Monday November 19, 2018
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How small acts of transparency by AAP are taking Delhi towards good governance

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Delhi Elections 2015 and AAP
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AAP rejoices over leads in counting trends in delhi elections

By Devika Sharma

The “Common Man” party’s fledgling performance has galvanized political participation in a huge way as hoards of people across India are rushing to join a force that they hope will bring about good governance.

Aam Aadmi Party after coming to power has succeeded in exhibiting a break from traditional politics. AAP signifies a paradigm shift in 2 ways. First, the AAP has been formed, not by the big shots in politics but by the common people. Its entire leadership comprises of activists barely known till India Against Corruption started three years ago in 2010. And second, that AAP transcends, what they call, politics of citizenship. AAP’s primary pitch is for good governance has been its promise to fight corruption and bring transparency to governance

The emergence of AAP has also highlighted the limitations that transparency faces. Transparency is subjective. The anti-corruption movement from which AAP emerged was formed by people who had been using RTI as a tool to delve deep for information and unmask corruption. But they gradually realized that successive exposes of corruption had little significance without independent investigative and prosecuting agencies.

In 2005 when the RTI  Act was passed by the UPA government, it was deemed to be revolutionary, a law with the potential of bringing back power balance. Now the rise of AAP, is suggesting a rebalancing of power. AAP’s initiatives such as “I paid a bribe” precipitated popular mobilization against corruption.

A press release by AAP stated that “All government services and forms will be made available online and through mobile phones. Data on the government projects, performance, accounts and personnel will be made transparent and online. This will bring transparency and accountability in governance. AAP will scout for and implement projects based on the motto: “Big Change without Big Spending”

AAP, for the first time in India’s history of political parties, is transparent about its income and expenditure. Every rupee it receives is updated on its web site. AAP has pioneered one way of eliminating the source of graft by transparent sourcing and reporting contributions.

After coming to power AAP has been regularly updating its website and informing people about its meetings, policy decisions, funding, and other whereabouts. They have taken e-governance to a whole new level. They have also taken up interesting campaigns wherein they are installing bill boards on flyovers stating the expenditure that went into making of those flyovers.

An Anti corruption helpline was launched, encouraging citizens to report cases of corruption. This has resulted in several officials being caught. Importantly, there is increased deterrence amongst officials, which has brought about a decrease in the acts of corruption in the city.

The “VIP” culture, which is a legacy left to us by our colonial rulers, has been abolished. ‘lal batti’ cars and other privileges have been brought to a halt by the AAP govt.

20 liters of water has been made free for all homes in Delhi. Also, the schedule of water tanker operations is now publicly available for citizens to assess. The AAP also launched a helpline number for parents to report cases of bribery and harassment by schools regarding nursery admissions of children.

AAP has demonstrated that information can become a weapon for popular mobilization and create endless possibilities for deeper governance reform.

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  • Don’t know what steps u r talking abt but one very visible AAP effect is that now only 1 out of 10 autowaala are using meters.
    AAM ADMI ki toh pata nahi bt autowaalo ki sarkar toh bann gayi hai. :-@

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Air Pollutants Can Be Stopped If They Are Frozen : Scientists

The air-quality across the NCR was very poor

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Pollution, pollutants, India, air pollution, WHO, diwali
India's Rashtrapati Bhawan, or the Presidential Palace is partly visible due to smog as traffic plies on Rajapth, the ceremonial boulevard in New Delhi. VOA

Freezing pollutants can prevent deadly outdoor air pollution — thought to cause more than three million premature deaths worldwide every year — from seeping indoors by 99 per cent, scientists have discovered.

The research, by a team of scientists from the Nottingham Trent University in the UK and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, involved studying the effectiveness of cryogenics for indoor air purification, by removing the gaseous pollutants and tiny particulates caused by haze.

The team found that as they circulated haze-polluted air through a cryogenic condenser, the finer particles stuck together in the condenser tube before dropping out by gravity, and emerging as clean air.

Air Pollution, China, WHO,Pollution, pollutants
A man wearing a respiratory protection mask walks toward an office building during the smog after a red alert was issued for heavy air pollution in Beijing’s central business district, China. VOA

Their method was able to remove 99 per cent of particulates and 98 per cent of nitrogen oxide pollutants.

“Hazardous outdoor air pollution has severely affected indoor air quality, threatening the health of billions of people,” said Professor Robert Mortimer, Dean of the School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences at Nottingham.

“Outdoor air pollution in cities is a global problem. While there are some existing technologies to purify indoor air, they can be inefficient, expensive or produce harmful by-products.

“When outdoor air quality is poor, people tend to spend even more time indoors – but outdoor pollution also leads to indoor pollution and people are still impacted.”

air pollution, Pollution, pollutants
In this Sept. 19, 2018 photo steam and cooling towers of a lignite power plant are reflected in a pond in Peitz, eastern Germany. VOA

The experiments, reported in the journal Science of the Total Environment, showed that by simply circulating polluted air through a small freezing chamber we can remove most of the fine particles and gas pollutants.

“Our study makes it possible to add an ‘air cleaner’ option to household appliances in areas which might experience extremely poor air conditions. By controlling indoor air pollution and improving air quality in this way, this work could be greatly beneficial for public health,” added Gang Pan, Professor at the varsity.

It is hoped that the work could pave the way for simple modification of air conditioning and humidifier units so that they can also clean polluted indoor air, the team said.

Air Quality, WHO, Pollution, pollutants
Air pollution can also damage your kidneys. wikimedia commons

Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) on Sunday witnessed “very poor” air quality with the minimum temperature recorded at 12.4 degrees Celsius, two notches below the season’s average.

Also Read: Delhi’s Air Quality Leads to Ban On Truck And Construction

The air-quality across the NCR was very poor, according to System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research.

The humidity at 8.30 a.m. was 87 per cent. The maximum temperature was likely to hover around 28 degrees Celsius. (IANS)