Thursday, September 5, 2013

Pearson:‘Gratitude from students is considered the best form of recognition’

‘Gratitude from students is considered the best form of recognition’
-says ‘Pearson Voice of Teacher Survey’

Pearson to recognise and award pioneers of teaching profession through‘Thank Your Teacher’ initiative and annual ‘Pearson Teaching Awards’
3rd September 2013, New Delhi:  Indian teachers consider ‘gratitude from students’ as the best form of recognition, says the ‘Pearson Voice of Teacher Survey’. As per the survey findings 76% teachers expressed that they consider ‘gratitude from students’ as the best form of recognition, even more than financial incentives (60%) or recognition from their management (62%).
Released close to the upcoming Teacher’s Days on September 5, the survey has been conducted by Pearson with a purpose to give voice to the teacher’s perspective on changing student-teacher dynamics and bring to notice the emerging challenges faced by educators.Strategic market intelligence consulting firm Spire Research and Consulting is the partner for the survey. Pearson is the world’s leading education companythat offers integrated education solutions including publishing, latest learning technologies and education services.3,262 teachers from schools and higher education institutes in 223 tier I, II and III cities across the 25 Indian states responded to the ‘Pearson Voice of Teacher Survey’.
According to the survey findings, majority of teachers (72%) feel that students adequately acknowledge them for success however there is a dominant belief (61%) that the level of gratitude has declined over the past 10 years.This decline is more pronounced in the north vis-a-vis other regions. For instance, 71% teachers felt decline in gratitude from students in NCT of Delhi against the national average of 61%. This decline in gratitude was least felt in Southern states such as Karnataka (56%) and Andhra Pradesh (61%).The survey also indicates that the most of teachers (83%) believe that they are respected in the society however, a large number (79%) also perceive the near absence of enough platforms for teacher recognition in the country.
At this note, Pearson has announced ‘Thank Your Teacher’, a nationwide initiative encouragingstudents, past and current, across the country to come forward and thank their teachers. Pearson plans to reach out to 25,000 schools & colleges, reminding students to come forward and express gratitude to their teachers. Through this initiative, students can send out thank you notes and videosto their favorite faculties by logging onto www.pearsonthankyourteacher.in or sending a ‘Thankyou’SMS to 56161.
Announcing the ‘Thank Your Teacher’ initiative, Mr. Srikanth B. Iyer, CEO, Pearson Education Services & Tutor Vista, said,Pearson Voice of Teacher Surveyfindings indicates that teachers value gratitude from the students the most. The trend of students thanking their teachers is on a decline and ‘Thank Your Teacher’ is a unique initiative that can help bridge that gap. Teachers who are thanked through this initiative automatically get invited to send in their nominations for Pearson Teaching Awards.”






Mr. RanuKawatraPresident and CEO, Pearson Education India shared “We introduced Pearson Teaching Awards in 2012, as a national initiative for celebrating teaching excellence and recognizing extraordinary performers of the teaching profession. This year we have decided to take it a step ahead and reach out to educators and get a first hand perspective of the challenges they are facing. So the survey and ‘Thank Your Teacher’ initiative shall culminate in the second season of the awards which is all set to become the single biggest platform to connect the students, parents & teachers and celebrate this noble profession.”
For Pearson Teaching Awards, the organisation has invited entries from teachers all over the country, under 21 award categories across School & Higher Education. Nomination forms for the awards can be downloaded from http://www.pearsonteachingawards.in& can be e-mailed to pearsonteachingawards@defindia.net or sent by post on the address shared on the website. The forms can also be submitted online atwww.pearsonteachingawards.in.
About Pearson:
Pearson is the world’s leading education company, present in over 70 countries and educating more than 150 million people worldwide. Pearson in India provides educational content, materials, technologies, assessments and related services to institutions, educators and learners of all ages. Pearson in India has diverse offerings across school, higher and professional education.

