Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Plastic bottles in daily use

Around two million plastic bottles are bought every five minutes all over the world. 

At the bottom of the bottle, you will find a triangle with a number, which can be anywhere from one to seven. With the symbol you see, you can tell whether the plastic you hold is safe or not.

Number 1
Known as PET or PETE, the bottle with this number means that it should only be used once. This is because reusing them can expose people to a chemical substance called EPA. The plastic could possibly emit antimony, which is a heavy metal that can interfere with the hormones in the body. It is also possible that the plastic is carcinogenic.

Number 2
If you find a triangle with the number “2” in it, the bottle is known as HDPE or HDP, which is considered the good plastic. It is named so because it doesn’t have as much emission as the other types of chemicals used in the other bottles when in contact with water.

Number 3
Also labeled as V or PVC, the number 3 in the bottle means that it has two toxic chemicals that can both influence the hormones in the body. Still, PVC is the most used type of plastic around.

Number 4
LDPE plastics have the number 4, which means they don’t emit chemicals when used in water bottles. However, most of them are actually present in plastic bags.

Number 5
PP or number 5 plastics are also good types of plastics. They are recognizable because of their white color. Sometimes, they are transparent. PP plastics are common in cups of yogurt and syrup bottles.

Number 6
Although this emits STIREN, which is carcinogenic, this plastic is used in fast food packaging as well as in coffee cups.

Number 7
Finally, plastics with no labels are in this category where they are known as PC. You should not trust plastics without labels because they often emit BPA, which is a very harmful chemical. Unfortunately, PC plastics are common in containers for food, sports drink bottles, and worse, infant bottles.

If your bottle has 2, 4, or 5, you shouldn’t really worry. However, if it is labeled, 1, 3, 6, or 7, you are exposing yourself to the dangerous chemicals that these plastics emit.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Demand of Natural Gas in India

Demand of Natural Gas

             The Minister of State (I/C) for Petroleum & Natural Gas Shri Dharmendra Pradhan informed the Rajya Sabha in a written reply today that the details of natural gas production during 2014-15 to 2017-18 are as under:
Natural gas production (in mmscmd) *
2014-15 (Actual)
2015-16 (Projected)
2016-17 (Projected)
2017-18 (Projected)

* The availability of natural gas varies depending upon internal consumption and technical flaring of natural gas.
Presently, the normative requirement of gas for power sector at 70/75 % PLF is around 81.5 mmscmd and after commissioning of 5449 MW of gas based power generation capacity, the normative requirement of gas would be around 102.90 mmscmd.

The current requirement of natural gas for fertilizer sector is 49.321 mmscmd which would increase by 14.4 mmscmd by the end of 2017-18.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Licensed Umbilical Cord Blood Banks in the Country

Licensed Umbilical Cord Blood Banks in the Country

Drug Controller General of India has informed that umbilical cord blood banks are regulated under Drugs and Cosmetics Act and Rules 1945, which stores the umbilical cord blood. There are 14 umbilical cord blood banks approved and operating in the country, the State and UT wise details of which are given below:

