Impact of pollution is more on the densely populated Indo-Gangetic region of North India: EPIC report

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Forty per cent of India’s population that resides in the densely populated Indo-Gangetic Plain region of North India is impacted by more pollution from vehicular, residential, and agricultural sources and reducing particulate pollution to the World Health Organization’s guideline of 10 μg/m3 would increase the national average life expectancy in this area.

This is the conclusion drawn by Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago-EPIC in its Air Quality Life Index – AQLI

Epic has analysed data to conclude that more than 480 million people, or about 40 percent of India’s population, who reside in the seven States and Union Territories, comprising the bulk of the Indo-Gangetic Plain region of North India – Bihar, Chandigarh, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal (Figure 1) are impacted more by different pollution sources due to high population density.

Though the Indo-Gangetic Plain’s particulate pollution is exacerbated by geologic and meteorological factors, the AQLI’s dust- and sea salt-removed fine particulate matter (PM2.5) data imply that human activity plays a key role in generating the severe particulate pollution that these residents face. That is likely due to the fact that the region’s population density is more than three times that of the rest of the country, meaning more pollution from vehicular, residential, and agricultural sources.

A denser population also means more human lives are impacted by each pollution source.

Across India, reducing particulate pollution to the World Health Organization’s guideline of 10 μg/m3 would increase the national average life expectancy by 4.3 years. In north India, there would be outsize impacts of policy that reduces air pollution to meet Indian or International norms, EPIC underscores.

• From 1998-2016, the Indo-Gangetic Plain region of India (Figure 1) experienced particulate pollution that was about twice as high as the rest of the country (Figure 2).
• Sustained exposure to particulate pollution in 1998 would have shortened the lives of residents in the Indo-Gangetic Plain by an average of 3.7 years, relative to if pollution concentrations met the WHO guideline. By 2016, a 72 percent increase in pollution in the region further shortened the lives of residents by 3.4 years to 7.1 years, relative to if air quality met the WHO guideline.
• In comparison, lower concentrations of pollution in the rest of the country are allowing residents to live longer than those in the Indo-Gangetic Plain. If 1998 levels of pollution had continued over a lifetime, residents would have lost an average of 1.2 years of life expectancy. Because of a 65 percent increase in pollution, sustained exposure in 2016 is cutting short life expectancy by 2.6 years, relative to the WHO guideline.

In 2019, India launched its National Clean Air Programme (NCAP). The Programme, which aims to reduce particulate pollution by 20-30 percent nationally, will be implemented over the next five years. If successful in meeting its goals and sustaining the reduced pollution levels, the NCAP would produce substantial benefits, extending the life expectancy of the average Indian by about 13 years. Those in the Indo-Gangetic Plain would gain about 2 years onto their lives.

Girish Chandra Murmu sworn in as first Lieutenant Governor of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir; Radha Krishna Mathur sworn in as first Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh

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Girish Chandra Murmu took oath as the first Lieutenant Governor of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Radha Krishna Mathur was sworn in as first Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh on Thursday 31 October 2019.

Murmu is a 1985 batch Indian Administrative Service officer of Gujarat cadre and was principal secretary to Narendra Modi during his tenure as Chief Minister of Gujarat. Radha Krishna Mathur, is a retired 1977 batch IAS officer of Tripura cadre. He retired as the Chief Information Commissioner of India (CIC) in November 2018.

With the bifurcation of the State of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union territories of Jammu and kashmir and ladakh, the Centre will be in direct control of the police and the law and all the Central laws will be applicable in these UTs.

Murmu was administered the Oath of Office and Secrecy by Justice Gita Mittal, Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court, at a function held at the Raj Bhavan.

Chief Justice of the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir, Justice Gita Mittal also administered the oath of office to R.K. Mathur as the new Lt. Governor of the Union Territory of Ladakh.

