Over 4500 people die of snakebites every year in Bihar.

Source – newindianexpress.com

PATNA: Bihar witnesses deaths of around 4,500 people every year due to snake bites, majority of them are from extremely poor backgrounds. Bihar stands as the third in the country with the largest number of deaths caused by snakebites in India.

Sharing this figure at a public awareness event organised at Asia’s longest-running sonepur fair on Sunday, Aditya Vaibhav, the  representative of ‘The Tricky Rescuer’, said : “ With a view to promoting awareness amongst Bihari masses on snakebites and post-bite response, a mass social campaign has been launched all over the state”.

Spelling out the objective of ‘The Tricky-Rescuer’, he said that it aims at saving snakes, as-well-as humans in case of conflicts by reducing the number of such occurrences.

Quoting figures of various research studies on the cases of snakebites, he said: “Five million snakebites occur globally each year, causing between 81,000 and 1.38 lakh deaths and nearly 4 lakh amputations and other permanent disabilities.

South Asia has the highest incidence of venomous snakebites in the world. Within the region, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka together constitute nearly 70% of global snakebite mortality”.

In Bihar, it is a sheer lack of prevention or a slew of post-snakebite steps; most of the victims die in state’s interiors than in urban landscapes. “Cobras, Kraits, Russell ’s viper and Saw Scale vipers are the commonly found venomous species of snakes, which bite the human-beings”.

He said: “Snakebites are exacerbated by ignorance. Let alone the illiterates, even most of those educated are unaware of crucial trivia. In a recent email survey that was conducted on 1,000 graduates, with equal participation of both males and females, in ten developing and developed countries it was found
that close of 870 individuals did not know what an antivenin is”.

Antivenin is the antiserum containing antibodies against specific chemicals, especially those in the venom of snakes, spiders, and scorpions.

India: Bihar man loses wife in gambling match.

Source – gulfnews.com

Patna: A man in Bihar allegedly lost his wife in a gamble and then assaulted her when she refused to go with the ‘winner’.

The bizarre incident took place in Banka district of Bihar a few days back but came to light after the victim reported the matter to the police on Tuesday.

According to the complaint, the woman was asleep in her room on Monday night when her husband Binod Kumar Shah woke her up to inform that he had lost her to a villager after gambling and that she would have to go with the winner.

“He (husband) told me the winner would arrive at home the next morning and so you should get ready to go with him since I have lost you in the game,” the woman identified as Chanda Devi reportedly told the police.

The woman alleged her husband thrashed her badly when she refused to go the next morning.

The winner had reached her home to take her away as promised by her husband. The woman has now registered a case with the police, demanding action against her husband.

“We have registered the case and have begun investigation,” said a senior police official Kumar Sunny in charge of investigation.

The police official said she had asked the woman to come to the police station for further inquiry but she didn’t arrive. “We were informed the woman has left for her parent’s home,” the police official said.

Some time back in the same district a woman had herself lost a gamble and then happily went away with the winner. The woman from Teldiha village in Banka district had gambled away to a local villager Bambholi Yadav during the annual gambling fair during Diwali. Subsequently, the victor hugged her in full public view before taking her to his house where she stayed for two days.

She was finally rescued and sent to her husband after two days following intervention by fellow villagers. The woman who was an ace gambler had been winning cash every year during the gambling fair but that time she ended up losing the principal amount of Rs7,000 after initially winning some cash. Eventually, she placed herself on the bet after losing all cash and lost to the villager.

India: Woman from Bihar kills husband for talking on phone at night.

Source – gulfnews.com

An Indian man took a call in the middle of the night and that angered his wife so much that she allegedly murdered him.

The incident occurred in the couple’s home in Bihar on October 27, according to an international news website.

The husband identified as Anil Singh received a call around midnight while the couple were reportedly asleep. After continuing to talk on the phone, his wife, Aarti Devi, woke up.

