Wednesday, August 8, 2012

News around the world by sagarmedia August 8, 2012

Syrian defector says Iran providing arms, funds to Assad

 A former Syrian diplomat says Iran has provided weapons and funds to President Bashar al-Assad since the start of anti-government uprisings in March last year.Former Syrian ambassador to Iraq Nawaf Fares spoke to an NHK correspondent in Doha on Monday.Fares, who defected from Syria in July, said the killing of Syria’s defense minister in an explosion last month was a big blow to the government and has affected the leadership of its security institution.He quoted a Syrian government source as saying that the president is shuttling between the capital Damascus and Latakia in northwestern Syria, fearing assassination attempts and moving frequently.
Fares also said he attended a meeting of Syrian and Iranian high-ranking officials in March last year, shortly after anti-government protests began.He said Iran urged that civilian protests be thoroughly suppressed and offered all-out cooperation to the Syrian government, including supplies of arms and funds.Fares added that arms and funds are being brought to Syria from Iran via Mediterranean ports and Iraq.
Referring to support for anti-government forces in Syria, Fares said Qatar and Saudi Arabia continue to provide political support, but not enough. He called for providing more weapons and funds to the forces.Reports NHK

Typhoon Haikui creates havoc in East China

 

Typhoon Haikui lashing downpours and flooding which stranded dozens of people in east China after landing in Zhejiang Province early Wednesday morning, the provincial observatory said.Haikui landed in Hepu Township, Xiangshan County near the Sanmenwan Gulf in central Zhejiang at 3:20 a.m. with the maximum wind speed at 150 kilometers per hour, said the observatory.The rain-triggered flooding stranded about 130 people in three farmer’s hotels in the city of Lin’an which the provincial capital Hangzhou administers, said Lin’an municipal rescuers. By 8 a.m., 123 people have been rescued while ten others have yet to be reached by the rescuers, they said.
The rescuers once had difficulty to reach the hotels as roads towards it have been flooded and they had to march the last two kilometers on foot, rescuers said.Haikui is the third typhoon to wallop China’s eastern coast in a week, after storms Saola and Damrey hit the region over the weekend.

Opposition parties submit Noda no-confidence motion

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is facing a censure motion and a no-confidence motion against his Cabinet over his plan to raise the consumption tax.Six opposition parties submitted a no-confidence motion against Noda’s Cabinet to the lower house on Tuesday.Seven opposition groups also submitted a censure motion against the Prime Minister in the opposition-controlled upper house. The parties and groups said most Japanese oppose an increase in the consumption tax, and the Noda Cabinet’s attempt to push it through violates the Democratic Party’s own 2009 election pledge. They criticized Noda for continuing to turn his back on the public. At a joint news conference, Your Party Secretary General Kenji Eda said the no-confidence motion must be given priority over all other discussions in the Diet.He said the parties are seeking support from as many lawmakers as possible to have the motion passed. Even if the all the opposition parties, including the Liberal Democrats and New Komeito, support the no-confidence motion, it will not pass the lower house, where the Democratic Party holds a majority. However, if more than 15 Democrats also support it, the motion will pass the chamber.
The tax bills are a product of the agreement reached in June among the Democratic Party, the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito on amending bills for social security and tax reform.
It remains to be seen whether the Liberal Democratic Party will submit its own no-confidence motion against Noda’s Cabinet to the lower house.New Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi has voiced opposition to submitting such motions before a vote on the tax bills.Reports NHK

Philippines floods toll rises to 53

Half of Manila was under water as torrential rain paralysed the city, sweeping away houses, stranding residents on rooftops and triggering a landslide.
Torrential rains from a typhoon and the seasonal monsoon have left at least 53 people dead in the central Philippines.Typhoon Soala struck the country over a week ago, bringing incessant downpours that caused widespread flooding and landslides.
Heavy monsoon rains continue to pound parts of the country, including the capital Manila. Weather officials say the city has had more than 30 millimeters of rain per hour since Monday evening.
The Marikina River in the northeastern part of the city has flooded, leaving houses and stores in the suburbs inundated.Disaster management authorities say about 270,000 people are taking shelter at schools, gyms and other facilities.The military and police are using trucks and boats to rescue stranded residents.
orrential rains from a typhoon and the seasonal monsoon have left at least 53 people dead in the central Philippines.Schools, financial markets and most government and private offices were shut as key roadways in the capital - a city of some 15 million people were submerged by waters that in some areas reached neck-deep. “If we put it in a percentage, at least 50 per cent of Metro Manila is flooded,” Gine Nievarez from the state weather service told the news agency. As local television flashed live footage of rampaging rivers carrying off houses and residents marooned on the roofs of their homes, President Benigno Aquino said the government was doing everything it could to help. “Everybody who is supposed to do something is doing what he is supposed to do,” he told reporters after meeting with civil defence officials. Bad weather from seasonal southwest monsoons has been pounding Manila and nearby areas for over a week.Meteorologists said the crisis in the capital came as over half a month’s rain fell on the city in 24 hours. x-small;”>The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said that more than 800,000 people had been affected, with 18,600 in government evacuation centres and some 231,000 seeking refuge with friends or relatives.Tuesday’s deaths brought the number of people killed by the monsoon rains across the Philippines to 68 over the past week, according to civil defence officials. Nine people from the same family were killed when a landslide struck a slum in the north of the city, officials said. “The rain softened the soil and four houses were buried,” said Maribel Mendoza of the local public safety office.In nearby provinces also hit by floods, four people drowned in Bulacan and two were killed in Batangas. Manila’s population includes millions of squatters, who were forced to flee the huge shantytowns lining rivers and sewers overnight for the safety of schools, gymnasiums and government buildings.

Hamid Ansari re-elected as Vice President

UPA candidate Hamid Ansari was on Tuesday re-elected as the Vice President, becoming the second person to get the second consecutive term as he defeated NDA nominee Jaswant Singh by a large margin of 252 votes.75-year-old Ansari, a former IFS officer, got 490 votes against 238 bagged by Singh out of 736 votes polled earlier in the day.Altogether 787 Members of Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha were eligible to vote but 47 MPs did not cast their votes, who include ailing Union Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh who is admitted in a Chennai Hospital.
Eight votes were invalid, according to T K Vishwanathan, Lok Sabha Secretary General and Returning Officer for Vice Presidential poll.
Ansari is the second Vice President to be re-elected after S Radhakrishnan who was the first to get two terms from 1952 to 1962.
Formerly the Vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University, Ansari’s name came as a surprise in 2007 election when the Left parties, supporting the UPA-I from outside, proposed him and the Congress-led alliance accepted it.
The Left parties, which faced divisions on the Presidential poll, however, had no problems in supporting Ansari for a second time.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said 21 members from BJD, 11 from TDP, 6 from Congress and supporting parties and two nominated members did not cast their votes.
Others who did not vote include 2 each from BJP, AGP, RSP and TRS and Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, one of the two members of YSR Congress. BJP members who did not vote were Shatrughan Sinha, who is was sick, and Dilip Singh Judev, whose mother was not well.
Trinamool Congress members Kakoli Dastidar and Kabir Suman were abroad. So was SP member Brij Bhushan Singh.
Out of the total 790 members of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha that form the electoral college for Vice Presidential poll, 3 are vacant with Pranab Mukherjee becoming President, Vijay Bahuguna Chief Minister of Uttarakhand and the election of BJP MP J Shanta having been set aside by a High Court.A Padma Shree awardee, Ansari became Vice-Chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University in May, 2000 and held the post till March, 2002.Ansari also tried to innovate in the House proceedings when he shifted the Question Hour to post-lunch session to avoid loss of opportunity for members to question the government on account of routine disruptions in the morning.The move was given up after just a session when he found the members themselves being absent from the House when their questions were taken up and the government also not very enthusiastic about the move.
The monsoon session of Parliament opening on Wednesday promises to kick up a lot of heat and dust as Opposition parties are planning to raise issues like rising prices, economy and drought etc.Government managers have been insisting that they were ready for discussion on any issue.Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal expressed hope that like the last session, this session too would be a good and productive one as regards transaction of government business.Ahead of the session, UPA will project a united picture with the first meeting of the Coordination Committee of the ruling alliance scheduled tomorrow.
As many as 31 bills have been listed for consideration in the session, which will conclude on September 7. The bills include those on Forward Contracts, Banking laws, whistle-blowers and women’s reservation as also the Prevention of Bribery of Foreign Public Officials bill.While the much-talked about Lokpal bill has not been listed for consideration, the managers have been maintaining that it would be brought up expeditiously once the report from the Select Committee of the Rajya Sabha is submitted.

Indonesia to continue buying Iranian crude:

 

Indonesia will continue buying Iranian crude regardless of economic sanctions against the Persian Gulf nation, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported, citing the Indonesian ambassador to Iran.
“Indonesia needs the trade with Iran, especially the purchase of Iranian oil, and it will pursue this cooperation,” Dian Wirengjurit told IRNA.
The ambassador didn’t elaborate on the amount of crude his country imports from Iran, according to the report today. Indonesia wasn’t among the nine importers, including the European Union, that together bought 91 percent of Iran’s crude in the first half of 2011, according to the most recent data from the US Energy Information Administration.
Shipments from Iran have plunged since the European Union banned the purchase, transport, financing and insuring of Iranian crude on July 1, building on US-led sanctions. The US and its allies accuse Iran of seeking to develop atomic weapons under the cover of its nuclear program, a charge the government in Tehran denies.
Last month, Iran pumped 2.86 million barrels a day, down 300,000 barrels from June and the lowest level since February 1990. The Islamic republic is the third-biggest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in July, after Saudi Arabia

NAPM: India:Land Reforms is Need of the Hour

A Paradigm Shift in Development Planning and Land Reforms is Need of the Hour Not Further Acquisition and Cash Compensation
 
New Delhi August 07: Amidst all the controversies and conflicts related to Lokpal and Jan Lokpal politics, a very major enactment (in Bill form) is to be tabled before the Cabinet this week for approval and there after tabled in the Monsoon session of the parliament. While this has been in the offing for last many years, people’s movements across the country from farmers to fishworkers, landless workers to Dalits, adivasis as well as urban poor, are closely watching and reacting or responding to every move on the issue: Land Acquisition and RehabilitationThe much awaited new “Land Acquisition, Resettlement and Rehabilitation Bill” has now been renamed “Right to Fair Compensation, Resettlement, Rehabilitation and Transparency in Land Acquisition Bill, 2012 with a claim to better reflect Government’s Commitment towards securing a legal guarantee for the rights of project affected, and ensuring  greater transparency in the land acquisition process. It is also claimed that the Bill will ensure, in concert with local institutions of self -government and Gram Sabhas established under the Constitution, a humane, participative, informed, consultative and transparent process for land acquisition.
 
The Bill has no doubt sought comments and suggestions through the website but limited only till 30 days and no regional or state consultations were held by Ministry for Rural Development as was strongly suggested by NAPM, NFFPFW and many other organisations across the country. This is a kind of disrespect shown to a large number of organisations and millions of people engaged not only in conflict over the issues of land, water, forest minerals or aquatic wealth but also proposing a new, truly democratic, just and sustainable ‘Development Planning Act’ as an alternative since years.
 
