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PRESS RELEASE   |    Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Contact: Gaelle Gourmelon, ggourmelon@worldwatch.org , (+1) 202-745-8092, ext. 510

For more information: State of the World 2015: Confronting Hidden Threats to Sustainability

        
Overfishing and Climate Change, Combined, 
Intensify Ocean Threats
Millions of people and billions of dollars depend on healthy oceans, but human actions create complex interactions that endanger oceans

Washington, D.C.—     The combination of overfishing and climate change may be putting the oceans’ health—   and our own wellbeing—   at risk. As State of the World 2015 contributing author Katie Auth explains, protecting lives and livelihoods will require urgent and concerted action to improve the oceans’ condition (www.worldwatch.org).
“Our sense of the oceans’ power and omnipotence—   combined with scientific ignorance—   contributed to an assumption that nothing we did could ever possibly impact it,” writes Auth. “Over the years, scientists and environmental leaders have worked tirelessly to demonstrate and communicate the fallacy of such arrogance.”
Three billion people worldwide depend on fish as their main source of animal protein, essential micronutrients, and fatty acids. The livelihoods of millions of people in both developing and high-income countries rely on the multibillion-dollar fisheries industry—   a sector that accounted for 1.5 million jobs and more than $45 billion of income in the United States alone in 2010.
“As our negative impact on the oceans has grown, so has our understanding of the myriad ways in which the health of the marine environment determines our own,” writes Auth. “The combined stresses of human activities like overfishing and climate change now pose distinct and intensified threats to marine systems.”
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization reported that the global share of marine stocks considered to be fished “within biologically sustainable levels” fell from 90 percent to 71 percent between 1974 and 2011. Of that 71 percent, a large majority (86 percent) of stocks are already fished to capacity. Rapid human population growth and rising incomes are increasing the demand for food fish and pushing wild fish populations to the brink.
Climate-related changes in the marine ecosystem are also affecting the oceans. Over the last 40 years, the upper 75 meters of the world’s oceans have warmed by an average of more than 0.1 degrees Celsius per year. Temperate species are responding to this change and other stressors, such as pollution and fishing pressures, by moving toward the poles, possibly increasing competition with polar animals.
Further, increased carbon in the atmosphere is triggering ocean acidification. About a quarter of human-caused carbon dioxide from the atmosphere has been absorbed into seawater. This changes the chemistry of the water and makes it more difficult for some marine organisms (such as oysters and corals) to form shells and skeletons. Once these populations are affected, entire food webs are threatened.
“Marine ecosystems and individual organisms that already are weakened by overfishing become less resilient and more vulnerable to disruption, especially because environmental change is occurring so rapidly,” writes Auth.
Yet Auth believes that there is still hope. “Conservation efforts aimed at improving system resiliency have proven effective in addressing the nexus between fishing and climate change,” she writes. Changes in fishing policies, equipment, and techniques that result in less damage to ocean-bottom habitats and that reduce bycatch also would diminish fishing stresses. Finally, revamping the global energy system away from fossil fuels would curtail the rise in ocean temperatures and carbon dioxide levels.
Worldwatch’s State of the World 2015 investigates hidden threats to sustainability, including economic, political, and environmental challenges that are often underreported in the media. State of the World 2015 highlights the need to develop resilience to looming shocks. For more information on the project, visit http://www.worldwatch.org/state-world-2015-confronting-hidden-threats-sustainability-0.

MANJHI WITH AHALYA GIRL IN DELHI’;s THE SOORYAA HOTEL

Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Radhika Apte along with film’s Director Ketan Mehta opened and shared their thoughts from fighting a long legal battle to secure a release date for the film to becoming a victim of piracy.

Directed by ketan Mehta under the banner of Viacom-18 motion pictures, Manjhi- the mountain man is a biopic based on Dashrath Manjhi, a poor labourer hailing from Gehlaur village in Gaya district widely known as the “Mountain Man” who had carved a mountain using only hammer and chisel, to pave a road in memory of his wife who passed away without medical treatment as travel to the nearest hospital took a lot of time due to the mountain.

