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Most Kerala rivers polluted, finds study

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A recent study has found that most rivers of Kerala are polluted with various kinds of noxious waste. The pollution tests were conducted under the joint auspices of the World Malayali Council and the science and technology wing of Labour India.

The studies conducted in the 44 rivers of the State in the month of November indicated that most of the rivers were "polluted generally and the majority at an alarming level.

The tests were carried out using the water monitoring kit supplied by the World Water Analysis Federation of the U.S.

A report prepared on the basis of studies has been submitted to the State government. The survey was conducted at a time when most of the rivers were having good water flow and a large portion of the pollutants might have been washed away. The council plans to repeat the tests later when the water level recedes..

The Panamaram, a tributary of the Kabani river and the Mayyazhi river were found to be the most polluted rivers in the State with the presence of chemical and biological pollutants. Refuse from slaughterhouses and hospitals were also reaching into Panamaram. Insecticides, chemical fertilizers and other pollutants were also finding their way into the rivers. Fish death and fall in the fish population were also reported from here, the study said.

Source: The Hindu

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Corruption Watch

The bad news is that corruption has not only sustained but has grown in size and stature in the country. With scams being a regular feature, seventy per cent respondents in a survey have rightfully opined that corruption has continued to increase in India. One in every two interviewed admit having paid a bribe for availing public services during last one year. Transparency International's latest survey reveals that the political parties top the chart for the most corrupt public institutions, followed by police force and legislatures. No wonder, India continues to make new records on the global corruption arena!

The shocking revelation is that the health and education sectors haven't remained untouched by this phenomenon. With 5th and 6th positions respectively for these sectors on the public perception chart on corruption, corruption has crept insidiously into these sectors of hope for the masses. With bureaucracy being fourth in the list of corrupt institutions in the country, corruption seems to have been non-formally institutionalized with little hope if public services would ever be effective in the country. With economic growth having literally institutionalized corruption, are we now expecting corrupt to be socially responsible - a different CSR.

Poor. Who?

Not giving 'aid' to India is one thing but calling it 'rich' is quite another. If one in three of the world's malnourished children live in India, what does average daily income of $3 indicate? It perhaps means that there is a relative decline in poverty - people are 'less poor' than what they used to be in the past. But having crossed the World Bank arbitrary threshold of $2 a day does not absolve the 'developed' countries of their obligation to part with 0.7 per cent of their Gross National Income in development aid. Should this three-decade old figure not be revised?  

An interesting debate in UK's House of Commons delved on future of development assistance by the British Government. While prioritizing limited resources has been a concern, there has been no denying the fact that development aid must be guided towards tangible gains over a short period of time to start with. There are difficult choices for elected governments to make - should they invest in long-term primary education or in short-term university scholarships? Which of these will bring gains and trigger long-term transformation in the society. As politicians continue to be divided on the matter, poverty persists!!   

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