Lotus Temple  

The incredible architectural marvel of Lotus Temple located in New Delhi, is a Baha’I House of Worship. The teachings of the Baha’i faith hold that there is only one God, one religion, and one human race. The prominent lotus-like structure transcends all religious boundaries and welcomes humanity without any significant qualifications. The lotus temple is manifestation of Baha’iFaith’s principles, emphasizing unity, peace, and spiritual harmony.

History and Architecture

The lotus temple was designed by the Iranian architect Fariborz Sahba. The architecture is a merged design inspired from both Eastern and Western styles. The structure consisted of 27 free-standing marble-clad petals. The petals were arranged in clusters of three to form nine sides. The aesthetic appeal of the temple serves as a metaphor to the interconnectedness of all religions. The foundation for the temple was laid by Ruhiyyih Khanum and dedicated the temple on 24t December 1986. The Lotus Temple was built with marble that came in over 10,000 distinct sizes.

Things to do

  • Tourist Attraction

The Lotus Temple is now a popular tourist destination in Delhi, drawing millions of people each year. Part of what makes it so popular is its unique architecture and calm atmosphere.

  • Spiritual Retreat

The Lotus Temple provides a striking contrast to the chaotic urban environment outside its gates with its surrounding verdant gardens and reflecting pools. The serene atmosphere encourages introspection and contemplation, making it a haven for anyone looking for comfort in the middle of a busy metropolis. With its serene surroundings, the Lotus Temple turns into a haven for people looking for spiritual renewal and inner serenity.

  • Architectural Excellence

The Lotus Temple is renowned for its brilliant architecture and has received many honours and awards. The creative combination of artistic imagination and technical perfection is demonstrated by the inventive design and material selection.

United Airlines Launches New Daily Delhi-Chicago Non-Stop Flight

US-based United Airlines has launched its new daily non-stop service between Delhi and its hometown hub of Chicago. Accordingly, these daily flights will be operated by a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. “Starting December 2020, we’re excited to launch even more routes from the U.S. to India. Whether you’re embarking on your first adventure there or eager to reconnect with family, we make it easy to visit India’s top destinations. With the introduction of this new route, United will operate four daily non-stop flights from India,” the airline said in a statement.

Beginning spring 2021, we’re adding daily nonstop flights between San Francisco and Bangalore. With this launch, we’ll become the only airline flying between both cities. Traveling between two of the world’s top tech hubs is about to get easier than ever, the airline posted on its website.

The leading airliner additionally operates daily year-round services from Mumbai and New Delhi to New York or Newark, and from New Delhi to San Francisco, “United also expects to introduce a new daily nonstop service between Bengaluru and San Francisco commencing 8 May 2021. United will be the first US carrier to provide nonstop service from Bengaluru to the US and will offer more nonstop services from India than any other US airline,” it added.

In statement on its site, United posted: “We’ve been proud to connect you to India for 15 years running, and we’re excited to be the only U.S. airline with nonstop flights from the U.S. to the country’s biggest and best destinations.”

United Airlines has announced that it is taking its most ambitious step yet in leading the fight against climate change: pledging to become 100% green by reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 100% by 2050. United, which in 2018 became the first U.S. airline to commit to reducing its GHG emissions by 50% by 2050, will advance towards carbon neutrality by committing to a multimillion-dollar investment in revolutionary atmospheric carbon capture technology known as Direct Air Capture – rather than indirect measures like carbon-offsetting – in addition to continuing to invest in the development and use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). With this unprecedented announcement, United becomes the first airline in the world to announce a commitment to invest in Direct Air Capture technology.

United’s shared purpose is “Connecting People. Uniting the World.” For more information, visit united.com, follow @United on Twitter and Instagram or connect on Facebook. The common stock of UAL is traded on the Nasdaq under the symbol “UAL”.


Is Delhi, The World’s Most Air Polluted Capital In The World?

After an unexpected respite as coronavirus lockdowns stalled economic activity, air pollution has returned to pre-COVID-19 levels in Delhi, the world’s most air polluted capital city.

