Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Food Security Bill gets nod of Loksabha

27082013
States foodgrain entitlements to be protected legally 
Definition of meal changed to avoid package food 
States to get one year for implementation of the Bill 
States to be consulted for making rules to carry out provisions of Bill 
The National Food Security Bill, a historic initiative for ensuring food and nutritional security to the people was passed by Loksabha yesterday. According to the amendments approved by the house State Governments’ existing foodgrain entitlements will be protected legally subject to it being restricted to average annual off take during last three years. Earlier it was proposed to be protected by an executive order. 
The definitions of the ‘meal’ for mid day meal and ICDS programmes has also been amended. Now ‘meal’ means hot cooked or pre-cooked and heated food and not the packaged food. This amendment has been made to remove the apprehensions of misuse of the earlier provision for supply of packaged food in large quantity. 
Another amendment now provides one year to states for implementation of the Food Bill instead of six months. 
Removing all apprehensions of the States regarding their say in the implementation of the ambitious Bill, the other amendment says that the Central Government will make rules in consultation with the State Governments to carry out the provisions of Food Security Act. 
Total ten amendments have been approved by the Lok Sabha in the National Food Security Bill which was introduced in the house on August 7, 2013 by Union Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister, Shri K.V.Thomas to replace the National Food Security Ordinance, 2013 promulgated on 5th July, 2013 
The Bill proposes to provide wheat and rice at Rs 2 and Rs 3 per kg to about 81 crore people, while under the existing Targeted Public Distribution System only 2.5 crore Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) families or about 32.5 crore persons (assuming 5 as the average household size) are getting foodgrains at these prices. Thus, population getting foodgrains at these highly subsidized prices as their legal right will increase to 67% from existing 27%. 
Other features of the Bill are as follows. 
Under the Food Security Bill each entitled person will receive 5 kg of food grains per month. The poorest of the poor who have been getting 35 kg of food grains, will continue to get 35 kg food grains per household per month under AAY. The Bill has special focus on nutritional needs of women and children. The Bill proves that the eldest woman of the household above 18 years is considered the head of the household for the purpose of issue of ration cards. Not only that pregnant women and lactating mother will get maternity benefit of Rs. 6000/- and pregnant women and children below 14 years of age will get nutritious meals, with higher nutritional norms for malnourished children. On the issue of redressing grievances that may arise in implementation of such a massive social justice programme, it has been planned to give an increased role for Panchayati Raj institutions and women’s self help group in programme-monitoring and social auditing. There will be provision for internal grievance redressal mechanism including call centres and help lines; and District Grievance Redressal Officers and State Food Commission for expeditious and effective. 


 

RAVISH DESAI MAKES HIS TV DEBUT WITH MERI BHABHI

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With a Bollywood release in the pipeline, Ravish Desai is all set to make his debut with STAR PLUS’ Meri Bhabhi. Ravish will be playing the role of Kunal who will be playing a positive character and enters Shraddha’s (Kanchi Kaul) life. Ek Nanad Ki Khushiyon Ki Chaabi Meri Bhabhi tells a refreshing and very positive story of a nurturing friendship between a Nanad and Bhabhi, one that is filled with immense support, love and care that it redefines archaic societal norms.
Shraddha has been through a lot lately with her husband Bobby Sood (Bharat Chawda) betraying the trust of her and her family. With nothing going right for Shraddha the entry of Kritika’s (Esha Kansara) brother, Kunal will be a turning point.
Kunal is a happy go lucky person with no tensions, he has returned just returned from America. “It’s a great opportunity; firstly I had never thought I’d be making a beginning on television with STAR PLUS the only channel to have given plenty of opportunities to new comers and most of them making it big from there on. I’ll have my fingers crossed; I relate to my onscreen character a lot, I am like Kunal in real life – charming, witty I love living life to the fullest and very optimistic,” says the charming actor.
Ravish seems very excited about his new venture. Let’s hope that he makes a great impact as Kunal in the show.
To watch Ravish Desai’s entry tune into Meri Bhabhi at 08:00 p.m Monday – Friday only on Star Plus.


