Citizens' Issues
Villagers re-occupy lands in Posco project area
Days after South Korean steel giant Posco put the $12 billion mega steel project on hold in Odisha, the Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS), which is spearheading the movement against land acquisition, on Monday said villagers have started re-occupying lands acquired for the project.
PPSS president Abhay Sahu said Posco India may have made up its mind to shut down the project, but the PPSS agitation will continue till the lands acquired from the villagers have been totally restored to their owners, and false cases levelled against agitators are withdrawn unconditionally.
"The state government had acquired land from the people forcibly. But the villagers are determined to re-occupy the land which has been with them from generations," Sahu told IANS.
Villagers of Nuagaon have started re-occupying their lands acquired by the government for the proposed Posco project, he added.
He also demanded that Posco should explain in detail the expenditure of Rs.350 crore during the 10 years in Odisha as claimed.
Sahu said 300 false cases were registered against villagers for protesting the project and demanded their immediate withdrawal.
The Odisha government acquired about 2,700 acres of land for the first phase of the project in Jagatsinghpur district. But the administration has not been able to get physical possession of the land.
"We appeal to the state government to resolve the issues affecting the fate of the Posco project at the earliest or else we would be forced to regain our land as it is our prime source of livelihood," pro-Posco leader Tamil Pradhan told IANS.
A state government official on the condition of anonymity said they were aware of the re-occupation of lands by villagers, but were yet to receive any directive from the administration to initiate action.
The South Korean company recently announced it was putting the project on hold after failing to make any visible progress 10 years after signing a memorandum of understanding with the Odisha government in 2005.


Gold prices in India plunge to lowest in two years
The price of gold in Bengaluru, for example, dipped to Rs.24,390 per 10 grams - the lowest since April 2013
Gold prices in India dipped further on Monday to below Rs.25,000 per 10 grams - the lowest in two years - with the precious metal losing its sheen on account of bulk sales in China and hopes of rate hike in the US.
With festive season some two months away, stakeholders were divided over the demand and the trend in prices in the medium term, even as the country continued to rank among the top three importers and consumers of gold.
According to reports, some 33 tonnes were sold in the Shanghai spot market on Monday as investors sought to shift focus to other avenues, primarily expecting the US Federal Reserves to increase its interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade.
The price of gold in Bengaluru, for example, dipped to Rs.24,390 per 10 grams - the lowest since April 2013.
"Rate remained at Rs.24,390 per 10gm in the local market, same as on previous two days after declining from Rs.24,450 on Friday and Rs.24,740 on July 12 due to lower demand and negative sentiment," Venugopala Shetty, proprietor of Ganesha Jewellers, told IANS in Bengaluru.
"It is expected there will be huge demand in a day or two," said Rahul Gupta, director of the Delhi-based P.P. Jewellers told IANS. "The situation is almost like that of April 2013 when the price dipped to Rs.25,500 per 10 grams and the demand surged overnight."
The development on Monday came despite India overtaking China as the largest importer of gold, at 769 tonnes in the last year.
"We expect the gold prices to fall by another Rs.30-40 per gram (22 carat) and settle down there," N. Anantha Padmanabhan, managing director of NAC Jewellers, told IANS in Chennai.
The falling gold price also pulled down the prices of silver. "Currently silver is priced at Rs.36,500 per kg. We expect it go down to Rs.35,000 per kg," said Padmanabhan. Noting the US dollar is strengthening and the interest rates are expected to go up there, he said that hence there is pressure on the gold prices.
The demand for gold in India for the first quarter (January-March) of 2015 was at 191.7 tonnes, up by 15 percent as compared to the corresponding period of 2014, World Gold Council (WGC) said in a report. Total jewellery demand in India for first quarter of 2015 was up by 22 percent at 150.8 tonnes as compared to 123.5 tonnes in Q1 of 2014.
"The current downswing in Indian gold prices is directly related to the strengthening of the US dollar in recent times. We are hoping that the present trend may be arrested soon and the prices could stabilize within a month or so," said Mumbai Jewellers' Federation president Rakesh Shetty.
However, this fall in gold prices - the lowest in the past five years - has spurred the demand in gold and other precious metals and we expect a buoyant market by Diwali, he added.
"There is a meltdown in the international commodity market in the last three-four weeks. But today the prices fell sharply as China sold around 6,065 tonnes of gold in the morning," Bachhraj Bamalwa, partner, Nemichand Bamalwa and past chairman of All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation told IANS.
He also mentioned that it is difficult to predict the price trend in the future.
"Gold is a hedge commodity and people tend to invest in the yellow metal when the global economy is hit. Now with the global economy seemingly recovering and the US dollar appreciating, people are investing in other options except gold," Premjit Sengupta, chief marketing officer, Senco Gold Ltd said in Kolkata.



