Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Seasonal Small Businesses Using Social Media to Maintain Year-Round Presence

Cape Cod, Vermont, Montauk: these are all hot tourist destinations, but only during certain seasons. As the weather changes, so too does their appeal, prompting many small businesses to close up shop for the off season.
Just because businesses close their doors, it doesn't mean they also shut off customer engagement. Instead, seasonal small businesses are turning to Facebook, a virtual, year-round, weatherproof storefront. Owners used to rely on snail mail to keep their businesses in the back of consumers’ minds, but social media is cheaper and allows for a real-time, more intimate interaction.
Meet Cape Cod's Four Seas Ice Cream, Vermont's Equipe Sport and Montauk's South Edison, three small businesses using social media to build a loyal customer base no matter the weather outside.

Bahamian ‘whistle-blower’ is applauded for exposing FIFA scandal

A DECISION by a Bahamian soccer official to “whistle-blow” on alleged corruption is being credited in the international media as exposing a scandal that is now threatening to “tear apart” FIFA, the wealthy global body that governs the hugely-popular sport.
The Telegraph of London yesterday reported that a secret dossier on the corruption probe revealed that it was Anton Sealey, President of the Bahamas Football Association, who “led” a group of Caribbean football officials who exposed an alleged attempt by an aspiring President of the International Federation of Football Associations to bribe regional officials with $40,000 each to support his presidential bid.
Qatari President of the Asian Football Confederation, Mohamed Bin Hammam, along with FIFA Vice President, Trinidadian Jack Warner, and the long-standing current President of FIFA, Sepp Blatter, were preparing to face a FIFA ethics committee hearing over the allegations. However, although investigations will go ahead against Hammam and Warner, all accusations have been dropped against Blatter.
Mr Sealey was not available for comment yesterday, according to his wife, as he remains in Zurich, Switzerland, where FIFA’s headquarters are located. The corruption claims highlighted by him and his fellow Caribbean Football Union officials are the latest in a series of claims of ethical misdemeanours by FIFA executives, among them suggestions that officials accepted bribes for votes on which countries should host future world cup tournaments.
According to the corruption probe dossier seen by the Telegraph, Mr Sealey and up to 25 Caribbean Football Union (CFU) officials were offered envelopes containing $40,000 in cash, split into four $10,000 “stacks” of $100 bills at a CFU meeting in Warner’s native Trinidad on May 10-11 in an alleged effort by Bin Hammam to persuade them to vote for him in this week’s FIFA presidential election.
They were allegedly told “not to tell anyone about the cash, not to discuss the cash with the others and not to show anyone the money.”
A corruption probe was initiated after at least four of the delegates apparently refused the cash and reported the incident to FIFA executive committee member Chuck Blazer, who engaged former US federal prosecutor John P Collins to conduct a full investigation.
The Telegraph reports that the whistle-blowers who went to Mr Blazer with the allegations were led by Mr Sealey. Mr Sealey’s claims are backed by statements from the Bermuda, Cayman Islands and Turks and Caicos Islands Football Associations, the dossier shows.
The current President of FIFA, Sepp Blatter, was drawn into the ethics investigation after it was alleged by Mr Warner that he was aware of the payments to the CFU and had “raised no objections.”
Mr Warner and Bin Hammam have denied wrongdoing. Bin Hammam claimed the allegations are a conspiracy designed to derail his chance to be FIFA President in Wednesday’s presidential election. Last night international media reported that he has ended his bid for the presidency in the wake of the allegations. However, FIFA will open a “full blown” investigations into the accusations against Hammam and Warner.
Sepp Blatter, of Switzerland, FTFA’s current president, will not be investigated because he knew nothing of the payments. He will stand unopposed for re-election on Wednesday to continue in a job that he has held for 13 years

Consumer Confidence Falls Unexpectedly in May

Consumer confidence slid in May as consumers turned more pessimistic on the outlook for the labor market and inflation worries rose, according to a private sector report released on Tuesday.
The Conference Board, an industry group, said its index of consumer attitudes fell to 60.8 from a revised 66.0 in April. The reading was below economists' forecasts for 66.5.
April was originally reported as 65.4. The expectations index tumbled to 75.2 from 83.2, while the present situation index edged down to 39.3 from 40.2.
Consumers' labor market assessment was less favorable. The proportion of those who said jobs were hard to get rose to 43.9 percent from 42.4 percent the month before, although the "jobs plentiful" category also rose to 5.6 percent from 5.1 percent.
Consumers were also more negative on their view of the labor market for the next six months. Those expecting more jobs in the coming months decreased to 15.9 percent from 17.8 percent, and those expecting fewer jobs rose to 20.8 percent from 18.7 percent.
Consumers' expectations for inflation in the coming 12 months rose to 6.6 from 6.3 percent.