Now that the all party Parliamentary Standing Committee’s report (on Rural Development) on the Bill is out and the Ministry of Rural Development has also made its views / reactions clear and open, we, the people’s movements, have taken serious cognizance of the fact that the strong position taken by the Standing Committee on certain critical issues are either diluted or rejected by the Ministry of Rural Development, which is shocking. The Ministry that is supposed to protect the rights and powers of the rural communities has not accepted some of the standing committee recommendations, towards that end, which are presented with our comments, herewith:
 
Food Security and Agricultural Land Acquisition
1.      No forcible acquisition of agricultural land, for non-agricultural purpose including single crop and multi crop land.
·                                 Ministry says only multiple crop land can be excluded.
How can the in-between farms that may be unirrigated, rain fed, single crop be left out, we ask. India has 75% of the agricultural land as rain fed and most of it single cropped. Such land is mostly held by Dalits, Adivasis and marginal farms. Protecting them and all farm land for food security, which comes not from PDS but self sufficient agriculture, is a must!
 
Acquisition for Private and PPP Projects
2.      No forcible acquisition for private projects, or for PPP, which can not to be categorized as public purpose projects.
·         Ministry has rejected this and justified this with a provision that consent of 80% of project affected People will be sought before acquisition for any private projects
In this era of neo-liberal economic reforms, private projects with corporate investment and interests are taking a much larger toll of land and other rich natural resources as also uprooting by killing communities which are generations old. This must come to an end and the same can happen only with stopping the State playing a role of facilitator and land dealer. At the cost of the livelihood of the nature based sections and working class section of society, the state can’t transfer the most valuable livelihood resources such as land, water to the profiteering bodies in the garb of ‘public interest‘ and ‘public purpose‘.
 
Bringing 16 Central Acts Under Purview of this Bill
3.      The standing committee has recommended that all 16 central acts should be brought under the purview of the new act, to make all equal before law (Article 14 of the Constitution).
·         Ministry of Rural Development wants to exclude 13 out of 16 Acts including Industrial Development Act, Land Acquisition (Mines) Act, National Highways Act and others from the purview of the new act. This means that 90% of the land acquired as on today will continue with injustice and force used, with no change at all.
The standing committee recommendations must be upheld to end brutal unjust acquisition for all projects.
 
Role and Consent of Gram and Basti Sabha
4.      The Committee asks that all studies – SIA, EIA, expert committee appraisal be done in consultation with the gram sabhas and the corresponding reports be made available to the gram sabhas.
·         Ministry emphasises that 80% consent of PAFs provision is there in case of linear projects where “consultation”.
Consent and direct involvement of majority of the Gram Sabhas must be there in each and every project, including public projects for public purpose. 80% consent of the project affected population for the private projects alone is not sufficient. Why should the linear projects be left out? If it’s consent of 80% affected, there are to be a number of manipulations that people will have to face. Experiences of 70% consent in Slum Rehabilitation Scheme in Mumbai are quite telling.
 
Return of Unutilised Land to farmers and Land Bank
5.      The Committee recommended that the land, if not used till 5 years, should be returned after 5 years from the date of possession to the land owners.
·         Ministry accepts the reduced five years time period but opposes its return to the landowner and suggests it to go to State Land Bank.
The ownership over the land is of those who till it and if not used and unutilized then it must be returned to the owners or distributed amongst the project affected people. We oppose any such feature which will promote land bank, since it has promoted large scale acquisition in the past and later illegally transferred the same land to corporations for real estate and other purposes.
 
Retrospective Application of the Law
6.      On the question of retrospective application of the R&R provisions Committee has suggested to Ministry to re-examine the issue and incorporate necessary provisions
·         Ministry has not accepted it and refused to do so.
It needs to be noted that nearly 100 million people have been displaced since independence and with a dismal 17-20 percent rate of resettlement and rehabilitation we had suggested that not only the retrospective application of the provisions of the new act but a National Resettlement and Rehabilitation Commission be established to deal with the claims of the projected affected people from various projects.
 
Resettlement and Rehabilitation Benefits
In terms of the resettlement and rehabilitation benefits Committee apart from suggesting some cosmetic changes have accepted the provisions of the Bill, we think this is unfortunate since provisions don’t stand up to livelihood based R&R, it merely promotes the principle of cash compensation. It will be a retrogressive step since it negates the land and employment based R&R as mandated in the Narmada Water Dispute Tribunal Award, and various other projects. The proposed provisions of compensating employment with money and high rates for land acquired will only lead to speculative land market and will destroy the fragile economy of the rural hinterland which will lead to further urban migration.
 
Urban Eviction
The Bill and the comments by both, Standing Committee as well as MoRD almost totally excludes and have unaddressed the situation in the urban areas, where there is no land acquisition, but eviction, brutal and unjust, for any and every elitist real estate development to infrastructure without guaranteeing right to shelter, right to life and livelihood. The only provision is to compensate with 20% of developed land for land owning families in urbanisation projects, which is not with regard to the cases where land belongs to the government or private entities but people are evicted. We demand a separate section or a separate act for the millions of the urban persons and urban land from getting misappropriated. The Bill with the presently proposed content need to be called only “Rural Bill”.
 
The rapacious use of Land Acquisition Act 1894 by the government to secure land for ‘development’ projects has caused over 100 million people to be displaced from their land, livelihoods and shelters. The country is dotted with communities resisting State sponsored land grab which resonate the demand for a just law to ensure that there is no forced acquisition of land and resources, including minerals and ground water.  The government must respond to the voices from movements across places such as Narmada, Koel Karo, Singur, Nandigram, Sonbhadra, Chindwara, Bhavnagarm, Kalinga Nagar, Kashipur, Raigarh, Srikakulam and mining areas in central India with genuine efforts to address the longstanding crisis concerning land Acquisition and resettlement & rehabilitation.
 
If the UPA government serious about addressing the conflicts over the land and other natural resources then it must listen to the voices of those struggling or else it will only aggravate these conflicts all across the country. The need of growth, infrastructure and urbanisation can’t be fulfilled on the graveyard of millions. A pro-people Development Planning Bill with complete participation of the Gram Sabha will go a long way in stopping the massive corporate corruption and lead to decentralization of power having an overall impact on the politics of the country.
 
We the people’s movements and various alliances such as National Alliance of People’s Movements, National Forum of Forest people and Forest Workers, Kisan Sangharsh Samiti and others will hold a public discussion (13 August 2012, Constitution Club, New Delhi) on the forthcoming Bill with activists, people from movements which are fighting for land rights and representatives from national political parties. Thousands of people displaced by ’developmental’ projects in Narmada, Bhakra, Polavaram, Mundra, Pune (Lavasa), Nandigram, slum displaced people from Mumbai and fish-workers displaced by coastal and tourist projects will camp in Delhi to warn the government and protest against passing any such act in this session of the parliament on 21-23 August 2012.
 
Medha Patkar, Roma, Dr. Sunilam, Rupesh Kumar
 
Contact : Madhuresh 9818905316 | Vijayan M J 9868165471 napmindia@gmail.com 
 

===============================================
National Alliance of People’s MovementsNational Office: Room No. 29-30, 1st floor, ‘A’ Wing, Haji Habib Bldg, Naigaon Cross Road, Dadar (E), Mumbai – 400 014;
Ph: 022-24150529
6/6, Jangpura B, Mathura Road, New Delhi 110014
Phone : 011 26241167 / 24354737 Mobile : 09818905316
Web : www.napm-india.org
Twitter : @napmindia

Karbonn Mobiles Signs Up as the Title Sponsor of Champions League Twenty20

Leading mobile handset manufacturer Karbonn Mobiles has signed up as the title sponsor of Champions League Twenty20 starting with the fourth edition of this marquee tournament due to be held in South Africa later this year. Karbonn Mobiles signed the deal today with ESPN STAR Sports, the commercial partners of Champions League Twenty20. As part of this deal, Karbonn Mobiles will have rights to on ground title sponsorship with all its entitlements. The tournament will now be called Karbonn Champions League Twenty20.
Overall, the fourth edition of the Champions League Twenty20 will feature a total of 14 teams and 29 matches across four venues – Centurion, Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. The Group Stage will be preceded by a Qualifying Stage from 9 October 2012 to 11 October 2012 featuring six teams. These teams have been equally divided into two pools, with each team playing the other two in its pool once. The top team in each pool, in terms of points, will then qualify for the Group Stage.
Commenting on this partnership, Pradeep Jain, Managing Director, Karbonn Mobiles says, “Karbonn Mobiles is extremely proud to be associated as the title sponsor of Champions League Twenty20 and reiterates its commitment to Cricket with this brand association. We are sure that this fourth edition of CLT20 will become a grand success and will bring more edge-of-the-seat entertainment to the cricket fanatics from across the world. Cricket is one game which is considered as a religion in India and our association with it has helped in breaking the clutter and creating right visibility amongst our target audience.”
“During IPL 5 we introduced our new brand extension christened ‘Karbonn Smart’ offering the new range of technologically advanced products along with a complete range of smart-feature phone segment as well; the response of which has been overwhelming to say the least. With Champions League Twenty20 we are confident to take this unique mobile ecosystem to the next level. We intent to leverage this opportunity by utilising the 360 degree communication mix with a focus on TV, print, digital and press,” he further added.
Sudhir Hasija, Chairman, Karbonn Mobiles says, “Our association with the most popular sports of the subcontinent has proved to be a great platform to reach out to the audience, thus giving the brand an opportunity to connect with the consumers at a massive scale. The association with CLT20 is a matter of great pride for Karbonn Mobiles and it gives us a platform to create constructive fan engagement and thus generate a buzz around the brand Karbonn and the Brand CLT20. Looking to create some innovative brand engagement this season we wish to bring in avant-garde product placements and campaigns into the mix which will go a long way in taking CLT20 to the zenith of TV entertainment. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the BCCI for partnering us for some time now and wish to forward our whole hearted support in making this endeavor a grand success.”
Speaking on the occasion, Aloke Malik, Managing Director, ESPN Software India Pvt Ltd, said, “We are delighted to have Karbonn Mobiles come on board as the title sponsor of Champions League T20. I am very confident that this association will deliver a lot of value to Karbonn Mobiles who have been closely invested in T20 cricket for quite a while now.”
“Champions League Twenty20 in just 3 editions has established itself as a marquee cricket property. This year teams from as many as 8 cricket playing countries will feature in the tournament. From the subcontinent alone, we will see 6 teams in action. Besides the 4 IPL teams, for the very first time, we will have representation from Pakistan which will generate further interest in this block buster property,” added Aloke.
Speaking on the occasion, Rajeev Shukla, Chairman – Indian Premier League and Member – Champions League Twenty20 Governing Council, said, “It gives me immense pleasure in witnessing the grand coalition of telecom pioneers Karbonn Mobiles with our affluent brand Champions League Twenty 20.
In my view, our primary challenge has always been to persistently maintain as well as radically enhance the unparalleled standards established by the Champions League T20 brand in the last few years. I am extremely confident in stating that this adroit association shall certainly tender an augmented and enriching experience for the nationwide ardent cricket fanatics.”
CLT20 has shown a consistent increase in TV ratings as well as reach numbers over the past 3 editions. The first edition rated 1.5 TVR; the second edition saw an increase of 33% and the ratings jumped to 2 TVR*, the third edition of the league saw a further increase of 10% in TV ratings generating an overall 2.2 TVR. In terms of reach** as well, CLT20 has shown a positive trend. The first edition reached out to 77 million individuals while the second edition reached out to 95 million. The third edition reached out to 102 million individuals.
*TG Ratings 15+ M ABC CS
**TG Reach CS4+, All India, Live+highlights
About Karbonn Mobiles:
Karbonn Mobiles, launched in March 2009, is the one of the fastest growing mobile brand in the country complemented by a comprehensive portfolio of mobile phones with an array of features. Karbonn Mobiles is a joint venture between Delhi-based Jaina Group and Bangalore based UTL Group. Karbonn already has over 650 service centers established across the country, ensuring great after sales support.
About Karbonn Champions League Twenty20
CLT20 is an initiative of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, Cricket Australia and Cricket South Africa. The tournament is a platform where the world’s best domestic T20 teams get the opportunity to pit their skills against each other. The tournament is broadcast around the world by ESPN STAR Sports, who is also the commercial rights holder for the event.

