Bengaluru: Minister for School Education and Literacy B C Nagesh has issued an order directing officers to mandate 10 minutes of meditation for students of all schools and pre-university colleges in Karnataka.

The chairperson and secretary of the Karnataka State Primary School Association, Bengaluru, had written to the minister requesting for such a mandate, said sources.

Citing the request, the minister has reportedly issued a circular to the officers of the Department of School Education and Literacy, instructing them to fix a time daily for the school and pre-university college students and also ascertain that the mandate is followed.

Nagesh said on social media on Thursday, “The order has been issued to help students develop their concentration, health and positive thinking along with overcoming hurdles. The meditation will contribute to personality development of the students and support them in excelling in studies.”

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Moscow, Dec 4: About 2,500 seals have been found dead on the Caspian Sea coast in southern Russia, officials said Sunday.

Authorities in the Russian province of Dagestan said it was unclear why the mass die-off happened but that it was likely due to natural causes.

Regional officials initially reported Saturday that 700 dead seals were found on the coast, but the Dagestan division of the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment later raised the figure to about 2,500.

Zaur Gapizov, head of the Caspian Environmental Protection Center, said in a statement that the seals likely died a couple of weeks ago. He added that there was no sign that they were killed or caught in fishing nets.

Experts of the Federal Fisheries Agency and prosecutors inspected the coastline and collected data for laboratory research, which didn't immediately spot any pollutants.

Several previous incidents of mass seal deaths were attributed to natural causes. Kazakhstan, which has a long Caspian coastline, reported at least three such incidents this year.

Data about the number of seals in the Caspian vary widely. The fisheries agency has said the overall number of Caspian seals is 270,000-300,000, while the Caspian Environmental Protection Center put the number at 70,000.