For more details contact:

Pearson
Shilpi Kapoor-91-9910036782- shilpi.kapoor@pearson.com
Weber Shandwick India
Monica Trehan-91-9999263168- mtrehan@webershandwick.com
Sakshi Pathania-91-9582839262-spathania@webershandwick.com


Ten hours long dialogue leads to decion on land based rehabilitation Even as MP government in collusion with UPA dilutes rights of those affected in Irrigation Projects in Land Bill
Sardar Sarovar affected burn Disaster Management Plan
New Delhi, September 4 : Rajya Sabha voted the Land Acquisition, Resettlement and Rehabilitation Bill, and accepted three regressive amendments suggested by Madhya Pradesh government and accepted by UPA government. These amendments will take away the rights of the rights of the dam and canal affected people, even then hope is not lost on the struggling adivasis and farmers of the Narmada valley. We have fought for nearly three decades for our rights and we will continue to lead the struggle for justice and protect rights as enshrined in the Indian Constitution.
Since, September 2nd, 1200 adivasis laid seize to the office of the District Collector, Nandurbar, Maharashtra, facing Police atrocity and stayed put in protest of the illegal and unjust submergence due to Sardar Sarovar Project.
Over last 2 days various issues were raised by the Andolan and discussed with the District Collector. These issues include impact of submergence, land-based rehabilitation, forest rights including common property rights, and also displacement due to 7 medium projects, diversion of river water to the non adivasis families which has been opposed by Gram Sabhas in every tributary valley.
On September 3, at 11pm, the Collector brought a letter to the hundreds of people on the sit-in and addressed the meeting assuring action on the issues, which were discussed with the Andolan. Summary of the agreement between the authorities and the Andolan are :
  • The Satyagrahis have exposed the falsehood in the number of balance families yet to be rehabilitated. While Narmada Control Authority (NCA) report showed balance to be zero. The figure, prima-facie, calculated shows it to be above 1500 in Maharashtra.
  • The details of land in Maharashtra and Gujarat for rehabilitation to be finalised and those will to be shared to the representatives of the oustees within next 7 to 10 days.
  • Various amenities – health, jetty, solar lamps - are to be provided to the villages on the Narmada Bank and rehabilitation sites, as per detailed decision taken.
  • Enquiry into corruption discovered in NREGA, 2 Crores in 8 villages and few crores in 3 other villages where social audit was conducted years back will lead to concrete action planned.
  • 73 forest villages will become revenue and the process is expected to be completed by October 1st week. NBA has finished all documents, explaining the legal and illegal process on this, during last one a half decade.
  • The Medium projects, where 20 Crores, as opposed to, planned 6 crores is to be spent on survey and plans itself, are challenged by the Andolan. Those dams on the tributaries of Narmada, and as agreed by the Collector, can’t proceed unless the due democratic, consultative process is carried out, at the Gram Sabhas level.
  • Jeevanshalas will be provided grains at concessional BPL rates; beginning from October 2nd, as per a GR of Government of Maharashtra.
These and other decisions are a major step ahead. However, the Andolan has warned the District and State administration through them that in the situation of no implementation of any major decision especially ‘’No sanction by Maharashtra to raising the height of the Sardar Sarovar “and full & fair land based rehabilitation of all the dam oustees adivasis, there will be an intensified ‘Jamin Hakk Satyagrah very soon.
Noorji Padni, Vijay Valvi, Yogini Khanolkar, Chetan Salve, Latika, Saisingh Pavra, Panaki Vasave, Medha Patkar
-- 
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National Alliance of People’s MovementsNational Office : 6/6, Jangpura B, Mathura Road, New Delhi 110014
Phone : 011 26241167 / 24354737 Mobile : 09818905316
Web : www.napm-india.org