Trust Seals: Good for Business or Waste of Money?

For many consumers, the Internet is still seen as the Wild, Wild West when it comes to making purchases, which makes it difficult for small businesses to drive traffic to their Web sites. In response, small businesses are adding trust seals to their sites to help ease customer concerns over security and legitimacy.
These seals, offered from various antivirus software makers including VeriSign and McAfee, let consumers know a Web site is real, any transactions are safe and free of malware.
“There’s a lot of fraudulent activity on the Web these days and consumers are aware of it,” said Tina Hou, senior product marketing manager for trust services at Symantec, which recently was acquired VeriSign’s identity and authentication security business. “People go to Amazon.com because they know it’s a relatively safe organization. Small businesses don’t have that luxury.”
The Internet is flooded with scams from hackers looking to steal people’s information and it seems no business is off limits, no matter the size. Major companies have recently been the subject of attacks, but when a security breach happens to a small business, regaining trust can be virtually impossible. Many small businesses don’t have the funds to launch public-relations campaigns and establish customer service help for consumers. 
Trust seals not only provide a level of comfort to online consumers, but some also scan a company’s Web site daily to identify any malware.

“When people come to the site and see the seal they know the site is a safe site to conduct transactions on or browse,” said Hou. VeriSign’s seal, which Hou said is viewed more than 650 million times a day and will cost a small business $299 a year. The seal also shows up in searches results on Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) Bing and certain comparison shopping Web sites before surfers click on a link.
According to Hou, incorporating the VeriSign Trust Seal has the added benefit of preventing a small business from being blacklisted on Google by catching any malware early. Google periodically scans sites for malware and any tags sites found to have malicious software and forces users to click through a warning to get to the site--a devastating blow for a small business.
Small businesses can choose from a variety of trust seals, including one from the Better Business Bureau and VeriSign also has a SSL Certificate which lets consumers know a site is legitimate and transactions are secure. No matter the type, Hou advises small businesses to display the seal prominently on their Web sites and in any place that requires customer interaction such as providing payment information. 
Do they Work?
Trust Seals can give small business increased credibility, but does it translate into tangible results? According to Hou, Symantec conducted a number of studies with businesses that use the VeriSign Seal and found that sites with the seal saw a 25% increase in traffic on average.
According to Cazoodle, which runs search engines for shopping, vacation rentals and apartment rentals, it has seen a 9.36% increase in click through traffic during the past eight months for businesses whose search results include the VeriSign seal.
“Trust is very important these days, particularly in relations to small businesses,” said Hou. 

Intel shows off Oak Trail-based Android Honeycomb tablets, confirms Android Market support

At a time when ARM and Android are dominating the mobile computing world, Intel's only just starting to catch up with some green robot-friendly prototypes, like these Oak Trail-based 10-inch tablets at Computex 2011. Starting from the left we have the Intel Green Ridge, Foxconn F150, Quanta QXZI, an unnamed Compal device, Intel Marco Polo 2, and Intel Carrot. Sadly, Intel wouldn't give the names of the ODMs behind its own reference tablets, so your guess is just as good as ours.

With the exception of the Gingerbread-powered Foxconn slate, these were all running on Honeycomb 3.0.1 OS -- well, we say running, but just barely. As you'll see in our hands-on video after the break, most of the devices were struggling to keep up with the launcher animation, and needless to say, Intel wasn't keen on letting us test video playback on them. We also noticed that Android Market was missing on the prototypes, but Intel assured us that it'll be available on the final products, and that current Android apps are already supported by Oak Trail. In terms of build quality it left much to be desired, though this is forgivable at a trade show; it's the software that we're concerned with. From what we've seen here at Computex, Android on Oak Trail is far from ready, so it'll be interesting to see if Acer can actually pull off a July launch for its rumored Oak Trail Honeycomb tablet.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Accoya Uses Chemistry Trick To Detoxify Exterior Wood Treatment Process

