Monday, November 20, 2017

Saudi Arabia warns Iran on Lebanon

Saudi Arabia warned that it would not stand idly in the face of Iranian aggression, as Bahrain said the Iran-backed Hezbollah movement was in total control of Lebanon. The foreign ministers of both Gulf states spoke at an extraordinary general meeting of the Arab League at its Cairo headquarters, called by Riyadh. 

The Arab League meeting comes as tensions soar between regional arch-rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran, including over League member Lebanon.
Sunni Muslim powerhouse Saudi Arabia and Iran, the predominant Shiite power, have for decades stood on opposing sides of conflicts in West Asia including in Syria and Yemen.
Government set to achieve Rural Housing Targets
Hon’ble Prime Minister launched Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Gramin) exactly one year ago on 20th November, 2016 from Agra. A target of completing one crore new houses after beneficiary registration, geo-tagging and account verification by 31st March, 2019 was set. Of these, 51 lakh houses had to be completed by 31st March, 2018.
After the launch, it took few months to complete the process of beneficiary registration, geo-tagging, account verification etc. 55.85 lakh houses have already been sanctioned and work is under progress. Nearly 30 lakh of these houses have reached roof level of construction and 15 lakh of these houses are at finalization level. As on 20th November, 2017, 9.03 lakh houses have already been completed. It is expected that 10 lakh PMAY(G) homes will be completed by 30th November, 2017, 15 lakh houses by 31st December 2017, 25 lakh houses by 31st January, 2018, 35 lakh houses by 28th February, 2018 and 51 lakh houses by 31st March, 2018. States like Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Rajasthan and West Bengal have completed a large number of houses.
New designs, local construction material, use of technology through rural mason training, geo-tagging of assets and payment directly into the account of beneficiary through IT-DBT platform have ensured transparent, hassle-free and quality programme implementation. All States and UTs are trying very hard to facilitate beneficiaries to complete their homes on time. The use of Socio Economic Census (SECC 2011), validation by Gram Sabha and use of Space Technology for geo-tagging has ensured that there are least inclusion errors and it is only the homeless and those living in one kuccha room with kuccha roof or two kuccha rooms with kuccha roof are the beneficiaries of this pro-poor programme. Technology has been used to empower the poor. The homes are designed by the best of institutions after studying the existing local design typologies and are constructed by beneficiaries as per their need. These homes are not only changing the rural landscape but also bringing about a social transformation in villages across the country. The poor are getting safe homes and can live with dignity with facilities like toilet, LPG connection, electricity connection, drinking water facility etc. The governance reforms under PMAY(G) and the impact of higher demand of steel and cement on growth is being studied by the National Institute of Public Finance & Policy, New Delhi. The Central Building Research Institute, Roorkee will undertake a study on actual use of new designs, impact of rural mason training, local materials and new technologies under PMAY(G). A study on social transformation is being commissioned separately to understand the impact of a good housing programme. The progress of PMAY(G) can be seen by any person on Awaassoft.nic.in platform with geo-tagged photographs and complete details of beneficiaries and payments made to them.

*****

Sunday, November 19, 2017


Uzbek-Indian Business Forum

Uzbek-Indian Business Forum
Friday, 24th November 2017
Embassy of Uzbekistan, New Delhi
Dear Sir/Madam,
It is with great pleasure we would like to inform you that ASSOCHAM is co-organizing the “Uzbek-Indian Business Forum” on Friday, 24th November 2017 with Embassy of Uzbekistan to India”.
This forum will be held in presence of H.E. Mr. Farhod Arziev Ambassador, Embassy of Uzbekistan to India with Economic Counselor. The idea of the forum is to promote Indian businesses to Uzbekistan in sectors: pharmacy, machinery, textile, IT, solar energy, food processing, mining, contraction materials, telecommunications, ready garments and others.
The schedule date and venue for the forum is as follows: 
Day/Date    :  Friday, 24th November, 2017
Time           :    18.00hrs onwards (followed by Dinner)
Venue         :   Embassy of Uzbekistan, EP 40, Dr. Radkhakrishna Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 
In view of the importance of the forum, we request you to kindly participate in the forum and utilize the opportunity to interact with the visiting delegate. 
Your confirmation of participation may please be to my colleague Mr. Rohan Mankotia, (E-mail: rohan.mankotia@assocham.com, Phone: 011-46550555 Ext-618, Mobile: 9999936948).
Looking forward to your favorable response.

Palestinians warn they will freeze ties if US shuts PLO office in Washington DC

Palestine Liberation Organisation has warned that it will freeze its ties with the US if it carries out a threat to close the PLO office in Washington DC. In a video on Twitter, PLO Secretary General Saeb Erekat called the move "unacceptable". 

The US government has notified Palestinians that it plans to close the office of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Washington. The move announced on Friday, is expected to put more pressure on the Palestine authority to negotiate as President Donald Trump has shown strong willingness to advance the Middle East peace process.

Presidential elections to be held in Chile today

Presidential elections will be held in Chile today. The polls will choose a successor to Michelle Bachelet. Eight candidates are in the fray, with conservative billionaire Sebastian Pinera seen as favourite to return to the post he held from 2010 to 2014. 

Socialist contender Alejandro Guillier, a former journalist, is regarded as the most realistic challenger to Mr Pinera.
Today, voters will also elect all 155 members of the lower house and half of the senate. All the newly-elected authorities will begin their terms on 11th March, next year.

Argentina missing submarine: Satellite signals detected

Signals of an Argentine submarine, that went missing with 44 crew on board, have been detected. The Defence Ministry is now trying to trace the location of the seven failed satellite calls received on Saturday.

