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CEED appeal to people to join campaign Diwali with responsibility



Lucknow, Nov 5 (TGS) Centre for Environment and Energy Development (CEED) has appealed to the people of Uttar Pradesh to join their campaign to celebrate “Diwali with Responsibility” and also issued a public health advisory considering the severity of existing air quality in the city and weather forecasts.

Due to the weather conditions in the coming days, the quality of air will deteriorate significantly and the fireworks including crackers during Diwali will aggravate the situation.

Last year during Diwali, Lucknow’s and other UP cities air quality exhibited pollution (PM2.5) levels 4 to 5 times higher than the national standard.

Reportedly, the Air Quality Index in the Diwali week, i.e., between October 16 and 22, 2017, was recorded to be in the ‘Poor’ to ‘Very Poor’ category.

Commenting on the Supreme Court’s recent verdict, Ramapati Kumar CEO of CEED said in a statement here on Monday that , “Anything that reduces the emission levels and improves the air quality must be welcomed.

“We have been using firecrackers to celebrate Diwali but it costs us with massive impact on public health. Therefore, we must behave responsibly and obey the Supreme court’s order. It is also important for the authorities to ensure that the apex court’s order is adhered to more strictly.”

Among those who wholeheartedly supported CEED’s campaign on Diwali include several schools, doctors, academics, mothers, senior citizens, to name a few. As responsible citizens, they have promised to celebrate Diwali with responsibility.

While describing the current air quality of the city, Ankita Jyoti, Senior Programme Officer, CEED stated, “Winters have just started and Lucknow is witnessing an alarming air quality level since the past ten days (October 25 – November 3). None of us are unaware of the negative impact of air pollution.

We understand that with winter setting in where temperature and wind speed reduce, the particulate matter will increase but still we are not prepared. Both long-term preventive and reactive emergency response measures are required.

It is necessary that the government, which is making long-term preventive measures, also prepares a clear emergency action plan and enforces it immediately. Such plans ensure the strict enforcement of pollution control measures during the episode of severe air pollution in the city”, she added.

Given the prevailing severe conditions and the coming of Diwali, CEED has issued the following public health advisory to be taken into consideration before and after Diwali:

Keep a tab on the air quality of the city through an app called SAMEER or check pollution levels online (Online AQI).

People with problems related to lungs and heart, older adults, children and pregnant women should remain indoors and keep activity levels low and avoid any strenuous physical activity (walk, cycle or run) or playing outdoors, usually in the morning post Diwali because there are chances of high pollution levels.

Besides, any health complications like sudden breathlessness and tightening of the chest should not be ignored.

(Link source: Indian Expose)

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India Spotlight

Haryana Governor gives sanction to prosecute former Haryana CM Hooda in AJL case



Chandigarh, Nov 15 (TGS) Haryana Governor Satyadev Narayan Arya on Thursday gave sanction to prosecution of senior Congress leader and former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda in the Associated Journals Ltd (AJL) case.

The state vigilance bureau had registered a case against Hooda in May 2016 for cheating and corruption in allotment of land to the AJL in Panchkula, near here, by Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA).

As chief minister, Hooda was also HUDA chairman at the time of allotment of the plot to the AJL,the promoters of The National Herald newspaper.

HUDA officials and office-bearers of AJL were also charged with illegal re-allotment of the plot in 2005.

In a letter to Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, Indian National Lok Dal leader Abhay Singh Chautala had demanded registration of a criminal case against Mr Hooda and the trustees and directors of the AJL in the case.

The 3360 square-metre plot number C-17 at Sector 6 in Panchkula was allotted to the AJL in 1982 but the company failed to construct a building on it and it was taken back in 1996. However, after the formation of the Congress government in the state in 2005, the plot was re-allotted to AJL on June 29, 2005, the INLD leader said.

Meanwhile, Hooda described the Governor’s approval as politically motivated. He said the decision to allot the plot to the AJL was taken by the entire Haryana Urban Development Authority and not a single individual.

