Friday, June 21, 2013

NBT-KPA Sign MoU

On the occasion of India as Guest of Honour country at Seoul International Book Fair, NBT and Korean Publishers' Association have signed an MoU for participation in New Delhi World Book Fair, organised by NBT, and Seoul International Book Fair (SIBF), orgsnised by KPA, on reciprocal basis annually. NBT and KPA will also bring out annual reports on Indo-Korea publishing activities on the basis of these reciprocal arrangements and will work towards promotion of the interests of publishers of both countries on mutual basis.

The MoU to this effect was signed at a reception organised by Shri A Sethumadahavan, Chairman, NBT at Seoul, attended by nearly 150 Indian, Korean and Foreign publishers, authors, intellectuals, dignitaries, literarty agents, various international book fair organisers, last night in the presence of  Mr. Jitin Prasada, Hon'ble Minister of HRD, Govt of India, Ambassador of India Shri Vishnu Prakash and Mr. Lee, Chairperson of the Organising Committee of SIBF and Ms. Veena Ish, Joint Secretary, MHRD (Book Promotion).

Shri M A Sikandar, Director, NBT and Mr. Eric Yang, Executive Director, KPA signed the MoU and exchanged papers.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Prasada express his extreme happiness at the developments and hoped that 'from today, a new beginning in Indo-Korean cultural exchange through books will start'. Chairnan, NBT, in his welcome address pointed out the role of NBT in promotion of Indian books abroad and how such outcomes directly help the Indian publishers.

Ambassador Shri Vishnu Prakash and  Mr. Eric Yang also spoke on the occasion.

(Kumar Samresh)
Public Relation Officer
National Book Trust, India
Nehru Bhawan, 5 Institutional Area, Phase-II
Vasant Kunj, New Delhi-110070

Contact No.  (M) 9911241800

SOUTH ASIA REGIONAL CONSULTATION ON CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION

South Asia Regional Consultation on Climate Change Adaptation (SACCA)
New Delhi, 24-27 June 2013
WHAT: Launch of the South Asia Regional Consultation on Climate Change Adaptation (SACCA) entitled “Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) – Managing Risk for Resilience”, organized by the, UNICEF and the United Nations Disaster Management Team in India, in partnership with SAARC Disaster Management Center, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Home Affairs and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) of India.
The Consultation highlights the urgency for targeted action on Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) seeking to raise awareness and reach a common consensus on key priorities for action amongst stakeholders. 
Media are invited to the inaugural session, which will be followed by a press interaction. 
Who: 
Shashidhar Reddy, Vice Chairman,National Disaster Management Authority
Mr David Mcloughlin, Deputy Representative, UNICEF India.
Ms. Lise Grande, United Nations Resident Coordinator in India and Chair of India’s United Nations Disaster Management Team (UNDMT)
The SACCA consultation brings together over 140 experts from eight South Asian Countries (India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives) as well as representatives of national governments, civil society organizations, academia and the UN for a four day event. 
Latest policy developments and key international guidelines in the field of CCA will be discussed, experience and good practices form the region will be shared and group work and brainstorming will generate consensus on key national and regional priorities for action in the field of Climate Change Adaptation in South Asia. Adolescents will also participate in brainstorming and deliberation for identification of key priorities for action. 
Where: Hotel Oberoi, New Delhi. 
When: 9.30 a.m, 24th June. 
Note to Editors:
Climate change and disaster risk reduction are closely linked. More extreme weather events in future are likely to increase the number and scale of disasters, while at the same time, existing methods and tools of disaster risk reduction provide powerful capacities for adaptation to climate change. Adaptation efforts in South Asia have so far been fragmented, lacking a strong link between national climate change strategies, and existing disaster risk reduction, agricultural, and other relevant policiesThe need to integrate CCA and DRR into national development strategies has emerged as a key conclusion from a number of recent international policy forums, particularly in the “Stockholm Plan of Action for Integrating Disaster Risk and Climate Change Impacts in Poverty Reduction” and the recent Oslo Policy Forum on “Changing the Way We Develop: Dealing with Disasters and Climate Change”.
The two day consultation will be followed by the Regional Workshop on Climate Resilient Small Holder Agricultural Farming Systems in South Asia on 26-27 June. The workshop is being organized by the Asian and Pacific Centre for Transfer of Technology (APCTT/ESCAP) and is part of SATNET Asia, a ‘Network for Knowledge Transfer on Sustainable Agricultural Technologies and Improved Market Linkages in South and Southeast Asia’, funded by the European Union. The workshop will address ways to increase agricultural productivity in the context of climate change adaptation, and strengthen capacities of participants in the area of climate resilient farming practices.
A UNESCO workshop “Regional priorities for Knowledge Management and Strategy for action – South Asia” is also slated to be held on 26th of June.You are cordially invited to the inaugural session and we look forward to your participation in the following sessions. A draft agenda is enclosed.
For interviews of key spokespersons (profiles enclosed) and for further information, kindly contact:
UNICEF:
Ms. Maria Fernandez, Communication Specialist, Mobile: 9958-176-291, email: mfernadez@unicef.org
Sonia Sarkar, Communication Officer (Media), Mobile : 9810-170-289, email: ssarkar@unicef.org 
(See attached file: AGENDA SA RC CCA 24-27 June 2013 (Draft 8_Pre-final).docx)(See attached file: Resource person profiles.docx)
Kind regards,
Sonia Sarkar
Communication Officer (Media), Advocacy & Communication Division,
Tel: +91 11 2460-6237, Mobile : +91-981-017-0289 , Email ssarkar@unicef.org
United Nations Children’s Fund
India Country Office, 73 Lodi Estate, New Delhi
Follow us on Facebook.com/unicef.india, twitter @unicefindiaYouTube and at www.unicef.org


