Friday, May 15, 2015

Burundi coup bid: UN chief urges calm

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged all parties in Burundi to exercise calm and restraint after a reported coup attempt against President Pierre Nkurunziza in the African country. 
At a regular briefing, UN Secretary-General spokesperson Stephane Dujarric on Wednesday said the UN is continuing to evaluate the developments as the situation is still very fluid in Burundi. 

Burundi plunged into chaos on Wednesday as Burundi President Nkurunziza said a coup attempt had "failed" and "the situation is under control" via twitter as he was in the Tanzanian capital for a special summit with East African Community leaders. 

Earlier in the day, former head of Burundi's National Intelligence, Maj. General Godefroid Niyombare, announced that the army had overthrown the president and the stakeholders were working on a transitional government.

Modi Government's U turn on FDI in Multibrand retail

Modi Government's U turn on FDI in Multibrand retail

From: Media Cell AAP  Wed, 13 May '15 9:43p
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
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Press Release

The Aam Aadmi Party is shocked at yet another U turn by the BJP led NDA government, this time on the issue of Foreign Direct Investment in Multibrand Retail. BJP leaders had made spirited speeches in both the houses of Parliament when the UPA government was trying to push the policy. The BJP had pledged to fight against the move and had promised the nation to take the battle to the streets.

In a stark contrast to its earlier stand on the issue, now the Modi Government is reading out the same set of arguments, which the BJP had trashed when the same were being put forward by the UPA ministers. A large section of small retailers of the country had voted for the BJP in Lok Sabha elections. Now these traders feel cheated by this political somersault of the Modi Government.

The Aam Aadmi Party is of the firm view that in given circumstances, allowing FDI in Multi-brand Retail will be disastrous for small retailers and their suppliers in Delhi. Interests of these traders and small businessmen cannot be compromised to please corporates. The Aam Aadmi Party reiterates its stand and opposes any such move in Delhi.

AAP Media cell
India, China to explore fair, reasonable, mutually acceptable border solution

India and China have agreed to continue to explore a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable resolution on boundary dispute and reiterated their commitment to maintain peace and tranquility in the border region. Both countries agreed to be sensitive to each others’ interests and find solutions to outstanding issues.

In a statement after delegation level talks with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that China showed sensitivity to the concerns expressed by India on border issue.

The Prime Minister said, during his bilateral talks with Chinese leadership, he reiterated the importance of clarification of Line Actual Control and the need to achieve progress on issues related to visa policy and trans-border rivers.

The Prime Minister said China was very receptive to the concerns expressed by India on the issue of growing trade deficit and hoped an impact on the ground soon.

India and China have signed 24 agreements for bilateral cooperation in several areas including economy, trade, science and technology and culture. These agreements include enhancing cooperation in Railways, mineral and mining sectors, space, tourism, trade, vocational education and skill development. Both the countries will also establish Additional Consulate General. Both the countries have also agreed to establish China-India think tank forum and three sister cities.

On the second day of his visit to China, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks with the Chinese Premier Le Keqiang in Beijing.

Earlier, the Prime Minister was given an official welcome by the Chinese Premier at the Great Hall of People. Later, the Prime Minister will be hosted banquet lunch by the Chinese Premiere.


Building people’s capacities to earn decent livelihoods —
Building people’s capacities to earn decent livelihoods
Building people’s capacities to earn decent livelihoods

must for sustainable development

“ To Choose Our Future” by Dr Ashok Khosla and “The Blue Economy, version 2.0” by Prof. Gunter Pauli released today by Ms. Maneka Gandhi, Union Cabinet Minister for Women & Child Development at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.

New Delhi, May 14, 2015: In the last 67 years, India has made enormous progress. There have been rapid gains in agriculture, industry, energy production and infrastructure bringing the benefits of modern science to a large segment of the population. Yet, we also have more people who are poor, hungry and deprived than ever before. And the environmental resources –soil, rivers, aquifers, forests – are rapidly degenerating, leaving more and more people dependent on a smaller pool of resources. There is growing evidence that the environmental and resource costs being paid by the nation are eating heavily into the benefits that we are getting from the present patterns of development. These extremely critical sustainability issues, as well as an urgent need for exploring and adopting alternative development paradigms were at the heart of discussions during the release of the books, To Choose Our Future by Dr Ashok Khosla and The Blue Economy, version 2.0 by Prof. Gunter Paul.

The books were released by Ms. Maneka Gandhi, Union Cabinet Minister for Women & Child Development at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.

Speaking on the occasion Dr Ashok Khosla, Chairman, Development Alternatives Group, said, “We need a development paradigm in which the eco-system health, social equity and human empowerment are goals of equal importance with economic improvement. Today, the solutions that we need are primarily those that incorporate holistic and integrated approaches to problem solving.  These solutions bring the society-the environment and the economy together.”

