Thursday, July 12, 2012

WishTel launches the FIRST TABLET – TV, IRA Thing 2

WishTel launches the FIRST TABLET – TV, IRA Thing 2 on Android 4.0
~ The 7 inch tablet offers TV, E-News, Skype video calling, E-books and more ~
Text Box: • Android 4.0, 1.5Ghz & 512MB RAM
• 7” (LCD) Multi Touch
• 4GB internal memory
• WiFi & 3G Dongle Support
• Smart apps like TV, E-News
• 1.3MP inbuilt camera
• Supports 14 Indian languages
• Available in 6 peppy colours
• Price:Rs.6500

Mumbai, July 12, 2012: WishTel, the makers of low-cost and highly effective tablets IRA and IRA THING, today has announced the launch of an innovative tablet in the same series, IRA THING 2. The 7inch, multi touch capacitive tablet runs on Android 4.0 (Icecream sandwich) and is powered by 1.5GHz processor with 512MB RAM. IRA Thing 2 is available in 6 peppy colours – black, red, yellow, pink, blue and white.

Designed and manufactured in India, Wishtel’s IRA Thing 2, has been tailor made to meet the specific needs of the Indian user and combine advanced multimedia, connectivity, and computing capabilities with a rich features. The TV app on IRA thing 2 gives consumers an access to over 120 TV channels across various genres of entertainment, sports, kids, news, music, fashion & lifestyle, regional and much more. The The E-News app allows users an access to news from over 55 multi-liguistic newspapers from across India.

Announcing the launch of IRA THING 2 tablets in the Indian market Mr. Milind Shah, Chief Executive Officer, WishTel said, We have been persistent in delivering the best of technology with our earlier two products – IRA & IRA Thing and are overwhelmed with the responses received from our customers. With the launch of IRA Thing 2, we wish to offer the youth of today, a device that is fun, trendy and offers access to the best of entertainment and education applications at an affordable price.”
The tablet has a 4GB internal memory and an expandable memory of upto 32GB and comes with 1.3MP inbuilt front camera. It is capable of accepting and displaying a HD content at 1080p using a component video or digital input as well as HDMI output. The tablet comes engineered with a 3000mAh battery, which can give users browsing time of approximately 4 hours. IRA THING 2 also offers Indian language keyboard to support 14 Indian languages like Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, and Oriya. Etc.  
IRA THING 2 is highly portable and handheld tablet PC-TV that allows you to connect to the world through 3G and WiFi where you can play your favourite games like angry birds, temple run and many more that can be downloaded through the android market store - Google Play. The tablets also come with a rich set of personal productivity, social media, communications, and entertainment apps, making them ideal solutions for a wide variety of home, educational, and corporate uses. IRA THING 2 is a great deal for travellers as it offers Navigation, Google maps, Skype video calling and e-book facilities supported with various Indian languages at the same time.

IRA Thing 2 is priced at Rs.6500 and will be made available through retail outlets across 50 cities in India. It is available through leading outlets and WishTel’s website. It also bundles HDMI cable, wireless headphone, WLAN to USB port cable.

About WishTel:

Wishtel is a young enterprise that believes in bringing people closer to technology by creating gadgets that touch the lives of people. The company has designed, engineered and manufactured the recently launched low-cost tablets IRA and IRA Thing 2 (world’s first tablet to support 23 native Indian languages). With its highly effective and affordable products, the company aims to bridge the technological gap in the education industry. Wishtel with its associates possesses in-depth expertise and experience with real time embedded systems and development tools, thus building an ecosystem of highly integrated hardware and software for Tablet PCs and multimedia boxes. It drives manufacturing efficiencies, inventory, lead time and cost reductions in its India manufacturing operations through quality orientated and lean operating principles.

