Thursday, July 31, 2014

June core infra grows at 7.3%

Dear All,
June core infra grows at 7.3%

Electricity, cement, coal and steel grow robust

The core infrastructure grows to 7.3% (Y-O-Y) in June 2014 as compared to 2.3% (Y-O-Y) in May 2014. The combined index of Eight Core Industries stands at 163.9 in June 2014 with a growth rate of 7.3% in June 2014 as compared to 1.2% in June 2013. Crude oil and Natural gas registered a growth rate of 0.1% and (-) 1.7% respectively in the month of June 2014.

   Sector wise trend in monthly production                                          (% growth)
SectorWeight in IIPJun’14May’14
Crude Oil5.220.1(-)0.3
Natural Gas1.71(-)1.7(-)2.2
Petroleum Refinery Products5.941.2(-)2.3
  1. 6.68
  1. 90
  2. 3
  3. 3
Source: PHD Research Bureau, compiled from the office of the economic advisor to the Govt. of India

In cumulative terms, core infrastructure industries registered a growth of 4.6% during April-June 2014-15 as against 3.7% during the corresponding period of the previous year.

     Sector wise trend in production                                                                         (% growth)  
SectorWeightApr-June 2014-15Apr-June 2013-14
Crude Oil5.22(-)0.1(-)1.4
Natural Gas1.71(-)3.9(-)17.6
Petroleum Refinery Products5.94(-)1.14.3
  1. 6.68
  1. 90
  2. 6
  3. 7

Source: PHD Research Bureau, compiled from the office of the economic advisor to the Govt. of India

Electricity generation grew by 10.9% during Apr–June 2014-15 as against 3.3% growth during Apr–June 2013-14, while steel production grew by 1.6% during Apr– June 2014-15 as against 13.5% during Apr- June 2013-14. The production in crude oil grew by (-)0.1% during Apr– June 2014-15 as compared to its growth at (-) 1.4% during Apr– June 2013-14, whereas petroleum refinery production registered a growth of (-)1.1% during Apr– June 2014-15 as compared to 4.3% during Apr– June 2013-14. Fertilizer production grew by 8.6% during Apr– June 2014-15 compared to its growth at 2.5%during Apr– June 2013-14 and cement production grew by 9.5% during Apr– June 2014-15 compared to its growth at 3.4% during Apr– June 2013-14.

IFAD President coming to India to discuss sustainable agriculture and women’s empowerment

From: Manoharan  Thu, 31 Jul ’14 2:23p

IFAD President coming to India to meet Union Ministers and discuss ongoing partnerships in support of sustainable agriculture and women’s empowerment

Transforming rural communities starts with investing in rural people

New Delhi, 31 July 2014 – The President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Kanayo F. Nwanze, will arrive in India on Monday, 4 August on a 5–day official visit to meet various Union Ministers, including the Minister of Finance, Mr. Arun Jaitley, and Rural Development Minister, Mr. Nitin Gadkari, to discuss how rural transformation and gender empowerment are vital to sustainably reduce poverty and drive inclusive growth.

Nwanze’s visit to India comes on the heels of Member States forwarding to the United Nations General Assembly a set of proposed goals that consider the economic, social and environmental elements necessary to improve people’s lives and protect the planet for future generations. The goals include promoting sustainable agriculture, women’s empowerment and the management of natural resources. In addition, the proposed goals outline advancing “decent work for all” and a pledge to reduce inequality within and among countries.

“One of the causes of poverty is inequality, both between rural and urban areas, and women and men,” Nwanze said prior to arriving in India. “If we are to eradicate hunger and poverty, we need to level the playing field by empowering poor rural people to take charge of their own development and create policy environments that increase investment in them.”

With an annual population growth rate of 1.3 per cent, India is projected to become the most populous country in the world by 2035. Since more than half of India’s population is under the age of 25 and many are looking for work, it will be critical to transform rural areas into vibrant places that give young women and men opportunities.

“The youth and women of India are some of its greatest assets,” Nwanze said. “If we invest in them, they will get the job done.”

IFAD has been working in India for more than 30 years and has financed 26 projects for a total value of US$2.48 billion of which IFAD has contributed $877.3 million, directly benefiting 4.3 million households.

In rural India, agriculture and related sectors employ more than 90 per cent of the total female labour force. Working with the government of India, IFAD aims to improve the lives of women. As a result of IFAD-supported work in the country more than 116,000 self-help groups with 1.5 million members have been formed. These women’s groups have proven to be an effective way to reduce gender-based violence, change social attitudes and enable women to start up small businesses.

While in the country, Nwanze will be speaking about the changing role of women in the economic transformation of family farming at a regional conference organized by the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation. The event will be open to the media.

On his final day in the country (9 August), Nwanze will visit the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) headquartered in Hyderabad, which conducts agricultural research for development in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.


