A joint team of the Army and Jammu and Kashmir police has seized a huge cache of arms and ammunition, including two AK assault rifles and explosives during an operation in Rajouri.During the ‘Operation Clean-up’, the security personnel searched the hills and natural caves in the Rajouri-Reasi belt with the help of sniffer dogs. The team of the Rashriya Rifles and police has seized a cache of arms, including one AK-47 rifle, one AK-56 rifle, a Chinese pistol, two RPG rounds, five hand grenades, two magazines and 639 rounds of ammunition in the Kalakote area of the district on Saturday, an officer said.
Pune: Eminent scientist and educationist Arvind Gupta and renowned physician-activist Dr. Anil Awachat, founder of the de-addiction Muktangan Centre, are among those to be honoured with the prestigious Maharashtra Foundation (America) award.The awards will be given at an event on January 13 at the city’s Annabhau Sathe Hall.The award, now in its 24th year, is instituted by members of the Maharashtrian community residing in the U.S. and is given to prominent individuals who have brought significant change in the fields of social service and literature through their work.This year, a total of nine awards — four each in the Social Service and Literature categories and one in memory of slain rationalist and thinker Dr. Narendra Dabholkar — are to be given to notable public personalities. Mr. Gupta is to be awarded the Narendra Dabholkar memorial award for his seminal contribution to popularising science and permeating scientific temper among the young by developing strikingly innovative, low-cost science-based teaching aids. The award carries a cash prize of ₹1 lakh along with a citation. “I am honoured to be receiving this award especially as it is in the memory of rationalist Dr. Dabholkar, a thinker who remained true to his principles till the very end. Pune has been a hub of social and educational reform exemplified through such stalwarts as Mahatma Phule, Tarabai Shinde and Hamid DalwaiDr. Dabholkar firmly belongs to this great liberal tradition,” said Mr. Gupta, speaking to The Hindu.Mr. Gupta is famous as a ‘toy inventor’ and for his many books helping to popularise science like the landmark Matchstick Models and other Science Experiments (1987), which has been translated into 13 Indian languages and has sold nearly a million copies till date. He has also translated more than 50 books into English and Hindi.The multi-faceted Dr. Awachat, who has been doing yeoman service to help addicts across India through his Muktangan de-addiction centre, is to be awarded the ‘Sahitya Jeevangaurav’ award which carries a cash prize of ₹2 lakh and a citation.Dr. Awachat is also noted for his incisive writings and contribution to literary journalism. In the early 1970s, he edited a popular Marathi journal Sadhana which featured his trenchant writings on social issues, notably in his reportage of the 1972 drought that ravaged Maharashtra. His many books include ‘Kondmara’ (1985), on Dalit atrocities, and ‘Dharmik’ (1989), a penetrating expose on the cult of false godmen in Maharashtra.Nonagenarian freedom fighter from Marathwada, Gangaprasad Agrawal will also be awarded the ‘Sahitya Jeevangaurav’ prize. Other recipients of the Maharashtra Foundation awards include social activist Rubina Patel, noted filmmaker Sai Paranjpe (for her autobiographical writings), playwright Ajit Dalvi, author Kalpana Dudhal, and activists Chetana Gala-Sinha and Arun Jadhav.
The regional office of the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board has recommended ₹90,23,437.50 in fine on the National Highways Authority of India for violating the rules for dust abatement on construction sites. UPPCB Regional Officer Utsav Sharma told The Hindu that the NHAI had not adopted the dust abatement measures notified by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. “The fine has been calculated on the basis of the guidelines issued by the Central Pollution Control Board for penalising defaulters,” he said. The NHAI, which was penalised last year too, is into expansion of National Highway-9 in Ghaziabad in Gautam Buddh Nagar, and Hapur. “Our teams have been maintaining vigil to identify sources contributing to Particulate Matter 10 and Particulate Matter 2.5 in the region,” Mr. Sharma said. Mr. Sharma said the present Air Quality Index of the region was in the poor category, and with unfavourable weather conditions forecast, things were not expected to improve in the near future. The UPPCB has asked that under-construction materials, handled on-site, be covered and dust-breaking screens be erected wherever necessary. “None of these measures is being adopted on the project site,” he said. It also recommended a fine of ₹50 lakh on two factories in Ghaziabad district for burning plastic in boilers.