India | Centre for Science and Environment

India


Pact on POPs

India signs Stockholm Convention

Source Url: 
http://downtoearth.org.in/node/14737

Endosulfan Conspiracy

It was in February 2001 that Down To Earth broke the story.

Source Url: 
http://www.indiaenvironmentportal.org.in/node/457

Indian scientists: missing in action

By: Sunita Narain

I suspect Indian scientists have retired hurt to the pavilion. They were exposed to nasty public scrutiny on a deal made by a premier science research establishment, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), with Devas, a private company, on the allocation of spectrum. The public’s verdict was that the arrangement was a scandal; public resources had been given away for a song.

Battle for the Internet

By Latha Jishnu and Arnab Pratim Dutta

As the Internet turns into the public square and the marketplace of our world, it is increasingly becoming a contested terrain. Governments, corporations and even seemingly innocuous social networking sites want to control and influence the way it operates 

Briefs

Toxic neighbours
Happy that a petrol pump’s right next to your home? Here’s something to worry about. It has been found that if you live within a 100 metre radius of a petrol pump, you are vulnerable to cancer because of the high level of pollution. Airborne chemicals, coming mostly from unburned fuel evaporating during refilling of the stations’ storage tanks, during automobile refueling and from spillage, are to blame for this health hazard.

Data quantified

Connected events and difficult future

Two major events happening at two ends of the world—Japan’s natural disaster and nuclear fallout and unrest in Libya and other countries of the region—have one thing in common. Energy. The fallout from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, hit by earthquake and then the tsunami, has not yet been contained. As I write this, news is breaking about possible contamination of the seawater surrounding the damaged installation. Fears are it could lead to groundwater contamination and radioactive toxins in the food and fish. Last week there was a scare when Tokyo’s water was reported to have iodine 131 in excess of safe limits. Nobody really knows how badly the core of the reactor is damaged. Nobody’s clear how Fukushima’s problems will be buried.

BIS agrees Phthalates are harmful

The BIS agrees that there is a need to regulate the use of phthalates in toys. The BIS stated this in a response to the Bombay High Court on Feb 24th 2011. The court was hearing a PIL filed by the Consumers Welfare Association in 2007, seeking action against the sale of toxic toys in India. The Bombay High Court bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice D Y Chandrachud in September last year, asked the BIS to respond to central government's suggestions on the need to regulate the use of phthalates in toys.

bis.jpg

Indian scientists: missing in action

I suspect Indian scientists have retired hurt to the pavilion. They were exposed to nasty public scrutiny on a deal made by a premier science research establishment, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), with Devas, a private company, on the allocation of spectrum. The public’s verdict was that the arrangement was a scandal; public resources had been given away for a song. The government, already scam-bruised, hastily scrapped the contract. Since then there has been dead silence among the powerful scientific leaders of the country, with one exception. Kiran Karnik, a former employee of ISRO and board member of Devas, spoke out. He explained it is wrong to equate this deal with the scam of mobile telephony, where it was alleged that the minister fiddled with procedures to hand out spectrum at throwaway prices. The reason is that this band of spectrum called S-band, reserved for use in satellites, is different from terrestrial spectrum used by mobile operators. In the S-band the users are different, risks are higher and the customer base is smaller. Hence, the cost calculations done for terrestrial spectrum cannot be used to estimate the loss to the exchequer in the ISRO-Devas contract.

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