On Tuesday, 5 August, at 11:30 a.m., the IFAD President will deliver a public lecture on the importance of research for agricultural development. The lecture is being hosted by the Trust for Advancement of Agricultural Sciences (TAAS) Foundation at the National Agricultural Science Centre (NASC) located in the Pusa Institute (Todapur Road/Inderpuri side), New Delhi.

Through regional grants to research institutions, IFAD has contributed to a large number of pro-poor research solutions, such as stress-tolerant-rice seeds and flood-resistant rice carrying the Sub1 gene. The public lecture is open to media.
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) invests in rural people, empowering them to reduce poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and strengthen resilience. Since 1978, we have provided about US$15.8 billion in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have reached some 430 million people. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency based in Rome – the UN’s food and agriculture hub.

The public lecture is at the Trust for Advancement of Agricultural Sciences (TAAS) Foundation at the NASC complex (National Agricultural Science Center where the all CG Centers are located and the lecture will be the in A.P. Shinde Symposium Hall). The President will speak on “Sustainable Agricultural Development – IFAD’s experience”


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PRESS MEET on the occasion of the announcement of Q-1 Financial Results 2014-15


on the occasion of the announcement of
Q-1 Financial Results 2014-15
Shri S. L. Bansal
Chairman & Managing Director
Oriental Bank of Commerce

Cordially invite you to a

on the occasion of the announcement of
Q-1 Financial Results 2014-15

on Monday, 4th August, 2014

Oriental Bank of Commerce,
Corporate Office
Plot No 5 , Sector 32
Institutional Area , Gurgoan – 122001
at 12.30 PM

Press Meet will be followed by Lunch
Andy : 9999573707

Move Beyond Gujarat

Delhi : US Secretary of State John Kerry & EAM Sushma Swaraj at Indo-US delegation level talks
Embedded image permalink
Dear Rajiv,
Thanks for your ideas, great to receive,pondering, contemplating holding between the lines Your thoughts on PM Modi.
Your intuition is very true because unless and until  people are allowed to participate in a holistic way that will spark his popularity with masses, furthermore  his quest for new ideas to create wonder speaks of his mind to bring drastic change with touch of professional, scientific and other catalyst for the welfare of masses but the system laid in government is too incongruous to absorbs such plans immediately. But His skill to understand latest  corporate innovation could be only silver lining Alas Indian corporate still has to tread to make innovation a part of their business.
with regards
Move Beyond Gujarat
Dr. Rajiv Kumar
To Me
Jul 30 at 7:12 PM
Dear Mr. SagarIn the article titled “Move Beyond Gujarat”. I argue that the prime minister is raising efficiency project execution and processes in the Government. This will of course yield positive returns.
However, establishing a coherent and comprehensive policy framework will maximize gains from project efficiency and generate much needed synergies between experts and bureaucrats.
Your feedback is as always welcome.
With Best Regards,
Rajiv Kumar
Move Beyond Gujarat
With the Modi government barely 60 days old, it is surely too early to make any assessments. But his track record and the expectations he has aroused have generated impatience and restiveness even amongst Modi’s supporters. News that trickles out tells us of an indefatigable prime minister driving from the front and changing the tenor and temper of the entire bureaucracy. This apparently unprecedented behind-the-scene activity will most likely be reflected in Modi’s maiden Independence Day address.
My intuition is that, being beholden to symbolism, he will lay out his government’s development blueprint and invite people’s participation from the ramparts of the Red Fort.
Those who have observed Gujarat point to Modi’s stellar record in project implementation and in raising efficiency levels across government departments. He successfully pursued this model of intensive homework with his highly trusted and crack team in the CMO along with other senior bureaucrats, and then delivering on the targets agreed. Homework was done during three day chintan shivirs, which culminated in clearly defined annual targets along with a plan of action.
Apparently this is being replicated in Delhi, with senior bureaucrats making detailed initial presentations, followed by iterations that reflect feedback from Modi himself, and then finalising modalities for project execution. This is top notch project management. But will it suffice to achieve rapid, sustained and inclusive growth needed to fulfil rising aspirations? Will it bring succour to the ‘neo middle class’ from the double whammy of high inflation and growing unemployment?
My concern is that the Indian economy, unlike Gujarat, is not merely a vast project site. The CM as a super efficient CEO can no doubt churn out higher growth rates by improving project implementation and raising the efficiency of public services delivery. These are our weakest suites and Modi is therefore quite right in rectifying them. This also plays to his strength.
However, unlike in the states, the central government has the principal responsibility of putting together an overall, multidimensional and yet coherent policy framework. Policy formulation has to precede project design or its implementation. Some examples will hopefully help.
Is inflation in India a purely monetary phenomenon to be tackled by fiscal and monetary contraction or does it require focused management of supply side issues? Can we afford higher fiscal deficit if this results in improving productivity? Can agriculture be modernised without a robust land market? Are flexible labour policies a necessary condition for promoting manufacturing? Should India maintain a relatively weak currency for promoting exports?
Will food security be achieved by subsidising consumption or raising agriculture yields? Do we assume carbon constraints on our growth or rely on retrofitting? Should 100% FDI in defence be permitted to maximise employment generation and reduce strategic import dependence or should we pursue the elusive goal of building national champions? Does it better serve the national interest to forge closer ties with Japan or should that be secondary to try and access China’s vast financial reserves for infrastructure investments? Should we go ahead with China in establishing the Brics development bank even if it alienates the US and Japan?
These are critical policy issues that have to be answered. The short but critical point is that the principal mandate of the central government is to establish a coherent and rational policy framework that will better serve strategic national interest. And an emphasis on continuity mortally constrains innovative policy choices, rules out breakthroughs.
It is worth reiterating that the Gujarat model did not have to factor in this macro policy function in its operations. Even for issues like charging farmers with a minimum power tariff, a policy decision taken earlier by the central government was successfully executed.
Making the right policy choices in an increasingly complex and globally integrated economy requires technical inputs and expertise. Fortunately, such expertise is available. The PM needs to tap into this pool, which includes successful NRIs and the use of technology to source new ideas and make the right policy choices.
It would be efficient to locate the expertise either within or in close proximity to the government. This will create positive synergies between experts and civil servants. In our country, the bureaucracy spends most of its time putting out fires and implementing projects. It is not allowed to develop expertise and its global exposure is sporadic. Therefore, an exclusive reliance on career bureaucrats and diplomats and the resultant bureaucratic capture of policymaking can have seriously negative outcomes.
For example, the bureaucratic advice (in the absence of a chief economic advisor) to control inflation by contracting aggregate demand requires a sharp reduction in fiscal deficit and interest hike, to pre-empt inflationary expectations. This policy stance will weaken investment sentiments and lower GDP growth rates, thereby effectively belying the promise of achhe din for the people.
India’s current splendid isolation in WTO is yet another example where expert advice could have made a difference. Similarly, lack of joint expert and diplomatic effort could result in the failure of the forthcoming Indo-US dialogue. By effectively marshalling available expertise and creating necessary synergies with the bureaucracy, the PM will signal his preparedness to move beyond Gujarat.
Author is a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research. He is also the former Director of ICRIER and former Secretary General of FICCI.