 

MAHINDRA INCHES FROM ANOTHER DOUBLE TOP TEN

27082013

New Delhi 26th August, 2013: Mahindra missed another double top ten in the MGP3OⳠdebut season by less than half a second in todayⳠCzech Republic Grand Prix, fighting hard in a big pursuit pack of Moto3頭achines that stayed close throughout an exciting 19-lap race of the fast and spectacular Brno circuit.
Efr鮠Vằuez had qualified ninth and team-mate Miguel Oliveira tenth for the race, at a long circuit where the still young Mahindra machine held its own on the sweeping corners and long climbs.
It was Portuguese teenager Oliveira leading the pair, and most of the time at the front of the pack disputing the championship points behind a breakaway front group of eight riders. Oliveira led the battling posse through to catch the stragglers from the front breakaway, losing eighth with two laps to go, and failing to regain the spot by 0.024 seconds.
Vằuez was in the same group, fighting for positions. He crossed the line 11th, less than half-a-second behind his team-mate in a typically close finish for the ultra-competitive smallest Grand Prix class. Just over 2.5 seconds covered eighth to 13th positions.
Mahindra is the only Indian constructor in world championship motorcycle racing, with its own independently built machine challenging established racing factories in the 250cc single-cylinder four-stroke class. The MGP3O was designed and built in six months over the winter, and has proved competitive from first tests.
So far the top-three podium has proved elusive for the all-new machine, but the MGP3O has claimed three fourth positions and qualified on the front row four times, including one pole position, even while in its first development season.
The Czech race was the middle of three consecutive events in the USA, mainland Europe and Great Britain – an intensive period of racing that restarts the season after the summit.


 