Land Acquisition Bill passed by Rajya Sabha

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Land Acquisition Bill passed by Rajya SabhaUpdated on : 05-09-2013 11:59 AM
The historic Land Acquisition Bill on Wednesday moved another step closer to becoming a law with Rajya Sabha approving the legislation which seeks to provide fair and just compensation to farmers and to those who lose livelihood on account of acquisition. 
The new law will apply to all Special Economic Zones to be set up from now onwards, the government said while rejecting apprehensions over it, saying states were free to improve upon it by even raising the requirement of consent from 80 per cent to 100 per cent.
The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2012, which got the nod of Lok Sabha last week, was passed by the Upper House by 131-10 votes with four new official amendments, proposed by opposition parties, including BJP.
The bill will go back to Lok Sabha for approval of the new amendments, which include dilution of retrospective clause with regard to acquisition of land for irrigation projects. 
The bill, which will replace over a century-old law, stipulates mandatory consent of at least 70 per cent for acquiring land for Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects and 80 per cent for acquiring land for private companies.
It proposes compensation upto four times the market value in rural areas and two times the market value in urban areas. 
Replying to a six-hour debate, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh sought to address the concerns over the “urgency clause” in the bill, saying it is for use only in case of natural calamities and national security and cannot be invoked in case of land acquisition for private parties. Compensation in this case will be higher, he said. 
Ramesh the government would not like multi-crop land to be acquired to the extent possible but it has been left to the states to decide the ceiling in this regard.
Responding to a host of issues raised by members and concerns expressed, he promised to accommodate the maximum possible the suggestions in the rules to be notified for the new law.
At the same time, he said the new law may be amended after three-four years if the next government wishes. 
“I don’t think there is any room for amending this law,” he said.
Giving details about the bill pushed by Rahul Gandhi, the Rural Development Minister said the new law provides for compensation not only to the farmers but also to the landless people who may lose their livelihood.
There is a separate clause for dalits and tribals, he said about the law which will replace the Act of 1894. 
He underlined that under the earlier law, land could be acquired after “consulting” Gram Sabhas while the new legislation provides for “consent” of Gram Sabhas.
Ramesh made it clear that there will be no forcible acquisition under the law.
After 20 years of enactment of the new law, the government will not required to acquire land, which is not the case now. 
“This is the first time that legal validity has been given to rehabilitation and resettlement,” he said.
The law provides for monitoring mechanisms at the central and state levels which will also address complaints, if any.
Disputes will have to be settled in a time-bound manner.
Government moved as official amendment BJP’s suggestions that retrospective and social impact assessment clauses should not be applied for acquisition of land for ongoing irrigation projects.
Government also moved the amendment to specify that either compensation or rehabilitation and resettlement (R&R) will be given to farmers whose land is acquired for irrigation projects.
However, farmers, whose land is acquired for other projects, will get the benefits of both compensation and rehabilitation and resettlement. 

Russia G-20 Summit today:

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International relation and affairs which appears conflicting on issue of Egypt ,Iran Syria,  the G20
is platform to bridge the gap and rope in UN to bring desired peace by making provision of sending IPKF 
to the internal warring nation.
Leaders of the G20 nations are meeting this evening at St Petersburg in Russia. To be focusing on a host of economic issues including currency volatility in emerging market economies, Sustainable and balanced growth, employment opportunities, tax evasion, trade and reforms in multilateral institutions.
The emerging situation in Syria is likely to overshadow the economic issues in the two-day summit. India will co-Chair of the Working Group on the “Framework for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth”.
Global markets have been volatile on concerns about a possible US military intervention. Investors are also nervous about the US winding down its stimulus measures.
The leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, which collectively form the BRICS nations, are meeting informally before G-20 Summit begins. Official India media  reports, these nations are to set their own agenda for the larger summit of G-20.The five emerging economies had agreed in Durban in March this year to create a 100-billion dollar currency reserve fund to help similar countries and poor states in easing their short-term liquidity pressures and keeping their financial stability. The process , however may take months on account of difficult details that need to be ironed out..Division of the capital, payment of the capital, the location of the bank and the bank’s management are some of the issues that have to be decided.
The BRICS partners are concerned about the US Federal Reserve’s plans to start tapering its liquidity injection programme. Brazil’s Real and India’s Rupee which fell to more than 68 to a Dollar last week, weakened the most. Brazil was forced to announce a 60 billion dollar intervention to prop up liquidity. The Rupee has lost over 20 percent year to date, the Real declined 15.5 percent, South Africa’s rand 18.07 percent and, the Rouble 3.95 percent.
Lok Sabha Passes Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority Bill, 2011 with official amendments;
Subscribers Seeking Minimum Assured Returns Allowed to OPT for Investing their Funds in such Scheme Providing Minimum Assured Returns
The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority Bill (PFRDA), 2011 was passed by the Lok Sabha today with official amendments. It was earlier introduced in Lok Sabha on the 24th March, 2011 to provide for a statutory regulatory body the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) under the provisions of the Bill. The legislation seeks to empower PFRDA to regulate the New Pension System (NPS).

