Sunday, September 30, 2012
Why India could remain forever poor
If there is one story that contains in it all the reasons why India remains a poor country, it is the story of the Vedanta aluminum refinery in Odisha. Now that economic reforms are back on the government’s agenda, it is a story I hope high officials, high-minded judges and busybody NGOs listen to carefully. Why do I tell it this week? Because earlier this month, Sterlite Industries gave notice that they are closing their Lanjigarh refinery because it is bleeding to death. It has lost Rs 2,500 crores trying to stay alive these past two years. When it closes, 6,500 people will lose their jobs in one of India’s poorest districts.
On a tour of Kalahandi’s villages, during the 1987 drought, I saw poverty so horrific that memories of children dying slowly in barren mud huts remains etched painfully not just in my mind but in my heart. The rains failed that year so the economy based on a single annual crop collapsed and thousands of Adivasi families were forced to live on a diet of birdseed and mango kernels for months. Women started selling babies they could not longer feed.
You would think then, would you not, that if someone was prepared to bring investment to such a desolate place he would be applauded, welcomed with open arms. The very opposite happened and for the wrong reasons. The first people to start protesting against Vedanta were foreigners. Had the refinery functioned on bauxite from the nearby Niyamgiri hills, aluminum could have been produced in Lanjigarh at $1,500 a tonne, instead of the global cost of $2,050. This caused alarm bells to start ringing in the ears of the international aluminum industry and soon powerful foreign NGOs appeared in Kalahandi to stop the project. Greenpeace and Amnesty International are still there supposedly to protect the interests, and sacred hills, of forest-dwelling Adivasi tribes.
The ‘foreign hand’ would not have mattered if the Government of India had not intervened to make the functioning of the refinery impossible in different ways. One of which was to declare that bauxite could not be mined in the Niyamgiri hills. There continues to be confusion about whether this was for environmental reasons or whether it was to protect Adivasis from losing their land. But, once mining was banned, the Orissa Mining Corporation that had signed an agreement with Vedanta to supply it with 150 million tonnes of bauxite, could no longer do so. It has so far been unable to supply an ounce. Vedanta’s environmental, governmental and NGO problems began after an investment of more than Rs 15,000 crores had already been made in the refinery so for two years it functioned on bauxite imported from other states. An unviable situation so the project will now close.
The Adivasis can now go back to living in primitive harmony with nature without schools for their children, without healthcare, without electricity or clean water and without the possibility of ever improving their lives. Will they be happy this way? Only according to urban NGOs who build flourishing businesses on romanticising desperate poverty and a way of life that they themselves could not abide for a single day.
What is interesting about the targeting of Vedanta by such a range of vested interests is that if it were a public sector company, it could have gone ahead and raped the Niyamgiri hills without anyone noticing. It has happened often in the past and continues to happen across the country. So when the Prime Minister sets in motion his new phase of economic reform, he should ask himself why. Could it be because those who would like to see India’s private sector remain the stunted creature it once was would like it to go back to being that way?
Judging from the tirades of NGOs and leftist political parties, this seems to be the case. They want all the country’s natural resources to remain in the hands of the state even if governments lack the money and the technology to exploit them. They appear never to have asked themselves why it is states that are richest in natural resources whose people remain mired in horrible poverty. Sadly they have been able to get away with the rubbish they talk in the name of the poor because the Prime Minister has never explained the need for economic reforms.
If all he can come up with is the kind of speech he made last week about ‘money not growing on trees’, then there is not the smallest chance that the reforms will succeed. The noise made by those who are either economically illiterate or have a vested interest in India remaining a poor country forever is too loud and the mood of negativity they have created too deep. The lies they have told are widely believed.
Freight rate of cement, iron ore to go up
Freight rates on certain goods like cement, iron ore and coal are going to rise by more than 5 per cent with service tax and busy season charge coming into force from October 1.Railways will realise 3.708 per cent service tax and 2 per cent busy season surcharge on goods loading from October 1, said a senior Railway Ministry official.
However, the 2 per cent busy season surcharge will not be levied on foodgrains, flours, pulses and chemical manures.
The busy season charge will remain in force from October 1 to March 31.As far as service tax is concerned, according to a notification, transportation of petroleum products, foodgrains, pulses, jute, fruits and vegetables are exempted from it.
