Laudable environmentally sound initiative

‘There is a lot of variability between species, but as a rule of thumb, a tree that lives to 40 or 50 years will have taken up about a ton of carbon dioxide’

By TP Saran

An article a few days ago in The Conversation informs us that ‘Global emissions for 2019 are predicted to hit 36.8 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2), setting yet another all-time record. This disturbing result means emissions have grown by 62% since international climate negotiations began in 1990 to address the problem.

The figures are contained in the Global Carbon Project, which today released its 14th Global Carbon Budget.

Digging into the numbers, however, reveals a silver lining. While overall carbon emissions continue to rise, the rate of growth is about two-thirds lower than in the previous two years’.

The same article references another one, namely ‘Climate explained: what each of us can do to reduce our carbon footprint’, and one of the measures advocated under this heading is ‘Plant trees’, adding that ‘if you have land available, planting trees is a great way to invest in longer-term carbon sequestration. There is a lot of variability between species, but as a rule of thumb, a tree that lives to 40 or 50 years will have taken up about a ton of carbon dioxide’.

In this perspective, a press communiqué dated December 3 from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security is about just such a measure, ‘Une ‘Plant-a-Tree campaign’ pour le Thaipoosam Cavadee et le Maha Shivratree :

Dans le cadre de la célébration de la Fête du Cavadee et du Maha Shivratree l’année prochaine, le département forestier du ministère de l’Agro-industrie et de la Sécurité alimentaire procèdera à la distribution gratuite de plantes utilisées lors des fêtes religieuses. La décision a été disséminée lors du Task Force Committee, en marge des fêtes de Thaipoosam Cavadee et Maha Shivratree, qui s’est réuni sous la présidence du Premier ministre ce lundi 02 décembre. Sous cette campagne intitulée ‘Plant-a-Tree’, les plantes suivantes devront être mises en terre (tant que possible) dans la cour des associations religieuses’.

There follows a list of plants such as: Ashoka, Behl Pattar, Peepul, Frangipane, Tulsi, etc., with an appeal by the Task Force ‘aux corps religieux de participer activement à cette campagne. Le ministère de l’Agro-industrie communiquera ultérieurement un plan détaillé concernant la distribution et la collecte des plantes susmentionnées’.

In this global struggle to contain carbon emissions, every effort however little is to be welcomed, and the concerned religious bodies must not miss this opportunity to participate and contribute their share.

By the same token, it would be most desirable for the Task Force to address also the issue of pollution at Ganga Talao, including that of noise pollution. It is a good thing that the Task Force has met in December, a change from the previous practice of doing so only about a month before the Maha Shivaratri. Besides, since it is headed by the PM himself, it will have a greater authority and can be more efficient. Perhaps the TF could invite suggestions from the public to complement the inputs of the stakeholders present and then get the best of the churn. There is still time, but not too much though and it must be maximised.

* * *

Relief for Pre-registration doctors

“It is up to the trainee doctors to make the best use of their training period, brushing up and updating their knowledge further, as well as acquiring the skills they require to perform as efficient and humane medical practitioners once they clear their exit examination, which they should all do without much difficulty if they prepare themselves properly…”

A decision taken at the Cabinet meeting held on Nov. 29 will no doubt be welcomed by the medical profession at large but particularly by Pre-registration trainee doctors. Henceforth they will only have to take the exit examination, that is, after completion of their training of 18 months, and not before they start their training. This was a decision taken by the same government in its preceding mandate, and this move to reverse that earlier decision restores justice to those who were being unduly penalized.

In effect, ‘Cabinet has agreed to the introduction of the Medical Council (Amendment) Bill into the National Assembly. The object of the Bill is to amend the Medical Council Act to remove the requirement that a person be required to undergo an entry examination before being registered as a pre-registration trainee’.

Now it is up to the trainee doctors to make the best use of their training period, brushing up and updating their knowledge further, as well as acquiring the skills they require to perform as efficient and humane medical practitioners once they clear their exit examination, which they should all do without much difficulty if they prepare themselves properly.

Best of luck to the future trainees.


* Published in print edition on 6 December 2019

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