Hold Your Breath!

by Nireka Dalwadi

Delhi’s smoggy mess and India’s RCEP walkout

What’s happening this week?


Did you hear — Delhi had declared a Public Health Emergency. Read about some ways out of this smoggy mess and India’s walkout from RCEP.

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Walk of Trade

Walkout… India walked out of the RCEP deal on Monday. Wait, let’s take it from the top! What is RCEP? Basically, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a free trade (That is — no tariffs) agreement between 16 counties. Well, now 15 countries — since India’s opt-out.

But, Why? No tariffs mean cheaper exports — Yay! But also cheaper imports — Uh-oh! And India is concerned that these imports will flood the domestic markets and push up the trade deficit — it is already $105 billion for FY 2019 with RCEP members.

What we want… Clearly, India wants to protect farmers and service workers, from low-cost Chinese Goods and Agricultural Products from New Zealand and Australia. The concern is about the rising trade deficit — more imports against exports. India wants to impose tariffs after imports cross a certain limit.

Will it impact? India was the 3-biggest economy in the RCEP. China said RCEP countries are open to work with India to resolve the trade deal. Especially after China is at scrambled ties with the US.

Meanwhile, FM Nirmala Sitharaman hints at land and capital reforms after Government’s major announcements like:

Have any questions? Drop us a message.

Air & Water

Delhi’s winter — the Tale of Smog Blanket. With winter comes the air pollution crisis in India. The primary factor choking Nation’s capital is the stubble burning in its neighboring states of Punjab and Haryana. Although the law bans burning the stubble to clear excess crops after harvesting- the practice still continues.

Desperate times call for desperate measures… Holiday for schools, ban on construction were imposed earlier this week, after declaring a ‘public health emergency’. According to official data environmental compensation of around INR 14 cr and 99,000 fines issued for disobeying Anti-Air pollution laws in Delhi.

Care for your Lungs… here are some tips to help you get through the Air Pollution Crisis — Wear Masks, Avoid going out (even for the otherwise healthy habit of walks), stay hydrated, get indoor greens for your home.

‘do-ecology’ approach… Agricultural scientist M.S. Swaminathan proposes instead of burning the stubble, it can be used as animal feed — utilizing its ‘Economical Value’ Ohh! best out of waste… Remember those School competitions? Ahh! those good old days… with clean air

Clearing the air… Delhi’s CM Arvind Kejriwal is discussing with experts to convert this stubble into CNG… he says its technologically and commercially viable. This approach is expected to create more jobs, provide additional income to farmers and resolve the air pollution problem… Fingers crossed!

From Air to Oceans… Plastic Pollutants in the Ocean is huge problem in itself. Boyan Slat — started the Ocean Cleanup Project — which aims to clean up 90% of plastic waste from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch by 2040.

Worth an applause… The rubbish in the Pacific Ocean is estimated to be roughly three times the size of France. The Ocean Cleanup Project launched their latest floating device in June this year, that uses 600 meter floating boom to collect debris. They successfully collect the first patch in this October.

Let’s clean up our Planet!

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