Most options for wood used in decks, outdoor furniture and siding are rarely entirely earth friendly, since they are often treated with heavy metals or toxic chemicals, or logged from unsustainable forests. One company is innovating in the space by altering the chemistry of the wood itself to make it weather and decay resistant.
After several years of research and development, Accsys Technologies began producing Accoya, a treated wood designed for outdoor exposure. The process uses acetylization, a chemical reaction that bonds together the hydroxyl group of molecules in the wood and replaces them with an acetyl group of molecules. The hydroxyl group is what microorganisms feed on, a cause of rot and decay, says Lisa Ayala, who represents Accsys’ North American branch. It is also what causes wood to shrink and swell.
To perform the molecular swap, wood goes through a vessel where heat, time and the addition of acetic anhydride creates a byproduct called acetic acid. In its simplest form, acetic acid dilutes to vinegar.
“When people smell the wood, they say it smells like pickles,” Ayala said. Less than 1% of the acetic acid remains in the wood after treatment, though even this small amount can cause zinc-plated or galvanized steel fasteners to corrode. The company offers recommendations on what kinds of fasteners and glues have been successfully tested with the treated wood.
Accoya could be used in place of pressure-treated wood, although Ayala said the company sees itself as more competitive with tropical hardwoods such as teak and ipe. According to the company, Accoya wood requires less maintenance than its tropical counterparts, and comes with a 50-year warranty for wood used above ground.
Currently, the company only sells products made from Radiata Pine, though it is exploring other species. The Netherlands-based factory hopes to expand production into other countries, where it can offer wood made from trees native to each area.
Accoya sells its products throughdistributors in 25 countries. The wood is generally more expensive than something like red oak, but is as much as half the price of teak or ipe, saidRoyal Plywood Company Materials Consultant Bruce Halvarson.
“No natural moisture can penetrate that wood,” Halvarson said. “If you try and put a water based stain on it, it won’t take at all, but an oil based stain will wick all the way through the wood from one side to the other.” Since the wood is treated from the inside out, it can be cut and modified in a variety of ways without compromising protection.
Accys was awarded a Cradle to Cradle Gold Certification by MBDCfor its sustainable products and manufacturing processes.

Facebook May Make Tiny Town a Data Center Mecca

"Just weeks after the opening of a Facebook data center in Prineville, Oregon, local officials say two more companies may build server farms in the small town. Facebook has touted Prineville as an ideal environment for using fresh air to cool servers. The news positions Prineville (pop. 10,000, unemployment rate 17 percent) to emerge as a data center hub similar to Quincy, Washington, a small farm town that now hosts five huge server farms."

US Citizen Visiting Thailand Arrested For Blog Posting

BANGKOK — A US citizen has been charged in Thailand with insulting the monarchy after he posted material deemed offensive on his blog and put a link to a banned book, authorities said Friday.
Thai-born Lerpong Wichaikhammat, 54, was arrested on Tuesday in Nakhon Ratchasima province in northeast Thailand and is currently being held at Bangkok Remand Prison.
"He translated articles which are deemed insulting to the monarchy and posted them on his blog. Also he provided a link to a book" perceived as critical of the royal family, said police Lieutenant Colonel Kovit Tardmee.
"He left Thailand when he was 35 and returned for medical treatment in November 2009. He is scheduled to go back to the US this December."
The US embassy said it was providing consular assistance to the man.
"We can confirm that he is an American citizen," a spokesman told AFP.
An official at Thailand's Criminal Court said Lerpong had been denied bail during a hearing on Thursday.
"He was charged with lese majeste, subversion and uploading or linking to false information under the Computer Crime Act," she said.
The monarchy is an extremely sensitive subject in politically divided Thailand, which is preparing for an election on July 3, and rights groups have expressed fears over use of lese majeste to suppress freedom of expression.
Controversy over the law was stoked earlier this month when prominent Thai historian Somsak Jeamteerasakul, who has tested taboos with calls for reform of the monarchy, was charged with lese majeste.
King Bhumibol Adulyadej, 83, the world's longest-reigning monarch and revered as a demi-god by many Thais, has been in hospital since September 2009.

