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Can’t frame rules for transgenders in UPSC: Centre tells Delhi High Court

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CourtBy NewsGram Staff Writer

New Delhi:  The central government informed the Delhi High Court on Wednesday that rules for including transgenders in the UPSC examination can’t be framed as the Supreme Court has not clarified the definition of a transgender.

Delhi High Court had asked the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) on Monday, about the absence of the transgender category in this year’s application forms for Civil Services Preliminary Examination.

A bench of Justice Mukta Gupta and Justice P S Teji  had asked UPSC and Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT)  that why transgender category has not been included as an eligibility criterion for the exam, when the Supreme Court had declared transgender as the third gender.

Lawyer Jamshed Ansari had filed public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the UPSC’s notice for the examination scheduled for August 23 with regard to the gender or sex eligibility criterion for applying.

Reportedly it stated that transgenders will not be able to apply for the civil services due to lack of a third gender option in the forms. It also sought addition or inclusion of transgender as an eligibility criterion in the online application forms for the examination.

The petition stated that the apex court had directed the Union and State Governments to take steps to treat the transgender community as a socially and educationally backward class and to extend all reservation to them in case of admission to educational institutions and for public appointments.

“The inclusion of the third gender in applications for the civil services examination would benefit transgenders, who were socially excluded from public employment,” said the petition as per media reports.

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EPA Seeks to Rewrite Rules for Dealing with Lead Pipes Contaminating Drinking Water

Communities and families in Flint, Michigan, Newark, New Jersey, and elsewhere have had to grapple with high levels of lead

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EPA, Rules, Lead
FILE - A bottled water dispenser sits in a hallway at Gardner Elementary School in Detroit, Sept. 4, 2018. Some 50,000 Detroit public school students will drink water from coolers, not fountains, after the discovery of elevated levels of lead or copper. VOA

The Trump administration Thursday proposed a rewrite of rules for dealing with lead pipes contaminating drinking water, but critics say the changes appear to give water systems decades more time to replace pipes leaching dangerous amounts of toxic lead. EPA.

Contrary to regulatory rollbacks in many other environmental areas, the administration has called dealing with lead contamination in drinking water a priority. Communities and families in Flint, Michigan, Newark, New Jersey, and elsewhere have had to grapple with high levels of lead in tap water and with regulatory failures dealing with the health threat.

Lead in drinking water has been linked to developmental delays in children and can damage the brain, red blood cells and kidneys. It is most often caused by lead service lines — pipes connecting a home to a water main — or lead fixtures in a home or school.

At a news conference in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced changes that include requiring water systems to test lead levels in water at schools and child care facilities.

EPA, Rules, Lead
Contrary to regulatory rollbacks in many other environmental areas, the administration has called dealing with lead contamination in drinking water a priority. Pixabay

But Wheeler disappointed conservation groups by declining to lower the level of lead contamination in drinking water systems that triggers cleanup action. And another change lowered the amount of lead pipe that water systems have to replace each year once the threshold is hit, cutting it from 7% a year to 3% a year.

That, according to Eric Olson at the Natural Resources Defense Council conservation group, would give water utilities about 20 more years to fully replace all the lead pipes in a contaminated system.

Wheeler said a series of other, smaller changes in the new proposals would offset that. Overall, he argued, the rule changes, if the White House ultimately adopts them, would mean leaking old lead pipes are “replaced at a much faster rate than ever before.”

Also Read- Hundreds of School Children in Nigeria Join Global Fight for Climate Action

Betsy Southerland, a senior EPA water official under the Obama administration, said the new proposals largely miss the opportunity to boost the urgency of the country’s rules, issued in 1991, for cleaning up lead in water systems. Asked her overall impression, she said, “I would say disappointing.” (IANS)