The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Nation at a Glance

Solar eclipse visible on May 31

New Delhi (PTI): A solar eclipse, the first of the millennium to be witnessed from India, is taking place on May 31, Nehru Planetarium said here.

There have been solar eclipses in this millennium but these were not visible from India. It would be the first solar eclipse of the millennium which would be seen from India, planetarium director . Rathnasree said.

The eclipse falls in the category of annular eclipse, different from a total eclipse in which the sun is fully eclipsed by the moon and only the corona, the outer radiation of the sun, is visible from the earth.

In an annular eclipse, the moon is slightly farther from the earth compared to a total solar eclipse. Therefore, the moon does not completely eclipse the sun, she said.

The uncovered part of the sun would be visible as a ring from Greenland and Iceland, where the maximum eclipse would be seen. In other parts of the world only a partial phase of the eclipse would be seen, she said.

India would view less than 20 per cent of the eclipse that is, only less than 20 per cent of the sun would be eclipsed. The northern part of the country in a belt from Gujarat to Uttar Pradesh including Delhi, Jaipur, Srinagar, Chandigarh and Agra would be able to see the partial phase. It would be seen at different times from various places in the country, she said, adding that in Delhi the visible phase would begin at 7.36 am and end at 8.30 am.

Official language plea in HC

Mumbai (PTI): The Rashtrabhasha Mahasangh has filed a public interest litigation in Bombay High Court challenging the constitutional validity of the Official Languages Act as amended in 1968 to ensure continuance of English as official language of the Union.

The PIL, filed by the president of the Mahasangh and former high court judge, D.R. Dhanuka, urged for a directive to declare the Act as unconstitutional. It is expected to come up for hearing in the first week of June.

According to Section 3(5) of the Act, English would continue to be in use until a resolution for discontinuance of English for official purposes was passed by legislatures of all states which have not adopted Hindi as the official language.

But this did not authorise Parliament to postpone the implementation of Article 343 (1), the PIL said. It argued that Parliament had the exclusive jurisdiction to enact an appropriate law in this regard and state legislators had no jurisdiction in the matter.

Three die as train derails

Hyderabad (PTI): Three persons were killed and six injured seriously when two bogies of a passenger train derailed at Venkatapuram in Anantapur district.

The Pakala-Bellary passenger train, running between Pakala and Guntakal, derailed at 9.15 am, DIG Anantapur range A.V. Narayana said. Rescue operations were immediately launched by South Central Railway personnel and the police.

Smut CDs

Jammu (PTI): Police arrested two persons and seized pornography CDs in raids as part of a special drive in Jammu. The police raided a shop in Hari market and recovered 148 pornography film CDs and other pornographic material. The shop owner, Rajan Kumar, was arrested. In another raid, 41 such CDs and large quantity of pornographic material were found in a shop owned by one Munish Kumar.

Bank fraud

Ballia (PTI): Five branch managers of the District Cooperative Bank were dismissed after being found guilty of embezzlement, a top district official said. The bank’s administrative committee took the decision to terminate the services of the five officials after the embezzlement charges were found to be correct in an inquiry.

EC cracks whip

Lucknow (PTI): The Uttar Pradesh government has shifted the district magistrate and the senior superintendent of police of Varanasi on a directive of the Election Commission, official sources said. The poll panel directed the government to shift the two officials for failure to ensure compliance of the model code of conduct in the Chiraigaon Vidhan Sabha bypoll.

Arms unit bust

Moradabad (PTI): Two illicit arms manufacturing factories were unearthed and four persons arrested. Police recovered firearms, unassembled weapons, equipment and implements in the raids.

Bomb near track

Ahmedabad (PTI): A crude bomb was found near a railway line in a field at Vejalpur area. The explosive was defused by the bomb disposal squad.

The Orissa government has organised a four-day health check-up camp in Puri from May 30 for sevayats working at Sri Jagannath temple. The camp has been organised following a report that 70 per cent of the sevayats suffered from neurological disorders.

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