Skype software update tackles startup crashes

Skype has rolled out an update for the Mac version of its Voice over IP application that should take care of any lingering problems with startup crashes.
You may recall that some users--a very small amount, according to Skype--had some problems logging in or staying connected to the Mac version of Skype on Thursday; some Windows users experienced the same trouble. (Users with the iOS and Android clients weren't affected by the problem.)
For Mac users, Skype promises to fix all that. The lone change in this release of the Mac client deals specifically with crashes at startup. Of course, that assumes you haven't solved the issue already using the instructions Skype offered for deleting that troublesome shared.xml configuration file. Deleting that file reportedly fixed the crashing problem as well.
Skype says Friday's software update is required for anyone affected by the crash issue who hasn't already gotten rid of the shared.xml file.

China censors Web to curb Inner Mongolia protests

China is blocking mention of Inner Mongolia on Chinese microblogs and social networking sites, as part of an effort to clamp down on protests that broke out last week in the region.
Two of the most popular microblog services operating in China no longer allow users to search for the term "Inner Mongolia." Sina's and Tencent's microblogs have 140 million and 160 million users, respectively.
Social networking site Renren, nicknamed "Facebook of China", is also preventing users from posting about "Inner Mongolia." Renren users who have registered China's Inner Mongolia region as their hometown also reported that their friends cannot fully view their user pages.
The censorship comes after protests erupted in the region when an ethnic Mongolian shepherd was run over by an ethnic Han truck driver, according to human rights groups. Ethnic Mongolians in the region have taken to the streets, prompting authorities to declare martial law in some of the cities.
The Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center said on its website that China's most popular instant messenger service QQ, which helped organize the mass protests, has been shutdown in the region.
The Inner Mongolia region of China borders Mongolia and has a population of 24 million people. Only 17 percent of the region's population is Mongolian. About 78 percent of the population are from the country's main ethnic Han group.
China has 457 million Web users, according to the China Internet Network Information Center. But the country regularly blocks politically sensitive content on the Web. Internet censorship has ramped up to new levels starting this year, according to experts. It was triggered by an online protest call urging Chinese people to stage a "Jasmine Revolution" against the government.
China responded by blocking any mention of the term "Jasmine" on Chinese microblogs. Google also reported that Chinese authorities were blocking Gmail, in what experts said was an effort to stifle communication between human rights activists.

tamil short story

தேனீக்கள் மலருக்கு மலர் சென்று தேன் சேகரிப்பதை சில ஈக்கள் பார்த்தன. எதற்கு இத்தனை கஷ்டம். ஒரு வீட்டில் அலமாரியில் தேன் பாட்டில் வைத்திருக்கிறார்கள். அது சரியும் நிலையில் உள்ளது. காத்திருந்து சரிந்ததும் மாற்றி மாற்றிக் குடிக்கலாம் என்று காத்திருந்தன.

அவைகள் எதிர்பார்த்தபடியே தேன் பாட்டில் சரிந்து தரையெல்லாம் தேன். ஈக்கள் உற்சாகத்துடன் மொய்த்துத் தேனைத் தத்தம் சின்ன நாக்குகளால் நக்கின. திருப்தியாகத் தேன் குடித்ததும் பறந்து போக முயற்சித்த போது இறக்கையெல்லாம் தேன் ஒட்டிக்கொண்டு நகர முடியாமல் தேனிலேயே சாவு! அதற்குமுன் ‘அற்ப சந்தோஷத்துக்காக நம்மை நாமே அடித்துக்கொண்டு விட்டோமே’ என்று அங்கலாய்த்தது விட்டித்தான் செத்தன.

