The Indian newspapers have commented on the fillip to religious tourism agreed upon by India and Nepal. The dailies have submitted a draft scheme for setting up of an Authority for sharing of the waters of the river Cauvery. Indian press has hailed the contribution of Physicist E C George Sudarshan, who passed away recently.

THE STATESMAN in an editorial writes, Mr. Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Nepal, his third since taking over as Prime Minister, was more than the symbol of a robust faith. More basically, connectivity and diplomacy have come together and the places of pilgrimage are the key thread that binds the two countries. Hence the pronounced emphasis by the two Heads of Government on the circuit of religious tourism. Mr. Modi and his Nepalese counterpart, KP Sharma Oli, flagged off a bus service between Janakpur and Ayodhya. “Without Nepal, India’s history is incomplete. Without Nepal, India’s temples are incomplete. Without Nepal our Ram is incomplete,” was the core of the Indian Prime Minister’s address. The visit was marked by a strong emphasis on faith, exemplified by his visits to Janaki temple, Pashupatinath and Muktinath. The Janakpur-Ayodhya bus service, apart from improving connectivity, is a major forward movement in terms of promoting religious tourism. Indubitably, this is a distinct change in the bilateral ties.

THE HINDU in an editorial AL LAST A SCHEME says the Centre has submitted a draft scheme in the Supreme Court to implement the final decision on apportioning the Cauvery waters among the riparian States. The draft, which gives no name for the authority it proposes to create to monitor implementation of the Cauvery Tribunal’s final award, as modified by the Supreme Court, has been largely drawn from the Tribunal’s directions. It will be a two-tier structure, with an apex body charged with the power to ensure compliance with the final award, and a regulation committee that will monitor the field situation and water flow. The powers and functions of the authority are fairly comprehensive. Its powers would extend to apportionment, regulation and control of Cauvery waters, supervision of operations of reservoirs and regulation of water releases. The draft makes the authority’s decisions final

and binding. All States should agree to the broad contours of this scheme and comply with the authority’s decisions. The most welcome feature of such a mechanism is that an issue concerning the livelihood of thousands of farmers will be taken out of the political domain and entrusted to experts.

THE INDIAN EXPRESS in an editorial NO NOBEL REQUIRED opines, in a country which hungers for Nobel recognition, E C George Sudarshan will be remembered for his contribution to theoretical physics. His contribution is immense and does not require the validation of Stockholm. The thousands of quantum physicists whose work he has influenced, including the iconic Richard Feynman, who acknowledged him, and Wolfgang Pauli, with whom he published, will bear testimony to his importance. Besides, in a 1962 paper with O M P Bilaniuk and V K Deshpande, Sudarshan had gladdened the hearts of science fiction writers by proposing the ‘tachyon’, which always travels faster than light. Tachyon drives did away with the dreary monotony of those long flights to Proxima Centauri. But sadly, Sudarshan was indeed passed over for the Nobel in 2005, one half of the physics prize went to Roy J Glauber for his contribution, in a 1963 paper, to the quantum theory of optical coherence. However, the understanding of the phenomenon, which describes the difference between forms of light like a laser beam and candlelight, includes what’s known as the Sudarshan-Glauber representation. The community protested that Glauber had first dismissed and then appropriated Sudarshan’s representation, but Sudarshan was denied his share of the prize. Earlier, in 1979, the prize had gone to physicists who built on Sudarshan’s work as a student, while he was ignored. Sudarshan was one of the last of the physicists who was deeply interested in Indian philosophy. In a long career spanning the US and India, he engaged with J Krishnamurti and found the time to lecture on Vedanta. Perhaps philosophy gave him the strength not to complain too much when he was denied a place at the high table of physics.

Compiled: Padam Singh, Air: News Analyst