Thursday, November 19, 2015

Cabinet approves signing of Tripartite Agreement among India, Brazil and South Africa (IBSA) on the IBSA Fund for the Alleviation of Poverty and Hunger

The IBSA Dialogue Forum launched in June 2003, conceived as a forum for cooperation among three vibrant democracies of the South ( India , Brazil and South Africa ) that are recognized as having global relevance and impact. All three are developing nations with pluralistic, multicultural, multi-ethnic, multilingual and multi-religious societies.

At thus backdrop, the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the signing of the Tripartite Agreement among India , Brazil and South Africa (IBSA), on the IBSA Fund for the Alleviation of Poverty and Hunger.

The decision will help in strengthening the IBSA Fund which is a unique vehicle in the context of South South cooperation. The IBSA countries contribute US$1 million each annually to the Fund, which till January 2015 has accumulated to US$28.2 million, with total implemented/approved projects commitment of US$26.2 million, and remaining US$2.09 million available for programming. India on its part has contributed US$9.1 million so far to the Fund.

The IBSA Fund undertakes development projects in third countries. The first project to be financed by the IBSA Fund was in support of agriculture and livestock development. The IBSA Fund was conferred the South South Partnership Award at the 2006 UN Day event held in New York in December 2006. This indicates the importance and recognition of the IBSA Fund in the context of South South developmental cooperation.

The IBSA Fund for the Alleviation of Poverty and Hunger was set up in 2004 as one of the three pillars of cooperation under the IBSA Dialogue Forum. The other two pillars are consultation and coordination on global political issues and trilateral collaboration in concrete areas and projects.

World Franchise Congress 2015,

Dear NK,
Warm Greetings from Franchise India!
Trust you are doing well.
I am reaching out to invite you as our VIP Guest to India’s first ever World Franchise Congress 2015, scheduled at Hotel Pullman, Aerocity, New Delhi, on 24th November, 2015. Brought to you by Franchise India & PepsiCo, India asFounding partner, the Conference is a thought leadership congregation on thinking big in Indian franchising and will be facilitated & Presided by India’s Top Business Leader Mr. D.Shivakumar, Chairman & CEO, PepsiCo, India .
The conference will be addressed by 25 top Business Leaders in franchising  discussing a Strategic growth agenda relevant to persistent growth and success of franchise ecosystems. Some of our eminent speakers include : Mr. Andy Williams, President – Franchise Commercial Beverages, PepsiCo,Mr. Samudra Bhattcharya, VP & COO Franchising, Pepsico ,Mr. Rod Young, Chairman, DC strategy , Australia, Mr. Ravi Jaipuria, Founder Chairman, RJ Corp ,Mr. Vijay Thadani, Co-Founder, Vice Chairman, and MD NIIT Ltd., Mr. Shailesh Chaturvedi, CEO & MD,  Tommy Hilfiger India Mr.  A D A Ratnam, President, Philips India, Mr. Vasanth Kumar, Executive Director, Max Retail, Mr. OP Manchanda, CEO, Lal Path Labs, Mr. Raj Varman, CEO, Burger King, Mr. K B Kachru, EVP – South Asia, Carlson Rezidor Group, Mr. Gaurav Mahajan, President, Raymond Group, Mr. Sandeep Kulhalli, Senior Vice President – Retail & Marketing, Titan, Mr. Murali Krishna Parna, CEO, Sagar Ratna Restaurants Pvt Ltd, Mr. Alok Gupta, Chief Architect & CEO, Essar Retail, Mr. Sanjay Bansal, Founder & Managing Partner, Aurum Equity, Mr. CK Kumarvel, MD, Naturals Salon,Mr. Nishith Desai, Founder, Nishith Desai Associate, Mr. Safir Anand, Senior Partner, Anand and Anand Associates,  Mr. Mahendra Swarup, MD, Avigo Business Partner Mr. Ajit Deshmukh, Managing Director, Equirus Capital (P) Limited, and many more. Please find more details 
I invite you and would warmly welcome you as our VIP Guest to join in this prestigious and powerful gathering. This is an exclusive VIP Invitation and therefore, I would request you to kindly R.S.V.P. your details along with the postal address to Sarah Decunha or call at +91-8588875698. The conference registration starts with a Power Breakfast at 8:30 AM onwards on November 24th, 2015
Only once you reply to the E-mail with you confirmation, than only we would confirm your Presence in the Show. 
I look forward to welcoming you at the event.
Warm Regards
Gaurav Marya
Franchise India

November 19, 2015

Security concerns are keeping the people of Paris from joining our massive global climate march on November 29th, the eve of the biggest climate summit this decade. They can't march, but we can. Let's step up now, for Paris, and for everything we love. Click to join the largest climate march in history in your community on November 29th:

Dear amazing Avaaz community,

The French government has just announced that with security still a major concern in Paris, we’ll have to cancel our massive climate march there on November 29th.

This is heart-breaking for our Paris members, who have had enough heartbreak already. *More than a thousand* of them - unprecedented numbers - turned up at Avaaz meetings in recent weeks, just to volunteer to help organize the march!!