Argentina has stepped up the search in the South Atlantic for the ARA San Juan submarine, with a Nasa research plane joining in. The diesel-electric vessel disappeared 430 kms off the coast.

Britain and countries in the region have offered assistance. The US Navy is flying deep water rescue modules to Argentina to be deployed if the submarine is found on the sea floor.

Robert Mugabe to meet Army Chief Moyo today

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe will meet the country's Army Chief Major General Sibusiso Moyo today amid intense pressure for the President to step down. 

State media said, mediation will be led by a Catholic priest. 93-year old Mugabe has largely been confined to his house since the Army took over on Wednesday. The governing Zanu-PF party is also meeting to discuss whether to dismiss their founder and long-term leader.

The Army intervened after Mr Mugabe fired his deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa. Mr Mnangagwa's dismissal made Mr Mugabe's wife Grace the front runner to become the next President.

Mr Mugabe remains in office but now faces overwhelming opposition from the generals, much of the public and from within ZANU-PF, the once loyal party now calling for his exit.
Mr Mugabe has led Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Canada-India Commercial Technologies & Clear Air Programs  
November14, 2017 (C) Ravinder Singh progressindia2015@gmail.com

At Canada-India Business Council meet 1990 – this Inventor observed ‘India Accounts for 2% of World’s GDP, 98% is Outside India, India should target World Market.’ The difference in 27 years is that ‘India now contributes 3% of the World’s GDP but has $150b Trade Deficit in $700b Foreign Trade’. Environment Technologies detailed in Annexure.

Something Critically MISSING this time is that India now Attracts 100% FDI in almost all sectors. Not just S&T or R&D Canadian Companies – Even established companies can set up Food Processing Units, Factories in India. Canada-India should facilitate Sale & Purchase of Assets. Ease of Doing business doesn’t mean Professionals Can TRANSFER their assets easily.

Canada-India Partnership to focus on developing Commercial Technologies – NAFTA plus India is serving 2000m People.

I was allowed $500 to spend in 4 years in 1985 to participate in‘World Exhibition of Achievements of Young Inventors, Plovdiv 1985’. My passport was Stamped ‘$500 issued’ – and I still managed to visit Italy, Bulgaria, USA, Canada, UK and visit Exhibitions, US Patent Office, Science Reference Library.

Opportunities were limited, but three decades later India’s foreign Trade has gone up 200 Times in $ terms – wealth with people 100 times in Rupee Terms and 20 times in $ terms butDST support in terms DST Contribution to Environment and Development of Commercial Technologies is practically nil even as DST yearly Budget exceed $10b out of around $20b Public Sector Research. There is no Cooperation between DST & Non DST R&D. $3b is Gobbled up by NGOs funded by foreign agencies.

In PPP terms it is $50b – and DST had not developed a Commercial Technology in 70 Years.

USAID with a view to promote Indo-US joint R&D introducedPACT & PACER Programs for ‘Commercial Technologies & Energy Technologies’ in 1994 soon after US Commerce Secretary’s visit with High Power Fortune 500 CEO delegation.Just from Aerospace sector there were Boeing, Lockheed, Allied Signal, GE, United Technologies, Raytheon, India never had that kind of $Trillion or about 10% worlds Market Capital in New Delhi.

India continues to import even Hand Guns and Bullet Proof Jackets. India continues to have CLOGGED Patent Office, people today have much more wealth but can’t Invest more than$2,00,000 in a year in a foreign country. We are on Income Taxradar when we spend $3,000 only. DST had misled India on PATENTS, Commercialization of Technology, and its own Real Achievements.

Ravinder Singh, Inventor & Consultant, INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGIES AND PROJECTS
Y-77, Hauz Khas, ND -110016, India. Ph: 091- 8826415770, 9871056471, 9650421857
Ravinder Singh* is a WIPO awarded inventor specializing in Power, Transportation,
Smart Cities, Water, Energy Saving, Agriculture, Manufacturing, Technologies and Projects
Trump Brokered ASIA $1 T, 500 GW Hydro Power Program +
November13, 2017 (C) Ravinder Singh progressindia2015@gmail.com

Afghanistan to Vietnam there is over 500 GW of Hydro Power potential and perhaps not even 20% is developed. China has developed hydro power in its territory rapidly but rest of Asia’s the potential due to major rivers flowing through many countries and issues of sharing benefits and cost had made little progress in Hydro Power Generation +10 benefits mainly related to Flood Control, Food Security, Irrigation, Recreation, Clean Water, etc.

Obviously Economic Development of ASIA, Economic, Food & Political Security too are linked to 500 GW Hydro Power program.

WEC – 85% or 6,131 GW of Hydro Power Yet To Be Developed.

200 GW Multipurpose Hydro Power India, 200 GW in Brahamputra Bend.
There is 200 GW of Hydro Power Potential in Himalayas from J&K to Arunachal and 200 GW in Brahmputra Bend. Supaul district home town of Energy Minister is IMPACTED by floods every year – 40% UP & Bihar are Impacted by FLOODS originating in Nepal. In Brahamputra and Ganga Basin India is lower riparian therefore entitled to SEEK FLOOD Protection & Build Storage Dams – through Indian Resources & Multinational Funding and sharing obvious benefits of (1) Flood Protection to 30 million hectare or 4 Bihars in area, NE & Bangladesh besides Nepal itself (2) 800 BU/1600 BU Power Generation(3) 250 BCM Water Storage/Controlled Releases, (4) Reduce Tube-well Energy Use (5) Blue Pure Drinking Water Free From Contamination, (6) Recreation (7) Food Security(8) Climate Stability (9) Avoid GHG Emissions, Fossil Fuels Use (10) Provide Cheap or Practically FREE Energy for 200-500 yrs.