Last month, ahead of the usual spike in winter, the Delhi administration launched an antipollution campaign. But to win, nothing short of sustained action on multiple fronts will suffice. Other Asian capitals too have faced pollution crises. But Delhi’s is extreme because of a combination of smoke from thermal plants and brick kilns in the capital region, effluents from a congested transportation network, stubble or biomass burning by farmers in neighboring states, and the lack of cleansing winds that causes air pollution to hang over the city. Even as technical solutions are within reach, the campaign must overcome the poor policy coordination among central, city, and local governments.

Delhi’s toxic haze is a deadly health risk to its residents, particularly children, the elderly, and the ill. Particulate matter—PM2.5 and PM10—far exceeds national and World Health Organization limits and is the main culprit for Delhi’s high incidence of cardiovascular damage. The city’s toxic air also contains high quantities of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and carbon monoxide, putting people at higher risk of strokes, heart attacks, and high blood pressure, and worsening the respiratory complications from COVID-19.

The main sources of Delhi’s particulate emissions are, in equal measure, particles from large power plants and refineries, vehicles, and stubble burning. The experiences of Bangkok, Beijing, and Singapore suggest that an ambitious but feasible goal is to cut air pollution by one-third by 2025, which, if sustained, could extend people’s lives by two to three years. The current effort is designed to confront all three sources, but strong implementation is needed.

Delhi is moving simultaneously on three fronts: energy, transport, and agriculture. In each case, East Asia offers valuable lessons.

Coal-fired plants. Delhi’s environment minister has called for the closure of 11 coal-fired power plants operating within 300 kilometers of Delhi. But policy implementation must improve: All the plants have missed two deadlines to install flue-gas desulfurization units to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions. Last year, 10 coal-fired power plants missed a December deadline to install pollution control devices. Beijing provides valuable lessons in cutting concentrations of PM2.5 more than 40 percent since 2013. Beijing substituted its four major coal-fired stations with natural gas plants. The city government ordered 1,200 factories to shut with stricter controls and inspections of emitters. Bangkok had success with its inspection and maintenance program.

Cleaner transport. Delhi has tried pollution checking of vehicles by mobile enforcement teams, public awareness campaigns, investment in mass rapid transport systems, and phasing out old commercial vehicles. The Delhi government’s recent push for electric vehicles shows promise, while the response of industry and the buy-in from customers will be key. Overall results in cutting pollution have been weak because of poor governance at every level. Better outcomes will be predicated on investment in public transportation, including integration of transport modes and last-mile connectivity. Unfortunately, Delhi Transport Corporation’s fleet shrank from 6,204 buses in 2013 to 3,796 buses in 2019, with most of the bus fleet aging. Delhi should look at Singapore’s regulation on car ownership and use; its improved transit systems; and promotion of pedestrian traffic and nonmotorized transport.

Better farming practices. Burning of crop stubble in Delhi’s neighboring states has become a serious source of pollution in the past decade. In 2019, India’s Supreme Court ordered a complete halt to the practice of stubble burning and reprimanded authorities in two of these states, Punjab and Haryana, for allowing this illegal practice to continue. Needed is the political will to act, as poor farmers complain that they receive no financial support to dispose of post-harvest stubble properly. Delhi’s “Green War Room” signaling the fight against the smog, is analyzing satellite data on farm fires from Punjab and Haryana to identify and deal with the culprits. The Indian Agricultural Research Institute has proposed a low-cost way to deal with the problem of stubble burning by spraying a chemical solution to decompose the crop residue and turn it into manure. Better coordination is needed. In 2013, when Singapore faced a record-breaking haze due to agricultural waste burning in neighboring countries, the Environment Agency and ministries of education and manpower together issued guidelines based on a Pollution Standards Index to minimize the health impacts of haze. Stubble burning has been banned or discouraged in China, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

Delhi, projected to be the world’s most populous city by 2030, is motivated by a sense of urgency. Facing a growing environmental and health calamity, antipollution efforts are being strengthened. But to succeed, the different levels of government must harness the political will to invest more, coordinate across boundaries, and motivate businesses and residents to do their bit.

(By Vinod Thomas, a Distinguished Fellow – Asian Institute of Management, Manila and Former Senior Vice President – World Bank and Chitranjali Tiwari, an Associate Fellow – JK Lakshmipat University, Jaipur)