Saturday, November 12, 2016

UNICEF: Delhi pollution a wakeup call

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has said the record air pollution in Delhi is a wake up call for the world and if decisive actions are not taken to check it, the smog in National Capital and its adverse impact on the daily lives of its citizens will become a commonplace phenomenon.
The UNICEF said it is a wake up call to all countries and cities where air pollution levels have resulted in death and illness amongst children.
Air pollution level hit record high in New Delhi in the past week following Diwali celebration.
The capital’s smog, said to be its worst in 17 years, lead to the closure of the city’s over 5,000 schools to minimise the risk for children to be exposed to the polluted air and resulted in an estimated 4.41 million children missing three days of school, the UNICEF said.
According to estimates, air pollution levels hit 999 micrograms of particulate matter per cubic meter in some areas of the national capital, more than 15-16 times the limit considered safe.
The agency underscored that the alarming level of air pollution is not just a challenge in Delhi but for many cities around the world. Air pollution levels in other Indian cities, such as Varanasi and Lucknow, have been equally extreme in recent days.
And over the past year, air pollution levels in London, Beijing, Mexico City, Los Angeles and Manila have exceeded international guidelines – in some cases by considerable margin, it said.

PM Modi’s visit Indo – Japan inked ten agreements

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe today witnessed exchange of MoU of cooperation between Gujarat Government and Hyogo Prefecture which will provide for people to people contact, trade and investment, building disaster resilient structures, agriculture and food related operations.
Later, addressing the gathering, Mr Modi recalled his association with Hyogo Prefecture and his visits to Kobe in 2007 and 2012. Mr Modi said, greater participation and engagement of industries in Hyogo will benefit Japan and India’s MSME sector. The Prime Minister said, the relationship is characterized by complete trust and mutual confidence.
On the last day of his visit to Japan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, reached Kobe from Tokyo this morning by the Shinkansen bullet train, the technology that will be deployed for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Railway.
Mr Modi was accompanied by his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe.
The construction work of Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project will start by the end of 2018 and the line will become fully operational by 2023. The consultancy work of the project will start next month.
Last evening, India and Japan signed a landmark agreement for peaceful use of nuclear energy. The agreement was signed after delegation level talks between Mr Modi and the Japanese Prime Minister. In a joint press statement, Mr Modi described the agreement as a historic step in Indo-Japan engagement to build a clean energy partnership.
He said, deeper economic engagement, growth of trade, manufacturing and investment ties, focus on clean energy, cooperation on infrastructure and skill development are key areas of priorities. He said, dialogue between the two countries on training and skill development is an important aspect of bilateral economic partnership.
On terrorism, Mr Modi said India and Japan are united in their resolve to combat the menace, especially cross-border terrorism.
The Japanese Prime Minister appreciated Mr Modi’s active engagement in the region under the Act East Policy. Mr Abe commended Mr Modi’s strong commitment to improve business in India. He welcomed reforms undertaken for liberalising investment policies, simplifying and rationalizing taxation system through the passage of historic Goods and Services Tax and other measures.
A total of 10 agreements were inked between the two countries.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reiterated his government’s commitment to root out corruption from the country and said the defaulters will not be spared. He said all records since independence will be checked and if any case of unaccounted cash is found, nobody will be spared.
Addressing Indian diaspora at Kobe in Japan today, Mr.Modi also hinted at introducing new measures to crack down on black money after 30th of December.
The Prime Minister said his government will do everything to protect the interests of honest citizens. Mr Modi said there is a need to free country from the menace of poverty.
Mr Modi praised each and every Indians who accepted the government’s decision to demonetize 500 and 1000 rupees notes, even though they faced inconvenience.
He said, money that has been looted has to be recovered. Mr Modi said when the present government assumed office it first opened bank accounts for the poor. He said, India is receiving record FDI and is moving quickly on the path of economic progress.

