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Shimla: HIMCOSTE Arranges Viewing Solar Eclipse to Promote Science Behind it & Remove Superstitions

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Shimla solar eclipse viewing by himcoste

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh would witness a celestial event in the form of solar eclipse on 21 June, 2020. This would be an annual solar eclipse visible from most parts of the state. The eclipse would start at 10.23 AM and would be maximum at 12.03 PM and would end at 1.48 pm. The solar eclipse would be 95 percent around noon. Such event is happening after 25 years in Himachal Pradesh.

The first solar eclipse of this year takes place on the summer solstice, which is the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere. While people living along the path annular eclipse passing through Anupgarh, Suratgarh, Sirsa, Jakhal, Kurukshetra, Yamunanagar, Dehradun, Tapowan and Joshimath will be able to see the annular phase, people in rest of India can witness a partial eclipse.

“If we miss this opportunity, in India, we have to wait for about 28 months for the next solar eclipse.  The next solar eclipse , which will be a partial solar eclipse, visible from India will take place on October 25, 2022. It would be visible in the western part of India”

said Aniket Sule, Chairperson, Public Outreach & Education Committee of the Astronomical Society of India.

To popularise and promote the science of eclipses and remove the misconceptions and superstitions associated with such kind of celestial events, the Himachal Pradesh Council for Science, Technology & Environment (HIMCOSTE) is arranging for viewing of solar eclipse for limited viewers at some places such as near parking of Ellerslie Building, HP Secretariat, State Headquarters Shimla and Padam Dev Complex, The Ridge, Shimla.

The HIMCOSTE has sought write-ups/ppts from students on their experiences of watching celestial event. The write up should not be more than three pages (less than 1500 words) or power-point presentation having maximum of 10 slides. The students can send their entries at (dhar_shashi2000@yahoo.com) latest by 23 June, 2020. The best entries will be suitably awarded.

The HIMCOSTE has asked all Deputy Directors of Elementary Education in respective Districts to arrange for solar filters and make them available to general public to witness this unique event. The general public can witness the solar eclipse at a place designated by Deputy Director (Elementary Education) office in their respective districts.

Looking at Solar Eclipse Directly Dangerous, Could Harm Eyes

Sun is a very bright object, and looking at it directly can cause severe damage to the eye and vision. There are special goggles made for looking at the Sun.  These goggles filter the sunlight for safe viewing.

“Often the Public Outreach and Education Committee of Astronomical Society of India and other astronomical institutions/ planetariums and other science popularisation agencies usually make arrangements for safe viewing of the eclipse. However, due to the lockdown this time, we are not able to make solar filters available. Further, we strongly advise people not to gather in large numbers to view the eclipse given the pandemic situation. There are easy tips for viewing the eclipse from the safety of your home”

says Arvind Paranjpye, Director, Nehru Planetarium, Mumbai.

Allying rumours that the eclipse will mark the end of coronavirus,  Aniket Sule said

“Solar eclipse is caused when the Moon comes in front of the Sun for a short time. As seen from Earth eclipses occur somewhere in the Earth 2 to 5 times a year. Eclipses do not impact microorganisms on Earth. Likewise there no danger in eating or stepping out during an eclipse. No mysterious rays come out of the Sun during an eclipse.” 

Tips for viewing the eclipse:-

  1. Do not use sunglasses, goggles, exposed x-ray sheet or lampblack over a glass. They are not safe. Nor is viewing the Sun’s image on the surface of the water.  
    Welders glass #13 or # 14 can be used to see the Sun directly with naked eyes.
  2. Make a pinhole in a card sheet and hold it under the Sun.  At some distance, keep a screen of white paper.  Image of the Sun can be seen on this sheet. By adjusting the gap between the sheet and the screen, the image can be made larger.
  3. Look at the shadow of a bush or a tree. With the gaps between the leaves acting like a pinhole, numerous images of the eclipsed Sun can be seen on the ground. 
    You can use a strainer for making pinhole images.
  4. Cover the ‘compact’ makeup kit mirror with black paper, with a small hole at the centre. Reflect the image of the Sun on a distant wall in shadow. You can get a projected image of the eclipsed Sun.

Bhuj will be the first town in India to see the beginning of the eclipse 9:58 a.m.  The eclipse ends 4 hours later at Dibrugarh, Assam at 2:29 p.m. Ghersana at the western boundary of India will be the first to witness the annular phase of the eclipse at 11:50 a.m. It will last for 30 seconds. Kalanka peak in Uttarakhand will be the last major landmark to see the annular eclipse at 12:10 p.m. lasting for 28 seconds.

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Kinnaur: Horrific Tragedy Unfolds as Bodies of 7 Out of 11 Missing Trekkers Recovered, Two Still Missing

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trekkers dead in kinnaur himachal pradesh

Kinnaur-A horrific tragedy is unfolding as bodies of seven trekkers, who had gone missing while trekking from Uttarkashi to Chitkul, were recovered by the teams of Army and ITPB from Lamkhaga Pass in Kinnaur district. Two of them have been rescued alive and were receiving medical treatment. Two trekkers are still missing and feared to be dead.

Most of these persons belonged to West Bengal. 

The rescue team could not lift the bodies due to the bad weather on Thursday as it had to suspend the search and rescue operation. The operation was resumed on Friday. The search operation for the remaining missing persons would be carried out on Saturday. The search and rescue teams found the bodies at an altitude of 5,000 metres.