Hotels to keep a lid on food waste

DUBAI // Hotels are taking new measures to ensure they do not contribute to global food waste.
While millions of people go hungry worldwide, about 1.3 billion tonnes of food a year is lost or wasted, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation. Its figures were based on findings of the Swedish Institute for Food and Biotechnology.
"Food as waste is a worldwide concern, and our focus is on what our role is in this global scenario," said Bobby Krishna, senior food studies and surveys officer at the food control department of Dubai Municipality.
"The more the industry takes care to meet set standards, the better reduction of wastage."
In the capital, the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority issued a circular to hotels in late March, outlining a possible penalty of up to Dh50,000 annually if waste exceeds the acceptable limit. The acceptable limit will be decided at a meeting next week.
Roula Hakim, environmental hygiene health and safety manager at Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel and Resort, and Meridien Abu Dhabi, said the new rule will be implemented upon renewal of tourism licences.
"Food wastage is a big problem," she said. "Especially for establishments that display large amounts at buffets. We display small quantities and refill when needed."
When, after functions, food is left over that was not served or displayed, it is distributed throughout the hotels' restaurants on the same day.
Hassan Massood, executive chef at the Radisson Blu in Dubai Media City, said food cooked but not served is kept chilled and can be served the next day.
"As per Dubai Municipality requirements, food served on the buffet is kept for a maximum of four hours at the right temperature," he said. "Whatever food is left over at the end of the day has to be thrown away."
Mirco Beutler, the Dubai-based managing director of Mobile Gastrokonzepte, a food services company, said it has a new product that will dramatically decrease waste.
The Waste 2.0 food waste digester uses micro-organisms to digest food and break it down into a greyish water safe for use on plants.
"We installed it in 50 sites across the United Kingdom over the last year including hospitals and we've taken an order from the Westin Hotel, Dubai," Mr Beutler said.
He said the machine costs around €10,000 (Dh52,600) and can reduce hotel waste by up to half.
Ms Hakim said if the product is shown to be effective, her company might place an order.
Mr Krishna said one of the main issues the municipality faces is the rejection of imported food at ports over "trivial" issues such as non-compliance by companies at the country of origin.
He said the municipality plans to target the biggest importers of food - including India, China, Pakistan and the United States - to provide information about rejected foods, companies and brands.
When there are regulations specific to Dubai, he added, communication needed to be stepped up by appointing liaisons.
"Some 95 per cent of food is imported here. That's around six million tonnes per year. The better the food control along the chain the less rejection and waste," he said.
"Imagine a ship coming here with a full container and going all the way back and the energy that will consume. Imagine the energy invested in food production. If we clarified regulations, they can save millions."

Yemeni Troops Fire on Protesters, Kill at Least 20

A Yemeni medical official says soldiers loyal to Yemen's president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, have stormed a protest camp in the southern city of Taiz and fired on the crowds indiscriminately, killing at least 20.
Hospital sources told Reuters that at least 120 were wounded.
The crowds gathered to demand the release of a fellow protester who was arrested Saturday, Reuters reports.
Security forces first tried to clear the square in Taiz with water cannons, tear gas and sound bombs, sending thousands rushing for shelter. 
Forces from the Republican Guard, which is commanded by one of Saleh's sons, then moved in before dawn with tanks and bulldozers, said Sadek al-Shugaa, head of a field hospital at the protest camp.
Republican Guard soldiers along with security forces and armed men in civilian clothes attacked the protesters. Some set fire to dozens of tents used by the protesters, and bulldozers ran over hundreds of other tents without checking whether any protesters were still inside, two witnesses said.
One of them, Mohammed al-Zarafi, said he saw tents being set on fire while injured protesters were still inside.
The other witness, protester Boushra al-Maqtali, called the attack "a real massacre."
"The square and the (field) hospital are in ruins," she said. "The tanks took the place of hundreds of tents that were set up there. The artillery units are occupying the whole space to make it impossible for the youth to return to the square," she said.
The violence took place in Freedom Square -- a popular gathering point for thousands of anti-government protesters that have been camping there since January to demand Saleh's overthrow, Reuters reports. As police set two tents in the square on fire, protesters responded by hurling molotov bombs and rocks at them.
Troops also attacked the Majeedi Hotel overlooking the square, where journalists were detained, al-Shugaa said. Then snipers took over the top of the building to shoot at protesters. Amateur video aired by Al-Jazeera TV showed masked men with rifles shooting from rooftops at the protesters in the street.
Al-Shaga said "most of the injuries are critical in the head, chest and neck."
He said several dozen of the injured were dragged away by security forces and vanished.
The city of Taiz has been a hotbed of anti-government protests since crowds began calling for Saleh's ouster in early February.
In the capital city of Sanaa, residents told Reuters that seven explosions were heard Sunday night, although no immediate details were available on their source.
A Yemeni rights activist said Sunday that a brigade of the powerful Republican Guard run by the son of Saleh has defected to the opposition in a southern province.
It's the first reported defection among the elite troops, which have been the core of Saleh's hold on power despite three months of massive street protests and defections by some military and tribal allies.
Activist Abdul-Rahman Ahmed says a letter from Brig. Gen. Ibrahim al-Jayfi, commander of the Guard's Ninth Brigade was read to thousands of protesters in the provincial capital of Damar on Sunday.
Experts say the uprising's future will be determined by the number of tribes and security forces that turn against Saleh. Many already have, including the Hashid confederation, to which Saleh's tribe belongs. Some army units have also left Saleh to back the protesters, though they did not join the fight against his forces.