What is the contribution of rail to the UK economy?

Total Rail
To Me
Jul 30 at 9:36 PM
If you have trouble viewing this email, read the online version
Dear N.K,

What we’re talking about this week:

  • Cambodia signals the start of works to reinstate the cross-border railway with Thailand
  • Thai junta approves a high-speed rail budget in a bid to link with China
  • China leads the world in high-speed rail, and at a cost which is one third lower
  • What is the contribution of rail to the UK economy?
Cambodia signal the start of works to reinstate the cross-border railway with Thailand

Cambodia signals the start of works to reinstate the cross-border railway with Thailand

A ceremony which has been labelled as ‘ground-breaking’ , was held at Poipet in Cambodia on Friday, and has marked the start of work to reinstate the cross-border railway to Thailand.
Those that attended the ceremony, which included Cambodia’s Deputy Minister for Public works and Transport …
Thai junta approves a high speed rail budget in a bid to link with China

Thai junta approves a high-speed rail budget in a bid to link with China

Thailand’s military government have approved a 741.46 billion baht ($23.3 billion) budget in an aim to upgrade the country’s railway system. This will include their high-speed links, of which they hope will eventually reach China.
The plan, which will span over the course of 8 years, echoes that …
China leads the world in High Speed Rail, and at a cost which is one third lower

China leads the world in High Speed Rail, and at a cost which is one third lower

A recent report has uncovered new statistics on China’s High Speed Rail. The paper, which was written by the World Bank, has taken a look in to China’s construction costs, and in doing so has announced that the country is not only leading the world in HSR but also …
What is the contribution of rail to the UK economy?

What is the contribution of rail to the UK economy?

A recent report published by the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) has revealed just how important the UK railway and its supply chain are in playing a fundamental part of the UK’s economy.

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What’s happening at GBO: A Masterclass for everyone

