Digital Marketing

  • What is Digital Marketing ?

Digital Marketing is marketing and advertising of business ,person, service or product using electronic device and digital technologies. Few examples of digital technologies are social media (Facebook, WhatsApp ,Instagram etc.) ,email ,SMS.
Basically, digital marketing refers to any online marketing efforts or assets.


  • Why digital marketing ?

With the growth of electronic devices and Internet, more people are spending their time online. Over 7.7 billion people use the Internet across the globe. It’s become an integral part of everyday life to conduct searches, check social media, and purchase products online.

Your customers are online, which highlights the importance of digital marketing. They’re browsing the web looking for your products or services. If they can’t find them because you don’t have an online presence, you risk losing those leads to your competitors.

To drive the best results for your business, you need to build your online presence. You will reach more leads that want your products or services.

You have options, which isn’t the case when using traditional marketing. With traditional marketing, you have fewer choices. You only have a couple of channels available, like radio, print, and TV, and many of these channels are expensive, which limits your choices further.

Choosing to use Internet marketing gives your company access to a range of strategies. You can pick the ones that match your business, goals, and target market the best, which helps you maximize the impact of online marketing on your bottom line.


  • How does Digital Marketing work ?

Digital marketing works by using a number of different strategies. Each of these may serve a totally different purpose even though they have a common goal. The strategies work together in order to drive relevant traffic to a business (either online or off) and then convert a one time visitor into a returning, loyal customer.


  • Types of Digital Marketing

There are several types of digital marketing some of them are :-

1. SEO

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.

2. PPC

PPC stands for pay-per-click, a model of internet marketing in which advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. Essentially, it’s a way of buying visits to your site, rather than attempting to “earn” those visits organically. Search engine advertising is one of the most popular forms of PPC.

3. Content marketing

Content marketing is a form of marketing focused on creating, publishing, and distributing content for a targeted audience online. It is often used by businesses in order to: Attract attention and generate leads. Expand their customer base. Generate or increase online sales.

4. Social media marketing

Social media marketing is the use of social media platforms and websites to promote a product or service.

5. Email marketing

Email marketing is the act of sending a commercial message, typically to a group of people, using email.

6. SMS marketing

SMS marketing, also known as text message marketing, is a method by which businesses and organizations send out specials, coupons, promotions, alerts, and more via highly targeted, permission-based, opt-in text messages.

7. Video marketing

Video marketing is using videos to promote and market your product or service, increase engagement on your digital and social channels, educate your consumers and customers, and reach your audience with a new medium.


  • How to create digital marketing strategy ?

Learn how to create digital marketing strategy now :-

  1. Determine your digital marketing goals.
  2. Choose your digital marketing channels.
  3. Set your digital marketing budget.
  4. Develop your digital marketing strategy.
  5. Launch your digital marketing strategy
  6. Monitor your digital marketing campaigns.
  7. Implement digital marketing campaigns improvements.
  8. Measure your digital marketing ROI.

  • How to find a digital marketing agency ?

You can find dozens of digital marketing agencies with a search on Google, but finding the perfect one for your business takes work. You need to determine your budget, research your options, meet your potential partner, and more to find the best agency for your company.

Get started on your search by following these steps:

  • Brainstorm some digital marketing goals
  • Choose a few preferred web marketing strategies
  • Determine an online marketing budget .
  • Compile a list of potential agencies by searching online and asking colleagues
  • Review each agency’s prices, services, and what their services include
  • Explore each agency’s case studies,testimonials and reviews
  • Request a custom quote or proposal from each agency
  • Meet with the agency and ask questions about their approach, results, and background.

Water Pollution

The world’s water resources are under increasing threat from the impacts of climate change, population growth, and pollution. As the global population grows, a persistent challenge is how to access enough water to meet humanity’s needs while also preserving the integrity of aquatic ecosystems. The Pacific Institute works on water resource issues around the globe, collaborating with stakeholders to ensure communities and nature have the water they need to thrive now and in the future.

Internationally, the Institute promotes source water protection and “green infrastructure” solutions in order to increase the climate resiliency of water systems and improve ecosystem function. The Institute collects, catalogues, and shares good practice examples of nature-based solutions; catalyzes investment in green infrastructure projects; and connects stakeholders with a common interest in advancing nature-based solutions.

In California, the Institute has played an active role at the Salton Sea for more than two decades, emphasizing the importance of the sea and the negative consequences of failing to act on its behalf. The Institute has produced leading reports on the sea, developed restoration concepts, participated on the state’s Salton Sea Advisory Committee, and continues to work actively with state agencies and local stakeholders to get real habitat constructed on the ground to benefit at-risk species and to diminish the amount of dust blowing off of the sea’s exposed lakebed.

The Institute has engaged in Colorado River research and decision-making for more than twenty years, from early reports on climate change impacts on the basin, to a 1996 report on sustainable use of the river, to policy proposals for surplus and shortage criteria and the ongoing Basin Study. We have developed pragmatic, feasible solutions to the problems that challenge the river, for the people, fish, and wildlife that depend upon it. Our Colorado River work has also included place-specific research and restoration proposals for the Salton Sea, the Laguna Reach, and the limitrophe reach of the River.

What Is Water Pollution?

Water pollution occurs when harmful substances—often chemicals or microorganisms—contaminate a stream, river, lake, ocean, aquifer, or other body of water, degrading water quality and rendering it toxic to humans or the environment.

What Are the Causes of Water Pollution?

Water is uniquely vulnerable to pollution. Known as a “universal solvent,” water is able to dissolve more substances than any other liquid on earth. It’s the reason we have Kool-Aid and brilliant blue waterfalls. It’s also why water is so easily polluted. Toxic substances from farms, towns, and factories readily dissolve into and mix with it, causing water pollution.

Categories of Water Pollution

Groundwater

When rain falls and seeps deep into the earth, filling the cracks, crevices, and porous spaces of an aquifer (basically an underground storehouse of water), it becomes groundwater—one of our least visible but most important natural resources. Nearly 40 percent of Americans rely on groundwater, pumped to the earth’s surface, for drinking water. For some folks in rural areas, it’s their only freshwater source. Groundwater gets polluted when contaminants—from pesticides and fertilizers to waste leached from landfills and septic systems—make their way into an aquifer, rendering it unsafe for human use. Ridding groundwater of contaminants can be difficult to impossible, as well as costly. Once polluted, an aquifer may be unusable for decades, or even thousands of years. Groundwater can also spread contamination far from the original polluting source as it seeps into streams, lakes, and oceans.

