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Lion population sees a growth of 8% in Gujarat’s Forest areas

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Pal Pariawala & Ashwanth Vidhya, Mumbai Uncensored, 2nd July 2021:

A population observation exercise during the full moon called ‘Poonam Avlokan’ recorded an increase in the number of lions. According to this, the Lion Census 2020 which happened in June, recorded 674 lions with a 28.9% improvement as compared to the 2019 count. Although the 2021 data is still being analyzed, a senior forest department officer of Gandhinagar said the initial research suggests that the 700 mark has definitely been crossed, which means a 6-8% rise.

The number of lions could be anywhere between 710-730. The adult male to female ratio of 2020 was 1:1.61 and the cub to adult female ratio was 1:0.53. These proportions have changed little in a year. The population remains unaffected in sanctuaries like Gir, Pania, Mitiyala and Girnar. But regions like Bhavnagar Coast and Mainland, Pania Sanctuary and South Western Coast recorded a decrease in the lion population. The increase was prominent in areas outside the sanctuaries, added the officials in Gandhinagar. This also gives credibility to reports that stated Lions preferred the open forests.

Earlier this year, the Gujarat Government had informed the assembly of the death of over 300 lions in the past year. Criticism was also mounted on the government by experts for using century old techniques for surveying lions that lead to either under or over count of the population and for not giving an accurate number of deaths of lions due to Canine Distemper Virus (CDV).

The news of the overall increase in Lion population brings a ray of hope after the infamous reveal and at a time when India is facing huge environmental challenges like deforestation, endangerment of wildlife and a significant rise in forest fires.

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Prices of fuels continue to remain unchanged

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Price of fuels remains unchanged in metro cities

Akankshya Mukherjee, Mumbai Uncensored, 18th January 2022 :

The prices of fuels remained unchanged. The previous month the Delhi government reduced the Value Added Tax (VAT) which was earlier 30% to now 19.4%. Now the price of petrol in the capital is low as by Rs.8.56 per litre.

In Delhi, the price of petrol and diesel respectively are Rs. 95.41 and Rs. 86.67, while in Mumbai it is Rs. 109 and Rs. 94.14. Among all metro cities, Mumbai has the highest rates of fuels. State run Oil Refiners such as Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum, Hindustan Petroleum, have revised their fuel rates on a daily basis, up for considering the crude oil prices in international markets, and the dollar-rupees exchange rate. All changes in price are effective since 6am every day.

Internationally, the oil prices have grown higher since the last few years since the supply was disrupted because of an attack by the Yemen’s Houthi group over UAE which escalated hostilities, the involved ones were an Iraq aligned group and Saudi Arabian that led to a coalition. Brent Crude Futures went up to 0.5% that is $86.92 a barrel and US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures jumped 1 per cent or 81 cents in a settlement to $84.62 made on Friday.

High prices of crude oils have set up new prices of diesel and petrol records high in India since 2018. However, the Petroleum Ministry of India has stated that they have been trying to speak to the key oil exporting countries to increase the supply of crude and lower the official selling price for Asia. All this have breached the previous records, the rise in fuel price in domestic market is mainly because of the global resurgence.

The Oil Marketing Companies (OMC) have the prices of petrol and diesel unchanged in most cities across the country, there are no fluctuations and the prices stagnant for around 2 months now. In the latest round of meetings, Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC+) group the oil producing countries such as Russia, Iraq, UAE, Kuwait have re-affirmed that they will increase total crude oil supply by 4,00,000 barrels only, despite the sharp increase in prices.

India and other countries importing oil have called on OPEC+ for boosting oil supply faster, they have argued that increasing prices of crude oil can lead to undermining the recovery of Global Economy. Low crude oil supply from USA plays a keo role in keeping crude oil prices elevated.

The Central Government had increased levies in 2021 on petrol by Rs 13 per litre and diesel by Rs 16 per litre to shore up revenues due to the pandemic which forced a slowdown in the economic activity.

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Anusha Srinivasan Iyer, Lata Mangeshkar’s spokesperson is disappointed on seeing fake news spread about her health

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The singer was reported to be admitted in ICU after testing positive for COVID

AKANKSHYA MUKHERJEE – Mumbai Uncensored, 17th January 2022:

The legendary singer of Bollywood and many Tollywood songs, Lata Mangeshkar has been reported to be admitted in the Mumbai’s Breach Candy Hospital, she is currently under treatment in the Intensive Care Unit(ICU) after testing positive for COVID as told by the doctor, Dr. Pratit Samdani. The 92 years old singer continues to be under treatment and was also diagnosed with pneumonia. Her spokesperson slams the false news about her deteriorating health conditions and was disturbed by such a news being circulated.