When legal tender becomes illegal

When legal tender becomes illegal
Business line, 11th Nov 2016
Legitimate economic activity will finally be awarded. The aam aadmi will benefit
The currency conundrum It may yet have its uses S ThanthoniYesterday, two colleagues in a multinational company were chatting about the recent move of the Narendra Modi government abolishing 500 – and 1000 – rupee notes. One of them said, “It really is a good move for curbing black money and ending circulation of fake money.” The other one responded saying, “I am already feeling at par with the rich. Our (salaried class) value proposition has increased now!” Indeed, this is true.
Good move
The surprise surgical strike will make the economy stronger in the years to come and reduce inequality to some extent.
Though the prime reasons for the demonetisation lie in the anomalous increase in fake currencies of higher denomination and the increasing incidence of black money in the system, the Reserve Bank of India’s move comes with some reassurance for the public.
The central bank has said: “You will get value for the entire volume of notes tendered at the bank branches/RBI offices.”
But there will be caps on the cash one can tender. This cap on the exchange will give rise to blackmarketing of currency. Further, the next 49 days will see how the markets of banned products function.
Will the experience be different from what happened when Morarji Desai demonetised currency or will it be the same?
The trajectory
How all this played out this time makes for interesting reading.
The Government first issued plenty of warnings and provided opportunities to the people holding black money to turn it in through the Income Declaration Scheme.
When it was found that the response to the scheme was not to its expectations, the Government decided to take this bold step.
In order to try and understand what happened when Morarji Desai demonetised certain denominations back in 1978, I interacted with a dealer based out of Kucha Mahajan (a market in Old Delhi).
He said, “This is not the first time this is happening. I have witnessed it myself many years back when I was young. People started trading the 1000-rupee note as a commodity. Traders would buy the note for 250 rupees and sell it for 260 rupees and so on till the money reached the person who knew how to convert it into white money. In the process, they made lot of money. Notes used to come in sacks, soiled in mud”
He then added, “I do not know what will happen now but one thing remains the same, that is, the underlying intention of the Government.” For all we know, equity will improve even if these notes are traded in this fashion.
Strong impact
Certainly, there will be an impact on real estate. Most of the black money used to be in the real estate market. Now, when people do not have money to buy, transactions in real estate will be badly affected. Prices will be slashed. What that means is that a dream home will be well within the reach of a typical, middle-class, salaried .
A very important development will be in terms of cashless payments. Cashless payments will pick up. Companies such as Paytm will flourish further. In developed nations, cashless payments are the norm. This will be an important signal to the world in India’s journey from the developing to the developed world.
WAssuming that the income levels of people will be constant, interest rates will reduce as money supply increases in the short run. There will be capital outflow from the economy due to decreased interest rates and the currency will depreciate. This will boost the export sector and enhance the competitiveness of the economy.
Having said all this, it will be ideal to see people earning money from legitimate sources. It will be good if the Government can rationalise the tax slabs in the coming Budget. As corruption reduces, India’s position in various global rankings will improve. Hence, the value proposition of the Indian economy as a whole will be enhanced.
Kumar is a senior fellow, CPR, and founding director of PahleIndia Foundation where Jain is also a senior fellow
(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated November 11, 2016)

Indian Squad for the 23rd FIBA Asia U18 Women’s Championship Finalized

New Delhi/Bengaluru, 11th November, 2016: The Indian U18 Women’s Team that will participate at the 23rd FIBA Asia U18 Championship for Women in Bangkok, Thailand from 13th to 20th November 2016, has been finalized.
The team will be captained by the talented Bhandavya HM (who had already debuted on the senior team last year) and coached by the seasoned Shiba Maggon, a former India Women’s Captain.
The Indian girls team is currently ranked 38th in the world and 5th in Asia (as per the combined FIBA World Rankings for U16 and U18 teams).
India is grouped alongside 5 other teams in elite Level 1, with the top four teams at the end of the league rounds progressing to the semifinals stage.
India will be looking improve upon its 6th place finish in the last edition of the championship (in 2014). The side’s first obstacle is hosts Thailand whom it will face in the opening game on 13th November. Said Coach Maggon, “Our motto is to never give up and keep trying to better ourselves. We will try to improve upon how we performed against Thailand (from their previous encounter in 2014 which they had lost 62-68) and also try to play well against Chinese Taipei.”
The contingent left from Aurangabad earlier this morning and is travelling to Bangkok via Mumbai.


Initially, 25 probables were selected from the 67th Junior National Basketball Championship held in Puducherry from 1st to 8th May, 2016. Subsequently, a national camp was conducted at the National Basketball Academy in Indore from 9thto 24th September, 2016. Based on their overall performance, the final 12 member squad was picked by the Selection Committee.

Indian Squad for the 23rd FIBA U18 Women’s Championship 2016
Family Name(s)
/Last Name
First Name(s)
/Given Name
Date of Birth
Place of BirthHeight
(ft and inches)
Weight (Kg)Position
07PrabhakaraPriyanka03/10/1998NemmaraKerala177 (5’ 9’’)54SG
10VermaRiya08/01/1998BhilaiChhattisgarh162 (5’ 3’’)54SG
14MasilamaniNishanti14/10/1999ChennaiTamil Nadu168 (5’ 6’’)50PG
15SandhuAakarshan02/03/1999ChandigarhChandigarh183 (6’)78C
20PandeySakshi30/04/1998JabalpurMadhya Pradesh175 (5’ 8’’)51SG
23MenezesCarina Clarence27/11/1998ThaneMumbai175 (5’ 8’’)58SF
27Hemmige MaheshaBhandavya18/04/1998MandyaKarnataka166 (5’ 5’’)56SG
29ChakravorttySushantika24/08/2000DelhiDelhi180 (5’ 10’’)72PF
54GeorgeNimmi01/04/1998ChalakudyKerala183 (6’)60C
75Illath ParappaliAnusha14/03/1998KozhikodeKerala173 (5’ 8’’)53SF
86AliGulabsha15/02/2000BhilaiChhattisgarh165 (5’ 4’’)64PG
99SurenSrishti30/04/2000ChennaiTamil Nadu180 (5’ 10’’)59PF
*PG – Point Guard / Feeder, G – Guard, F – Forward, G/F – Wing, PF – Power Forward, C – Centre, PF/C – Post
13) Team Manager: Mr. Jugraj Singh Baidwan
14) Physio: Dr. Prachi Bipin Shah
15) Head Coach: Ms. Shiba Maggon
16) Assistant Coach: Mr. Kalva Rajeshaver Rao
17) Referee Supervisor: Mr. Naresh Chander Aneja
18) Referee: Ms. Snehal Vidyadhar Bendke
19) Referee: Mr. Amarjot Singh Mavi