Surface water

Covering about 70 percent of the earth, surface water is what fills our oceans, lakes, rivers, and all those other blue bits on the world map. Surface water from freshwater sources (that is, from sources other than the ocean) accounts for more than 60 percent of the water delivered to American homes. But a significant pool of that water is in peril. According to the most recent surveys on national water quality from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, nearly half of our rivers and streams and more than one-third of our lakes are polluted and unfit for swimming, fishing, and drinking. Nutrient pollution, which includes nitrates and phosphates, is the leading type of contamination in these freshwater sources. While plants and animals need these nutrients to grow, they have become a major pollutant due to farm waste and fertilizer runoff. Municipal and industrial waste discharges contribute their fair share of toxins as well. There’s also all the random junk that industry and individuals dump directly into waterways.

Ocean water

Eighty percent of ocean pollution (also called marine pollution) originates on land—whether along the coast or far inland. Contaminants such as chemicals, nutrients, and heavy metals are carried from farms, factories, and cities by streams and rivers into our bays and estuaries; from there they travel out to sea. Meanwhile, marine debris—particularly plastic—is blown in by the wind or washed in via storm drains and sewers. Our seas are also sometimes spoiled by oil spills and leaks—big and small—and are consistently soaking up carbon pollution from the air. The ocean absorbs as much as a quarter of man-made carbon emissions.

Point source

When contamination originates from a single source, it’s called point source pollution. Examples include wastewater (also called effluent) discharged legally or illegally by a manufacturer, oil refinery, or wastewater treatment facility, as well as contamination from leaking septic systems, chemical and oil spills, and illegal dumping. The EPA regulates point source pollution by establishing limits on what can be discharged by a facility directly into a body of water. While point source pollution originates from a specific place, it can affect miles of waterways and ocean.

Nonpoint source

Nonpoint source pollution is contamination derived from diffuse sources. These may include agricultural or stormwater runoff or debris blown into waterways from land. Nonpoint source pollution is the leading cause of water pollution in U.S. waters, but it’s difficult to regulate, since there’s no single, identifiable culprit.

Transboundary

It goes without saying that water pollution can’t be contained by a line on a map. Transboundary pollution is the result of contaminated water from one country spilling into the waters of another. Contamination can result from a disaster—like an oil spill—or the slow, downriver creep of industrial, agricultural, or municipal discharge.

The Most Common Types of Water Contamination

Agricultural

Toxic green algae in Copco Reservoir, northern CaliforniaAurora Photos/Alamy

Not only is the agricultural sector the biggest consumer of global freshwater resources, with farming and livestock production using about 70 percent of the earth’s surface water supplies, but it’s also a serious water polluter. Around the world, agriculture is the leading cause of water degradation. In the United States, agricultural pollution is the top source of contamination in rivers and streams, the second-biggest source in wetlands, and the third main source in lakes. It’s also a major contributor of contamination to estuaries and groundwater. Every time it rains, fertilizers, pesticides, and animal waste from farms and livestock operations wash nutrients and pathogens—such bacteria and viruses—into our waterways. Nutrient pollution, caused by excess nitrogen and phosphorus in water or air, is the number-one threat to water quality worldwide and can cause algal blooms, a toxic soup of blue-green algae that can be harmful to people and wildlife.

Sewage and wastewater

Used water is wastewater. It comes from our sinks, showers, and toilets (think sewage) and from commercial, industrial, and agricultural activities (think metals, solvents, and toxic sludge). The term also includes stormwater runoff, which occurs when rainfall carries road salts, oil, grease, chemicals, and debris from impermeable surfaces into our waterways

More than 80 percent of the world’s wastewater flows back into the environment without being treated or reused, according to the United Nations; in some least-developed countries, the figure tops 95 percent. In the United States, wastewater treatment facilities process about 34 billion gallons of wastewater per day. These facilities reduce the amount of pollutants such as pathogens, phosphorus, and nitrogen in sewage, as well as heavy metals and toxic chemicals in industrial waste, before discharging the treated waters back into waterways. That’s when all goes well. But according to EPA estimates, our nation’s aging and easily overwhelmed sewage treatment systems also release more than 850 billion gallons of untreated wastewater each year.

Oil pollution

Big spills may dominate headlines, but consumers account for the vast majority of oil pollution in our seas, including oil and gasoline that drips from millions of cars and trucks every day. Moreover, nearly half of the estimated 1 million tons of oil that makes its way into marine environments each year comes not from tanker spills but from land-based sources such as factories, farms, and cities. At sea, tanker spills account for about 10 percent of the oil in waters around the world, while regular operations of the shipping industry—through both legal and illegal discharges—contribute about one-third. Oil is also naturally released from under the ocean floor through fractures known as seeps.

Radioactive substances

Radioactive waste is any pollution that emits radiation beyond what is naturally released by the environment. It’s generated by uranium mining, nuclear power plants, and the production and testing of military weapons, as well as by universities and hospitals that use radioactive materials for research and medicine. Radioactive waste can persist in the environment for thousands of years, making disposal a major challenge. Consider the decommissioned Hanford nuclear weapons production site in Washington, where the cleanup of 56 million gallons of radioactive waste is expected to cost more than $100 billion and last through 2060. Accidentally released or improperly disposed of contaminants threaten groundwater, surface water, and marine resources.

HOW TO IMPROVE ENGLISH SPEAKING SKILLS

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Many students master the fine points of English grammar but find themselves at a loss when it comes to actually having a conversation with native speakers. In reality, the only way to develop fluency in speaking is by huge amounts of listening, and then practicing. The following are a few tips for improving English speaking skills. Don’t forget that listening is the foundation for speaking! When you also want to practice speaking, here are some suggestions for how to improve English speaking skills. 

Find An English-Speaking Conversation Partner

First of all, it’s important to find native speakers to practice with. Students who are living around many English speakers may be able to find informal opportunities to chat with neighbors and local business people. Joining a club or a volunteer organization can be a great way to get to know people informally. If that isn’t an option, consider hiring a private tutor. A lot of students find and meet with tutors online via tools like Skype or Google Hangouts.

Make Sure To Listen As Well As Speak

When practicing with a native speaker, try to balance your listening and speaking. It’s a good idea to prepare questions in advance so that the conversation will flow back and forth. If your conversation partner asks you a question and you answer at length, you can always turn the question back to your partner by asking, “What do  you think?” or “What about you?”

Record Your Conversation Practice

Recording is a great way to get the maximum benefit from a conversation with a native speaker. When you listen again, you can evaluate your own pronunciation and notice areas where you need to improve. You can also review the content of the conversation, take notes on new vocabulary or misunderstandings, and prepare questions for the next meeting.

