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NO2 emission advancing in India, latest NASA air quality maps display

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The emission of the nitrogen dioxide pollutant has gone up significantly in the South Asia region, including India, during the 2005-2014 period, severely affecting air quality in the process, NASA satellite maps show.
Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is a yellow-brown gas that is a common emission from cars, power plants and industrial activity.

The US and Europe are among the largest emitters of nitrogen dioxide but both regions also showed the most dramatic reductions between 2005 and 2014, the maps showed.

“The main story in South Asia is increasing NO2 levels from 2005 to 2014 associated with booming economies and ambitious infrastructure development, such as new coal-burning power plants in the Chhattisgarh region of India,” NASA said in a statement.

“One of the largest increases occurred over Jamnagar (India), the site of the largest petrochemical complex in the world,” it added.

“Dhaka (Bangladesh) had the largest increase (79 percent) of any world city,” the statement noted.

Using new, high-resolution global satellite maps of air quality indicators, NASA scientists tracked air pollution trends over the last decade in various regions and 195 cities around the globe.

“These changes in air quality patterns are not random,” said lead researcher Bryan Duncan, atmospheric scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

“When governments step in and say we are going to build something here or we are going to regulate this pollutant, you see the impact in the data,” Duncan noted.

Duncan and his team examined observations made from 2005 to 2014 by the Dutch-Finnish ozone monitoring instrument aboard NASA’s Aura satellite.

One of the atmospheric gases the instrument detects is nitrogen dioxide.

Nitrogen dioxide can quickly transform into ground-level ozone, a major respiratory pollutant in urban smog. NO2 hotspots, used as an indicator of general air quality, occur over most major cities in developed and developing nations.

The science team analyzed year-to-year trends in nitrogen dioxide levels around the world.

They found that China, the world’s growing manufacturing hub, saw an increase of 20 to 50 percent in nitrogen dioxide, much of it occurring over the North China Plain.

Three major Chinese metropolitan areas — Beijing, Shanghai, and the Pearl River Delta — saw nitrogen dioxide reductions of as much as 40 percent.

The findings were presented on Monday at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco, US and published in the Journal of Geophysical Research.

wefornews bureau

India

Let us code for an Aatmanirbhar Bharat: PM Modi

The Prime Minister said India’s tech ecosystem had made it proud and the pandemic had brought about disruption in the tech world.

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New Delhi, July 4 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi, here on Saturday, launched the Digital India AatmaNirbhar Bharat Innovate Challenge to identify the best Indian apps, already being used by citizens and have the potential to scale up and become world class.

The Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology along with the Atal Innovation Mission have come up with this challenge, which will run in two tracks — promotion of existing apps and development of new apps.

“For the promotion of existing apps and platforms across the categories of e-learning, work-from-home, gaming, business, entertainment, office utilities and social networking, the government will provide mentoring, hand-holding and support.

“Track-01 will work in mission mode for identifying good quality apps for the leader-board and shall be completed in around a month,” said a statement issued the Prime Minister in his LinkedIn account.

For new apps, Track-02 initiative will work to help create new champions in India by providing support in ideation, incubation, prototyping and rollout along with market access.

This challenge will help create tech products to find solutions to tech conundrums with mentorship. Interestingly, the challenge comes in the wake of India banning 59 Chinese apps citing national security considerations.

“I urge all my friends in the tech community to participate and help create an aatmanirbhar app ecosystem. Who knows, I may also use some of these apps made by you,” said the Prime Minister with a smiley.

The Prime Minister said India’s tech ecosystem had made it proud and the pandemic had brought about disruption in the tech world.

Connecting it with the ”self-reliant India”, he said, “Today, when the entire nation is working towards creating an Aatmanirbhar Bharat, it”s a good opportunity to give direction to their efforts, momentum to their hard-work and mentorship to their talent to evolve apps which can satisfy our market as well as compete with the world.”

Stating that the goal is to Make in India for India as well for the World, the Prime Minister using the sectoral parlance said, “Let us code for an Aatmanirbhar Bharat!.”

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Business

WhatsApp rolls out first-ever global brand campaign in India

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New Delhi, July 4 : WhatsApp on Saturday launched its first brand campaign in India that narrates real stories about how Indians communicate daily on WhatsApp with their closest relationships.

The campaign called ”It”s Between You” gives thrust on WhatsApp”s commitment to privacy, the company said in a statement.

“With WhatsApp”s end-to-end encryption, we come closest to replicating real-life interactions and that”s when we can truly be ourselves. The conversations you have, the jokes you tell and the memories you relive belong to you and deserve to stay between you,” said Avinash Pant, Director, Marketing at Facebook India.

WhatsApp collaborated with Gauri Shinde, a celebrated Indian Bollywood director along with BBDO India to create two 60-seconds ads, each highlighting how WhatsApp”s features like texts, video calls or even a voice message, help replicate in-person conversations and bring people closer.

One ad is based on a true story about an elderly woman and her caregiver, who are now separated from each other.

“From how to bring together the cast and crew that were right for the part and happened to be living together, and directing over a WhatsApp video call, to doing all the post production work without being physically present, it”s been really rewarding,” said Shinde.

The second story is at the other end of the spectrum of emotion, which is a light and fun film about a younger sister giving joyful courage to her elder one through a WhatsApp video call, when the latter feels vulnerable and hesitant to give her a haircut at home.

“WhatsApp is designed to help friends and family communicate as well as help users connect with a business that is important to them,” said the company.

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Business

JioMeet takes on Zoom, can support up to 100 participants

JioMeet offers unlimited meetings per day and each meeting can go uninterrupted up to 24 hours.

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New Delhi, July 2 : Amid growing calls for ”Made in India” digital tools, Reliance Jio has launched a free video-conferencing application called JioMeet, taking on US-based Zoom platform.

According to the JioMeet description on Google Play Store, the application can be used for 1:1 video calls and hosting meetings with up to 100 participants with enterprise-grade host controls.

Other highlights include easy sign up with either mobile number or email ID, meeting in HD audio and video quality.

The application can be used for creating instant meetings to chat with friends and also to schedule a meeting in advance and share meeting details with invitees.

JioMeet offers unlimited meetings per day and each meeting can go uninterrupted up to 24 hours.

The application can be used on Android, Windows, iOS, Mac, SIP/H.323 systems.

JioMeet has already been downloaded for over 10,000 times from Google Play Store.

Each meeting is password protected and the host can enable a “Waiting Room” to ensure no participant joins without permission, JioMeet said.

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