Multi-level marketing employees rallied before Parliament

 
Over 7,500 volunteers representing multi-level marketing employees and MMEF all over India today rallied before Parliament under the banner All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) demanding proper law to protect the interests of the multilevel marketing employees, consumers and the corrupt and underhand practices of the MNCs.
 
Inaugurating the rally, veteran parliamentarian and General Secretary of AITUC declared that that AITUC, all other unions affiliated to AITUC and himself will be in the forefront along with MMEF to force the government to bring in immediately the necessary law to protect the employees. “If you struggle, take the struggle deep down to every nook and corner of the country and come back to the national capital in larger numbers, Parliament and the central government will be forced to listen to your demands and act positively. In India lakhs of educated young people are engaged in multilevel marketing sector. These employees have been dependent for years on this sector for meeting their livelihood needs.”
 
The AITUC leader said that the multilevel marketing in the name of reaching the consumers quality products at a cheap price, exploits its employees to the full by denying them all genuine and accepted workers’ rights. A small share of the profit is being distributed to the employees in the sector as remuneration without any consideration for their job security and family’s welfare.
 
 
The youngsters are joining this sector with the belief that the plans and packages worked out by most of the MNCs, domestic business majors and the newly entering small traders are generally beneficial both to the employees and the consumers. As a marketing tactics and with an aim to win over both the employees and consumers, these companies come out with copies of all kinds of certificates, testimonials and awards along with photographs to prove that their products were used and satisfied by people who matter in the society including political leaders, professors, teachers, doctors and others
 
The rally, which began from the Barakambha Road  and marched to Parliament house, was led by EC Satheesan, PV Ashokan, Chidambaram N, V Sreenivasan, Muben Mohamed, James Mathew,  V R Sreenivasan, Sasidharan, Baby Sebastin, Jairo K James, Deepak Bajan, Gowran Nehra, ADV Pradeep, Awani Kumar Sharma and TV Stephen. The rally was stopped by police in front of the Parliament Street police station  where it got converted into a public meeting.  
 
AITUC national secretary and reception committee chairperson Amarjeet Kaur who presided over the meeting at Parliament street said that multilevel marketing has today become a reality everywhere in the world including India. Therefore this sector could not be just ignored and is growing at a tremendous pace in India too. The sector is being made fully and legally operational in our neighbouring country China. In several countries, there is separate law and even a separate ministry to deal with the sector and those engaged in multilevel marketing including also both employees and consumers.
 
She demanded a central government law to identify and protect the real multilevel marketing companies as well as the employees involved in the sector. The law must be immediately enacted and brought into practice so that the employees who have taken MLM as a career can live with a pride.
 
She pointed out that the high-power seven member inter-ministerial committee set up by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs with nominees from various ministries and the RBI unfortunately does not have any employee representation. This lacuna will seriously affect the quality of the fact-finding report, which will recommend and finally be submitted to the government by August 31, 2012. Therefore we demand appropriate steps by the government to consult all stakeholders including the MMEF before drafting thre report.
 
CPI Rajya Sabha member M P Achuthan who spoke in detail of the MMEF’s successful struggle in Kerala assured all help and support to get enacted a proper law. He said that though each of these companies involved in multilevel marketing has rules and regulations, they carry out their violations — small and big — most intelligently and at times even make use of the loopholes in the legal set up in India.
 
AITUC deputy leader H Mahadevan, who referred to other countries and the epmployees’ struggle experience said that even some of the companies after amassing enough wealth are least bothered about the consequential outcome of their operations. If need be they do not think twice to shut down their activities and flee away from the scene, throwing the employees to the mercy of the public and law enforcing agencies.
 
Among others who spoke are MMEF-AITUC general secretary E C Sateesan, AIYF general secretary Aftab Alam Khan, AISF Delhi state president Kunal Kumar, MMEF leaders from various states and Delhi AITUC leader Babban.
 
 
     
E. C. Satheesan                       Amarjeet Kaur                                    Chidambaram N
General Secretary                    National Secretary                  National Media Co-ordinator
MMEF-AITUC                       AITUC                                    MMEF-AITUC

Dish TV launchesIndia’s first SD Recorder withunlimited capacity

 

 
Delhi, 7th August 2012: Dish TV the pioneer and market leader of India’s DTH industry brings yet another  unique technology, “Dish+”, India’s first standard definition box with unlimited recording facility. Dish+ is positioned at a highly consumer friendly and competitive price of Rs. 1690 (against all other SD boxes at Rs 1590)with a 4 GB pen drive free as promotional offer. Post VCR there is no recording device available with consumers and there is a huge vacuum to fulfil the consumer need. Dish+ fulfils the ‘need gap’ of recording facility for the consumers.
 
Speaking on the launch, Mr. R.C Venkateish, Chief Executive Officer, Dish TVIndia, said “Being pioneers and market leaders we have constantly reinvented and redefined the market with thought leadership to be ahead of the pack. Dish+ is being launched in 42 cities of Phase I and Phase II of digitization and will clearly demonstrate Dish+ as a better alternative for all viewers who will shift from analog to digital.”
 
Mr. Salil Kapoor, Chief Operating Officer, Dish TV India, emphasizes “Dish+ is a comeback of recorders in the living room and is a clear differentiator vis-à-vis other alternatives including digital cable. Its highly competitive launch price will position it as a preferred option amongst all DTH buyers”.
 
Dish+ has been designed with fine detailing, curved edges with sleek and modern looks. The unique feature of Dish + is its compatibility with any USB device enabling consumers to simply plug and play an existing USB stick/ HDD, and build an entire genre based library of their favorite program.Dish+ offers unmatched advantage of recording on SD. Dish+ is user-friendly with features like “plug-n-play” through an external USB device. This enables all benefits of a traditional DVR like recording and playing back programs, Pausing or Rewinding live TV, different play-back positions, event based recording (EBR), time based recording (TBR) and so on.
 
About DishTV India
 
DishTV is India’s largest direct-to-home company and part of the biggest media conglomerate – Zee Group. DishTV has on its platform 400+ channels and services including 21 audio channels with 13.4 million subscribers, which is growing. The company has a vast distribution network of about 1400 distributors and 55,000 dealers that spans around 6600 towns across the country. DishTV has 24*7 call centres with 1600 seats in 11 different languages to take care of subscriber requirements at any point of time.

Rio+20: A Move Towards More Sustainable Transportation

 

Worldwatch Institute
PRESS RELEASE
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
 
Contact: Supriya Kumar, skumar@worldwatch.org, (+1) 202-452-1992, ext. 510
 
Rio+20: A Move Towards More Sustainable Transportation
       
Implementation monitoring of Rio+20 voluntary commitments will be vital, Worldwatch Institute says 
Washington, D.C.—-Emissions from transportation are the fastest growing source of global greenhouse gas emissions, with emissions expected to increase 300 percent by 2050, according to research by the Worldwatch Institute. Today, emissions from transportation contribute to approximately 80 percent of the harmful air pollutants that result in 1.3 million premature deaths annually, according to Michael Replogle and Colin Hughes of the Institute for Transportation & Development Policy (ITDP). The two authored the fourth chapter, “Moving Toward Sustainable Transport, in Worldwatch’s book State of the World 2012: Moving Toward Sustainable Prosperity, published in April.
 
The largest financial commitment made at the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development in June 2012 was a pledge by the 8 largest multilateral development banks (MDBs) to commit 500 staff and to dedicate $175 billion for more sustainable transportation in the coming decade. This unprecedented agreement was facilitated by the Partnership on Sustainable Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT), which brings together 68 MDBs, civil society organizations, UN agencies, and research and industry organizations.
 
“This action promises to begin countering decades of unsustainable investments in transportation systems, such as building high-capacity motorways,” said Michael Renner, Worldwatch Senior Researcher and State of the World 2012 project co-director. “But it will require new resources for civil society groups to be able to ensure independent monitoring of impacts and follow-through by MDBs.”
 
“If transportation investments and management policies foster walking, cycling, use of high quality public transportation, and smart traffic management, growing urbanization can reduce consumption of scarce resources, protect public health, and deliver happier, nicer cities,” said Michael Replogle, Managing Director for Policy and Founder of ITDP and State of the World 2012 contributing author. “These unprecedented MDB financial and reporting commitments present an opportunity to leverage large shifts in domestic and private transportation investment and to build capacity for a paradigm shift.”
 
The demands on transportation infrastructure continue to mount. Without changes in policy, 2 to 3 billion cars will be on the world’s roads by 2050, in comparison to 800 million cars today, according to the International Energy Agency.
 
Current transportation and land development patterns disadvantage the poor, often forcing them to choose between low incomes in informal-sector employment that is close to affordable housing, or somewhat higher-paying jobs that are reachable only if they spend a large share of their income and hours each day commuting. In many cities, the urban poor cannot afford public transportation and end up walking long distances. Additionally, in many places it is unsafe to walk. In Surabaya, Indonesia, for example, 60 percent of roads have no usable sidewalks.
 
“All of these negative consequences are not inevitable results of urbanization and development,” said Colin Hughes, Global Policy Director at ITDP and State of the World 2012 contributing author. “Experience in some cities show that in comparison to a business-as-usual rapid motorization strategy, sustainable transport strategies can address rising mobility needs that accompany increases in population, employment, and trade at a lower cost overall, with more job creation and fewer adverse impacts.”
 
The key to this approach is a new sustainability paradigm called “Avoid, shift, and improve:”
  • Avoid unnecessary trips with smarter planning, pricing, and telecommunications;
  • Shift trips to more sustainable modes with investments in bus rapid transit (BRT), walking, cycling, and traffic management, by limiting and pricing parking, by applying polluter-pays incentives, and offering better traveler information; and
  • Improve vehicle efficiency with cleaner fuels, better-operated networks, and efficient vehicle technology adapted to local conditions and requirements.
In their State of the World chapter, Replogle and Hughes highlight three examples of this approach, revealing how it improves transport in urban areas:
 
Rapid bus transit in Bogota, Colombia: In 2000, Bogota opened TransMilenio, a BRT system with nine routes extending 54 miles (about 87 kilometers) throughout the city. By 2011, TransMilenio’s ridership was up to 1.7 million passengers daily and the fare for a single trip was 1,600 Colombian pesos (about US$0.85).
 
Congestion and emission charging in London: Drivers who enter congested central London pay a “congestion charge.” The drivers have the option to pay £10 (approximately US$15)in advance, or they must pay the charge within a certain time after driving through the congested streets, or be fined up to £120 (almost US$184). The charge generates funds for public transportation, and bus use is up 6 percent during charging hours. A similar Low Emission Zone covers heavy goods vehicles across the whole city, charging more polluting trucks and buses £100-200 per day (approximately US$150-300) to drive in the area.
 
