Indian monsoon under recovery mode

News this week
Heavy rainfall in Muzaffarpur, Bihar Heavy rainfall in Muzaffarpur, Bihar

Monsoon covers entire nation, raises hopes of recovery

This year the country has received only 147.8 mm rainfall till July 11 as against 216 mm last year, according to the Indian Meteorological Department. However, the monsoon has now covered the whole nation raising hopes of overcoming the 43% deficit in rainfall. Also, heavy showers in Uttarakhand have raised water levels in almost all the major rivers in the state towards their danger mark.

Arsenic levels should remain below 0.2 mg in a kg of rice: UN

Codex Alimentarius Commission, the United Nations body that lays down food safety standards, has set 0.2 mg as the maximum permissible limit for arsenic in one kg of polished rice. Along with this, it has also provided recommendations on decreasing the presence of arsenic in rice. People of South Asian countries like Bangladesh, India, China and Vietnam which have arsenic contamination in groundwater, are at a higher risk as rice can readily take up arsenic from soil and groundwater.

Typhoon Rammasun expected to hit Bay of Bengal around July 20

After claiming nearly 38 lives and destroying 7000 houses in Philippines, Typhoon Rammasun is approaching India and is expected to hit the Bay of Bengal around July 20. However, the Indian Meteorological Department says that the typhoon will have a positive impact on the southwest monsoon as it will trigger rainfall. Typhoons are tropical cyclones that are formed in the northwestern Pacific Ocean and produce strong winds and rains.

Indus Dolphin population dipping, says study

According to a recent study conducted by Gill Braulik of the Wildlife Conservation Society and University of St. Andrews and his colleagues, the population of the Indus river Dolphin is on the decline. The endangered freshwater dolphin is the national aquatic animal of India. Researchers blame river water extraction for irrigation purposes to be the prime reason for the dip in dolphin population along with habitat fragmentation and degradation of habitat due to irrigation dams.

Nearly 670 dams in the country under high-intensity seismic zones

The Minister of State for Earth Science has informed that nearly 670 large dams in the country fall under seismic zones IV and V. Out of these 670 dams, 444 are in Gujarat while 170 are in Maharashtra. However, the Ministry has also mentioned that India is capable enough to produce development projects in vulnerable zones by applying adequate safety measures that can withstand a seismic jolt.

This is a weekly roundup of important news from July 13-20, 2014. Also read last week's policy matters updates. 



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