Reading Room D#04

Today’s Must read Article



Sensor network to map and predict pollution, effluents in Godavari


  • A group of U.S. researchers is working on a system to map undulating pollution trends in the Godavari, India’s second longest river.
  • The experience of the on-going project on Godavari can be used for Ganga also.
  • The project started eight months ago and has so far identified two “hotspots” of pollution

How technology can be used for cleaning river body ?

  • Using a mix of methods, including satellite-monitoring, traversing stretches of the river to collect water samples and using special sensors to measure bacterial and chemical pollution, the researchers are trying to develop a cost-effective forecast system.
  • The team’s long-term objective is to be able to inform State officials and citizens of a probable spike in, say, levels of dangerous microbes or effluents, similar to weather and air pollution forecasts.
  • It is to be able to access “raw data” that could be used to inform the efficacy of a proposed faecal sludge treatment plant and whether behavioural interventions — including incentives or punishments — to restrict activities that pollute the river could actually work.
  • “We’ve had debates with town planners who told us that all the pollution gets washed away… Is that true? We need to find out,” Mr. Malani, who is also co-founder of the International Innovation Corps, told The Hindu. “That would help us know whether interventions are needed only up-river or along various stretches.”

Parameters to be measured for assess the pollution level ?

  1. total dissolved salts,
  2. nitrate,
  3. pH,
  4. temperature,
  5. turbidity and
  6. electrical conductivity.
  • These are relayed to a website called Thoreau, a wireless sensing network maintained at the University of Chicago to map environmental parameters, for analysis.
  • The exercise is part of a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation project to support the programme of the Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI) to provide city-wide sanitation improvements in urban Andhra Pradesh.
  • Sensors to monitor river pollution are an emerging technological approach in India.
  • Intel, which will make the chips powering the devices.
  • These program are implemented by the DST.

Minimum qualifications for coop. societies’ polls


Rajasthan has become the country’s first State to lay down the minimum educational qualifications for contesting elections to village cooperative societies and various other cooperative bodies.

What is Co-operative society ?

A co-operative society is a voluntary association started with the aim of service of its members. It is a form of business where individuals belonging to the same class join their hands for the promotion of their common goals. These are generally formed by the poor people or weaker section people in the society. It reflects the desire of the poor people to stand on their own legs or own merit. The philosophy of the formation of co-operative society is “all for each and each for all”.

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Section 4, of the Indian Co-operative Societies Act, 1912 defines a cooperative “as a society which has its objective the promotion of economic interest of its members in accordance with co-operative principles”

Objective of Co-operative society –

  • To render service to its members instead of making profits.
  • It encourages a state mutual help in the place of competition.
  • It assures a state of self-help in the place of dependence.
  • It develops a state of moral solidarity in the place of unfair business activities.

Finance –

  • Co-operative societies, PACS are not allowed to raise public deposits.
  • these entities are allowed to raise fund only from it’s member.

Mock Question –

Consider the following regarding co-operative societies.

  1.  Co-operative societies enjoy statutory status and protection.
  2.  The power to make provision for incorporation and regulating of co-operative societies lies solely with state legislature.
  3.  Audit of co-operative is done by the office of Comptroller & Auditor General of India.
    Select the 
    incorrect statement(s) using the codes given below:

(A) 1 and 2 only

(B) 2 and 3 only

(C) 1 and 3 only

(D) 1, 2 and 3

Answer (B)

Correct Explanation-The 97th Constitutional Amendment Act of 2011 gave a constitutional status and protection to Co-operative societies. In this context, it made the following three changes in the constitution:

  1. It made the right to form co-operative societies a fundamental right (Article 191).
  2. It included a new Directive Principle of State Policy on promotion of co-operative societies (Article 43-B2).
  3. It added a new Part IX-B in the Constitution which is entitled “The Co-operative Societies” (Articles 243-ZH to 243-ZT).

Incorporation of Co-operative Societies: The state legislature may make provisions for the incorporation, regulation and winding-up of co-operative societies based on the principles of voluntary formation, democratic member-control, member-economic participation and autonomous functioning.

Audit of Co-operative societies: Every co-operative society shall be audited by an auditor or auditing firm, appointed by the general body of the co-operative society. But, such an auditor or auditing firm shall be appointed from a panel approved by the State Government or a body authorised by the State Government on this behalf.

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