The PFRDA Bill, 2011 was referred to the Standing Committee on Finance on the 29th March, 2011 for examination and report thereon. The Standing Committee on Finance gave its Report on 30th August, 2011. Some of the key amendments incorporated in the Bill based on the recommendations of the Standing Committee on Finance are as follows:

a) That the subscriber seeking minimum assured returns shall be allowed to opt for investing his funds in such scheme providing minimum assured returns as may be notified by the Authority;

b) Withdrawals will be permitted from the individual pension account subject to the conditions, such as, purpose, frequency and limits, as may be specified by the regulations;

c) The foreign investment in the pension sector at 26% or such percentage as may be approved for the Insurance Sector, whichever is higher;

d) At least one of the pension fund managers shall be from the public sector;

e) To establish a vibrant Pension Advisory Committee with representation from all major stakeholders to advise PFRDA on important matters of framing of regulations under the PFRDA Act.

Beside above, the Bill would make the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority a statutory authority. Presently, it has non-statutory status. The NPS is based on the principle that ‘you save while you earn’ especially for retirement and is mainly for those who have a regular income.

This Bill would also provide subscribers a wide choice to invest their funds including for assured returns by opting for Government Bonds etc. as well as in other funds depending on their capacity to take risk.

The NPS has been made mandatory for all the central Government employees (except armed forces) entering service with effect from 1.1.2004. Twenty six (26) States have already notified NPS for their employees. NPS has been launched for all citizens of the country including un-orgnised sector workers, on voluntary basis, with effect from 1st May, 2009. Further, to encourage the people from the un-organised sector to voluntarily save for their retirement, the Government has launched the co-contributory pension scheme titled “Swavalamban Scheme” in the Budget of 2010-11. As on 14th August, 2013, the number of subscribers under NPS is 52.83 Lakh with a corpus of Rs.34, 965 crore. In order to effectively invest and manage huge funds belonging to a large number of subscribers and to ensure the integrity of NPS, creation of a statutory PFRDA with well defined powers, duties and responsibilities is considered absolutely necessary and would benefit all NPS subscribers.

The PFRDA Bill authorizes the PFRDA to establish a Pension Advisory Committee by notification under Clause 44 of the PFRDA Bill, 2011. The object of the Pension Advisory Committee shall be to advise the Authority on matters relating to the making of the regulations under the PFRDA Act.

Market based returns and wide coverage based on several investment options in the pension sector will build up the confidence in the subscribers, whereas withdrawals for limited purposes from Tier-I pension account will be an incentive for them to join NPS.
 Raju Inaugurates the Sixth Global Skills Summit
The Human Resource Development Minister, Dr M M Pallam Raju today inaugurated the sixth Global Skills Summit (GSS) at FICCI today. In his speech he said, “we are working toward achieving national goal of skilling 50 crore Indians by 2022.” While doing so, he said that a larger challenge at hand is to engage the youth of the country to participate in developing skills without inhibitions.