After the swearing in, Mathur said border areas have a lot of development related activities to be implemented. Already Government of India is implementing several programmes in the region, priorities for Ladakh will be set by the new regime in consultation with the public and Hill Councils, he said. He added that his experience in the backward areas and border areas in the capacity of Tripura Chief Secretary and as Defence Secretary will be useful.

After swearing in Mathur was given a Guard of Honour at the venue by the Ladakh Police. The swearing in ceremony took place in the presence of officials of Leh and Kargil Hill Councils, Army and Para Military forces, religious leaders and Ladakh public.

Rashtriya Ekta Divas
The Union Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC) and Information & Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar on Thursday paid floral tributes to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his birth anniversary, to mark the Rashtriya Ekta Diwas in New Delhi.

Recalling the rich contributions made by Sardar Patel in unifying 565 princely states, Javadekar said, “Recently, a historic decision was taken by both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha with the abrogation of Article 370. He announce that both Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh have come into being as Union Territories from today, which is a start of a new chapter”.

Union Territory of Ladakh gets New Regional Centre of GB Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment & Development

Prakash Javadekar

Realizing the importance of the Indian Himalayan region and recognizing the need to study its ecology, Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar has approved the proposal of setting-up of a New Regional Centre of the GB Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment & Development at Ladakh.

the Institute is expected to have an institutional linkage with the Ladakh Administration right from its inception. This association would be mutually beneficial (i) to the Institute through the facilitation of UT government for setting-up of the centre (i.e., appropriate space for work initiation, land for own campus and technology park/demonstrations) and (ii) aligning the centre’s activities with priorities and needs of newly created UT.

The setting-up of this centre would ensure Institute’s Research & Development outreach in entire Trans Himalayan zone of Indian Himalaya by way of targeting following objectives:

  • To promote alternative and innovative livelihoods for climate change vulnerable cold-desert communities;
  • To facilitate conservation of critical/important cold desert habitats and biodiversity;
  • To strengthen and establish approaches for addressing issues of water scarcity; and
  • To foster climate smart communities in the trans-Himalayan landscape.

The GB Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment and Sustainable Development with its Headquarters at Kosi-Katarmal (Uttarakhand) and Regional Centres (RCs) as Himachal RC at Mohal-Kullu, Himachal Pradesh. (to cover J&K and H.P.), Garhwal RC at Srinagar (to cover Uttarakhand), Sikkim RC at Pangthang, Gangtok (to cover Sikkim and W.B. hills), Northeast RC at Itanagar (to cover remaining NE States) caters to environment management, conservation of natural resources and policies for sustainable development of communities in the Indian Himalayan Region.

Government Employees of UT of Jammu & Kashmir and UT of Ladakh to get all 7th CPC Allowances from 31st October 2019

After the Parliament passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Bill, 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced while addressing the nation on 8 August, 2019 that all the financial facilities being given to the employees of other Union Territories (UT), as per the recommendations of 7th Central Pay Commission would be extended to the employees of UT of Jammu & Kashmir and UT of Ladakh.

Following the PM’s announcement, Union Home Minister, Amit Shah has approved the proposal of payment of all 7th CPC allowances to the Government employees of UT of Jammu & Kashmir and UT of Ladakh, that shall come into existence from 31October, 2019. Order have also been issued by the Union Home Ministry in this regard. The move will benefit 4.5 lakh Government employees who have been working in Jammu & Kashmir and will now be the employees of UT of Jammu & Kashmir and UT of Ladakh from 31st October, 2019.

The annual financial implication of 7th CPC allowances like Children Education Allowance, Hostel Allowance, Transport Allowance, LTC, Fixed Medical Allowance etc. in respect of 4.5 lakh Government employees of the State of Jammu & Kashmir shall be about Rs. 4,800.


Parliament abrogates special status under Article 370, passes J&K bifurcation Bill

Rajya Sabha passes Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, scraps special status under Article 370

Football: Indian women’s team confident of good showing against Vietnam.

