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Learn yoga, get 3 months off jail sentence: Maharashtra govt

Prisoners at Nagpur Central Jail learned to their delight on 21 June that if they participate in the yoga programme conducted by Patanjali Yoga Centre at the jail and then pass a written and practical exam, they will be pardoned three months of their jail sentence.

The directive comes from the Maharashtra government, says the Hindustan Times. Yoga training began at the jail from January this year, with written and practical exams to be held in May and December.

According to jail superintendent Yogesh Desai, 191 prisoners took the Yogasana exam this May, and 136 passed.

Essar phone-tapping issue had been subject of PIL 2 years ago

Long before Delhi Supreme Court lawyer Suren Uppal filed his complaint about the Essar Group's alleged illegal tapping of the phone of VVIPs between 2001 and 2006, an NGO had filed a PIL on the same issue with the Supreme Court.

The NGO, International Civil Enforcement Group of Anti-Terrorism Ethics (ICEGATE), which 'spreads awareness of impact of terrorism', filed a PIL on 3 February, 2014, alleging that Essar had indulged in "illegal telephone tapping", says The Indian Express.

Pak diplomats to be invited to RSS-affiliated Muslim org's Iftar event

The RSS-affiliated Muslim Rashtriya Manch has decided to invite Pakistani diplomats for the first time to its grand iftar on 2 July. It will also invite the ambassadors of other Islamic nations. The event will be held at the Parliament annex.

"We have decided to go and invite them (Pakistanis) personally .Even the Quran says it is a must to have good relations with neighbours," said Syed Geelani, a member of the Manch, according to The Economic Times.

Indians confuse Arab Spring activist with ISIS chief, ask to join Caliphate

Intelligences agencies are trying to track down some Indians who reportedly confused an Arab Spring activist called Iyad El-Baghdadi with Islamic State head Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and sent him emails asking how to join the terror group.

Iyad, who lives in Norway on asylum, had tweeted on Tuesday: "If I get emails from India-based accounts asking how to join ISIS, who in India do I report them to?"

Iyad did not say who had contacted him, but revealed the emails said they wanted to "join ISIS", says The Indian Express.

Virat Kohli may be HRD ministry's face in massive anti-ragging campaign

The Union HRD ministry is likely to rope in cricketer Virat Kohli as the face of an anti-ragging campaign to be started in universities across the country.

According to ministry sources, Kohli will share the anti-ragging message through television commercials. Last year, the anti-ragging helpline registered 390 complaints of ragging. This year, so far, there have been 174 complaints.

About 1.5 lakh posters with messages such as 'Show your swagger, don't be a ragger' will be distributed in all educational institutions, as colleges reopen with a fresh batch of students, says the Hindustan Times.

Colleges can tie up with foreign institutions, but must send students abroad: New UGC rules

The University Grants Commission has issued new guidelines to Indian universities and colleges looking for collaboration with foreign institutions: Tie-ups will be permitted, but only if Indian students get to study abroad for at least one semester of a postgraduate course, and two semesters for an undergraduate degree.

The new guidelines were announced by Union HRD minister Smriti Irani on Wednesday, says the Hindustan Times.

Delhi's Fortis Hospital sacks 5 for operating on wrong foot

Delhi's Fortis Hospital sacked five of its staff members on Wednesday after it was learned that they operated on the wrong leg of an injured chartered accountant on Tuesday.

The patient, Ravi Rai, had broken his right leg after falling down a staircase on Sunday, and had been admitted to Fortis Hospital. However, on Tuesday, when a surgical procedure was required to hold his ankle with screws, the operating team did the procedure on his left leg.

Rai's family has filed a complaint of criminal negligence with the police, says the Hindustan Times.

Selfie attempt takes 7 lives in the Ganga

Seven young men drowned in the Ganga in Kanpur on Wednesday, as one of them slipped while trying to click a selfie after bathing in the rain-swelled river, and six of his friends tried to save him and each other.

According to the police, Shivam lost his balance while trying to click a selfie. His friend Maqsood tried to save him, but lost his balance too. After this the five other friends jumped in one after another to save the first two, but drowned in the attempt, according to The Indian Express.

Ancient DNA tells of two origins for dogs

Genetic analyses of a 4,800-year-old Irish dog and 59 other ancient dogs suggest that canines and humans became pals in both Europe and East Asia long before the advent of farming, says a report in sciencenews.org.

Later, dogs from East Asia accompanied their human companions to Europe, where their genetic legacy trumped that of dogs already living there.

Therefore, dogs were domesticated at least twice. That muddled genetic legacy may help explain why previous studies have indicated that dogs were domesticated from wolves only once, although evidence hasn't been clear about whether this took place in East Asia, Central Asia or Europe.

The idea that dogs came from East Asia or Central Asia is mostly based on analysis of DNA from modern dogs, while claims for European origins have been staked on studies of prehistoric pups' genetics.

A 4,800-year-old dog found in a tomb in Newgrange, Ireland, is the first ancient dog to have its entire genetic instruction book, or genome, deciphered. Researchers don't know much about what the midsize dog looked like; it doesn't bear any genetic markers of particular modern dog breeds, Frantz says. "He wasn't black. He wasn't spotted. He wasn't white." Instead, the Newgrange dog was probably a mongrel with fur similar to a wolf's.

Solar costs will be down 59% by 2025: study

The International Renewable Energy Agency has said in a new report that the average cost of generating electricity from renewable sources by 2025 will be lower by nearly 59 per cent. This fall would be seen in the generation of solar energy, whose costs are already 80 per cent lower since 2009. Average wind energy costs will reduce by 35 per cent (for offshore wind) and 26 per cent (onshore), the report says. Since 2009, wind turbine costs are down 30-40 per cent.