Global IPR DEVELOPMENT Program

Trump may also Broker Global IPR DEVELOPMENT program, new Patent Cooperation Treaty which actually Fund and Promote Technology Cooperation among Nations –

Ø Patents are Granted in Every Member country ASIAN, NAFTA, EU, JAPAN, AUSTRALIA, and Important G-20 Countries SIMULTANEOUSLY within 2-6 months.
Ø Focus to be on GLOBAL SCALE COMMERCIALIZATION than mere Stockpile of IPRs and fighting through trade barriers.
Ø Mitsubishi designed a 1600 MW Nuclear reactor in 2008 which shall give 30% more fuel economy, 39% compared 25% to 33% currently in operation and development. For 9 years World is investing in outdated technology. Latest technology can be manufactured under license in 20 Locations worldwide.
Ø FACTORIES WORLDWIDE TO MANUFACTURE BEST TECHNOLOGY THAN OUTDATED.
Ø Focus should be on LOCAL MANUFACTURING – i.e. It is Great When Cars MERCEDES to SUZUKI are made in India than imported.

Ravinder Singh, Inventor & Consultant, INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGIES AND PROJECTS
Y-77, Hauz Khas, ND -110016, India. Ph: 091- 8826415770, 9871056471, 9650421857
Ravinder Singh* is a WIPO awarded inventor specializing in Power, Transportation,
Smart Cities, Water, Energy Saving, Agriculture, Manufacturing, Technologies and Projects
Power Technologies & Team Work – Double Use @ Half Price
October26, 2017 (C) Ravinder Singh progressindia2015@gmail.com

Only good this government did so far is Creating Position of CEO of Niti AyogAmitabh Kant when every company and organization needs a CEO, assisted by a CTO & a CFO. Even this turned out to be a disaster – I keep track of his activity ever since his posting in Central Cadre – Except Loud Shouting speeches he did nothing positive. i.e. Patent Grants to resident Indians had declined 75% since he led DIPP.

Had the Government Appointed REAL CEOs to every Department – Indian Economy would have been BOOMING than Shrinking today – Loans to Industry declining in proportion or in other world STAGNANT when INDUSTRY Needs Regular Induction of New Technology & Processes to stay at par with Global Competition. [I operated as CEO like as early as 19 yrs of age and first job – brief introduction in the end.]

Double Electricity Use @ Half Price

GoI had appointed few Honest Civil Servants as Ministers recently – and they are seriously taking their responsibilities. The introductions given to Power Minister by CEA and CWC are totally misleading – they need PROFESSIONAL CEO.

1.   200 GW Multipurpose Hydro Power India, 200 GW in Brahamputra Bend.

There is 200 GW of Hydro Power Potential in Himalayas from J&K to Arunachal and 200 GW in Brahmputra Bend. Supaul district home town of the Minister is IMPACTED by floods every year – 40% UP & Bihar are Impacted by FLOODS originating in Nepal. In Brahamputra and Ganga Basin India is lower ripariantherefore entitled to SEEK FLOOD Protection & Build Storage Dams – through Indian Resources & Multinational Funding and sharing obvious benefits of (1) Flood Protection to 30 million hectare or 4 Bihars in area, NE & Bangladesh besides Nepal itself (2) 800 BU/1600 BU Power Generation(3) 250 BCM Water Storage/Controlled Releases, (4) Reduce Tube-well Energy Use (5) Blue Pure Drinking Water Free From Contamination, (6) Recreation (7) Food Security(8) Climate Stability (9) Avoid GHG Emissions, Fossil Fuels Use (10) Provide Cheap or Practically FREE Energy for 200-500 yrs.

Lameduck Dams already built Can Be Modified As Storage Dams Introducing 9 More Benefits at low cost Speedily. At peak India IMPORTED $200b Worth Energy – Could Cost More In Coming Years. FUNDING and Sustainability are no problem.

(2) INDIA Neglected ‘ENERGY EFFICIENCY’ ‘High T&D Losses’.

CEA MISLEAD GOI about ‘High Technical Losses in Rural Feeders as Mainly Theft’ – CAG conducted TECHNICAL AUDIT in Gujarat – Gujarat Rural IRRIGATION Feeder Losses were62% that after Feeder Separation reduced to 56%.

(3)  Idea of CHARGING BPL & SMALL USERS AT PAR WITH RICH CONSUMERS MOST Unsound – It COST HIGHEST to Serve RICH CONSUMERS who Switch on Air-Conditioner or GEYSERS when demand is highest and Gas Based Generators provide power. Use ACs for 200 hours, Geysers 50 hours in a Year – Load Factor of 2% and 0.6% only.
Ø CEA ‘misleading’ GOI – Load Factor of Rich Consumers a FRACTION of BPL or MIG Consumers. To serve a Rich Consumer Load of 50 KW GOI have to install 150 KW of Generation & Transmission Capacity – mostly Gas Based. Sub 2 KW Consumers just 4 KW of Low Cost Hydro Power or Thermal Power.

Ø Let 20 KW Plus Consumers to Install CNG based Micro Turbines or Generators for Heat & Power and Absorption AC Systems – Use Cleaner Fuel Most Efficiently.

Ø High Load CONSUMERS HAD INSTALLED – INVERTORS, POWER CONDITIONERS & GENERATORS Can Afford High Cost Power, BPL & MIG Consumers Get Poor Quality Of Power Can’t be Charged More.

Ø Farmers get ‘SURPLUS or OFFPEAK POWER’ of ‘Poor Quality’ & ‘Frequent Disruptions’ can’t be charged at par with Rich Consumers.

