Technology
A first: Himachal breeds mahseer fish in hatchery
The population of the golden mahseer, a popular freshwater sport and food fish, is going to prosper in the rivers of Himachal Pradesh, with the state fisheries department succeeding in breeding it in captivity for the first time.
 
Besides its rehabilitation and conservation, the breeding technology will turn out to be a major feat in commercial aquaculture too, say experts.
 
More than 7,000 hatchlings have been recovered from the eggs at a newly set-up Rs 6 crore ($900,000) hatchery at Machhial near Jogindernagar town in Mandi district.
 
"The first hatchling took place this week and it's a major breakthrough in evolving the breeding technology of the golden mahseer that is otherwise believed to be tough to breed in controlled conditions," fisheries director Gurcharan Singh told IANS.
 
The breeding took place on July 21 and the hatchlings occurred in the next four to five days.
 
Singh said in 2012 the department started collecting fries of the golden mahseer from nature. They were later raised to the brooder stage at the farm itself.
 
"We are expecting to raise more than 20,000 hatchlings this year," a beaming Singh added.
 
The artificial fertilisation of mahseer eggs in the private sector was carried out for the first time in 1970 at the Tata Power Company's farm at Lonavla in Pune in Maharashtra.
 
Fish biologist S.N. Ogale, a former Tata biologist, has been assisting the state in developing protocols for the mahseer's artificial propagation and hatchery management.
 
Being a game fish, the mahseer is also an angler's delight.
 
Studies conducted by the fisheries department say the population of the golden mahseer is declining in the state for various reasons, including construction of dams, barrages, pollution, indiscriminate fishing of brood and juvenile fish, introduction of exotic species and habitat deterioration.
 
It has been declared endangered by the Washington-based International Union of Conservation of Natural Resources.
 
The mahseer, the longest-living freshwater fish, is native to mountain and sub-mountain regions. It belongs to the Tor genus.
 
The Pong Dam reservoir, around 250 km from state capital Shimla and 190 km from Chandigarh, supports an ample population of the golden mahseer.
 
It migrates upstream for spawning during the southwest floods. After spawning, it returns to the original feeding grounds. It thrives at altitudes of up to 2,000 metres above sea level and is purely carnivorous.
 
Fisheries Minister Thakur Singh Bharmouri told IANS that after the captive breeding the next step would be ranching -- the release and recapture of fish -- a milestone in aquaculture.
 
He said more than 6,000 families in the state are directly depending upon capture fishery.
 
He said the depleting fish stocks in the rivers would be increased by releasing hatchery-reared juveniles into nature.
 
Officials said in nature, fish stocks are multiplied to a great extent by releasing hatchery-reared juveniles. They can be harvested when they grow to table size.
 
Principal Secretary Sangay Gupta said another mahseer hatchery would be set up at Naggar village in the Sunni area of Shimla district this year.
 
"This hatchery would help stocking mahseer in the newly constructed Kol Dam reservoir," he added.
 
Himachal Pradesh is aptly termed the storehouse of aquatic biodiversity. The state's water bodies are home to 85 fish species, including rohu, catla and mrigal and trout, both brown and rainbow.
 
The fisheries department says the overall fish production in the state has increased by 9.2 percent in the last fiscal.
 
A total of 11,798 tonnes of fish valued at Rs.109.80 crore was harvested from the state's rivers and reservoirs in 2015-16, 1,062 tonnes higher than the previous year.
 
Of this, trout constituted 417.23 tonnes -- 61.03 tonnes higher than the previous year.
 
The state aims to set up 106 trout units this fiscal, besides setting up hatcheries for trout and carps and storing seeds in reservoirs for big fish.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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India short of 500,000 police; why it matters -- and does not
India was short of more than half a million police officers on January 1, 2015, the last date for which nationwide data is available, the Lok Sabha was told on July 26, 2016. But our analysis of global police staffing patterns and murder rates in six countries suggests more police do not necessarily mean less crime.
 
Up to 90 per cent of Indian police officers currently work for more than eight hours a day, according to a 2014 report from the Bureau of Police Research and Development. It said 68 per cent of police report working 11 hours a day, and 28 percent report 14-hour work days. Nearly half report that they are called to duty between eight and 10 times a month during offs.
 
There were 17.2 million police officers across 36 states and union territories, when there should have been 22.6 million, according to the ministry of home affairs. There should be an officer for every 547 Indians, according to a government-mandated ratio -- called "sanctioned strength" in official jargon -- but the number is one for every 720.
 
This is among the lowest police-population ratios in the world. In the US, there is an officer for 436 people, Spain one for 198, in South Africa, 347.
 
In a ranking of 50 countries, India was second from the bottom, better only than Uganda, according to a 2010 report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. That year, there was a police officer for every 775 Indians, so the figure presented to the Lok Sabha represents an improvement.
 
