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India, France will issue a joint statement on terrorism today

The bilateral talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Holland in Delhi today will include a statement against terrorism and several climate change and environment-related issues, reports The Indian Express. While the biggest issue - the Rafale deal - is still on the table, Monday's meeting is likely to focus on a strong joint statement against terrorism. The two countries may also announce a space programme relating to climate change, as well as wind energy projects and cooperation in the field of marine biotechnology.

Amit Shah elected BJP president, Advani and Joshi not present

LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, both former presidents of the BJP, were not present at the celebratory ceremonies that marked the unopposed election on Sunday of Amit Shah as BJP president for a full term, reports The Indian Express. Advani and Joshi are both known to attend every party presidential election. This time, apparently, neither was informed about the programme, though it is likely that Shah will meet them as well as former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee for their blessings. Advani and Joshi, along with Yashwant Sinha and Shanta Kumar, had spoken out against Shah and his team after the party's debacle at the Bihar elections.

TERI officials attempted to 'coax' researcher into approaching complainant in Pachauri harassment case

A male researcher at The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) has complained to the police that he was "coaxed and cajoled" by senior researchers at the institute to convince the woman who filed a sexual harassment case against TERI director RK Pachauri to settle out of court, reports The Economic Times. The researcher said in a letter to the Delhi police that four senior officials at TERI had repeatedly approached him since July 2015 to speak to the woman in a "hush-hush manner". The complainant has resigned from the organisation, because of the "appalling" conduct and "insensitive" attitude of the officials.

HRD ministry replaces one discrimination-tainted Hyderabad University VC with another

Dalit students and teachers protesting the suicide of research scholar Rohith Vemula at the Hyderabad University called the appointment of Prof. Dr Vipin Srivastava as acting vice chancellor "outrageous", reports The Indian Express. Dr Srivastava was appointed by the HRD ministry after Prof. Appa Rao Podile, vice chancellor of the university, was advised to go on leave. The Dalit agitators point out that Prof. Srivastava was not only the chairman of the committee that recommended the suspension of five students, one of whom was Vemula, but was also associated with the 2008 suicide of a Dalit research scholar.

Students to file FIR against Smriti Irani in Rohith Vemula case

Protesting students at Hyderabad University plan to name Union HRD minister Smriti Irani in an FIR in the Rohith Vemula case, reports The Economic Times. As of now, the FIR filed at Gachibowli police station charges union labour minister Bandaru Dattatreya, BJP MLC Ramachandra Rao and university vice-chancellor Apparao Podile for abetment to suicide and atrocities against a Dalit. The students are now drafting a legal document include Smriti Irani in this FIR, said Dontha Prashanth, member of Ambedkar Students Association.

President rule imposed in Arunachal Pradesh

The state of Arunachal Pradesh has been placed under President rule - a day after the recommendation by the cabinet in an unscheduled meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The order was reportedly signed by the President Pranab Mukherjee late on 24 January.

According to media reports, the government consulted the Attorney General and decided that law and order and governance had collapsed in Arunachal Pradesh and that an intervention from the Centre was required.

Rajnikanth, Anupam Kher, Sania Nehwal, Saina Mirza on list of Padma awardees 2016

The list of names for the Padma Awards 2016 leaked on the eve of Republic Day. The Padma Vibhushan awardees include actor Rajnikanth, dancer Yamini Krishnamurthi and Shri Shri Ravi Shankar. The list of Padma Bhushan awardees include actor Anupam Kher, former CAG Vinod Rai, singer Udit Narayan and sports women Saina Nehwal and Sania Mirza.

Senior lawyer Ujjwal Nikam and actors Ajay Devgn and Priyanka Chopra will be honoured with the Padma Shri award.

More than 300 prehistoric megaliths discovered at Ranchi residential colony

More than 300 megaliths - prehistoric tombstones - were discovered in a residential colony in Ranchi, reports The Telegraph.

The giant stones had been covered in shrubs and garbage, until they were discovered for what they are by retired deputy director of state art and culture department Harendra Prasad Sinha and his team.

Sinha, now a professor of archaeology at Ranchi University, and two of his postgraduate students rushed to Yamuna Nagar residential colony following a tip-off. He believes the stones were used in the Neolithic Age as gravestones.

MH370 search vessel sinks in Indian Ocean

A towfish, called the Furgo Discovery, that has been hunting for the missing aircraft Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, has been put out of action after it crashed into a mud volcano. The cable of the vessel snapped, the Joint Agency Coordination Centre reported on 25 January.

The sonar vehicle deep tow that was being used to search the ocean floor of the Indian ocean was lost, the JACC reported.

Except for some debris found in July 2015, there has been no sign of the MH37, which went missing in March 2014

Sorry engineering graduates, most of you may be 'unemployable'

At least 80 per cent of the country's engineering graduates are "unemployable", according to the Aspiring Minds National Employability Report - which is based on a study of more than 1,50,000 engineering students who graduated in 2015 from over 650 colleges.

