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India and US reach agreement on phasing out super Greenhouse Gases

Delegates from nearly 200 countries are attending the 28th meeting of the Parties to the 1989 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer

Representational image. Pixabay

Kigali (Rwanda), October 15, 2016: India and the US on Friday reached a consensus over bringing down the consumption of hydro fluorocarbons (HFCs) used in air-conditioners and refrigerators, said an Indian official.

“In the original proposal we have no freeze year (for HFCs) but this morning we clarified that we can have freeze at 2030,” India’s lead negotiator Manoj Kumar Singh, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Forests, told IANS.

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He said in the second round of talks between Indian Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave and US Secretary of State John Kerry, the freezing year was advanced to 2028 with a condition that there would be a review of technology somewhere around 2023 or 2024.

“If India finds that the refrigeration sector is growing at much faster rate and it cannot accommodate within the available refrigerant, then India will free to go to 2030 as freeze year,” he said.

Singh said the review would be done by the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel under the Montreal Protocol.

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“But it will be mutually agreed upon by India and other parties. Without India, no one can unilaterally decide that what is the growth rate which will trigger that mechanism,” he said.

For smooth transition to developing new technologies indigenously, there is a huge financial burden on India — both for the industry and the consumers.

Delegates from nearly 200 countries are attending the 28th meeting of the Parties to the 1989 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.

Dave told IANS an equitable agreement reached that is in the best interests of the nation, its people and the industry.

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In India, it will cost 12 billion euros (Rs 90,000 crore) to shift from HFCs to the greener gases between 2015 and 2050, the New Delhi-based think-tank Council on Energy, Environment and Water said on September 27.

Experts say though HFCs do not harm the ozone layer, they have a high global warming potential.

Their elimination will ultimately help avoiding an up to 0.5 degree Celsius rise in global temperature by the end of the century and will significantly contribute towards the global goal of staying well below two degrees.

The Montreal Protocol was designed to protect the ozone layer by reducing the production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances. It was agreed to on September 16, 1987, and entered into force on January 1, 1989.

Since then it has banned the use of several ozone-depleting substances, including chlorofluorocarbons, which were replaced by HFCs. (IANS)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google comes up with a new feature

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?