GEI today welcomes 15 CEOs

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London, 27 August 2013 – The Global Electricity Initiative (GEI) today welcomes 15 CEOs from the world’s major electrical utilities onto its board of advisors.  
The Global Electricity Initiative aims to provide a platform to enable the increase in electricity access in a sustainable and affordable manner.  It will showcase the early voluntary actions by industry to increase access to affordable, reliable and environmentally friendly electricity, by uniting the resources and knowledge from the world’s electrical utility community.
Philippe Joubert, Executive Chair of the Global Electricity Initiative, says: “CEOs see the GEI as a privileged platform to express their views regarding the transition of the energy system. Having the significant support from these CEOs shows how important they consider sustainable energy.”
Brian Dames, CEO of Eskom, the South African utility which spearheaded the inaugural GEI report at COP-17 in 2011, and who chairs the GEI Advisory Board, comments: “The electricity utility community plays a critical role in enabling electricity access and responding to sustainable development challenges.  We stand united in supporting GEI’s mission.”
GEI’s first findings will be discussed at the 22nd World Energy Congress in Daegu, South Korea, at an exclusive GEI roundtable with the CEOs of the world’s leading utilities on 17 October. After the Congress, GEI will build on their recommendations and present the initiative’s core findings to key energy leaders and ministers.
GEI is a partnership between the World Energy Council (WEC), the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), and the Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership (GSEP) – three of the world’s largest energy and sustainability networks. The alliance was announced at COP-18 in Doha, and the project is being carried out with support from Deloitte South Africa.
Research on electrical utilities’ experience is underway, with surveys already sent out to more than 100 leaders of electrical power utilities covering over 50% of the global generating capacity.
Mr Joubert says: “We hope that GEI will pave the way for more efficient and sustainable company strategies and government policies, while establishing a global benchmark to demonstrate and share best practices for decision-makers. This will lay the foundation for a global electricity sector leaders’ community.”
He adds: “We would like to encourage more utilities to take part in our global study.”
GEI’s Industry Leaders Advisory Board is tasked to provide the initiative with strategic guidance and industry insights.  It includes the following chief executives:
  • Brian Dames (Chair), Eskom, South Africa
  • Nick Akins, American Electric Power, US
  • Andrew Brandler, CLP Holding Group, Hong Kong
  • James E. Rogers, Duke Energy, US
  • Hervé Machenaud, EDF Group, France
  • Ali Hassan Ibrahim, Egyptian Electricity Holding Company, Egypt
  • José da Costa Carvalho Neto, Eletrobras, Brazil
  • José Antonio Vargas Lleras, Endesa SA, Spain
  • Thierry Vandal, Hydro-Québec, Canada
  • Sam Amadi, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, Nigeria
  • Arup Roy Choudhury, NTPC, India
  • Evgeny Dod, RusHydro, Russia
  • Peter Terium, RWE, Germany
  • Saleh H. Alawaji, Saudi Electricity Co., Saudi Arabia
  • Liu Zhenya, State Grid Corporation of China
ENDS
Notes to Editors
About the Global Electricity Initiative (GEI)
The Global Electricity Initiative (GEI) aims to increase electricity access in a sustainable and affordable manner worldwide. GEI will showcase proactive actions that utilities are undertaking to increase access to affordable and clean electricity.
It will identify and document best practices to be shared with the energy leadership community in October 2013 during the 22nd World Energy Congress in Daegu, South Korea.
GEI will also lay the foundation for a global electricity sector leaders’ community. It will give CEOs of utilities an opportunity to demonstrate their achievements and communicate their vision towards increasing electricity access worldwide in a sustainable and affordable manner.
GEI is driven by three of the world’s largest industry-based and sustainability networks: World Energy Council (WEC), World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), and Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership (GSEP).
About the World Energy Council (WEC)
The World Energy Council is the principal impartial network of leaders and practitioners promoting an affordable, stable and environmentally sensitive energy system for the greatest benefit of all. Formed in 1923, WEC is the UN-accredited global energy body, representing the entire energy spectrum, with more than 3000 member organisations located in over 90 countries and drawn from governments, private and state corporations, academia, NGOs and energy related stakeholders. WEC informs global, regional and national energy strategies by hosting high-level events, publishing authoritative studies, and working through its extensive member network to facilitate the world’s energy policy dialogue.
www.worldenergy.org and @WECouncil
About the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)
The World Business Council for Sustainable Development is a CEO-led organization of forward-thinking companies that galvanizes the global business community to create a sustainable future for business, society and the environment. Together with its members, the Council applies its respected thought leadership and effective advocacy to generate constructive solutions and take shared action. Leveraging its strong relationships with stakeholders as the leading advocate for business, the council helps drive debate and policy change in favor of sustainable development solutions.
The WBCSD provides a forum for its 200 member companies – who represent all business sectors, all continents and a combined revenue of more than $7 trillion – to share best practices on sustainable development issues and to develop innovative tools that change the status quo. The Council also benefits from a network of 60 national and regional business councils and partner organizations, a majority of which are based in developing countries.
About the Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership (GSEP)
Created in the wake of the 1992 Rio Summit, the Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership is a CEO-led non-profit international organization, composed of the world’s leading electricity companies, whose mission is to promote sustainable energy development through electricity sector projects and human capacity building activities in developing and emerging nations worldwide. Since its inception, GSEP’s activities have reached over 100 countries 
The Partnership members are: American Electric Power (United States), Comisión Federal de Electricidad (Mexico), Duke Energy (United States), EDF (France), Eletrobras (Brazil), ENEL S.p.A. (Italy), Eskom (South Africa), Hydro-Québec (Canada), Iberdrola (Spain), JSC “RusHydro” (Russia), Kansai Electric Power Company, Inc. (Japan), RWE AG (Germany), SGCC (China), and Tokyo Electric Power Company, Inc. (Japan)
Media enquiries:
Monique Tsang, World Energy Council (WEC) – GEI Secretariat  
tsang@worldenergy.org; +44 20 3214 0616
Sophie Lambin, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)


 

