The World Health Organization(WHO) will be
releasing it’s report on the presence of microplastics in drinking water.
The report will examine the potential
human health risks associated with exposure to microplastics in the
Microplastics are plastics which are less
than five mm in diameter in size.
They enter the environment either as
primary industrial products such as those used in scrubbers and cosmetics
or via urban waste water and broken-down elements of articles discarded by
Earlier,various studies were conducted to
determine microplastics in bottle water.However,most of these studies had
ended by saying there is a lack of data to know the impact of
microplastics consumed via drinking water.
The WHO study will elaborate as to how
different microplastics cause different health impacts and how the
chemicals that are attached to them come from various sources of
environment and impact our health specifically.
The WHO study will also enumerates as to
how the biofilms which are microorganisms that grow on these microplastics
cause toxicity to us.
The report will also pegs certain water
treatment methods as the ones which can be used to minimise the occurrence
of microplastics in water besides ways and means of reducing their very
presence in the environment.
Chief Minister of Meghalaya has met with
Union Minister for Animal Husbandry to discuss piggery development
The piggery development project is to be
launched in Meghalaya.The project will be financed by the National
Cooperative Development Corporation(NCDC) along with the State
The proposed Piggery development project
aims to boost domestic availability of pig meat in the entire North
Eastern Region and also promote its exports thereby giving livelihood
opportunities to the people.
The project will also create awareness
amongst the rural people to take up Piggery farming with improved breeding
The National Cooperative Development
Corporation(NCDC) is a statutory Corporation set up under an Act of Indian
Parliament in 1963.
It is the sole statutory organisation
functioning as an apex financial and developmental institution exclusively
devoted to cooperative sector.It supports cooperatives in diverse fields
apart from agriculture and allied sectors.
Iceland has honoured the passing of Ok
Jokull glacier.It is the first glacier lost to climate change in the
The glacier was officially declared dead
by the Icelandic Meteorological Office when it was no longer thick enough
to move.What once was glacier has been reduced to a small patch of ice
atop a volcano.
A bronze plaque was also unveiled in a
ceremony to mark Okjokull which translates to “Ok glacier” in the western
The plaque was labelled with “415 ppm CO2”
referring to the record level of carbon dioxide measured in the
Iceland loses about 11 billion tonnes of
ice per year.Scientists fear that all of the island country’s 400-plus
glaciers will be gone by 2200.
Since the early 1900s,many glaciers around
the world have been rapidly melting.Human activities are at the root of
Further,since the industrial
revolution,carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions have raised
temperatures even higher in the poles.This has led to glaciers rapidly
melting by calving off into the sea and retreating on land.
India’s Defence Minister had said that if
bilateral talks between India and Pakistan were to happen,it will be on
Pakistan Occupied Kashmir(POK).
This statement shows shifts in India’s
position on J&K from offensive to defensive policy.It will also put
China on alert as it seeks to push ahead with its plan for China-Pakistan
Economic Corridor(CPEC) which passes through POK.
Pakistan Occupied Kashmir(PoK) is that part of Jammu and Kashmir which
was invaded by Pakistan in 1947.
The region is divided into two parts
namely the (a)Azad Jammu and Kashmir(AJK) and (b)Gilgit-Baltistan.Pakistan
ceded a part of PoK, called the Trans Karakoram Tract to China in 1963.
AJK has its own constitution,a prime
minister and a president although real power is vested with
Pakistan.However,the administration of Gilgit-Baltistan was handed over to
Pakistan by AJK in 1949.
PoK is of immense strategic importance
because of its location.It shares borders with Pakistan to the west,
Afghanistan in the north-west, China to the north and India’s Jammu and
Kashmir to the east.
India’s position has been that since the
king of J&K had signed the instrument of accession with India,the
whole of J&K including PoK is legitimately an essential part of India.
Recently,a study has shown that Pradhan
Mantri Ujjwala Yojana was a timely intervention to rectify the harm caused
by Household Air Pollution (HAP).
The emissions of PM2.5 generated by the
burning of solid fuels in households is termed Household Air
Pollution(HAP).The study claims that more than 8 lakh premature deaths
occur in India every year as a result of exposure to HAP indoors.
Moreover,the HAP produced indoors travels
outdoors and also becomes a contributor to ambient air pollution.
PM 2.5 or fine particulate matter refers to
particles or droplets with a diameter of 2.5 micrometres or less.
Such particles can travel deep into the
respiratory system and exposure to them can cause several adverse health
effects, both short-term and long-term, including respiratory problems and
Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana is a scheme of the Ministry of Petroleum
& Natural Gas.The scheme was launched in 2016.It aims to safeguard the
health of women & children by providing them with a clean cooking fuel
The scheme provides free LPG connections
to economically weaker families.The connections are issued in the name of
women of the households.
Under the scheme,cash assistance of Rs.
1600 is given to the beneficiaries to get a deposit-free new
connection.Further,interest free loan is provided to purchase stove and
refill by Oil Marketing Companies
IIT Kharagpur will be implementing the
multi-institutional Saraswati 2.0 project.
The project has been funded by the European
Union and the Government of India’s Department of Science and Technology
The objective of the project is to
identify the best available as well as affordable technologies for
wastewater treatment and provide solutions to the challenges of water use
in both rural and urban areas.