Public bicycles in Hangzhou, China: With a population of 6.7 million, Hangzhou is one of China’s fastest-growing cities. This growth comes with rapid motorization. In 2008, Hangzhou launched a bike-share program that currently provides 60,000 bikes. The program has alleviated pressure on roadways and is accessible to all because of its pricing scheme—-the first hour of bike use is free and the second hour is approximately US$0.15. The city reports that 90 percent of total trips are made in that first free hour, and more than 25 percent of trips are made during peak commuting times.
 
Innovations like these can improve travel options for the urban poor while reducing harmful emissions caused by transportation. “With additional international support and funding under the MDB commitment at Rio+20, developing countries will find it easier to shift their development of transportation from emphasizing rapid motorization and car-dependence to instead fostering public transport and lower emissions transportation options,” Replogle said. “This moves us towards the kind of support we called for in our State of the World 2012 chapter.”
 
Worldwatch’s State of the World 2012, released in April 2012, focuses on the themes of inclusive sustainable development discussed at Rio+20, the 20-year follow-up to the historic 1992 Earth Summit, which was also held in Rio de Janeiro. The report presents a selection of innovations and constructive ideas for achieving environmental sustainability globally while meeting human needs and providing jobs and dignity for all.  
 

AirAsia asean officially launched for group’s regional expansion

Jakarta, 8 August 2012 – AirAsia asean, the regional base of the world’s best low-cost airline, was officially launched in Jakarta today.
 
The launch reaffirms AirAsia’s commitment to the Asean region, which it considers home, and coincides with the eve of the 45th anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
 
With its new regional base, AirAsia strengthens its position as the Asean airline.  AirAsia asean was set up as part of the regional expansion strategy of the group, which now includes six airlines, five of which are anchored in Asean: the short-haul carriers AirAsia Malaysia, AirAsia Thailand, AirAsia Indonesia, AirAsia Philippines and AirAsia Japan, and the long-haul carrier AirAsia X.
 
Tony Fernandes, Group CEO of AirAsia, and Dato’ Kamarudin Meranun, Deputy Group CEO of AirAsia, will be based at the AirAsia asean office.
 
“The establishment of the AirAsia asean office in Jakarta as our regional base is to help to more fully deliver on our pledge – Now everyone can fly – to all the people of Asean and beyond.  We are blessed to be located in a part of the world where economic growth is expected to be sustained despite the chilly economic winds blowing through Europe and the United States.  Shifting AirAsia’s emphasis to a regional strategy is, we believe, not just good business, but also a move that will keep us ahead of the inevitable competition that is heading our way,” Fernandes said.
 
AirAsia asean, as the nerve center of the group’s regional expansion, will help ready the group for the implementation of the ASEAN Open Skies policy and the ASEAN Economic Community, initiatives that the ASEAN Secretariat is now actively pushing in its 10 member-countries.
 
“AirAsia asean will help ensure that our voice, our concerns and our appeals are heard much more clearly in the corridors of power with ASEAN.  One of the reasons for locating the office in Jakarta is to help us engage more closely with the ASEAN Secretariat, which is headquartered here,” Fernandes said.
 
By focusing on regional growth, AirAsia expands its market base to 600 million people and brings Asean closer – within four-hour flight radii – to mega populations in neighboring giants China and India as well as in Japan and Korea.  The Asean region, Northeast Asia and South Asia have a combined population of 3 billion people, or 43% of the world’s population.
 
“No single domestic market in Asean, not even Indonesia, can match the potential of a regional ASEAN market of 600 million people,” he added.
 
 
AirAsia is supporting its regional growth with a fleet expansion program that includes firm orders for 375 Airbus A320, 25 Airbus A330 and 10 Airbus A350 aircraft.  The group currently operates a fleet of 104 Airbus A320, nine Airbus A330 and two A340 Airbus aircraft.  It operates more than 160 direct city-to-city links and flies to 85 destinations, of which 55 are in Asean.
 
AirAsia’s commitment to Asean goes beyond its network of destinations.  It has provided employment to 10,000 individuals from across Asean and flown more than 140 million guests since its launch as a low-cost airline in 2001.  It has championed the region in various projects, including in sports and youth development, on the global stage.  Last month, AirAsia asean debuted Aseanita, a female Asean caricature, online to promote the region via popular social media channels and serve as a guide to the region.  Aseanita has so far garnered more than 2,700 likes on Facebook (facebook.com/Aseanita), where she engages an average of 500 fans daily.  Aseanita also encourages discussions regarding Asean on Twitter (@Aseanita), where she has close to 250 followers.
 
Also, to mark the launch of AirAsia asean and to help celebrate the 45th ASEAN Day, AirAsia is offering all-in fares from as low as RM29 one-way to all the 55 destinations in Asean that AirAsia flies to.  The promotional fares are available for booking from today to 12 August 2012 at www.airasia.com and are valid for flights from 1 November 2012 to 31 January 2013.  Hotel deals of up to 50% in discount are also available at www.AirAsiaGo.com for the same booking and travel period.

UPA-II Is No More ‘Aam Aadmi Sarkar’

8th, August, 2012:New Delhi: The Central Secretariat of the Communist Party of India (CPI) strongly decries the maiden announcement by Sri P Chidambaram, after returning to the finance ministry. It is no strange the FM has come out with an anti-people, anti-worker, anti-aam aadmi assessment. Anybody who knows him from close quarters, including many even in his own party, will agree that he has been handpicked by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh so that the corporate as well as MNC interests are protected.
 
As far as his move to exempt multinational companies, including Vodafone, from payment of tax on assets they acquire in India and to facilitate tax avoidance by foreign and Indian corporates, is a full-fledged attempt to reverse the retrospective effect in the tax law. He has in fact insulted Parliament, which while adopting the Finance Bill accepted this norm. Vodafone will of course get a tax relief of Rs 12,000 crore on acquisitions in India, through the new step.
 
Another measure announced by the FM is aimed at enabling tax avoidance by companies using the Mauritius route. For that he is going to review norms under the General Anti Avoidance Rules (GAAR).
 
The neo-liberal package of measures worked out by the FM does not speak of workers’ rights, drought relief measures to peasantry, food security and universal PDS, interest-free study loans for students, more jobs for youth, pension and other social security measures for aam aadmi.
 
The CPI demands that economic policies announced by the finance minister should be withheld and the new policies should be discussed in Parliament.
 
 
General Secretary: S. Sudhakar Reddy
 
 
                                                                                                                      
(S.S.Bhusari)
                                                                                                                    Office Secretary
 
COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA
Central Office
Ajoy Bhavan, 15, Com. Indrajit Gupta Marg, New Delhi-110002
Telephone: 23232801, 23235058, Fax: 23235543, Email: cpiofindia@gmail.com
________________________________________________________________________

Syrian premier Riad Hijab’defects’ blow to Assad

 

 
Syrian Prime Minister Riad Hijab has defected to the opposition, a monitoring group said today, as state media announced the premier’s abrupt dismissal just two months after his appointment.
If confirmed, Hijab’s defection would be the highest-ranking of the 17-month uprising, and a new blow to President Bashar al-Assad, who has already seen no fewer than 31 of his generals cross the border into Turkey to join the rebellion and a growing number of his ambassadors break ranks.
Hijab was a leading Sunni Muslim in Assad’s minority Alawite-dominated government. His home province of Deir Ezzor in the northeast has been one of the key battlegrounds of the conflict and seen a mounting death toll from operations by the army in recent weeks.
“Riad Hijab has defected from the regime,” the director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdel Rahman, told a news agency.
Abdel Rahman said there were conflicting reports on Hijab’s current whereabouts.
“Some sources say he has arrived in Jordan, others say he was arrested before making his escape,” said Abdel Rahman.
State television reported that Deputy Prime Minister and Local Government Minister Omar Ghalawanji had been appointed caretaker premier.
“Prime Minister Riad Hijab has been dismissed,” it said in a terse report.
According to the state-owned newspaper, Hijab presided over two meetings at the local government ministry on Sunday to discuss “measures to redevelop areas that have been cleansed of armed terrorists.”
The 46-year-old was only appointed on June 6 following a widely boycotted May 7 parliamentary election that was hailed as a centerpiece of reform by the Assad regime but dismissed as a farce by Arab and Western governments.
An agricultural engineer by training, he was agriculture minister under his predecessor government Adel Safar who was appointed in April 2011, shortly after the outbreak of the uprising.
The morning bombing struck management offices on the third floor of the television building in the heavily protected Omayyad district of the capital.
“It is clear that the blast was caused by an explosive device,” said Information Minister Omran al-Zoabi.
 
“Syria’s television is being targeted because of its bravery,” Zoabi said.
“But nothing will stop the voice of Syria.” On June 27, gunmen armed with explosives attacked the Al-Ikhbariya offices outside Damascus killing three journalists and four security guards.
On Saturday, rebel fighters attacked the state television building in Syria’s second city, Aleppo.
“May this be a lesson to all those who support the regime,” it said.
In Aleppo, the army bombarded a string of rebel neighbourhoods after government security officials said that troops had completed their build-up and that a 20,000-strong force was poised for a ground assault.
A rebel commander was killed in the Salaheddin district in the southwest, and troops shelled the Palace of Justice, as well as the Marjeh and Shaar districts, the Syrian Observatory said. A total of nine people were killed in Aleppo early today, among them eight civilians, the watchdog.

Lopez Nunez won gold120 kg Greco-Roman wrestling

Mijain Lopez Nunez won gold for Cuba in the men’s 120 kg Greco-Roman wrestling Monday, beating Estonia’s Heiki Nabi on points in the final.Lopez Nunez won 3-0.  Estonia’s Heiki Nabi claimed Estonia’s first medal in London with silver.World champion Riza Kayaalp of Turkey beat Lopez Nunez to the world title last year but was forced to settle for bronze, beating Guram Pherselidze of Georgia 3-0.The second bronze medal match, Johan Euren of Sweden beat his Belarusian opponent Ioseb Chugoshvili 3-1.

Nadzeya Ostapchuk of Belarus won Olympic gold

Nadzeya Ostapchuk of Belarus won Olympic gold.World silver medalist Nadzeya Ostapchuk of Belarus won Olympic gold in the women’s shot put Monday.Ostapchuk posted a winning distance of 21.36 in the third round.

Defending champion Valerie Adams of New Zealand taking the silver after throwing 20.70. Evgeniia Kolodko of Russia snatched the bronze on her last attempt with a personal best 20.48.