(4)  Mandating ‘RENEWAL OBLIGATION’ Most UNFORTUNATE.
Ø GOI is Expected to PROMOTE CLEAN Energy but not tosell SURPLUS High Cost Power in RICH State to other States or Poorer States.

Ø States should be FUNDED TO DEVELOP THEIR OWN GREEN ENERGY Potential.

Ø States may develop Own 100 KW Solar Farms or Rooftop Solar or Multipurpose Dams than buy High Cost Renewable Power from other states forever.

(5)  Neglect of ROOFTOP Solar Power @ Rs.1 Per Unit.

CEA is MISLEADING and Corrupt – Saudi Arabia accepted EDF bid which is slightly more than Rs.1 per unit for 300 MW Solar Park – 1000 MW bid would cost less than Rs.1 per unit. Off-Grid Rooftop Solar even less.

Ø Rooftop Solar is Rs.11 Cr/MW Advantage Than Large Solar Parks.  

(6)  GOI can’t be PROTECTING Developers who bid Rs.3 to Rs.15 per unit made Money for BAD decisions and REWARD them by EXTORTING BPL & MIG Consumers.

Ø WHY CAN’T CEA CALCULATE REAL COST OF SERVING AC & GEYSERS, OF RICH & COMMERCIAL USERS & CHARGE REAL COST?

(7)  BPL & MIG Consumers Not Compensated for DISRUPTIONS, Damage to Equipment due poor quality of Power and Foods Rotting.

Ø Even in Delhi BRPL Switch off Power to Domestic Consumers Take Hours to restore – to Commercial Consumers Complaints are addressed SPEEDILY.

Ø CAG reported it takes 30-100 days to repair or replace a damaged Transformer – No Compensation for CROP DAMAGE to Farmers who are not paid Cost Of Production.

(8)  DOCTORED ELECTRICITY METERS.

Ø All Smart Meters Can Be DOCTORED – Most are Programmed to Run Fast.

Ø India need INDEPENDENT METERING AUTHORITY to Manage Electricity Metering.
Ø EVEN TODAY DISTRIBUTION TRANSFORMERS DON’T HAVE SMART METERS – CRITICAL FOR DISCOM OPERATIONS – BUT WANT FOR 500M CONSUMERS.

(9)  OPEN POWER SECTOR FUNCTIONING

Ø There Should be TRANSPARENCY in DISCOM FUNCTIONING. Electricity Bill should also Disclose Energy Billed By A Transformer & Energy Input.

Ø A Village Should know How Much Energy is SUPPLIED & How Much is Billed and let people MINIMIZE Losses.

Ø When a Village Can Generate SOLAR POWER within own Solar Farms or Rooftops at Rs.1 Per Unit why should Consumers pay Rs.6/Unit to DISCOMS.

(10)  GoI Need a CEO in Ministry of Power to Implement all above.

Ø Double Per Capita Consumption @ Half Unit Price.

Ø Have Been CAMPAIGNING On above lines since 1975, On Everyday Basis since 2003.

Ø Worked Like CEO even at Entry Level – Instantly on Take Over at Entry Level. Brief introduction follows.

I was literally 19 Yrs old Chief Quality Control Officer working at BST then largest company in North India in 1974 – 99.99%products approved by me were countersigned by seniors. Trained at BTPS in 1975– then made Chief Procurement Officerof the largest thermal power station in India responsible for Procuring Goods as per Quality & Specification. Joined CPWD in 1976 was only Electrical Engineer in charge of Security – operated again as Chief Security Officer of biggest CPWD store – I prevented supply of SUBSTANDARD products Approved by BIS & DGSD.  I was CEO of Water Supply Installation on eve of PM Morarji Desai surprise visit with President Govind Ram Kovind assisting him in 1978 – Most Substandard Pumpsets and Most Substandard Pipe distribution that was dry for a week was TWEEKED to deliver 2880 KL of water in about 40 hours against daily requirement of 600 KL or less – 70% water Leaked and flooded the Complex which also had 30 IAS Officers of DC Rank. Same year in 1978 also I complained to PM that Indian Oil & NRDC is Steeling my Invention of Kerosene Stove made in 1975 and wrongly denied Rs.600 assistance. I met people who were WITNESS to the CHEATING – but tragedy is that none ofIITs, TERI, CSE had developed Economic Kerosene stove in 40 years. In 1982 was responsible EAST WING of JN Stadiumduring Asian Games – which had Scoreboard & Scared Flame also – once they knew I was made responsible for O&M – Contractor Triple Labor & Workers engaged for 24 hours – my wing served Ambassador & Embassy Staff similar in size and importance to West Wing was ready much ahead of VIP block for Head of States where many Chief Engineers were monitoring progress on daily basis.

Ravinder Singh, Inventor & Consultant, INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGIES AND PROJECTS
Y-77, Hauz Khas, ND -110016, India. Ph: 091- 8826415770 [4G]9871056471, 9718280435,
Ravinder Singh* is a WIPO awarded inventor specializing in Power, Transportation,
Smart Cities, Water, Energy Saving, Agriculture, Manufacturing, Technologies and Projects



A group of 35 children took over the iconic National Stock Exchange on Children’s Day