Surround Yourself With The English Language

Another way to improve your English speaking skills is to immerse yourself in English as much as possible. Watch movies or TV in English, with subtitles if you need them, and watch the same programs over and over. Most people find that they understand more each time. Listening helps you become familiar with the rhythms and intonations of English. Once the sounds are familiar, try imitating them.

Practice With Music and Movies

Listen to music in English and sing along. Music is one of the best tools for learning intonation pronunciation. Listening to and singing songs might also help you remember vocabulary and phrases (if the song is easy to understand), and it will help you learn to pronounce English rhythm in a more natural way. By unconsciously imitating the singer, you’ll learn to pronounce phrases the way native speakers do. One good song for ESL or EFL students is “Tom’s Diner” by Suzanne Vega because it uses simple language to describe everyday scenes and actions.  Movies are a much better choice for learning English.  You’ll learn vocabulary, idioms, slang, pronunciation, and listening by watching movies.  Be sure to use my movie technique when you do this!

Read Aloud

Reading out loud is a great way to practice speaking when there are no conversation partners available. Reading aloud gives you a chance to focus on pronunciation and pacing without worrying about coming up with words. Make sure to practice with material that you can understand. Some students find videos online that have transcripts. Many TED talks, for example, include word-for word transcripts of the talk. By reading aloud from a transcript, you can check your pronunciation by listening to how the speaker says something.

Talk To Yourself

Saying your thoughts out loud or narrating your actions (“I am drinking coffee, and now I’m going to open my book”) can be a very effective way to practice spoken English. By talking to yourself, you can become more fluent in translating your thoughts into spoken words. Practicing alone is also a low-pressure way to practice, since no one will hear your mistakes.

Many students master the finer points of English grammar, but find themselves at a loss when it comes to actually having a conversation with native speakers. In reality, the only way to develop fluency in another language is through huge amounts of listening and speaking. The following are a few tips for improving your English speaking skills.

HOW TO IMPROVE ENGLISH SPEAKING SKILLS

1. Speak, speak, speak!

Be confident and speak as often as possible, to as many people as you possibly can! Don’t be shy to make mistakes! The more you practice, the better and more confident you will become in your pronunciation and vocabulary. Remember, speaking is a skill, like learning a musical instrument or new sport — the only way you can get good is to actually do it!

2. Read Aloud

Read the newspaper or a magazine out loud to yourself. You can even find a script from your favorite TV show and act it out! This is a great way to practice pronunciation, as you can concentrate on how your English sounds without worrying about sentence structure or grammar.

3. Record your practice conversations

After a conversation is over, take a moment to reflect: How did it go? How much do you think you understood? How comfortable did you feel with the subject matter? Did you encounter any unknown words? The mere act of thinking about it in this way will increase your confidence the next time you speak (and give you targeted things to work on, such as, vocabulary you didn’t understand).

4. Find an English-speaking conversation partner

It’s important to find a partner to practice with, ideally a native English speaker. If you live around English speakers try incorporating informal conversations into your daily life. If that isn’t an option, consider hiring a private tutor you can meet online via tools like Skype or Google Hangouts.

5. Don’t forget to use technology

A smartphone can be a powerful tool for learning languages. It can help you find reading material, converse with tutors, or even record yourself speaking!

There are some apps that can even help you to find a partner online:
We suggest you try the App “Lingo Blabla.” You can easily find a conversation partner with just one click. Call and start talking in English anytime, anywhere. And, it’s totally free!

A little note about YOGA

What Is Yoga? | Serenity Yoga Retreats | Workshops | Classes

Philosophy

To convey its spiritual message and guide sessions, yoga often uses the imagery of a tree with roots, a trunk, branches, blossoms, and fruits. Each “branch” of yoga represents a different focus and set of characteristics.

The six branches are:

  • Hatha yoga: This is the physical and mental branch designed to prime the body and mind.
  • Raja yoga: This branch involves meditation and strict adherence to a series of disciplinary steps known as the “eight limbs” of yoga.
  • Karma yoga: This is a path of service that aims to create a future free from negativity and selfishness.
  • Bhakti yoga: This aims to establish the path of devotion, a positive way to channel emotions and cultivate acceptance and tolerance.
  • Jnana yoga: This branch of yoga is about wisdom, the path of the scholar, and developing the intellect through study.
  • Tantra yoga: This is the pathway of ritual, ceremony, or consummation of a relationship.

Approaching yoga with a specific goal in mind can help a person decide which branch to follow.

Chakras

The word “chakra” literally means spinning wheel.

Yoga maintains that chakras are center points of energy, thoughts, feelings, and the physical body. According to yogic teachers, chakras determine the way people experience reality through emotional reactions, desires or aversions, levels of confidence or fear, and even physical symptoms and effects.

When energy becomes blocked in a chakra, it is said to trigger physical, mental, or emotional imbalances that manifest in symptoms, such as anxiety, lethargy, or poor digestion.

Asanas are the many physical positions in Hatha yoga. People who practice yoga use asanas to free energy and stimulate an imbalanced chakra.

There are seven major chakras, each with their own focus:

  • Sahasrara: The “thousand-petaled” or “crown” chakra represents the state of pure consciousness. This chakra is located at the crown of the head, and the color white or violet represents it. Sahasrara involves matters of inner wisdom and physical death.
  • Ajna: The “command” or “third-eye chakra” is a meeting point between two important energetic streams in the body. Ajna corresponds to the colors violet, indigo, or deep blue, though traditional yoga practitioners describe it as white. The ajna chakra relates to the pituitary gland, which drives growth and development.
  • Vishuddha: The color red or blue represents the “especially pure” or “throat” chakra. Practitioners consider this chakra to be the home of speech, hearing, and metabolism.
  • Anahata: The “unstruck” or “heart” chakra relates to the colors green and pink. Key issues involving anahata include complex emotions, compassion, tenderness, unconditional love, equilibrium, rejection, and wellbeing.
  • Manipura: Yellow represents the “jewel city” or “navel” chakra. Practitioners connect this chakra with the digestive system, as well as personal power, fear, anxiety, developing opinions, and tendencies towards an introverted personality.
  • Svadhishthana: Practitioners claim that the “one’s own base” or “pelvic” chakra is the home of the reproductive organs, the genitourinary system, and the adrenal gland.
  • Muladhara: The “root support” or “root chakra” is at the base of the spine in the coccygeal region. It is said to contain our natural urges relating to food, sleep, sex, and survival, as well as the source of avoidance and fear.