MSc Biotech/ Bioinformatics Admissions

MSc Biotech/ Bioinformatics Admissions 2011 at Bharati Vidyapeeth Univ

Bharati Vidyapeeth University,
Bharati Vidyapeeth Bhavan,
LB S Marga, Pune- 411 030
Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University’s Rajiv Gandhi Institute of IT and Biotechnologyis one of the leading private institutes imparting UG/PG and Doctoral degree inBiotechnology and Bioinformatics. By far it has the best infrastructure and highlycompetent and qualified faculties.
Applications are invited on the prescribed form for the following Courses at Rajiv GandhiInstitute of IT and Biotechnology, Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University, Katraj, Pune-411 026
1. B. Sc. in Biotechnology (Full time 3 yr. course)
2. M. Sc in Biotechnology (Full Time 2 yr. course)
3. M. Sc in Bioinformatics (Full Time 2 yr. course)
4. Advanced Diploma in bioinformatics (Full time 1 yr. course)
Eligibility (for category 1)Admission through CET
• 10+ 2 pass with minimum 50% (45% for SC/ST) with PCM/B and English
• Should be over 17 year of age as on 31st December of the year of the admission to thecourse
Eligibility (for category 2)Admission through CET• Candidate should be Bachelor in subjects like Botany/ Microbiology/ Zoology/Biotechnology/ Biochemistry/ Agriculture/ Life science/ Chemistry with minimum50% (45% for SC/ST)
Eligibility (for category 3)Admission through CET• Graduation (bachelor’s degree) from any one of the following streams: Science/Agriculture/Veterinary/ Medicine/ Pharmacy/ Engineering with minimum 50%(45% for SC/ST)• Students of the final year are also eligible to appear for the CET
Eligibility (for category 4)Admission on
FISRT COME FIRST SERVE basis•B. Sc. / B. Tech in Science/ Medicine/ Pharmacy/ IT/ Agriculture with minimum50% (45% for SC/ST)
How to Apply:Details about admission procedure are available on our website (www.rgitbt.bharatividyapeeth.edu/Admissions).Prospectus may be obtained from Bharati Vidyapeeth University, Bharati Vidyapeeth Bhavan, LB S Marga, Pune- 411 030.OR may be directly purchased from Rajiv Gandhi Institute of IT and Biotechnology, Katraj,Pune 411046.The same may be directly downloaded from the website (www.bharatividyapeethuniversity.net) Cost of prospectus and application form for category 1. Rs. 400/- (cash) and 600/- (by post; DDin favor of The Registrar, Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University, Payable at Pune ). Cost ofprospectus and application form for category 2 & 3. Rs. 600/- (cash) and 800/- (by post; DDin favor of The Registrar, Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University, Payable at Pune). Cost ofprospectus and application form for category 4. Rs. 500/- (cash)
Important Dates:
B.Sc. Biotechnology
CET on 25.06.2011
Last date of submission 20.06.2011
Result date 28.06.2011
Counseling for admission 01.07.2011
College starts 04.07.2011
M. Sc Biotechnology and Bioinformatics
CET on 19.06.2011
Last date of submission 13.06.2011
Result date 01.07.2011
Counseling for admission 08.07.2011
College starts 14.07.2011
Advance Diploma in Bioinformatics
Last date for application 28.06.201
College starts 101.07.2011
Last date for applicationCollege starts 28.06.201101.07.2011
Please Note:• DD should be made in the favor of “The Registrar, Bharati Vidyapeeth DeemedUniversity, Payable at Pune”
Entrance Test for B. Sc. will be held on Saturday, June 25, 2011 from 11:00 am to 12:30am. The Entrance Test will have multiple-choice questions from all areas, as mentionedabove, at the Undergraduate level. Details regarding the syllabus is mentioned in the Prospectus
Entrance Test for M. Sc. will be held on Sunday, June 19, 2011 from 11:00 am to 12:30am. The Entrance Test will have multiple-choice questions from all areas, as mentionedabove, at the Undergraduate level. Details regarding the syllabus is mentioned in the Prospectus
• CET will be held at Pune, New Delhi, Navi Mumbai
N.B.: Incomplete forms and forms without Demand Draft shall be summarily rejected.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Endangered Walk on Earth

