Expert Committee to Verify Saraswati River Claims
With the ongoing debate over the existence of the Saraswati river, the Water Resources Ministry has constituted a national-level expert committee, involving eminent researchers under the chairmanship of noted geologist K S Valdiya to review information about the river, which finds reference in the Vedas. The committee will study the information available such as, the discovery of water in Yamunagar district of Haryana, where the dig for Saraswati is located. However, there appears to be little scientific evidence to support claim . “We have found clues of an underground water channel in Haryana and Rajasthan and this committee will study if it’s part of the Saraswati,” said Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti.
NHRC Notice to Govt on Life-saving Drugs
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has sent notices to Union Ministries of Finance and Health over reported imposition of excise duty on life-saving drugs making them costlier. The Commission has taken suo motu cognizance of a media report that the Centre has removed a custom duty waiver and also imposed excise duty on certain life saving drugs making them costlier for patients. “At a time when the healthcare system in the country as a whole is plagued with various ills, any action that pushes up the cost of medicines is bound to adversely affect people’s right to healthcare,” observed the Commission. It issued notices to the Secretaries of the ministries of Finance and Health and Family Welfare, calling for reports within four weeks.