There should be an officer for every 454 people, according to UN standards quoted in the South Asian Terrorism Portal. Using those standards, Bihar needs more than three times as many police officers; even using Indian standards, the state needs 2.7 times the number of police that it has.
 
While it appears logical that a favourable police-population ratio is correlated with a lower crime rate globally, studies on the relationships are inconclusive, even contradictory, according to a 2010 American study. Our analysis of police-population ratios and homicide rates appears to agree.
 
In India, insurgencies and other extreme examples of lawlessness in some states push up crime rates, despite seemingly adequate police staffing. For instance, in Chhattisgarh -- wracked by a Maoist insurgency -- has a police officer for 574 people, not far from the Indian standard.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

Suketu Shah

7 months ago

This is exactly why nonsense IPL shd not be held in India which is what Namo govt are intending to get it out of India from next yr.

Lok Sabha passes Benami transactions amendment, members seek stricter measures
Taking a crucial step towards checking black money, the Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed the Benami Transactions Amendment Bill with the new legislation having provisions for confiscating 'benami' (proxy) assets.
 
During the debate, members favoured stringent measures including capital punishment to counter such transactions, while Communist Party of India-Marxist member Sankar Prasad Dutta said there is need to completely ban benami transactions in the country.
 
Piloting the bill, which mustered general unanimity in principle as members rising above party affiliations gave it a push, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the purpose of the bill is to "discourage" this activity.
 
During the four-hour-long debate, Ravindra Babu of Telugu Desam Party said people who make black money are anti-nationals and should be hanged. Calling for a "comprehensive" law, he said the present bill is well-intended but it should be integrated with other Acts dealing with hawala and drugs.
 
He was also supported Dutta, who said there is need to completely ban benami transactions and lamented that even political leaders are allegedly involved in them.
 
Replying to host of queries raised on the bill by members like Sushmita Dev (Congress), Conrad Sangma (National People's Party), Saugata Roy (Trinamool Congress) and Prem Singh Chandumajra (Akali Dal), Jaitley said: "Section 58 of the new bill clearly states that charitable or religious organisation properties can be exempted by the government."
 
However, answering to clarification sought on the issue by N.K. Premchandran of the Revolutionary Socialist Party, Jaitley said that did not mean any person "fraudulently" launching a religious organisation for routing black money can be exempted.
 
He said the new law is predominately an "anti-black money measure" and its purpose is to seize benami property and prosecute those indulging in such activities.
 
In a jovial vein, he told opposition members, especially Premchandran, that "exemption cannot be pretext for tax evasion. If you make any illegal business out of it... if you create a fake religious sect and start keeping benami property, then government won't exempt it, so please don't do that".
 
Jaitley also defended provisions in the bill that empowers central government to "confiscate" benami properties and not the states, saying this has been done because the prosecutions will essentially be under clauses of a central law.
 
The offences under this law has been kept as "non-cognizable offence" as essentially this is only a tax law violation, he said, adding: "Because we do not want multiple agencies to come and start harassing people." 
 
"The object is not to harass them; the object is that there must be prosecution if a person has violated this particular law."
 
Responding to queries of members on why the government has not come out with a new law in place of the 1988 Act, the Finance Minister said such a move would have given "immunity" to persons who acquired benami properties from 1988 to 2016.
 
While the 1988 Act had nine sections, the amended new law would have 71 sections, Jaitley pointed out, but has other exceptions also like relating to Hindu Undivided Family and trusts owning properties.
 
The punishment clauses too have been strengthened. While the existing law provides for up to three years of imprisonment or fine or both for benami transactions, the amended legislation would provide for seven years imprisonment and fine.
 
Jaitley also informed members that the government has accepted the Parliamentary Standing Committee's suggestion to change the words in the Bill from "known sources of income" to "known sources" with a view to further strengthen the provisions as sometimes individuals may get loans or other kind of borrowings for some properties.
 
Under the new legislation, there is also a provision for filing an appeal against an order within 45 days.
 
As S.P. Muddahanume Gowda (Congress) said the bill does not provide any protection to the whistle blower in connection with benami property, Jaitley said there is no such provision under this act but a separate law on whistle blowers does ensure protection.
 
The present Bill as passed by Lok Sabha was brought by the Modi government in 2015 and it was referred to the Standing Committee on Finance. An amendment billwas introduced by the UPA government in 2011 but it lapsed when the term of the previous Lok Sabha ended in 2014.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

B. Yerram Raju

7 months ago

For once a good bill has been passed with good intentions. Hopefully the rules would be soon framed appropriately for putting the bill to action sooner than later.

REPLY

DR MUKESH

In Reply to B. Yerram Raju 6 months ago

RIGHT , SIR .

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