Plan India organized National Workshop on ㉭proving Quality of Life of Children

27082013

New Delhi, August 27, 2013 - Plan India, the leading child-centred community development organisation today organized its ㎡tional Workshop on Improving Quality of Life of Children伯b> at the India Habitat Centre. The workshop was addressed by Mr GovindNihalani, Chairperson Plan India Board, Ms BhagyashriDengle, Plan India Executive Director, Ms Frederika Meijer, Country Representative UNFPA, Dr. S. Parasuraman, Director, TataInstitute of Social Sciences , Ms Preet Verma, Advisor to the Chairperson, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Government of India, Ms. Dora Giusti, Child Protection Specialist, UNICEF India Country Office, Mr SatyabrataSahu, Joint Secretary (Water), Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, MrDeepak Jolly, Vice-President, Public Affairs and Communications, Coca Cola, India & South West Asia, Mr Aidan Cronin, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Specialist, UNICEF India Country Office and Mr  ChristopherJuan Costain, Regional Team Leader, World Bank Water and Sanitation Programme, South Asia.
The workshop which was aimed at sharing Plan IndiaⳠexperiences andgood practices on improving quality of life of children, primarily by implementing child centred community development approach, was attended by field practitioners, policy makers, researchers, academicians, media and professionals from development agencies and corporate sector that have been actively engaged in promoting child rights and reducing child poverty. On this occasion six key publications of Plan were released, an exhibition on Child Centred Community Development Programmes of Plan India was inaugurated by Mr Govind Nihalani and a theatre performance was hosted on the theme of the workshop by DelhiⳊacclaimed Ashmita Theatre Group.࠼/span>
Inaugurating the workshop, Plan India Executive Director Ms. Bhagyashri Dengle said 㓩nce last 30 years of working in India, Plan, through its CCCD approach, has improved the lives of over a million of children across the country and during this process; children and communities have provided insightful experiences on various facets of lives affecting them. A number of lessons have been learnt that have the potential of further creating better modules that will help in implementing value based programs in the communities䮠
Plan India Chairperson, MrGovindNihalani unveiled PlanⳠsix key publications. The first set of four publications included, Existing Models of Child Participation in Plan India Programmes, which documents PlanⳠvarious models of child participation in Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttarakhand and Bihar.ࠔhe publicationBecause I Am A Girl – Learning for Life, is based on PlanⳠexperiences in UP, Bihar and Jharkhand about the factors that facilitate or hinder education and life skill development of adolescent girls. International publication Asia Child Marriage Initiative – Study in Bangladesh, India and Nepal is based on Plan AsiaⳠinitiative to help prevent child marriages and its negative consequences. The fourth release Magnitude and Causes of Malnutrition in Jharkhandprovides insights into the levels, causes and recent changes in the health and nutrition status of Children (0-4 and 5-12 years), adolescents (13-19 years) and married women of reproductive age (20-44 years) in the state.
The second set of two publications unveiled by Mr Nihalani included, WASHing – A Path to A Brighter Future Changing Lives Across Indiaand Village Water Safety and Security Manual.These two publications document good practices from Plan IndiaⳠWater, Environment and Sanitation programme involving children and community in the state of Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Ms Meena Narula, Director, Programme Policy and Strategy, Plan India provided an overview of the six Plan publications and the in-depth on-field studies that had been conducted by Plan and its partner agencies in their preparation.
About Plan India
Plan India is an Indian NGO working to improve the lives of disadvantaged children, their families and communities through an approach that puts children at the centre of community development. Since 1979, we have been working with our partners to help children access their rights to proper healthcare, basic education, and healthy environment, protection from abuse and exploitation and participation in decisions that affect their lives. We encourage children to express their views and be actively involved in improving their communities. Plan India currently works in 11 states in India, across 5000 communities and has touched the lives of over a million children. Please visit www.planindia.org for more information


 

ZEE launch new free to air channel Zee Anmol

27082013

“Zee Anmol goes on air from Sept 01  free-to-air channel and we are targeting segments of the heartland who does not see the Zee TV,” through this channel, ZEEL would beam programme which would be mix of old Zee serials to its popular shows such as Khana Khazana and Bollywood entertainment, he added. ”Our insighting mechanism strongly indicates that the audiences today are craving for some of their all-time favourite shows from Zee’s library and Zee Anmol is an attempt to bring these popular shows back in to their lives,” ZEE Chief Creative & Content Officer (CCCO) Bharat Kumar Ranga said.
Now watch Zee Anmol by logging on zeeanmol.tv. even with 2G connections and non-smart phones a facility on mobile and television platforms simultaneously, the theme content for the new channel are to be news ones and to be picked from the archives of Zee Network, including fiction and reality television shows.


