Bihar [BPSC] Current Affairs - 2020

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Indian Cities and Air Pollution

The Air Pollution levels at the Indian cities are at an alarming level. Various Reports have time and again tried to shed light on the quantum of the problem.

Air Pollution and Indian Cities

  • A Delhi based Environment Body claims that the Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency, is ranked third on the WHO’s list of 15 most polluted cities and the situation is “deteriorating” as its MP has focused on beautification and infrastructure.
  • In the ‘Political Leaders Position and Action on Air Quality in India 2014-2019’ report, released by Climate Trends Delhi is ranked sixth on the list. The report states that there has been “laziness” on part of its elected caretakers in tackling air pollution in the city.
  • As per the World Health Organisation, (WHO) list of most polluted cities, 14 of the 15 most polluted cities in the world are in India of which four are in Uttar Pradesh.
  • WHO report states that the Prime Minister’s parliamentary constituency Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh is witnessing a rise in the number of people suffering from allergies and respiratory problems due to a “lot” of construction in the city.
  • Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh is the most polluted city in the world. Kanpur is ranked one on the list. Faridabad in Haryana has been ranked second and Varanasi has been ranked third.
  • Gaya and Patna in Bihar are fourth and fifth on the list.
  • Delhi has been ranked sixth and Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow is ranked seventh.
  • The report by climate trends claimed MPs of Lucknow and Kanpur — Home Minister Rajnath Singh and senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi respectively — have mostly been silent on the issue of air pollution in their respective constituencies.
  • Other cities in the WHO list of polluted cities are Agra, Muzaffarpur, Srinagar, Gurugram, Jaipur, Patiala and Jodhpur.

Air Quality Index

The Air Quality Index between 0 and 50 is considered “good”, 51 and 100 “satisfactory”, 101 and 200 “moderate”, 201 and 300 “poor”, 301 and 400 “very poor”, and 401 and 500 “severe”, as per pollution control authorities.

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EC bans publication of Uncertified ads on Polling Day & Day Before

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has barred parties, candidates and others from publishing political advertisements on polling day and a day prior to it in each of the seven phases of Lok Sabha polls unless their contents are pre-certified by screening committees.

The Election commission has stated that the Media Certification and Monitoring Committee at the state and district levels be immediately activated to examine and pre-certify all such advertisements received from the political parties.

Why Ban?

  • Instances of advertisements of offending and misleading nature published in print media have been brought to its notice in the past.
  • Such misleading advertisements in the last stage of the election vitiate the entire election process. The affected candidates and parties will not have any opportunity of providing clarification/rebuttal in such a scenario.
  • To ensure that no untoward incident takes place because of any inflammatory or hate advertisements.

At present, electronic media is barred from showing election publicity material during the last 48 hours before the conclusion of polling. Using its constitutional powers, the Election Commission has directed no political party, candidates or others will publish any advertisement in the print media on the day and one day prior to polling day in all the phases unless they are pre-certified by the screening committees. The EC had taken such a decision for the first time in 2015 Bihar polls.

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