Friday, December 19, 2014

YU surprises the world! Announces first power packed YUREKA

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YUREKA 4
  • Launches YUREKA; the first device through YU-Cyanogen exclusive partnership in India
  • YUREKA is the first device from YU to be launched with Cyanogen OS and get exclusive OTA firmware updates and support in India
  • YUREKA to be powered by Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 615 processor with 4G LTE Cat4 connectivity and 64-bit, multi-core CPU
  • Co-opts the Indian Developer Ecosystem to initiate active participation in the development of its future devices
  • Announces exclusive partnership with Amazon.in to sell ‘YUREKA’ devices
  • Registration for the device to begin on 19th December from 2 pm
New Delhi, 18th December 2014: YU, the new online brand from Micromax Informatics, the largest Indian mobile brand, today announced the launch of its first and the much awaited device YUREKA, through an exclusive partnership with Cyanogen Inc. YUREKA is the first device from YU to be launched with Cyanogen OS and get exclusive OTA firmware updates and support in India. Cyanogen OS, built on Android™, is known for delivering a number of rich software advancements that optimize performance, customization, security, and privacy features on mobile devices.

With YUREKA, YU imparts power to the consumers to redefine the mobile space in the country by simply giving the control in a user’s hand; to create their own world, make their device look the way they want to; a cooler world, a world dashed in their identity.
YU will usher a new era of android development in India, as it will allow users to root their devices, without voiding the warranty. This will allow users to run endless customization on their device and offer an enhanced product experience, presently not being supported by any other brand in the country. For the android community in India, this would mean an opportunity to unleash the full potential of the device, while working closely with the brand and Cyanogen.
To create a robust developer ecosystem, YU has already started engaging and connecting with the Indian Developers Community, through its forum at ‘forums.yuplaygod.com; an exclusive platform for the developers to ideate, discuss and nurture ideas. Unveiling the new brand, Rahul Sharma said, “The future is moving from an app driven experience to a services drive experience and YU in partnership with Cyanogen is a platform that is going to lead that transformation. We will work directly with developers’ community and brands to build services right on the OS layer and offer a differentiated consumer experience. We are creating a global platform for Indian app developers to rise at the world stage. For YU, services will be the core focus which would be ably supported by hardware partners like Qualcomm to offer a seamless and customised experience through our devices and servicesWe are together committed to challenge the limits of possibility and create a new world.”
“We’re thrilled to bring to India our vision of the next generation mobile experience,” said Kirt McMaster, CEO of Cyanogen. “India is the fastest growing smartphone market and we are excited to partner with YU, a brand with a deep understanding of Indian consumers. We will deliver a groundbreaking software experience in the form of intuitive, powerful and highly customized devices, beginning with YUREKA.”

Amit Agarwal, Country Manager and VP, Amazon India said, “We are very excited to partner with YU and offer our customers across India an exclusive, easy & convenient access to the revolutionary YUREKA. This builds into to our vision of offering customers in India a unique and wide selection of products on our platform and delighting them each time they shop with us.” 

All the software features are backed by strong hardware capabilities as well. YUREKA offers cutting edge smartphone capabilities enabled by the Snapdragon 615 processor with integrated 4G LTE Cat4 modem and 64-bit multi-core CPU is designed to provide high speed connectivity, as well as offering an optimal balance of high performance and power efficiency so you can enjoy faster download speeds and get more done in less time with battery power to spare.  YUREKA offers consumers a 5.5 inch HD IPS display and 2 GB DDR3 RAM, which allows for flawless multitasking experiences and efficiency, a Qualcomm® Adreno™ 405 GPU that is designed to enable an incredible amount of visual detail in 3D imagery, enabling smooth frame rates and full HD video with H.265 HEVC support.  Qualcomm Adreno is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.  .
YUREKA will be exclusively available on Amazon.in and registrations will begin on 19th December from 2pm onwards
(Qualcomm, Snapdragon and Adreno are trademarks of Qualcomm Incorporated, registered in the United States and other countries. All Qualcomm Incorporated trademarks are used with permission.)
About YU
YU is a new age technology brand that strives to work with the community to create an ecosystem of connected devices. YU aims to provide an extraordinary product experience while offering differentiated services that delight the consumer.

Our vision is to empower users with technology that lets them have unparalleled freedom to write their own rules.  YU is an enabler that allows you to do more than you thought possible and express your innate creativity.

Don’t just simply follow, after all you are the creators of this world. PLAY GOD!