Poisonous threat to Delhi residents

 

Poisonous threat to Delhi residents from Farooq Abdullah Ministry & landfills in the sky

 
Poisonous threat to Delhi residents from Farooq Abdullah ministry & landfills in the sky.Delhi faces threat from nano particles, ultrafine particulate matter, Dioxins & heavy metals.Amidst bitter protest against Okhla Incinerator, construction of incinerator plants at Narela-Bawana & Ghazipur underway New Delhi: ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA) gave a presentation to Indian Association for Air Pollution Control (IAAPC) on ጡndfills in the sky⠯utlining the disastrous public health consequences of waste to energy incinerators in DelhiⳠOkhla, Narela-Bawana and Gazipur on August 4 at the meeting of their executive/managing committee. The presentation is attached.༤iv>
Notably, a related matter has been listed for hearing in the Supreme Court on October 1, 2012 in the Writ Petition (Civil) No. 888 of 1996. Delhi High Court is seized with the petition of Sukhdev Vihar residents against the Okhla incinerator plant since 2009. It heard the matter on July 3, 2012. The next hearing is on October 3, 2012. ༯div>
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In its presentation to IAAPC, TWA submitted that the burning of 2050 Metric Ton of municipal waste at Okhla by Jindal Ecopolis company, 4000 Metric Ton project at Narela-Bawana by Ramky company and 1300 Metric Ton project at Ghazipur by GMR company. Delhi generates approximately 22500 Ton of municipal solid waste daily, out of which 7050 Ton is sought to burnt to create landfills for toxic cocktail of contaminants in the sky. All the three projects are using unapproved technologies. The probe of Okhla waste to energy incinerator plant by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) revealed that there is Industrial Disaster Management Plan has not been prepared and the company is using a Chinese technology although environmental clearance was taken for Refuse Derived Fuel technology in a clear case of environmental lawlessness in the heart of the national capital with impunity. CPCB report and its critique is attached. Even the Union Environment Minister has acknowledged that the plant has violated the EIA Notification, 2006 as not only was the clearance based on fake public hearing even the clearance has been amended twice without legal mandate. TWA had reminded the Delhi Chief Minister about the letter from the Environment Minister.   ࠦnbsp; ࠦnbsp;
TWA site visited has revealed that residents and villagers are protesting against the proposed Dioxins emitting plant. The plant at Okhla is situated not only in the proximity of New Friends Colony, Maharani Bagh, Sukhdev Vihar and the business district Nehru Place – but also several prominent institutions, including hospitals like Apollo, Escorts and Holy Family. The proposed plant at Narela Bawana is in the vicinity of Sannaut village.  Even Gazipur site is surrounded by residential colonies.
In its presentation, TWA submitted that every time something is burnt, itⳠa backward journey to the beginning of the linear society (extraction- manufacture-consumption-waste). One quarter of the mass of the waste that is burned is ash.
By municipal/household waste, the most toxic substances are created than any chemical laboratory can make it. These include: polyhalogenated dibenzo para dioxins and furans (PCDDs, PCDFs, PBDDs, PBDFs etc) called “dioxins” for short. There are literally thousands of these substances. Incineration releases many toxic metals like lead, cadmium, mercury, chromium etc go into the air, at best they are captured in the fly ash in the air pollution control devices.
For every four tons of waste burned one gets at least one ton of ash: 90% is called bottom ash (that is the ash collected under the furnace) and 10% is the very toxic fly ash. No one knows as to where do the ash from the waste incinerator that is plaguing the national capital due to financial incentives of Farooq AbdullahⳠUnion Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) gets disposed off. MNRE has a waste to energy policy that distorts waste management by promoting incinerator technologies through subsidy of 1.5 crore/MW of waste based power in violation of the Supreme Court Order of May 15, 2007. MNREⳠdriving concern is energy at any human or environmental cost.
TWA underlined the threats from ultrafine particulate matter and nanoparticles which remains beyond regulation which has failed to factor in nanotoxicology. These particles have exquisite biological properties which are very worrying. They are so tiny that they can cross the lung membrane and enter the bloodstream. Once there they can enter every tissue in the body including the brain.
The problem with waste incineration is twofold: a) because every object in commerce is likely to end up in an incinerator any toxic element used in these products is likely to end up in the nanoparticles. The nanoparticles from incinerators are the most dangerous of any common source. b) There are NO regulations in the world for the monitoring nanoparticles from incinerators.
In most countries the particles regulated are 10 microns and above. In some countries they regulate particles at 2.5 microns. But neither standard comes closer to monitoring nanoparticles.
TWA cited a Statement of Evidence -Particulate Emissions and Health from Dr. Vyvyan Howard from Northern Ireland which is the most up to date review of the issue of nanoparticles and incineration available. Before any new incinerator is built in Delhi, or anywhere else for that matter, government officials should force the project proponent director to produce a scientific response to the key questions of nano toxicity posed in this paper.
If they cannot do so, then clearly building such a plant is taking a reckless gamble with the public’s health. Such a gamble cannot be justified on either economic or environmental grounds, both local and global.
Pollution is the most recognized and best-studied problem of incineration. Despite intensive scrutiny over many years, however, much remains unknown about releases of pollutants from incinerators. Waste burners produce hundreds of distinct hazardous byproducts, and only a handful of them have been studied thoroughly. Hundreds more may remain unidentified.
Dioxins are the most notorious pollutant associated with incinerators. They cause a wide range of health problems, including cancer, immune system damage, reproductive and developmental problems. Dioxins biomagnify, meaning that they are passed up the food chain from prey to predator, concentrating in meat and dairy products, and, ultimately, in humans.
TWA recalled that Dioxins became famous as the culprit in such public health disasters as Love Canal, Seveso, Times Beach, and Agent Orange, in which populations were exposed to large quantities of dioxins. These exposures resulted from improper waste disposal (Love Canal and Times Beach), industrial malfunction (Seveso), and the spraying of a herbicide (Agent Orange) contaminated with dioxins as a war chemical. The introduction of approximately one gram of dioxins and 50 kilograms of PCBs into animal food supplies in Belgium triggered widespread food recalls that caused some US$3 billion in damage to the Belgian economy. Worldwide, incinerators are the primary source of dioxins.
Incinerators are also a major source of mercury pollution. Mercury is a powerful neurotoxin, impairing motor, sensory and cognitive functions, and mercury contamination is widespread. Incinerators are also an significant source of other heavy metal pollutants such as lead, cadmium, arsenic, and chromium.
Other pollutants of concern from incinerators include other (non-dioxin) halogenated hydrocarbons; acid gases that are precursors of acid rain; particulates, which impair lung function; and greenhouse gases. However, characterization of incinerator pollutant releases is still incomplete, and many unidentified compounds are present in air emissions and ashes.
Incinerator operators often claim that air emissions are 㵮der control,䠢ut evidence indicates that this is not the case. First, for many pollutants, such as dioxins, any additional emissions are unacceptable. Second, emissions monitoring is uneven and deeply flawed, so even current emission levels are not truly known. Third, the data that do exist indicate that incinerators are incapable of meeting even the current regulatory standards.
Dioxin causes cancer in laboratory animals, and several studies of humans show an increased incidence of various forms of cancer. It is also toxic to the immune system, and it interferes with normal reproduction and development. Primate studies show an association between dioxin exposure and endometriosis. Dioxin interferes with thyroid hormone levels in infants. These effects may occur at extremely low exposure levels. Large accidental or occupational exposures cause a skin rash (chloracne), weight loss, fatigue, decreased libido, altered glucose metabolism, and neurological damage. Dioxin repeatedly causes cancer in virtually all studies in experimental animals at doses well below those which are otherwise toxic.
When air pollution control equipment does function, it removes pollutants from the air and concentrates them in the fly ash, creating a hazardous waste stream that needs further treatment. Thus, the problem of pollutant releases is not solved; the pollutants are simply moved from one medium (air) to another (solids or water). Incinerator ash is highly hazardous but is often poorly regulated. Even landfill disposal is not safe, as landfills leak; but in some places the ash is left exposed to the elements or even spread in residential or food-producing areas. TWA underlined that it is a fraudulent carbon trade project, how every incinerator based waste to energy plant has failed in its journey from DelhiⳠTimarpur to Elikatta Village of Andhra Pradesh and how one Australian companyⳠsix proposals for WTE plant had to be shelved.
These incinerator projects are destroying the livelihood of about 3.5 lakh waste recycling workers and valuable resource material for compost that is required to be treated by composting/anaerobic digestion/vermin composting/other biological processing for stabilization as per Municipal Solid Waste(Management & Handling) Rules framed under Environment Protection Act, 1986. In the CPCB report, Dr A B Akolkar, Director, CPCB emphasized that as per Municipal Solid Waste(Management & Handling) Rules ᢩodegrdable waste⠩s to be treated using biological method rather than deriving RDF or by incineration as is being done by Jindal Ecopolis. It demonstrates that the Timarpur-Okhla Waste to Energy Incinerator Plant violates the Rules.
TWA informed IAAPC that it was in March 2009 that Sukhdev Vihar Residents filed the Writ Petition (Civil) which was initially dismissed on 12th August, 2009 because of misrepresentation of facts by A S Chandiok, Additional Solicitor General (ASG). The court later found that it was misled earlier by ASG which had led to it dismissing the petition.Ϯ December 18, 2009, ASG sought time to file his reply as Court’s order.Ԩe Petition was restored and the bench headed by the Chief Justice, Delhi High Court in an order dated 15th January, 2010 The court observed, 㴨at the project in question䠡nd 㴨e location of the pilot project in Delhi was neither recommended by the Expert Committee nor approved by the Supreme Court.䠔he respondents, the government was “granted one week’s more time to file reply as a last chance” by the court in its order dated February 3, 2010. Till date ASG’s reply has not been filed.༯div>
 
Delhi High Court order of July 18, 2011 reads: “It is submitted by Mr. Nigam, learned senior counsel for the   petitioner that the plant is going to be operated to be soon. Learned   counsel has submitted that he has been instructed to state that Delhi   Pollution Control Committee has issued the consent to operate. Mr.Waziri, learned standing counsel for GNCTD and DPCC submitted that   consent to establish has been given but consent to operate has not yet   been given.   Needless to emphasize, without obtaining consent for operation,  the plant cannot be operationalized.” But even as this submission was given by the Delhi Government to the Court, the plant started operating since January 2012 with impunity. Instead on January 24, 2012, the Court observed in its order, “The respondent No.9 arranged for the power point / video demonstration of the plant in question. Learned counsel for the respondent No.9 seeks permission to place the same on record supported by an affidavit and explaining the process.” It appears to be a case of justice delayed and justice denied because the project proponents now have created a fait accompli situation for the court. ࠼/div>
 
IAAPCⳠDelhi Chapter deliberated on the crisis of environmental toxicity due to these incinerators at its executive/managing committee on August 4, 2012.  S K Gupta, Secretary of IAAPC and other members of IAAPC opined that the burning of mixed municipal waste laced with heavy metals is a matter of concern. Its health impact studies ought to be undertaken to ascertain its adverse impact.   For Details: Gopal Krishna, ToxicsWatch Alliance,͢: 9818089660, E-mail: krishna1715@gmail.com,
Web: toxicswatch.blogspot.com  

Mars rover Curiosity has landed on the Red Planet

 

