Neem Coating of urea increased crop yields by 10% – Govt

The spraying of urea, the most widely consumed fertilizer in India, with Neem oil is helping to increase the output of crops by about 10% on average, according to statistics produced by the food and agricultural ministry. The ministry found a 5.8% increase in paddy yield after the use of sprayed urea and increase of 17.5% in the yield of sugarcane. Similarly, yields of tur (a kind of pulses) and red gram jumped by 16.9% and that of soybean by 7.4% and corn to the extent of 7.1%. Neem coating…

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Demonetization impact on sales is over – Bajaj Auto’s Rajiv Bajaj

The impact of demonetization on the company’s motorcycles and three-wheelers sales in India has worn off, Bajaj Auto CEO Rajiv Bajaj said. “Sales was down 20% in the aftermath of demonetization, but now it’s 0%,” Bajaj said, adding that he was expecting to have grown his sales by 20% through the year. “We were expecting growth of 20% and for the year from April to October, we had been growing at those rates,” Bajaj said in a TV interview today. The loss of growth in the December and January was…

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Bajaj Auto to launch 2017 KTM Duke 390 and 200 next Thursday

Bajaj Auto said it will unvel the “all-new KTM Duke Range” of motorcycles in India on Feb 23 at an event in Mumbai. The event, which will start at 11:30 AM and will most likely be streamed live on Youtube, is likely to launch the 2017 Duke 390 and possibly the Duke 200 bikes. The Duke 390 is the most popular bike from the KTM brand, part-owned by Bajaj Auto. The 2017 KTM 390 Duke is also powered by the same 373 cc engine found in the 2016 model, but…

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Install Android Lolipop on your PC with Android-x86 release candidate

For those who have too much time on their hands, or are plain curious or have more practical requirements for installing Android on their PC, the x86 project has come up with the ‘release candidate’ of Lolipop version of the mobile operating system. Release candidate is the final version of the software under development, with the idea being that it would be the final release unless something big bug turns up. This will be the first instance of Android Lolipop being put out by the project for PC users and…

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RCom, Reliance Jio, Tata firm up 800 MHz LTE plans?

Anil Ambani’s Reliance Communication is unlikely to go for pan-India spectrum trading or sharing with Reliance Jio Infocomm. Instead, the company is expected to focus on its merger with MTS to get the requisite spectrum in majority of the circles for LTE launch. Only in a handful of circles — less than 10 — where MTS and RCom do not have enough spectrum would RCom enter into an alliance with Reliance Jio for spectrum sharing or 4G intra-circle roaming, according to industry sources. However, in all places, the combined RCom-MTS…

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Preamble controversy :Are liberals losing the plot?

The popular impression is that the political right wing is dogmatic, unreasonable etc, while the left-liberals are the people who listen to logic and reason. But is it really so? The latest ‘controversy’ over the “deleted words” from the preamble of India’s constitution forces us to rethink such notions. For those who’ve just climbed out from under a rock, the Narendra Modi government stands accused of effacing two words -socialist and secular- from a photo of the preamble of the Indian constitution used in an advertisement. It is alleged that…

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Activist plans ‘Brahmin Ghar Vapasi’ for all castes

Even as the controversy around ‘ghar vapasi’ is yet to die down, anti-caste crusader K K Sarachandra Bose is planning a different kind of ghar vapasi based on ‘caste’ – he wants everyone to become Brahmins. To this end, Bose has urged for support from top Hindu religious leaders to join him in his mission to establish social egalitarianism by joining his upcoming all-India tour that will hold mass upanayana rituals making all members in the fold Brahmins. In separate letters to four powerful Dharmacharyas, the NRI lawyer called upon…

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Kerala’s Kiss of Love – Protesting without Political Parties

“Police detained the 50 protestors against moral policing, and only some got to lock lips on the way to police vans,” said the DNA Newspaper in its day-after story on the Kiss of Love event that happened in Kochi. The DNA article on Kiss of Love was titled “Under khakhi shadow, Kiss Day dies in Kochi And Mumbai.” “No Happy Ending For Kerala’s ‘Kiss of Love’, Police Pick Up 50 Participants,” exclaimed NDTV in its report. While there were many, including the Times of India, which saw it as a…

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COLUMN: Why Modi will be a better PM than Nehru

Every ideologically driven person — whether leftist (love everyone), or rightist (trust none) — must eventually learn to understand and incorporate the other side to become a successful leader. Looking at Narendra Modi’s actions since taking over three months, one can safely say that the Indian Prime Minister has made that transition to a large extent. Latest proof comes in the form of pictures from Japan. Modi, who has been a ‘iron man’ for his rightist followers, is seen pulling a schoolboy’s ear, jumping into a drum-beating contest with a…

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Well wishers, Please give Modi a break!

To hear his well-wishers-turned-worriers, one would think it’s the end of Narendra Modi’s five year term, and he’s achieved nothing in it. Well-wishers tear at his conspicous “silence” on issues that make headlines every day, the absence of big bucks reforms in his government’s first budget, and his “fear” of making a clean break with the past. On the economic front, they say, instead of scrapping the leaky and costly employment guarantee scheme, he’s increased the outlay for it and on the political front, instead of showing “leadership”, he’s morphed…

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Can you encourage unity through inter-caste marriage – MP asks Govt

How can the evils of India’s caste system (varna sampradaya) be addressed? Many may say education, reservation etc.. But Member of Parliament Hansraj Ahir has come up with a unique solution – give state support for inter-caste marriages. In a query sent to the Social Justice ministry, Ahir asked if the government could and had any plans to remove the evil of caste system by encouraging citizens to break caste barriers when marrying. Caste system, a form of tribal affiliation, survives as citizens marry only those who belong to their…

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Mercator gets shareholder nod for $15 mln FCCB

Shipping company Mercator Ltd said it has got shareholder approval to raise $15 mln in foreign currency loans. The company said the approval was given through postal ballot. The debt would be raised in the form of foreign currency convertible bonds or FCCBs. The FCCBs will have a an initial conversion price calculated at 58.5740 rupees per dollar, Mercator said. The FCCBs will be priced at a 21.47% premium over the volume weighted average price of Rs. 31.53 of the relevant date of issue, May 22, 2014.

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Land of Mayawati leads in cases of discrimination against scheduled caste, OBC students

Uttar Pradesh sees the highest number of complaints of discrimination against students belonging to the scheduled castes and other backward classes, according to government data. Uttar Pradesh, which accounts for about 17% of India’s total population, accounted for 57% of the total complaints regarding discrimination against students belonging to scheduled castes and other backward classes. Sceduled castes and other backward classes are the so-called ‘lower caste’ groups of India who today receive a higher level of state protection through anti-discrimination laws. Insulting a person by calling him or her a…

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Is Narendra Modi the new OBC Messiah?

It must be one of the great ironies of Indian politics that it was a party known for its staunchly upper caste base that finally brought OBC wave to national politics. While many political observers have praised the BJP for “destroying the caste politics” of backward leader Mulayam Singh Yadav and dalit leader Kumari Mayawati, the point that is being overlooked is that to do that, the BJP itself has had to transform into one of “them”. OBCs or Other Backward Classes, is a technical term used to refer to…

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