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With Delhi facing another tryst with air pollution, several environmental experts believe that the problem goes beyond the national capital and that the country needs to ramp up the number of air quality pollution monitoring stations to quantify the problem and prioritize the areas which require immediate attention.
As per the data of the Central Pollution Control Board, there are 793 operating stations in 344 cities and towns.
Currently, the country has only 230 continuous monitors. Most of these stations, residential or industrial, are located in urban areas, and the coverage in the rural areas is sparse. This is relevant since residential combustion emissions, associated with solid fuel use, are a key source of air pollution.
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Sarath Guttikunda, director of Urban Emissions (India), an independent research group on air pollution, told IANS that the air pollution monitoring stations are still limited in India, and out of the 230 continuous monitors, 75 are in and around Delhi and most of the cities have 1-2 stations, which is not a representative sample.
“We have an understanding of the models and some monitoring that air pollution is a problem in both urban and rural areas. A true sense of the scale of the air pollution problem will be visible only if we monitor air quality properly to the extent that the data represents the problem spatially and temporally,” he added.
There is a substantial gap in the availability of data on air pollution due to the lack of real-time air quality monitoring stations in many cities. Many locations have manual air quality monitoring stations that take days to show the result and are also subject to human errors.
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As per the Urban Emissions, the country needs 4,000 continuous monitoring stations — 2,800 in the urban areas and 1,200 in the rural areas of the districts based on the thumb rule proposed by CPCB in a bid to spatially, temporally, and statistically represent the pollution in the urban and the rural areas.
According to Hemant Kaushal, Project Coordinator at IIT Delhi’s Centre of Excellence for Research on Clean Air, China has 4,000-5,000 pollution monitoring stations, and considering the population, India must increase the numbers of such stations.
“Even though the government is putting efforts to increase them, the instruments are quite costly and cost a couple of crores. The procurement process is also slow and bureaucratic. Although they have started the process of procuring, the process itself is so long and it takes a lot of time to get the machines,” he said.
Kaushal added, “India needs to increase the number of monitoring stations in the non-attainment cities. Rural areas are untouched and have a lot of pollution. Stock burning starts from rural areas only. The people in those areas are badly affected by it.”
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Giving a plausible solution, Kaushal stated that apart from the regulatory grade equipment the country must increase awareness amongst the people through low-cost sensors to fill the gap as high-cost instruments cannot be placed everywhere.
Calling it a national crisis, Sunil Dahiya, Analyst at Centre of Excellence for Research on Clean Air said that Delhi has enough monitoring stations for authorities to take actions, but it is also important to focus on regions beyond Delhi. “It is very important for more monitoring to be done and data to be made available in the public domain so that other regions can move towards cleaner air.”
Want to read more in Hindi? Checkout: जानिए ट्रोल्स को लेकर क्या कहना है कॉमेडी किंग कपिल शर्मा का
He said that till the time the monitoring stations are installed across the country, data collected by the CPCB from the ambient air quality monitoring station and continuous emission monitoring station of the industries across the country should be put out in the public domain.
Hindrances to the stationing of these pollution monitoring stations are, however, multi-fold. There is a need for finances to set up the infrastructure as on average a continuous monitoring system costs upwards of Rs 1.5 crores, plus operation and maintenance costs.
Another limitation is that the Central Pollution Control Board does not have adequate staff to manage and maintain the units across that they would put in place, said Barun Aggarwal, CEO of BreatheEasy. “Cost of the stations is, of course, a hindrance, but the cost of not doing something in terms of the health of the people of our country is much more.” (IANS)
Every child who grew up in the 90s and the early 00s has certainly grown up around Tom and Jerry, the adorable, infamous cat-chases-mouse cartoon. The idea of naughtiness and playing mischief had the standards that this particular series set for children and defined how much wreckage was funny enough.
The show's creators, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera initially named their characters Jasper and Jinx. They did not plan for the fame that Tom and Jerry brought them when they released a movie by the name of "Puss Gets the Boot". This movie featured a certain cat and mouse who were a notorious pair, named Jasper and Jinx. When the movie became a hit, the names of the characters were changed and the show shot to fame.
Tom and Jerry became a go-to cartoon for children in the early 00s, and it was one of those shows with a firm foundation, that had already been in the running for decades. The original template had been planned nearly 80 years ago, and the makers did not change it. The music that was played in the many episodes, made a breakthrough in its own way. It is the most easily recognizable melody with utterly nostalgic associations.
Today, Tom and Jerry is still a household name in homes where children love cartoons Image credit: wikimedia commons
A set of supporting characters were defined for the show, to occasionally take the focus off the original pair. There was a large, black woman named Mammy Two Shoes and a bulldog who took Jerry's side. Mammy Two Shoes was discontinued because her character portrayed racist tendencies. A tall white woman replaced her, who was kinder and loved mice. Either of the women's faces was never revealed.
Today, Tom and Jerry is still a household name in homes where children love cartoons. There are a host of other shows besides this that aim to replicate the same aspects of the cartoon but do not come close at all. Despite the immense amount of violence in the show, it is a beloved pastime of parents and children alike.