The question is if social media is a boon or a bane? well, where on one we are thankful to it for making us connected to the world the other hand it acts as a curse when comes to one’s security. These days Piracy and films leaked online before their release are among the biggest nuisances, the internet is currently causing filmmakers and recently, what has come under its net was manjhi the mountain man which has been leaked online 10 days prior to films release.

The man who titillated everybody with his acting skills in gangs of wasseypur, badlapur and many more feels that film like Manjhi looses their essence if watched on small laptops and phones. He added “I don’;t run after money for films”

The film also stars Radhika apte, who recently acted in a Bengali short film Ahalya said “this is the first time I have been a seductress apart from Ahalya. I got molested in Badlapur and in Hunter also I am trying to reject him”

“After badlapur I got those big franchise of sex comedies. I am trying really hard to not be in that category.Some people typecaste you.” she said.

The film is slated to release on 21st August.

Power tariff to be reduced in the national capital: Delhi CM

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The news of auditing of CAG of power distribution companies and exploring the manipulation of accounts is in preliminary stage and more shall follow when the auditing will be done from the tech,capital expenditure and maintenance is observed from last five years or since its entering the contractual obligation
The appointment of CAG was pursued by Mr Naresh Kumar Sagar to Mr Prashant Bhushan to take up the case through court for their appointment  on plea that the services which DISCOM companies are doing comes under essential services and the appointment of CAG to screen their account is within frame work of the norms. This is when the AAP was holding press conference at Constitution club before AAP came to power. Power tariff will have to be reduced in the national capital: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal in the wake of CAG indicting 3 private distribution companies for allegedly inflating dues from consumers to the tune of a whopping Rs 8,000 crore.

AAP stand on media reports about C&AG findings on Delhi DISCOMS :

Media reports about the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) findings which severely indict and expose the foul play and cheating by the private power distribution companies (DISCOMS) in Delhi since over a decade is a clear vindication of the Aam Aadmi Party’s consistent stand on the issue, and a victory of the people in their fight against the corporate oppressors.

The fraud played by discoms running into thousands of crores of rupees is just the tip of an iceberg. The real scam is that the then ruling Congress and opposition BJP in Delhi came together to assist the private power companies to loot the people of Delhi since 2002 onwards.

The Aam Aadmi Party demands that the Delhi government should immediately ask the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) to reject the Discoms petitions for power tariff hike and announce lowering of tariffs in Delhi.

The AAP also demands that the state government should take all possible steps to ensure that the CAG report is made public in totality at the earliest so that the people can come to know of how they were looted by a political-corporate nexus.

The AAP demands that criminal action should be initiated against those who connived to hike electricity tariffs in Delhi through illegal means.

What has come in public domain through media reports also calls the bluff of former governments that CAG audit of private discoms is not possible.

Both the Congress and BJP are guilty of having sided with discoms – Congress role is crystal clear. BJP cannot escape the responsibility of having slowed down the CAG audit during one year of President’s rule.

The AAP challenges both the Congress and the BJP to tell the people of Delhi why they were opposed to the CAG audit of discoms and why they chose to stay away from DERC public hearing on discoms petitions for tariff revision.

“The report of the CAG should be made public and the culprits including the Sheila Government and the opposition BJP need to be brought to book. The proposed tariff hike need to be scrapped and government members in DERC be replaced,” AAP Delhi secretary Saurbah Bhardwaj said.

It must be noted that the UPA and the BJP government at the Centre tried its best to avert a CAG enquiry into the working of the Private discoms. Both BJP and Congress failed miserably to save their corporate masters and themselves and the truth is now out. Around 15 MLAs of the AAP party fought tooth and nail to avert the tariff hike by arguing the people’s case in DERC recently.

Aam Aadmi Party will continue to struggle for people’s cause and despite restrictions and non-cooperation from the centre we are determined to bring relief and ensure transparent government for the people of Delhi.