For more information please visit

OPEC said, Europe's debt worries, a faltering US economic recovery and deceleration of growth in emerging markets. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which produces a third of global oil, said healthy output levels from non-OPEC producers next year would be enough to cover the modest growth in demand without the need for OPEC itself to increase output. "Besides the euro zone crisis, geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, the contraction of manufacturing in the US for the first time since 2010 and decelerating economic growth in emerging markets have been fuelling uncertainties regarding global economic growth," OPEC said in a monthly report.
OPEC left its 2012 world oil demand growth forecast unchanged at 0.9 million bpd and said growth in 2013 would slow to 0.82 million bpd. "The fact that the departure of Greece from the euro zone, with a severe impact on the euro zone economy, still cannot be ruled out remains a cause of concern," it said.
"Such an action would provoke a massive capital outflow from the country and result in a default of its fiscal obligations, with a destabilizing effect on the euro zone and beyond."
The group's forecasts are close to those of the US government, which on Tuesday cut its global oil demand growth estimate for 2013 by 360,000 bpd to 730,000 bpd. OPEC forecast non-OPEC supply to increase by 0.7 million bpd in 2012 and 0.9 million in 2013.
"US oil supply is expected to average 10.07 million bpd in 2013, an increase of 0.37 million bpd over 2012. This increase will be the highest among all non-OPEC countries and at the highest annual level since 1986", OPEC said. Demand for OPEC's own crude is expected to average 29.6 million bpd in 2013, almost 2 million below its June production levels of 31.36 million.

OPEC  cited secondary sources as saying Iranian production was down to 2.963 million bpd in June, the lowest in more than 20 decades, while Saudi Arabia had ramped output back to above 10.1 million bpd.
Average oil prices were the highest on record in 2011 and earlier this year appeared to be heading for new records due to fears over supply disruptions from Iran amid Tehran's standoff with the West over its nuclear program.

But prices fell steeply from May to below $100 per barrel due to concerns about the global economy.
OPEC said it based its 2013 oil demand forecast on assumptions including a slowing in world GDP growth from 2012, normal weather, flat US oil demand, 8 percent growth in the Chinese economy and a slowdown in the economies of the Middle East.In case US economy grows a bit stronger next year, oil demand may grow by 1 million bpd, according to OPEC's optimistic scenario. The pessimistic scenario sees oil demand growing by a mere 0.65 million bpd should recovery in developed economies prove more difficult.

Analysts said they agreed with the modest oil output growth forecast from OPEC and added it would not necessarily mean depressed oil prices in 2013. "The supply system is very close to its limits and that will not change," David Wech from JBC Energy consultancy said. "We see a very limited supply cushion - probably at around 1.5 to 2.5 million bpd - and that is not enough bearing in mind potential supply outages," he said, citing Iran, Libya and Norway as recent examples of outages.

Wech predicted demand growth of 1.1 million bpd in 2013, while Seth Kleinman at Citigroup put the figure at 0.9 million bpd and analysts from Barclays at 1.16 million bpd. "I see ample supply for the foreseeable future, but of course geopolitical developments can always cut immediate supply," Tamas Varga from PVM brokerage said.

 UN Security Council has been unable to decide its next step in Syria as the future of UN observers who have been forced to suspend their mission there due to growing violence.Diplomatic sources say international envoy Kofi Annan addressed a closed meeting of the Security Council on Wednesday using a videoconferencing system.

Annan reported that the situation in Syria has worsened. He urged council members to speak in a united voice on the matter.United States and France want to impose sanctions on Syria, but they face opposition from Russia.

US Ambassador Susan Rice told reporters after the meeting that UN mediation efforts would not work unless the Security Council puts intense pressure on the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

Russia's Deputy UN Ambassador Alexander Pankin described sanctions on the Assad government as unilateral and discriminatory. He insisted instead on diplomatic efforts to end the violence.