For further details please contact:




Storage Status of 85 Important Reservoirs of the Country as on December 18, 2014

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The Water Storage available in 85 important reservoirs of the country as on December 18, 2014 was 95.081 BCM which is 61% of total storage capacity of these reservoirs. This storage is 84% of the storage of corresponding period of last year and 98% of storage of average of last ten years. The present storage position during current year is less than the storage position of last year and also less than the storage of average of last ten years. Central Water Commission monitors live storage status of 85 important reservoirs of the country on weekly basis. These reservoirs include 37 reservoirs having hydropower benefit with installed capacity of more than 60 MW. The total storage capacity of these reservoirs is 155.046 BCM which is about 61% of the storage capacity of 253.388 BCM which is estimated to have been created in the country.
REGION WISE STORAGE STATUS:
NORTHERN REGION
The northern region includes States of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan. There are 6 reservoirs in this region having total storage capacity of 18.01 BCM. The total storage available in these reservoirs is 9.82 BCM which is 55% of total storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 69% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 60% of storage capacity of these reservoirs. Thus, storage during current year is less than the corresponding period of last year and also less than the average storage of last ten years during the corresponding period.
EASTERN REGION
The Eastern region includes States of Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal and Tripura. There are 15 reservoirs in this region having total storage capacity of 18.83 BCM. The total storage available in these reservoirs is 14.25 BCM which is 76% of total storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 89% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 71% of storage capacity of these reservoirs. Thus, storage during current year is less than the corresponding period of last year but better than the average storage of last ten years during the corresponding period.
WESTERN REGION
The Western region includes States of Gujarat and Maharashtra. There are 22 reservoirs in this region having total storage capacity of 24.54 BCM. The total storage available in these reservoirs is 15.02 BCM which is 61% of total storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 78% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was70% of storage capacity of these reservoirs. Thus, storage during current year is less than the storage of last year and also less than the average storage of last ten years.
CENTRAL REGION
The Central region includes States of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. There are 12 reservoirs in this region having total storage capacity of 42.30BCM. The total storage available in these reservoirs is 29.75 BCM which is 70% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 78% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 51% of storage capacity of these reservoirs. Thus, storage during current year is less than the storage of last year but better than the average storage of last ten years.
SOUTHERN REGION
The Southern region includes States of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. There are 30 reservoirs in this region having total storage capacity of 51.37 BCM. The total storage available in these reservoirs is 26.25 BCM which is 51% of total storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 61% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 66% of storage capacity of these reservoirs. Thus, storage during current year is less than the corresponding period of last year and also less than the average storage of last ten years during the corresponding period.
States having better storage than last year for corresponding period are Karnataka Kerala and Tamil Nadu. States having lesser storage than last year for corresponding period are Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Tripura, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh.