According to the available information, a total of 17 persons – 11 trekkers and six porters- had left Uttarkashi on October 11 on a trekking expedition that was supposed to conclude in Chikul of Kinnaur district on October 19. However, the weather took a drastic turn and the region witnessed heavy snowfall on October 17 and 18.

While six Nepalese porters were said to have reached Chitkul, the trekkers had decided to stay in temporary tents at Lamkhaga Pass. The porters had informed the police about the stranded trekkers on reaching Chitkul on October 20.

The Deputy Commissioner, Kinnaur, Abid Hussain, confirmed that nine of these trekkers have been found. While two were alive, seven had died. The exact reason for deaths would be ascertained only after the post-mortem. Two trekkers still remain missing. More information is awaited.

It’s pertinent to mention that the Meteorological Department had issued warning of heavy rain and snow on October 18 alonwith an orange alert. 

Following are the details of the bodies recovered and persons rescued alive:

Deceased Persons

  1. Anita Rawat (38) D/o Sh. Jyoti Singh R/o M 95 Harinagar, West Bengal
  2. Tanmay Tiwari (30), S/o Sh R.C. Tiwari, R/o Kishan Nagar, Kolkata 3
  3. Vikas Makal(33) son of Swapan Maikal, Raghabpur Nepalganj, South 24 Parganas, West Bengal
  4. Saurabh Gosh (34) S/o Sushil Ghosh, R/o Nepalganj, South 24 West Bengal
  5. Subhayan Das (28) S/o Kajal Das, R/o 10/1A Nepal Bhatacharia G Streak Kalighat, West Bengal
  6. Richard Mandal (31) From West Bengal
  7. Upender (22) from Uttarkashi

Detail of Missing persons:

  1. Sukenh Manjhi(43) From West Bengal
  2. Gyan Chand (33) from Uttarkashi

Details of Injured Person

  1. Devendra Chauhan, S/o Hariram, R/o Village Gangad, Thana Mary, Uttarkashi. (company guide)
  2. Mithun Dari, S/o Swar Badal Ch Dari, R/o Prasadpur, PostAndhar Manik, South 24 Pargans, West Bengal

 

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HP By-Polls 2021: Silence Period Extended to Three Days

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hp by polls 2021 silence period

Shimla-The campaigning period during Himachal Pradesh by-elections has been fixed from 10 am to 7 pm every day. The silence period has been extended from two days to three days before the closing date of voting, which will start after 6 pm on 27th October 2021.

During the no active campaigning by the candidates or political parties is allowed, and television or any digital media cannot carry any election-related matter.

This information was released by Chief Electoral Officer, Himachal Pradesh, C. Paulrasu. He said that the Election Commission of India has limited the period of campaigning during by-election 2021 in view of the guidelines issued for the prevention of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He has urged all the candidates and political parties participating in the by-elections of Mandi Parliamentary Constituency and Fatehpur, Jubbal-Kotkhai and Arki Assembly Constituencies to comply with these guidelines related to the election campaign.

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Campus Watch

Nauni Varsity Scholar Naincy Bags Scholarship to Pursue PhD in France

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Naincy Sagar uhf nauni scholar

Solan: Naincy Sagar, an alumna of Dr. YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni has bagged a fellowship for pursuing PhD from France. Nancy has reached France and will be pursuing PhD in Forest Genetics from the University of Orléans under INRAE fellowship. INRAE is France’s National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment.

Naincy has completed her BSc Forestry from College of Horticulture and Forestry (COH&F), Neri in 2018 and MSc Forest Biology and Tree Improvement and Genetic Resources from UAS, Dharwad, under ICAR’s National Talent Scheme. Before leaving for France last week, Naincy was working as a Junior Research Fellow in a research project at COH&F, Neri.

She had applied for a PhD with a scholarship in Forest Genetics which was advertised by INRAE. Naincy was successful in the interview and was awarded a fellowship for three years for pursuing PhD at the University of Orléans. During the course of the PhD, she will receive a total scholarship of around Rs 70 lakh along with medical reimbursement. Naincy will be working on forest tree larch species in the Project titled ‘Vigour at what cost? ‘Trade-off’ of hybrid vigour in Larch-Phenological, morphological and physiological determinants of hybrid superiority in Larix X eurolepis’ with a team of 20 scientists of Joint Integrated Biology Research Unit having expertise in genetics, genomics and physiology for the enhancement of tree and forest diversity

Dr. Parvinder Kaushal, Vice-Chancellor of the university spoke to Naincy via web conferencing and congratulated her. Dr. Kaushal, who has also done his doctorate from France, shared some tips and suggestions. He asked Naincy to explore this opportunity to learn about new cultures along with doing research that could help to enhance and conserve forest wealth in the future.

Naincy expressed gratitude towards her father Satya Prakash Sagar (Retd. SDO BSNL) and mother Monika Sagar, who is working as SDO in BSNL for their continuous support for higher studies. She also thanked Vice-Chancellor Dr. Parvinder Kaushal, Dean Dr. Kamal Sharma and Dr. Dushyant Sharma, Project Investigator and all the university staff for their support and guidance. The university administration, Dean of COH&F Neri congratulated Naincy and wished her success.  

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