The Minister added that the Ministry of HRD has structured the programmes in such a way that the private sector and industry would play a leadership role and an enabling environment would be provided for skill development. The Ministry is keen to have Industry as partners in setting up schools, skill development centres, polytechnics, community colleges and even provide Skill Programmes in Colleges and Universities. It is even exploring the opportunity to promote skill development in existing educational institutions, he added.

The Minister further added that the need of the hour is to synergize the efforts and resources to provide a feasible platform for vocational education and skill development. It demands a collective effort by varied government initiatives, PPP initiatives to set up schools and training institutes, National Skills Qualification Framework and large and small scale private players. Recently National Skills Development Agency (NSDA) has been formed which would be coming out with a National Skill Qualification Framework.

He elucidated a number of facts and figures which show that Indian Economy needs a strong skill training system if it is to survive the economic competition and reap the demographic dividend: a) The National Manufacturing Policy envisions to create over 10 crore additional jobs by 2022: b) Total employment in the unorganized sector is expected to be about 42 crore; c) welders, operators, plumbers, masons, crane operators, carpenters and electricians, the incremental requirement at the level of other construction workers is expected to be over 3.8 crore till 2022; d) drivers, helpers, and warehouse workers will together account for over 85 per cent of the incremental human resource requirements of the Transport and Warehousing sector.

The two-day FICCI annual event is being organised in collaboration with Ministry of Human Resource Development, Ministry of Labour and Employment and National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC). New Zealand is the country partner this time for the Summit. The theme of the sixth GSS is “Industry Leads”.

Two reports were also released by the HRM on this occasion – Reaping India’s promised demographic dividend- Industry in driving seat and India New Zealand Partnership on Skills. The first report highlights the vocational education and training scenario (VET) of India. It also outlines concrete recommendations that can be taken up by respective State Skill Development/ Employment Missions for perceptible improvement in programme delivery in a time-bound manner.

The Summit was also addressed by Smt Naina Lal Kidwai, President of FICCI and Country Head of HSBC India and Jan Handerson, High Commissioner of New Zealand to India. 
Ministry of MSME constitutes District-level Advisory Committee to monitor PMEGP
A slew of measures recently taken by the Ministry for improved implementation of its flagship scheme are expected to fight economic slowdown by faster creation of enterprises and jobs in the micro sector, says the Minister MSME 
The Minister for MSME Shri K H Muniyappa, at a press conference held here today on the recent initiatives for enhancing the effectiveness of implementation of Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) said that PMEGP is the major credit linked subsidy programme being implemented by the Ministry. The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) on 30 August 2013 constituted an Advisory Committee for each district of the country for monitoring the progress of Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) with active involvement of Members of Parliament from the district.

The Minister highlighted that the Ministry of MSME has approved constitution of a District Level Advisory Committee comprising around 30 members which would provide overall guidance and suggestions for the implementation of the programme. The committee would liaise and coordinate with KVIC, State Government and other agencies including Banks for effective mobilization of young entrepreneurs under PMEGP. It would also ensure that the scheme is implemented in accordance with its guidelines.

The Committee would be chaired by the Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) elected from the District having the largest part of the district under his/ her Parliamentary constituency. Other Members of Parliament of Lok Sabha having part constituency in the district would be co-chairperson and Member of Parliament of Rajya Sabha will be a member. The other members would include Members of State Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council, Chairperson of Zilla Panchayat, representatives of SC/ST, OBC, minority and women and one professional from social work/ social science, representatives of bank and financial institutions. District Magistrate/ Collector will be its member-convener. The committee will meet once in every quarter. KVIC which is the nodal agency for the scheme at the national level has been asked to take necessary action.