About the 23rd FIBA U18 Asia Championship 2016

The 23rd FIBA U18 Asia Championship 2016 will take place in Bangkok, Thailand, from the 13th to the 20th of November.
The top 3 teams will represent Asia at the 2017 FIBA U19 Women’s World Championship in Cairo, Egypt.


The 12-team event has been split into two levels: upper Level 1 (or Group A) and lower level 2 (Group B):
Level 1 (Group A) Teams: China, Japan, Korea, Chinese Taipei, India and hosts Thailand
Level 2 (Group B) Teams: Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka and Indonesia
This is a league cum knockout format. The group phase of the tournament will be played in a round-robin format, with each team playing every other team in their group.  The top four teams from Group A progress to the semifinals, while the bottom two Group A teams will play relegation matches with the top two teams from Group B.

India’s Schedule [Timings in IST]

vs Thailand – 13th November, 1:30 PM
vs China – 14th November, 1:30 PM
vs Chinese Taipei – 15th November, 1:30 PM
vs South Korea – 16th November, 3:30 PM
vs Japan – 17th November, 3:30 PM
Rest Day – 18th November
Knockout and Placement Rounds – 19th and 20th November

Championship History

The FIBA U18 Asia Championship was first instituted in 1970 and the inaugural edition of the tournament took place in Seoul, South Korea. Coming into this 23rdedition, China and Japan are the three time defending champions and first runners up respectively.

India’s Past Record

Prior to the upcoming 23rd edition, India has participated in the tournament 13 times and has also hosted it once (New Delhi, 2000). India’s best performance at the event came in 1980 when it was placed 4th.
Thereafter the side went into a bit of a lull, getting relegated to lower Level 2 by the end of the 2008 edition. In 2012, the team climbed back into upper Level 1 where it has continued to compete till date.

About Basketball Federation of India

The Basketball Federation of India or BFI is the governing and controlling body of basketball in India, and is responsible for the development and promotion of the sport at all levels. BFI has been involved in conducting camps, clinics, events, and training sessions at its academies for the development of basketball. BFI came into being in 1935 and took complete control over Indian basketball in 1950. Prior to that time, the Indian Olympic Association handled the conduct of Indian basketball championships. Since 1950, the BFI has been conducting various such championships, from the grassroots to senior team participation in international tournaments. In addition, the BFI has been responsible for the establishment of strong sub-junior and junior level programs. The BFI has to its credit produced several international players of repute, among them 17 have been bestowed with the honour of Arjuna Awards. Earlier in June 2015, 19-year-old Satnam Singh Bhamara made history by becoming the first Indian national to be drafted by an NBA team, when he was selected by the Dallas Mavericks. More information at

Dear Naresh, This Veterans Day our country feels extremely

Human Rights First - American Ideals. Universal Values.
Dear Naresh,
This Veterans Day our country feels extremely divided. Neighbors, friends, and even family not only feel like they are on opposite sides of the aisle, but in different realities altogether.
That’s why veterans are speaking up to remind us of our common commitment to the ideals enshrined in our Constitution—ideals that are truly worth fighting for.
Share Video
Veterans for American Ideals, a project of Human Rights First, seeks to raise veterans’ voices on the causes that unite us as Americans and the principles that led them to put on the uniform in the first place. We do this without regard to partisanship or the winners or losers of elections.
Share this video on Facebook and Twitter to help us remind America that we are a nation that extends its hand to the victims of conflict and oppression. That we will never yield to Islamophobia, racism, xenophobia, or prejudice of any kind. That above all, we will reject fear and we will embrace hope.
We need your support to make our work possible. Please make a gift that is meaningful to you today that tells us and the world that you believe in an America for all of us.
United we stand.
Scott Cooper
Director, National Security Outreach
On human rights, the United States must be a beacon. America is strongest when our policies and actions match our values.
Human Rights First - American Ideals. Universal Values.
Human Rights First is an independent advocacy and action organization that challenges America to live up to its ideals. We believe American leadership is essential in the struggle for human rights so we press the U.S. government and private companies to respect human rights and the rule of law. When they don’t, we step in to demand reform, accountability and justice. Around the world, we work where we can best harness American influence to secure core freedoms.
Human Rights First
New York: 75 Broad Street, 31st Floor, New York, NY 10004
Washington: 805 15th Street, NW, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20005
Houston: 1303 San Jacinto Street, 9th Floor, Houston, TX 77002 | Click here to unsubscribe | Click here to sign up

