Showing posts from August, 2005


Whistle-blowing "whistleblowers" are individuals who witness an illegal and improper acts and inform it to the public. This is done with a view to have the witnessed act stopped, sanctioned and rectified. One should grant whistleblowers their anonymity in public interest. As per the Press Release issued by Central Vigilance Commission, the Government of India has authorized the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) as the ‘Designated Agency’ to receive written complaints for disclosure on any allegation of corruption or misuse of office and recommend appropriate action. The jurisdiction of the Commission in this regard would be restricted to any employee of the Central Government or of any corporation established by or under any Central Act, government companies, societies or local authorities owned or controlled by the Central Government. Personnel employed by the State Governments and activities of the State Governments or its Corporations etc. will not come under t

Eggs have Dioxins

A recent study that examined eggs in 20 countries across five continents reveals that Indian chicken egg samples carry the most poisonous chemical known to mankind - dioxins. Indian chicken egg samples were found to contain five and a half times the amount of dioxin permitted by the European Union. In addition, samples exceeded the proposed limits for PCBs by 4.7-fold. The toxic elements have been found in samples from all countries, clearly pointing to the global nature of the problem. When compared to other countries, the Indian samples were found to have almost five times the amount of dioxins than that found in egg samples from Belarus (Bolshoy Trostenec dumpsite) and Czech Republic (near chemical plant) and almost two-fold higher than those observed in samples from Slovakia (near a municipal waste incinerator). The dioxin levels were slightly low in comparison to those found in eggs collected at the Dandora dumpsite in Kenya. Results from other countries shall be released soon


Asbestos scare prompts Pilbara factory walkout Hundreds of workers have walked off the job at a Pilbara fertiliser factory in north-west Western Australia over an asbestos scare. The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union says the blue asbestos, which is contained in gaskets imported from India, has contaminated the Burrup Fertilisers plant. A union spokesman says the gaskets are "lying around all over the place" and the workers will only go back once the areas contaminated with asbestos have been identified and isolated. A WorkSafe investigator has been called in and the gaskets are being examined to determine whether they do in fact contain asbestos. Source: Laurie Kazan-Allen EU to implement new electronic waste rules New rules on electric and electronic waste is expected to come into force in the European Union (EU) on Saturday(13th Aug, 2005) when televisions, computers and other equipment can be exchanged free of charge to sho

What exists must be acknowledged

What exists must be acknowledged Be it Kamasutra, The Perfumed Garden, The Almond- they exist and they have been classics-one can argue about whether its erotica or pornography. In the past Chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC)have proposed to legalise porn. It has been argued that almost every city/villages has cinemas/video parlours which show adult movies illegally in the morning show. Porn is shown everywhere the best way to fight it is to show them openly in theatres with legally authorised licences. But this the change can only happen if the law was changed through an act of parliament. Some Film researchers from India & Europe whom I happened to know bought such Indian films shown in morning shows to ascertain for themselves what the hype was all about concluded -the hype is not worth it-its so damn boring, they concluded. Most of us have problems with TOI but they have a point of view and we should exercise our po

Winners, Losers and Looters of IIMC

A feast is on at IIMC. Once again there is a new batch of over 150 youngsters full of dreams and aspirations. Most of them feel that they have “arrived” once having got admission in IIMC. The “exterior” of IIMC is so beautiful that it is quite deceptive. It creates an illusion that it is the best mass communication institute in the country (and the NAM countries) if not in the world. The glitter in the eyes of new entrants and the bristling activity in IIMC campus in the beginning of new academic year reflect a hope. And, it is this hope that bad teachers and instructors attempt to blur as their first lesson to the students. Every enslaving act has first to kill hope. IIMC Management pretends ignorance about the fcat that this hope is under a full-scale assault by bad teachers & instructors, the crooks and those in between. The Management seems to be hand in glove with corporate media schools to erode the importance IIMC. Wittingly or unwittingly IIMC Management is part of a co

Waste burning is not renewable energy!

It is alarming to note that at a time when the Ministry of Commerce and Industry is taking a progressive stance, the Ministry of Science and Technology is promoting the use of incinerators. Quite contrary to what Vilas Muttemwar, the Minister for Non-conventional Energy Sources said today at the National Conference on Renewable Energy for Urban Affairs with a view to demonstrate the waste-to-energy (WTE) projects in Hyderabad, Vijaywada and Lucknow for treatment of urban waste, "Municipal solid waste is not considered to be a renewable energy source since it tends to be a mixture of fuels that can be traced back to renewable and non-renewable sources," says Energy Program Coordinator Mark Radka for the UN Environment Program. Energy generated from waste by burning is highly polluting. Attempts are under way by vested interests to promote non-renewable energy sources as renewable energy

Boycott all asbestos-containing products

BANI appeals to citizens to boycott all asbestos-containing products, and thus save themselves from asbestos exposure. After the Mumbai flood disaster like Tsunami, the victims should not be exposed to asbestos building materials in the name of providing housing for their relief. Even as the Minerals and Metals Trading Corporation (MMTC) under the Ministry of Commerce continues to trade in white asbestos and its products, asbestos is now a totally banned substance throughout all 25-member countries of the European Union (EU), thus taking the number of countries which have banned asbestos to almost 40. This is happening in a situation where Union Ministry of Health and Ministry of Environment and Forests have different views on whether white asbestos (chrysotile) causes cancer or not. The former has informed Parliament that it’s a carcinogen and the latter has informed Parliament that it’s

Inappropriate technology for waste treatment

Environmental groups express their concerns about the installation of two proposed municipal solid waste to energy plants in Timarpur and Okhla, based on incineration of Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF). To, Mr Rakesh Mehta Commissioner, MCD Town Hall Delhi Sub: Inappropriate technology for waste treatment Dear Mr Mehta, This is with reference to initiative by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Limited (IFLFSL) for the installation of two proposed municipal solid waste (MSW) to energy plants in Timarpur and Okhla, based on incineration of Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF). We would like to state our concerns about this venture. Sir, we are various environmental groups working on issues of urban waste and appropriate waste technologies in the country. We also work as Alliance for Waste Management (AWM) representing

Indian Municipal Garbage: How to manage it?

In India, under the business as usual scenario, the total Municipal Solid Waste Management (MSW) generation within next five decades would multiply five times the present level of about 50 million tones per day. In such a backdrop, issues ranging from centralized waste management, decentralized waste management, regional waste management, resource generation & recovery, sanitary landfill to carbon credits for MSW projects were debated at a National workshop on Municipal Solid Waste Management (MSW): Sharing of Experiences and Lessons Learnt during 13th –14th July, 2005. The workshop was co-sponsored by Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO), Union Ministry of Urban Development & Poverty Alleviation USAEP, Water Sanitation Program (World Bank) and was held at India International Centre (IIC) Annexure, New Delhi. International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) and Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) also supported this workshop. Finance and cons

Sonia Gandhi’s Russia visit

The four-day visit of the UPA Chairperson and Congress Party President, Ms Sonia Gandhi, to Russia at the invitation of President Vladimir Putin. Accusations were made about how she breached the protocol and how an executive plane of a big business house was used to fly her to Moscow. Objections were raised about Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, seeing her off at the airport and the External Affairs Minister, Natwar Singh, accompanying her to Russia. Sonia is in Russia as a personal guest of President Vladimir Putin. This is Sonia's fourth visit to Russia and the first after becoming UPA chairperson. Earlier, she had visited Soviet Russia with her husband the late Rajiv Gandhi, the then prime minister. Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Russian President Vladimir Putin seen onboard the latter's boat as they arrive at the Constantine