What’s happening at GBO: A Masterclass for everyone, Exclusive Club at the Book Fair, and more…
German Book Office New Delhi
Jul 30 at 6:02 PM
GBO Newsletter
30 July 2014    |   Edition:185
With less than a month to go for JUMPSTART, we want to draw your attention to the Masterclasses. On popular demand, the Masterclasses for illustrators and writers continue this year as well, and we’ve introduced two NEW ones, on Animation and Transmedia – staying true to the theme and ensuring there’s something for everyone on all the days of the Programme!
We present to you the all new FRANKFURT BUSINESS CLUB, register before 31st July and avail of the early bird discount!
Our trip to Germany this summer, continues to be spoken and written about! Read on…
Best wishes,
The German Book Office Team
There’s something for everyone, 4 Intense Masterclasses!
25 & 26 August, 2014 in New Delhi
28 August, 2014 in Bengaluru
We’ve invited experts in each sector to conduct hands-on Masterclasses, read more and register soon! Limited seats in each section.
Writers’ Masterclass 
Many people can put together a story that entertains children. But there’s a huge difference between spinning a cute tale for a few youngsters and creating an enchanted, alternative world that captures the imagination of society and makes literary history. With the world of entertainment dominated over recent years by Harry Potter, The Hunger Games and How to Train Your Dragon (all of which started as children’s books), writing for young people has become the most exciting area in publishing. Learn how to lift your story creation skills to a level where you are have a chance of winning publishing contracts and creating magic worth marketing worldwide.
Bestselling children’s author Nury Vittachi will cover key facts about the children’s book market, help you define a shape for your stories and also go into some of the more practical aspects of writing for children, such as pitching the language at the right level, weaving educational aspects into your stories, having strong relationships with your illustrators, selling the book to agents and publishers, avoiding the fatal errors that aspiring writers make etc. He will also discuss the evolution of stories for young people and where they are going next and talk about the differences between storytelling for adults and youngsters. Nury’s master class is aimed particularly at the Asian context. The aim of the master class is for all participants to go away equipped with a wider knowledge of what writing children’s books is all about and some practical new writing skills for the genre

Illustrators’ Masterclass
Children’s books open up the world for children – when you create an image, you give the child a way of looking at the world. Illustrating a story is as much about selecting as about creating. Which bits of the story do you illustrate? What do you draw upon to create the story’s characters and its world? How do you choose a style? Do illustrations need to have recognizable, “real” elements or can they be completely whimsical?
Tap into your inner child, play with a variety of found materials and create an 8-page book with Sophie Benini Petromarchi, artist, author and illustrator of children’s books, who shows us how to create illustrations that can appeal to a universal readership.

Animation Masterclass 
Making an animated film can often be a collaborative and complex process. Animation thrills us with its epic scale, its imaginative twists and turns, the power of voice and sound effects. With animation, there are no limits, except one’s imagination. Animation involves stylistic adaptations to technology while developing one’s own unique technique and sense of creativity. From drawing the characters to the timing, pace and rhythm of the animation, it is a demanding craft that, if done well, can lead to sublime storytelling
This workshop is a great opportunity for beginners and advanced professionals to explore many different forms of animation. Award-winning animator, Shilpa Ranade, who also set up the Master’s degree in animation at the Industrial Development Cell (IDC) at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, leads the participants through a detailed session on the basics of animation, its intricacies, its limitations and possibilities. After the workshop, Shilpa will also conduct an appreciation session on animation, where she will talk about trends in the industry and show some of the contemporary work in the animation sector that is breaking new ground. The aim of this session is to make participants aware of the potential of cinema and to empower the artist and the audience towards a more enriching session.

Transmedia Workshop
Changing technologies are having incredible impacts on children’s publishing. Publishers now need to be aware, more than ever in the past, of the impact of format, user experience, iteration and discoverability on their books. These are new and exciting times for children’s publishers to be creating content in. The world of book-based apps for kids may feel wide and fast-paced now, but in a year or even a month’s time, the landscape will be radically different. As ever more (and ever more sophisticated) apps are developed, it will be fascinating to see the directions this new storytelling medium will take.
In this workshop, Ralph Möllers, a German expert in publishing and software, will help publishers think in terms of their digital strategy and how Apps, ebooks and other multimedia formats can strike an amazing balance between old-school and new-school. The workshop will pay special attention to how digital platforms can contribute to the physical book and can enhance the original narrative while remaining faithful to authorial integrity. This is an incredible opportunity for publishers in India to look at the changes enveloping the digital content platform for children’s content and to embrace the wave that is now very much a part of our world.
Click here to register.
Click here to read more on the Masterclass Leaders.
EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT of 10% before 8th August 2014.
STUDENTS will get a flat INR 500 discount on their registration for Delhi only!
Questions regarding Registrations? Email

The Exclusive Advantage for You!  
The Business Club of the Frankfurt Book Fair offers its members a comprehensive range of valuable services and a brand new way to experience the Book Fair.
With its flexible range of conferences, consultation sessions, networking formats and lounges, the Business Club offers its members inspiration, guidance and a space where new business ideas can flourish.
Take advantage of the Club’s comfortable atmosphere for your meetings and negotiations and put together an event and networking programme that is flexible and customised to meet your needs.
Our speakers are among the best in their fields.
They have proven their leadership with creative concepts and innovative ideas that succeed even in lean times. In spontaneous conversations, at roundtables or during interviews, the experts let you in on the secret of their success.
At CONTEC you will learn more about the interaction between content and technology. You will here have the opportunity to connect with international experts from the publishing and technology sectors. Benefit from CONTEC and learn more about how to improve the efficiency of your publishing workflow and discover how to provide a more satisfying reading experience for your customers.
The International Rights Directors Meeting is the established meeting place for representatives of international rights and license industry. Experts with a proven track record offer exclusive insights into succesful deals and future growth markets.
Frankfurt StoryDrive , the international forum for future trends in the media and entertainment industries, focuses on new forms of storytelling and pioneering business models.
Register before 31st July and avail of the EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT of 20%!

