As the year nears its end, here is a list of stories covered by Down To Earth that caught the most attention online
Kerala floods: What to expect when none of the 61 dams have any emergency plan?
Deep-rooted mistakes unearthed when a CAG audit report on flood control and forecasting was analysed. More than 350 people died in Kerala due to one of the worst floods in the recent history. While the state now turns its focus on rescue operations and rehabilitation drives, it is imperative to check if the mistakes that landed the state in such distress were few or several and recent or repetitive.
You shouldn’t drink tea with protein or iron-rich foods
While we all can agree that food is the one major source of nutrients we require every day, most of us don’t know that certain food items have some non-nutrient components which can hinder the absorption of vitamins and minerals. Here are some non-nutritional components of grams and vegetables that don’t interact well with vitamins and minerals.
India’s timekeeper says country needs two time zones
It is technically feasible to have two time zones and two ISTs in India-IST-I for most of India, IST II for Northeastern region—separated by an hour. An analysis by the National Physical Laboratory (NPL)—India’s official timekeeper—has supported a long standing demand for a separate time zone for eastern states—Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura—and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
In 4 years, farmers’ income has increased by just Rs 2,505 per month: NABARD report
Although the average farm income per month saw a rise in the last four years, it is still not enough to help farmers cope with the current agrarian crisis. The NABARD All India Rural Financial Inclusion Survey (NAFIS) shows that average agriculture household income was a mere Rs 8,931 per month in 2016-17. Apart from a paltry income, farmers are facing rising indebtedness, lesser financial inclusion, and absence of insurance facility, according to the report.
The Chipko movement as it stands today
The idea behind the Chipko movement originated in the early 1970s from Mandal, a village in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. Forty-three years later, Down To Earth travelled to Chamoli and Tehri Garhwal and spoke to the participants of this movement about its relevance today.
CSE study finds genetically modified ingredients in food products
In a first-of-its-kind study in India, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) tested 65 food products available in the market for genetically modified (GM) ingredients. To its horror, CSE found GM genes in 32 per cent of the products; almost 80 per cent of them imported.
The jujube fruits have lot of bio-active compounds which has been clinically proven. The fruit has been found to have anti-cancer properties, while its pulp can prevent diabetic neuropathy, a type of nervous damage that afflicts diabetic patients.
Small farms can be profitable
Ramesh Chander Dagar, a farmer from Akbarpur Barota village, Sonipat, Haryana is busy spreading the message of integrated organic farming in his home state. His farmland resembles the laboratory of any agricultural scientist.
India’s challenges in waste management
With rapid urbanisation, the country is facing a massive waste management challenge. Solid Waste Management (SWM) is one among the basic essential services provided by municipal authorities in the country to keep urban centres clean. However, almost all municipal authorities deposit solid waste at a dump yards within or outside the city haphazardly. The key to efficient waste management is to ensure proper segregation of waste at source and to ensure that the waste goes through different streams of recycling and resource recovery.
India’s total forest cover increases by 1 per cent: State of Forest Report 2017
The Report shows that India’s total forest cover increased by 0.94 per cent, from 7,01,673 square kilometers to 7,08,273 square kilometers since its last assessment in 2015. The report also points towards an expansion of agro-forestry and private forestry.
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