On the major steps taken by the Ministry the Minister said “towards speedy and effective implementation of the scheme through expeditious monitoring at the district level. The Ministry has already issued instructions to KVIC that the units assisted under the scheme are actually set up within a time frame of 100 days”. Moreover, the Ministry has also in recent months expanded the District Level Task Force Committee (which is mandated to select the beneficiaries under the scheme) by inclusion of Members of social categories like SC/ST and women. For the convenience of candidates applying for the PMEGP assistance, Ministry has asked KVIC to ensure that applications can be filed online and the beneficiaries are able to find out the status of their application through an online monitoring system. This online system of ‘e-tracking’ can be accessed through the Ministry’s website www.msme.gov.in and KVIC website www.kvic.org.in. the Minister added.

Highlighting the PMEGP as a major credit linked subsidy programme the Minister said that the Government has released Rs 5251.51 crore under the scheme since 2008-09 and more than 2.22 lakh projects have already been assisted, providing employment to an estimated 20.42 lakh persons. The Government has been enhancing the allocation for PMEGP every year and the allocation for the current year for 2013-14 is Rs 1418.28 crore for existing 1.03 lakh projects creating employment for over 8 lakh persons. The Ministry has also directed KVIC and the implementing agencies to ensure that at least 100 projects per district are assisted under the scheme this year. The allocation for the three disaster affected districts of Uttarakhand has also been increased substantially which would help re-build the entrepreneurial base of the region.

On the issue of plan allocation, the Minister said “For the country, as a whole, the outlay for XII Five Year Plan under PMEGP has been kept at Rs 8060 crore which is 70% higher than the allocation of XI Plan for the scheme for creating over 5 lakh enterprises creating employment for about 40 lakh persons”.

Further, the Minister added, collateral free loans are available for PMEGP projects costing upto Rs 25 lakh, as follows: (a) vide RBI circular dated 6 May 2010, Banks have been mandated not to accept collateral security in the case of loans upto Rs 10 lakh extended to units in the micro and small enterprises sector and (b) under the Credit Guarantee Scheme of the Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises. The scheme is designed to create productive employment through entrepreneurship (especially in the manufacturing sector) and arrest migration of workers and artisans to urban centres and other areas in search of employment.

Present at the Conference were Shri Madhav Lal, Secretary, Ministry of MSME, Shri S.N Tripathi Joint Secretary, and Udai Pratap Singh, CEO, KVIC. 


India’s global competitiveness ranking slides to 60th position in 2013-14

India ranks at 60th amongst 148 economies in the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) for 2013-14, which has declined from 59thposition out of 144 economies in 2012-13.

Snapshot of the ‘Global Competitiveness Report 2013-14

According to the Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014, excellent innovation and strong institutional environments are increasingly influencing economies’ competitiveness. Amongst BRICS, the People’s Republic of China (29th) continues to lead the group, followed bySouth Africa (53rd), Brazil (56th) India (60th) and Russia (64th). Down one position, India now ranks 60th, continuing its downward trend that began in 2009. With a GCI score essentially unchanged since then, India has been overtaken by a number of countries. Once ahead ofBrazil and South Africa, it now trails them by several places and is behind China by a margin of 31 positions, while Russia (64th) has almost closed the gap. The report suggests that some of the world’s largest emerging market economies must engage business, government and civil society to implement long-overdue reforms.

India continues to disappoint in the areas which are considered to be the basic factors underpinning competitiveness. The country’s supply of transport, ICTs, and energy infrastructure remains largely insufficient and ill-adapted to the needs of the economy (85th), despite the steady improvement that has been made since 2006. The Indian business community repeatedly cites infrastructure as the single biggest hindrance to doing business. The report further noted that notwithstanding improvements across the board over the past few years, very poor public health and education levels (102nd) remain a prime cause of India’s low productivity. The quality of higher education is better, but enrolment rates at that level remain very low, even by developing country standards.