Trisha Gupta writes on the recently concluded trip to Germany!  
In the third week of June this year, five Indian editors (and one accompanying journalist – that’s me) arrived in Berlin for the annual Editors’ Trip organised by the GBO New Delhi. After half a day settling in, we were to spend two and a half days meeting publishers and writers in Berlin, and an equal amount of time meeting other publishers in Frankfurt, as well as members of the Frankfurt Book Fair team. The theme of the trip this year was two-fold – Graphic Novels and Young Adult (YA) writing.
We began at the lovely sunlit office of Mosaik, from where Klaus Schleiter and Anna Hause-Thiele and their team of artists and writers bring out two very different monthly comic magazines, both of which have a loyal following in Germany. The first of these, Mosaik, centres around a comic trio originally created as far back as 1955, when they were called the Digedags. In 1976, with the breaking away of the original illustrator, they metamorphosed into Abrax, Brabax and Califax, collectively known as the Abrafaxe. With 463 issues till date, 40,000 subscribers and 110,000 copies printed of the 52-page magazine every month, the Abrafaxe are clearly among Germany’s most beloved comic characters, especially for a generation that grew up on them in East Germany. Created at a time when East Germans could not really cross their own borders, the Abrafaxe’s ability to travel the world struck a chord. That imagined exploration of different historical times and places continues to be the comic’s USP – the Abrafaxe have bumbled along everywhere from ancient Rome to Prohibition-era USA, they have travelled on the Orient Express and to Australia in the footsteps of the explorer Matthew Flinders.
Our second stop was Reprodukt Verlag, where Sebastian Oehler took us through a whirlwind tour of the history of graphic novels in Germany. For most of us, coming from a country where comics and graphic books have only begun to be seen as a legitimate artistic/literary pursuit in the last decade, it came as a surprise to find out that Germans, too, took their time warming up to comics.
The Nazis, of course, were famously opposed to comics, but as Oehler pointed out, there was a reluctance to take comics seriously as a form even as late as the 1960s. In the 1970s, comics began to finally find takers (and comics like Mosaik emerged in East Germany). But it was really after 1990, after German unification, that the first generation of avant garde German graphic artists emerged – Anke Feuchtenberger, ATAK, Henning Wagenbreth and others, many of whom became professors at university and helped groom a second wave of comic artists. “Now we’re into the third wave, and the fourth wave,” said Oehler. “At the end of the 90s, there was a big discussion on whether comics were art. And now the discussion is, are comics literature?”
On our penultimate day, after a morning meeting with the Frankfurt Book Fair team and a visit to the lovely comic book shop, X-tra Books, we met with Friederike Barakat of Carl Hanser Verlag, who spoke to us about the current state of YA fiction in Germany. The first thing that emerged was that the German YA market is as prone to Anglo-American publishing trends as the Indian one appears to be: Carl Hanser’s biggest seller at the time of our meeting was none other than John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, which, as Ameya Nagarajan of Penguin-Random House India pointed out, had also been No. 1 in the Indian market for three weeks at the time. Another trend that Barakat pointed to — later corroborated by S. Fischer Verlag — was that increasing access to the internet has meant the slow but steady decline of non-fiction for the Young Adult market. Given that the hold of fantasy and dystopian fiction on the YA lists – maintained for so many years by the Twilight and Hunger Games series — is finally getting weaker, Barakat suggested that reality-based YA fiction might be the new trend.
To read the full blog click here.
Too graphic for grown-ups? Thoughts on pictures in books
Have you ever thought about what it means that we think picture books are for children? Clearly, it’s not that we think pictures are for children: visual art in other forms, whether paintings or movies, is seen as perfectly grown-up. But somehow, when pictures enter a book, they become, in the eyes of most people who consider themselves “real” readers, a form of dumbing-down.
One reason for this sort of thinking is obvious. If books are meant to be about text, then anything that detracts from the serious business of words is an illegitimate interloper, that’s managed to sneak in without the permission of the Book Guards.
As the kid who never quite got why anyone should want to read comics when they could read real  books, I get that thought. And certainly, I agree that we respond differently to narrative when the only pictures we have access to are the ones in our heads. Images might hook you faster, but they also change the rhythm of your reading. Some people might only look at the pictures. Some look at the pictures first, and then go back to read the text. Some — like me — might race through the text (and wonder at there being less of it) before realising that sometimes, pictures demand a slowing-down — quite different from the swept-up feeling that can characterise a good story.
But if placing images alongside changes our experience of text, why is that necessarily a bad thing? Who decided that books have to be about text, anyway? And that art must only hang on a wall?
I started thinking these thoughts because of three stunning publications that came out recently from Tara Books, the Chennai-based independent publisher. All three are drawn by Indian folk artists, all women. In Drawing from the City, the Ahmedabad-based Teju Behan tells, in beautiful black and white pen-drawings, the tale of how she and her late husband Ganesh Bhai Jogi went from the village to the city, and how they became artists. In Hope is a Girl Selling Fruit (2013), the Mithila-style folk painter Amrita Das draws — and draws us into — meditations on her life, the life of a girl she sees on a train, the lives of women in India. The third book is Sultana’s Dream, Rokheya Sakhawat Hussain’s famous 1905-fable about a world where peace-loving women rule over men, is illustrated by the Gond artist Durga Bai. The text in these books is spare and simple, but it talks about serious things. The images, though, are what one lingers over. Like the albums in which the Mughal aristocracy housed their miniature paintings, this is art between the covers.
I started to think about these things again on a recent trip to Germany, where six Indian editors and I had been sent to meet German publishers of graphic novels, young adult and children’s books. Some entered these genres for somewhat instrumental reasons. Carl Hanser Verlag — publishers of Sophie’s World — said their children’s list first emerged because they wanted to stop their authors from taking their manuscripts for kids to other publishers. Similarly, the venerable Suhrkamp, known for publishing theory and literary heavyweights, started its graphic novel list partly as a way of keeping all versions of their great books. So they started with celebrated Austrian artist Mahler doing a graphic version of Thomas Bernhardt’s novel Alte Meister (Great Masters), and a graphic interpretation of Robert Musil’s mid-century novel The Man Without Qualities. But last year, they stopped playing safe like that: they brought out the graphic autobiography of Volker Reiche, veteran of the German comics scene. Also, publishing Mahler’s Musil was a radical thing to do — turning Musil’s dense, thousand-page classic into a fairly slender set of pages, with barely six sentences to a page, could easily be seen as sacrilege.
And really, one part of me agrees vociferously: how can reading Mahler be the same as reading Musil?
Other German publishers we met come from the opposite side. They have not, shall we say, had to readjust their reading glasses to see the pictures. Some of these are, like Mosaik, comic publishers first and foremost, their adventurous Abrafaxe threesome dating back to the East German 1950s. Others, like Reprodukt, are part of the coming of age of the German graphic novel. Their recent Kinderland, about a seventh grader before the Berlin Wall fell, has won awards and critical acclaim from the “serious” quarters of the press.
To read the full blog click here.
To know about the ‘EDITORS TRIP’ and other activities of the German Book Office New Delhi, click here.