Vuclip launches Mira! – India’s first mobile video portal – catering to a woman’s needs such as health, beauty, parenting, cookery, career and entertainment all within the comfort of her handset, anywhere, anytime.Vuclip survey shows that out of nearly 13000 Indian women respondents, 60% use handsets as a primary source of entertainment, while 80% reported steady increase in their time spent on mobile-viewing
New Delhi, July 11, 2012: Vuclip, the world’s largest independent mobile video destination, today launched India’s first mobile portal, Mira!, designed to appeal to the new age women who are independent, tech savvy and full of life. Mira! draws quality content from almost 30 leading content providers in India and globally to offer free access to the best videos that cater to a woman’s needs, all within the comfort of her own mobile handset, anywhere, anytime. It features video content relating to health, beauty, fashion and style tips, parenting, cooking recipes, career, entertainment, celeb-speak, astrology and more. This women’s mobile video channel can be accessed from virtually any internet-enabled mobile phone from a range of over 5500 different handsets including the most basic feature phones to sophisticated smart phones.
Launching the first mobile video channel for women, Mira!, Chief Guest Prof. Kiran Walia, Women Development Minister for India’s national capital territory of Delhi, said, “Mobile phones are emerging as an economical tool for accelerating mass-scale development of women. These days, mobile offers a very affordable and easy to use means to even access internet as compared to computer and other devices, and can be used by a much larger section of women in the society. Studies show that the mobile phone has helped women feel safer, more independent and connected, and has opened new professional avenues and income sources for women. As India’s first mobile video channel for women, I hope that this initiative will help boost mobile adoption among women, and will encourage the creation of more women-oriented mobile content.” A report by the Cherie Blair Foundation and GSMA Development Fund on the mobile phone gender gap in low and middle-income countries had found that mobile penetration among women in India is only about 28% as compared to 40% among men.
Vuclip also unveiled the findings of its global survey in which almost 40,000 women users participated from 176 countries, including nearly 13,000 women from India. Conducted over just five days, the survey found that besides voice and text, 60% of Indian women respondents use their handsets as a primary source of entertainment. As many as 80% of the respondents reported steady increase in their time spent on mobile-viewing. Besides movies and music, Indian women also loved watching TV soaps, cute/funny videos, sports, home and lifestyle, news, celeb gossip and amazing/whacky videos on their mobile. Women aged 18-35 years comprised 65% of the Indian respondents, while 24% were under 18 years and another 11% were over 36 years.  
Commenting on the survey findings, Meera Chopra, Vuclip’s Vice President Advertising in India, said, “Even as the adoption of mobile among women grows in India, it is encouraging to note that mobile is already becoming a woman’s preferred source for content. While 37% women from India reported that they spend more than one hour daily on TV, print or radio media, a close 32% women reported that they spend over an hour to access mobile content every day.” Added Meera, “Currently, women constitute only 14% of the total 11 million users on Vuclip in India. We hope that by the end of this year, Mira! will help Vuclip double its existing 1.54 million women users in India. Already, Mira! provides you access to thousands of videos on yoga, aerobics and fitness, fashion and style, hobbies and pets, food and cookery, Bollywood, popular TV shows, animated stories, cartoons and rhymes for children, as well as devotional and astrology related content all on your personal mobile screen.”
Vuclip’s Global Vice President for Marketing, Judith Coley, said, “In contrast to the developed countries, internet in the developing world is arriving on phones before even traditional computers. About 59% of internet users in India get online only via mobile phones. We hope that Mira! will help spark a revolution in the way women’s mobile content is perceived – by content providers, brands, and women themselves. Cisco predicts that mobile video will increase 25-fold to account for over 70 percent of total mobile data traffic between 2011 and 2016. As the world’s leading independent mobile video destination, Vuclip is uniquely positioned to help usher in mobile adoption among women through enriching mobile content. Vuclip thinks women are wonderful and is honored to be able to bring them the best of web video for their entertainment snack.”
Elaborating on the name and the philosophy of Mira!, Judith said, “‘Mira!’ in Latin is the root word for ‘wonderful’, while in Spanish, ‘Mira!’ means ‘look’. Mira! is also the name of a bright star. The Mira! Woman is busy, engaged, radiant and full of life. She wants to make the most of every moment, and when she takes a break, she turns to her mobile phone for entertainment, news and tips. Meaning prosperity in Sanskrit, ‘Mira!’ defines the woman who yearns for the vast expanse of global knowledge and information to enhance her life and livelihood. Mira! reminds us that like a mirror, it's important to take time out to reflect, relax and enjoy.”
The launch was attended by well-known women leaders from different walks of life who exemplified the everyday extraordinary Mira! woman:
·         Anisha Subandh, Certified Yoga Instructor from Chennai (Onkar yoga), said, “I access mobile videos often, and can imagine why it has grown into such a rage globally. When Vuclip team invited me for this launch, I was delighted to learn that over 1.1 Crore users in India are already accessing mobile videos on Vuclip actively. Earlier, I had been using it for self learning and reference, but now thanks to Mira!, I think I will be able to take my yoga classes to mobile phones to reach a wider global audience where my students can practice it even in the comfort of their home or while traveling.”  
·         Rupal Sancheti, noted event planner from Gurgaon, says, “Work pressures often tend to bog you down. It is at times like this when one really needs to take a quick break, some kind of an entertainment snack which can pep you up and help you de-stress. Watching a short fun video clip or health/ parenting tips or gossip about my favorite celeb should do the trick. Thanks Vuclip for giving me Mira!”
Additional Resources
·         To watch videos on any mobile device worldwide, go to
·         To watch videos clips on Mira!  on any mobile device worldwide, go to
·         To view Vuclip’s most recent Global Video Insights report, a monthly overview of global mobile video trends, please visit:
About Vuclip
For millions of people around the world, Vuclip is an essential part of their daily lives. Vuclip serves video on-the-fly, on any device, and in any country, providing unparalleled reach for its partners. Every day Vuclip delivers more than 20 million videos to consumers in over 200 countries. Vuclip is headquartered in Milpitas, California with offices in Los Angeles, New Delhi, Mumbai, Singapore, Shenzhen and Beijing. Check out Vuclip on your phone:

Australia said it was in the process of working out internal arrangements to ensure supply of the yellowcake to India.
Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr conveyed this to External Affairs Minister S M Krishna during their talks here in the Cambodian capital on the sidelines of the ASEAN Ministerial meeting.

"As you are aware, Labor party had earlier decided to reverse its policy and supply uranium to India. Carr informed the Indian External Affairs Minister that they are in the process of working out internal arrangements which will enable them to give effect to this policy of the Labor Party and as a government they will finalise this (arrangement) and come to India shortly with the draft,"as media reports.

He said Krishna appreciated the commitment and told his Australian counterpart that he was looking forward to Canberra taking next steps in this regard."The External Affairs Minister noted this commitment and said that he looks forward to the government of Australia providing the next steps in this efforts," the MEA spokesperson said.Media agencies

ASEAN  Forum to meet in Cambodia.Foreign ministers of members of the ASEAN Regional Forum will hold a conference in Cambodia to discuss security in the Asia-Pacific region.The annual meeting will be held in the capital Phnom Penh on Thursday with representatives from 10 ASEAN members and 17 other economies participating.

ASEAN forum to have North Korea's Foreign Minister Pak Ui Chun and will draw international attention to the discussions as all members of the 6-party talks on North Korea's nuclear program will be present.On North Korea launched its a satellite-carrying rocket in April,UNSC members condemned it as a test of ballistic missile technology.The participants countries are to take view at territorial disputes in the South China Sea. Confrontations have been growing between China, the Philippines, and Vietnam over the sovereignty of some island chains.

China and ASEAN countries on Wednesday reached a broad agreement to come up with a legally binding code of conduct to peacefully resolve the disputes. China is still cautious about the move. Bargaining is likely to be accelerated by involving the United States and other countries, which are pushing for an early creation of the rule.

DoT has sought legal opinion on whether to implement the split verdict of telecom tribunal TDSAT on validity of mobile phone operators offering 3G services beyond their licence areas under roaming pacts.

Immediately after the verdict was given by TDSAT, a senior DoT official wrote to Additional Solicitor General A S Chandhiok seeking his opinion on the legal position with respect to applicability of the order of the tribunal.
The two members of the tribunal bench differed with each other. The split verdict came on a petition filed by mobile phone companies challenging a government order asking them to stop offering 3G services beyond their licensed circles or zones under mutual roaming agreements.
The two-member bench comprising Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) Chairman Justice S B Sinha and Member P K Rastogi differed in their findings.
While Justice Sinha allowed operators' plea against the government's directive to stop intra circle 3G roaming saying it was violating natural justice, Justice Rastogi dismissed the petition saying they cannot provide roaming.
The Chairman was of view that DoT (Department of Telecom) had not followed the proper procedure and operators were not given proper time to put their views, but Rastogi dismissed the appeal saying that they can't provide 3G services by having mere 2G licence.
The spilt verdict left the Department of Telecom in a difficult position and it wanted to know the legal position in respect of implementation of 1:1 order of TDSAT.
The letter, written by Senior Deputy Director General (Access Services) A K Mittal, also asked the Additional Solicitor General that if the order of TDSAT was not applicable, could the DoT take action against the service providers and was it "necessary or advisable to issue fresh show cause notices?"
Several telecom companies including Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, Aircel and Tata Tele had filed petitions in the TDSAT challenging the 23rd December 2011 directive of DoT to scrap their intra-circle roaming pacts within 24 hours.
Under the pact, telecom service providers had entered into mutual agreement with each other to facilitate roaming facilities without bringing in DoT in to the picture.
TDSAT has a sanctioned strength of three judges including the Chairman. However, due to retirement of its technical member, the tribunal now has two judges which led to the split verdict.
Immediately after the split verdict, the DoT also informed the Additional Solicitor General that caveats were being filed in the Supreme Court and Delhi High Court on the issue.