Types

Modern yoga
Modern yoga has a range of styles to suit everyone, whatever the desired outcome.

Modern yoga has evolved with a focus on exercise, strength, flexibility, and breathing. It can help boost physical and mental well-being.

There are many styles of yoga, and no style is more authentic or superior to another. The key is to choose a class appropriate for your fitness level.

Types and styles of yoga may include:

Ashtanga yoga: This type of yoga uses ancient yoga teachings. However, it became popular during the 1970s. Ashtanga applies six established sequences of postures that rapidly link every movement to breath.

Bikram yoga: Also known as “hot” yoga, Bikram occurs in artificially heated rooms at temperatures of nearly 105 degrees and 40 percent humidity. It consists of 26 poses and a sequence of two breathing exercises.

Hatha yoga: This is a generic term for any type of yoga that teaches physical postures. “Hatha” classes usually serve as a gentle introduction to the basic yoga postures.

Iyengar yoga: This type focuses on finding the correct alignment in each pose using a range of props, such as blocks, blankets, straps, chairs, and bolsters.

Jivamukti yoga: Jivamukti means “liberation while living.” This type emerged in 1984 and incorporates spiritual teachings and practices that focus on the fast-paced flow between poses rather than the poses themselves.

This focus is called vinyasa. Each class has a theme, which is explored through yoga scripture, chanting, meditation, asana, pranayama, and music. Jivamukti yoga can be physically intense.

Kripalu yoga: This type teaches practitioners to know, accept, and learn from the body. A student of Kripalu learns to find their own level of practice by looking inward. The classes usually begin with breathing exercises and gentle stretches, followed by a series of individual poses and final relaxation.

Kundalini yoga: Kundalini means “coiled, like a snake.” Kundalini yoga is a system of meditation that aims to release pent-up energy.

A class typically begins with chanting and ends with singing. In between, it features asana, pranayama, and meditation customized to create a specific outcome.

Power yoga: In the late 1980s, practitioners developed this active and athletic type of yoga, based on the traditional ashtanga system.

Sivananda: This is a system based on a five-point philosophy. This philosophy maintains that proper breathing, relaxation, diet, exercise, and positive thinking work together to form a healthy yogic lifestyle. Typically uses the same 12 basic asanas, bookended by sun salutations and savasana poses.

Viniyoga: Viniyoga can adapt to any person, regardless of physical ability. Viniyoga teachers require in-depth training and tend to be experts on anatomy and yoga therapy.

Yin: This is a quiet, meditative yoga practice, also called taoist yoga. Yin yoga allows the release of tension in key joints, including:

  • the ankles
  • knees
  • · hips
  • the whole back
  • neck
  • shoulders

Yin poses are passive, meaning that gravity shoulders most of the force and effort.

Prenatal yoga: Prenatal yoga uses postures that practitioners have designed for people who are pregnant. It can support people in getting back into shape after pregnancy as well as supporting health iduring pregnancy.

Restorative yoga: This is a relaxing method of yoga. A person spends a restorative yoga class in four or five simple poses, using props like blankets and bolsters to sink into deep relaxation without exerting any effort in holding the pose.

Risks and side effects

Yoga is low-impact and safe for people when a well-trained instructor is guiding the practice.

Injury due to yoga is an infrequent barrier to continued practice, and severe injury due to yoga is rare. However, consider a few factors before starting.

Anyone who is pregnant or who has an on-going medical condition, such as high blood pressureglaucoma, or sciatica, should talk to their healthcare practitioner before practicing yoga. They may need to alter or avoid some yoga poses.

Beginners should avoid extreme poses and difficult techniques, such as headstand, lotus position, and forceful breathing.

When using yoga to manage a condition, do not replace conventional medical care with yoga or postpone seeing a healthcare provider about pain or any other medical problem.

Takeaway

Yoga is a five-millennia-old practice that has changed over time. Modern yoga focuses on stretches and poses designed to stimulate inner peace and physical energy.

Ancient yoga was less about fitness and more about mental focus and expanding spiritual energy. The Yoga Sutra, now considered to be the definitive guidebook to practicing yoga, came into the practice 2000 years ago.

There are many different types of yoga depending on what people want from it and a person’s current level of physical fitness. However, some people choose to replace conventional treatment for conditions with yoga and this can prevent a person from receiving the necessary care.

People with certain conditions, such as sciatica, should approach yoga slowly and with caution.

Yoga can help support a balanced, active lifestyle.

Water Resources

Diseases which can come from polluted drinking water

Diseases in Indigenous communities caused by germs from polluted water

Bacterial diseases

  • salmonellosis
  • shigellosis
  • acute diarrhoea (caused by E. coli)

Viral diseases

  • gastroenteritis
  • hepatitis A

Parasitic

  • giardiasis
  • hookworm infection (there is some evidence that hookworm larvae can live in drinking water)
Fig.  6.12: Stomach upsets can be caused by contaminated drinking water.

Stomach upsets can be caused by contaminated drinking water.

In most parts of Australia and many other countries, proper water treatment methods have almost eliminated the germs that cause many of these diseases from water supplies. However, water treatment and hygiene standards in Indigenous communities, especially small communities or camps, are often inadequate and this is why many of these diseases still occur in Indigenous communities.

The germs may get into the water:

Directly by:

  • a lagoon overflow effluent pipe discharging into a river or stream supplying drinking water
  • the presence of dead animals in the water
  • people or other animals swimming, washing or going to the toilet in a drinking water supply

Indirectly by:

  • contamination from an effluent system, such as a leach drain too close to a bore or the overflow from a lagoon flowing into a water supply
  • People washing themselves or going to the toilet in or near a water source

Water contamination and how it can be prevented

Anything which contaminates water is called a contaminant or pollutant. Water can be contaminated or polluted by:

  • Organic materials such as:
    • animal carcasses
    • animal and human faeces and sewage
    • food waste
    • plant matter (grass, leaves, wood)
    • oil, petrol and grease.
  • Inorganic materials such as:
    • scrap metal and junk
    • sand
    • chemicals

Many of these materials can carry disease-causing germs into water supplies. Chemicals in the water supply can poison people and other animals.
Water can be contaminated at:

  • the source, such as the river or bore
  • in storage, such as in elevated tanks
  • in the pipe system which delivers water to the user
Fig.  6.13: Drinking or swimming in contaminated water can be dangerous to health.

Drinking or swimming in contaminated water can be dangerous to health.

Different types of water supplies can become contaminated in a number of ways. Some of these, and their methods of prevention are described below.