The project was selected under the
EU-India Joint Call on Research and Innovation for Water.
India and Europe have been collaborating
intensively on water by enriching each other’s technological and
scientific knowledge and management capacities to cope with stress on
Central Board of Direct taxes(CBDT) has
said that all communications made by the tax department to tax assessees
from October 1,2019 will have to carry a Document Identification
Document identification number(DIN) is the new system of identification number
that Income tax department has introduced for the taxpayers.
The DIN will be generated by the income
tax department and is made mandatory for any income tax related
communication including filing of income tax returns.
Any communication that does not include
the Document identification number(DIN) will be considered invalid
according to section 282b of the Income Tax Act.
This move is aimed at improving
accountability and transparency in tax administration.It is expected that
this move would also help taxpayers detect fake notices and letters as the
notice would be verifiable on the e-filing portal.
Ahead of the publication of the National
Register of Citizens(NRC), Election commission(EC) may revisit the
criteria whether those excluded from NRC should be marked as ‘D’(Doubtful)
The system of ‘D’ (dubious or doubtful)
voters was introduced in 1997 by the Election Commission.Doubtful voters
are those who have been disenfranchised during electoral roll revision for
their alleged lack of proper citizenship credentials.
While ‘D’ voters continue to remain on
Assam’s electoral roll,they cannot vote in an election unless their case
is decided by a Foreigners Tribunal.
However,the Government has said that those
excluded from the draft NRC will be allowed to vote as exclusion from the
NRC does not automatically make someone a foreigner.
Foreigners Tribunal(FT) was set up in
Assam in 1964 through the Foreigners Tribunal Order 1964.The tribunals are
mandated with identifying the legal status of suspected foreigners in
India’s External Affairs Minister is on a
two day visit to Bangladesh.
During his visit,India’s foreign minister
has said that National Register of Citizens (NRC) process which is now
underway in Assam is an internal matter to India.
On Rohingya issue,the minister said that
the safe and speedy return of Rohingyas to their place of origin in
Rakhine State in Myanmar is in the national interest of the three
countries — Bangladesh, Myanmar and India.
Bangladesh has been facing an influx of
Rohingya refugees from Myanmar.It has asked India’s support in handling
the crisis by mounting pressure on Myanmar to take back the refugees who
have taken shelter in the country.
On Teesta water issue,the minister said
that India’s position and commitment to the pending Teesta water agreement
remained as it was earlier.
Teesta is a river which originates in the
Himalayas and flows through Sikkim and West Bengal to merge with the
Brahmaputra in Assam and (Jamuna in Bangladesh).The water sharing
agreement has not been signed due to opposition from West Bengal as water
is a State subject.
The Central Government has proposed to
double the time limit available for filing an appeal against non-inclusion
of persons in the National Register of Citizens(NRC) in Assam
At present,the time limit for filing of
appeal in foreigners tribunals(FTs) is 60 days.This will be amended to
increase the time limit to 120 days.
Under the provisions of the Foreigners
Act,1946 and Foreigners (Tribunals) Order,1964 only Foreigners Tribunals
are empowered to declare a person as a foreigner.
Thus,non-inclusion of a person’s name in
NRC does not by itself amount to him/her being declared as a foreigner.
The National Register of Citizens(NRC) is
a register which contains the name of all citizens of India residing in
Assam.It was prepared in 1951.
Currently,the NRC is being updated in
Assam.It seeks to identify illegal migrants in Assam who had entered the
state on or after 25th March 1971.The update is being carried out under
the Citizenship Act,1955, and according to rules framed in the Assam
Pakistan has announced that it would take
Kashmir issue to the International Court of Justice(ICJ).
The tensions between India and Pakistan
have escalated ever since India abrogated provisions of Article 370 of the
Constitution to withdraw Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcated
it into two Union Territories.
This move comes after the United Nations
Security Council(UNSC) held a closed-door,informal consultation on the
Kashmir situation although there were no statements or outcomes.
Following the UNSC meeting,India had
underlined that the revocation of J&K special status was an internal
matter and that these decisions have no external ramifications.
ICJ was established in 1945 by the United Nations charter.It is
the principal judicial organ of the United Nations situated at the Peace
Palace in The Hague,Netherlands.
It is composed of 15 judges elected to
nine-year terms of office by the United Nations General Assembly and the
Security Council.Its objective is to settle legal disputes submitted to it
by (a)states (b)duly authorized international branches and (c)UN General
Parliament has passed the National Medical
Commission(NMC) Bill, 2019 which seeks to repeal the Indian Medical
However,experts have said that there are
two fundamental contradictions and inconsistencies in the NMC Act,2019.
The first contradiction is that Section
15(1) of the NMC Act act has proposed a common exit examination called
National Exit Test(NEXT) for the purpose of ‘licensing’
Section 15(5) says that NEXT would serve
the purpose of national eligibility and entrance test(NEET) towards
admission to postgraduate courses in broad specialities.However,nowhere it
is mentioned that NEXT would serve the purpose of conferment of MBBS
The second contradiction is that Section
32 of the NMC act provides for licensing of non medical persons or
Community Health Providers to practise modern medicine.
However,the term Community Health Provider
has been vaguely defined to allow anyone connected with modern medicine to
get registered in NMC and be licensed to practise modern medicine.