Parliamentary Consultative Committee of Ministry of Water Resources Discusses National Water Policy Minister of Water Resources and Parliamentary Affairs, Shri Pawan Kumar Bansal has said that there is a need to move towards transparent and participatory mechanisms of pricing of water by independent Water Regulatory Authorities. He was addressing the meeting of the Consultative Committee of Members of Parliament of the Ministry of Water Resources in New Delhi today.

Emphasizing that the planning, development and management of water resources has to keep pace with current realities, Shri Bansal said there is a suggestion that a broad over-arching national legal framework of general principles on water is necessary to pave the way for essential legislation on water governance in every State. He said the need for a comprehensive legislation for optimum development of Inter-State rivers and river valleys has been recognized. The Minister said the draft National Water Policy recommends that the management of irrigation systems should move away from a narrow engineering-construction-centric approach to a more multi-disciplinary and participatory approach. He pointed out that the draft policy emphasizes the need to determine the ecological needs of rivers and also institutionalization of community based water management. Shri Bansal called for building up incentives to narrow the gap between irrigation capacities created and those being utilized.

Stating that water security of the future will depend on efficient management of water, Shri Bansal said we need to be conscious of water footprints and evolve benchmarks for its efficient use. He added that efficient use of water in Industry through recycling has been adequately emphasized in the Policy. He recalled that increasing water use efficiency by 20% is one of the goals of National Water Mission.

The Minister expressed concern over the decline in the ground water table across the country. Pointing out that the present legal situation gives every land holder the right to pump unlimited quantities of water from a bore well, Shri Bansal said there is no regulation of ground water extraction and no coordination among competing uses. He added that inadequate and sub-optimal pricing of both power and water is promoting the misuse of groundwater. Shri Bansal called for moving to a situation where ground-water can be treated as a common property resource held by the state under public trust doctrine. He said there is a need to map aquifers to quantify the water availability and let the community know and manage their aquifer for ensuring water security. Stating that the access to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation are basic human needs, Shri Bansal said the policy classifies drinking water and sanitation needs as pre-emptive needs and the governance institution must ensure availability of water for these needs within easy reach of every household.

Minister of State for Water Resources and Minority Affairs, Shri Vincent H. Pala was also present. The Members of Parliament who were present included Dr. Gyan Prakash Pilania, Dr. Prabha Kishor Taviad, Dr. Jyoti Mirdha, Shri Mohan Jena, Shri G. S. Basavaraj, Dr. Kirodilal Meena, Shri Ijyaraj Singh and Shri Rajaiah Siricilla. Several suggestions were made in the meeting which included recognizing water as national resource and bringing it into concurrent list, popularizing micro irrigation, prioritizing water needs of people living in water deficit areas, promoting rainwater harvesting, preventing wastage of water flowing into sea, checking illegal mining in river beds, introducing punitive measures to check water pollution and introducing cropping patterns based on availability of water in the area. Some members called for identifying water stressed states and giving them special status for central assistance.

Releases Draft Regulations on “Standards of Quality of Service for Mobile Data Services Regulations, 2012”

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has on Monday (09th July, 2012) released draft regulations on Standards of Quality of Service for Mobile Data Services Regulations, 2012
The service providers are rolling out 3G services and these services are presently available in all the service areas.  With the roll out of 3G and Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) services, the growth rate in cellular mobile telephone service is poised for higher growth, compared to wire line internet users. Presently, there is no quality of service standards for the mobile data services. It is necessary to benchmark and monitor the quality of service offered by the service providers of mobile data services with various options open to the implementing agencies so that the interests of consumers are protected. TRAI, therefore, decided to benchmark the quality of service parameters for mobile data services, so that the interests of consumers are protected. Accordingly, the draft regulations have been prepared.
The comments of the stakeholders are solicited on the   draft regulations on Standards of Quality of Service for mobile data services Regulations, 2012. Full text of the draft regulations is available on TRAIs website (
Written  comments  on  the  draft  regulations  are  invited  from  the stakeholders by 25th July, 2012 and counter comments by 1st  August,
2012. The comments may be sent, preferably in electronic  on           the        e-mail      address The comments can also be mailed to address given below or faxed to 011-23213036. Comments will be posted on the TRAIs website.  For any further clarifications please contact Mr. A. Robert J. Ravi, Advisor (QOS) on 011-23230404.