A bullet-shot carcass of an elephant was found in Cuttack district's Athagarh division recently. Poachers had removed half of its tusks using sharp weapons. Four days later, when police and forest sleuths arrested the mastermind, they faced a retaliation which was unheard of in the region. A gang of 10 gun-toting miscreants barged into the local forest range office the same night and took the poacher away, surprising the armed police force guarding the premises.
                   Such an incident was startling,"admits chief Wildlife Warden P N Padhi who had personally supervised the case. With organised poaching gangs operating in a brazen manner, elephants are anything but safe in Orissa. The last 10 years have seen over 100 of them falling prey to poachers.
                  Similipal National Park epitomises the crisis. The protected area alone saw more than 20 elephants killed in just two years though wildlife activists say the actual number could be double or more. Maoist fear in the park has prevented forest officials from regular conservation while smugglers from the Northeast with the help of local elements have wreaked havoc in the park which boasts over 330 pachyderms. "Such is the attack on the tuskers that the male-female ration is precariously low in Similipal. A sex ratio of 1:3 is normal. In Similipal,it is close to 1:8 which could prove disastrous", says a forest official.
                  Last year, an NTCA team found gross absence of infrastructure, manpower and motivation in the enforcement squads to take on the poachers. "Even some people engaged in the protection work were found to have tipped off the poachers about the location of elephants. They had to be laid off ", say Forest Department sources.
                  Vanoo Mitra Acharya, president of Similipal Tiger Protection Force, a local conservation group, says the state government has done nothing to establish an intelligence network in the 1,194 sq km core area of Similipal. Some protection camps have only 30 percent staff strength but no vehicle. How do the forest staff take on the poachers, he wonders.
                  But it is not poaching alone; the number of elephants electrocuted has now caught up with the poaching figures. Between 2004-2005 and 2009-2010. 54 elephants fell to poaching while 51 died of electrocution. Last October, Union Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh shot off a letter to Cheif Minister Naveen Patnaik expressing concern as the number of electrocution deaths soared past 20 in just two years.
                  In Orissa, one of the major elephant habitats of eastern India, a jumbo's life is not easy. Tuskers form about 23 percent of the elephant population (standing at 1,886 as per 2010 census) making them the most sought after by poachers, while increaasing depredation caused by fragmented habitations-thanks to growing mining, industrialisation and urbanisation-has made them a new enemy of the villagers.
                 Northern Orissa districts have been the death traps for the jumbos with the most electrocution deaths. Keonjhar alone, the state's mineral heart land, reported 21 such deaths between 2001-2002 and 2009-2010. Loss of corridors and food base have prompted the long ranging animals to head towards farmlands and habitations. Earlier this year, a herd of 60 elephants landed in the Kuldiha Wildlife Sanctuary of Balasore district, travelling about 200 km from the West Bengal and Jharkhand border. The Forest Department had a tough task handling them and the local villagers whose crop they feasted on an houses they trampled.
                Statistics reveal that 70% of wild animal depredation reported in Orissa are caused by elephants. Reasons enough why retaliatory killings have been on the rise in recent times though sagging electric lines have been a major cause of death. In Dhenkanal Forest Division, the elephants have killed at least 20 locals in one year, five of them alone in Sarangi Forest Range. In the last one year, this division recorded 13 elephant deaths, three of them due to electrocution.
               To pacify the locals, the Orissa Government has decided to hike the compensation on loss of life and damage to crop.The exgratia of Rs 1 lakh for a human death will soon be raised to Rs 2 lakh while compensation for crop loss per acre will be raised from Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000. With the hike promised, the Government will have to cough up double the amount.
              The Government has also put in the place a Rs 50 crore elephant management plan to be implemented over five years. A major component of the plan includes habitat improvement under which the Forest Department has identified 14 major and nine small migration corridors. "We will study land use pattern of the corridors so that we can restore them", the Chief Wildlife Warden says. But the challenge in elephantine.

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