Contents:

  1. Govt. set to host another visit by foreign diplomats to J&K
  2. Credit, Debit card Details of 4 lakh Indians up for Sale
  3. Government mulls enhancing audit independence, accountability
  4. How polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons pollute the air?

GOVT. SET TO HOST ANOTHER VISIT BY FOREIGN DIPLOMATS TO J&K

Why in news?

The government is making preparations to organise a second visit of diplomats, including several European Ambassadors to visit Srinagar and Jammu next week

While all the Ambassadors expressed their concerns about issues like political detentions and Internet restrictions, they were able to see that there was normalcy on the roads, and the entire Union Territory is not under lockdown as they had expected,” the source added.


CREDIT, DEBIT CARD DETAILS OF 4 LAKH INDIANS UP FOR SALE

Why in news?

  • A whopping 98% out of a large packet of sensitive credit and debit card details,

that have been put up for sale on the dark net, are those of Indian customers,

Group­IB a Singapore based cybersecurity company  has revealed.

  • According to Group­IB’ s statement released, the stash of 4,61,976 card payment details went up for sale on Joker’s Stash, one of the most secretive portals on the dark net for buying such information. Group­IB has already informed Indian authorities about the leak.

GOVERNMENT MULLS ENHANCING AUDIT INDEPENDENCE, ACCOUNTABILITY

  • The government has proposed significant amendments to existing regulations to enhance independence and accountability of auditors.

Background:

  • Many auditors and auditing entities coming under the regulatory lens for alleged misdoings
  • Suggestions for curbing five “threats” for the independence of auditors which pertain to self-interest, self-review, advocacy, familiarity and intimidation.
  • economic concentration of the “Big Four” audit firms and the need to build the capacity of home-grown Indian firms that may need to be at par with global organisations in terms of audit procedures and manpower capacity, among other factors
  • PWC, Deloitte, EY and KPMG are generally referred to as the ‘Big Four’, which operate in India through a network of local chartered accountants firms
  • The paper has sought comments on whether the number of audits under one audit firm or auditor needs to be reduced
  • Inspection of audit engagements and developing a ‘Composite Audit Quality Index’ to improve accountability of auditors and audit firms are among other proposals.

HOW POLYCYCLIC AROMATIC HYDROCARBONS POLLUTE THE AIR?

Why in news?

Recent findings from researchers at the Centre for Atmospheric Sciences at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi on the efficacy of a specific air purifier technology have revealed more about a class of pollutants known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs.

Details:

  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons can associate with other particulate matter, like PM2.5, PM10, and make them more toxic
  • Particulate matter in the ambient air consists mainly of PM 2.5 and PM 10 particles—tiny atmospheric particles that have a diameter of less than 2.5 and 10 micrometers, respectively.
  • PAHs are a class of chemicals and compounds that also contribute to air pollution. While PAHs occur naturally in items like crude, coal and gasoline, they can be produced by a variety of anthropogenic activities—like the burning of coal, oil, gas, wood, tobacco, garbage—including the incomplete combustion of organic matter.
  • Forest fires and volcanic eruptions, also contribute to PAHs in the ambient air.
  • When inhaled through particulates, PAHs can cause serious health risks—starting from irritation in the eyes and respiratory passages.
  • US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer have classified some PAHs as carcinogenic
  • In Delhi, the agency found PAHs like fluoranthene, chrysene and dibenz(a,h)anthracene, the latter two are classified as “probable carcinogens” by the EPA
  • Plasmacluster ion (PCI) technology releases both positive and negative ions simultaneously into the air; these then recombine on the surface of pollutants floating in the air to create hydroxyl radicals, a type of oxidizing agent
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