Regards,

AAP Media cell

Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe claims victory

Aug 18,

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has claimed victory at the parliamentary elections a short while ago, saying that he will build a government based on consensus. In a statement issued to the press a short while ago, Mr Wickremesinghe asked the people to work with him to build a civilized society and a new country. He said that we have to face the challenges of the new age and invited people to join him in the task.

Wickremesinghe led alliance United Front for Good Governance has emerged as the single largest group in the 15th parliamentary elections, but it has failed to secure an outright win. He now seeks to form a national coalition government with support from some members of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s alliance.

Earlier this morning Mahinda Rajapaksa conceded defeat and said that his dream of becoming the Prime Minister has faded away. A senior leader in the UNP told All India Radio that Ranil Wickremesinghe is likely to take oath as the next Prime Minister later this evening.

PM announces Rs 1.25 lakh crore special package for Bihar

Aug 18,  4:22 PM

About half of the Prime Minister’s Bihar Package of Rs 1.25 lakh crore will be spent on construction of highways and bridges. A press release issued by the PMO said that around 55 thousand crore rupees will be spent on four-laning and widening of highways, construction of bridges across Ganga, Sone and Kosi rivers and 12 Rail overbridges.

Besides, around 14 thousand crore rupees will go towards rural roads. Over Rs 21,000 crore will be allocated for expansion of Barauni Refinery, setting up of new Petrochemical Plant, construction of Gas pipelines and massive expansion in domestic LPG connections.

Above Rs 16,000 crore will be earmarked for electrification of villages and towns and over Rs 3000 crore for farmers welfare.
The other investments in the state will be over Rs 40500 crore which include unspent amount of of 2013 Package, ongoing works of National Highways and Ultra Mega Power Project in Banka.

The today’s package of 1.25 lakh crore is over and above the on-going national social sector schemes including Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana, Atal Pension Yojana, Free LPG connections to BPL and Swachh Vidyalaya Abhiyan.

Aug
25

CPR-CSH Urban Workshop
UN-Habitat’s Vision and Approach to Developing Smart Cities in India

Tuesday, 25 August 2015 at 3:45 p.m.

Kulwant Singh

Conference Hall, Centre for Policy Research

Pictured: Navi Mumbai, the world’s largest planned city (Image source)
The Government of India’s concept note on the Smart Cities promotes a low energy path, which leads to sustainable development. Smart Urban Model is based on principles that allow for incremental growth and modification. It introduces key principles deducted from intensive research and broad international experience of UN-Habitat. The principles of sustainable development of cities are the availability of high quality streets and public spaces, properly designed density, limited land-use specialization, better connectivity, energy and resource efficiency, urban resilience and practically enforceable norms and rules. The UN-Habitat has been promoting the same in the past years, using latest principles for sustainable urban development and new technologies to improve the quality of living. A smart city will be a compact structure that lays emphasis on sustainable urban development in the form of density and land use. It promotes economic viability, livability, and environmental quality and reduces over exploitation of natural resources.

The development of a smart city is dependent on principles that benefit the economic agglomeration, reduce mobility demand and strengthen social interactions. It requires a pragmatic approach to work actively towards the development of cities using an innovative technique. The use of ICTs will ensure the sustainable development in all dimensions.

Kulwant Singh (MA, PhD) is the Asia Regional Advisor of UN-Habitat since 2004. Prior to that he was Executive Director, Human Settlements Management Institute, New Delhi for 12 years. An urban economist, he was part of the Indian Economic Service from 1971-1992. He has published widely on the topics of urban management and provision of urban basic services.  Some of his earlier jointly edited works include: Integrated Urban Infrastructure Development in Asia, Oxford & IBH Publishing Co Pvt Ltd; Urban India in Crisis, New Age  International (P) Ltd; Financing and Pricing of Urban Infrastructure, New Age  International (P) Ltd. His recent research work related to “Mapping Poverty to Reach the Urban Poor” published in SCH 44-4, December 2014 and an Issue Paper on Smart Cities for HABITAT-III.  He has been a visiting faculty at UNESCO-IHE Delft, IHS, Rotterdam, the Netherlands from 2004-2011. Currently he is a member of the international jury for Dr Sarphati Sanitation Award and is the Chair Steering Committee: 2015 Asia Pacific Housing Forum 5.