Taxing Times For Make In India

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Taxing Times For Make In India
CBTD will scare away investment if it is allowed to pursue witch-hunts on businesses
       It is not rocket science to understand that the PM’s Make in India programme will be derailed without fresh investment. Therefore, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), which earned opprobrium for unleashing ‘tax terrorism’ during the last few years, should be prevented from driving away both domestic and foreign investors from India.
       CBDT vitiates the investment climate because of several factors – extreme complexity of income tax laws, combative and rent seeking attitude of tax officers, aggressive pursuit of revenue targets, an anti-FDI mindset that was promoted by UPA, over dependence on judicial remedy, extensive recourse to retrospective measures, and contentious interpretations of legal provisions. These features, which have created an environment of great uncertainty and outright harassment for both domestic and foreign direct investors, must be urgently addressed if India is to revert to a high growth trajectory.
       Some facts will help. First, there are about 3 lakh pending direct tax legal disputes of which 2.23 lakh are within the jurisdiction of CBDT itself. Second, an enormous amount of Rs 4.36 lakh crore ($73 billion) of direct tax revenue is locked up in these cases according to the Mumbai high court the government is a litigant in a great majority of these cases. Third, CBDT does not make any effort to liquidate cases pending even under its own jurisdiction in which Rs 3.74 lakh crore is locked up. Fourth, CBDT loses more than 70% of the cases brought against it reflecting the dubious nature of its officers’ initial assessment.
       Fifth, the number of transfer pricing cases, which were virtually non-existent in the 1990s have risen from 1,061 in 2004-05 to 2,638 in 2011-12. Sixth, CBDT’s aggressive stance towards foreign investors is reflected in the sharp hike in the number of transfer pricing cases in which its officers have increased the tax demand. Such ‘adjusted cases’ rose from 23% of the total in 2004-05 to 52%, with an additional demand of Rs 44,531 crore.
       Finally, CBDT does not accept courts’ decisions against its orders and with frightening regularity amends tax laws with retrospective effect. This not only renders the entire process of appeals and judicial review virtually infructuous, it also creates huge uncertainty for investors. The upshot is a strong negative perception about India as an investment destination. This is not good for Make in India.
Central Board of Direct Taxes loses more than 70% of the cases brought against it reflecting the dubious nature of its officers’ initial assessment
       CBDT’s systematic action against both foreign and domestic investors could well be a result of a strong bias among IT officers, who see big business as flouting all laws and fleecing the exchequer. This has led CBDT to make several wrong moves. In the case of Vodafone, CBDT lost its case in the Supreme Court only for the law to be changed retrospectively. It has recently lost its case against Shell as well.
       The Nokia case is still sub judice but CBDT refuses to lift its freeze on the company’s plant that will allow the facility to be sold and the receipts to be put in an escrow account to be appropriated by either CBDT or the company, dependent on judicial outcome. Honda Cars India Limited have been served tax correction notices in 2013 and 2014 for the years 2005, 2008 and 2009 amounting to a demand of Rs 2,229 crore! All these are premised upon a contentious interpretation of ‘permanent establishment’ that is strongly contested not only by Honda but also by the Japanese government.
       CBDT’s relatively junior officers who make the initial tax demands are apparently a law unto themselves. This cannot generate confidence among foreign investors who the PM is trying to attract to India.
       For domestic investors and indeed for common taxpayers like you and me CBDT is a virtual terror. The threat that ‘we will get the income tax department after you’ sends a shiver down the spine of virtually the entire business community except a few well heeled and better connected. The political class has made it worse by often using the department to settle scores with political rivals, upright bureaucrats or even an investigating journalist. Remember the witchhunt against those even remotely connected with the sting operations against a former defence minister?
       CBDT refuses to treat SEZs more sympathetically and remove MAT despite repeated representations by the commerce department. In China, Korea, Taiwan, Ireland and Mexico, SEZs have contributed handsomely to manufacturing and exports. In India they have become a complete failure due to some unscrupulous land grabbers and CDBT’s obdurate opposition on the pretext of revenue loss.
       Income tax raids are worse than nightmares. I have seen a number of aged businessmen weep openly while recounting their experiences. Consequently, Indian businessmen are now moving their investments to other countries. Not good for Make in India.
       The finance minister should be keenly aware of these issues. He has ensured that no fresh cases have risen since May 2014. But there are about a dozen or so issues that this government has inherited, which need to be urgently addressed and resolved. The need of the hour is to perhaps set up a high powered task force, which can recommend steps to resolve these issues in time for the next budget. That will be a real contribution to the PM’s Make in India programme.
Author is a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research and Founder Director of Pahle IndiaFoundation. The most recent book is Exploding Aspirations.




GLOBAL ECONOMIC MONITOR

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cid:image001.jpg@01D00655.90EB7040
                                                                    

November 2014

The month of November was marked by high-level inter-governmental summits and meeting. Most crucial meeting was held between the member nations’ of World Trade Organisation (WTO), who have agreed to adopt the decisions related to public stockholding for food security purposes, the Trade Facilitation Agreement and the post-Bali work. At regional level, the 18th  Summit  of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) was held in Nepal wherein an important agreement was signed on energy cooperation.

The OECD in its Economic Outlook for November 2014 highlighted that the prolonged stagnation in the euro area could drag down global growth and have knock-on effects on other economies through trade and financial links. It has projected global growth to reach 3.3% in 2014, 3.7% in 2015. In addition, OECD’s Composite Leading Indicator (CLI) said that India was the only major economy where the CLI pointed towards pick-up in growth momentum.

The slowing global growth was also reflected in the global manufacturing & services sector activity, as represented by Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), wherein the final quarter saw global economic growth to slow-down for the third consecutive month. As a result, global output growth also slowed to its weakest point since April 2014 in both the manufacturing and service sectors, reflecting weaker rates of increase in new business.

On price front, all major commodity prices exhibited a downward trend, with Crude Oil prices falling down to US$75 per barrel in addition to decline in prices of precious metals. This low commodity price environment has put inflation in both high-income and developing countries on a downward path. Unemployment scenario remained stable in most major economies with exception of Russia and Japan .