 

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Dear N.K,
Here’s your copy of Total Rail newsletter, our bulletin on news, views and the latest thinking on the rail world. We hope you find it useful and thought provoking.
Enjoy!
Lorna
    
         
                        
                  
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Rail Industry News – 23rd August 2013
In this week’s Rail Industry News we’re talking about: – the rail fare rises in the UK – the 4G rail revolution – our top 7 rail Facebook strategies We’ve also got two free downloads from Thales and an ebook from our very own rail team at Terrapinn! This… read more ›
       
     
 
          
     
 
                    
   
Top 7 Rail Facebook strategies
Social media is a great way to connect with customers. In the airline sector, almost all carriers use Facebook as a means to communicate with passengers, trouble-shoot complaints and inspire potential travellers to visit new places (conveniently on said carrier flight routes). Rail is a… read more ›
   
                    
   
Why are all the toilets out of order?
Don’t drink and drive, drink and ride! A statement I heartily agree with and train operators occasionally get in on the action and provide additional services for my convenience. However what is extremely inconvenient is getting a train after the gig/sporting… read more ›
   
          
     
 
          
                        
  
Transnet issues R1,5 billion domestic bond
Transnet successfully issued a R1,5 billion five-year bond through its programme to raise funds in the local debt capital markets, confirming investor confidence in the company and its portfolio of projects. The issue emphasises our commitment and strategy to use the domestic capital markets as… read more ›
        
    
  
          
 
Top 5 rail movies
Our colleague, guest blogger and film expert Marc Jones gives us his top five rail movies… [imagebrowser id=2] In 1896 there was the first public showing of a short film named “L’Arrivée d’un train en gare de La Ciotat”, or “Train pulling into a station” as… read more ›
         
    
  
          
                        
             
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27082013
Czech Republic Grand Prix race report 

MAHINDRA INCHES FROM ANOTHER DOUBLE TOP TEN
New Delhi 26th August, 2013: Mahindra missed another double top ten in the MGP3O’s debut season by less than half a second in today’s Czech Republic Grand Prix, fighting hard in a big pursuit pack of Moto3™ machines that stayed close throughout an exciting 19-lap race of the fast and spectacular Brno circuit.
Efrén Vázquez had qualified ninth and team-mate Miguel Oliveira tenth for the race, at a long circuit where the still young Mahindra machine held its own on the sweeping corners and long climbs.
It was Portuguese teenager Oliveira leading the pair, and most of the time at the front of the pack disputing the championship points behind a breakaway front group of eight riders. Oliveira led the battling posse through to catch the stragglers from the front breakaway, losing eighth with two laps to go, and failing to regain the spot by 0.024 seconds.
Vázquez was in the same group, fighting for positions. He crossed the line 11th, less than half-a-second behind his team-mate in a typically close finish for the ultra-competitive smallest Grand Prix class. Just over 2.5 seconds covered eighth to 13th positions.
Mahindra is the only Indian constructor in world championship motorcycle racing, with its own independently built machine challenging established racing factories in the 250cc single-cylinder four-stroke class. The MGP3O was designed and built in six months over the winter, and has proved competitive from first tests.
So far the top-three podium has proved elusive for the all-new machine, but the MGP3O has claimed three fourth positions and qualified on the front row four times, including one pole position, even while in its first development season.
The Czech race was the middle of three consecutive events in the USA, mainland Europe and Great Britain – an intensive period of racing that restarts the season after the summer break. The next round is the British Grand Prix at Silverstone next weekend, 11th of 17 events in the championship.

MIGUEL OLIVEIRA – Ninth Position
“Since Indy we have struggled a bit with rear grip and turning, and this sort of track appears quite difficult for our bike. But the MGP3O is still very young, so we have to gain experience and keep learning. This weekend we can take some positives to try at the next Grand Prix. Silverstone is quite similar to Brno in some ways, and I am quite excited to go there and keep on developing, so that we can be better at the end of the season
EFRÉN VÁZQUEZ – 11th Position
“This was a difficult race for us and not a perfect weekend for the team, but we did the best we could and got some more points for the championship. We need to keep trying different solutions and keep working: the riders and the engineers. It’s enjoyable and interesting, and I’m confident we’re improving race by race, even if my results didn’t show it today.”
MUFADDAL CHOONIA – CEO, Mahindra Racing
“The last two races have not got us the same results as compared to the earlier races but Indy and Brno are two very difficult circuits, especially Brno, with very fast corners. We had a new swing-arm and forks at this track, and the positive thing is we gained valuable data while setting up the Mahindra MGP3O with these new parts. We have some more design improvements planned, and the factory will start working on them immediately. Unfortunately today the front group got an insurmountable gap in the first four or five laps, but our riders closed on the riders in sixth and seventh in the last laps, with Miguel leading the group forward. Without that early break, I am sure we could have finished higher, in the top five. Silverstone too is a similar track, but we are confident of an improved performance there.” 

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