A group of 35 children took over the iconic National Stock Exchange on Children’s Day to voice their support for protecting the rights of the world’s most vulnerable children.  These children from leading NGO’s such as NineisMine and Ashramshalas along with renowned business leaders comprising of  Kumar Anurag Pratap, CSR Leader, Capgemini Technology Services India Limited and Mr. Vikram Limaye, MD and CEO, National Stock Exchange introspected and shared ideas on how businesses can ensure protection and promotion of children’s rights through an interesting panel discussion.
The highlight of the event was the children ringing the closing bell in the presence of the dignitaries.  The children also presented interpretations of Child Rights and Sustainable Development Goals and what they mean for children.
World Children’s Day represents the date when the most ratified treaty in the world, the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child came into being. On this occasion, UNICEF is working globally with its partners, media, parliamentarians, businesses, This Children’s Day, UNICEF is inviting children around the world to take the centre stage in a week-long activity to help save children’s lives, fight for their rights and help them fulfil their potential. From November 14 to 20, there will be a #KidsTakeOver where children will ‘take over’ high-visibility roles in media, politics, business, sport, and entertainment to shine a spotlight on the most pressing challenges faced by their generation. This is a day for children, by children, all over the world.
Speaking on the occasion, Ms. Henriette Ahrens, Deputy Representative – Programmes, UNICEF India said, ‘’ One very important right for children is their right to participate. We believe that children are not only the future but also a big part of the change we need to bring. They are the most influential change agents. As UNICEF Children and issues concerning them are a cornerstone for everything we do.”
“For us this occasion is symbolic to ensuring each and every child in included and his or her right fulfilled by engaging in dialogue with influencers which in this case is businesses.  We are very proud to collaborate with NSE due to their convening power of businesses and the wonderful work they have been doing as part of their CSR programmes, ” she added.
In India, there has been a lot of development over the past few years in the private sector and the role it plays in India’s development story with children being at the core of it.  The corporate sector has an impact on every aspect of society and has huge potential to be a positive force that reinforces the equity agenda, especially for children. Business makes important contributions to the well-being of children by creating jobs and livelihoods for families.  Therefore, the private sector can play a significant role in ensuring that every child in India has a fair start in life.
Mr. Vikram Limaye, MD and CEO, National Stock Exchange shared, ‘’ NSE is proud to facilitate the first of #KidsTakeOver in the world in association with UNICEF. UNICEF is celebrating the anniversary of UN convention of the Rights of the Child with kids taking over parliament, events, media, and businesses all around the world. Children will take over NSE by ringing the closing bell on November 14 which is usually rung by dignitaries and business leaders and will discuss issues of importance to them with business leaders”.
While the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child states that it is the duty of the Government to respect rights of children, businesses must do so as well.  Studies clearly indicate the impact of investment in development on GDP.  Since nutrition levels in children are linked to their cognitive abilities as well as their overall wellbeing, this reduces expenditure in health. Businesses also have an important role to play in empowering and enabling children by engaging them through various means.
For photos and videos please visit here.
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About UNICEF
UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.

Film Aksar 2

Zarine Khan witnessed in Delhi to promote ‘Aksar 2’ along with cast!


The upcoming sequel to 2006 thriller flick Aksar, is back in action with Aksar 2. As the main leading beauty of the film Zarine Khan along with the cast were witnessed in Delhi for the promotions. Apart from her, the leading males of the movie Gautam Rode, Abhinav Shukla, Mohit Madaan, Ananth Narayan Mahadevan (Director), Varun Bajaj (Producer) was also present in the press conference held in PVR Plaza CP.
While an interaction with media, Zarine Khan shared about the different scenario between last 2006 Aksar and upcoming Aksar 2, she stated, “Aksar 2 is not a sequel, yes it’s a part of the same franchise but it’s a completely a different story.” About the songs of the movie, Zarine said, “The songs given by Mithoon are really heart touching and my one of the most favorite song from this movie is Tanhaiyaan.”
Whereas, Abhinav Shukla told about his character. He said, “In real life, I think about things a lot, but my character Ricky in this movie don’t think much, he is impulsive so I tried and somehow managed to bring reality in my character.” About the movie, he said, “I am glad to be a part of such a thriller franchise of Aksar. I had a great experience working with Zarine and the other cast of the movie.”
On the other hand Gautam also seemed excited while portraying his views about the movie and his character, he told media, “My character has different shared in this movie, which I never played before, he is doing positives he shares negative shades as well, he is opportunist, diplomatic at the same time.” He added, “This film is for all kind of audience, anybody who enjoys drama suspense film will definitely like this movie.” One of the other lead Mohit Madaan also treated with graciously and told about his character as well, he stated, “My character name is Bachchan Singh. He plays an adviser in the movie, he somehow gets juggled in his life for money. And how he solves this problem in the film you will get to know this coming Friday.”
Well, as for the film, Aksar 2 is presented by Siddhivinayak Creations, produced by Narendra Bajaj & Chirag Bajaj and directed by Ananth Mahadevan, the music of Aksar 2 is composed by Mithoon. The film is slated to release on 17 November 2017.

Manama, Prague, Madrid, Kuala Lumpur, and Amsterdam top destinations for expats.

