The Importance of Being Julian Assange

ON June 25th, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange walked out of Belmarsh high-security prison in London, where he had spent the last five years fighting extradition to the US on charges under the Espionage Act which if convicted could have sent him to prison for more than 170 years. Before that, he was confined to the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012 where he had taken asylum.The hounding of Assange had started even before that. He was first arrested in London in 2010 based on an arrest warrant issued by Swedish police for rape allegations by two women.

Victory over Doloo Airport

DOLOO is a nearly 200-year-old tea garden near Silchar city in Cachar district of lower Assam. A substantial part of the plantation area had been sold by the Doloo Tea Company to the Airports Authority of India (AAI) for building a new airport. Tea plantation in this estate is spread over more than 1200 hectares and has four divisions namely Doloo, Moinagarh, Lalbagh and Murlidha. The Barak valley in Assam houses many such large tea gardens contributing a sizable quantity to tea exports from India.

Heat Wave: India Burning, a New Normal

THE year 2023 has officially been declared the hottest year ever since global temperature records were kept in 1850, breaking the previous highest set in 2016. This was not a flash in the pan. Ten of the hottest years ever have been in the decade 2014-23. Average global temperature in 2023 was 1.18 deg C (degrees Celsius) higher than the 20th century average, and about 1.4 deg C higher than the late 19th century average, almost touching the dreaded 1.5 deg C limit set by the Paris Agreement and beyond which several changes in climate may become irreversible.

Remembering Joseph Thomas, The Founding President of FSMI

COMRADE Joseph Thomas, who passed away last year, was the first president of the Free Software Movement of India (FSMI). Joseph Thomas and I go back a long way: we were almost the same age, and relatively old among the FSMI activists.Joseph Thomas was clear that in the free software movement, we cannot focus only on software; we also need to address issues of hardware on which free software can run. It was a welcome corrective. What he was telling us at that time is what many of us know today: free software cannot work unless we look at the hardware as well.

A Cautionary Tale for Open Science: AlphaFold3

A NEW AI (Artificial Intelligence) model, AlphaFold3, has excited the scientific community. Developed by Google's DeepMind Anglo-US subsidiary with Isomorphic Labs (a subsidiary of  Google group’s parent company, Alphabet), AlphaFold3 made headlines in the journal Nature on May 9, 2024 for its ability to predict interaction of protein structures with other molecules like DNA and RNA. This holds immense promise for drug discovery and medical treatments.However, a cloud hangs over this excitement: limited access to the technology.

Aravallis: On the Brink of Total Destruction

A RECENT Supreme Court order prohibiting new leases for mining in the Aravalli hills spread over the four states of Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan And Gujarat, has raised new hope regarding the endangered Aravallis ecosystem which is on the verge of total destruction. The Aravallis have long been subjected to rapacious and often illegal mining, quarrying and construction activities in a seemingly inexorable process of extractive industrialisation and urbanisation.

Ayodhya Sound and Light Show: For Elections And Beyond

Enable GingerCannot connect to Ginger Check your internet connectionor reload the browserDisable in this text fieldRephraseRephrase current sentenceUSUALLY in a sound and light show, the two occur in the same place. On April 17, 2024, at the still under-construction Ram Temple at Ayodhya, at exactly 12 noon  on the occasion of Ram Navami,  light from the sun was focused through a set of mirrors and lenses on the forehead of the idol of infant Ram or Ram Lalla.

Green Credit Programme: About Money or Environment?

Enable GingerCannot connect to Ginger Check your internet connectionor reload the browserDisable in this text fieldRephraseRephrase current sentenceA GREEN Credit Programme (GCP) was notified by the ministry of environment, forests and climate change (MoEFCC) on October 12, 2023 covering a range of activities by corporates or other entities that would be eligible for “green credits.” This came and came to the fore again recently when the first set of rules pertaining to one of the major activities covered, namely afforestation, were notified on February 26, 2024.