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Bengaluru turns to rain to solve water woes

Arush Martins (@ArushMartins ‏)

BENGALURU: As uneven rain continues to haunt Bengalureans, rainwater harvesting is seeing an uptick in the city.

“The number of storage tanks, pumps and filtration system sold for rainwater harvesting has increased since the monsoon hit Bengaluru, but the uneven rain is hampering this process,” said environmentalist and a social activist Sunil Thomas.Screen Shot 2018-07-27 at 12.37.09 PM

“We see people are continuing​ to buy rainwater harvesting equipment but the problem is it is raining in patches and this is not helping. This technology is expected to pay for itself in one or two years depending on its use but without rain, it’s redundant” he added.
“I have been using rainwater for four years now. Irregular rainfall has always been a problem, but we can’t blame anyone but ourselves for climate change. This is a small effort on our part to deal with the damage,” said water conservationist and blogger Vinay Raju.
“Rainwater harvesting during the monsoons is the only solution to the water problems we are facing in our city, with most of the lakes dried up and with groundwater depletion and river disputes that we are facing with other states. This is a good solution. One has to only hope for more rain now,” said BBMP member K Devadas.

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SJC computer clubs take flight

Keerthy Rajan (@rajan_keerthy)

CAMPUS: The computer clubs of St Joseph’s College are back with a bunch of new and exciting competitions for 2018-19.
One such competition will give students the opportunity to design the logo for their upcoming department fest, which will be held later this year. The winning design will be used as the official logo for the event.Screen Shot 2018-07-27 at 12.37.16 PM

These and several other announcements were made when the computer clubs (Technophites PG club and Cybernetics UG club) were inaugurated by Vijay Kumar R, senior software engineer, Integra Microsystem, and Padmanaban M, senior software engineer, Medtronic, at the Xavier Hall in the college on Tuesday.
The Technophites and Cybernetics logos were launched at the event, presided over by Dr Rabbi Akkiba Angiras, Vice-Principal, PG block, St Joseph’s College. Other dignitaries present at the event were Prof Sandhya N, head of the Computer Science Department and the department’s PG coordinator Mary Merline Rani.
The clubs will conduct technical and non-technical activities like blind coding, reverse coding, web designing and logo designing. As part from that, a monthly seminar related to IT will be conducted by the clubs.

First an activist, then a filmmaker, says KP Sasi

Rahul Joseph (@Rdj204)

 

CAMPUS: “I’m an activist first and then a filmmaker. The country has been marred with religious intolerance and unrest among communities is on the rise. This has devastated lives” said renowned Indian filmmaker and cartoonist KP Sasi.

Screen Shot 2018-07-27 at 12.36.52 PM

He was delivering the keynote address as a part of the Ignatian week celebrations, hosted by the AICUF Association, at SJC on Wednesday.

Sasi, who is known for his work of empowering the Kandhamal migrants and adivasis, has worked closely with the underprivileged. On Wednesday, he also talked about environmental conservation.

“To bring out social awareness is one of the aims of AICUF and as we work across domains of women empowerment, the adivasis, tribals, immigrants and the deprived, organising this event gives an outlook about the issues faced. It is also an eye-opener to students and make them aware about the developments taking place in the country” said Professor Teena Mathew, Staff Coordinator, AICUF.

With incidents of lynching, communal riots and rape taking centre stage in news today, Sasi chose to focus on a counter-narrative, claiming people still live in harmony in the country. “Born in a land that proclaims unity in diversity, we need to take effective steps in retaining inter-religious harmony and not give in to those spewing hatred and unrest among communities,” he said.

All trains in India to have bio-toilets by 2019

Jeevan Biswas (@G1_Biswas)

 

BENGALURU: The upcoming year is expected to see a major transformation in the sanitation facilities provided by Indian Railways.

According to a written statement by Rajen Gohain, Minister of State for Railways, to a question raised in the lower house of Parliament, installation of bio-toilets in all the railway coaches is expected to be complete by the end of 2019.

Approximately 70 percent of all the passenger coaches of Indian Railways have already been installed with bio-toilets, according to the statement.

Furthermore, the new coaches produced at various production units of Indian Railways are being equipped with bio-toilets during the manufacturing process itself.

Railway workshops across the country have been directed to retrofit bio-toilets in all the eligible trains that are currently in service and are receiving mid-life rehabilitation and periodical maintenance.

This is yet another addition to the list of initiatives by the Indian Railways to boost its eco-friendly functioning and sustainability.

However, the correct use of bio-toilets remains an issue in many parts of India, with they being clogged up with unwanted waste quite often.

HDK backtracks on Soudha scribe ban

Anusha J (@anooosher)

 

BENGALURU: A backlash following Karnataka Chief Minister, Kumaraswamy’s announcement earlier this week that movement of mediapersons would be restricted in Vidhana Soudha has led him to now clarify thathe intended to set up specificareas where journalists caninteract with officials andministers in an organised way.

Screen Shot 2018-07-27 at 12.37.24 PM

He had earlier reportedly said the move to restrict newspersons at the Soudha was taken to ensure smooth passage in the corridors.

Manu Aiyappa, assistant editor of Politics with The Times of India, told The Beacon, “Media is considered the fourth pillar of democracy, as we have to work together to monitor the functioning of the government and report it to the people. So if the media is being censored, it means the government does not want its work exposed or any negative coverage.”

He said Kumaraswamy should have set up a committee with mediapersons to draw guidelines that both parties agreed upon.

“I’ll be surprised if Kumaraswamy goes through with it. At the same time I don’t think he’s wrong in saying it,” said Tyagraj Sharma,ajournalistwithThe Statesman.

“Journalists are allowed free access and middlemen and brokers take advantage of this and infiltrate the corridors to strike deals with the ministers,” he said.
This is an indication of the tremendous pressure Kumaraswamy is facing in the coalition government, Sharma said.

“He had an emotional breakdown before, and with the possibility of the Lok Sabha elections being announced earlier, he probably feels even more pressured in his obligation to the Congress, who gave him the power even though it had won more seats,” he added.

Vishnu Prasad, client bureau head of First News Kannada, said what the government has in mind is still unclear, but there is a possibility that it will restrict direct contact between journalists and politicians by introducing a spokesperson to talk on behalf of the government.

“The government seems to be taking the Tamil Nadu approach of avoiding the press as much as possible. I do not think it would be right to go through with this, as it will lead to the doom of the media if they are not allowed to interact with and question ministers as when stories develop,” Prasad said.