NASA’s most advanced Mars rover Curiosity has landed on the Red Planet. The one-ton rover, hanging by ropes from a rocket backpack, touched down onto Mars Sunday to end a 36-week flight and begin a two-year investigation. Mars rover Curiosity touched down successfully on the Red Planet at 5:31 UTC on Monday.The largest-ever probe sent to another planet was launched last November. It is the size of a small car and weighs nearly one ton.
NASA says Curiosity deployed a parachute and used the reverse thrust of its rocket engines to drastically reduce its speed after entering the Martian atmosphere.The difficult landing routine kept mission control engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory near Los Angeles on their toes. They erupted in cheers and applause when the spacecraft’s safe touchdown was confirmed.The 6-wheeled spacecraft beamed back its first images from the Martian surface minutes after landing, using a camera installed at its bottom. One black-and-white image shows the rover’s shadow cast on the surface of Mars.
Curiosity will explore the planet’s surface over the next 2 years. The robotic explorer is packed with sophisticated instruments and is designed to carry out on-the-spot analysis of rocks and sand for evidence of organic matter.
The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) spacecraft that carried Curiosity succeeded in every step of the most complex landing ever attempted on Mars, including the final severing of the bridle cords and flyaway maneuver of the rocket backpack.
“Today, the wheels of Curiosity have begun to blaze the trail for human footprints on Mars. Curiosity, the most sophisticated rover ever built, is now on the surface of the Red Planet, where it will seek to answer age-old questions about whether life ever existed on Mars — or if the planet can sustain life in the future,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. “This is an amazing achievement, made possible by a team of scientists and engineers from around the world and led by the extraordinary men and women of NASA and our Jet Propulsion Laboratory. President Obama has laid out a bold vision for sending humans to Mars in the mid-2030′s, and today’s landing marks a significant step toward achieving this goal.”
Curiosity landed at 10:32 p.m. Aug. 5, PDT, (1:32 a.m. EDT Aug. 6) near the foot of a mountain three miles tall and 96 miles in diameter inside Gale Crater. During a nearly two-year prime mission, the rover will investigate whether the region ever offered conditions favorable for microbial life.
“The Seven Minutes of Terror has turned into the Seven Minutes of Triumph,” said NASA Associate Administrator for Science John Grunsfeld. “My immense joy in the success of this mission is matched only by overwhelming pride I feel for the women and men of the mission’s team.”
Curiosity returned its first view of Mars, a wide-angle scene of rocky ground near the front of the rover. More images are anticipated in the next several days as the mission blends observations of the landing site with activities to configure the rover for work and check the performance of its instruments and mechanisms.
“Our Curiosity is talking to us from the surface of Mars,” said MSL Project Manager Peter Theisinger of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. “The landing takes us past the most hazardous moments for this project, and begins a new and exciting mission to pursue its scientific objectives.”
Confirmation of Curiosity’s successful landing came in communications relayed by NASA’s Mars Odyssey orbiter and received by the Canberra, Australia, antenna station of NASA’s Deep Space Network.
Curiosity carries 10 science instruments with a total mass 15 times as large as the science payloads on the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity. Some of the tools are the first of their kind on Mars, such as a laser-firing instrument for checking elemental composition of rocks from a distance. The rover will use a drill and scoop at the end of its robotic arm to gather soil and powdered samples of rock interiors, then sieve and parcel out these samples into analytical laboratory instruments inside the rover.
To handle this science toolkit, Curiosity is twice as long and five times as heavy as Spirit or Opportunity. The Gale Crater landing site places the rover within driving distance of layers of the crater’s interior mountain. Observations from orbit have identified clay and sulfate minerals in the lower layers, indicating a wet history.
The mission is managed by JPL for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The rover was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.
 Mission controllers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory said they received signals relayed by a Martian orbiter confirming that the rover had survived a make-or-break descent and landing effort to touch down as planned inside a vast impact crater. NASA has described the achievement as perhaps the most complex ever in robotic spaceflight.A mission is to see if Mars ever have supported life in forms like microbes or possibly the humans could survive there someday. Media agencies .http://www.nasa.gov/mars

‘Bellissimo’ brand launched by Panariagroup of Italy & Asian Granito India

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High-end luxury tiles under ‘Bellissimo’ brand launched by Panariagroup of Italy & Asian Granito India
New JV co Asian Panaria to invest Rs 100 cr over next 3-5 years
New Delhi, 6 August 2012: Panariagroup Industrie Ceramiche S.p.A. of Italy, one of the world’s leading ceramic tiles company, has joined hands with India’s leading tiles maker, Asian Granito India Ltd., to form a new 50:50 joint venture company, Panaria Asian Pvt. Ltd., to tap the high-end luxury tiles market in India. This new JV’s products will be sold under the new brand ‘Bellissimo – STILE ITALIANO’ to reflect Italian elegance, technology and innovation. It plans to invest Rs. 100 crore over the next 3-5 years in manufacturing as well as setting up a nation-wide distribution network for luxury tiles.
With a presence in over 100 countries, the over Euro 300 million Panariagroup is a world leader in the manufacture and distribution of high-end and luxury porcelain stoneware flooring and wall coverings, with production sites in Italy, Portugal and the USA. Asian Granito India, a Rs. 620 crore plus company, listed on the NSE and BSE, is one the top 5 ceramic tiles company in India with a strong distribution network across the country and five manufacturing plants in Gujarat. 
Welcoming this new initiative, Mr. Kamlesh Patel, Chairman of Asian Granito India Ltd. said, “The joint venture company headquartered at Ahmedabad, Gujarat will offer products comprising a selected range of Panariagroup’s best sellers manufactured in Italy and collections produced in Asian Granito’s Indian plants under an exclusivity agreement. It will be supported by Panariagroup’s technical team to ensure that touch of Italian style.”
Explaining the focus of this high-end brand, Mr. Sanjay Monga, Country Manager – India of Asian Panaria Pvt. Ltd., said, “Bellissimo sets out to be the point of reference for planners, interior designers, architects and end users who are looking for products that combine the highest technical standards and the aesthetics of Italian products, which for centuries have been the symbol of unique excellence throughout the world. With production of over 600 million square metres per year and annual growth rates in double digits, India is the third-largest ceramic tile market in the world in terms of consumer spending.”
 
Mr. Andrea Campaner, Managing Director of Panariagroup India, added, “We want to become the market leader in the Indian luxury ceramic tiles market in the next five years and capture 35% of the total luxury market share in value terms. We will bring in R&D activities, differentiation, focusing on the market and to become a close partner to all the needs and requirements of our clients. Important brands such as Panaria ceramiche, LEA ceramiche and Cotto d’Este will become important assets to create value right from the start. Panariagroup believes strongly in the essential importance of our human resources, that is made up of enthusiasm, entrepreneurial attitude and responsibility with a very strong background. All the main activities and experience will be in place with our strong team of Italian and Indian members to promote our new creation, the BELLISSIMO brand.”
About Panariagroup Industrie Ceramiche S.p.A.:
 
Panariagroup Industrie Ceramiche S.p.A., with headquarters in the area known as the “ceramic tile district” between Modena and Reggio Emilia, heads a Group with 30 years’ experience in the manufacturing and sale of ceramic materials for flooring and wall coverings, with a focus on the luxury and high-end segments of the market. With approximately 1,700 employees and 6 production facilities, Panariagroup ranks among the leading national and international manufacturers, distributing its products in more than 100 countries, through a sales network comprising 500 employees and 300 Sales Agents that serve a base of roughly 9,000 customers.
 
Panariagroup, listed on the Star segment of Borsa Italiana since November 2004, operates through 8 leading brands (Panaria, Lea, Cotto d’Este, Fiordo, Margres, Love Tiles, Florida Tile and Blustyle), all in the high-end and luxury market segments.
 
Asian Granito India Limited:
 
Asian Granito India Ltd, listed on the NSE & BSE, reported sales of Rs 623 crore in 2011-12, with annual growth rates exceeding 20%. The company has more than 4,000 customers throughout the country and 5 production plants in the state of Gujarat with production capacities of 81,000 square metres per day. Asian Granito is today among the top 5 Indian ceramic tile manufacturers and one of the leading manufacturers of porcelain stoneware in India. The company owns 20 showrooms throughout the country.

Hiroshima marks 67th a-bomb anniversary

 Hiroshima has marked the 67th anniversary of the US atomic bombing of the city by calling for the elimination of nuclear weapons and the development of energy sources that are safe and secure.
About 50,000 people gathered on Monday at Hiroshima’s Peace Park near ground zero.At the memorial ceremony, attended by representatives of about 70 countries, Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui referred to the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant last year.
He called on the government to establish an energy policy that would protect the safety and security of citizens.An updated list of 280,959 victims was placed at the cenotaph. It contains the names of 5,729 who died or were confirmed dead in the past year.The peace bell was rung at 8:15 AM to mark the exact time the atomic bomb was dropped, and all participants observed a moment of silence.
In the Peace Declaration, Mayor Matsui said Japan learned a lesson from the Fukushima nuclear accident and is now engaged in a national debate over its energy policy. He noted that some voices are insisting that humankind and nuclear energy cannot co-exist.NHK reports

Seven killed in Shooting in Oak Creek Gurudwara

A gunman opened fire inside a Gurudwara in Wisconsin during congregation  preparation  for Sunday morning prayers, killing at least six people.
This tragic incident unfolded at around 10:30 pm on Sunday as members of the Sikh community were gathering in the 17,000 sq ft Gurudwara in Milwaukee’s Oak Creek suburb.
 
The unidentified gunman walked into the Gurudwara where he opened indiscriminate firing, killing six people.The gunman was also shot and killed by a police officer who also sustained serious injuries. Police said there were a large number of women and children and the women were preparing meals to be served after the traditional prayer ceremony.
 
Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards said the police is “treating the incident as a domestic terrorist-type incident.”
 
The FBI will oversee the criminal investigation. Edwards said there were “numerous individual deceased” and “multiple injured.”
President Barack Obama offered his condolences to the victims of the shooting and said that his Administration will provide whatever support is necessary to the officials who are responding to this tragic shooting and moving forward with an investigation.
 
“Michelle and I were deeply saddened to learn of the shooting that tragically took so many lives in Wisconsin, Obama said in a statement.
 
“As we mourn this loss which took place at a house of worship, we are reminded how much our country has been enriched by Sikhs, who are a part of our broader American family,” Obama said.
 
FBI Milwaukee Special Agent in Charge Teresa Carlson said the agency is working closely with the Oak Creek Police Department and other local and federal agencies to investigate the shooting incident.

Vietnam curb anti-China protests

Vietnam start suppressing anti-China protests. The Vietnamese government apparently wants to avoid a further escalation of its territorial dispute with China.Police in the capital Hanoi dispersed about 50 people who had gathered in a square on Sunday. They also detained about 20 who have been organizing the protests since July. Demonstrations are strictly limited in Vietnam under Communist Party rule. But the authorities had given their tacit approval for anti-China rallies, with police controlling traffic when protesters took to the streets.The two nations are increasingly at odds over the Spratly and Paracel Islands in the South China Sea.
Vietnam passed a maritime law in June that declared sovereignty over the islands.China, on the other hand, has upgraded the status of the islands to a city. A Chinese state-run oil company has announced a plan to explore natural resources in disputed areas.

Iran tests new short-range missile

Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi says his country has successfully test-fired a new short-range missile. He says the missile is more accurate than previous models.State-run television showed the launch of a Fateh-110. The missile has a range of more than 300 kilometers and can reach targets in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman.Vahidi said the missile’s guidance system allows it to strike on land or sea with precision.

He said Iran plans to add the system to all its existing missiles.The United States and European nations are tightening sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programs, targeting its oil exports.Conservative lawmakers in Iran have called for the country’s leaders to block the Strait of Hormuz, a key Middle East oil-shipping route.
Iran test-fired a mid-range missile last month.Observers say the weapons tests are meant as a show of force for the United States and Israel.

Syrian military controls all of Damascus

 

 A Syrian military official says President Bashar al-Assad’s troops have regained control of all opposition strongholds in the capital, Damascus.The military began using tanks to attack opposition forces near the city center on Friday.Anti-government troops have been intensifying their offensive in parts of the capital since mid-July. A military commander told the media that Syrian forces retook all opposition positions in the capital on Saturday.Government forces are also stepping up attacks in the northern city of Aleppo. They are deploying fighter jets to bombard suburban residential and commercial areas.A human rights group based in Britain says more than 20 people, including civilians, were killed on Friday and Saturday.