The spokesperson, Anusha Srinivasan Iyer mentions that Lata ji is in a stable condition now and is under the treatment in ICU and observation for a speedy recovery. Also requests people to pray for her recovery. The previous week the veteran singer’s niece, Ms Rachana Shah has told that the singer is doing well and requested the media to provide some privacy to the family and singer.

Lata Mangeshkar ji doesn’t need any introduction, she is one of the musical gems of our country. She has sung songs in Hindi, Marathi, Bangla and various other regional languages. She was honoured with several awards including the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, Bharat Ratna, several National and Filmfare awards. Her last complete album was for the film Veer Zaara in 2004. She has sung over 30,000 songs in several languages till date.

Since 1942, she began her singing career at the age of 13 to support her family post the death of her father, late Pandit Deenanath Mangeshkar. He was a classical singer and actor in theatre. Lata ji got her first major break with the song ‘Dil Mera Toda’ from a 1948 film called ‘Majboor’ in Bollywood. Her first major hit was ‘Aayega Aanewaala’ from ‘Mahal’ in 1949.

Her sister, Asha Bhosale spoke in the ETimes and reveals that special puja takes place at their Mumbai home for the singer’s speedy recovery. Lord Shiva Rudras have been placed in the house and pujas were organized for her recovery. The Health Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Rajesh Tope also confirms about her way to recovery and improving health conditions. She has been in the hospital for 28 days and was diagnosed with pneumonia as well. She is fondly known as the ‘Nightingale of India’, has her long-career in Bollywood for about 8 decades now!

Reports say that she has been infected with the virus from one of her home helps. Usha Mangeshkar adds that she was admitted due to health factors.

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The Philippines to acquire $375 million deal to buy BrahMos

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India finally bags a $375 million deal for exporting BrahMos supersonic missile to the Philippines

Akankshya MUKHERJEE – Mumbai Uncensored, 15th January 2022:

The Philippines confirms on Friday that they will be acquiring 3 Batteries of the BrahMos cruise missile, which was developed both by Russia and India. The deal is worth a $375 Million, it is viewed as a development which can boost India’s efforts to becoming a major exporter of Defence Hardware. The Philippine Defence secretary Mr Delfin Lorenzana has recently signed the “Notice of Award” which is the acceptance of this proposal for supplying this missile. It will be supplied for the Philippine Navy’s shore based anti-ship missile acquisition project.

The Government of India has negotiated to the delivery of 3 batteries, training for operators, maintainers and necessary Integrated Logistics Support package as mentioned in Mr Delfin Lorenzana’s Facebook post. The BrahMos dela was conceptualized as of 2017, the Philippine President’s office approved in the Horizon 2 Priority Projects in 2020 for inclusion. This is the first ever contract to export a 290km range BrahMos missiles, such a deal will also lead a way for more such deals from other ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) members such as Vietnam and Indonesia.

This deal also saw a strategical backdrop of China’s expansionism and strong arm-tactics with other nations in the South China Sea. This contract is for the Navy for the purpose of coastal defence, another contract expected can be for their military and similar talks continue for exporting BrahMos missiles to Indonesia is at an advanced stage.

Other countries have also shown their interest in acquiring the BrahMos Missile, it can be viewed on emerging as the precision strike weapon of choice. Countries such as UAE, Saudi Arabia and South Africa have shown their interests. India plans to sell the indigenously developed, Akash Missile systems which can interpret helicopters, drones, subsonic cruise missile and hostile aircrafts at the range of 25km to countries such as Kenya, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, and Algeria. The BrahMos missile have been deployed in eastern Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh during an on-going military confrontation with China, its being extended from 290km originally to 350/400km.

The Indian armed forces have placed orders of Rs.36000 crore for the BrahMos missile over years, the Army has 4 BrahMos regiments as of now and another one has been added. The Navy on the other hand has equipped 11 of its frontline warships, which includes destroyer INS Vishakhapatnam with the BrahMos vertical launch systems. THE IAF includes 2 land-based BrahMos squadrons, with a sleeker air launched version which progressively fits on the Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jets.

One of the potential areas to use BrahMos by the Philippines is South China Sea. The Permanent Act of Arbitration in Hague ruled that specific portion of the south China Sea has been claimed by China and Philippines which belonged to Philippines alone in 2016. China rejects this and continues to send their vessels into the disputed water. Former Indian Navy Chief, Admiral Arun Prakash says it was a long- delayed decision, this can alter the Indo-China strategic equation. By such deals India is helping to bolster their security and also give China a taste of their medicine. We are awaiting such confirmations form Vietnam and Indonesia.

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