The Goldman Environmental Foundation, US, recently awarded the annual environmental prize for Asia, worth US $75,000 to M C Mehta, a Supreme Court lawyer who has won about 40 landmark environmental judgements since 1984.

To give a boost to composite mariculture in the coastal areas, the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute in Kochi, Kerala, launched an ambitious programme on April 30. It aims to promote the farming of seaweed culture, mussel, pearl, crab and oyster.

In a bid to strengthen laws against poaching in the country, the Centre is planning to overhaul the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. It will consider the recommendations made by the committee appointed by the Delhi High Court in this regard.

India has gained the dubious honour of being the country with the largest number of people infected with the HIV virus which leads to AIDS, according to the World Health Organization. At the end of 1995, an estimated 1,750,000 adults in India were infected with HIV.

As part of USAID's development programme for third world countries, the US government has sanctioned US $25 million for 'various ecofriendly projects in India. One of the projects has already begun in Mysore for the production of air pollution control equipment.

To curb a major jaundice outbreak in Hanumangarh district of Rajasthan, the Central pollution control board (PCB) has asked the state PCBs of Punjab and Haryana to take steps against industries which are polluting the Ghaggar river.

Environment will be integrated with development in the nine five-star industrial estates to be established soon in Maharashtra. The state industrial development corporation has decided to promote only non-polluting industries in these estates.

With only a few cases of guinea worm disease, dracunculiasis, reported from Rajasthan last year, India will be declared 'guinea worm free' latest by the turn of the century. No case was reported in 1995 from other affected states of the country.

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