Putin proposes to cooperate Japan

Russian President Vladimir Putin said, Russia and Japan should cooperate to stop poaching, smuggling and other problems in his country’s Far East.He told Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba that an ongoing territorial dispute on Russian-held islands claimed by Japan off Hokkaido should not prevent the countries from working together.Putin who met Gemba in the southern Russian resort of Sochi on July 28th. Gemba referred to a dispute over a group of Russian-held islands claimed by Japan off Hokkaido. He suggested that foreign and vice foreign ministers meet to hammer out a peace treaty.Putin responded that Russia is ready to explore a solution. But he also said he doesn’t believe the lack of a peace treaty should prevent the two countries from working together.Media agencies

Draghi vowed to “do whatever it takes to preserve the euro.”

 

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi vowed to “do whatever it takes to preserve the euro.” In its policy meeting on Wednesday, the ECB decided to keep its existing monetary policies unchanged. But at a press conference after the meeting Draghi said the ECB doesn’t rule out taking “further non-standard monetary policy measures” if needed. He also reconfirmed that the euro is “irreversible.” US Federal Reserve held a Federal Open Market Committee meeting, its policy-deciding function, on Monday and Tuesday. Contrary to market expectations, the Fed kept its monetary policy unchanged, taking no additional easing steps.
Bank of Japan holds a policy meeting starting on Wednesday and Thursday. Japan has been struggling to break out of deflation, which drags prices down over long periods, and the yen continues to strengthen against other currencies. The business community is starting to call for further monetary easing by the BOJ. However, BOJ Governor Masaaki Shirakawa is on record as saying excessive easing could have negative side-effects such as a jump in long-term rates and inflation. That has led to a widespread belief that Shirakawa is reluctant to take further easing measures.
We will ask Rikkyo University Professor Teizo Taiya for his analysis of the responses of the ECB and the Fed, what action he expects the BOJ to take next week, and his outlook for the European crisis in the context of the ECB’s expected responses.Media agencies

India to set up three more mega manufacturing zones

Against the backdrop of sharp decline in manufacturing growth, India will be setting up three more mega industrial and investment zones as part of its endeavour to push the contribution of the sector up to 25 pc of GDP by 2020.
 Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said the notification for setting up the National Manufacturing and Investment Zones (NMIZ) is expected to be issued by this month end.”We are seriously considering three National Manufacturing and Investment Zones (NMIZ) of which one will be in Andhra Pradesh and two in Karnataka,” said Sharma who is on a three-day visit to Colombo.The decision, by which the total number of NMIZ will go up to 12, comes against the backdrop of sharp decline in manufacturing growth to 0.3 percent during the January-March quarter from 7.3 percent in the corresponding period of 2010-11.Sharma said there are four proposals pending with the government, including that from Kerala but they are seeking special dispensation in land area requirement of a minimum 5,000 hectares.The government has been taking several steps to increase the share of the manufacturing sector in the GDP to at least 25 percent by 2020 from the present 16 percent.
In this regard, a new National Manufacturing Policy (NMP) was announced recently, which provides for NMIZs. NMIZs will be mega industrial zones with world class supporting infrastructure.
The government is offering a host of incentives like exemption from capital gains tax and a liberalised labour and environment norms to promote these zones. The NMP proposes to create 100 million jobs by 2020.

International Conference on People’s Empowerment and Development

Government of Bangladesh organised  the International Conference on People’s Empowerment and Development.Addressing a press conference in Dhaka today, Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Mijarul Quayes said that the two day conference which is scheduled to be inaugurated by Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday morning is focused on various factors interlinked with the” People’s empowerment and a Peace centric development model “presented by her at the UN General Assembly last year.
Jairam Ramesh will address the inaugural session of the Conference and will also participate in the Working Session focused on the theme “Creating Jobs for All”.

UN: First food aid to flood-hit N Koreans

World Food Programme has said it is sending a first shipment of emergency food aid to flood-hit areas of North Korea, where torrential rain has killed scores of people and inundated cropland.The assistance will provide victims with an initial ration of 400 grams (14 ounces) of maize a day for 14 days, the UN body said in a statement posted yesterday on its website.
It said a UN mission that travelled to flood-hit regions earlier in the week found considerable damage to maize, soybean and rice fields.The country struggles to feed its people even in normal times and suffered a famine in the 1990s that killed hundreds of thousands.The UN mission said immediate food aid was needed for residents of the worst-hit counties, Anju and Songchon in South Pyongan province and Chonnae in Kangwon province.
It also stressed that tens of thousands of families urgently need clean drinking water to prevent disease.Wells had been contaminated by overflowing latrines, creating a high risk of a diarrhoea outbreak, while floods had damaged water sources and pumping stations.Citing government figures, the UN mission said about 50,000 families would need purification tablets or other help to secure clean water.
The North’s state media has reported a total of 119 deaths in recent weeks, with 84,000 people made homeless and 45,370 hectares (122,500 acres) of farmland submerged or washed away.

Basel III norms: RBI

Reducing its stake in public sector banks to below 50 pc is an option before the government to enable them meet capital requirement norms under Basel III, Reserve Bank of India Governor D Subbarao said.He said Indian banks need to raise Rs 1.5 lakh crore to Rs 1.75 lakh crore as capital to meet the BASEL-III norms which are to be implemented by 31st March 2018.Basel III international accounting standards were conceived after the 2008-09 financial crisis to strengthen banks’ capital base and improve their ability to withstand shocks.
“Question is can PSU banks mobilise this sort of capital, or can the government give this sort of capital. We are aware of the constraints on the government”, the RBI governor said in Hyderabad on Saturday.”The alternate to the government is either to reduce shareholding below 50 per cent or slow down PSU growth,” Subbarao said in his keynote address delivered at Centre for Economic and Social Studies.
He was, however, hopeful that the banks in private sector may be able to raise the capital.”Can private banks raise this sort of money? They probably can, because Rs 500 billion was raised in last 5 years,” Subbarao said.
Explaining the outcomes after the financial crisis in 2008-09, Subbarao said, though price stability and macroeconomic stability are important they do not guarantee financial stability.
“Not only that they do not guarantee financial stability but if you have macroeconomic and price stability for too long, you are probably jeopardising financial stability,” Subbarao said. “Because, you become complacent, you are impervious; you’re plying to the cancer building underneath your belly. And when pressures build up, implosion takes place, he added.
He said the take away from this is that central banks and governments and all regulators need to pursue financial stability explicitly, not as a byproduct of price and macroeconomic stability.
Subbarao felt the collection of healthy institutions does not make a collective healthy system. Banks are over confident during safe times and excessively panic during bad times, he said.
He said during the crisis period, it was thought India was decoupled from the affected economies because of the forex resources and regulations but the crisis proved that decoupling is a myth.
“We thought we were decoupled because of the reforms, because of our financial sector is more resilient, manufacturing sectors have grown, forex reserves are sufficient. We thought we were decoupled from the economies. But that proved to be wrong,” he said.

Don’t Ban MLM Multi Level Marketing just Regulate it

 

Press conference held at 4 windsor place New Delhi to engage the stakeholders
in order to Regulate Multilevel Marketing And Protect Consumers and Employees
 
In joint statement issued by the Reception Committee Chairperson Amarjeet Kaur,Vice-chairman Chidambaram N, General convener E C Satheesan and MMEF(AITUC) leaders P V Asokan and V Sreenivasan at a press conference in New Delhi on Saturday August 4, 2012.
 
Chairperson Amarjeet Kaur said, their main demands of protest in form of the ‘March to Parliament’ being organised by the Multilevel Marketing Employees Federation MMEF(AITUC) is to enact a central legislation to regulate the multilevel marketing sector and protect its employees as well as consumers.
 
She further added that In India the multilevel marketing/direct selling sector is actively functioning since 1996, but not under any regulation. Instead, each multinational net work and big business house in India are operating according to its wishes, aimed at making only huge profits.Also in India about 20 lakhs of youngsters are working in this sector and this is the only means of their livelihood. Such operations are rampant in more than one hundred countries. Even in our neighbouring country China, the multilevel marketing is in operation with proper separate regulating laws. In certain countries, there are sections, legally equipped officials and even ministers to look after and regulate the sector.The noble aim of multilevel marketing/direct selling is to provide directly without middlemen cheap and better quality essential items to consumers identified through personal contacts. A share of the profit is being distributed to the employees in the sector as remuneration.
 
She said , several business organisations engaged in multilevel marketing after cheating and misappropriating the hard earned money of the consumers disappear all of a sudden throwing the employees and consumers into wilderness. This is happening due to the lack of any regulatory mechanism.Multilevel marketing is similar to various other income-generating jobs. This really provides some relief in India where unemployment is critical.The multilevel marketing employees must be able to work in this sector with a healthier environment ensuring both dignity and security. This can be achieved only through enacting a proper legislation.
 
Welcming the media she said, we would also like to reveal to the Press that attempts are being made by MNCs to instill fears into the minds of the employees that the government may ban multilevel marketing/direct selling setup itself. Vested interests in the bureaucracy and other government machinery are trying their best in this regard.However, a seven-member committee has been set up under the chairmanship of the present consumer affairs secretary to study the problems, assess the sector and submit a report by August 31, 2012.We demand that the committee and the consumer affairs ministry should consult all the stakeholders, particularly the employees and the MMEF(AITUC) before finalising the report.It is to focus on these demands and seeking urgent steps by the central government towards framing a legal setup that a trade union has taken birth in the multilevel marketing sector MMEF(AITUC)  for the first time in the world and is holding the March to Parliament on August 7, 2012, starting at 11 a.m. from Barakhamba Road signals to Parliament Street via Tolstoy Marg, Janpath and Jantar Mandir.
 
MULTILVEL MARKETING EMPLOYEES FEDERATION MMEF(AITUC)
Reception Committee
AITUC Bhavan, 35-36, D.D.U Marg, New Delhi-110 002 Tel: 011-23217320
 
Chairman: Amarjeet Kaur Mob: 09810144958,
General Convener: E C Satheesan Mob:09446520292

UNGA adopts resolution on Syria

The UN General Assembly overwhelmingly adopted a Saudi-drafted resolution on Syria that expressed “grave concern” at the escalating violence in the country but India was among the 31 nations that abstained.The 193-member General Assembly passed the resolution that denounced Syria’s crackdown on its people and demanded that the country lockdown it’s chemical and biological weapons.
The resolution also deplored “the failure of the Security Council to agree on measures to ensure the compliance of Syrian authorities with its decisions”.
The resolution got 133 votes in favour, while 12 countries voted against and 31 countries, including India abstained.An earlier draft of the resolution had provisions that demanded regime change, called on President Bashar Al-Assad to resign and asked countries to place sanctions against the country for the violence and killing.
India was not in favour of these provisions and a senior member of Indian delegation had said that officials “worked over time” to get these demands dropped from the resolution.
Others countries like Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa too were not in support of the provisions demanding regime change and sanctions.The Indian Ambassador to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri had also held several rounds of discussion with his Saudi and Qatari counterparts over the provisions of regime change and sanctions in the resolution. Unlike a UN Security Council resolution, the General Assembly resolution is not legally binding. It is only moral and symbolic in nature.The resolution strongly condemns “the continued widespread and systematic gross violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms by the Syrian authorities and pro-governmental militias”.
Addressing the 193-member General Assembly before the vote on the resolution, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the violence and acts of brutality being reported in Syrian cities may constitute “crimes against humanity or war crimes”.
He said despite repeated verbal acceptances of the international envoy six-point plan endorsed by the UN Security Council, the Syrian government and the opposition continue to rely on weapons and not diplomacy, believing that they would win through violence.
The Syrian crisis has escalated in the last 17 months when the uprising against President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime began.
More than 10,000 people have been killed and thousands others displaced by the fighting between government and rebel forces.Efforts to restore peace and stability in the troubled nation were dealt a huge blow when the UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan announced that he was resigning from his post, six months after his efforts to end the violence and find a political solution to the Syrian crisis yielded no results.
Ban said the violence and bloodshed in Syria was “avoidable” if the Syrian government had from the beginning of the uprising not responded to peaceful demonstrations with brutal force, including mass round-ups and torture.He said observers had predicted at the start of the conflict that unchecked spread of violence in Syria would lead to a rise of radicalisation, extremism and terrorism.
“The next step was also forewarned: a proxy war, with regional and international players arming one side or the other.”“Now, we face the grim possibility of long-term civil war destroying Syria’s rich tapestry of interwoven communities. This would have tragic implications for Syria’s people and could affect stability across the region. We must not let this prediction come true,” Ban said.
He said mediation to solve the Syrian crisis can only succeed if there is a commitment to solving conflict through dialogue and real leverage to back it up.Annan too had blamed a divided international community and UN Security Council for lack of action to stop the violence.

