Significant DDT pollution was found in Delhi’s soil according to a survey. M.R.N. Prasad, head of the zoology department at Delhi University, reported at a symposium of the Indian National Science Academy that soil and earthworms from 50 different areas of Delhi were analysed by experts who found DDT in all the samples. DDT, used to kill mosquitoes and farm pests, enters the human body through food. DDT use was restricted in several countries after animal experiments revealed it may be harmful to humans.
West Less critical
There is “a little less of hostility and a somewhat more objective appreciation and approach in the West” towards the internal situation in India, External Affairs Minister Y.B. Chavan said. However, there is still the tendency to “judge our problems through their point of view and their ideas about democracy”. The developing countries and the socialist world had a better understanding of India’s internal conditions than the West, Chavan claimed.
A co-ordination committee of the National Conference and the Congress was set up “to strengthen secular and democratic forces” in Jammu and Kashmir.
Chavan’s US Trip
External Affairs Minister Y.B. Chavan described the gains from his recent US visit as “positive”. The US refused to change its stand on the supply of arms to Pakistan and the setting up of a naval base in Diego Garcia, an island in the Indian Ocean. However, US President Gerald Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger expressed the desire to work with New Delhi. The major gain was related to the decisions of the Indo-US Joint Commission. However, the minister cautioned against expecting miracles in the Indo-US relationship. “We should be more practical and realistic in such matters, keeping our national interest in mind,” he said.