However, service tax on all other goods like iron ore, coal, cement would be levied at the rate of 3.708 per cent.Service tax is 12.36 per cent but after adjustment of 70 per cent of this, it will effectively be 3.708 per cent on freight services.Service tax on freight was announced in 2009-10 Union Budget but the Trinamool Congress, which had held the Railway Ministry, had objected it.
- Umesh Shanmugam
Tourist from Buddhist Countries to get Visa on Arrival Sahai Inaugurates International Buddhist Conclave
Union Tourism Minister Shri Subodh Kant Sahai has said that tourist from countries having sizable Buddhist population such as Thailand and Malaysia would be provided the facility of Visa on Arrival ( VOA). Inaugurating a two day International Buddhist Conclave at Varanasi today, he said his Ministry had also decided to develop a Ghat in the temple town Varanasi in the name of Lord Buddha on the bank of river Ganga. He said his Ministry had adopted a Keep India Clean Mission to keep clean the cities particularly tourist places across the country to attract maximum tourists. The Minister appealed to the State Governments to take initiatives for the success this Mission. He assured full cooperation of his Ministry to the state Government local administration to keep the holy city of Varanasi clean.
Shri Sahai said India being the land of origin of Buddhism, is the main attraction for the Buddhist tourists from across the globe. He said his Ministry is drawing up plans to to attract more tourists from Buddhist countries by providing them special facilities. Buddhism being a world religion now, its sites have a great attraction for tourists’ world over. The Ministry of Tourism is continuing with its efforts in identifying more and more Buddhist Circuits and developing them in holistic and integrated manner.
Shri Sahai announced that his Ministry has identified three circuits to be developed as part of Buddhist Circuits during the 12th Five Year Plan.they are:Circuit 1: The Dharmayatra or the Sacred Circuit - This will be a 5 to 7 days circuit and will include visits to Gaya (Bodhgaya), Varanasi (Sarnath), Kushinagar, Piparva ( Kapilvastu) with a day trip to Lumbini in Nepal.Circuit 2: Extended Dharmayatra or Extended Sacred Circuit or Retracing Buddha’s Footsteps - This will be a 10 to 15 days circuit and will include visit to Bodhgaya (Nalanda, Rajgir, Barabar caves, Pragbodhi Hill, Gaya), Patna (Vaishali, Lauriya Nandangarh, Lauriya Ariraj, Kesariya, Patna Museum), Varanasi(Sarnath), Kushinagar, Piparva (Kapilvastu, Shravasti, Saniska) with a day trip to Lumbini in Nepal.Circuit 3: Buddhist Heritage Trails State Circuits- Jammu and Kashmir - Ladakh, Srinagar and Jammu; Himachal Pradesh - Dharamshala, Spiti, Kinnaur and Lahaul. Shri Sahai expressed the hope that deliberations at the conclave would help us to carry on this process of identifying and developing more Buddhist circuits.
The Tourism Minister said that tourism today is being looked upon as a driver of economic growth. India too has seen rapid development in tourism over the last few years apart from promoting our rich heritage and culture and its diversity. He said during 12th Five Year Plan period we have identified around 35 major integrated circuits and destinations having potential to attract a large number of tourists. It is proposed to develop around 20 tourism parks on the lines of Sentosa Islands in Singapore
The conclave is being held with a view to showcasing and projecting the Buddhist Heritage of India. The delegates at the conclave include the International Buddhist scholars, tour operators and media both domestic and international who actively promote Buddhist Tourism. About 130 Overseas guests including Buddhist Scholars/Tour Operators and Media representatives (mainstream media and travel journalists) from 30 countries including Australia,Belgium,Bhutan,Cambodia,Canada,China,France,Holland,Hungary,Indonesia,Italy,Japan,laos,Malaysia,Myanmar,New Zealand, Phillipines, Republic of Korea, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sri lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, UK, USA and Vietnam are attending the conclave. More than one hundred Indian Tour Operators, Scholars, Media personnel from 16 States/UTs including Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Bihar are also attending the Conclave.
The Conclave is an important tourism marketing event designed to bring together international buyers from around the world particularly from the popular Buddhist destinations like Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Korea, China etc. together, to interact, promote and sell, with the objective of increasing tourist arrivals to India and specifically to the Buddhist sites in different states.
The Conclave sessions include Technical sessions on Buddhism for scholars, and travel and Tourism sessions for the media and Tour operators. The delegates will also be taken for site visits to Bodh Gaya and Nalanda. The International Buddhist Conclave in India is being organized after a period of two years. The last Conclave was organized in Nalanda in February 2010.