Foreign Tourist 4.32 Lakhs & FEE in June 2012 Rs 6485Cr

Foreign Tourist Arrivals and Foreign Exchange Earnings in June 2012.
 Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) during the Month of June 2012 was 4.32 lakh as compared to FTAs of 4.12 lakh during the month of June 2011 and 3.85 lakh in June 2010. There has been a growth of 4.8% in June 2012 over June 2011 as compared to a growth of 4.6% registered in May 2012 over May 2011. FTAs during the period January-June 2012 were 32.37 lakh with a growth of 7.4%, as compared to the FTAs of 30.15 lakh with a growth of 10.8 % during January-June 2011 over the corresponding period of 2010.

Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEE) during the month of June 2012 were Rs. 6485 crore as compared to Rs. 5440 crore in June 2011 and Rs 4751 crore in June 2010. The growth rate in FEE in ` terms in June 2012 over June 2011 were 19.2% as compared to 14.5% in June 2011 over June 2010. FEE from tourism in ` terms during January-June 2012 were Rs.43760 crore with a growth of 24.4%, as compared to the FEE of Rs. 35163 crore with a growth of 12.1% during January-June 2011 over the corresponding period of 2010.

FEE in US$ terms during the month of June 2012 were US$ 1158 million as compared to FEE of US$ 1213 million during the month of June 2011 and US$ 1020 million in June 2010. The growth rate in FEE in US$ terms in June 2012 over June 2011 was (-) 4.5% as compared to the growth of 18.9% in June 2011 over June 2010. This decline may be partly due to substantially depreciated value of Indian Rupees in June 2012 as compared to June 2011. FEE from tourism in terms of US$ during January-June 2012 were US$ 8455 million with a growth of 8.2%, as compared to US$ 7811 million with a growth of 14.2% during January-June 2011 over the corresponding period of 2010.

Ministry of Tourism compiles monthly estimates of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) and Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEE) from tourism on the basis of data received from major airports.