Details of Licensed Umbilical Cord Blood Banks State/ UTs wise in India

Sr. No
Number of Blood banks
Name & address of UCB Bank
M/s Reliance Life Sciences Pvt. Ltd., at DhirubhaiAmbani Life Science Centre, R-282, TTC, Industrial Area, Thane Belapur Road, Rabale, Navi Mumbai-400071
M/s Ree Laboratories Pvt. Ltd., Unit No. 3, Andheri Industrial Estate, Veera Desai Road, Andheri (W), Mumbai-53
M/s Regenerative Medical Services Pvt. Ltd., S. No. 43, Plot No. 22, Shah Industrial Estate, Nangargaom, Lonawala, Maval, Pune, MS
M/s Cryobanks International India Pvt. Ltd.,129, Pace City-1, Sector 37, Gurgaon, Haryana
M/s Lifecell International Pvt. Ltd., Plot No. 26, Sector-4, IMT, Manesar, Gurgaon, Haryana
M/s Unistem Bio Sciences Pvt. Ltd., Plot No. 62, UdyogVihar, Phase-1, Gurgaon, Haryana
M/s Totipotent RX Cell Therapy Pvt. Ltd., At Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Sector-44, Gurgaon, Haryana
West Bengal
M/s Cord Life Sciences India Pvt. Ltd., PL Deuty Road, Off. Diamond Harbour Road, Bishnupur, South 24, Parganas, West Bengal-743503
M/s Narayana Hrudayalaya Tissue Bank & Stem Cells Research Centre, 258, Bommasandra Area, Bangalore-99
M/s Cryo Save (India) Pvt. Ltd., 183, Gayathri Tech Park, EPIP, Road IB, Whitefield, Bangalore-560066
Tamil Nadu
M/s Lifecell International Pvt. Ltd., S.No. 48, Keelakottaiyur Village, Kelambakkam, Vandalur Road, Chennai-48
M/s Stemcyte India Therapeutics Private Limited, Plot No. 1A, Bhat GIDC Estate, Gandhinagar, Gujarat
M/s Best Wellcare Management Services Pvt. Ltd. (Indu Stem Cell Bank), 3rd Floor, Vinraj Plaza, Opp.- Govt. Press, Kothi, Vadodara, Gujarat
Andhra Pradesh
M/s Path Care Labs Pvt Ltd., Survey No. 34, opp.-GeetanjaliEngg. College, Cheeriyal Village, Keesara Mandal, Ranga Reddy Dist., Andhra Pradesh

Measures taken to deter Smoking and Tobacco Consumption

Measures taken to deter Smoking and Tobacco Consumption

The Government has taken a series of measures to deter people from consuming tobacco products, including the following:

        I.                  Enactment of the “Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, (COTPA) 2003”.

     II.                  Ratification of WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

   III.                  Launch of the National Tobacco Control Programme (NTCP) in the year 2007-08.

  IV.                  Issuance of the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales) Regulations, 2011 dated 1st August 2011, under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, which lays down that tobacco and nicotine shall not be used as ingredients in any food products.

     V.                  Notification to regulate depiction of tobacco products or their use in films and TV programmes.

  VI.                  Public awareness campaigns through a variety of media.

VII.                  Increase in the Central Excise Duty and decrease in the dutyfree allowance of cigarettes and other tobacco products. 

Contamination of Ground Water in india

Contamination of Ground Water

Ground water quality data generated during various scientific studies and ground water quality monitoring by Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) indicates that the ground water in parts of 20 States is contaminated by Fluoride and in 21 States by Nitrate in excess of World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines.
 According to guideline, values for contaminants recommended by WHO (2011) for drinking water standards, Fluoride should not be more than 1.5 mg/l and nitrate should not be more than 50 mg/l. BIS limit for Fluoride is same and for Nitrate it is 45 mg/l as against 50 mg/l prescribed by WHO.

Ground water quality monitoring indicates that apart from Fluoride and Nitrate, ten States have excess concentration of Arsenic, twenty four States have higher concentration of Iron and fifteen States have higher concentration of Heavy Metals such as Lead, Chromium and Cadmium beyond norms prescribed by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS-2012).

Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation (MoDWS) has informed that 20% of the allocated funds under National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) are earmarked for water quality problems.
Further, the States may also utilize upto 67% of funds released under NRDWP for improving water quality of ground and surface water. Also, as a long term measure, all the State Governments have been advised to provide piped water supply from alternate safe sources to all water quality affected habitations with priority to cover Fluoride and Arsenic affected habitations. As a short term measure, the States were advised to set up community water treatment plants in all remaining Arsenic, Fluoride, Heavy Metals, toxic elements, pesticides and fertilizers affected habitations, providing 8-10 lpcd( liter per capita per day) of safe drinking water on or before March, 2017.

CGWB carries out exploratory drilling to delineate contaminant free aquifer zones and successful exploratory wells are handed over to the concerned State Agencies for utilization. CGWB also provides technical guidance to State Agencies in tackling the problem of water quality. 