Harpal Singh Bedi

New Delhi: The senior women’s national team head coach Maymol Rockyon  on Wednesday promised a better  showing by India  in a   two  away  FIFA International friendlies against Vietnam  on November 3 and 6.

The team that has won the SAFF Women’s Championship, impressed in the AFC Olympic Qualifiers Round 2 and finished third in the COTIF Cup in Spain this year, set camp in New Delhi for six days before flying off to Vietnam.

 Maymol Rocky believes that the team has now reached the point where they need to play higher-ranked opposition like Vietnam (34, as compared to India’s 57), in order to further improve.

 “I think this is the first time that we will play against Vietnam. It’s all about playing against higher-ranked teams so that we can further improve ourselves,” the coach opined

 While the team prepares for the two matches against Vietnam, which are set to be held on November 3 and November 6, the head coach constantly had one eye on the 2022  Asian Cup Qualifiers next year.

 “Right now, our efforts are to match them and be better than them. It’s only when we play better teams that we can gauge our strengths and weaknesses,” she said  adding “Our main aim is to qualify for the AFC Asian Cup. We need to have patience and keep improving at the same time,” .

Captain and centre-back Ashalata Devi was of the view that although Vietnam is  a higher-ranked side, the hard work put in by the Indian girls will manifest into results on the pitch.

 “Obviously Vietnam are a much higher-ranked team than us. But this doesn’t mean that we can’t beat them,” said the captain, “We have been working really hard and improving, so we will be up for the fight.”

 Her  fellow centre-back Sweety Devi feels that the responsibility will be on the two of them to organise the team from the back.

 “It’s not going to be easy, playing against Vietnam, and as defenders, the responsibility will be on Asha di and me to organise the team,” she said. “But having someone as experienced as her at the back helps a lot, as she reads the game and instructs everyone accordingly. I think if we all fight together, keep ourselves calm, and stick to the plan, we can get good results out of Vietnam.”  The squad:  Goalkeepers: Aditi Chauhan, Panthoi Chanu, M Linthoingambi Devi.

Defenders: Jabamani Tudu, Ashalata Devi, Michel Castanha, Sweety Devi, Ranjana Chanu, W Linthoingambi Devi.

Midfielders: Roja Devi, Grace Lalrampari, Karthika Angamuthu, Manisha, Ratanbala Devi, Ritu Rani, Sangita Basfore, Sanju, Sumithra Kamaraj.

Forwards: Anju Tamang, Dangmei Grace, Daya Devi, Bala Devi, Renu  Head Coach: Maymol Rocky

Table Tennis: Swastika Ghosh, Kavya Sree clinch bronze medals in Oman Junior and Cadet Open

Harpal Singh Bedi

New Delhi: Promising youngsters  Swastika Ghosh and Kavya Sree Baskar, came up with impressive performances to bag  bronze medals in the Oman Junior and Cadet TT Open in Muscat.

Swastika, who was part of the silver medal-winning team in the tournament, took her form into the girls’ singles as well. She remained unbeaten in the group stages, picking up six points from her three matches. 
She was awarded a bye in the round of 16 to make it to the quarterfinals round. She beat Wan – Hsuan Lee in the quarters 4-3 to advance into the medal round. Taking on the talented Yi-Chen Hsu of Chinese Taipei, however, she went down 1-4 to settle for the bronze medal. 

Kavya Sree also had a good run in the tournament, which is part of the ITTF Junior Circuit Premium, remaining invincible in the group stage. She continued the momentum into the knock-out stages too, scoring a comprehensive 3-0 win over Rinad El-Hasani of Jordan in the round of 16 before beating Yi-Tian Yeh of Taipei 3-0 to make it to the semis. 
However, she caved in  at this stage and lost 1-3 against eventual champion Pu-Syuan Cheng of Taipei in the Cadet Singles to be content with the bronze medal.