Despite being the only country in the South Asian region with e-waste legislation, India only recycles about 1.5% of the total e-waste that it generates every year.

The E-Waste Management Rules, 2016 define e-waste as electrical and electronic equipment, whole or in part discarded as waste by the consumer or bulk consumer as well as rejects from manufacturing, refurbishment and repair processes. Some examples of e-waste include discarded computer monitors, motherboards, mobile phones and chargers, compact discs, headphones, television sets, air conditioners, refrigerators, radio sets, kitchen appliances, etc.
According to the UN’s Global E-waste Monitor 2020, 53.6 million metric tonnes (Mt) of electronic waste was generated worldwide in 2019. This was up by 21% in just five years. Another worrying statistic was that out of the total waste, only 17.4% was being recycled.
This meant that gold, platinum and other high-value recoverable critical raw materials (cobalt,
palladium, indium, germanium, bismuth, and antimony), worth US $57 billion, would be dumped or burned. The scenario in India was that, out of the 3.2 million metric tonnes of e-waste generated every year, only about 1.5% is recycled.
Satish Sinha, domain expert and associate director at Delhi-based policy advocacy group, Toxics Link says, “India needs to view e-waste as a precious and strategic resource since it contains 69 elements from the periodic table and some of these are highly precious and strategic in nature.”
On e-waste management in India, he cited implementation and compliance deficits as the major issues. He also raised concerns over several inadequacies in regulatory mechanism and the ground realities which need to be plugged.
A UN report on e-waste management in India also said that enforcing rules remains a challenge, along with other aspects, the lack of proper collection and logistics infrastructure, limited awareness of consumers on the hazards of improper disposal of e-waste, the lack of standards for collection, dismantling of e-waste and treatment of it, and an inefficient and tedious reporting process being some of them.

GST Council Meet: Sitaraman assured that no one will be denied compensation for revenue losses arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic. Next meeting to be held on 12th October.

Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitaraman at the GST Council meet on 5th October said on the Compensation Cess dispute that, “From among the states that have not chosen any of the options put forward by the Centre, the argument was that it should be the Centre which borrows. Coming almost to the end of the day, the feeling was that you can’t decide. We need to talk further. The borrowing has to be done. The
question is how much to borrow. It is not as if the Centre is sitting over money that has to be given to the states. It has to be borrowed.”
What is the dispute about?
The Goods and Services Tax was enforced from 1st July, 2017 after the enactment of the 101st
Constitution Amendment Act, 2016 and with this enforcement, a number of indirect taxes submerged into one. This would mean that the State governments would lose some of their tax collection rights. To combat this, the Center had pledged to compensate the States for the first 5 years, if there be any drop in the GST collection below a particular threshold. The Center also guaranteed tax revenue growth to the tune of 14% every year (base year 2015-16) under the GST Compensation to States Act, 2017.
However, with the slow economic growth since last year and the Covid pandemic this year which made matters worse, the Center started compensating the States sporadically by paying the dues for March this year only in July. The States had not been compensated since April of this year when Sitaraman finally announced at the GST Council meet held on 5th October that “this year’s compensation cess collected amounting to Rs 20,000 crore will be disbursed to the states tonight.” It was also decided that
Rs 24,000 crore of IGST would be disbursed by the end of next week. Additionally, the GST Council gave its nod for levying the compensation cess beyond the agreed period of 5 years ending July 2022.
The estimated dues for the fiscal year ending March, 2021 were earlier thought to be 3 lakh crore. The Center had said that it expects to collect only Rs 65000 crore through compensation cess (which is collected by imposing a cess on luxury and sin goods such as automobiles and tobacco). This left the
States with a staggering Rs 2.35 lakh crore (GST) revenue shortfall. The Centre calculated that shortfall of about Rs 97,000 crore is because of ineffective GST implementation and rest Rs 1.38 lakh crore is due to the impact of COVID-19. According to the revised calculations now, the total loss to the states is estimated at Rs 1.83 lakh crore, as against the previous calculations of Rs 2.35 lakh crore.
The Centre had offered two options to the States late last month- they could either borrow Rs 97000 crore (which was updated to Rs 1.1 lakh crore based on revised calculations) from a special window facilitated by the RBI or raise Rs. 2.35 lakh crore from the market with a proposal of extending the compensation cess levied on luxury, demerit and sin goods beyond 2022 so that they could repay the borrowing.
The government had said, “This year the Indian economy, nay the global economy, is suffering from an exogenous shock, namely the COVID-19 pandemic, whose scope and scale is unprecedented in history. Parliament obviously could not have contemplated a historically unprecedented situation of huge losses of revenue from the base – arising from an act of God quite independently of GST implementation affecting both central and state revenues, direct and indirect. Nevertheless, the operative sections of Section 7 do not make such a distinction. Compensation is payable for the entire shortfall (even if it is not on account of GST implementation). This position has been clarified by the Attorney General and is accepted by the central government.”
At the meet, Kerala’s Finance Minister, Thomas Isaac, after strongly opposing the central government’s move to demarcate the losses based on Covid and non-Covid situations said, “Events like recessions, pandemics, demonetisation etc. were never the considerations when the compensation formula was devised. The compensation law clearly defines how compensation is to be calculated and it has no reference whatsoever to any conditions whether it be act of nature, god or man.”
The opposition ruled states at the meet also demanded for the activation of the legal provision of the dispute resolution mechanism without delay, if there be no consensus in the council.