This is the sixty-seventh in a series of Urban Workshops planned by the Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH), New Delhi and Centre for Policy Research (CPR). These workshops seek to provoke public discussion on issues relating to the development of the city and try to address all its facets including its administration, culture, economy, society and politics. For further information, please contact: Rémi de Bercegol at remi.debercegol@gmail.com, Partha Mukhopadhyay atpartha@cprindia.org or Marie-Hélène Zerah at marie-helene.zerah@ird.fr

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Exim Bank’s GoI supported Line of Credit of USD 6.2 million to Myanma Foreign Trade Bank

 

Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) has entered into an Agreement dated May 22, 2015 with the Myanma Foreign Trade Bank, Republic of Union of Myanmar, for making available to the latter, aGovernment of India supported Line of Credit (LOC) of USD 6.20 million (USD Six Million and Two Hundred Thousand) for financing the implementation of a microwave radio link on the Rhi-Mindat route to be carried out by Telecommunication Consultants India Limited in the Republic of Union of Myanmar.

The goods, machinery, equipment and services including consultancy services from India for exports under this agreement are those which are eligible for export under the Foreign Trade Policy of the Government of India and whose purchase may be agreed to be financed by the Exim Bank under this agreement. Out of the total credit by Exim Bank under this agreement, the goods and services including consultancy services of the value of at least 75% of the contract price shall be supplied by the seller from India and the remaining 25% goods and services (other than consultancy services) may be procured by the seller for the purpose of the eligible contract from outside India.

The credit agreement under the LOC is effective from July 27, 2015 and the date of execution of agreement is May 22, 2015. The last date for opening of letters of credit and disbursement will be 48 months from the scheduled completion date of contract in the case of project exports and March 21, 2021 (72 months from the execution date of the credit agreement) in the case of other supply contracts

Shipments under the LOC will have to be declared on EDF/ SDF Forms as per instructions issued by the Reserve Bank from time to time. No agency commission is payable under the above LOC. However, if required, the exporter may use his own resources or utilize balances in his Exchange Earners’ Foreign Currency Account for payment of commission in free foreign exchange. Authorised Dealer Category- l (AD Category-l) banks may allow such remittance after realization of full payment of contract value subject to compliance with the prevailing instructions for payment of agency commission.

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Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVoA) register a growth of 772.3% (y-o-y)  in July 2015

Government of India launched Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVoA) enabled by Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA), known as e-Tourist Visa scheme on 27th November 2014. At present e-Tourist Visa facility is available for citizens of 77 countries (including 3 countries for which the facility was extended on 31st July 2015) arriving at 9 Airports in India .

The following are the important highlights of e-Tourist Visa during July, 2015:

(i) During the month of July, 2015 a total of 21,476 tourist arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 2,462 during the month of July, 2014 registering a growth of 772.3%.

(ii) During January-July, 2015 a total of 1,47,690 tourist arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 14,415 during January-July, 2014 registering a growth of 924.6% .

(iii) This high growth may be attributed to introduction of e-Tourist Visa for 74 countries as against coverage of earlier TVoA scheme for 12 countries.

(iv) The percentage shares of top 10 source countries availing e-Tourist Visa facility during July 2015 were as follows:

USA (33.67%), Australia (7.74%), France (7.13%), Germany (6.80%), UAE (6.71%), Canada (6.30%), Republic of Korea (5.57%), Mexico (2.80%), Japan (2.38%) and Russian Federation (2.29%).

(v) The percentage shares of different ports in tourist arrivals on e-Tourist Visa during July 2015 were as follows:

New Delhi (42.98%), Mumbai (20.72%), Bengaluru (10.36%), Chennai (10.32%), Hyderabad (5.30%), Kochi (5.15%), Kolkata (2.53%), Trivandrum (1.99%) and Goa (0.65%).