FORE School of Management, New Delhi and National Human Resource Development Network together organized a daylong seminar on leveraging HRD on Social Media. The summit sought to deliberate and discuss hitherto untapped opportunities for HR professionals to use social media effectively and make a unique and positive difference at workplace.
Four highly interactive sessions were planned with presentations and Q&A sessions with an emphasis on real life examples and experience sharing. HR heads of 14 leading corporate houses shared ideas on adopting the new platform to foster a culture of innovation and bring positive difference at workplace.
Dr. Jitendra K Das, Director, FORE School of Management, New Delhi, welcomed the over 200 industry leaders stating, “Instead of saying Good Morning ladies and gentlemen, it will be more appropriate to say good morning netizens. We are today the most connected generation with people logging into Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter as soon as they wake up, follow or like their connections and update own status through the day.
Dr. Das further added “We are witness to a phenomenon similar to the choupals of villages in olden days where people met every evening and work could be assigned or asked for. As the prospective talent pool increase their virtual presence and spend longer time exploring new and exciting features, it makes business sense for organizations to increase their presence in social media to tap them. Industry is now creating specific and sustained social media sub-strategy as part of their Employer and Employee Branding initiatives.”
Mr. C Mahalingam, Hon. President, NHRDN Bangalore Chapter & Executive Vice President & Chief People Officer, Symphony Services Corporation said, “The traditional hiring method is like a funnel, when what we need is a tunnel. Advanced technology and Social Media platforms finally provide such opportunity.”
Aadil Bandukwala - Talent Acquisition Social Media Advisor - India, Dell explained trends in hiring how couple of decades ago HR managers used print ads but they were proving to be very costly. A decade ago job portals came up as a cheaper and quicker means. Today the trend is social media. It is a killer research tool, one can incorporate interactive widgets and track the effectiveness using Boolean search and all at a much lower cost.
K Raghavendra – Head- Human Resources, Infosys BPO spoke on importance of content on social media stating that candidates are already posting video resume on You Tube and using interesting slideshare presentations. He also demonstrated how ‘infybubble’ is being used for employee engagement and their ‘campus connect’ initiative has been enhanced for better industry-academia collaboration using social media technologies.
Praveen Kamath, GM & Global Head, Talent Acquisition of Wipro informed that his organization has given a special mandate for hiring via social media in April 2012 and the results are very encouraging for all levels of recruitments. It can be used to advertise job opportunities, identify talent, conduct reference checks amongst many others. Besides, Nasscom is planning to make a policy framework for such hiring.
Ranjan Sinha, Chairman & CEO, MyParichay believes that social hiring as subset of hiring is a distinct and disruptive change. LinkedIn, one the most used networks, will overtake Monster.com in earnings this quarter as per their projections. Since most social networks are in sync today, it possible to log in from a single id and send and receive job opportunities from multiple networks or groups. Advanced mobile technologies enables social media access on the move.
To drive innovation in organizations one needs to cross-fertilize ideas from several employees. While such ideas can be generated through brainstorming or workshops, many speakers demonstrated how it can be facilitated online. Besides, Global organizations have several virtual teams working together across countries & cultures which entails a strong and urgent need for sustained collaborative working, continuous learning and resources at your ‘fingertips’! Social media can be used for Employee Insights and used in unconventional ways to drive employee engagement & communication efforts.
Other HR heads who shared their ideas included A Sreekanth - Britannia Industries, Srinivas Bikkina - AT&T, Anshumal Dikshit - iGATE, Abhay Valsangkar - Avaya India, Kaushik Gopalan - Symphony Teleca, Sudeesh Venkatesh - Azim Premji Foundation, Padma Rajeswari Nandi – Dr Reddy’s Labs, Surya Prakash Mohapatra - HP Global Business Services., Namrata Gill - Mahindra & Mahindra, KG Umesh – The Himalaya Drug Company to name a few.
About FORE School of Management, New Delhi
Foundation for Organizational Research and Education (FORE) is committed to the advancement of Management Education, Research, Training and Consultancy. Incorporated in 1981, as a non-profit institution, FORE has been working with industry and academia for developing new domains of managerial thought and education and contributing to building leaders in today's global business environment.
STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, will showcase its latest contactless products and technologies at RFID/USN Korea 2012, September 25 and 27, at COEX.