The people of Paris may not be able to march to save everything we love, but we can. Let's show ISIS that silencing some of us will only make the rest of us step up, stand up, and speak even louder. Because we are one people, one planet, engaged in a fight to save everything we love. On November 29th, we march like never before. Click to join an event near you:

The biggest global climate summit of the decade is going ahead in Paris the day after the march. We have to make sure that the people speak, and leaders hear us, before they gather. Momentum is with us, but some countries like India and Saudi Arabia are making ominous moves to block global progress. We need a massive global outcry for a 100% clean energy world, to pressure the blockers, and bolster champions like Germany not to give in.

Our day of action has over 2000 events worldwide. Our goal is still to mobilize the largest climate change march in history. Paris was the biggest march planned, but the attacks there make it impossible. Once again, the actions of the few threaten the welfare of us all. But not if we rise to this moment. Humanity is wildly imperfect, but we can shine our brightest in the darkest of times. On November 29th, everywhere, let's shine our light:

The fight to stop catastrophic climate change is not just about stopping a few more storms or a bit of sea rise. Scientists are screaming from rooftops that we are playing with uncontrollable tipping points and feedback loops in our fragile biosphere that could cause rapid, out of control climate change -- the kind that could mean the end of the human journey. How strangely fitting that our greatest moment of rallying to save ourselves, the divisive and violent forces of our past would rise to try to take this moment from us. Let's show who we are, and rise to this moment, with all the love and hope we know we're capable. For the sake of everything we love.

With hope and gratitude,

Ricken, Alice, Emma, and the whole Avaaz team.

P.S. In case you missed it, please add a message to this beautiful expression of love our community is sending to our brothers and sisters in France, Lebanon, and across the world here.

P.P.S. Organisers, partners and Avaaz staff are in touch with the relevant authorities to make sure this is a fun, hopeful and safe day.


No plan B if Paris climate summit ends in failure, says EU climate chief (The Guardian)

Paris Climate Marches to Be Canceled (NY Times)

Apple, Microsoft, Google and other US firms to commit $140bn to address climate change (International Business Times)

People's Climate March: the Revolution Starts Here (Ricken's OpEd in The Guardian)

AEC can work well with China’s Belt and Road initiative

ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) can work well with China’s Belt and Road initiative, as the two complement each other in enhancing regional and world prosperity and harmony, a Malaysian expert has said.
Oh Ei Sun, senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies of Singapore Nanyang Technological University, made the comments during a recent interview with Xinhua.
Oh said ASEAN is scheduled to launch the AEC during the Kuala Lumpur summit this month, adding that the economic pillar of ASEAN Community is the area where ASEAN thus far has been progressing fastest.
He said AEC, comprised primarily of consolidating the existing bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements among ASEAN members, is relatively easier to handle compared with the much more challenging Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, in which some ASEAN countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and Brunei are participating.
“According to at least one estimate, ASEAN countries have reached agreements on more than 95 percent of free trade items,” Oh said.
Believing AEC to be the first step toward an eventual ASEAN Community consisting of not only economic but also political security and socio-cultural aspects, Oh added that the opportunities associated with AEC are wide ranging.
“The removal or reduction of tariffs among ASEAN countries over goods will almost certainly improve trade among ASEAN members, at a time when internal ASEAN trade is only one-third of external ASEAN trade volume,” he said.
He added that a single ASEAN market and production base will also become an even more attractive foreign direct investment destination, and help better integrate ASEAN economy with the global economy.
While seeing the enormous opportunities made by the AEC, Oh didn’t underestimate the challenges lying ahead.
“The main challenge for AEC remains the unequal development needs among ASEAN members, with the CMLV (Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam) countries requiring special assistance to catch up with the rest of ASEAN,” he said.
Regarding these opportunities and challenges, Oh said that the Belt and Road initiative proposed by China could make unique contribution to the building of ASEAN Community, while the AEC would also help the implementation of China’s proposal.
He said AEC can align well with the Belt and Road initiative in at least two aspects.
First, Oh said, it enables China to engage even more closely and easily with its closest neighbors as a whole when China carries out the Belt and Road initiative.
AEC would need large amounts of connectivity in land, on sea and in air to succeed, and the Belt and Road initiative can complement these efforts, he added.
Second, AEC as a whole can become a super hub for the Belt and Road initiative as China attempts to engage with countries as far as South Asia, the Middle East and East Africa, he said.
Most ASEAN countries are culturally diverse and used to handling trade and business in multicultural settings, so AEC can be of tremendous value to the Belt and Road initiative as the latter ventures afar.
With sufficient logistic capability with the help of China, AEC can also facilitate the Belt and Road initiative’s physical movements of goods and services, Oh said.Media agencies

Volkswagen India expands its exports to Argentina;

Volkswagen India expands its exports to Argentina;
‘Made-in-India’ Volkswagen launched in the South American market

  • ‘Made-in-India’ Vento arrives in the Volkswagen showrooms in Argentina, where it will be sold as the ‘Polo’
  • Volkswagen India strengthens its export business with the entry into the important South American market
  • Dr. Andreas Lauermann, President and Managing Director, Volkswagen India Private Limited, commented: “We continue our endeavour to deliver top notch products to the global market from our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Pune, India.”