A great work life and the ease of getting settled make Manama, Prague, Madrid, Kuala Lumpur, and Amsterdam top destinations for expats.
  • Manama, Prague, Madrid, Kuala Lumpur, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Johannesburg, Bangkok, Basel, and Frankfurt are the best cities for expats.
  • Expats experience the best career opportunities in the world in Amsterdam, London, Beijing, Prague, and Munich.
  • About seven in ten expats living in Johannesburg, Muscat, Cape Town, Amsterdam, and Manama are happy with their social life. 
Munich, 14 November 2017 — Manama takes first position out of 51 cities in this year’s Expat City Ranking. The small capital of the Arab monarchy Bahrain, as well as top-ranking Madrid (3rd) and Kuala Lumpur (4th), are highly appreciated for the ease of getting settled in these cities. Prague (2nd) rather attracts expats with its excellent work life, while Amsterdam (5th) manages to offer a good mixture of both. Other cities that offer above-average career opportunities are London, Beijing, and Munich, as the so-far unpublished Expat City Ranking 2017 reveals. The ranking is based on data collected in the annual Expat Insider survey, conducted by InterNations, the largest expat community worldwide. With nearly 13,000 respondents living and working abroad, Expat Insider 2017 is one of the most extensive expat studies worldwide. Apart from offering an in-depth analysis of expat life in 51 cities, the survey ranks them by a variety of factors from the areas quality of urban living, getting settled, urban work life, as well as finance and housing. According to all these rating factors, the top 10 cities for expats are Manama, Prague, Madrid, Kuala Lumpur, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Johannesburg, Bangkok, Basel, and Frankfurt am Main.
Top 5 Cities Make It Easy for Expats to Get Settled and Enjoy a Great Work LifeManama, Prague, Madrid, Kuala Lumpur, and Amsterdam top the list of the best cities for expats: while Prague lags behind on 35th place for getting settled, the other four cities receive good to excellent ratings in this respect. A South African expat living in Kuala Lumpur likes “the easy-going temperament and friendliness of the local people” while an expat from the Philippines appreciates the “very friendly and helpful locals” in Manama. The majority of expats rates the general friendliness towards foreign residents positively in Manama (84%), Amsterdam (83%), Kuala Lumpur (78%), and Madrid (74%), compared to a global average of 67 percent. Prague, however, performs below average here: only about half of expats living there (49%) are satisfied with this factor. Nonetheless, the capital of the Czech Republic is one of the top destinations for expats, particularly due to its outstanding ratings in terms of work: nearly seven in ten expats (68%) are satisfied with local career opportunities in Prague — 19 percentage points more than the global average.
Move to Amsterdam, London, Beijing, Prague, or Munich to Boost Your CareerThe vast majority of expats in Amsterdam (78%), London (74%), Beijing (70%), Prague (68%), and Munich (66%) rates the local career opportunities positively, compared to a global average of only 49 percent. It seems to be fairly easy to pursue a career in these cities as an above-average share of expats cite finding a job on their own as their most important reason for moving abroad. However, some of them pay a high price for their career: while the European cities manage to combine expat jobs with a satisfying work-life balance, it is all work and no play for expats in Beijing. Only about half the expats in the Chinese capital (54%) are happy with their work-life balance, compared to about seven in ten, or more, in the four European destinations. “The work-life balance and the quality of work is really great”, says a Canadian expat living in Munich, and an Australian in Prague states that their “working conditions are excellent”.
Enjoying Social Life in Johannesburg, Muscat, Cape Town, Amsterdam, and ManamaFor those who are looking for a fulfilling social life, Johannesburg, Muscat, Cape Town, Amsterdam, and Manama are the cities to keep in mind: about seven in ten expats living in these cities are happy with this aspect of life abroad. A Mauritian expat especially appreciates “the social events and places to go out to” in Amsterdam, while a British expat mentions “socializing” as one of the benefits of living in Cape Town. In all of these cities, making friends does not seem to be a problem, either. An above-average share of expats finds it easy to make new friends in Muscat (71%), Johannesburg (66%), Manama (65%), Amsterdam (56%), and Cape Town (54%). However, even though the majority of expats also finds the local residents friendly, they seem to prefer sticking together: only very few respondents in Amsterdam (8%), Cape Town (8%), and Muscat (2%) — and not a single respondent in Manama — report being mainly friends with local residents. Only in Johannesburg does this share reach the global average of 19 percent and outnumber the percentage stating that they are mainly friends with other expats (15%).
Interested in Talking to Expats in Your City?
Visit an InterNations Official Event and personally meet expats from all over the world who will share their stories with you. Find out here when and where the next official event in your community will take place.
To receive a personal press invitation including free access to the event and interview opportunities with InterNations members, please contactpress@internations.org or +49 (0)89 461 3324 79 and let us know which event you would like to attend.
Read More about the Expat City Ranking 2017
The Best and Worst CitiesQuality of Urban LivingGetting SettledUrban Work LifeFinance & Housing
About the Expat City Ranking 2017For its annual Expat Insider survey, InterNations asked about 13,000 expatriates representing 166 nationalities and living in 188 countries or territories to provide information on various aspects of expat life, as well as their gender, age, and nationality. In 2017, the fourth year the survey was conducted, respondents were also invited to share their opinions on the city they are currently living in.
Participants were asked to rate more than 25 different aspects of urban life abroad on a scale of one to seven. The rating process emphasized the respondents’ personal satisfaction with these aspects and considered both emotional topics as well as more factual aspects with equal weight. The respondents’ ratings of the individual factors were then bundled in various combinations for a total of 13 subcategories, and their mean values were used to draw up four topical indices: Quality of Urban Living, Getting Settled, Urban Work Life, and Finance & Housing. These were further averaged in order to rank 51 cities worldwide. In 2017, the top 10 cities for expats are Manama, Prague, Madrid, Kuala Lumpur, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Johannesburg, Bangkok, Basel, and Frankfurt am Main.
For a city to be featured in the Expat City Ranking 2017, a sample size of at least 45 survey participants per city was required. In total, the responses used for the city ranking represent 7,985 expats living in 40 countries.
About InterNationsWith 2.8 million members in 390 cities around the world, InterNations (http://www.internations.org) is the largest global network and information site for people who live and work abroad. InterNations offers global and local networking both online and face-to-face. At around 5,000 monthly events and activities, expatriates have the opportunity to meet other global minds. Online services include country and city guides created by a team of professional writers, guest contributions about life abroad, and discussion forums to help members with topics such as the local job or housing search. InterNations membership is by approval only to ensure we remain a community of trust.
The InterNations app is available for Android and iOS and can be downloaded for free onGoogle Play and the App Store.
Find more information about InterNations on our press pagescompany websiteFacebook,LinkedInTwitter, or in our Expat Magazine.
Press ContactVera Grossmann
Media Spokesperson
InterNations GmbH
Schwanthalerstrasse 39
80336 Munich, Germany

