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EC issues notice to Sakshi Maharaj for violation of Model Code of Conduct

The Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday issued a notice for 'violation of Model Code of Conduct' against Unnao Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Sakshi Maharaj for blaming a particular community for the population explosion in the country.

The EC however sought a reply by 11 January.

Sakshi Maharaj recently stirred a fresh controversy saying, "this population rise in not because of the Hindus. Population has risen due to those who support the concept of four wives and 40 children."

Despite drawing flak for his offensive statement Sakshi Maharaj again stirred up a controversy on Saturday, saying that it is not acceptable to have four wives and 40 children, adding that he should be rewarded for not having child.

IOA revokes appointments of Kalmadi, Chautala as life presidents

Facing a severe backlash for appointing scam-tainted Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Singh Chautala as life presidents, the Indian Olympic Association has been forced to revoke its controversial decision.

A top IOA official confirmed that the appointments of Kalmadi and Chautala has been declared "null and void" in order to get the recognition of the Sports Ministry and also to avoid any possible action from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Kalmadi and Chautala were elevated to the honorary position at the IOA's Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Chennai on 27 December, but the Olympic body was forced to reverse its decision after it was opposed by a majority of IOA members.

"Both Kamaldi and Chautala's appointments have been declared null and void as after going through all the documents of the AGM we found out that there were technical fault in the decision," a top IOA official told PTI.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi skips yoga to catch-up with mother for breakfast

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday through a tweet informed that he skipped his morning yoga session and instead went to meet his mother, Hiraben in Gandhinagar.

"Skipped Yoga & went to meet mother. Before dawn had breakfast with her. Was great spending time together," Prime Minister Modi twitted.

The PM's 97-year-old mother, resides with his younger brother Pankaj Modi on the outskirts of Gandhinagar.

The Prime Minister landed in Gujarat on 9 January. He will inaugurate the 8th edition of Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2017 on 10 January.

Scientists look to bring back extinct supercow

The auroch, the extinct super cows that have been immortalised in cave paintings, may be making a comeback in Europe.

The auroch's extinction, the last of which died in Poland in 1627, is thought to have been extremely bad for Europe's diversity. The auroch's, which stood as tall as elephants, appetite for grazing kept the landscape in check, creating conditions for other wildlife to thrive.

Ecologist Ronald Goderie launched the Tauros programme in 2008, the aim of the project was to improve Europe's biodiversity through the re-introduction of the auroch. This has been achieved by a process called back breeding.

Geneticists identified auroch descendants in cow populations across Europe and bred these together. Their offspring were then bred to provide a substitute bovine called the Tauros. The scientists believe it would take 7 generations of such breeding to achieve their desired outcome.

Currently in the 4th generation of breeding, they believe the auroch will make its triumphant return to Europe by 2025.

52-million-year-old relative to potato and tomato found

Researchers in North America have come across the fossils of a fruit that is the ancient relative of both the tomato and potato. The fossils, made in Patagonia, are believed to be 52-million-years-old, making them considerably older than the Andes.

Called lantern fruit, the fossilised fruits is a berry that belongs to the nightshade family. Scientists think it could be the key to understanding how some of the more common fruits and veggies we know today evolved.

Pakistani civil society fears for 4 missing activists

Renowned rights activist and university professor Salman Haider, along with 3 other secular activists have disappeared in Pakistan, leading to fears that they may have been kidnapped by Pakistan's notorious security establishments or, worse still, fundamentalist organisations.

Haider, along withe the other three activists - Waqas Goraya, Asim Saeed and Ahmed Raza - are all well known for criticising the Pakistan's security establishment and conservative elements in the country.

Rights groups in Pakistan say that close to 8,000 people have disappeared in this manner over the last year, never to be seen again. These latest disappearances, however, are a disturbing escalation of this trend as most of the others who have vanished have been linked to the Balochistan freedom movement.