National School of Drama invites underprivileged children to come and experience 13th Jashne Bachpan

National School of Drama invites underprivileged children to come and experience 13th Jashne Bachpan

New Delhi, November 12, 2016: The upcoming 13th Jashne Bachpan – international children theatre festival at National School of Drama is trying to include as much as children from the underprivileged section. The idea is to bring those children to the mainstream and inculcate enthusiasm for art and culture along with entertainment at a global platform like Jashne Bachpan.

Teams from NSD are in touch with various NGOs and schools in Delhi-NCR, who work for and with the underprivileged children. Around 3000 children are expected to be present at the inaugural ceremony on 14th November at NSD Open Lawn. Apart from the inaugural ceremony those children will be invited to come and watch plays scheduled in the 12 day long festival and to the culmination ceremony too.

Prof Waman Kendre, Director, National School of Drama said, “Various NGOs are doing extra ordinary work for underprivileged children to bring them to the mainstream. As a responsible and prestigious performing and tanning institution, it’s our duty to encourage them to come into the cultural mainstream too. Overall development of children is only possible when they are nurtured culturally. National School of Drama wants to ignite the passion for theatre expression among those kids in their childhood.”

About National School of Drama

The National School of Drama is one of the foremost theatre training institutions in the world and the only one of its kind in India. It was set up by the Sangeet Natak Akademi as one of its constituent units in 1959. In 1975, it became an independent entity and was registered as an autonomous organization under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860, fully financed by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. Training in the School is highly intensive and is based on a thorough, comprehensive, carefully planned syllabus which covers every aspect of theatre and in which theory is related to practice. As a part of their training, students are required to produce plays which are then performed before the public.

About T.I.E. Co.

Sanskar Rang Toli (T.I.E. Co.) of NSD was established on October 16, 1989, and completed 27 years of its existence. Sanskaar Rang Toli is the only theatre education resource centers in the country and has worked with more than 15 thousand children till date in various workshops. It consists of a group of actor-teachers working with and performing for children. The major focus of the TIE Company is to perform creative, curriculum-based and participatory plays in schools, specially designed and prepared for children of different age groups. The major thrust of the plays is to create an atmosphere that encourages children to raise questions, take decisions and make choices with an awareness of themselves within the larger social context.

The TIE Company has done more than 2000 performances in various parts of the country. More than 10 lakh children, apart from college students, teachers, parents and theatre lovers, have witnessed these plays in approximately all the states in the country and Poland, China, Philippines and Japan.

The Toli began with an objective of bridging the gap between passive education and an active method of learning by doing through its performances of varied plays, Summer Workshops on self development and social integration, Sunday Club for devising original performances with children, workshops with teachers on effective teaching-learning process. All these activities are practiced round the year as per the children annual school calendar in Delhi and other parts of the country.
For further media query please contact:  

Anuj Kumar Boruah/ Shakti Raj Vidyarthi
Young Monk Communications

Invitation to the pop-music concert of the Czech musicians

From: Gagan Sharma on Fri, 11 Nov 2016 19:44:06 Add to address bookTo: You & 2 others | See Details
Dear friends,
we would like to invite you to the concert of Mrs. Zuzana Nova and Mr. Ondra Gorcik from the Czech Republic held on Tuesday, November 15, 2016 at Kamani Auditorium in New Delhi from 7.00 pm onwards.
They will perform Czech as well as world pop music. This Concert is part of Delhi International Arts Festival (
Festival Director. Prathibha Prahlad is a celebrated Indian Bharatanatyam dancer whose multi- faceted personality reflects in the outstanding work she continues to do …
Mrs. Zuzana Nova is a popular a professional Czech singer. She is singing with the Czech RockSet Revival Band and as soloist at many different places in the Czech Republic and wordwide. Sample of one of her song is here:
Mr. Ondra Gorcik is accompanying her on a guitar and he is also singing.
…singer Zuza Nová, violinist Michael Hejč and guitarist Zdeněk Šulc from Czech rep. – Prague 2006
We will be happy if you join us. The Czech Ambassador H. E. Mr Milan Hovorka will also be present.
For more information please call +91 81 30 893 803 (Mrs. Jea Jaiswal) or send email to
Thank you,
With Regards
Gagan Sharma

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