Keywords: Tom and Jerry, Cartoon, Hanna and Barbera, Television
One of India's leading private museums, the Museum of Art & Photography (MAP) Bengaluru, has released new primary research conducted by the ReReeti Foundation, on audience behaviour in India's cultural sector. While more than half of the respondents thought the arts and culture are essential, they rarely manage to make time for it. The majority (60.6 per cent), mostly young people under 30, felt Indian museums could present more engaging content, and most perceived culture as anthropological/ sociological. Of the diverse categories included, music emerged as the most popular cultural activity.
The report is based on a survey of 500 people, which included school and college students, professionals across sectors, homemakers and senior citizens. The first initiative of its kind in the cultural space, the report shares valuable insights into the behaviour and expectations of Indian audiences engaging with a broad range of cultural activities. As part of MAP's mission to foster meaningful connections between communities and the cultural sector globally, which includes its innovative digital programme Museums Without Borders, the report shares a wealth of insights that can help museums across the country understand their audiences better. As much as 60.6 per cent said Indian museums are not experimental enough, and can do more to create engaging content that is also relevant to surrounding communities.As much as 60.6 per cent said Indian museums are not experimental enough, and can do more to create engaging content that is also relevant to surrounding communities.
As much as 60.6 per cent said Indian museums are not experimental enough, and can do more to create engaging content that is also relevant to surrounding communities. | Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Speaking on the recent report, Kamini Sawhney, Director, Museum of Art & Photography (MAP), said, "MAP is focused on changing the notion of a museum in India, by enabling more relevant and inclusive programming, both online and in our space in Bengaluru. The audience research commissioned by MAP, and conducted by the ReReeti Foundation, provides valuable, and actionable insights which we hope will help museums across the country better understand their consumer base, improve decision making and deepen social impact." As much as 62.3 per cent college students and 47.6 per cent professionals/homemakers perceive culture as anthropological and sociological. Music was the most popular cultural event likely to be attended, followed by heritage tours and plays/comedy shows for Indian audiences.
Over 70 per cent of college students visit museums with family and friends; working professionals, homemakers and senior citizens also predominantly visit with groups/ spouses (indicating a need to focus on increased group programming/facilitation). As much as 68 per cent of people were optimistic about going outdoors for activities and events in 2021. As much as 60.6 per cent said Indian museums are not experimental enough, and can do more to create engaging content that is also relevant to surrounding communities.(IANS/MBI)
Keywords: Art, Culture, India, Museum, Music
What is the best way to save Goa from deforestation?
Drinking feni, may well be the answer, says the secretary of the Goa Cashew Feni Distillers and Bottlers Association Hansel Vaz, who on Thursday said, that sipping the state's unique alcoholic drink and making it popular would directly aid the greening of Goa's hills and other barren landscapes.
"To get more cashews, we need to plant more trees. I always say, by drinking feni you will save Goa, because we will be planting more cashew trees and we will have greener hills. The beauty of cashew is you do not need fertile land. You can grow it on a hill which can provide no nutrition. We will be able to grow more trees, if we can sell feni properly," Vaz said. Vaz's comments come at a time when the hillsides of the coastal state have witnessed significant deforestation for real estate development and for infrastructure projects. Feni is manufactured by fermenting and double distilling juice from the cashew apple.
Best way to keep Goa green is to grab yourself a glass of feni. | IANS
Addressing a press conference in Panaji, Vaz also said that the promotion of feni was also in sync with the Prime Minister's vision for India to go "vocal for local". "There is no conglomerate, multinational company owning the drink. So every time we sell feni, it is a direct cash injection into Goa. If you sell a feni cocktail in Calangute (a popular beach village), it makes a direct impact in Valpoi and Bicholim, because this money is going down there," the Association official said at a press conference in Panaji.
The Association held the media briefing to announce a road map ahead for the feni industry, especially vis a vis streamlining aspects related to production, standardisation and marketing of the brew to make it popular in other Indian states and abroad.
The efforts to streamline the state "heritage drink" comes a month after the Goa government notified a formal policy, 'Goa Feni Policy 2021', which covers 26 different varieties of feni distilled in the state. "There were many barriers related to feni, which the policy has now addressed," treasurer of the Association Tukaram Haldankar said. One such hurdle was the previous government classification, which described feni as "country liquor", which would deter tourists from purchasing the drink. The reclassification of feni as a state "heritage drink" has lent dignity to the brew which has been manufactured locally in Goa since the 16th century.
But there is more the government can do, along with the state's traditional distillers and manufacturers to promote feni, Haldankar said. | Photo by Ishvani Hans on Unsplash
But there is more the government can do, along with the state's traditional distillers and manufacturers to promote feni, Haldankar said. "We request the government to allow the sale of feni in duty free stores in airports and cruise liner terminals. The government should also support us through the department of Tourism, so that feni can be promoted in its programmes. iIf you go to Scotland, they promote Scotch. Goa should promote its feni to Goa," Haldankar said, adding that traditional distillers should also be given subsidies and other measures should be taken to standardise feni, which he said, "would require further subsidies and financial assistance from the government".
"It should be a standard product like scotch, champagne," Haldankar said. "Like Mexico's tequila, Russian vodka and Japan's sake, we need to export our feni across the country and the world and the local distillers should also benefit economically," president of the Association Gurudutt Bhakta also said. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: deforestation,cashew,distillers,association,government, goa, feni, India