When he refused to get off his phone, there was an argument, which escalated. She reportedly slammed his head the bed’s headboard before strangling him to death.

After the incident was reported by Singh’s nephew Raviranjan Kumar and the suspect was taken into custody.

After committing the murder, Devi reportedly tried to make it look like her husband died of unknown causes. She pretended to cry while calling Singh’s nephew, saying that something has happened.

Kumar and other family members arrived at the house, however, he became suspicious when he noticed small cuts around the victim’s throat as if fingernails had caused the injuries.

When the victim’s family asked Devi what happened, she broke down and told them they had an argument. She then allegedly admitted strangling him.

Upon which, Kumar called the police and the suspect was arrested.

However, when questioned by police, Devi denied any allegations. She told them that she had gone to the bathroom and when she returned, she found that her husband was dead.

Further investigations are ongoing.

India vs South Africa: Fewer To See The Last Test Match In Ranchi Ground.

Source – sportzwiki.com

The interest to watch Test matches has gone down after the introduction of the shorter format of cricket. The grounds are seen empty during the longer format cricket. Same is the view of the Ranchi ground where India will fight for the third and last Test match against South Africa from Saturday (19th October).

Sanjay Sahay, the Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) secretary, said that less than 1500 tickets are sold in swank stadium which has the capacity of 39,000 people. Ranchi will have their second Test match in the Indian cricket history but the natives are not interested to see the match.

“If there is any demand, it is for daily tickets in the hospitality area priced at ~2000,” said Sahay. The daily tickets prices range from ~200 to ~2000 and the cheapest season ticket costs ~1000, he said.

Sahay said that 5000 tickets are distributed among the para-military forces, the army, local police and National Cadet Corps. Ranchi is the home ground of MS Dhoni but the player is not playing the series so it can be the reason for less no. of people to watch the Test match. Sahay said that if Dhoni would play then also maximum 20,000 tickets would have been sold.

This Test will help to understand the condition of Ranchi ground

Sahay also opined that this Test match will help to check the conditions of the light, pitch and fire arrangement of the ground.

“The advantage of staging this match is that we could check whether everything, from the pitch, the lights, the fire arrangements are working. It is because of this Test we have also got the (50-over knockout) Deodhar Trophy (October 31-November 4),” said Sahay.

Sourav Ganguly who will take the new role of BCCI president has opined that he will look forward to introducing day-night Test match. Sahay said that the ground team will have to make the arrangement according to that format.

“We will have to do something to keep this format relevant,” said Khan.

India blow away South Africa in Ranchi for 3-0 clean sweep.

Source – tribuneindia.com

A formidable Indian team ticked all boxes with ease as they deservingly completed a 3-0 rout of an out-of-sorts South Africa with a comprehensive innings and 202 runs victory in the third and final Test here on Tuesday.

With another 120 points, India now sit pretty on top of the points table with 240 points as the formalities were completed within the first two overs of the day.The score line was not only an indicator of India’s absolute dominance but also the decline in standard of South African cricket as they couldn’t handle the might of India’s batting and the fiery India pace attack led by Mohammed Shami (13 wickets in the series).

Debutant Shahbaz Nadeem (2/18 in 6 overs) wrapped it up in the second over of the day as South Africa were all out for 133 in their second innings, 30 runs short of their  dismal first innings score of 162.This is India’s sixth clean sweep at home in a three-Test series and India didn’t put a foot wrong during the three-match series winning the first Test by 203 runs and the second by an innings and 137 runs.

If Rohit Sharma’s coming of age in his new role as an opener with 529 runs turned out to be a masterstroke in home conditions, Mayank Agarwal also consolidated his place in the side with a double century and a ton, easing India’s long-time opening woes.

“I was very happy to make my debut in Australia and make little contributions to the team,” Agarwal said after the match. 

