Thursday, March 7, 2013

dear readers

we have moved on to for the latest posts, kindly visit the new site.
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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Happy New Year

here's wishing all readers a happy and prosperous new year. for the latest take from us, please visit Our sincere apologies for the trouble, see you around! And when you are there, don't forget to like us on Facebook!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Dear Friends,
we are in the process of transiting to a more user friendly, social media integrated site

like all transitions, there will be some glitches and hick-up's on the way. kindly bear with us and tell us how we can serve you better.

Hope to see you. Rest assured, we will try to do a better job.

Thank You,

Friday, October 5, 2012

Off to Bangalore to attend XIA 2012 (SXCCAA South Zone Chapter's Annual do.) Back Sunday evening. please bear with us. Promise to post happy pictures from Bang a Lore!

Dutch court grants Greenpeace right to stage peaceful protests against Shell

Amsterdam, October 5, 2012 -- Royal Dutch Shell has failed in its bid to win a sweeping injunction against two offices of Greenpeace, a setback to the company’s attempt to end protests by the environmental group over Arctic oil drilling.
In a ruling issued today, Shell’s proposed injunction was rebuffed by the President of the Amsterdam court, Han Jongeneel, who said the protests Greenpeace Netherlands has already taken in the Netherlands at Shell’s headquarters and petrol stations were both proportionate and appropriate in light of Greenpeace’s earlier efforts to end Shell’s Arctic oil drilling through other means.
“A company like Shell, that is taking actions or plans to take actions that are controversial in society and which many people will object to, can and should expect that actions will be taken to try to change its mind. Such actions – in order to be effective – will have to be capable of disadvantaging Shell,” Jongeneel wrote.
“The principle of proportionality entails that actions should not go beyond what is necessary to reach the intended goal. To date, Greenpeace has respected this requirement by not taking action at all Shell fuel stations (about 600), but at approximately 70. Therefore, there is no need to grant an injunction on this point; although Greenpeace will have to continue taking this requirement into account in future,” the judge said.
The ruling, which is in place for the next six months, allows activists to stage protests at Shell properties in the Netherlands for a maximum of two hours and to disrupt fuel sales for up to an hour.
Greenpeace is pursuing a major international campaign against the oil giant over its plans to drill in the melting Arctic, and Greenpeace offices across the globe have staged a series of peaceful direct actions at fuel stations, on icebreaking ships and at company offices over the past year.
Responding to the news, Greenpeace International Executive Director Kumi Naidoo said:
“Shell’s latest attempt to silence its critics has failed. The judge rejected the majority of this injunction and has reminded the company that civil disobedience is a right in democracies, even when its business is impacted. Over two million people have joined our campaign to protect the Arctic and they will not be deterred by unwarranted legal bullying.
“We must ask ourselves which party in this case presents a greater threat to the public interest – a peaceful environmental group or a desperate oil company determined to send rigs into the freezing Arctic ocean. Shell has no credible response plan in the event of an oil spill, which would be a financial and environmental disaster.
“This injunction will not prevent us from opposing Arctic drilling passionately and peacefully both in the Netherlands and across the world. We can’t match Shell’s enormous financial muscle, but we have creativity and millions of people behind us. This is the defining environmental battle of our time and we have only just begun.”
Shell initially demanded an injunction that would have prevented Greenpeace activists or sympathisers anywhere in the world from protesting legally within 500 meters of any Shell property – even on public land at the risk of fines of more than 1 million euros.
The company was forced to narrow its request after the judge cautioned that he could throw the case out if he considered the claim excessive. The judge granted a limited injunction, which left two offices – Greenpeace Netherlands and Greenpeace International – facing penalties of 25,000 euros for every hour that they are in breach of the injunction.
This year Shell has pursued a highly aggressive legal strategy against Greenpeace and a range of other environmental groups:
• In the United States, Greenpeace US is subject to an injunction preventing staff or supporters from coming within 500 metres of any Shell drilling or support vessel.
• Separately, Greenpeace US and 12 other US environmental and Indigenous groups are being sued to preempt challenges to the company’s oil spill response plan.
• In New Zealand, police are pursuing an inflated NZD 725,000 (€467,000) damage claim on behalf of Shell against activists, including actress Lucy Lawless, who occupied one of its two Arctic drilling rigs.
Shell’s final request contained a clause which demands that Greenpeace International “instruct other Greenpeace offices around the world to refrain from any action that would interfere with Shell’s business in the Netherlands”.
The injunction granted today is limited to Greenpeace International and Greenpeace Netherlands. National and regional Greenpeace offices around the world operate independently in contributing to the implementation of global campaign strategies decided by Greenpeace International.

