Saturday, October 1, 2016

DWIH Indo-German Conference on CityScapes Inaugurates in New Delhi

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Cityscapes : Indo German Conference
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The Indo-German conference on ‘CityScapes’ organised by the German House for Research and Innovation – DWIH New Delhi under the leadership of DAAD – German Academic Exchange Service, inaugurated today at the Indian Habitat Centre in New Delhi. This three-day conference, from 29th September to 1st October 2016, brings together scientists in the fields of energy, environment, cyber security and smart cities, from India and Germany, to discuss the global challenges of sustainable urbanisation. In addition, high-level speakers and senior leaders from the industry are also participating in lectures and panel discussions conducted by science experts.
The conference was inaugurated in the presence of H.E. Dr. Martin Ney, German Ambassador to India. Talking about the conference Dr. Ney mentioned “Cities are much more than the hardware of roads, houses and infrastructure. Cities are the home for people with all their dreams and aspirations. Their development and design must be made with their best interests at heart. That is the unique approach of India’s Smart Cities Mission and the reason why Germany is proud to partner with three of the Indian “Smart Cities” – Bhubaneshwar, Kochi and Coimbatore. German brings to the table not only decades of expertise and experience with city planning but also the technological solutions that German companies have to offer in the area of energy, water, waste treatment and traffic solutions.” The inaugural session also included two keynote addresses by Prof. Dr Frauke Kraas, University of Cologne on ‘The transformative power of cities: Challenges and Opportunities for India’ and Prof. Dr AbdouMaliq Simone, Max-Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Göttingen on ‘Popular Urbanism in the Global South: On the Make+Shift’.
The programme of the conference started today with a Public Lecture on ‘Privacy and Security in Online Social Media’ by Dr Ponnurangam Kumaraguru, IIIT Delhi. The programme will include lectures and panel discussions, spread over two days, on various topics: Smart Energy and Construction, Impact of Urbanisation on Environment, Smart Cities: Industry Perspective, For a Future Sustainable Peri-urban India, Cities and Migration: Perspectives from Politics and Economy, Cities and Migration: Citizen’s Participation and Mapping Human skills. These will be coordinated by DWIH consortium members namely: Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH), Forschungszentrum Jülich, Fraunhofer, Freie Universität Berlin, Heidelberg University, Max Plank Society (MPG) and Technical University of Munich (TUM).
The conference provides a platform to discuss issues and solutions pertaining to the effect of increasing world population on its immediate environment; need to develop efficient, low carbon energy alternatives for utilisation in industrial, agricultural, housing and transportation applications; security of ‘Cyber space’ that contains sensitive personal and Governmental information which is used in various applications including transportation; communication and scientific research. Apart from pressing issues such as energy, environment, cyber security etc. the theme of cities and migration throws up a host of other social and political questions. The focus will also be on the dynamics of diversification that requires asking how people of different nationalities, ethnicities, languages, gender etc. are creating new patterns of coexistence and where these patterns might lead to conflict.
The Indo-German conference on Cityscapes offers multiple perspectives – scientific, social and political – in order to enhance our understanding of this topic. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to network and establish contacts with colleagues from scientific community engaged in this important area of work.
About German House for Research and Innovation – DWIH New Delhi
Inaugurated in October 2012, DWIH New Delhi is a result of the German Federal Foreign Office’s strategic initiatives to internationalise science and research. Set up with the aim of enhancing the outreach of the German science and research landscape in India and exploring opportunities to synergise and stimulate cooperation between the German and Indian scientific communities, DWIH New Delhi is a successful consortium of 15 German organisations comprising funding institutions, research centres and universities. It is being headed by DAAD – German Academic Exchange Service and serves as a ‘one-stop shop’ for information on German science, research and innovation.
DWIH New Delhi consortium includes 15 German organisations namely:
1. Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH):
2. Bavarian-Indian Centre for Business and University Cooperation (BayIND)
3. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH:
4. Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH:
5. Fraunhofer Gesellschaft (FhG):
6. Freie Universität Berlin:
7. German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD):
8. German Research Foundation (DFG):
9. Heidelberg University – Heidelberg Center South Asia:
10. Indo-German Chamber of Commerce (IGCC):
11. Max Planck Society (MPG):
12. RWTH Aachen University:
13. Technical University of Munich:
14. University of Cologne:

