Paper 4-GS-III, Topic: money-laundering and its prevention.

ED cracks down on 300 shell irms

What you should know:

  • The Enforcement Directorate on Saturday conducted searches against 300 shell companies across 16 States on suspicion of large-scale money laundering and foreign exchange violations.
  • The searches were conducted at 110 locations in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad among other places.
  • Some of the companies were allegedly involved in major money-laundering cases.
  • In Chennai we ED is searching and investigating eight shell companies. Preliminary investigations shows that over ₹80 crore has been transferred to South East Asia from these shell companies
  • Galaxy Impex, Snowcity& Co, B K Electro Tools products, Green International, Metal Tradus and Horizon Trading are the six firms, out of total, searched.

Why this laundering was done:

  • Shell firms were found to have remitted huge amounts to other countries for imports that never materialised.
  • A Mumbai-based operator, Jagdish Prasad Purohit, admitted to have formed around 700 shell companies using 20 dummy directors. Of these, 130 are still in existence. He had allegedly provided accommodation entry of ₹46.7 crore to Mr. Bhujbal.
  • Among the shell firms were those linked to the cases against Mumbai-based Rajeshwar Experts, whose owner allegedly laundered ₹1,478 crore using over 500 accounts, on the pretext of exporting diamond and gold.
  • Several companies were also involved in the laundering of huge sums of cash after the demonetization was announced.
  • A sum of ₹20 crore was found in the bank account of one such entity.
  • In a Kolkata-based case, over 50 companies were registered at the same address.
  • Of the 15 lakh registered companies, only six lakh file their annual returns. The agencies suspect that a large number of these companies provide accommodation entries by raising fake inflated invoices to help the others evade tax.
  • They are also used to show share purchases at a premium for converting black money into white.
  • The government plans to invoke the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act for harsh action against those involved.

Source: The Hindu

‘’Paper 3-GS-II, Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health

Maternal mortality rising in Gujarat, says CAG report

What you should know:

  • The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), in its report tabled in the State Assembly revealed MMR rate of Gujrat.
  • In Gujrat, maternal mortality rate (MMR) has been rising in the State since 2014, up from 72 in 2013-14 to 85 in 2015-16 per lakh.
  • The State government data indicated that the MMR changed unfavourably from 72 in the year 2013-14 to 80 in 2014-15 and finally to 85 in 2015-16.
  • Implementation of the Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (JSSK), a Central government scheme, did not help in achieving the MMR goals in the State.

Briefing of Report:

  • The report stated that 15,817 newborns died within the first week of birth owing to the part of the health department in providing prescribed care and treatment to the newborns.
  • The audit further revealed that the State was required to operationalise 50% Primary Health Centres (PHCs) as 24/7 PHCs
  • By 2010 but as of August 2016, only 24% PHCs were operationalised as 24/7 PHCs.
  • During 2013-16, 56% home deliveries were performed in the absence of skilled birth attendants.
  • Minimum stay of 48 hours after normal delivery was not ensured for the better care and treatment of mother and child.
  • 53% to 60% women had been discharged with less than 48 hours of hospitalization.
  • In Bhuj, as many as 75 sick newborn babies were denied treatment and were not admitted to the Sick Newborn Care Unit (SNCU).
  • The reason of not admitting newborns was the lack of adequate facilities and manpower in SNCU.
  • There were instances of deaths of women and infants due to the non-availability of blood at health centers.
  • Considering the pace and direction of achievement of the goals, it would be difficult for the State to achieve the target of 67 by March 2017.

Source: The Hindu

‘’Paper 4-GS-III, Topic: environmental pollution and degradation.

IISc researchers’ ecofriendly way of recycling e-waste

New way to deal with e-waste:

  • According to the United National Environmental Programme, about 50 million tonnes of e-waste is generated annually across the world.
  • Indian Institute of Science (IISc) researchers have found a way to recycle the electronic waste more efficiently and in an environmentally friendly manner.
  • The new approach is based on the idea of crushing e-waste into nanosize particles using a ball mill at very low temperature ranging from -50 to -150 degree C.
  • When crushed to nanosize particles for about 30 minutes, different classes of materials (like metals, oxides and polymer) get physically reduced into their constituent phases, which can then be separated without using any chemicals.
  • The behaviour of individual materials is different when they are pulverised at room temperature. While metal and oxides get mixed, the local temperature of polymer increases during grinding and so the polymer melts instead of breaking.
  • The polymer starts reacting with the rest of the components and forms a chunk. So we can’t separate the individual components.
  • There are two processes that happen when milling. The polymer material breaks but metals get welded, some sort of solid-state welding resulting in mixing; the welded metals again get broken during milling.
  • The deformation behaviour at low temperature is very different from room temperature. At low temperature mixing does not happen and noxious emission is eliminated.
  • Author of this paper isDr. Chandra SekharTiwary and co-author is Prof. K. Chattopadhyay.

Design Details, the method behind it:

  • The low-temperature ball mill was designed by Dr.Tiwary.
  • The cryo-mill grinding chamber is cooled using liquid nitrogen and a small hardened steel ball is used for grinding the material in a controlled inert atmosphere using argon gas.
  • The polymer becomes brittle when cooled to -120 degree C and ball milling easily breaks it into a fine power. Metals and oxides too get broken but are a bit bigger in size.
  • The crushed powder was then mixed with water to separate the components into individual classes of materials using gravity.
  • The powder separated into two layers — the polymer floats at the top due to lower density, while metals and oxides of similar size and different density settle at the bottom.
  • The bottom layer when diluted further separated into oxides at the top and metals at the bottom. The oxides and metals were present as individual elements.

Source: The Hindu