Uttarakhand, over 34 thousand pilgrims and tourists have been evacuated till now from different parts of flood affected areas mostly from Rudraprayag, Tehri, Uttarkashi and Pithoragarh districts.Army, ITBP and National Disaster Response Force, NDRF have launched one of the biggest human rescue operations.The Army has mobilized 2,500 additional troops for rescue and relief operations.Still there are more than thirty thousand people still stranded and hill state of Uttarakhand separated from UP has population of 10 Million population with best of ecological environments but the infrastructures and development of the state is in disorderly fashion . Hill state mostly fed on pilgrims and tourists but state authorities  is unable to provide best of amenities to the pilgrims, tourist, lack of the skill workers,health services education professional which are essentially needed to inject innovation, motivation to make the state into buzzing tourist destination.

Cabinet Sec reviews Uttarakhand operations:
Cabinet Secretary Ajit Kumar Seth held a review meeting on Thursday with top central and Uttarakhand government officials and issued directions to speed up rescue operations in the flood-ravaged state.
The Secretary also instructed BSNL to repair mobilephone towers in the state and restore telephony in the next few days.
A statement issued after the meeting said that coordinated efforts are being made to provide succour to the stranded pilgrims, tourists and locals by multiple agencies like Defence, ITBP, BRO, NDRF and state government departments.
“The government of India is supplementing the efforts of the state government for requirement of food, medicines and fuel, wherever required.
The statement said “39 helicopters from the Air Force and Army airlifted about 2,000 people despite cloudy weather. The airlifting operations will resume by early Friday morning”.
“BSNL has been directed to immediately repair the telephone towers to restore communication in the next 2-3 days.
About 8,000 tonnes of foodgrains are available with the state Government. Arrangements to ensure fuel availability have also been made,” it said.
Rescue operations on: 45 Army, IAF choppers; 10,000 troops deployed in U’khand
Meanwhile stepping up relief and rescue operations in Uttarakhand, the Defence Ministry has deployed more than 45 choppers belonging to the Army and the IAF there along with more than 10,000 troops in the rain-ravaged parts of the hill state.
IAF has deployed 20 Mi-17s and 16 Advanced Light Helicopters in the state where they have evacuated over 1,500 people. Army has also deployed over 8,000 of its troops there along with over 3,000 personnel of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), Defence Ministry officials said.
Defence Minister A K Antony is monitoring the situation and has directed the armed forces to extend maximum possible support in the operations, they said.
The Ministry said BRO has also been successful in reopening the important road axis from Rishikesh to Joshimath along with several other major roads in the last 48 hours.
The Army has also deployed over 100 Special Forces troops in Kedarnath and Sonprayag area, which is cut-off till now, to link up with people who have been stranded there for last four to five days, they said.
“The Army has so far rescued more than 11,000 people, mainly from Govindghat and Harsil. About 10,000 people are also being provided food and medical assistance,” an Army release said.
The Army has also launched a column of its units in Kumaon region where more than 50-60 people have been stranded on Pindari Glacier and Sunder Dunga Glacier.
