South Asia Current Affairs - 2019

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India, a Key Hub for Illicit Drug Trade: UNODC

The latest report released by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has referred to India as a Key Hub for Illicit Drug Trade.

Findings of the UNODC Report

  • India is one of the major hubs of illicit drug trade ranging from age-old cannabis to newer prescription drugs like tramadol, and designer drugs like methamphetamine.
  • The global trend of purchasing drugs over the internet, particularly on darknet trading platforms using cryptocurrencies has spread across South Asia and it is particularly rampant in India.
  • The study has found more than 1,000 drug listings from India published across 50 online crypto-market platforms.
  • The report also states that in 2017 Indian authorities have dismantled two illicit Internet pharmacies, seizing close to 130,000 tablets containing psychotropic substances.
  • India has also become a transit country for illicitly produced opiates, in particular, heroin. The route being used by traffickers to smuggle opiates through South Asia is an alternative part of the southern route, which runs through Pakistan or the Islamic Republic of Iran, via the Gulf countries, continues to East Africa and on to destination countries.
  • India, Australia, France and Turkey together accounted for 83 per cent of global production of morphine-rich opiate raw materials in 2017.

United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime

United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) established in 1997  is a global leader in the fight against illicit drugs and international crime. UNDOC came into with the merger of United Nations Drug Control Programme and the Centre for International Crime Prevention.

Month: Categories: NationalUPSC

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IQAir AirVisual 2018 World Air Quality Report

The IQAir AirVisual 2018 World Air Quality Report was compiled by Greenpeace in association with IQAir AirVisual. The index measures the presence of fine particulate matter PM2.5 in the air.

Findings of the Report

  • Seven of the top 10 most polluted cities in the world are in India.
  • Gurugram led all cities in pollution levels in 2018, even as its score improved from the previous year.
  • The five most polluted cities in the world are Gurugram, Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Bhiwadi (India) and Faisalabad (Pakistan).
  • 22 of the top 30 most polluted cities are in India. Remaining five are in China, two is in Pakistan and one is in Bangladesh.
  • Beijing, once among the most polluted cities in the world ranked 122nd in the list of the most polluted cities last year based on PM2.5 data.
  • Faisalabad in Pakistan, Hotan in China and Lahore were the only three non-Indian cities in the top 10.
  • 64% of the over 3000 cities studied exceeded the WHO’s annual exposure guideline for fine particulate matter PM2.5.
  • 100% of measured cities within the Middle East and Africa exceeded this guideline, while 99% of cities in South Asia, 95% of cities in Southeast Asia, and 89% of cities in East Asia also exceed this targe

The report identifies some of the major sources or causes of ambient air pollution which include emission of a complex mixture of air pollutants from Industries, households, cars, and trucks.

The report adds that fine particulate matter comes from fuel combustion, both from mobile sources such as vehicles and from stationary sources such as power plants, industry, households, agriculture or biomass burning.

Month: Categories: EnvironmentUPSC

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