Keshubhai Patel quits BJP

Keshubhai Patel, who ushered in BJP rule in Gujarat in the 90s and has revolted against CM Narendra Modi, has resigned from the party and announced plans to launch a new outfit which he claims would be the real BJP.
Addressing a press conference in Gandhinagar on Saturday, the 83-year-old former chief minister announced his decision along with the resignation of Kanshiram Rana, a former Union minister, from the party.”Kanshiram Rana and I, who have served the party for the last 60 years, are very sad to send our resignations, from the party that we have nurtured here, to party president Nitin Gadkari. We are not switching the party but we are going to form the real BJP,” Keshubhai said.
 
The former chief minister launched a stinging attack on Modi saying the party had become a one-man outfit and gone far away from the principles of the BJP.
 
The poor and the middle class have become unhappy with the government and Modi was keeping away from everyone including the media to avoid questioning, he said.
 
The announcement by Patel, who was leading an anti-Modi group within the state BJP ahead of the Gujarat Assembly elections (due in December), was expected for quite some time, and the formation of the new party would result in a triangular fight.
 
Though a powerful OBC leader during his heydays, what impact his departure would have on the party remains to be seen since he has been marginalised in the state politics for quite sometime now.In Gujarat, considered the Hindutva forces’ laboratory, Keshubhai had emerged as a powerful leader of the numerically strong Patel community, which is the backbone of BJP’s support base.
 
The saffron party is in power in the state for the last 15 years.”BJP has not remained the real BJP which we had formed by working for the last 50 years. This party has become a one- man party and gone far away from its principals,” Keshubhai said, targeting Modi. “I will tomorrow announce the formation of our new party,” he added.
 
“The present BJP has gone miles away from democracy and has become insensitive towards the people,” Keshubhai said.
 
In the last 10 years, people were suffering, decisions of courts were not being respected, women and children were suffering from malnutrition, and if the parents of missing children wanted to meet the chief minister, they were turned away, he said.”In this situation, I cannot remain silent and be a mute spectator, and that is the reason I have decided to form a new party which will be the real BJP,” he said.Modalities of forming the new party were being worked out, he said. Sources close to Keshubhai said the new party would contest all the 182 Assembly seats.
 
Keshubhai was unceremoniously removed as Gujarat chief minister in 2001 by the BJP leadership; Modi replaced him.”At this ripe age, I am not forming a new party for grabbing power, as people have given me enough. My only aim is to give a better alternative to the people,” Keshubhai said.
 
Rana, a powerful leader from Surat, who was the union textile minister in the NDA government, said, “Vajpayeeji had once told Modi to follow ‘Raj-dharma’, and inspired by that, we have decided to follow ‘Praja-Dharma’”.
 
Keshubhai enjoys support of a section of the Sangh Parivar in Gujarat, including RSS ‘pracharaks’ and members of VHP.Former minister of state for home in the Modi government, Gordhan Zadafia, who later formed his own Maha-Gujarat Janta Party, had sometime ago said that he would merge his outfit with Keshubhai’s party.

Saina wins first badminton Olympic bronze

Saina Nehwal created history by becoming the first Indian to win an Olympic Games bronze medal in badminton, though under fortuitous circumstances, as her world number two Chinese opponent retired from the play-off because of a knee injury.The 22-year-old Saina was trailing 18-21, 0-1 in the high-voltage bronze medal play-off match when her second seeded opponent Xin Wang retired hurt, giving India an unexpected medal without having to sweat much.Saina also became the second Indian woman to win an Olympic medal, after Karnam Malleswari’s weightlifting bronze in 2000 Sydney Olympics.With the addition of Saina’s bronze, India’s medal collection in the ongoing Olympics has gone upto three with pistol shooter Vijay Kumar (silver) and seasoned marksman Gagan Narang (bronze) being the other medal winners.The packed Wembly arena, which had a seizable chunk of vociferous Indian supporters cheering for Saina, were taken by surprise when the script suddenly changed with Wang getting injured towards the very end of the first game.Wang got herself medical attention and even went in for the second game but conceded the match after just one point.A thunderous roar greeted Saina when it was announced that she had won the bronze medal and Wang had retired.”I still can’t believe that I have won a medal. In badminton, I never believed that India could win a medal because the competition is so tough. It is a dream come true for me,” Saina said after the match on Saturday.”I had trained hard and there was a lot of expectation. I initially thought that she was just taking rest as she was tiring, but then I realised she was injured. It’s sad that she got injured, but I was confident of beating her as I was coming into rhythm,” she said.
 Saina said her defeat against top ranked player Yihan Wang of China on Friday was still rankling her as she had adopted a wrong strategy against her.

“Today’s match was crucial. But I was still thinking about what happened yesterday. But as the game went, I began to play better. I felt that she was tiring and I had my chance,” the ace shuttler said.Saina, seeded fourth, started off well by taking an early lead but the Chinese clawed back and the score moved neck and neck till 6-6.
From then on, the Chinese increased the lead by not allowing Saina to play her natural game.Wang took a lead of 16-10 but the Indian again showed her tenacity by reducing the margin and engaging her opponent in long rallies, a tactics which she could not do in the semifinal match.The turning point came when the score was 20-18 in the first game. In her bid to finish off the game, Wang leaped into the air and unleashed a blistering smash from the baseline but landed awkwardly and injured her left knee in the process.She bandaged her knee and took the court for the second game but conceded after just one point, much to the delight of the Indian spectators and IOA officials who were present at the venue.
“Today my strategy was to engage her in long rallies and it did work to some extent. Yesterday also we had the same strategy, but it did not work. I should have tried something else and played my own game instead of trying to match her,” Saina said.

“I had never won a match like this before. May be, the medal was written for me. I have always wanted an Olympic medal. I always wanted to see India’s national flag going up at the podium,” she said.The moment it was known that she was the bronze medal, Saina first waved at her coach P Gopichand, who was sitting on the coach’s chair, and then acknowledged the cheers from the spectators, most of whom were Indians.

Launch of AACCI project on “Prevention of Violence and Aggression in children and Youth”

 National consultative meeting and Launch of AACCI project
on “Prevention of Violence and Aggression in children and Youth” Saturday, 4th August 2012 IIC, New Delhi:
 In view of the escalating violence in many cities of India which involves children and youth in schools, out of school and at home in various aspects AACCI- Association of Adolescent and child care in India felt a need to plan some interventions and decide to spearhead a project that will get together a variety of stake holders to plan practical interventions which are doable at various levels.  We at AACCI felt that there is a need for a group of experts, NGO’s and stake holders to come together and brain storm to come out with recommendations for prevention of this escalating violence and aggression and plan intervention strategies at various levels- school. College, community, parents and last but not the least Media .This consultative meeting was planned  This project is the brain child of Dr Swati Y Bhave Executive Director AACCI. This is being co-hosted by Dr Anuradha Khairnar and ISHP Indian Society of health care professionals  AACCI is a group of doctors from various specialties and mental health professionals who have come together for holistic care of children and adolescents.
 Children in schools and youth in college can only be reached through the two main pillars of their wellbeing –parents at home and teachers in schools .With this in mind AACCI has also included in our group parents and teachers Since 2008 AACCI has been doing various programs on parenting, Life skill education, tobacco control, gender issues, healthy life style, anger management and coping with emotions prevention of obesity and other life style disorders in various cities and states in the country. You can visit our website www.aacci.in for more details about us and our activities .Many of The AACCI research and other publications and yearly reports are on the website   In the morning Presentations on the subject will be made by renowned psychiatrists: Dr Shekhar Seshadri from NIMHANS, Bangalore, Nimesh Desai IHBAS, New Delhi and Dr Jitendra Nagpal, Expressions India New Delhi  The participants are experts in psychology, doctors from various specialties- paediatricians, psychiatrists, adolescent specialists, family physicians, principals, teachers,  counselors, legal experts, media experts, social scientists, educationist and parents and representatives from various NGOS. Group discussions will be held under various themes: interventions at parental,  school, college, community levels, legal aspects, special situations like rural, tribal and urban slums and specially challenged children.
In addition to the above experts The groups will be led by experts: Dr Jai Shastri Psychiatrist and Dr Anuradha Sovani from Mumbai University, Prof Katy Gandevia from TISS, Dr Jay Shastri  a child psychiatrist from Mumbai ,Dr Radhakrishnan from RGNIYD, Dr UNB Rao from UVCT Trust, Seema Khanna Media expert from ASWHD , Dr Farookh  Buchia from CASP ,Mumbai  Dr Sangeeta Yadav Prof of Pediatrics from MAMC New Delhi, Padmashree Pukhraj Bafna from Chhattisgarh, Adolescent experts like Drs Ashok Gupta from Jaipur, Paula Goel from Mumbai, Anjali Saxena and TS Jain from New Delhi. AACCI has got many partners  A multicentre research is planned by AACCI which will be coordinated by Dr Surekha Joshi research coordinator AACCI and analysis will be done by TISS Mumbai.
The results of the discussions will be complied in the form of recommendations and action plan that will be carried out by committed people across the country. The report will also be published   Sunday, 5th August 2012 Orientation to master trainers module developed by AACCI for creating awareness and capacity building of teachers , students and children to prevent and ability to cope up with violence. This has been developed by Dr Swati Bhave and Divya Santhanan. AACCI faculty lead by Dr Swati Y Bhave and Anuradha Sovani will explain the way to use this module so that principals and teachers can conduct the program at their schools. We have 25 principals and teachers from various parts of the country .
 An unusual part of this consultative meeting is that 18 students from X-XII std will also be part of this meeting and give inputs. As a pilot launch AACCI trained a whole school over 7800 students, 25 teachers and 50 parents whose children had problems  in the month of  July in a elite south Mumbai School – Activity school .The principal Perin bagli will make a presentation at the meet to share her experience    People who will give bytes to the press  Dr Swati Bhave , Paediatrician and teen expert  Executive director AACCI  Dr Anuradha Sovani  psychologist , Advisor AACCI Dr Jay Shastri  psychiatrist ,Mumbai  DR Shekhar Sheshadri psychiatrist NIMHANS  Dr Nimesh Desai psychiatrist IHBAS  Dr Katy Gandevia social worker TISS . Mumbai  Dr Farookh Buchia conselor  CASP  Dr UNB Rao ,IPS, UVCT  Perin Bagli Principal Activity School

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