Mexico’s Colima volcano erupts,

Mexico’s Colima volcano erupted on Friday, spewing a large plume of ash and thick black smoke into the sky and provoking the evacuation of two nearby villages. The volcano is located in western Mexico between the states of Colima and Jalisco and is one of the country’s most active. Luis Felipe Puente, head of national emergency services, told Reuters that some 350 villagers living in the shadow of the volcano in the towns of La Yerbabuena and La Becerrera have been evacuated to a nearby shelter.Media agencies

Hurricane Matthew strengthens to Category 5 storm

Hurricane Matthew surged in power on Friday to become the Caribbean’s strongest storm in nine years as it moved towards Jamaica and Cuba with winds of up to 160 miles per hour (260 kph) powerful enough to wreck houses, forecasters said. Matthew was about 430 miles (690 km) southeast of Kingston, Jamaica, and the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) designated it as a Category 5, the strongest on the Saffir-Simpson scale of hurricane intensity. The strongest hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean since Felix in 2007 was forecast to make landfall as a major storm on Monday on Jamaica’s southern coast, home to the capital and Jamaica’s only oil refinery. It could affect the island’s main tourist areas such as Montego Bay in the north.Media agencies

Typhoon Megi hit China, Taiwan

Thirteen people have been confirmed dead in two landslides after a major typhoon lashed southeastern China, with the prospect of the toll rising further as rescue crews continued Saturday to search for 20 missing people. The landslides Wednesday in Zhejiang province, south of the financial hub of Shanghai, followed Typhoon Megi, which brought heavy rains and high winds to China and Taiwan this past week. Eight people were confirmed dead in Sucun village, according to a government statement published Saturday. Video published by the official Xinhua News Agency shows fast flood waters carrying rocks and debris down a mountain and into the adjacent hamlet, destroying homes and sending people fleeing.The statement says 19 people are still missing three days later. The second landslide in Wencheng county killed five people, with one person still missing, an official at the county’s flood control office said Saturday

Dutch MH17 investigation doomed due to bias

The Dutch-led investigation into the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight 17 over Ukraine will not establish the truth because the investigators have ignored versions of the shoot-down that are not politically acceptable to them, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview. “You cannot investigate on the basis of a paradigm voiced by several countries minutes after the tragedy – that Russia is guilty. An investigation based on that is doomed to be biased, doomed to fail,” he said. Earlier, Russia criticized a preliminary report of the Joint Investigation Team, which said that the Malaysian plane was shot down by a missile that came from Russia and was fired from rebel-held territory.

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Swami Vivekanand & the 21st Century
Collab: Indo-American Friendship Association, New
1st October, 7:00pm | Venue: Gulmohar
A Swaranjali: A Tribute to Gurus
Hindustani Classical Vocal recital by
Jyotika Dayal Paust
3rd October, 7:00pm | Venue: Amaltas
Terrorism, Islamic State, And India’s National Security
Collab: Working Group on Alternative Strategies (WGRAS)
4th October, 7:00pm | Venue: Gulmohar
ILF Samanvay Art-Articulations – Apophenic Talks: Enacted Conversations
6th October, 7:00pm | Venue: Amphitheatre
Hecho En China (Made In China)
(Spanish/2012/91mins) Dir.Gabriel Guzman
Collab: Embassy of Mexico to India
3rd October, 7:00pm | Venue: Stein Auditorium
The Pangti Story & Saving The Wild – Wild Life Rescue And Rehabilitation
Collab: PSBT
5th October, 7:00pm | Venue: Casuarina


2 October 2016


Message of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon  

Every year on the International Day of Non-Violence, we re-commit ourselves to the cause of peace, as exemplified by the life of Mahatma Gandhi who was born on this day 147 years ago.

We know that a culture of non-violence begins with respect for others, but it does not end there.  To nurture peace, we must respect nature.  I am pleased this year’s International Day of Non-Violence puts the focus on sustainability and the environment.

In all he did, Gandhi honoured our obligation to all living things.  He reminded us that “Earth provides enough to satisfy everyone’s needs, but not everyone’s greed.”   Gandhi also challenged us to “be the change we wish to see in the world”. 

Today that commitment is reflected in a momentous way.  India is depositing its instrument of ratification to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. What better way to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi and his legacy for people and planet.

warmly congratulate India for its climate leadership, and for building on the strong momentum we see from all corners of the globe for the agreement to enter into force as quickly as possible this year.  India’s ratification of the agreement moves the world an important step closer toward achieving that goal.

I urge all countries to complete their domestic processes for ratification and also strive in all activities to achieve progress through non-violence.  This is essential to building a safer, healthier and more peaceful world.

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