Domestic rainwater tanks

Contamination

The rain which fails onto the roof of a house is usually clean, and should not normally contain germs. However, there may be a lot of dirt and rubbish on the roof, especially if it has not rained for a long time.

This dirt might include the faeces from birds and small animals. Also, the wind can carry germs in dust blown onto the roof. When it rains the dirt and rubbish will be washed into the storage tank, along with the germs. Some of these germs may cause disease.

Dirt, animals and bird faeces can get into a storage tank if it does not have a lid. All these things can carry disease-causing germs. Often animals are trapped in water tanks and drown. As dead bodies rot, germs will grow and contaminate the water.

The inside of the tank walls and floor may also become dirty after a period of time. This dirt can contaminate the water.

Prevention

If a house has a rainwater tank as its water supply, these are the things which should be done to keep the water clean:

  1. Install a first flush diverter. This prevents the first flush of water, which may have contaminants from the roof, from entering the tank.
  2. Keep the roof and gutters clean.
  3. Keep a lid on the water tank.
  4. Check for and repair any leaks.
  5. Regularly look into the tank. If the water or walls or floor are dirty the tank will need to be cleaned.

Rivers and billabongs

Contamination

There are several ways in which rivers and billabongs can become contaminated with germs or chemicals:

  • Rubbish may fall into or be washed into the river or billabong, for example, from a nearby dump
  • Sewage may seep into the river or billabong from nearby septic tanks and leach drains
  • Faeces may be deposited directly into the river by people or other animals
  • Faeces deposited near the river may be washed into it by rain
  • Chemicals or poisons sprayed onto land near the river or billabong may be washed into the water
  • People or animals may wash themselves in the river or billabong

There is a risk that the water supply will be contaminated if the community pumps its water from a place:

  • near where a contaminant enters the water such as an effluent discharge point
  • where contamination is occurring, such as a swimming area
Fig.  6.14: Faeces contaminate drinking water.

Faeces contaminate drinking water.

Fig.  6.15: People washing or swimming in a water source can pollute it.

People washing or swimming in a water source can pollute it.

Fig.  6.16: Water supply contaminated by effluent discharge.

Water supply contaminated by effluent discharge.

Prevention

It is important to try and stop the river or billabong from being contaminated, particularly in the area from which the community takes its water supply. Discharging effluent into rivers and streams should always be avoided.

Sometimes it is not possible to stop the contamination of a river or billabong. This is because the contamination source is not known, or cannot be controlled, like if the contamination is occurring upstream or is because of not being able to keep cattle out of a billabong.

The following prevention methods can be adopted:

  1. If the community water supply comes from a river make sure:
    • it is obtained upstream from any possible contamination sources, for example, swimming holes or effluent runoff points
    • it is taken from the deepest possible point in the body of water
  2. Make sure that there is little or no building development near the water supply source. There are laws which control where people can put septic tanks/leach drains, effluent ponds, and rubbish tips in relation to water supplies.
  3. Make sure people do not use the area around the water supply source for recreational purposes, such as playing sport and having picnics.
  4. In the case of a billabong, it may be possible to fence the water source to prevent contamination by people and other animals.
Fig.  6.17: Take drinking water upstream from effluent discharge.

Take drinking water upstream from effluent discharge.

Bores

Contamination

Bores can become contaminated:

  • underground. (This can happen if a contaminant is able to get to the water body, for example, if a leach drain is built too close to the water source, or a faulty effluent disposal system allows disease-causing germs to soak down into the groundwater)
  • While bringing it to the surface
Fig.  6.18: Leach drain too close to water supply.

Leach drain too close to water supply.

This could occur in the bore itself or at the place where the bore pipe comes out of the ground. This is called the bore head.

If the bore head is unprotected then animals can spread disease causing germs and parasites to the water via the equipment. For example, if the equipment leaks and allows water to pool, animals will be attracted (especially stock and birds) and their faeces may enter the water at the bore head.

Prevention

It is important that:

  1. covers be placed over bore heads
  2. there are fences around bore heads to keep animals away
  3. the bore head area is protected from flooding as this can carry disease-causing germs into the bore. The bore head is usually protected by raising it above ground level
  4. septic tanks/leach drains and effluent disposal sites are well away from the bore.
Fig.  6.19: Protective cover for bore

Protective cover for bore.

Laws control the distances these facilities must be away from a bore or water source.

Community water tanks

Contamination

If a large community tank does not have a proper fitting lid, then people, especially children, birds or other animals may find their way into it and contaminate the water with disease-causing germs.

Occasionally, the inside of the community water tank will get dirty and can contaminate the water.

Prevention

To make sure that the water in the community tank is always clean:

  • The tank should have a proper fitting lid
  • There should be a high fence, with a locked gate, around the tank
  • The tank should be regularly inspected to make sure that it is not leaking and that the water is clean and free of animals, such as frogs
  • If the inside of the tank is dirty it must be cleaned. The proper way to clean a tank is described in Section 6.2

Community water pipes and household plumbing

Contamination

A water supply can become contaminated between the source and the community water tank or the user. The pipes that carry the water can be below or on the surface of the ground. They can be above the ground also, such as in the case of pipes carrying water from an elevated tank to the ground. An elevated tank is one that is raised above the user’s water outlets either on a stand or on a hill.

Fig.  6.20: Community elevated water tank.

Community elevated water tank.

If a pipe is leaking around a joint or has been broken, disease-causing germs and parasites can get into the water and contaminate it. These germs and parasites can come from:

  • the surrounding soil
  • the wind
  • animals, including people, attracted to leak or the pools of water.

Prevention

Contamination of water in pipes can be avoided by ensuring that:

  • all joints are maintained free of leaks
  • pipes are placed below ground whenever possible to protect them from damage
  • any above ground pipes are held secure and are protected from damage, especially from vehicles
  • any leaks or broken pipes are repaired as soon as possible
  • connections to tanks, pumps and bores are well maintained and kept free of leaks

    3 Things To Do When A Friend Opens Up About Their Mental Health Struggles

    All of us want to be there for our friends when they need us. We want to help them and provide the support in the best way we know. Nonetheless, when a friend tells us about their current struggle with their mental health, it can be challenging to decide what to do or what to say. It is valid to be worried about not making the situation worse or upsetting them by saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. Here are 3 things that will help you support your friend in a way that’s healthy for the both of you.

    Seamless pattern of a crowd of many different people profile heads. Vector background.

