Six charts that show how India should approach emission cuts

In the face of the much-touted US-China climate deal, India’s strategy of piggybacking on China to avoid taking compulsory carbon emission cuts has backfired.

The international pressure is now firmly on India—the third largest polluter in the world—to act decisively against climate change. However, a closer look at climate data shows that while population and steep economic growth are the two reasons why India has become a major carbon emitter, it is much less responsible for climate change than many other comparable nations.

Here are six charts that show how India should juggle the trinity of international pressure, its own development concerns and the need for a clean environment for its own sake.

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via Livemint.

Everything you need to know: Land swap with Bangladesh

A Standing Committee has urged Parliament to bring a Bill to ratify the Land Boundary Agreement between India and Bangladesh.

India and Bangladesh have a common land boundary of approximately 4,096.7 km. The India-East Pakistan land boundary was determined as per the Radcliffe Award of 1947. Disputes arose out of some provisions in the award.

The Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) of 1974, was signed on May 16, 1974, soon after the independence of Bangladesh, to find a solution to the complex nature of border demarcation. While Bangladesh ratified the agreement, India didn’t as it involved seceding territory and indicating these precise areas on the ground. The 1974 agreement provided that India would retain half of Berubari Union No. 12 and in exchange Bangladesh would retain the Dahagram and Angarpota enclaves. The Agreement further provided that India would lease in perpetuity to Bangladesh a small area near Dahagram and Angarpota (the “Tin Bigha” corridor) for the purpose of connecting Dahagram and Angarpota with Bangladesh.

Finally the agreement was implemented in entirety, though India did not ratify, with the exception of three issues pertaining to un-demarcated land boundary of approximately 6.1 km in three sectors — Daikhata-56 (West Bengal), Muhuri River-Belonia (Tripura) and Lathitila-Dumabari (Assam); exchange of enclaves; and adverse possessions.

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via Indian Express

AIDS campaigners say pandemic has finally reached tipping point

The world has finally reached “the beginning of the end” of the AIDS pandemic that has infected and killed millions in the past 30 years, according to a leading campaign group fighting HIV.

The number of people newly infected with HIV over the last year was lower than the number of HIV-positive people who joined those getting access to the medicines they need to take for life to keep AIDS at bay.

But in a report to mark World AIDS Day on 1 December, the ONE campaign, an advocacy group working to end poverty and preventable disease in Africa, warned that reaching this milestone did not mean the end of AIDS was around the corner.

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via Reuters.

Ultra-superfast 5G broadband comes closer

Researchers are investigating how software-defined cellular networking might be used to give smartphone users the next generation of super-superfast broadband – 5G.

Currently, the fourth generation of mobile phone connection technology, 4G, in as far as it has been adopted provides broadband-type connectivity through two standards: the Mobile WiMAX standard and the first-release Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard.

The hope is to be able to achieve download speeds of perhaps 10 Gbits/s, researchers said.

The research is being undertaken by Ming Lei of Samsung Research and Development Institute China, Lei Jiang of NEC Laboratories, Beijing with colleagues at the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China in Chengdu, Beijing Jiaotong University and the University of Kurdistan.

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via The Economic Times.

Kotak Mahindra Bank-ING Vysya Bank merger – A trendsetter bank merger?

Is the Kotak Mahindra Bank-ING Vysya Bank merger announcement last week the beginning of a much-talked about and advocated consolidation in Indian banking space? Or, is it just a one-off aberration?

It is a little premature to read in this amalgamation move a much larger trend in the industry. Nevertheless, the deal has yet again brought the focus firmly on the need for consolidation in the banking field in the context of happenings in the global arena.

Also, the inevitability of consolidation has to be understood in the light of stricter policy, regulatory and governance requirements.

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via  The Hindu

Essay – Corporate Social Responsibility

The evolution of the concept and definition of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has an impressive history associated with it. During the 1960s and 1970s, meaning of CSR was further expanded and. In the 1980s, more empirical research and alternative themes began to mature. These alternative themes included corporate social performance (CSP), stakeholder theory, and business ethics theory.

One of the most frequently asked questions is: what is the meaning of “Corporate Social Responsibility” ? There are various definitions provided by various organisations. The most appropriate and common definition is: Corporate Social Responsibility is that exercise which helps the companies to have a positive impact on the society in the process of managing their business.

According to the book “Making Good Business Sense” by Lord Holme and Richard Watts, “Corporate Social Responsibility is the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large”.

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India has world’s largest number of voluntary givers

India tops the charts when it comes to the largest number of volunteers anywhere in the world. Nearly 18.65 crore people in India support non-profit organizations (popularly known as non-government organizations or NGOs) by volunteering their time and effort. In stark contrast, China, with only 6.8 crore volunteers, was fourth on this list.

Compared with the previous findings relating to 2012, the number of Indians volunteering time has shot up by three percentage points as 29 million more people contributed their time in 2013. These findings were released by Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), a global non-profit that compiles the World Giving Index annually.

India has climbed 24 places (from 93) in its overall ranking of 69 out of the 135 countries that participated in the World Giving Index 2014 survey. This index looks at three measures of giving during 2013: The number of people who have given money to charity, volunteered their time or helped a stranger.

When it comes to the sheer number of participants in these acts of giving, India’s booming 100-crore population has shown that it has a large heart.

Nearly 40.9 crore Chinese went out of their way to help a stranger and China led the pack when it came to the number of people helping others. India, with 34.6 crore people doing so, was second.

via The Times of India.