Patna, Muzaffarpur among 32 most polluted cities across world
The state capital and Muzaffarpur figure among the 32 most polluted cities globally, according to the ‘World Air Quality Report, 2020’ released by a Swiss company.
The report shows an alarming level of poor air quality in both cities as the average annual PM 2.5 (particulate matter less than 2.5 microns) was recorded above 55.5 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m3), which comes under the ‘unhealthy’ category.
Muzaffarpur ranked 28th with an average annual PM 2.5 level of 74.3ug/m3 last year (81.2 in 2019), while Patna stood at 32nd spot with 68.4 ug/m3 (82.1 in 2019) of PM 2.5 level. With PM2.5 levels of 54ug/m3 and 46.3 ug/m3, Hajipur and Gaya respectively ranked 68th and 135th in the world.
Compared to 2019, the data shows a gradual improvement due to the Covid-19 lockdown for over four months starting mid-March.
Muzaffarpur has also shown poor performance in the Ease of Living Index 2020, a government survey of cities across the country released on March 4. The city found itself at the bottom of the list when surveyed on 13 different categories, including quality of life, sustainability, health, education among other parameters.
As per the report, Patna and Muzaffarpur did not record a single day in 2020 where the pollution level was at the World Health Organization standard. Muzaffarpur’s air quality in January 2020 turned entered the ‘very unhealthy’ category while in other months, it was in the ‘unhealthy’ zone and unhealthy for sensitive groups.
The global cities ranking report is based on PM2.5 data from 106 countries measured by ground-based monitoring stations, mostly operated by government agencies.
SAARC Development Fund Crossed $50 Million
The SAARC Development Fund grants more than US$50 million for projects in the eight member states of SAARC. Highlights:
The SAARC Development Fund (SDF) was established in 2010 by the heads of the eight SAARC member states to promote the welfare of the people in the SAARC area, improve their quality of life, and promote economic growth, social progress and poverty alleviation in South America. SDF has 3 financing windows, namely social, economic and infrastructure windows.
The focus of the social window is to provide funding for projects in poverty alleviation, health improvement and education. The economic window funds non-infrastructure projects like trade and industrial development, etc. Infrastructure Window Fund projects in the fields of energy, power, transportation, etc.
Jal Shakti Abhiyan – Catch the Rain Campaign
Launched the “Catch a Rain” campaign on the occasion of “World Water Day” (March 22). Highlights:
The campaign will be carried out in rural and urban areas across the country, with the theme “catch the rain, where it falls, when it falls”.
It will be implemented from March 22, 2021 to November 30, 2021 (the country’s pre-monsoon and monsoon period).
Jal Shakti Abhiyan will be launched as Jan Andolan, bringing water conservation to the grassroots through people’s participation.
Aims to promote all stakeholders to create rainwater collection structures suitable for climatic conditions and underground soil strata to ensure proper storage of rainwater.
Department OF Biotechnology – National Biopharma Mission
The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) has initiated the National Biopharmaceutical Mission approved by the Cabinet, with the aim of strengthening emerging biotech companies across India. Industry-Academia Collaborative Mission for Accelerating Discovery Research to Early Development for Biopharmaceuticals – Innovate in India (I3) Empowering biotech entrepreneurs & accelerating inclusive innovation is name of the mission.
About National Biopharma Mission:
A National Biopharma mission was initiated to support small and medium-sized enterprises so that they can overcome the risks associated with the early stages of product development. It promotes entrepreneurship by supporting enhanced interconnections between industry and academia. It also provides guidance and training for academia, innovators and entrepreneurs.
The delegation further promoted the domestic manufacturing industry through shared national facilities (such as GLP analysis facilities, cell line databases and the establishment of clinical trial networks). Objectives of the mission:
Develop products from potential customers who are in the advanced stage of the product development life cycle.
Strengthen and establish a shared infrastructure to verify and manufacture products.
Develop human capital by providing specialized training to address the “key skills gap” between researchers and nascent biotech companies.
Singhraj Of India Wins Gold In 2021 World Shooting Para Sport World Cup
Singhraj defeated Ibragimov(Uzbekistan) and won the highest honor in the P1 men’s 10m air pistol SH1 final. Highlights: Indian player Singhraj won the gold medal in the Para-Shooting World Cup (2021) held in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates on March 21, 2021. Singolaji defeated Ibragimov(Uzbekistan) with 2.8 points and won the P1’s highest honor men’s 10m air pistol SH1 final. The final score between the shooters is 236.8-234. In fact, after the penultimate final, Ibrahimmov of Uzbekistan led the game by only 0.1 points.
Launch of Central Scrutiny Centre
The Minister of Finance launched the Central Scrutiny Centre (CSC) to review user files. About the Central Scrutiny Centre:
CSC is a program of the Corporate Affairs Ministry that aims to check user records through a direct process.
The purpose of launching CSC is to ensure that data quality is not affected and is free of defects.
CSC will first carefully check the documents submitted by users in the straight-through process, identify data quality problems and irregularities, and communicate them with the relevant company registry so that corrective measures can be taken to restore the authenticity and correctness of the data, and can be seamlessly shared with other regulatory agencies if necessary.
Green Zone Sites Approved For Drone Operations
34 Green Zone sites were approved for “No-Permission-No-Take off’ (NPNT) -compatible drone operations. Highlights:
The Ministry of Civil Aviation has approved the licensing of drone operations for “No-Permission-No-Take off’ (NPNT) in another 34 green areas to facilitate, simplify and promote drone operations in the country.
The approved location allows drones to be used up to 400 feet Above Ground Level (AGL).
These areas are in addition to the 26 green zone sites approved in February 2021 and the 6 green zone sites approved in April 2020. NPNT Compliance:
According to the regulations of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), “NPNT or ‘No Permission – No Take-off’” compliance enables all remotely piloted aircraft (except Nano) to obtain a valid permit through the Digital Sky platform before operating in India.
Development of Iconic Tourist Destinations Scheme
In order to promote India as a destination for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE), the Ministry of Tourism, in cooperation with Madhya Pradesh Tourism Authority and India Convention Promotion Bureau, organized the “Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions(MICE) Roadshow-Meeting in India” Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh. Khajuraho is one of the country’s iconic tourist attractions. About Development of Iconic Tourist Destinations Scheme:
This is a central sector scheme that aims to adopt a holistic approach to develop 19 iconic destinations identified in the country.
The tourist attractions identified as landmark destinations under the scheme are:
Taj Mahal & Fatehpur Sikri (Uttar Pradesh)
Ajanta Caves & Ellora Caves (Maharashtra) ♦ Humayun’s Tomb, Red Fort & Qutub Minar (Delhi) ♦ Colva Beach (Goa) ♦ Amer Fort (Rajasthan) ♦ Somnath , Dholavira & Statue of Unity (Gujarat) ♦ Khajuraho (MP) ♦ Hampi (Karnataka) ♦ Mahabalipuram (Tamil Nadu) ♦ Kaziranga (Assam) ♦ Kumarakom (Kerala) ♦ Konark (Odisha) ♦ Mahabodhi Temple (Bihar).
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