    1. Listen to them

    We are constantly hearing people talk which may lead us to think that listening is easy. However, the goal is to listen and not just hear, to be a good listener, you must be able to put all your thoughts and judgements to one side. Try not to interrupt them while they are taking or rush them into talking. It’s most ideal to have the conversation with them when you do not have something to do soon since this can add to the pressure which could make you want to rush the conversation and make them feel unheard or worse, abandoned. You should also try to stay calm, process the information as and when you receive it.

    2. Ask them what they would like from you

    Sometimes people just want to be seen, be heard, or just want to get something off their chest. Other times they simply want advice or maybe reassurance. Asking them what they would like from you will help you to support them in the better way and it will ensure they do not leave feeling unsatisfied or unheard. Try to be as honest, patient and kind as possible when responding to your them. In dealing with such situations, you can be most helpful by asking yourself these three questions: ‘What’s best for my friend?’. ‘What would I want the most from my friend if I was in this situation?’ and ‘How would I want to be treated had I been in the same situation?’

    3. Check up on them

    If you feel mentally stable enough and are able to, keep asking your friend how they are and how they feel, take the time out to candidly listen to what they have to say, keep repeating this cycle. Mental health problems don’t vanish after one conversation. These problems can also be incredibly isolating. Regualrly checking up on your friend is one step closer to making them feel a little less alone, visible and will also serve as a reminder that you care about them.

    It is okay if you can’t always be there for the people you love and care about. We all have our own challenges and struggles. If you do not feel up to it, you should signpost them to others who they can talk to like some other close friend, a trusted family member or a mental health organisation that can professionally help.

    If you were a food item, what would you have been? Why?

    I will go for “Panipuri” its an Indian street side snack, that has a crisp puffed Indian bread (puri), stuffed with mashed spiced potatoes/chana(gram)/ragda (a curry of white peas), dipped in sweet(tamarind and date) and spicy(Pudina, coriander and chilli, with pinch of lemon) flavored water.

    Panipuri or Phuchka is a type of snack that originated in the Indian subcontinent. It consists of a round or ball-shaped, hollow puri, filled with a mixture of flavored water, tamarind chutney, chili, chaat masala, potato, onion or chickpeas.

    Why? I am sweet at times and spicy(angry) at times, and thats what makes me and my life. If you are new to me, you will see a rock sheer cover on my mind, you will feel i am arrogant (Hitler like, the most common adjective awarded to me), but once you try and be friends with me, to crack that layer, there is much more you couldn’t even wonder about me.

    I am unpredictable. I can be a sweetest heart soemtimes and an angry bird at times. If you are are new to me, you would think I am arrogant (Probably a Hitler) but as you befriend me, you shall wonder if you ever knew me.

    There is something comfortingly familiar about eating a humble pani puri – a crispy hollow ball made of semolina or wheat, filled with spicy potatoes and topped with tangy, spicy tamarind water made fragrant by mint leaves and black salt.

    It may sound like culinary chaos, but that this spicy, crunchy wonder is absolutely delicious is something almost Indians will agree on.

    Served by vendors from a setup that gives the word ‘utilitarian’ a run for its money, pani puri (also called golgappa, phuchka and a multitude of other monikers) is, in every sense, a material manifestation of the elusive emotion called “simple joy.” This innocuous street snack is also a great leveller – at a pani puri stall, you will see besuited businessmen step out of sleek cars to join the queue alongside the city’s poorest residents.

    So how and where did this culinary gem really originate? Many believe that the answer lies in the history of the kingdom of Magadh.

    One of the 16 Mahajanapadas (great kingdoms in Sanskrit) of ancient India, the Magadhan empire was situated on the banks of River Ganga in what is now west-central Bihar. Lively accounts of Magadh and its capital, Pataliputra, are available in the travel diaries of the Greek historian Megasthenes and the Chinese Buddhist pilgrims Faxian and Xuanzang.

    It is believed that phulkis (the precursor to pani puri) first originated in Magadh at a time when several traditional specialities of the region, like chitba, pitthow, tilba and chewda of Katarni rice, were evolving. The culinary genius who invented them is lost in the pages of history, but if Indians had known who invented pani puri (or whatever you call this yummy snack), they would have thanked that person for generations!

    There is another legend associated with the origin of pani puris. This is how it goes:

    In the epic Mahabharata, a newly-wedded Draupadi returns home to be given a task by her mother-in-law Kunti. The Pandavas were on exile and Kunti wanted to test if her new daughter-in-law would be able to manage with the scarce resources.

    So she gave Draupadi some leftover potato sabzi and just enough wheat dough to make one puri, instructing her to make food that would satisfy the hunger of all five of her sons. It is believed that this was when the new bride invented pani puri. Impressed with her daughter-in-law’s ingenuity, Kunti blessed the dish with immortality.

    While the origins of this delicious snack is yet to be pinpointed with historical accuracy, the one thing that is clear is that pani puri travelled across India and made the country fall head over heels in love with it. Over the years, the combinations underwent many changes as each region developed its own version according to its preferences.

    As a result, pani puri today has almost a dozen different names that changes from region to region. In most parts of central and southern India, it is called pani puri but the recipes have subtle variations. While in Maharashtra, hot ragda (white peas curry) is added to the potato mash, in Gujarat, it is boiled moong and in Karnataka, it is chopped onions.

    While the origins of this delicious snack is yet to be pinpointed with historical accuracy, the one thing that is clear is that pani puri travelled across India and made the country fall head over heels in love with it. Over the years, the combinations underwent many changes as each region developed its own version according to its preferences.

    As a result, pani puri today has almost a dozen different names that changes from region to region. In most parts of central and southern India, it is called pani puri but the recipes have subtle variations. While in Maharashtra, hot ragda (white peas curry) is added to the potato mash, in Gujarat, it is boiled moong and in Karnataka, it is chopped onions.

    In West Bengal, pani puri is called phuchka, probably due to the ‘phuch’ sound it makes when you take a bite. The unique feature of the phuchka lies in the fact that it’s made of wholewheat, unlike the other that are usually made of flour or semolina. The phuchka water is also a little spicier and tangier than that used in the rest of the country.

    India’s internet consumption up during Covid-19 lockdown, shows data

    Data from the department of telecommunications showed that between March 22 and March 28, Indians consumed an average of 307,963 TB or 307 petabytes (PB) of data.

    This was a hike of 9% from the 282,282 TB or 282 PB of data used on March 21, the day when the “janata curfew” was announced, and a hike of 13% from March 19, when the consumption was 270 PB. (Bloomberg file photo. Representative image)

    India’s internet consumption rose by 13% since the nationwide lockdown was put in place to check the spread of Covid-19, according to telecom ministry data that showed Indians consumed 308 petabytes (PB) or 308,000 terabytes (TB) of data daily on an average for the week beginning March 22.