Policy rates remained predominantly unchanged in most of the major economies including Canada , India and China . While the Bank of Japan (BoJ), unexpectedly eased policy with a significant increase in its bond purchase program.


Warm regards,

Dr. S P Sharma
Chief Economist




PN Prakash becomes the Champion of Champions

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Shital Thorat becomes the national champion in 10M Pistol Women
Pune, 18 Dec 2014: Commonwealth Games Silver medalist P N Prakash emerged victorious to be crowned as the Champion of Champions at the ongoing 58th National Shooting Championships being held at the Balewadi Shooting range Pune today. The Karnataka shooter was awarded with a cash prize of INR 50,000 from the National Rifles Association of India.
Maharshtra’s Shital Shivaji Thorat became the new National Champion in the 10M Women’s Pistol category shooting a total of 199. Punjab’s Harveen Sarao won the Silver medal with a total of 197.3 while Prerna Gupta from Uttarakhand settled for the Bronze medal shooting a total of 173.9. In the team category of the event, the CRPF team of Pushpanjali Rana, Rachna Devi and Sakshi Dagar finished at the top with a total of 1122. Maharashtra closely followed for the Silver with a total of 1117, while Haryana won the Bronze medal with a total of 1113.
Haryana’s Yashashwini Deswal became the new national champion in the 10M Women Junior Women category shooting a total of 384. Uttrakhand shooters Prerna Gupta nad Mamta Kedia settled for the Silver and Bronze medals shooting a total of 378 and 377 respectively. In the team event of the 10M Pistol Junior Women category, Haryana again walked away with the Gold medal with a total of 1106. Maharashtra with a total of 1093 finished second claiming the Silver medal while Madhya Pradesh settled for the Bronze medal with a total of 1088.
Haryana shooters stole the show in the 10M Pistol Youth Women category as the states youth brigade bagged both the Gold and Silver . While Yashashwini again dominated the category to finally emerge as the national champion with a total of 384, her state mate Nayani Bharadwaj won the Silver medal with a total of 374. Fateema Deesawala from Andhra Pradesh settled for the Bronze medal with a total of 372. In the team category of the event the story looked not very different, as Haryana walked away with the Gold medal with a total of 1106, while Madhya Pradesh won the Silver medal shooting a total of 1089 and Maharashtra finished third to settle for the Bronze medal with a total of 1079.
The 58th National Shooting Championship Competitions are being held at the Shri Chhatrapti Shivaji Balewadi Shooting Range, Pune. The National Rifles Association of India in association with the Maharashtra Rifles Association of India is organizing the event from the 12th – 24th of December 2014.




