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Nation at a Glance

India signs ozone layer protocol

New Delhi: India has formally committed to phasing out two major classes of ozone-eating chemicals, reports our special correspondent.

The Cabinet on Tuesday approved the ratification of two amendments to the Montreal Protocol, which commits India to completely phase out the fumigant methyl bromide, and to freeze its consumption of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) by 2015.

The ratification of the Copenhagen and Montreal amendments is viewed as an important step towards protecting the ozone layer through the Montreal Protocol, the global agreement designed to eliminate several classes of ozone-destroying chemicals in specific time frames. India had acceded to the protocol around a decade ago.

The Copenhagen amendment of 1992 listed methyl bromide as an ozone-depleting chemical, 50 times more destructive than the chlorine in chlorofluorocarbons.

The Montreal amendment adopted in 1997 had established a global phase-out schedule under which developing countries were to cut methyl bromide consumption to 20 per cent of 1998 levels by 2005, and completely phase out this fumigant by 2015.

Environment ministry sources said India produces around 100 tonnes of methyl bromide, used mainly in plant quarantine.

After ratification of the two amendments, India will need to annually report on its production, imports and exports of HCFCs and methyl bromide. India currently consumes a little over 4,000 tonnes of HCFCs, which are mainly used in air-conditioning and refrigeration.

Under the schedule, India will have to freeze its HCFC consumption by 2015 and phase out both chemicals by 2040.

TV rating agency widens reach

Mumbai: TAM, the television programme rating agency, has broadened its base from 3,500 homes in 27 cities to 4,600 households in 74 cities, reports our correspondent.

TAM is the existing television rating provider in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. It will now include Bengal, Bihar, Rajasthan, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala and Orissa among others.

TAM chief executive officer L.V. Krishnan said the rating system had been expanded because of advertiser interest.

Salman hauled to court

Mumbai (PTI): Taking a serious view of his repeated absence, a court on Tuesday forced Salman Khan to appear before it, rejecting his plea for exemption and referred the hit-and-run case against him to the sessions court for trial.

Magistrate S.Y. Sishode rejected Salman’s plea for a directive to police to return his vehicle which rammed into a bakery, killing one person and injuring four on September 28. His lawyer urged the court to exempt the actor from personal appearance, saying he was unwell.

However, Sishode directed that Salman should appear before the court on Tuesday itself. The actor complied with the order.

Ministers acquitted

Basti (PTI): A fast track court has acquitted two Uttar Pradesh ministers, Hari Shankar Tewari and Amar Mani Tripathi, of charges of murder of a Janata party leader 18 years ago. The witnesses in the case turned hostile.

J&K helplines

Srinagar (PTI): Jammu and Kashmir police have launched 24-hour helpline services at Anantnag’s three main police stations, which will provide assistance to those looking for their missing kin. The helplines were set up at Bijbehara, Anantnag and Mattan police stations.

Cow slaughter ire

Jaipur (PTI): Twelve nomads were arrested on Tuesday on charges of slaughtering a cow and cooking it for a meal in Jaipur rural. The arrests were made after over 150 people demonstrated outside the police station near Naveta village.

Militants attacked

Jammu (PTI): Members of a family hit back after militants stormed their house in Surankote and killed one. The militants entered Irfan’s house and shot him dead, following which his family members clashed with them.

Underworld case

Mumbai (PTI): Actor Kishen Kumar, a witness in the case of alleged Bollywood nexus with the underworld, was declared hostile in a court after he went back on his earlier statements to police.

A constable at Peroorkkada police station, Thiruvananthapuram was suspended for giving a “love letter” to a woman constable. The action was taken on the basis of the woman’s complaint, who alleged she had been “harassed by the lovesick colleague”.


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