WABAG, NABARD & NGOS ink MoUs for Watershed Programs

WABAG, NABARD & NGOS ink MoUs for Watershed Programs
Making communities climate resilient 
November 13, 2017:  
WABAG, a leading pure play water technology Indian Multinational and NABARD, the apex institution for agriculture and rural development in the country along with three NGOs have entered into MoUs today for implementation of watershed development projects under WABAG-CSR Program.
Under these MoUs, WABAG agrees to provide grant assistance to three reputed NGOs amounting to Rs.2.25 crores   with matching contribution by NABARD, aggregating to Rs.4.50 crores.
The proposed projects are widely spread out in Virudhunagar, Tuticorin and Dindigul Districts and will be implemented by reputed NGOs – Social Education Economical Development Society (SEEDS); Vidiyel Trust and Centre for Improved Rural Health and Environmental Education (CIRHEP) respectively.
The objectives are – enhancement of livelihood security; water conservation; prevent migration; employment generation; long term sustainability through community participation for maintenance of community assets like various water harvesting structures.
This is a 4-year project that will be implemented at a cost of around Rs.4.50 crores covering around 9200 acres.
The project beneficiaries would be Sinnur Watershed, Pudur Block, Thoothukudi District; Erumaikulam watershed, Narikudi Block, Virudhunagar District and Kannivadi Watershed, Reddiarchartram Block, Dindigul District.  Around 2500 households will be impacted on implementation of these projects.

Last year, WABAG tied up with NABARD for similar projects for a value of around Rs.5.00 crores including the matching contribution and the work in these two districts already commenced and making good progress.
With this, the total CSR investment of WABAG for NABARD watershed development projects aggregates to around Rs.4.75 crores.
Mr. S Nagoor Ali Jinnah, Chief General Manager represented NABARD and WABAG was represented by Mr. S Varadarajan, Director and Chief Growth Officer at the MoU signing ceremony.
Coupled with WABAG’s earlier tie-up with NABARD, this large scale intervention in the water stewardship covers 5 districts in Tamil Nadu and brings the areas under watershed around 20000 acres, benefiting over 7000 households at a total cost of around Rs 9.50 crores.

This CSR initiative would go a long way in supporting the “Per drop more crop” mission.
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About WABAG: Around the world, the WABAG name stands for innovative and successful solutions in the water engineering sector. As an internationally respected expert group, we act as a systems specialist and full service provider with a focus on the planning, installation and operation of drinking and wastewater plants for local government and industry in the growth markets of Asia, North Africa, Middle East, the Central and Eastern Europe states. The WABAG Group represents a leading multinational player with a workforce of over 1,600 and has companies and offices in more than 20 countries.

The Second Global Migration Film Festival Gets Underway

Geneva – From Guyana in South America to Makati in the Philippines (and many other places in between) filmmakers from around the globe will soon showcase their skills as cinematographers at the Global Migration Film Festival. Organized by the UN Migration Agency, IOM and supported by UN Information Centers worldwide and with the financial support of DHL, the festival will take place in over 100 countries from 5 to 18 December 2017.
The second edition of the annual Festival will explore the challenges and promises of migration, the heterogenous journey of migrants, moving from one location to another, settling for temporary or permanent periods, in search for a better future and economic prosperity, reuniting with loved ones, or fleeing war and despair.
Films have the power to show different facets of life, through which viewers may cultivate deeper empathy for migrants and a better understanding of their realities, needs, perspectives and capacities. The objective of the Festival is to use films as educational tools that influence perceptions towards migrants bringing attention to social issues.
The opening movie of the festival in Geneva, Lost in Lebanon, delves into the news reports on the Syrian war and gives an intimate look at how four Syrians in Lebanon are trying to find ways to overcome the torment of their shattered lives.
One of the protagonists of the opening film, Mwafak, was invited to create the award statue for the Festival that will be collected and delivered by DHL, one of the partners of the Festival.
Mwafak describes the statue as “a human, female figure standing upright, portraying an optimistic gesture. The woman, stands as a symbol of harmonic life and consistent peace. She looks up to the sky, into the future. Her hair and cape wave softly in the wind. The breeze can be at the same time a challenge and her chance to fly and feel light. The material, bronze, with its warm color gives the sculpture a feeling of both strength and warmth.”
Explaining his choice for sculpting a woman, Mwafak says that “women represent hope – they are the ones who continue life as they give birth”, further adding that the women who endure the danger and strain of the migration journey are exceptionally strong and resilient.
Among others, the Festival will screen Sans Le Kosovo, in which the director and her father retrace his exile as a 19-year-old refugee from Kosovo in 1968. In Nowhere Man, a nameless refugee in Korea from Pakistan who does not appear onscreen, reminds us of all the refugees who have passed by us over the years. Over 30 movies in total will be screened worldwide.
Some of the filmmakers participating in the Festival have migrated at a certain point in their lives, and will put forth their talent, experiences and vision through movies spanning across all genres. Most of the screenings will be followed by a discussion panel consisting of filmmakers, migrants and other guests.
A committee of international film professionals and migration specialists will select three standout productions from the Emerging Filmmakers category and one standout production from the Professional Filmmakers category. Each winner will receive USD 1,500. The award ceremony will take place on 18 December in Les Cinémas du Grütli, Geneva.
The Global Migration Film Festival is not only spreading migration stories around the globe to inform, inspire, educate and transform, but it is also bringing the skills of storytelling through filmmaking, to vulnerable communities. With the support of IOM Development Fund (IDF) and Norcap, Participatory Video workshops took place in Amman, Jordan and Malakal, South Sudan.
During the five-day process, the youth groups created their own films. The participatory process empowers the participants. From the decision of the subject to the editing, every step was conducted by the group with the support of the facilitators.
The Global Migration Film Festival is a partner of Plural+, a youth-produced video festival, and the UN campaign, TOGETHER, which aims to change negative perceptions and attitudes towards refugees and migrants.
For more information, please contact IOM HQ:
Leonard Doyle, Tel: + 41 22 717 9589, Email: ldoyle@iom.int
Amanda Nero, Tel: +41 22 717 9111, Email: anero@iom.int