About the Books

The Blue Economy, version 2.0 by Prof. Gunter Pauli: Blue Economy, is a worthy successor to the earlier but zero-sum based concept of Green Economy. It emphasizes on bringing together nature-based technologies with humanity-based compassion to create new ways to improve human well-being while keeping the economy within the limits of planetary boundaries. In this second edition, published in India, Blue Economy 2.0 presents in addition to a few representative case studies from the work of Development Alternatives, which is the Indian counterpart of the Zero Emission Research and Initiatives network, to demonstrate ways by which science can help society in designing meaningful opportunities for creating livelihoods and also the goods and services that enable ordinary people meet their everyday needs.

To Choose Our Future by Dr Ashok Khosla:  The book describes alternative development strategies that can enable us to pass on to our children – all our nation’s children – a more prosperous, vibrant and sustainable India than today. In looking at the various options we have for how our nation will be when it is 100 years old. It draws upon lessons from 30 years of work on sustainable national development, led by Development Alternatives under the Chairmanship of Dr. Ashok Khosla. The book presents some basic scenarios of the future to enable the people and decision makers of our country consciously to make better informed choices among possible pathways that will lead to sustainable outcomes in the least possible.

About the Authors

Dr. Ashok Khosla: Dr Khosla is Chairman of the Development Alternatives Group, a social enterprise set up in New Delhi in 1982 that designs and markets socially relevant, commercially viable and environment friendly technologies. He has been a member of the Government of India’s National Security Advisory Board and Scientific Advisory Council to theCabinet and was awarded the OBE by the UK Government, the UN Sasakawa Environment Prize by the UN, the Zayed International Environment Prize by the United Emirates Government, the Duke of Edinburgh Medal by WWF and the Award for Outstanding Social Entrepreneur by the Schwab Foundation. Currently, Co-Chair of the UN’s International Resource Panel, earlier, he was the President of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and of the Club of Rome.

Prof. Gunter Pauli: Prof. Pauli has published 20 books which capture his vision how to create growth in the local economy with available resources. Trained as an economist at a Jesuit University (Antwerp), and graduated with honors from Europe';s leading business school (INSEAD), he started his career as an entrepreneur creating 12 companies in 12 years, two of which failed. In 1994, at the invitation of the United Nations University with the support of the Japanese Government,Gunter set out to design a competitive business model in preparation of the Kyoto Protocol that adheres to the principles of zero waste and zero emissions. By 2015, his network of scientists and a network of implementers implemented nearly 200 projects that generated 3 million jobs.

About Development Alternatives

Development Alternatives (DA) is a premier social enterprise with a global presence in the fields of green economic development, social empowerment and environmental management. It is credited with numerous innovations in clean technology and delivery systems that help create sustainable livelihoods in the developing world. DA focuses on empowering communities through strengthening people’s institutions and facilitating their access to basic needs; enabling economic opportunities through skill development for green jobs and enterprise creation; and promoting low carbon pathways for development through natural resource management models and clean technology solutions.


Niti Singh

“Digital Bharat” —
“Digital Bharat”
Dear Mr Sagar,
As you are aware, FICCI in partnership with the Department of Telecommunications, Government of India, supported by The Financial Express and USIBC, are holding a 2 day conference titled “Digital Bharat” at FICCI, Federation House, New Delhi on 14th – 15th May, 2015.
Today, on Day 1 of the conference, nearly 300 delegates attended the conference during the Inaugural session in which Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Hon’ble Minister of Communications & IT, Shri Rakesh Garg, Secretary, DoT, and other dignitaries spoke about government’s vision of its flagship programs – “Make in India” and “Digital India”.
The Hon’ble Minister also released a FICCI-EY Report titled “Speeding ahead on the telecom and digital economy highway”.
The inaugural was followed by a scintillating session of Parliamentarians and Politicians who discussed whether the “Next Generation Politicians are ready to Embrace a Digitally Empowered India?”
Tomorrow, the conference begins at 9:00 am sharp. It will see 4 plenary sessions titled:
· Broadband Access: Connecting the Next Billion
· Driving Digital Infrastructure through ‘Make in India’
· M2M at the Heart of Digital India
· Expanding the Net Neutrality Debate

Speakers include top policy makers, including members of the Telecom Commission, USOF Administrator and heads of global telecom companies, media and industry associations.
The conference program for tomorrow is attached for your reference.
There will be a lucky draw held thrice during the conference on 15th May 2015. 3 iPad minis will be won by those present in the room.
Given the large rush of delegates, you are requested to reach the venue by 9:00 am, to complete registration and pick up your conference kits.
Look forward to receiving you at FICCI tomorrow.
With regards,

Sarika Gulyani
Joint Director &
Head-IT & Telecom Division

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