Veeresh Malik

1 year ago

Willing to bet that gold prices internationally will fall another 20% over the next 4-5 months, down to about 900 dollars an ounce and with a resultant logical drop in India too.

Pulse Beat

Go Nuts for Longevity!

A recent Maastricht University (Germany) study found that those who consumed nuts daily (at least 0.3 ounces or 8.5gm) have a reduced risk of many serious chronic diseases: consumption of nuts reduces the risk of diabetes by 30%, of cancer by 39% and of degenerative neurological disorders (like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease) by a whopping 45%. A 30-year follow-up study from Harvard University found that those who consumed nuts daily were 20% less likely to die for any reason than those who did not consume such high amounts of nuts in their diet. However, another study, published in The Annals of Internal Medicine, found that, with a nut-rich diet, women did not live longer but did not have any chronic illnesses.

Dandelion: Weed with Yellow Flowers

A very powerful anti-cancer agent in this flower will amaze even cancer specialists. The most exciting study about dandelion’s anti-cancer abilities was published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (eCAM). The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Windsor, Ontario (Canada), in conjunction with the Windsor Regional Cancer Centre, tested the effects of an extract of dandelion root (taraxacum officinale) on melanoma—an aggressive form of skin cancer—and found that after 48 hours of exposure to dandelion extract, cancer cells begin to die off. The study also found that dandelion was effective on cancer cells that were resistant to chemotherapy. 
There are other research reports also on this plant. An herbal tea made from this plant has been shown to slow down the growth of some breast cancers as well as prostate cancer. The last study was published in the International Journal of Oncology.

Ahead to Nature

If you read this book, Ahead to Nature, it will give you lots of tranquillity in the midst of the hi-tech medical claptrap that makes you a patient. The author is a telecommunications engineer, who understands nature very well, and is currently exploring the meta questions behind ‘life’ and ‘sustainable living’.
The ‘Cartesian outlook’, fostered by our education system, makes us look at each of these problems in fragments. This book shows us how all of these problems are inter-related and deeply connected. Thus, the crisis is not merely ‘out there’. The crisis outside is merely a reflection of the ‘crisis within’. Hence, the solution for such problems needs to transcend the ‘outer’ and the ‘inner’. Therefore, the solution is essentially ‘spiritual’ or ‘metaphysical’ in essence. The author proposes that the spiritual solution, if implemented, will not ‘solve’, but ‘dissolve’ the problems, at all levels. The book provides a vivid description with several examples about “the beautiful coexistence and mutual cooperation that exists within nature,” says a review. I feel, the book will allay a lot of hypochondriasis and anxiety associated with it.

Powerful Anti-hypertensive

Beetroot seems to be a very powerful therapeutic tool in nature. A study by the London School of Medicine suggested that beetroot juice brought down even the normal BP of medical students and was found to be a powerful anti-hypertensive. Another study quoted often is an old study by Dr Alexander Ferenczi of the Department for Internal Diseases, Csoma (Hungary), in the late 1950s. “Using nothing but raw red beets, the doctor was able to record amazing results of remission in cancer patients.” Years later, this study was republished in the Australian International Clinical Nutrition Review.
A caution: Cancer patients should not drink too much of beetroot juice as the cancer cell breakdown products might overwhelm the kidneys. Small doses, regularly, will do the trick without any collateral damage.


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