Oil decline put UK,Russia in fix

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David Cameron faces a backlash over a “pious” new spending law
David Cameron’s bid to renegotiate Britain’s relationship with the European Union will be dealt a blow on Thursday when the French president tells the Prime Minister he is “obsessed with his own problems”.Francois Hollande will block Mr Cameron’s request for a change to the EU treaty to include a new settlement for Britain in Europe, media reports.
Mr Hollande will tell the Prime Minister that he is opposed to amending the EU’s treaty on the grounds that change is not needed and might trigger a referendum in France.The French President will dismiss the British case for renegotiation as a product of Tory political disarray over the rise of Ukip, accusing Mr Cameron of being “obsessed with his own problems”. The warning will come at a meeting of the European Council summit in Brussels, where leaders will discuss sanctions on Russia and talks to improve the functioning of the eurozone next June.
“The price to keep Britain in Europe keeps getting higher and higher. It is now up to the UK to decide,” said a senior French government source.“We will not pay an extra price to keep the UK in the EU.”
European diplomats are expecting Mr Cameron to use the opportunity, if he wins British elections next May, to table demands for a “new settlement for Britain in Europe”.
Obama will sign new Russia sanctions bill passed by Congress, but does not yet intend to impose new sanctions, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said on Thursday. He added the US was ready to call off sanctions already imposed against Moscow if Russia stopped supporting insurgents in eastern Ukraine.
Britain’s oil industry is in a “crisis” and may be “close to collapse,” a senior oil industry expert has said, as the UK’s biggest oil and gas companies continue to cut staff and investment and the price of crude slumps.
Speaking to the BBC, Robin Allan, chairman of the independent explorers’ association Brindex, echoed warnings made by other figures in the oil industry in the past month, saying that no new projects in the North Sea would be profitable while oil is being traded at below $60 a barrel.
“It’s almost impossible to make money at these oil prices,” Allan said.
Meanwhile, insolvencies among UK oil and gas companies have trebled this year, with a further £55 billion worth of future oil projects facing cuts or outright cancelation, according to leading UK accountancy firm Moore Stephens.
However, some analysts believe a decline in oil prices may work in the UK’s favor, particularly in comparison to major oil-producing countries such as Russia and Saudi Arabia.
“In essence, an oil price fall acts like a tax cut for the economy, but a particularly favorable one in the sense that the burden of lost revenue is primarily borne by the major oil producers such as the OPEC member countries and Russia,” said John Hawksworth, chief economist for PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
“Of course, the UK is still a significant oil producer, but we are now a net oil importer, so there should be a net benefit to our economy as a whole, even if there as some losers in the UK oil and gas sector,” he said.
The combined effect produced by Western sanctions and low oil prices proves that there’s no place for Russia in the international financial system, believes British prime minister David Cameron, urging for more pressure on Moscow.
“We should stand up very firmly against the Russian aggression that’s taking place,”Cameron said before the Parliament on Wednesday.
The PM reminded that it’s the UK, which “led the way in Europe in making sure there were sanctions”imposed against Russia over its ‘annexation’ of Crimea in March and Moscow’s alleged involvement in the Ukrainian crisis.
“And what the combination of the lower oil price and the sanctions are showing that I think it isn’t possible for Russia to be part of the international financial system, but try and opt out of the rules-based international legal system,” Cameron said.
“We should keep up the pressure,” the head of the British government added, agreeing that “in this respect the interests of the United Kingdom and democracy do go together.”
The EU is expected to announce a new round of sanctions against Russia on Thursday, during the European Council’s meeting in Brussels. According to Reuters, the restrictive measures will forbid EU firms from investing in the Crimea and prohibit the trade of European oil and gas exploration technologies from the EU to the region.
Media agencies




‘Trajectories of Legal Knowledge:

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Nehru Memorial Museum and Library
cordially invites you to a Seminar
at 3.00 pm on Monday, 22nd December, 2014
in the Seminar Room, Library Building
on
‘Trajectories of Legal Knowledge:
India’s Forest Rights Act and translations between caste and class’
by
Dr. Anand Vaidya,
Harvard University,
USA.
Abstract:
This paper follows the trajectories through which India’s 2006 Forest Rights Act arrived in two neighboring villages in a North Indian forest. The law was brought to the area by two different organizations, each with a distinct political history and constituency, and the two organizations read the Forest Rights Act to have different and even contradictory meanings. Through an analysis of these re-readings, the speaker locates the contests over the meaning of the Forest Rights Act within a longer history of Dalit liberatory struggles to transform the relationship between caste categories and property relations. Far from caste being, as some have claimed, an obstacle to a class-based politics, the speaker argues that in Indian states whose recent political history has been defined by caste-based conflicts over land, caste has emerged as the idiom through which property relations are contested and class idioms have, in turn, become idioms through which caste-based relations are contested. The Forest Rights Act, which reassigns property relations on the basis of legal caste categories, has been drawn on as a powerful tool to translate between caste and class, and in the process the meanings of both the law and caste itself have been transformed.
Speaker:
Dr. Anand Vaidya is the South Asian Studies Postdoctoral Fellow in the South Asia Institute at Harvard University, USA. He studies environmental politics and social movements in India.  Dr. Vaidya’s dissertation is an ethnographic and historical study of India’s Forest Rights Act, a landmark 2006 law that recognizes the land rights of the country’s many landless forest dwellers. Studying the law together with the movements that were crucial in pushing for it—and which continue to be central in implementing it—he seeks to understand the many, and often contradictory, political projects that the law has enabled in relation to the political struggles that produced it. By studying contests over forested land on the terrain of a legal text, he seeks to bridge political ecology, political economy, and linguistic anthropology.




Dear Mr Sagar, It was a pleasure meeting you in India.