What’s coming up?  
25th – 26th August 2014:     Jumpstart Delhi
28th August 2014:                Jumpstart Bangalore
8th – 12th October 2014:     Frankfurt Book Fair
8th – 13th February 2015:    Exclusive India
12th – 13th February 2015:  GLOBALOCAL
German Book Office New Delhi
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German Book Office New Delhi is a joint venture between the Frankfurt Book Fair and the Federal Foreign Office, Berlin.
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International news


Iraqi Shi’ite militias execute, hang 15 Sunni Muslims

Shi’ite militias shot 15 Sunni Muslims and then hung them in a public square Wednesday in Baquaba, a mixed Shi’ite and Sunni town 65 km north east of Baghdad, according to police sources, Reuters reports. A police source said that the action against the victims, who were kidnapped over the last week, was designed to deter Sunnis from supporting the Islamic State, an Al-Qaeda offshoot, which has seized swathes of land in northern Iraq. Shi’ite militias are seen as a vital line of defense in Iraq and have stepped into the breach to challenge the hardline Islamist Sunni insurgents after the US-funded Iraqi army crumpled in the face the Islamic States’ onslaught and extreme violence.

Rival militias agree to Tripoli airport ceasefire amid chaos

Rival militias fighting for control of Tripoli airport agreed Wednesday to a temporary ceasefire. The move was prompted by the need to allow firefighters to try to control a huge blaze at a fuel depot hit by a rocket, Reuters said. There has been a fortnight of the worst fighting since the 2011 war that ousted Muammar Gaddafi. Most Western governments have followed the US and UN pulling their diplomats out of the North African country.

34 people dead in Guinea concert stampede

At least 34 people have died and dozens injured in a stampede in Guinea, West Africa, during a concert by local rap group Instinct Killers to mark the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan. The concert took place Tuesday evening on a beach in Ratoma, a northern suburb of the capital, Conkary. Eyewitnesses told Reuters that up to 10,000 people were at the event. The president’s office has declared a national day of mourning.