UK Govt urged to disassociate London 2012 Olympics from Dow Chemicals, BP & Rio Tinto who wants to green wash their brand
New Delhi, July 10, 2012: In a letter to Jean Charest, Premier, Government of Quebec, Canada and Stephen Harper, Prime Minister, Government of Canada, ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA) has expressed its sense of outrage and dismay at the announcement of a $58 million loan for revival of the Jeffrey Asbestos mine under the influence of Chrysotile Institute, a white asbestos industry funded group. Canadian High Commission has confirmed that the letter dated July 6, 2012 has been sent to their offices. 
In a separate letter to Prime Minister of Government of United Kingdom his urgent intervention has been sought to stop banks, financial institutions and companies from investing in the Indian white asbestos industry. TWA has pointed out that companies like Jagjiwan Enchem Udyog Limited Company are admittedly 㡳sociated with worldⳠleading 150 years old reputed company M/s. Scandura Ltd., the British Belting Asbestos group of companies. Mr. Dilip J. Pandya founder promoter of the company had undergone intensive asbestos process training at M/s. Scandura Ltd., in England.䠔he company reveals that its Aqua Dispersion Process technology imported from BRITISH BELTING & ASBESTOS GROUP of U.K. The letter dated July 10, 2012 is attached. Such involvement of British business interests in asbestos companies is unacceptable. This also reveals a manifest case of double standard given the fact that use of asbestos is banned in UK. ༯span>༯span>
Justifying asbestos trade is akin to justifying slave trade. It does not behove civilized countries like Canada and UK to endanger the lives of defenseless citizens and workers in developing country like India by exposing them to the carcinogenic fibers of white asbestos.
It is noteworthy that TWA and Ban Asbestos India campaign has purposefully persuaded several ministries of Government of India and other agencies to discourage and phase out white asbestos trade but India remains one of the key consumers of asbestos from Quebec, Russia and other countries. Years of efforts by citizen groups are beginning to yield results.
  • Union Ministry of Labour has revealed that that the ㇯vernment of India is considering the ban on use of chrysotile asbestos in India to protect the workers and the general population against primary and secondary exposure to Chrysotile form of Asbestos."
  • Union Ministry of Chemicals took the right step on June 21, 2011 when it disassociated India from Canada and other asbestos producing countries in order to get white asbestos listed in the UN list of hazardous materials.
  • Union Ministry of Mines has technically banned asbestos mining in India.
  • Union Ministry of Railways is working to make all railway platforms in India asbestos free.
  • Union Ministry of Environment & Forests has announced that asbestos may be phased out.
  • Union Ministry of Finance has announced that asbestos related diseases will be covered under Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana but this is hardly sufficient in the absence of environmental and occupational infrastructure.
  • National Human Rights Commission has issued notices to all the State Governments, Union Territories and concerned ministries of central government to file the status of asbestos disease victims and asked them why it should not be banned. The Commission has underlined that keeping inmates under asbestos roof is harmful and alternative roofs should be used.
  • Kerala State Human Rights Commission (KSHRC) has made recommendations seeking banning use of asbestos roofs in its order dated January 31, 2009.
  • Delhi Government has banned use of asbestos roofs for new schools. ༯span>
  • Villagers⠰rotest in Muzaffarpur and Vaishali in Bihar has led to closure of asbestos factories. The construction of lung cancer causing white asbestos plants in Madhubani, West Champaran and production in Bhojpur districts is also facing resistance.
  • ༯span>Villagers are protesting against the proposed hazardous asbestos cement roofing factories in Sambalpur and Bargarh district of Odisha.
  • Protests against asbestos factories States like Himachal Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh is going on.
  • Fact finding teams visited to asbestos plant in Maksi, Madhya Pradesh and asbestos factories in Jujjuru village, Veerulapadu Mandal, Krishna district, Hyderabad Industries Ltd, IDA in Kondapalli, Ramco Industries Ltd in Ibrahimpatnam and proposed factory site of Sahyadri Industries Ltd in Narasimharaopalem in Andhra Pradesh. During the visits in July and August 2011, the team interacted with workers and victims. It emerged that there is no official documentation of their plight. ༯span>
It is quite evident that the epidemic of asbestos related diseases that has led to bankruptcy of asbestos companies as a result of their liabilities cannot be ignored.
This unscientific decision of the Liberal Party-led Quebec government that was announced on June 29, 2012 by ignoring the views of World Health Organisation (WHO), International Labour Organisation (ILO),  National Public Health Institute, Canadian Medical Association and Canadian Cancer Society.
It is shocking to note that Government of Quebec, Canada chose to ignore independent scientific evidence regarding white asbestos. The medical scientific fraternity has noted that your decision is based on totally incorrect reading of the WHO position. The relevant WHO position reads: 㴨e most efficient way to eliminate asbestos-related diseases is to stop the use of all types of asbestos.䠼/font>
TWA has urged the Quebec government and Canadian government to reconsider its decision and cancel the loan guarantee and help the asbestos disease affected communities in the developing countries. This decision of the Quebec government gives the impression that in Canada ether asbestos industry and the government are one entity or government is subservient to the lust for blind profit at human cost.
In its letter to UK Prime Minister, TWA has pointed out that in the U.S., Dow Chemicals Company has set aside $2.2 billion to address future asbestos-related liabilities arising out of the Union Carbide acquisition. Dow Chemical Company that purchased Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) and its Indian investments in 1999 has consistently denied inheriting any liability for the Bhopal gas disaster due to leakage of 40 tonnes of lethal methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas from UCC plant into the surrounding environment, which has caused more than 20,000 deaths and 100,000 disabilities. UCC formerly made products containing asbestos, and UCC once mined asbestos for sale to customers. The mine of the UCC was sold in 1985. If Dow Chemicals can accept the asbestos liability of UCC, how can it argue that it does not have any liability of Bhopal Gas Leak Disaster? ༯span>It has asked him to reconsider the association of London 2012 Olympics with questionable corporations like Dow Chemicals, BP and Rio Tinto to enhance UKⳠstature as a civilized nation.

Competitiveness, climate, security Finn’s priorities Ministry of Finance release Finnish road map of EU presidency. Finland i...