Assam Sub-Inspector Recruitment Exam Paper Leak. Here’s all you need to know:

The Assam SI recruitment exam, a written exam to recruit sub-inspectors for 597 posts of Assam Police, has been doing its rounds in the media after a paper leak scam surfaced on 20th September. The exam was supposed to be held across 154 centers in Assam with around 66000 candidates appearing for it. The exam paper was leaked hours before the exam which was supposed to take place at 12 PM.
One of the prime accused, Deban Deka, Senior Assam BJP leader, who had earlier fled the state, claiming that he has left Assam to save his life as many corrupt police officers of Assam are involved in the nexus, surrendered before the Assam Police on Wednesday. He has been sent to a 5-day custody at Guwahati. Deka, who has a printing press, was contracted by the Government for printing the question papers and it is alleged that he had collected 1 lakh rupees for each paper. However, he has denied all allegations and has said that he did not own any printing press where the papers were printed. He also added that “a small person” like him can be killed anytime and that when the situation normalizes, he will explain everything in detail to the media. Deka has also requested the Assam government to take responsibility for his family’s safety.
Ex-DIG, PK Dutta, is being anticipated as another prime accused. The crime branch and the CID raided Dutta’s residence and several hotels owned by him. They also raided the Thank You lodge where an exam with the leaked paper was held one day before the official exam, with 50 participants writing the exam. Gold worth more than 3.5 crore, a pistol with an expired license and a large amount of documents related to the exam were captured from Dutta’s residence while a hand written question paper, a computer hard disk, blackboard and some other items were retrieved from the lodge after the
raid. The owners of the lodge have been arrested. A similar mock test was held in one of Dutta’s hotels as well.
The search operations at Dutta’s hotels and residence have brought to the fore, details regarding the ex-DIG’s properties with a total value of above 200 crore rupees. Dutta owns land at several locations in Guwahati, a chain of luxury hotels, apartments in many cities of Assam and outside, a tea estate, 1400 bighas of rubber plantation, a tea garden, 1600 bighas of land in Cachar district, apartments in Dibrugarh and other parts of the country. An FIR was lodged against him in a land grabbing case and the investigating team has found his involvement in syndicate and elephant smuggling. The Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order), Gyanendra Pratap Singh, said that a separate case will be registered against him for his unaccounted wealth and that the Income Tax, Enforcement Directorate and Directorate of Revenue Intelligence have been intimated of the same. “We have issued a lookout notice against Dutta so that he cannot leave the country. All the relevant information has been disseminated about him”, Singh said.
On the other hand, DGP Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta has said, “We are conducting the investigation
vigorously with all seriousness covering all aspects of the crime. Along with CID and Crime Branch, several district police are involved in this probe.” The Assam Chief Minister, Sarbananda Sonowal, has asked the DGP to ensure that strict punishment is given to the culprits as soon as possible and has also directed Pradeep Kumar, the Chairman of the State Level Police Recruitment Board (SLPRB), which is responsible for the recruitment of all non-gazetted posts of Assam Police, to make sure that the exam is conducted again within a month. However, a latest twist in the story comes as the resignation of SLPRB Chairman, Pradeep Kumar, after he took moral responsibility of the question paper leak case which resulted in the cancellation of the written test.