“An Army column led by two officers and 77 soldiers reached Kapkot in Bageshwar district this morning. The column is currently moving by foot towards Gumla and is expected to reach both the glaciers and likely to link up with people by June 21,” Army spokesperson Virendra Singh said.
Army jawans also rescued 11 members and 43 porters of a mountain expedition from Arva Tal on Gangotri-Mana axis and have brought them safely to Ghastoli from where they will be relocated to Badrinath after medical aid.
“Communication nodes have been established at Gaucher, Harsil, Joshimath and Rudraprayag to enable people to contact their families. 30 satellite phones have so far been set up and 20 more are likely to be used for benefit of stranded pilgrims,” Singh said.
Both Army and IAF are trying to establish landing grounds for their aircraft in forward regions for evacuating larger number of people from there.
IAF is looking at the possibility of landing its C-130J Special Operations aircraft at Gauchar to quickly deploy more relief material and personnel, and evacuate more people.
“Army is carrying out reconnaissance to examine the feasibility of making a larger helipad at Gagaria on Hemkund Sahib axis so that large number of people can be evacuated using MI-17 helicopters,” Singh said.

Kyrgyzstan’s deadline for US withdrawal from airbase

Standard

 

US servicemen prepare for the change of command ceremony at the US transit center in Manas airport, Kyrgyzstan (AFP Photo / Str)   Kyrgyz Parliament has passed a bill that will end the US lease on the transit airbase at Manas airport near the country’s capital Bishkek. US troops are expected to withdraw from the site by July 11, 2014.
The 120-seat legislature voted 91 to 5 in favor of the decision to discontinue the contract. The bill will now be sent to the president’s office to be signed into law.
The US has rented the base near Bishkek for more than a decade as part of logistics support for the US-led coalition in Afghanistan, in order to refuel airlift transports carrying cargo and troops.
In 2009, Kyrgyzstan’s then-President Kurmanbek Bakiev planned to shut down the transportation hub, but instead rebranded it as a transit center in order to allow it to continue operations. This u-turn came after Washington agreed to triple its lease payment to about $60 million a year.
AFP Photo / Vyacheslav OseledkoBakiev was then ousted in a public uprising, and after a period of turmoil was replaced by newly elected President Almazbek Atambayev. After assuming Kyrgyzstan’s highest office in 2011, he announced that Bishkek does not plan to renew the lease after it expires in 2014. US base has been at the center of several scandals since its opening in 2001, including the fatal shooting of a local man by an American guard at a base checkpoint. The killing was not prosecuted by Kyrgyzstan, as US Military personnel have legal immunity in the country. Critics also voiced concerns over environmental damage and potential threats from US enemies against the stronghold.
Kyrgyz government cited the US plan to withdraw troops from Afghanistan in 2014 among the reasons why it wants to chancel the Manas lease. It said the need for its services will drop greatly after the pull-out.
After the American base is closed, the facility will become part of the adjoined civilian international airport. Bishkek plans to seek international investments into developing the transport hub.
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