    According to the department of telecom, which collated reports from service providers, the daily average consumption in this period was 9% higher than 282PB data used on March 21 (the day the janta curfew was announced) and 13% more than March 19, when consumption was 270 PB.

    The change reflected how people consumed more streaming content and logged on to work from home, which was also captured in how data demand from residences rose as compared to commercial areas.

    The consumption, DoT figures show, peaked on two days — March 22 and March 27 — when 312 PB of data was used. On March 26, 311 PB of data was consumed. The lockdown, announced on March 24, began on March 25. On March 22, India was put under a voluntary, one-day curfew.

    Since the first week, however, consumption has now stabilised around the 300PB mark.

    The data in one PB is equivalent to 500 billion pages of standard printed text.

    Andhra Pradesh and Bihar saw some of the most drastic increase – it rose by 12% in both states. In Maharashtra, where data consumption was highest among all states under the lockdown period, the increase was 7%.

    The government said that that increase was within their capacity. “We have the capacity to handle a spike of 20% without any duress. We optimised the fibre optics network and have not yet reported a breakdown,” said a DoT official, asking not to be named.

    The consumption, the official added, rose lower than it would have since many streaming services such as YouTube and Netflix decided to downgrade video quality.

    Rajan Mathews of the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said around the third week of March, operators recorded a 30% jump in traffic with most of it from people streaming videos. The COAI wrote to OTT sites to downsize their content.

    The decision by media companies to disable high-quality video and optimise bandwidth usage helped networks meet the increased demand, Mathews said, adding that the operators also started using unused cell towers.

    “With the consumption moving to residential places, the challenge was that these areas resist installation of cell towers. We worked with the government to ensure that of 800 unused cell towers in metro cities, 730 were made functional,” said Mathews.

    A third factor that helped, according to Mathews, was operators being allowed to carry out maintenance work. “Complaints of cuts in fibre optic cables were about 100 a day on an average, this fell down to 6-7 a day,” he said.

    India’s consumption rates have seen a steady increase over the last few years. Nokia’s annual Mobile Broadband India Traffic Index (MBiT) report says that there was a whopping 47% jump in the overall data traffic in India in 2019. This translates to 11 GB a month per user, and is driven by 4G consumption.

    SpeedTest, a site that analyses internet access performance across the globe, in its latest report on tracking COVID-19’s impact on speeds around the world which was updated on April 15, showed a 6% decline in fixed line speeds and 18% in mobile speeds when compared to the week of March 2. As per the report, India’s current broadband speed is an average of 36.17 mbps and mobile download speed is 9.67 mbps.

    While the report put India behind countries like China, Austria, Japan, Israel and UAE, in terms of mobile and fixed broadband performance, it was ahead of countries like Italy, France, Germany, and Canada.

    Rajesh Chharia of the Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI) said that while the strain has not increased, internet service providers (ISPs) should be allowed to share infrastructure. He said that it’s a long-term demand, which is awaiting the Centre’s nod.

    “If the infrastructure of a provider is full, they may be allowed to overload it with the infrastructure of another to spread the network. This will ensure uninterrupted services,” said Chharia.

    HEADPHONES AND YOUR RISK OF HEARING LOSS

    Headphones and earbuds are everywhere – but that doesn’t mean they’re safe for your ears. Using earbuds and headphones can cause damage to your hearing if you aren’t careful. Learn how to keep yourself safe.

    Chances are you have a smartphone in your pocket, and a pair of headphones that connect it directly to your ears. Unfortunately, those same devices that make listening to music or talking on the phone so simple might also be damaging your ears.

    According to a 2011 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the use of headphones and earbuds has led to a major increase in the prevalence of hearing loss in adolescents and young adults. It’s reasonable to assume the same is true for adults using the same devices as well. So what can you do to keep yourself safe from hearing loss caused by headphones or other audio devices?

    HOW LOUD NOISE CAN DAMAGE HEARING

    The key danger of headphones is volume – the fact that they can produce very loud levels of sound very close to your ear. This is dangerous for your hearing because loud noises, in general, are damaging to your ears.

    When sound waves reach our ears, they cause the eardrum to vibrate. This vibration is transmitted to the inner ear through several small bones, where it reaches the cochlea. The cochlea is a fluid-filled chamber in your ear that contains many thousands of small “hairs.” When sound vibrations reach the cochlea, the fluid inside it vibrates and causes the hairs to move. Louder sounds cause stronger vibrations, which cause the hairs to move more.

    When you listen to sounds that are too loud for too long, these hair cells lose their sensitivity to vibration. Many loud noises cause the cells to bend or fold over. This is what causes the sensation of “temporary hearing loss” after you are exposed to loud noises. The hair cells take time to recover from extreme vibrations caused by loud noise.

    In some cases, however, the cells never recover. They may be too damaged to function normally any longer. This leads to lasting hearing loss. This type of noise-induced hearing damage is almost impossible to recover from. No cure exists for repairing a damaged inner ear.

    THE ROLE OF HEADPHONES

    Headphones cause damage to your ears the same way other loud noises do, resulting in what audiologists call “noise-induced hearing loss.” Over time the sounds from your headphones cause the hair cells in the cochlea to bend down too much or too severely. If they don’t get time to recover, the damage can be permanent.

    However, headphones don’t have to be extremely loud to damage your ears. Even listening to headphones or earbuds at a moderate volume can damage your hearing over time. That’s because your ears are not just damaged by the loudness of a noise, but by the length of exposure as well. That’s the same reason going to a concert or using loud power tools can damage your ears as much as a much louder gunshot or explosion. The duration of the exposure matters just as much as the volume.

    https://audiorecovery.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/audio-recovery-hearing-damage-chart-300x207.png

    Data via cdc.gov

    As you can see, louder noises cause hearing damage much faster than quieter ones, but quiet ones can still cause damage over time. For instance, a 90 decibel (dB) noise – about the same as a loud motorcycle approximately 30 feet away – causes hearing damage in under 3 hours. A sound of about 105 dB – similar to a gas lawnmower or other power tools – can damage your hearing in less than 5 minutes.

    What about headphones? Unfortunately that question isn’t easy to answer because decibel ratings from headphones vary. The “loudness” of your headphones is based on the volume you’ve set your phone or device to as well as the type and make of headphone you use.

    For instance, classic iPod earbuds at 100% volume on an iPhone can hit noise levels of 112dB for the wearer, leading to hearing damage in minutes. The same earbuds at 60% volume measure approximately 80 dB, which makes them safe to listen to for several hours.