Nirmal Ganga Sahbhagita Programme

Nirmal Ganga Sahbhagita Programme

The Government has launched ‘Nirmal Ganga Sahbhagita’ a sustainable initiative with Urban Local Bodies(ULBs) located on the banks of the river Ganga for achieving the objective of Clean Ganga. The initiative aims at sensitizing the ULBs about the pollution in river Ganga arising primarily due to dumping of solid waste in the river/nallas and to involve them in a long term engagement in stoppage of the solid waste flow from nallas/drains to the river. Apart from this ULBs can perform certain activities for achieving the shared objective of rejuvenating the river Ganga. National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) intends to enter in to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the ULBs for effective and fruitful engagement in this regard. The draft MoU is being prepared and the broad objective of the partnership is to involve the ULBs in the areas of solid waste management, installation and maintenance of clarifiers/screens in the nallas/drains to support primary treatment of waste water, maintaining ‘litter free zones’, 500m along the river basin; engaging volunteer force and youth in ghat cleaning & monitoring and conducting public outreach activities.  

Transgender as Third Gender

Transgender as Third Gender

An Expert Committee was constituted in the Ministry to make an in-depth study of the problems being faced by the Transgender community and suggest suitable measures to ameliorate their problems. The Committee submitted its report on 27th January, 2014. One of the recommendations of the Committee is to declare transgender as ‘third gender’ and for indicating the gender on official documents. 

Contribution of MSMEs to GDP

On the basis of the data on GDP published by Central Statistics Office (CSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) and final results of the latest Census (Fourth Census), conducted (with base reference year 2006-07), wherein the data was collected till 2009 and results published in 2011-12, the estimated contribution of manufacturing MSME sector to GDP during 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12 & 2012-13 are 7.52%, 7.45%, 7.39%, 7.27% & 7.04% respectively, as per the revised methodology suggested by CSO, MoSPI. 

Share of Nuclear power in India

There  are  21  nuclear  power  reactors  in  the  country  with  a  total installed capacity of 5780 MW. Of these, one reactor, Rajasthan Atomic Power Station Unit 1 (RAPS – 1) (100 MW) at Rawatbhata, Rajasthan is currently under extended shutdown for techno-economic assessment for continued operation.
The Kudankulam Unit – 2 is presently under commissioning. The unit is expected to be commissioned in 2015-16.
There are five reactors which are presently under various stages of construction with a total capacity of 3300 MW. The details of these reactors are as tabulated below:
Kakrapar Atomic Power  Project
Units 3&4 (KAPP 3&4)
2 X 700
 Rajasthan Atomic Power Project
Units 7&8 (RAPP 7&8)
2 X 700
Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor
Tamil Nadu

Presently, of the reactors with total capacity of 5680 MW in operation, reactors with a capacity of 3280 MW are fuelled by imported fuel and are operated at rated capacity. The remaining reactors with a capacity of 2400 MW are fuelled by indigenous fuel which are being operated close to the rated capacity, matching the fuel supply.

The share of the nuclear power generation in the total electricity production in the country in the financial year 2014-15 was of the order of 3.6% (including 2242 Million Units power generation from Kudankulam Unit-1 prior to its commercial operation).

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Revised Agreement between India and the Republic of Korea for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and Prevention of fiscal evasion taxes on income

Revised Agreement between India and the Republic of Korea for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and Prevention of fiscal evasion taxes on income

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval for revising the Double Taxation Avoidance Convention (DTAC) which was signed in 1985, between India and the Republic of Korea, for the avoidance of double taxation and for the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.

The revised Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) will provide tax stability to the residents of India and Korea and facilitate mutual economic cooperation as well as stimulate the flow of investment, technology and services between the two countries.

The revised DTAA provides for source based taxation of capital gains, provisions for making adjustments to profits of associated enterprises on the basis of arm's length principle, provides for residence based taxation of shipping income, provisions for service of permanent establishment, rationalizes tax rates in the Articles on Dividends, Interest and Royalties and Fees for Technical Services.

The Agreement further incorporates provisions for effective exchange of information and assistance in collection of taxes between tax authorities and also incorporates limitation of benefits provisions, to ensure that the benefits of the Agreement are availed of by genuine residents of both countries.