Delhi continues to produce the highest number of employable engineers, followed by Bengaluru, the report said. Kerala and Odisha are also among the list of most employable states. The study foud that roles like sales engineer, non-IT, associate ITeS or BPO and content developer report slightly higher employability of females.

Facebook users remind us why it's good to hug trees

Facebook users are sharing findings from a 2011 published book, Blinded by Science, where the author Matthew Silverstone, proves scientifically that trees do in fact improve many health issues such as concentration levels, reaction times, depression, stress and other various forms of mental illness. He even points to research indicating a tree's ability to alleviate headaches in humans seeking relief by communing with trees.

So what is it about trees? Silverstone says that the answer to how plants and trees affect us physiologically turns out to be very simple. It is all to do with the fact that everything vibrates in a subtle manner, and different vibrations affect biological behaviours. This vibrational idea is backed up throughout the book by a number of scientific studies to provide convincing proof that tree hugging has incredible benefits to us.

Watch Ricky, a Kannada film about love during the time of Naxalism

What happens when a white tiger tracking environment conservationist, Ricky, falls in love with Radha, who lost her parents to the State's arbitrary land acquisition for a SEZ project and is drawn to Naxalism and becomes Comrade Seetha?

Rishab Shetty's Ricky is a film set against the context of forceful land acquisitions for SEZ projects and star crossed lovers in jungles belonging to Naxalites amid Mangaluru's mountainous regions as a colourful canvas. Deccan Herald calls Ricky "a riveting romance".

50 per cent of the population of the Central African Republic faces starvation: UN

The United Nations World Food Programme has reported that half the population of the Central African Republic (CAR) - nearly 2.5 million people - faces hunger.

According to the report, one in every six persons in CAR is battling severe or extreme food insecurity. The UNWFP also reports that one in three is moderately food insecure. The UNWFP also reports that the shortage has been caused by a poor harvest and subsequent hike in food prices in 2015.

India 1st first Biennial Update Report records 2.13 billion CO2 greenhouse gas emissions in 2012

India's total greenhouse gas emissions in 2010 was 2.13 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, rising 40 per cent from its 2000 levels, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change reported.

The figures are a part of India's first Biennial Update Report (BUR).

The energy sector accounts for 71 per cent, the industrial processes and product use contributed eight per cent, while agriculture 18 per cent. The waste sector makes up the three per cent.

Tamil Nadu professor bags national award for Innovation in Polymeric Material

AG Murugesan, Professor and Head of the Sri Paramakalyani Centre of Excellence in Environmental Sciences, Alwarkurichi has been given the national award of the Union Ministry of Chemicals and Petrochemicals for his innovative research in polymer from natural resources, the Hindu reported.

The scientist won the award for the category 'Innovation in Polymeric Material' for his research in extracting biopolymer from natural resources.

HRD to produce books on freedom fighters from the North East

The Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry will bring out books on the contributions and sacrifices of freedom fighters from the North East.

HRD minister Smriti Irani made the announcement at an event organised by the RSS-linked body Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram to commemorate the birth centenary year of Rani Gaidinliu, a Manipuri political leader, who led a revolt against British rule in India.

The HRD minister announced that the books would be made available in Hindi, English, Punjabi, Gujarati, Tamil, besides several tribal and other Indian languages, she said.

Another student commits suicide in Vijaywada

A 22-year-old Puvvala Prem Prasad, a fourth-year student of Electrical and Electronics Engineering at Nova Engineering College committed suicide in Vijayawada late on Saturday night.

Prasad ended his life by hanging himself in his hostel room and did not leave any suicide note behind.

The incident comes at a time when Indian students are outraged across the nation after Rohith Vemula, a Dalit scholar of Hyderabad University committed suicide last week, after authorities suspended him on false charges.

As Delhi freezes, homeless people stay away from night shelters and sleep on the streets

Ever wondered how poor people are coping with the cold wave in the capital? A news report in The Hindu found that the poor prefer to sleep on the streets than using the Government constructed 245 night shelters across the city, because caretakers asked for money.

After reports of ten homeless people dying in the past three days due to the cold wave in the Capital, teams of district SDMs took a round of the various night-shelters across the city to see the condition of homeless people. They found out that many people were not ready to live inside the shelters because they were asked to pay a bribe.

Ankur Garg, the Central Delhi District Magistrate is known to have asked the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) to conduct an inquiry into the allegation.

Its not cars, but the energy sector that pollutes

A report from India to the United Nations on climate change has revealed that India's energy sector is responsible for 71% of country's total greenhouse gas emissions (GHG's).

"The emission intensity of GDP has reduced by 12% from 2005 to 2010, on course to meeting the voluntary target of 20-25% reduction in emission intensity of GDP by 2020," Union minister of environment, forest and climate change Prakash Javadekar said in the report.

The report said that carbon dioxide or CO2 dominates the total GHG emissions and the energy sector comprising of electricity production, manufacturing industries, transport sector and fugitive emissions generates the maximum CO2 in the country. Mr Kejriwal, are you listening?