    You should note that decibels decrease with distance – the closer you are to the source of a sound, the louder it is. For this reason, many audiologists and hearing experts recommend over-the-ear headphones instead of in-ear models like earbuds. The extra distance between the speakers and the ear can significantly reduce the loudness of the audio and help prevent hearing damage.

    HOW TO AVOID HEARING DAMAGE FROM HEADPHONES

    Avoiding headphone-induced hearing damage isn’t too hard. It simply requires most people to break some habits with their headphone use.

    TURN DOWN THE VOLUME

    The single biggest change you can make to protect your hearing is to turn down the volume on your devices. Noise-induced hearing loss is caused primarily by exposure to very loud noise. Limiting your exposure can protect your ears.

    USE NOISE-CANCELING HEADPHONES

    Most people listen to headphones at a high volume to “drown out” other sounds. One good way to lower the volume on your devices and protect your ears is to use noise-canceling headphones. These headphones block out external sound, letting you enjoy your music or videos at a lower volume without distraction.

    USE OVER-THE-EAR MODELS

    As we mentioned above, audiologists and otologists frequently recommend using over-the-ear headphones instead of in-ear or earbud-style models. Over-the-ear headphones increase the distance between your eardrums and the speakers, lowering the chance for hearing loss.

    LIMIT YOUR EXPOSURE

    Along with turning down the volume, you can also protect your ears by reducing your listening time. One good rule of thumb is the “60-60 rule”: Don’t listen at any louder than 60% of max volume for any longer than 60 minutes at a time.

    Unfortunately your ears may never heal completely if they are already damaged from headphone-related noise. That doesn’t mean you’ll never hear well again, though. A hearing aid from a licensed audiologist can restore hearing ability and make it easy for you to hear again.

    What is Covaxin, India’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate; how long before approval?

    India’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate Covaxin: How does Covaxin compare to other vaccine candidates around the world? Where does it figure in the global race for a Covid-19 vaccine?

    Covaxin, what is Covaxin, bharat build india Covaxin, Covaxin india vaccine,

    India’s top drug regulator, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation, has allowed Bharat Biotech India (BBIL) to conduct human clinical trials for ‘Covaxin’, making it the first indigenous Covid-19 vaccine candidate to receive this approval, the firm said. These trials are scheduled to start across India in July.

    What is ‘Covaxin’ and how was it developed?

    Covaxin is a vaccine candidate to developed by BBIL against the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research’s National Institute of Virology (NIV).

    As part of this collaboration, NIV isolated a strain of the virus from an asymptomatic Covid-19 patient and transferred it to BBIL early in May. The firm then used it to work on developing an “inactivated” vaccine–a vaccine that uses a the dead virus–at its high containment facility in Hyderabad.(Read Coronavirus Global Updates)

    https://db57d942241899c441ca465c80cfbd92.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html “Once the vaccine is injected into a human, it has no potential to infect or replicate, since it is a killed virus. It just serves to the immune system as a dead virus and mounts an antibody response towards the virus,” said the company, adding that inactivated vaccines usually have a better safety record.

    BBIL’s Covaxin then underwent pre-clinical testing, which is when the vaccine is tested on animals like guinea pigs and mice to see if it is safe, before the firm approached CDSCO for approvals to move on to the next stage of testing — human trials. https://www.youtube.com/embed/YHhHkhHIhVo?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

    What does the approval mean for India?

    The Drug Controller General of India, who heads CDSCO, has given Bharat Biotech approvals to begin testing its vaccines on humans through phase I and II clinical trials. This brings India a step closer to finalising a domestically developed Covid-19 vaccine for its population–a positive sign at a time when the country’s cases continue to surge, especially in the national capital.

    The first phase, usually conducted on a small group of individuals, tries to find what dosage of the vaccine is safe for use, whether it is effective in building their immunity to the virus and whether there are any side effects. The second phase is conducted on a larger group comprising hundreds of persons fitting the description of those for whom the vaccine is intended using characteristics like age and sex. This phase tests how effective the vaccine is on the population group being studied.

    Also Read: Covid-19 vaccine may be ready in 12-18 months, says WHO chief scientist

    How many more stages of testing would the vaccine have to go through before approval?

    Vaccines, like most new drugs, are meant to follow a clinical testing process spanning four stages, starting with pre-clinical tests and ending with phase III studies conducted on thousands of patients. After approval from the regulator, the firm has to continue monitoring the use of its vaccine on patients and submit post-marketing surveillance details, which checks for any long-term unintended adverse effects of the product.

    Bharat Biotech plans to begin its phase I and II trials in July, but is unsure of the overall timeline for testing and approving its vaccine.

    “At the moment we are not sure how the vaccine is going to perform in the humans, as clinical trials are about to commence. Based on the success results of phase I and phase II, we will progress to the larger clinical trials. Thereafter, the licensure timelines will be set out upon receiving regulatory approvals,” said BBIL.

    What other Indian companies are working on a Covid-19 vaccine candidate? What stage are they at?

    Other Indian firms engaged in the development of Covid-19 vaccines include Zydus Cadila, Serum Institute of India and, since earlier this month, Panacea Biotec.

    While Panacea is still in the pre-clinical stage, it is not clear whether Zydus and Serum have completed their preclinical studies and have also applied to CDSCO for approval to conduct human trials yet.

    How does Covaxin compare to other vaccine candidates around the world? Where does it figure in the global race for a Covid-19 vaccine?

    Covaxin has reached a more advanced stage of testing than two other vaccine candidates that Bharat Biotech is developing through global collaborations — the first is in collaboration with Thomas Jefferson University, while the second is with the University of Wisconsin-Madison and vaccine maker FluGen. Both these candidates are currently in the pre-clinical stage, according to the World Health Organisation’s draft landscape of Covid-19 candidate vaccines.

    However, it is still far behind in the global race for a Covid-19 vaccine. AstraZeneca, whose vaccine candidate “ChAdOx1-S” with the University of Oxford is already at phase III trials, is the frontrunner. Serum Institute has an agreement to manufacture this vaccine.

    Moderna, which is also close to beginning phase III trials for its LNP-encapsulated mRNA vaccine candidate with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is close behind.

    Apart from Covaxin, which is not listed among the vaccines being tried globally, at least six other candidates are in Phase I/II trials and another five are in Phase I trials globally.

    Globally, Zydus Cadila’s DNA plasmid and measles vector vaccines as well as Serum’s codon deoptimised live attenuated vaccine, which it is developing with Codagenix, are still in the pre-clinical stage, according to WHO.