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Harsh Vardhan: Develop technologies for common man

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New Delhi: The country’s scientists should focus on developing technologies for improving the quality of life of the common man and must set time frames to achieve targets, Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan has said. According to a ministry statement released on Saturday, the minister said the government was “striving to bridge the gap” between the common man and scientists so that the result of scientific research reaches every citizen of the country.

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“Scientists should focus on developing technologies to improve the life of the common man and coming months would see each of the laboratories focusing its resources on developing specific lines of inventions,” Harsh Vardhan said at the Raman Research Institute in Bengaluru on Friday. Urging scientists to develop at least one technology in the strategic sector in each laboratory in India, he said: “There should be a method for scientists to work and set time frames to achieve targets. Indian laboratories are now expected to devise ways to develop industry driven technologies, including game changing technologies.”

Harsh Vardhan urged the scientists community to be a “catalytic agent” in evolving India into a strong and prosperous country and said the government was ready to “pump in more funds into scientific research”. “Studies and experiments in the field of earth sciences are underway for a better prediction of climate conditions. The government is ready to pump in more funds into scientific research,” he said.

(IANS)

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Took new measures against Delhi air pollution: Minister

Harsh Vardhan said that during the peak of Delhi's air pollution crisis after November 8 this year, the extra effluents from the Gulf and neighbouring states were the major cause.

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Delhi's air quality drastically dipped during Diwali. Wikimedia Commons
Delhi's air quality drastically dipped during Diwali. Wikimedia Commons

New Delhi, Dec 28: Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday said dust coming in from the Gulf and stubble burning were the major reasons behind an air pollution crisis here in November, adding that his Ministry took a slew of precautionary measures that have never been taken before.

The Environment Ministry was trying to initiate a movement of awareness against pollution, Harsh Vardhan told the Rajya Sabha amid disruptions by various members, including former Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh.

During the discussion, members raised concerns about the deteriorating air quality of Delhi and asked the government to take effective steps to control the pollution.

The short-duration discussion titled “excessively high levels of air pollution in Delhi”, drew criticism from some members of the Upper House, who pointed out that the measures being flaunted by the Minister were very basic and general in nature.

“What we are doing today has never been done in the past… We are trying to initiate a movement against pollution, If they (other members) will not be receptive about it, who will?,” the Minister asked.

Jairam Ramesh was quick to point out that the Minister was wasting the House’s time by saying things like encouraging people to use public transport.

Harsh Vardhan said that during the peak of Delhi’s air pollution crisis after November 8 this year, the extra effluents from the Gulf and neighbouring states were the major cause.

Stubble burning is one of the main reason behind heavy pollution in the Delhi and NCR region. Wikimedia Commons
Stubble burning is one of the main reason behind heavy pollution in the Delhi and NCR region. Wikimedia Commons

Between November 7 and 16, the national capital and surrounding regions choked on “severe plus or emergency” level of air quality with environment bodies imposing emergency level restrictions on polluting activities like construction, industry and truck movement. The schools across National Capital Regions were also shut for the duration.

“During peak, dust storm from the Gulf contributed to 40 per cent of pollution, stubble burning in neighbouring states were responsible for 25 per cent pollution, while the local effluents had only 35 per cent contribution,” the minister said.

He also pointed out that the pollutant level this Diwali dropped as compared to last year.

“Our Ministry, two-three months prior to Diwali, initiated a movement for Harit or Green Diwali… I personally sent mail to over two lakh schools and institutions,” the Minister said. IANS