Two former Khmer Rouge leaders stand trial for genocide

Khieu Samphan, the Khmer’s former head of state, and Nuon Chea, Pol Pot’s deputy, the Maoist regime’s infamous leader, are beginning their second trial in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh. The pair are already on trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity. The cases are being tried separately to accelerate the proceedings because both defendants are elderly. The Khmer Rouge ruled Cambodia with an iron fist between 1975 and 1979, during which time up to 2 million people are thought to have died of starvation, overwork or were executed. Pol Pot died in 1997 and only one senior official from the Khmer Rouge has been convicted and jailed for the crimes the Maoist regime committed. The second trial will address the roles of Chea, 88, and Samphan, 83, in the killing of tens of thousands of people from Cambodia’s ethnic minorities.

US imposes visa restrictions on ‘number’ of Venezuelan govt officials

The US State Department announced Wednesday it was imposing travel restrictions on “a number of Venezuelan government officials” who it said were involved in human rights abuses. “While we will not publicly identify these individuals because of visa record confidentiality, our message is clear: those who commit such abuses will not be welcome in the US,” Reuters quoted State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf as saying. She cited “arbitrary detentions, excessive force and judicial intimidation” against Venezuelan protesters.

Kurdistan lays claim to oil cargo in letter to US court

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said on Wednesday it had sent a letter to a court in Texas over a seized cargo of Kurdish crude oil in the US. The aim is to counter claims from Iraq’s central government in Baghdad which maintains the oil was illegally exported, Reuters said. Kurdish authorities say that Baghdad has failed to fulfill its obligations in Kurdistan, boosting the region’s need to export oil. The region contends with the influx of more than 1 million refugees in recent months due to violence sparked by Islamic State insurgents.

Russia could build Mistral-class ships on its own – deputy PM

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Wednesday that Russia has the capability to build Mistral-class helicopter carriers on its own if France cancels the existing contract, RIA Novosti reported. “The French must prove they are serious partners and reliable contractors,” Rogozin said after a meeting between President Vladimir Putin and government ministers. “If they fail to do so, we will build the [Mistral] ships on our own. We are finally capable to do it,” Rogozin said. On Monday, he expressed doubts that France would cancel the contract, which he said would be worse for France than for Russia.

N. Korea fires 4 short-range ‘projectiles’

North Korea fired four short-range projectiles towards the sea Wednesday, the South’s Defense Ministry said. The launches began at 22:30 GMT at a site near Mount Myohyang, northeast of Pyongyang, AFP said. The two were fired in the morning and another two in the afternoon, all towards the Sea of Japan (East Sea), according to the ministry. “The test of two projectiles launched in the morning appeared to be unsuccessful because they just flew for several seconds, while two other projectiles fired in the afternoon traveled for up to 210km,” according to the military in Seoul. The ministry has not confirmed a Yonhap report that the North might have tested new 300mm multiple rocket launchers.

Argentina to hold further debt talks – sources

Argentina will hold further debt talks with ‘holdout’ investors in New York on Wednesday, Reuters reported, citing a government source. The negotiations are being held to avoid a second default in little over a decade. It was not clear whether the Argentine negotiators would meet face-to-face or talk through mediator Daniel Pollack.

Islamists shoot dead Somali woman for not wearing veil – reports

Islamist gunmen in Somalia have shot dead a Muslim woman for refusing to wear a veil, the BBC said, citing her relatives. The nomadic woman was reportedly killed outside her hut near the southern Somali town of Hosingow by gunmen belonging to the Al-Shabab group. An Al-Shabab spokesman denied the group had killed the woman, adding that the group does not fully control the area where she was living.

France evacuates nearly 50 French, British citizens from Libya

France has evacuated nearly 50 French and British citizens from Libya by ship, AFP reported, citing French officials. A French diplomatic source said Wednesday that 40 French nationals, including the ambassador, were evacuated along with seven British nationals. The evacuation came as Islamist groups seized the headquarters of the Libyan army’s special forces in the second-biggest city, Benghazi, after days of fighting. Witnesses also saw a huge blaze raged at a fuel depot near Tripoli’s airport.

Up to 150 people feared trapped after landslide in western India

Up to 150 people were feared trapped by a landslide triggered by heavy rains in western India on Wednesday, Reuters said. The landslide hit an area 60km from the western city of Pune. The inspector general of the national disaster, Sandeep Rai Rathore, said difficult terrain was affecting the mobility of the rescue teams at the site.

3 killed in car bomb blast in Cairo

Three people were killed in a car bomb blast on Wednesday in Giza, on the outskirts of Cairo, Reuters said, citing a report by Egypt’s state-run Nile Television. Those killed had been inside the car and were likely to have been on their way to carry out a “terrorist operation,” Al-Ahram newspaper quoted Brigadier Mahmoud Shawki, a police officer, as saying. The car was ripped in two by the blast.