2017 Global Migration Film Festival: Call for Entries

 Call-for-Films

Switzerland — The UN Migration Agency (IOM) is inviting professional and emerging filmmakers to submit perception-changing films about the migrant experience for the second annual Global Migration Film Festival (5–18 December).
The Global Migration Film Festival showcases films that capture the promise and challenges of migration for those who leave their homes in search of a better life and the unique contributions migrants make to their new communities.
In 2016, the inaugural festival took place in 89 countries. Nearly 10,000 people attended 220 screenings at cinemas, universities, cultural institutions and other venues. The festival hosted 13 films and documentaries, as well as 200 short films about and by migrants.
“The journeys migrants take, sometimes full of peril, often full of hope, have been the subject of films throughout the history of cinema,” said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing. “We hope the films at our next festival will instil understanding, empathy with characters, awe at their journeys and admiration for those who welcome their new neighbours.”
Categories, awards and submission information
  • The film submission period is from 3 July to 17 September 2017.
  • Festival themes: The promise and challenge of migration, and the positive contributions migrants make to their new communities.
  • Professional filmmakers working in all genres are invited to submit films of at least 25 minutes in length for consideration.
  • Emerging filmmakers from 92 select countries are invited to submit films of at least 25 minutes in length for both the festival and a competition.  A committee of international film professionals will select three standout productions, and each winner will receive USD 1,500.
  • Filmmakers from 92 select countries who have migrated in their lifetime are invited to submit a short video about their own experience, or a profile of other migrants, to become part of IOM’s global i am a migrant campaign. These videos will also be considered for screening at the 2017 film festival.
  • Festival locations, dates and selected films will be announced in October 2017.
  • Visit IOM’s website for more details about categories, awards and submission guidelines.
The Global Migration Film Festival is a partner of Plural+ and the UN campaign,TOGETHER, which aim to change negative perceptions and attitudes towards refugees and migrants.
Contacts:
For more details about IOM’s Global Migration Film Festival and the i am a migrant campaign, email: migfilmfest@iom.int
Media queries, email: media@iom.int
For further information on becoming a partner, sponsor or festival co-host, contact: migfilmfest@iom.int

Supreme Court has agreed to hear today itself a fresh plea seeking to curb rising pollution in Delhi and the national capital region (NCR).
A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud considered the submission of lawyer R K Kapoor that rise in dust particles on roads and stubble burning in Delhi’s neighbouring states have led to an alarming rise in pollution levels in the NCR and its adjoining areas.
Asserting that the pollution cannot be ignored, the bench decided to hear the plea today after finishing the listed matters.The plea seeks direction to the Centre and the states concerned to take measures on curbing road dust and stubble burning. It also seeks effective implementation of the odd-even car rationing scheme.

PM Modi holds talks with Donald Trump


Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump today held bilateral talks on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit in Manila.
Both leaders discussed a range of key issues including defence and security.
The meeting in the Philippines capital came a day after officials of India, the US, Japan and Australia held talks to give shape to the much talked about quadrilateral alliance to keep the strategically important Indo-Pacific region free, open and inclusive.

ICG EVACUATES GERMAN PASSENGER

ICG EVACUATES 75 YEARS OLD CARDIAC STROKE  GERMAN PASSENGER AT HIGH SEAS OFF GOA
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In a swift response operation undertaken by Indian Coast Guard on        11 Nov 2017, a 75 years old German passenger who suffered from cardiac stroke at sea was successfully evacuated from MV ‘Mein Schiff I’ off Goa.
At about 1415 Hrs on 11 Nov, Indian Coast Guard Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre at Goa received a call from master of a Cruise Liner         ‘MV Mein Schiff I’ for urgent Medical evacuation of a 75 years old German Passenger who suffered from Cardiac Stroke, Hypertension and Lung fibrosis.  The Malta flagged passenger vessel was on passage from Mumbai to Colombo.
On receipt of information Coast Guard District Headquarter, Goa launched helicopter and deployed a fast interceptor vessel C-148 with medical team. Meanwhile the agent of the vessel was directed to arrange cardiac ambulance with medical team near shore.
In a well calibrated operation at high sea, the Coast Guard helicopter evacuated the patient by winching up while taking all precautions as there was no landing area onboard the vessel. The patient was thereafter safely handed over to vessel agent at Miramar beach, Goa. The patient is reported to be stable  and under medical observation at Manipal Hospital, Goa.
The Indian Coast Guard, being the Nodal Agency for Maritime Search and Rescue in the Indian Search and Rescue Region, has been providing yeoman service by responding to calls of distress from mariners and sea farers in tune with its moto..We Protect. The prompt response and daring evacuation of the critically ill patient by Coast Guard helicopter was highly applauded by the 1855 foreign tourists onboard the Cruise Liner.