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Dear Mr Sagar,
It was a pleasure meeting you in India.
I hope you learned some new ideas about why Bavaria is the perfect holiday destination for your clients.
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Best regards,
Olivia Hernández
Manager B2B International Marketing
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6th annual School Choice National Conference

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Centre for Civil Society
CENTRE FOR CIVIL SOCIETY
Social Change Through Public Policy
For Immediate ReleaseNew Delhi
Centre for Civil Society is hosting their 6th annualSchool Choice National Conference on Friday, 19 December 2014 at the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi. The theme for this year’s conference is ‘Freedom in Education’.
Various organisations working in the education space have been advocating for freedom in education. The concept of freedom in the educational context is quite vast and has multiple aspects to it including curricular freedom, freedom to private and independent educators to run schools etc. CCS’ School Choice Campaign is primarily interested in exploring freedom in terms of more autonomy to the schooling community and choice to students and parents. This year’s conference will focus on Freedom in Education from the point of view of increased choice for students and parents.
The conference is slated to have big names in education in attendance—the keynote will be delivered by Shri Parthasarathy Sen Sharma, Secretary to Chief Minister, Uttar Pradesh. This will be followed by a session on Perspectives of Freedom in Education, where Madhav Chavan, Co-Founder and CEO of Pratham will offer insights into Indian perspectives, while Swaminathan Aiyar, Consulting Editor to the Economics Times and a Research Scholar at the Cato Institute will offer a global perspective. SCNC will also explore models of freedom in education, that empower parents and students to exercise choice. Erica Taraporevala, Story Teller, Prema Rangachary, Director, Vidya Vanam and Namita Dalmiya, Associate Director at Central Square Foundation will explore alternative models of schooling, including home schooling, open schooling and how technology can enhance freedom in education. The last session of the day will bring together J P Narayan, President of the Lok Satta Party and K Satyanarayan, Founder & Director, New Horizon Media and Dr Manisha Priyam, Associate Professor, NUEPA to explore the regulatory frameworks required for freedom in education.
School Choice Campaign (SCC) is a policy initiative to ensure that all children receive quality education of their choice. Rooted in the philosophy that each child is unique, SCC believes that an education system can be called truly successful when it is flexible enough to cater to each student as an individual and yet ensure that the quality of education imparted in each institution is of the highest standard. The annual SCNC provides a much needed platform to identify critical issues in the education sector, review existing programs, explore strategies to face the challenges ahead and ideate on innovative solutions to provide quality education to all children in India.​
For further information, contact Samta Arora (samta@ccs.in | +91 99538 27773)




UN Report: Asia-Pacific disaster-related deaths rise three-fold in past decade

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UN- India and Bhutan-logo

UN Report: Asia-Pacific disaster-related deaths rise three-fold in past decade

Bangkok (ESCAP News) — Asia and the Pacific remains the region with the highest number of natural disasters, according to the Statistical Yearbook for Asia and the Pacific 2014. During the period between 1994 and 2013, over 40% of the world’s reported natural disasters occurred in the region.
Published by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the annual statistics publication reports that disaster-induced deaths in the Asia-Pacific region rose more than three-fold between 1994-2003 and 2004-2013, largely due to a handful of extreme disasters.
Some 28 upper-middle-income and high-income economies accounted for 85.5% of the total economic damage from natural disasters between 2004 and 2013. However, in terms of GDP, low-income economies suffered more from natural disasters.
Among the Asia-Pacific subregions, South-East Asia, predominantly Indonesia and the Philippines, was hardest hit by natural disasters with the total report of 527 incidences and 354,293 deaths between 2004 and 2013. During the same period, the number of natural disasters occurring in China alone (285 incidences) was more than twice as high as that in the whole North and Central Asia (116 incidences), part of the largest subregion in Asia and
the Pacific in terms of the total area covered.
The Statistical Yearbook also noted that the region continues to drive the global economic recovery, but its growth rate still remains below its pre-crisis level — that is to say, 3.9% during the period between 2008 and 2012, compared with 5.2% during the period between 2001 and 2007. And not all are benefiting from economic growth.
Although one billion people escaped extreme poverty since 1990 in Asia and the Pacific and  the prevalence of undernourishment has also decreased from 22% to 13%, over 700 million people in the region still remain in extreme poverty, and Asia and the Pacific accounts for more than 60% of the world’s hungry people. 933 million people are living on between $1.25 and $2 a day, making them economically insecure or vulnerable to poverty. A small shock to their lives due to such factors as personal mishaps or economic crises
could push these people into abject poverty (below the $1.25-a-day line). Inequality has also risen in nearly half the countries in the region for which data are available.
Speaking at the launch, ESCAP Deputy Executive Secretary, Mr. Shun-ichi Murata highlighted the bigger picture for data and statistics in the post-2015 sustainable development agenda.
“The proposed 17 goals with 169 targets of the framework cover a broad range of goals and targets of sustainable development, raising demands for data for the purpose of monitoring,” he said. “At the same time, there has been an emphasis on the importance of establishing a rigorous monitoring and accountability system. In that context, statistics will be of critical
importance to support accountability and monitoring of the SDGs.”
About the Yearbook
The Statistical Yearbook for Asia and the Pacific presents concise analyses highlighting major achievements and challenges for the 58 regional ESCAP member States and the five subregions in promoting economic prosperity, social inclusion and environmental sustainability.
The Yearbook is accompanied by a series of online products, including country fact sheets, a database containing over 600 indicators and data visualization options.