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Date: 18th Aug,’15

57% of total income of 5 National Parties during FY 2013-14 was from sale of coupons; Donations formed 22% of the income of the parties; BJP is yet to submit its report to the ECI

The Election Commission of India (ECI), in its letter dated 19th November,’14 issued to the President/General Secretary of all political parties, stated that it was mandatory for the parties to submit details of their audited report to the Commission. This report analyses the total income and expenditure incurred by the National Parties during FY 2013-14, as declared by the parties in their IT Returns submitted to the ECI.

For the complete report in Hindi, kindly refer to the attachment.

Executive Summary

  • The due date for submission of annual audited accounts for the parties was 30thNov,’14.
  •   Out of the six National Parties, BSP, CPI, CPM and NCP submitted their audited report while INC submitted its report under protest stating that unless necessary amendments were made in the RP Act, 1951, the ECI did not have the power to demand such reports from the parties.
  •        BJP, in its letter dated 9th July,’15, had requested for 4 weeks’ time but is yet to file the required reports.

Total Income of National Parties, FY 2013-2014

  • The five National Parties, whose IT Returns are available in the public domain, have declared a total income of Rs 844.71 crores, collected from all over India.
  • INC has shown the highest income amongst the 5 National Parties with a total income of Rs 598.06 crores during FY 2013-14. This formed 70.8% of the total income of the 5 National Parties, together during FY 2013-14.
  • CPM declared the second highest income of Rs 121.87 crores which forms 14.43%of the total income of the National Parties.

Declaration of sale of coupons and donations by National parties: FY-2013-2014

  • Collection from sale of coupons was one of the major sources of income whereINC declared collection ofRs 477.316 crores while NCP declared collection of Rs 8.32 crores from the sale of such coupons.
  • A total of Rs 485.64 crores was collected by INC and NCP, together, via sale of coupons which contributed to 57.49% of the total income of the five national parties.

Share of donations above Rs 20,000 in total donations

  • A comparison of total donations declared by the parties in their IT returns (both above and below Rs 20,000) and that declared in the donations report shows that only 41% of the total donations of the parties came from voluntary contributions above Rs 20,000.
  • A total of Rs 111.29 crores (59%) of the total donations to National Parties was collected during FY 2013-14 from donors whose details are not available in the public domain.

Unknown sources of income of National parties for FY- 2013-2014

  • The unknown sources are income declared in the IT returns but without giving source of income for donations below Rs.20,000. Such unknown sources include ‘sale of coupons’, ‘Purse money’, ‘relief fund’, ‘miscellaneous income’, ‘voluntary contributions’, ‘contribution from meetings/ morchas’ etc. The details of donors of such voluntary contributions are not available in the public domain.
  • Total income of political parties from unknown sources (income specified in the IT Returns whose sources are unknown), for the FY 2013-14 is Rs 673.08 crores, which is 79.68% of the total income of the parties.

Recommendations of ADR

  • While the ECI had issued guidelines to the political parties in order to promote transparency in the parties’ functioning and to aid the Commission to conduct free and fair elections, INC submitting its details under protestdisplays a lack of enthusiasm from the party in promoting and practicing the desired quality of transparency and accountability in its functioning. Those parties playing a decisive role at the national political arena should lead by example rather than curtailing any attempt at transparency.
  • Full details of all donors should be made available for public scrutiny under the RTI. Some countries where this is done include Bhutan, Nepal, Germany, France, Italy, Brazil, Bulgaria, the US and Japan. In none of these countries is it possible for80% of the source of funds to be unknown, but at present it is so in India.
  • Those parties not following the ICAI guidelines for auditing of reports should be scrutinized by the IT department.
  • The National and regional political parties must provide all information on their finances under the Right to Information Act. This will only strengthen political parties, elections and democracy.

For details on the top sources of income of the National Parties, their top items of expenditure during the FY 2013-14 and the need for a strict mechanism for reporting financial statements of political parties, please refer to the attached report.

