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SIAM Urge Government to Hold Wider Consultations, Follow Practical Approach on Electric Vehicles

The ambition needs to be tempered with a practical approach

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SIAM, Government, Electric Vehicles
The automotive industry fully supports an ambitious aspiration of the NITI Aayog in bringing in electric mobility in the country as soon as possible. Pixabay

Cautioning the government over the draft electric vehicle (EV)policy, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) on Sunday said the government should adopt a practical approach towards adoption of EVs, without disrupting the automotive industry.

A steering committee headed by Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant has in a report laid out a roadmap for rollout of electric vehicles in a phased manner whereby it has proposed that all three-wheelers and two-wheelers below 150cc will need to go electric by 2023 and 2025, respectively.

“The automotive industry fully supports an ambitious aspiration of the NITI Aayog in bringing in electric mobility in the country as soon as possible. However, the ambition needs to be tempered with a practical approach and what is possible without needlessly disrupting the automotive industry,” a statement from SIAM quoted its President Rajan Wadhera as saying.

He observed that the industry is currently facing multiple challenges of “leapfrogging to BS-VI emission norms, complying with many new safety norms etc, in the shortest time-frame ever attempted in the world”.

SIAM, Government, Electric Vehicles
The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) on Sunday said the government should adopt a practical approach towards adoption of EVs. Pixabay

The transition to BS-VI involves investments of the order of Rs 70,000-80,000 crore, he said, adding that the thought of banning sale of sub-150cc three-wheelers and two-wheelers by 2023 and 2025 respectively seems to be impractical as well as untimely.

Wadhera futher said: “None of the stakeholders in the country — industry, government nor the suppliers — have any meaningful experience of EVs to even contemplate a complete 100 per cent shift to 2/3 wheeler EVs by 2023/2025.”

In the current scenario, any policy to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles would lead to a policy induced disruption which could result in significant damage to the auto industry and spell a big blow to the overall ecosystem of the related medium, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME), with its related impact on employment, he added.

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“What is required is a well laid out roadmap for an ambitious EV rollout over a practical timeframe along with an integrated plan for setting up the necessary infrastructure across the length and breadth of the country, in consultation with all stakeholders.” (IANS)

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US Preschoolers on Government Food Aid Grown Less Pudgy: Study

Obesity rates dropped steadily to about 14% in 2016

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US, Preschoolers, Government
A photo shows a closeup of a beam scale in a Federal building in Washington, D.C., June 18, 2019. (Photo: Diaa Bekheet). Preschoolers on government food aid have grown a little less pudgy, a U.S. study found. A photo shows a closeup of a beam scale in a Federal building in Washington, D.C., June 18, 2019. (Photo: Diaa Bekheet). VOA

Preschoolers on government food aid have grown a little less pudgy, a U.S. study found, offering fresh evidence that previous signs of declining obesity rates weren’t a fluke.

Obesity rates dropped steadily to about 14% in 2016 — the latest data available — from 16% in 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

“It gives us more hope that this is a real change,” said Heidi Blanck, who heads obesity prevention at the CDC.

The results were published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

US, Preschoolers, Government
Preschoolers on government food aid have grown a little less pudgy. VOA

The improvement affected youngsters ages 2 through 4 who receive food vouchers and other services in the federal Women, Infants and Children nutrition program. About 1 in 5 U.S. kids that age were enrolled in 2016.

An earlier report involving program participants the same age found at least small declines in obesity in 18 states between 2008 and 2011. That was the first decline after years of increases that later plateaued, and researchers weren’t sure if it was just a blip.

Improvements in food options in that program including adding more fruits, vegetables and whole grains may have contributed to the back-to-back obesity declines, researchers said. Other data show obesity rates in 2016 were stable but similar, about 14 percent, for children aged 2 to 5 who were not enrolled in the program, Blanck noted.

While too many U.S. children are still too heavy, the findings should be celebrated, said Dr. William Dietz, a former CDC obesity expert. “The changes are meaningful and substantial.”

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Dietz said program changes that cut the amount of juice allowed and switched from high-fat to low-fat milk likely had the biggest impact. He estimated that amounted to an average of 9,000 fewer monthly calories per child.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends low-fat milk for children. It also suggests kids should limit juice intake and choose fresh fruits instead.

Further reducing U.S. childhood obesity will require broader changes — such as encouraging families and day care centers to routinely serve fruits, vegetables and whole grains; and employers to extend parental leave to make breastfeeding easier for new mothers, said Maureen Black, a child development and nutrition specialist at the University of Maryland.

Studies have shown breastfed infants are less likely than others to become obese later on. (VOA)