Suicide bombers attack Nigeria mosques, kill at least 6

Suicide bombers attacked two mosques in northeast Nigeria’s Yobe state late Tuesday killing at least six people, AFP reported. Several others were injured, witnesses say, blaming the Boko Haram Islamists. The first explosion rocked an open air mosque belonging to a Shiite Muslim sect in the Dogo Tebo area of the town of Potiskum around 1855 GMT leaving four people dead. Five minutes later, the second blast at a mosque within the compound of the chief imam in the town’s Anguwar Bolawa area killed at least two worshippers.

​N. Korea grounds MiG19s – report

North Korea has suspended all flight drills of Soviet made MiG-19, after three fighters have crashed this year, South Korea’s military sources told Yonhap news. “At least three of the MiG-19s crashed during training missions — one earlier this year, the others last month and earlier this month — apparently due to their aged fuselages,” a source said. The supersonic MiG-19 was developed in USSR in 1953. Some 400 MiG models are still believed to be in service by Pyongyang.

​At least 20 dead, dozens missing after migrant ship sinks off Libya

More than 20 people were killed while dozens are considered missing unaccounted when a vessel carrying illegal migrants capsized off the Libyan coast, authorities announced, Itar-tass reports. According to Libyan navy spokesman, Colonel Ayub Kassem, the incident occurred near Humes (100 km east of Tripoli). The ship was carrying 150 people from central and southern Africa to Italy. The search for survivors continues.

NMML Public Lecture_Prof. Ramakrishna Ramaswamy

NMML Public Lecture_Prof. Ramakrishna Ramaswamy_5.00 pm on Thursday, 31st July, 2014
To Me
Jul 30 at 5:07 PM

The Nehru Memorial Museum and Library
cordially invites you to a Public Lecture
at 5.00 pm on Thursday, 31st July, 2014
in the Seminar Room, First Floor, Library Building
The Unknown D. D. Kosambi’
Prof. Ramakrishna Ramaswamy,
University of Hyderabad,

Damodar Dharmananda Kosambi was many things to many people.  Phi beta kappa scholar and Harvard graduate, mathematics professor, historian, archaeologist, epigraphist, polyglot, numismatist, sanskritist, indologist, marxist: the list of his identities and his personae is a long and varied one. The range and nature of Kosambi’s contributions to mathematics remain largely unknown to scholars in the social sciences. This is unfortunate since mathematics was the one constant and consistent preoccupation of his professional life, and, it can be argued, his major contributions in other areas such as history and numismatics were informed and moulded by his knowledge and style of mathematics. Even his translation of Bhartrhari was occasioned by his being asked to give an opinion upon points concerning ancient Indian mathematics.  In this talk the speaker will discuss Kosambi’s mathematical life, his professional trajectory, his obsessions and his preoccupations, drawing upon a (hitherto unavailable) complete bibliography of his mathematics papers- which are in English, German, French, Japanese and Chinese- as well as critique of his work that appeared in contemporary reviews. In particular, the talk will describe the nature of the work that built his mathematical reputation, the papers that essentially destroyed it, and the circumstances that led to his losing his position at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Bombay.
Prof. Ramaswamy has an M.Sc from IIT Kanpur and Ph.D. from Princeton University, USA. He is currently Vice Chancellor, University of Hyderabad, since June 2011, Professor at the School of Physical Sciences, and Centre for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He is also Chairman, National Council of Rural Institutes, Hyderabad and Vice President and Editor of Publications, Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore.
He has over 150 journal publications and book articles relating to chemical dynamics, classical and quantum chaos, semiclassical quantization, disordered systems and statistical physics, molecular dynamics and cluster physics, computational biology and genomics. Prof. Ramaswamy was Elected Fellow of TWAS—the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World, 2008; was awarded The J C Bose Fellowship of the Department of Science and Technology, India, 2008; Elected Fellow of the Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi 2007; Santa Fe Institute International Fellow (2000-2001); and of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore.
All are welcome.
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Audio links of Public Lectures:
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Alliance Française de Delhi present Design X Design 5th round table.

Design X Design Round Table.
Jean-Philippe Bottin
To Jean-Philippe BottinMe
Jul 30 at 6:56 PM
Dear Friends,
Alliance Française de Delhi and Studio If present Design X Design 5th round table.
Designer Sarkar, design of governance and the governance of design.
Tomorrow Thursday 31 July at 6.30pm in our gallery.
More details attached.
Please come early since it will be packed.
Warmest regards,
Jean-Philippe Bottin
Directeur, Alliance Française Delhi
Délégué Général Inde Népal, Fondation Alliance Française
72 Lodi Estate, New Delhi 110 003, India
Indian mob: (91) 9560004641 (also reachable on Whatsapp and Viber)
French mob: (33) 618593520 (also reachable on Whatsapp and Viber)
Skype: jeanphilippebottin
Twitter: @JPBottin

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