Government of India and World Bank Sign $500 Million Agreement for Secondary Education Project - Nearly 35 million students to benefit annually by 2015

NEW DELHI, October 05, 2012 - The World Bank today signed a $500 million credit agreement with the government of India to support the government’s efforts at making good quality education available, accessible and affordable to all young persons at the secondary level (grades IX and X).
The Secondary Education Project will support all activities as envisioned in the $12.9 billion Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) program, the flagship government of India program for gradual universalization of secondary education.
The government has made great strides in the area of elementary education over the past ten years. Net elementary enrollment rate stands at 96 percent and girls are almost equally represented in elementary education as boys. Attention is now needed for secondary education where the gross enrollment rate stands at about 60 percent and quality of education is very low. Access is also unequal and many poor households cannot afford the costs of secondary education, particularly in rural areas.
This Project is designed to meet critical needs in secondary education. First, to make sure that secondary education expands in such a way that quality and equity are enhanced at the same time; second, to develop and evaluate innovative approaches to secondary education; and, third, to leverage World Bank resources to help the Government address systemic issues in the sector.
“The government of India has been investing in primary education for more than a decade and a half. These investments have resulted in more elementary graduates, which means that the demand for secondary education has gone up tremendously, especially in the last five years. Also, the skills and knowledge requirements of the labor force in a globalized economy requires high quality secondary graduates. This necessitates revamping the secondary education system in India,” said Prabodh Saxena, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance. “It is in response to this surging demand that the government has launched the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan or RMSA – a centrally-sponsored scheme – on the lines of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA). This World Bank Project will support the objectives and activities of RMSA.”
The agreement for the Secondary Education Project was signed by Prabodh Saxena on behalf of the Government of India and Onno RËhl, World Bank Country Director for India on behalf of the World Bank.
“The Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) program has a major focus on the quality of education, in addition to access. Recent international research confirms that improved quality – measured by cognitive skills – is important in determining future income and contribution to economic growth. Hence the country needs its entire young people to get good quality secondary education,” said Onno Rûhl, World Bank Country Director for India. “RMSA is a young program which is expected to grow rapidly and the World Bank is proud to have the opportunity to support the government of India in building effective systems as the Program expands while improving quality.”
This World Bank Project will support the objectives and activities of RMSA. It will facilitate a whole set of mechanisms built around identifying what is needed to improve the quality of secondary education. The RMSA Program has also established a monitoring system, which will be further enhanced through this Project, including a forthcoming new grade ten national assessment. Teachers will be appointed and trained using new pedagogical techniques in line with the National Curriculum Framework 2005. Provisions will be made for setting up libraries, science and computer laboratories.
Today, most of the economic and employment growth in India is taking place in skilled services like information technology, financial services, telecommunications and skill-intensive manufacturing, all of which require, at a minimum, a secondary education degree. Surveys show that someone who completes secondary education can expect to earn 36 percent more than someone completing primary education, which indicates companies are looking for the types of knowledge and skills gained.
The Project also recognizes that teachers are vital to the success of the RMSA Program. “Efforts to improve quality will not succeed unless there are sufficient and capable teachers in all classrooms supported by the Program. The Program will also encourage and provide resources for innovations, which will spark new solutions for quality, equity and access, and promote public-private partnerships", said Toby Linden, the Project’s Task Team Leader and Lead Education Specialist, World Bank.
In addition, expansion, repair and renovation will take place in some 60,000 existing government secondary schools; some 44,000 upper primary schools will be upgraded into secondary schools; and about 11,000 new secondary and senior secondary schools will come up mainly in underserved areas. Efforts will also be made to strengthen the role of local bodies in school management, which can, over time, lead to greater accountability and improved outcomes.
The Project will be financed by a credit from the International Development Association (IDA) – the World Bank’s concessionary lending arm – which provides interest-free loans with 25 years to maturity and a grace period of five years.