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PINAKI CHANDRA GHOSE SET TO BE INDIA’S FIRST LOKPAL
WHAT IS LOKPAL ? The Lokpal Act, which was passed in 2013 after a nationwide anti-corruption movement.
WHAT IT DOES ? It provides for setting up of Lokpal at the centre and Lokayuktas in the States to probe corruption complaints against top functionaries and public servants, including the Prime Minister and the Chief Ministers.
WHAT HAPPENED ? PM-led selection panel clears the former SC judge’s name
WHO IS HE ? He is former Supreme Court judge and current member of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Pinaki Chandra Ghose.
PAST HISTORY : Mr. Ghose was appointed as judge of the Calcutta High Court in 1997 and went on to become Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh before his elevation to the Supreme Court in 2013.
IMPORTANCE : He is is likely to be India’s first anti-corruption ombudsman, or Lokpal, after his name was cleared and recommended by the high-level selection committee chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
OTHER MEMBERS : Other members of the committee are Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and eminent jurist Mukul Rohatgi.
ONLY 26% OF RURAL TOILETS USE TWIN-LEACH PITS, FINDS SURVEY
Waste disposal from other toilets could turn into health and environmental nightmare
WHY TWIN- LEACH PITS ? The benefits of the “ do gadde ” or twin-pit latrines, which would create valuable farm manure from human excreta.
REASON : The waste from the remainder of rural toilets could create a new nightmare — harmful to health and the environment, and even pushing a new generation into manual scavenging.
SCHEME : Sanitation scheme Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
RESULT : A government-commissioned survey shows that just over a quarter of rural toilets use this twin-pit system.
HOW THIS WORKS :
· Under the twin-pit system, two pits are dug with honeycombed walls and earthen floors which allow liquid to percolate into the surrounding soil.
· When one pit is filled and closed off, waste flow is transferred to the second pit, allowing waste in the first pit to be converted into manure after a year or two.
POINT TO BE NOTED : Jharkhand, which is second on the list, with almost 58% of its toilets connected to twin pits, was declared open defecation free (ODF) only late last year.
INDIA, MALDIVES AGREE TO COOPERATE ON DEFENCE, DEVELOPMENT, HEALTH
WHAT HAPPENED ? India and the Maldives discussed measures to strengthen ties and agreed to collaborate in the fields of defence, development cooperation, capacity building and health.
POINT TO BE NOTED :
· She unveiled a plaque dedicating the renovated IGM Hospital to the people of Maldives in the city of Male.
· IGMH is the first and largest government health-care facility in the Maldives, built with Indian assistance.
U.N. MEET DILUTES INDIAN PLAN TO PHASE OUT SINGLE-USE PLASTIC
WHAT HAPPENED ? An ambitious resolution piloted by India to phase out single-use plastics by 2025, was watered down at the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) that concluded on in Nairobi.
POINT TO NOTE : World Environment Day summit was held on June 5, 2018 .
ON ! that day India pledged to eliminate single-use plastics from India by 2022. This was lauded by then UN Environment Chief, Erik Solheim.
RESULT ! This pushed several States — notably Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh — to enforce previous commitments to ban plastic bags and similar disposables.
THE BAD OUTCOME !!!! However, the final declaration on March 15 removed the firm timelines and edited out the “decisively” and only committed to a “reduction by 2030.”
A COMPANION TO PLASTIC BAN : Along with plastic, India also piloted a resolution on curbing nitrogen pollution.
· A Central Pollution Control Board estimate in 2015 says that Indian cities generate 15,000 tonnes of plastic waste daily and about 70% of the plastic produced in the country ends up as waste.
· Seventeen States have plastic bans, on paper.
· Experts have rued the inadequacy of collection and recycling systems to address the burgeoning plastic waste problem.
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