‘Countering Naxalism with Development’ edited by Dr Santosh Mehrotra

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Greetings from SAGE!
Our book ‘Countering Naxalism with Development’ edited by Dr Santosh Mehrotra is being released and discussed onSaturday20th December 2014 atConference Room-1, First Floor, India International Centre (main), 40, Max Mueller Marg Lodhi Estate, New Delhi 110 003 at 6:30 pm.
Please find below the detailed invite.
​We look forward to your presence at the event.
RSVP: Rishabh Narang | SAGE Publications | email: rishabh.narang@sagepub.in | Tel: 011 4063 9239
About the book:
Countering Naxalism with Development is a compilation of background papers by a group of profoundly knowledgeable and experienced persons commonly known as the Expert Group. The various chapters of the book discuss how the law and order issues of the situation are inextricably intertwined with the development problems faced by the marginalised social groups of some 200 districts in the country affected by Naxalism.
About the Editor:
Santosh Mehrotra is currently Professor of Economics, Centre for Informal Sector and Labour Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University. Prior to this, he was the Director General of Institute of Applied Manpower Research, New Delhi, the only research institute of the Planning Commission, Government of India. He was first Head of Rural Development Division, and then Head, Development Policy Division, Planning Commission, from 2006 to 2009. He was one of the authors of India’s 11th Five-Year Plan (2007–12) and of the 12th Plan, and also led the team on the India Human Development Report 2011.




Brand New Teaser of the film ‘MSG – The Messenger of God’ Out Now~

19122014
Spread the Holy Message of God in ‘MSG – The Messenger of God’ Now
~Brand New Teaser of the film ‘MSG – The Messenger of God’ Out Now~

Mumbai, December 19, 2014: The teaser trailer for the upcoming film ‘MSG- The Messenger of God’ has been released to a humongous online reception. The film is said to explore the conflict between the vested interests who feel stung by Saint Gurmeet Ram Rahim Insan’s humanitarian campaigns and his vision for making the world better. The outcome is an unexpectedly fast paced, edge-of-the-seat entertainer since Saint Insan caters creatively to over 50 million followers, predominantly amongst the youth. ‘MSG – The Messenger of God’ is a film with fresh faces playing the different characters in the film and it extends a social message to its audience.
Guruji is an established musician and vocalist who has performed over 100 Rock shows. He has twice been honored by the famed record label Universal Music by a Golden Plaque for his achievement of having sold 10 million plus CD’s of his music. The music and the film, travel across several genres to bring high drama and entertainment without an air of preaching. Guruji is known to promote 104 social causes.
Shot entirely with 4K cameras, the teaser features Saint Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan making a style statement. One hears his voice “Koi hamein Sant Kehta hai, koi kehta hai farishta,  koi kehta hai Guru toh koi kehta hai bhagwan, lekin hum toh hai, ek Insan”, which has gone viral online. Saint Ram Rahim ji and his larger than life rock star avatar will definitely makes viewers intensely curious, for here is spirituality dashed with the colors of Bollywood.
Watch the teaser at MSG – The Messenger of God here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4OTT9T1Px4


The movie has been produced by Sony Music Company Pvt. Ltd. Co-directed by Jeetu Arora, the film ‘MSG- The Messenger of God’ is set to release on January 16, 2014.