Regards,

SCTETM Highlights SCTE India Initiative and NewTraining Portfolio With CommunicAsia Debut
SCTE India membership certificates presented for the first time in the 4th Cablenet ExpoVision 2015 held at Hyderabad
For Immediate Release
Hyderabad, 17th August, 2015 – In a hallmark event, held along with the opening ceremony of the “4th Cablenet ExpoVision 2015 during 12th-14th August” in Hyderabad; SCTE a global non-profit organization working towards advancement of broadband and telecommunication professionals, presented its first membership certificates to technicians who enrolled as the student members.

The certificates were given to the members by Hon’ble Minister, Commercial Taxes and Cinematography, Telangana Shri Talasani Srinivas Yadav. Also, present at the ceremony were, President of Telangana MSO Federation – Mr. M.Subhash Reddy and National Secretary of SCTE India -Mr. Rahul Nehra. The event was attended by hundreds of professionals from the cable and broadband industry from across South India.

MSO Federation -ESSCI and SCTE announced launch of its “Skill 10000” mission undertaken jointly by both the organization. The “Skill 10000 mission” is scheduled to be commenced from the first week of September with the help of Novacom, represented by Mr.Manidhar Devineni, Managing Director.

Commenting on the occasion, Shri. Subhash Reddy said, “There is tremendous excitement in the cable fraternity in Telangana with this initiative. Hyderabad being the first center of Digital Cable learning, will help the operators prepare for the next generation push of Digital Cable and Broadband.”

The Hon’ble Minister conveyed his support to the initiative of the Cable Operator, while handing over the SCTE Membership Certificates to the first two student members in India for this Digital transformation. The certification, which is given by ESSCI at a national level and by SCTE at an International level, enables the members to be a part of the National and International Cable and Broadband industry. Several MSO’s and Broadband players have requested SCTE to assist with SCTE-ESSCI skilled technicians as they roll-out their networks in the coming months.

At this exposition hundreds of Cable Operators also evinced interest in becoming SCTE Members, attending the courses and being a part of the SCTE-ESSCI knowledge forum.

Mr. Rahul Nehra ‘National Secretary ‘ SCTE said, “Hyderabad has been at the forefront of every digital transition and SCTE is delighted to see the huge surge of interest in equipping itself in the digital transition and SCTE would be an able partner to this”

About SCTE™ (www.theSCTE.eu) and SCTE India (www.scte-india.org)

Founded in 1945, the SCTE™ is a Learned Society and non-profit making organization whose aim is to raise the standard of broadband engineering in the telecommunications industry. The Society particularly concerns itself with the training and career advancement of technical professionals in the field.

Headquartered in Watford (U.K.), the SCTE is a global non-profit organization that is managed by elected volunteers from the broadband industry. The SCTE offers engineers, technicians, installers and professionals involved in broadband telecommunications access to a wide array of professional development opportunities, such as training courses, technical lecture meetings, conferences, exhibitions, accreditation and certification. It also disseminates the latest technical and standards data to members electronically and via the Society’s quarterly magazine, Broadband Journal.

In addition, the Society chairs the British Standards Committee for Cable Systems and represents the U.K. at European (CENELEC) and world (IEC) levels. Apart from the U.K., the SCTE has active groups all around the world, notably in India and in the Benelux and Balkan regions. Individual members can be found in 42 countries globally with a concentration in traditional PAL TV areas, such as Europe, China, Australia and South Africa. SCTE training courses have achieved industrywide acceptance as the standard for young technicians wishing to enter the field of broadband telecommunications. Courses are also used by many international organizations.

SCTE India is based in New Delhi and led by nine founding members from the Indian telecoms industry. Like the SCTE UK, SCTE India is an educational society designed to promote expertise, exchange of information and experience and the training and accreditation of members. Membership of SCTE India is open to all wireline engineers and technicians throughout the Indian sub-continent.

For Press related enquires:
Megha Puri
Corporate Communication
Ph: +91-9811819526
Email: meghap@eigroup.in
Kavita Yadav
Corporate Communication
Ph. +91-9873884498
Email: kavitay@eigroup.in