Meanwhile, the situation has deteriorated further on the macroeconomic front, with India now 110th in this pillar. The inflation rate and public deficit-to-GDP ratio were dangerously close to double digits in 2012, and the debt to- GDP ratio is the second highest among the BRICS. Indeed, a March 2013 survey of sovereign debt analysts reveals an increased risk of sovereign debt default over the previous year. Another major concern is the country’s low level of technological readiness (98th). Although businesses adopt new technologies relatively promptly (47th), penetration rates of fixed and mobile Internet and telephony among the population remain among the lowest in developing Asia.

Global Competitiveness Index Ranking 2013-14
Components & India’s rankings
Pillars
India’s Rank
Basic requirements (Rank 96)
Institutions
72
Infrastructure
85
Macroeconomic environment
110
Health and primary education
102
Efficiency enhancers (Rank 42)
Higher education and training
91
Goods market efficiency
85
Labor market efficiency
99
Financial market development
19
Technological readiness
98
Market size
3
Innovation and sophistication factors (Rank 41)
Business sophistication
42
Innovation
41
Global Competitiveness Index (out of 148 economies)
60
Source: PHD Research Bureau compiled from Global Competitiveness Report for 2013-14, World Economic Forum


India’s sustainable competitiveness is also characterized by concerns in both areas of sustainability. On the social sustainability side, India’s performance is hindered by lack of access to basic sanitation and health services for many of its citizens (only 35% of the population has access to improved sanitation). Also, despite the introduction of the National Social Assistance Programmes (NSAP) in 1995, the share of population covered by the social safety net is still relatively small. This issue, combined with a large informal sector and a high share of the workforce in vulnerable employment, makes it difficult to manage the country’s growing income inequality. Altogether these structural issues make India’s competitiveness vulnerable to shocks. India’s environmental performance also hinders the achievement of sustainable competitiveness. A high level of emissions (especially in terms of particulate matter concentration) and few protected areas are wearing down the quality of the natural environment. Additionally, high agricultural water-use intensity is depleting water tables because usage is above their regenerative capacity.


Warm Regards,

Dr. S P Sharma
Chief Economist

Change.org
Dear Naresh -
I am overwhelmed. The last few days have proven that we really value our Right to Information.Lakhs of Indians have stood against the amendment to the RTI Act. Ordinary people, including you and me, have signed petitions, met their MPs, called the Lok Sabha Speaker, and talked about the issue on social media.
However, the Parliament will conclude in 2 more days and the RTI might get dilutedwithin this time. Let us, together, give this one more push before the session ends.
Naresh, here is what you can do.
1) Email the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Smt. Meira Kumar. She has the power to refer this Bill to a standing committee and ensure that the public is consulted. Below is a sample email you can send her (speakerloksabha@sansad.nic.in) with a copy to the Prime Minister (manmohan@sansad.nic.in).
Dear Madam,
I am writing this email to express my anguish over the proposed amendment to the RTI Act. The RTI Act has been a powerful tool for fighting corruption and I feel it is undemocratic to amend it without hearing the concerns of citizens. I therefore request you to refer this bill to a Standing Committee and thus enable more public discussion on this issue.
Thank you.
2) Email, SMS or Tweet your Member of Parliament and tell them that as a voter you are against this amendment. Below is a sample SMS and Tweet. Here is a list of their Twitter accounts.
SMSWe strongly feel that the RTI Amendment Bill is being brought in an arbitrary and hasty manner. We appeal to you to demand that the Bill be sent to the Standing Committee to enable public consultation.
Tweet#SaveRTI. Amendment to RTI Act needs public consultation. Demand the Bill be sent to Standing Committee.
3) Lets talk about this to our friends, colleagues, and on Facebook, Twitter.
Forward this email to your family and friends asking them to join the campaign as well.
Every action will help. Your message, signature and share will help us in strengthening our voice against this amendment.
Thank you for taking action for our country. 
Aruna Roy via Change.org

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