucking in the smoke, and the taste spread so rapidly that in 1604 King James I of England was prompted to issue a denunciation of the "manifold abuses of this vile custome'.

State-run NTPC has initiated talks with GE Energy Financial Services of the US, Kyushu Electric Power Company of Japan and Brookfield Power Corporation of Canada for setting up a joint venture company to undertake renewable power generation. It has initiated the move in accordance with its memorandum of understanding with Asian development Bank .

The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the Kerala High Court verdict quashing an order of a panchayat that canceled the licence of soft-drinks major Pepsi's plant at Kanjikode in Palakaad district. A Bench headed by Justice Arijit Passayat dismissed the appeal filed by the state government against the HC judgement, which held that the Puthussery panchayat had no jurisdiction under the Kerala Panchayat Raj Act in the matter of issuing, renewal or cancellation of license since the area had been excluded from the Act's purview.

The government had offered investors freedom to sell oil and gas to any consumers at market-determined prices under the terms of the production sharing contracts (PSCs) in the new exploration and licensing policy (Nelp). But, the evolution of government policies in the sector over the last few months, though ostensibly within the boundaries of the terms of PSCs, is in sharp contrast to these stated intentions, and this may even dampen investor sentiments.

For a reforming Economy, India is letting a lot of things occur in the marketplace that evokes for it the adjective "dysfunctional'. They serve neither social purpose nor make any economic sense, and smack mostly of arbitrary political interventionism. On a larger plane, the economic policy framework is now avowedly market-based and opposed to any form of strategic intervention. Weaving social objectives into economic policies is frowned upon. The agenda of economic reform does not include social interventions like the NAC's employment guarantee scheme and so on.

Katrain, HP, Feb 11 A new hybrid cabbage seed, developed here at the regional station of Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), may be released next month for commercial cultivation, which will boost production by up to 40%. "We have developed the cabbage seed here at temperate climate, which can give a yield of 35 tonne per hectare if grown at an optimum temperature level of 15-20 degree celsius,' head of the regional station SR Sharma told PTI. The current yield of normal cabbage seed is 20-25 tonne per hectare.

Faced with high oil prices and increasing oil imports to meet the country's rising demand for transportation fuels, there is now a perception that India's energy security is threatened. In addition to securing overseas oil fields, alternative options include biomass-based fuels and coal-to-liquid (CTL) fuels. While the production of biodiesel has now become a national mission, CTL fuels are also gaining currency as a commercially attractive proposition because of the potentially cleaner characteristics.

Much of what Indian agriculture is today is due to the work of state agriculture universities and deemed agriculture university like the Delhi-based Indian Agriculture Research Institute (IARI).

The Planning Commission on Friday allocated an annual plan size of Rs 9,600 crore for Chhattisgarh for the year 2008-09.

Australian construction company Leighton Holdings Ltd on Tuesday announced that it has bagged a contract from Oil and Natural Gas Corporation worth $720 million for building an oil and gas pipeline in