(Source UNI India)

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India Spotlight

NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission and UNICEF announce Young Champions Awards on occasion of Children’s Day



New Delhi, Nov 14 (TGS) NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and UNICEF India, have come together this Children’s Day, to provide an open platform to young children of India, to contribute towards sustainable development.

Celebrating innovation on the occasion of the National Children’s Day, the UNICEF – Atal Tinkering Labs Young Champions Awards were announced today by Dr Rajiv Kumar,Vice-Chairman, NITI Aayog and Yuri Afanasiev, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in India.

Ramanathan Ramanan, Mission Director of AIM and Laura SiegristFouché, Chief of Operations at UNICEF were also present.

The awards were presented to the top six most innovative solutions from across the country, which were shortlisted through the Atal Tinkering Marathon.

On October 2 last year, AIM’s Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) had launched a six month long nationwide challenge called the Atal Tinkering Marathon, across six different thematic areas, namely, clean energy, water resources, waste management, healthcare, smart mobility and agri-technology.

The objective was to encourage students to observe community problems and develop innovative solutions. From over 650 innovations received, Top 30 innovations were identified from 20 different States and Union territories from across India.

These Top 30 teams were awarded with several prizes including a three month-long ATL Student Innovator Program in partnership with industry and start-up incubators, where students were trained on business and entrepreneurship skills. The partners included start-up incubators: C-CAMP, Aartech, Amrita TBI, TREC-STEP and industry representatives: Learning Links Foundation, Intel India and Stratasys India.

These Top 30 innovations are symbolic of a larger movement which is taking root in every school, in every district across India.

As part of a long-term partnership, during the Children’s Day Week, from today to the World Children’s Day on 20 November, AIM and UNICEF seek to drive extensive forward and backward linkages within the stakeholders in India, to create a paradigm shift in the student mindset and prepare them to become young innovators and entrepreneurs.

AIM and UNICEF have also launched a 72 hour Tinkering Hackathon from 14 to 17 November so that children can come up with innovative solutions for challenges faced by them in school, especially pertaining to quality of education and safety in schools.

The winners of the Hackathon will be announced on 20 November, World Children’s Day.

(Link source: Indian Expose)

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India Spotlight

All North Eastern States commit to declaring ODF by December 2018



New Delhi, Nov 14 (TGS) A regional review meeting of the North Eastern States was held in Guwahati, Assam, today.

The workshop comprised discussions on sustaining Open Defecation Free (ODF) status, Solid and Liquid Waste Management (SLWM), and rural water supply.

Teams from Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim joined the review

Key aspects of sustainability such as geo-tagging, verification of ODF villages, conversion of dysfunctional toilets, IEC expenditure, Swachhagrahi engagement were reviewed.

Speaking on the occasion, ParameswaranIyer, Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation emphasized the importance of the joint effort being made by the Central and State SBM teams towards sustaining gains made under the program so far.

He spoke about the importance of continued focus on behavior change communication and periodic verifications to ensure that the safe sanitation habits and practices developed over the past few years are sustained in the future as well.

The teams from the ODF States of the region spoke about efforts to sustain their ODF status. Sikkim highlighted the solid and liquid waste management initiatives being undertaken in the first ODF State of the country.

Non-ODF States committed to declaring themselves as ODF by December 2018.

Assam shared highlights of “Mission Sambhav”, under which more than one lakh pit digging activities were initiated on a single day during the Swachhata Hi Seva fortnight.

Akshay Rout, Director General, Special Projects , Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation pointed to the criticality of the sustainability phase of SBM and the necessity for the managers for regular monitoring.

A parallel session was held for the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) at the review meeting.

V. Radha, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, spoke about the need to increase the coverage of household water supply connections by taking up community-managed, low cost schemes.

Other senior officials taking part in the review were Shri Hiranya Borah, Deputy Director General, Samir Kumar, Joint Secretary, and Mission Directors from the participating States.

The Dy Commissioners of Assam interacted with the central team through a video Conference.

The review concluded with a media interaction with eminent media persons and media houses from across the North East.

(Link source: Indian Expose)

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