Railways’ Buddhist Circuit train covering sites in India, Nepal to run from October 19-26

Source: thehindu.com

The Railways will run its first Buddhist Circuit train from this Saturday to October 26 covering sites related to Gautam Buddha in India and Nepal.

IRCTC will run the train covering destinations like Lumbini, where Buddha was born; Bodhgaya, where he gained enlightenment; Sarnath, where he gave his first sermon; and Kushinagar, where he attained nirvana, the Railways said in a statement.

“The significance of these destinations can be seen in the Mahaparinirvana sutra, wherein the Lord Buddha tells his followers that they can attain merit and a noble rebirth by going on pilgrimage to these places,” the statement said.

The package will cost Indians ₹1,23,900 per couple in AC first class and ₹1,01,430 per couple for AC two tier.

It will include road transport by AC deluxe coaches for the Nepal tour, visits to monuments and locations, accommodation, meals, services of tour manager, guides, entrance fees and travel insurance.

However, passengers will have to pay their visa fee for the Nepal leg of the journey and any other expenditure like laundry and other services.

The train will have four first AC coaches with 96 seats, two second AC coaches with 60 seats, two exclusive dining cars with a capacity of 64 guest in each and a pantry car.

It will be covered with unique vinyl wrap promoting Incredible India and is also equipped with personal digital lockers, cubicles shower, foot massagers, separate sitting area with single seated sofas.

Private security guards will be deployed in each coach, the railways said.

India vs South Africa: R Ashwin aims to surpass Harbhajan Singh in elite list led by Anil Kumble

Source: hindustantimes.com

Spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is going though a rich vein of form and he will look for similar level of performance when India take on South Africa in the third and final Test of three-match series starting Saturday. The hosts have already taken an unassailable lead courtesy of their convincing victories in first two Tests. Virat Kohli and his troops will now aim to whitewash Proteas at JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi.

For that to happen, India will hope Ashwin continues his scintillating wicket-taking run in the third Test. With 14 wickets in two Tests, the tweaker in the leading wicket-taker in the series thus far, four ahead of teammate Ravindra Jadeja.

An added incentive for Ashwin will be that he could surpass Harbhajan Singh in the list of most wickets taken by an Indian bowler against South Africa in the longest format. Ashwin needs nine wickets to overhaul Harbhajan and secure the third spot in the list led by Anil Kumble.

Ashwin continued his rise in the ICC Test Rankings for bowlers after his stupendous show with the ball in Pune. Ashwin, who had entered the top 10 after the first Test in Visakhapatnam, has now moved to the seventh spot, courtesy of his six wickets which he took against the Proteas in the second Test.

Meanwhile, Kohli has already issued warning to the opponents and said India will not “take their feet off the gas” and will aim for a whitewash when the final Test begins in Ranchi.

“Looking at the larger picture of the Test championship, every game has value, whether it is at home or away, that is the format. So, we’re not going to take our foot off the gas in the third Test,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation in Pune.

“No one is going to relax at any stage, we are going to go for a result in the third Test and hopefully make it 3-0, that’s a guarantee,” he said.

PM Modi, Mongolian President unveil Lord Buddha statue in Ulaanbaatar

Source: moneycontrol.com

Amid the chanting of Buddhist prayers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Mongolian President Khaltmaagiin Battulga on September 20 jointly unveiled a statue of Lord Buddha at the Gandan Monastery in Mongolia via video.

The Mongolian president is on a five-day visit to India.

The golden statue with Lord Buddha holding a bowl was unveiled at a brief ceremony held at the prime minister’s Lok Kalyan Marg residence.

The Gandan Monastery is located in Mongolia’s capital Ulaanbaatar.

Just before the unveiling, young monks at the monastery chanted Buddhist chants. Soon after, a Buddhist monk present at the prime minister’s residence offered prayers as Modi and President Battulga stood with folded hands.

The Prime Minister’s Office on September 19 described the unveiling ceremony as a “symbol of India-Mongolia spiritual partnership and shared Buddhist heritage”.