Request for Srimad Bhagwad Gita Book Distribution

19122014
Dear Sir,
Greetings of the Day!
Hope this mail finds you and your family in good health.
This is the month of December and the month of Gita Jayanti – The time when Krishna spoke Bhagavat Gita to Arjuna.
ISKCON – Delhi Temple, On the occasion of Gita Jayanti month would like to distribute “Srimad Bhagwad Gita – As it Is” in your company. This is a Spiritual book which tells “How a person can attain happiness, peace and success in his/her life” and guides all humanity on the path of truth. It has been published in more than Eighty languages all over the world , including FrenchGerman,SpanishDutchPortugueseItalianSwedish,RussianPolishCzechSlovakLatvianMacedonianHungarianGeorgian,Croatian,ChineseJapaneseArabicHebrewPersianHindiBengaliGujaratiKannada,MalayalamOriyaTamiland Telugu.
In this month we also do “GITA DAAN”, where people sponsor certain no of Bhagavat Gitas and ISKCON distributes those Bhagavat Gitas to the poor people (who are genuinely interested ) in villages.
On the occasion of Gita Jayanti on 2nd December 2014, you can distribute these books to Convergys Clients and Employees to reinforce relations. Sponsorship can also be made for people who cannot afford- in prisons, hospitals and schools. Donations for distributing scriptures to ISKCON are tax exempt under section 193.
Sir as we all are already involved in some kind of charity, it is very beneficial to see what Lord Krishna himself recommends about charity in Bhagwad Gita:
 BG 17.20 — “Charity given out of duty, without expectation of return, at the proper time and place, and to a worthy person is considered to be in the mode of goodness.” The most widespread problems which make people suffer are greed/lust/envy/wrath/sloth- resulting in widespread anxiety, depression, stress and hypertension. These diseases can only be cured through spiritual learning. By distributing the books with personal note from MasterTrust we can follow instructions in this verse as it is.
BG 17.21 — “But charity performed with the expectation of some return, or with a desire for fruitive results, or in a grudging mood is said to be charity in the mode of passion.” Unfortunately a common form of Charity- donations to NGOs/Associations solely for public relations is not recommended by Lord Krishna.
BG 17.22  And charity performed at an impure place, at an improper time, to unworthy persons, or without proper attention and respect is said to be in the mode of ignorance.” Unfortunately the most common form of Charity- offering food via a servant to slum dwellers is not recommended by Lord Krishna. This is because it does not alleviates them from distinctive human sins- intoxication, gambling, meat eating and illicit sex.
Request you to also please help us in this cause by sponsoring Bhagavat Gita’s.  By doing so it is definite that you and your family will get the mercy of Krishna and also of Srila Prabhupad (Founder of ISKCON and pure devotee of Krishna)
1.       “Bhagwad Gita As It Is” is the most largely read edition of Gita worldwide and Translated in over 60 languages. From ISKCON Temple- Delhi, it is available in English (Rs 130) Hindi (Rs 110)
2.       “Krishna Book” contains over 100 authentic stories taken from the Srimad Bhagwatam 10th Canto-  immediately dispels all foolish myths widely quoted on Lord Krishna’s past times. It is available in English (Rs. 200) and Hindi (Rs. 150).
You can sponsor any no. between 100 books to 500 books of any language.
Enclosed please find a Cheque/Demand Draft No. …………………………………….  Dated:…………….  for     ………………………………. drawn on ………………………………   in favor of “ISKCON” payable at New Delhi.
Sincerely requesting your help for this cause as this will be money well-used…
Please note that this is only a request and we will not feel bad if u don’t contribute But we will be very happy :-) if you do sponsor.
Merry Christmas and hope that you and your family continuously keep getting the blessings of Krishna,
Please give us an opportunity to serve you, we will be very grateful.
With warm regards,
For ISKCON – Delhi
[Vivek Agrawal-7503897244]




Modern School, New Delhi registered a comprehensive victory

19122014
Mixed day for New Delhi in the National finals

New Delhi, December 17, 2014: Modern School, New Delhi registered a comprehensive victory on day 4 of the Nationals finals of Indian School and College Basketball League, organized by of Basketball Federation of India (BFI) and IMG Reliance (IMG R) here at Thyagaraj Stadium on Thursday.
Modern School defeated Fr. Agnel School 94-54. They led the game from the start and maintained it till the very end. Team from Mumbai could not match up to superior shooting by Modern School.
However in the girls’ category, Montfort School, New Delhi lost to Santhome School, Chennai 39-53. This was Montfort’s first loss in the tournament. Chennai team gained a considerable lead in the first quarter itself (24-8). Montfort tried to reply through some good shooting by Simran(12 points) and Riya (11 points), however the girls from Santhome School broke down the Montfort zone defense with a very high shooting percentage. Despite this loss Montfort has secured a place in the semifinals.

For further information, please contact-
Ankit Rana

INDIA & CYPRUS SIGN WORK PLAN FOR COOPERATION IN AGRICULTURE Posted on  April 27, 2017 India and Cyprus today signed Work Plan fo...