Pune, November 18, 2015 – Volkswagen Argentina has launched the ‘Made-in-India’ Vento on 10th November 2015 where it will be sold as the ‘Polo’. Manufactured at Volkswagen Pune Plant, the Indian made car’s entry in the South American market marks yet another major milestone for the company in its export business. This export milestone underlines Volkswagen India’s commitment towards producing top-notch quality for global markets.

Volkswagen Argentina showcased the ‘Made-in-India’ Volkswagen for the first time at the Buenos Aires Motorshow in June 2015. The visitors at the show immediately appreciated the car for its ever-green design and top-notch build quality. Volkswagen Argentina will sell the car built at Pune Plant as the Polo with a 1.6-litre MPI petrol engine with five-speed manual as well as 6-speed automatic gearbox. The car will be made available with 105 PS peak power in the South American Market.

Dr. Andreas Lauermann, President & Managing Director, Volkswagen India Private Limited, commented: “Volkswagen India builds highest quality cars at its Pune Plant. We have been exporting to numerous markets across the continents of Asia, Africa and North America. By entering Argentina, we not only now continue our endeavour to deliver top notch products around the world, but also establish ourselves in a new region and a market which has a strong Volkswagen presence.”

Volkswagen has been the market leader in Argentina for 12 consecutive years. With a market share of almost 22%, Volkswagen has a strong presence and offers a wide range of products in Argentina. The Volkswagen Vento, which is being exported from India, will be sold as Volkswagen Polo in Argentina and is expected to attract a lot of customers owing to its sedan shape which is a popular segment in the market.

Volkswagen India started exporting cars from its Pune Plant in 2011 with the first export market being South Africa. Since then, the export operations of Volkswagen India have expanded to over 35 countries across four continents of Asia, Africa, North America and South America. The range of cars being exported includes left-hand drive as well as right-hand drive cars. Additionally, Volkswagen India also exports parts and components of its cars to Malaysia which are assembled there for the Malaysian domestic market. Volkswagen Pune Plant has produced over 156,000 cars for export till date.

ISIS claimed it has killed a Norwegian and a Chinese captive

Naresh Kumar Sagar
China vows to bring ISIS to justice as Chinese hostage confirmed killed.Russia shifts position on Syria to forge French alliance.Russian warships are to cooperate with the French aircraft carrier Charles-de-Gaulle in the Mediterranean Sea, a decision that demonstrates a clear rapprochement between Paris and Moscow, who until now have been at odds over the Syrian conflict.Putin ordered his Mediterranean warships on Tuesday to make “direct contact” with the French aircraft carrier Charles-de-Gaulle, which left the port of Toulon, southern France, on Wednesday.
During a meeting devoted to military operations in Syria, President Putin told the head of the Russian Army that it was “imperative” to work with the French navy “as allies”.
Israel has arrested six Palestinian citizens of Israel over an alleged plan to travel to Syria to join Islamic State (formerly ISIS/ISIL) in a case sparked by a man’s paraglider journey, AFP reported. All in their 20s and from Jaljulia north of Tel Aviv, they were charged with “collaborating with hostile foreign forces and planning to travel to Syria illegally to join the ranks of the IS,” police spokeswoman Luba Samri said Wednesday. The case dated back to October 24, when 23-year-old Nidal Hamad Salah from Jaljulia entered Syria illegally on a paraglider from the occupied Golan Heights. The Shin Bet security services found six other people were intending to enter Syria, either by paragliding or through Turkey, according to police.
Islamic State (formerly ISIS/ISIL) claimed it has killed a Norwegian and a Chinese captive after demanding ransoms for their release two months ago, AP said. The latest issue of the extremist group’s English-language magazine on Wednesday contained a page that appeared to show the bodies of the two captives. The group earlier identified the Norwegian man as Ole Johan Grimsgaard-Ofstad, 48, from Oslo, and the Chinese man as Fan Jinghui, 50, a freelance consultant from Beijing. The militants did not say when or where the two were captured.Media agencies

Magnitude 7 earthquake hits Solomon Islands


Preliminary Earthquake Report
  • 18 Nov 2015 18:31:04 UTC
  • 19 Nov 2015 05:31:04 near epicenter
  • 18 Nov 2015 22:31:04 standard time in your timezone
Location8.946S 158.421E
Depth10 km
  • 119 km (73 mi) SW of Dadali, Solomon Islands
  • 176 km (109 mi) WNW of Honiara, Solomon Islands
  • 438 km (271 mi) SE of Arawa, Papua New Guinea
  • 849 km (526 mi) SE of Kokopo, Papua New Guinea
  • 891 km (552 mi) E of Alotau, Papua New Guinea
A magnitude 7 earthquake has stuck the Pacific Solomon Islands about 80 kilometers from the city of Dadali, according to a US Geological Survey (USGS) report. The quake struck at a depth of 10 kilometers.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a statement saying that “based on all available data… there is no tsunami threat from this earthquake.

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