In May 2015,PM Modi had visited the monastery where he presented a Bodhi tree sapling describing it as a token of friendship from the Indian people.Gandan is the largest and most significant monastery in Mongolia. Built in the mid 19th century, it is the only monastery where Buddhist services continued to function even during the Communist period.

Maize crops falling victim to fall armyworm in Bihar

Source: downtoearth.org.in

Maize crops are falling prey to the deadly Fall Armyworm (FAW) in Bihar, India’s third-largest corn producer.

There are officials reports of FAW attacks on maize crops from the districts of Muzaffarpur, Vaishali, Begusarai, Bhagalpur, Saran and Sheohar, an official of the state agriculture department said. “But unconfirmed reports also suggest presence of FAW in other maize-growing districts of north Bihar,” he added.

FAW was first detected by entomologists C M Kalleshwara Swamy and Sharanabasappa in maize fields at the University of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences, Shimoga, in Karnataka last year. It is an invasive and polyphagous (feeding on many foods) pest. It can attack cereals and forage grasses.

The deadly pest has since spread across many states in the country.

Last year, FAW was detected at a few places in Bihar, but maize crops were not infected. This year though, things are different.

Thousands of maize-growing farmers in Muzaffarpur and neighbouring districts are worried about the latest attacks of FAW.

“We have never faced anything like it in the past,” Narender Yadav, a marginal maize-growing farmer from Guaridih village in Muzaffarpur’s Gaighat block, said.

“This is something new and harmful. I don’t know how to protect my crops,” Yadav, who lost his crop to FAW last week, said.

“We have information that FAW has damaged maize crops on nearly 60 hectares (ha) so far in two panchayats of Gaighat,” Muzaffarpur District Agriculture Officer Krishna Kumar Verma, said.

There were also reports of FAW damaging maize crops in some villages under the Bochaha and Minapur block. “I have directed agriculture officers in these blocks to collect information,” Verma said.

According to him, a team of experts including agriculture scientists from Patna had visited Gaighat last week after the pest attack to study the worm and suggest measures to tackle it.

“Soon after the presence of FAW was reported, we informed the state agriculture director and issued an advisory on how to manage the pest,” RN Singh, associate director of Bihar Agriculture University at Sabour in Bhagalpur district, said.

“We have already taken measures and advised farmers to use insecticides on their maize crops,” Adesh Titarmare, state agriculture director, said.

However, there is no official confirmation of FAW presence in the Kosi-Seemanchal region of north-eastern Bihar, which accounts for nearly 65 per cent of its total maize production. The districts included in the region are Araria, Madhepura, Saharsa, Supaul, Purnea, Kishanganj and Katihar.

According to official numbers, Bihar has a high maize productivity of 3,904 kg/ha, which is more than the national average of 2,889 kg/ha. Bihar has witnessed a visible growth in maize production in the past decade.

The state produced 1.36 million tonnes of the crop in 2005-06. This increased to 3.85 million tonnes in 2016-17, as the high-yielding maize of Rabi season has been replacing winter wheat and paddy in the state.

India to help Mongolia mitigate impact of smog

Source: dnaindia.com

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Mongolian President Khaltmaagiin Battulga, who met on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum, discussed was on how India can help mitigate the impact of smog in the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar.

The foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale said, “President of Mongolia spoke of the success India is having in mitigating the pollution due to stubble burning of wheat in the winter months”

According to Indian Council of Agricultural Research, there have been 41% decline in burning of crop stubble in 2018 as compared to 2016 in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and NCR region due to central government measures.

President Battulga will be visiting India later this month and will be touring Delhi, Bodh Gaya and Bengaluru. India is helping the landlocked country build an oil refinery through a line of credit announced during PM Modi’s visit to the country. In 2015, PM Modi became the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the country.

Mongolia, which is landlocked between Russia and China considers India as its “third neighbour” with which it has a spiritual connection.