With the dramatic increase in demand for contactless solutions in healthcare, medical and fitness markets, ST’s unique dual-interface EEPROM products should draw a great deal of attention. These EEPROMs deliver valuable information in conjunction with an RFID reader such as in a NFC-enabled smart phone. The EEPROMs are designed to enable both wired and wireless two-way reading/writing with a low-power I2C interface or in ISO15693 mode. Featuring convenient design features and advanced ‘energy harvesting’ technology for cost efficiency, the dual-interface EEPROMs also enable power to be supplied autonomously through RF signals. These EEPROMs can help with the development of applications that enable easy monitoring of health information such as blood pressure and body temperature at any time or place. ST will host a separate presentation for its latest dual-interface EEPROMs at a new technology/solution workshop taking place on sidelines of the RFID/USN Korea event on September 26.
In addition to the dual-interface EEPROMs, ST will also display other notable products, including an NFC transceiver and controller,. These two devices are very cost effective in comparison to competitors' products and deliver NFC functionality and safe connectivity in diverse applications. With the increasing incorporation of payment systems into smart phones and tablets, ST’s NFC products have received praise for satisfying digital market trends with various advantages including personal information protection and authentication, as well as convenient design. They can be used for a variety of NFC applications in transportation, smart metering, P2P, logical/physical access, and pairing. Moreover, connecting a microcontroller with ST’s NFC transceiver extends its usefulness beyond the mobile market.
Addressing security and authentication issues, ST showcases at RFID/USN Korea 2012 its cutting-edge AuKey security architecture and a Trusted Platform Module (TPM).
RFID/USN Korea is the country’s only exhibition of RFID/USN products and technologies. ST will use rhe event as a platform not only to showcase its latest world-class products and technologies, but also to get hands-on experience with the other products on display and to exchange information with participating companies from other industries.
You can learn more about the ST products to be displayed at RFID/USN Korea 2012 by contacting email@example.com
ST is a global leader in the semiconductor market serving customers across the spectrum of sense and power technologies and multimedia convergence applications. From energy management and savings to trust and data security, from healthcare and wellness to smart consumer devices, in the home, car and office, at work and at play, ST is found everywhere microelectronics make a positive and innovative contribution to people's life. By getting more from technology to get more from life, ST stands for life.augmented.
In 2011, the Company’s net revenues were $9.73 billion. Further information on ST can be found at www.st.com.
CII Eastern Region organized the 7th edition of its annual flagship event Healthcare East with the theme ‘Progress through Partnership” today in Kolkata. Smt Chandrima Bhattacharya, Hon’ble Minister of State, Department of Health & Family Welfare, Government of West Bengal mentioned that private sector needs to join hands with the government to enhance the healthcare delivery mechanism of the state especially in the rural region where 73% of the population is dependent on the government for healthcare. She specifically addressed the representatives from foreign countries and pledged support from the government for initiatives with a concern for the society. Smt Bhattacharya affirmed that healthcare is of high priority to the government and the Hon’ble Chief Minister herself looks after its development. She went on to highlight some of the initiatives of the government with private sector like medical colleges, diagnostic facilities, pathological labs and mobile healthcare facilities in Jangalmahal and Sunderban. She divulged plans of fair price shops in government premises that will provide cheap medicine at a high discount rate. She mentioned that on some of the medicine upto 67% of discount by the bidder has been availed. Dr James W Long, Director, INTEGRIS Advance Cardiac Care, USA discussed the social side of medical profession and mentioned that there is need to transform charitable institutions into sustainable organizations with viable business model. He mentioned that the growth of medical tourism in eastern region exhibits the excellent business models applied that make cost effective quality treatment available. He mentioned that the region is endowed with some of the best brains that are willing to engage in improving healthcare in the region. Therefore he urged the need to stop lip service and move towards delivery of affordable healthcare. Mr Sanjay M Wadvani, British Deputy High Commissioner - Eastern India, quoted Danny Boyle to highlight the importance of NHS in UK,“ We believe as a nation in universal healthcare.” He informed about the proposed visit of British health secretary to India that would further help cooperation of UK to improve Indian healthcare system. He also discussed about NHS global that studies the models for implementation of NHS in various countries. He also mentioned that 14 billion pound sterling has been invested in UK 280 healthcare schemes in PPP model. He mentioned that consultancy services from UK can help the Indian healthcare providers that are trying to create a brand in the global healthcare market. Dr Kunal Sarkar, Vice President, Narayana Hrudayalaya highlighted the need for set deadlines in public projects to help the private sector. He also mentioned that the scope of government insurance scheme needs to be increased. He also mentioned that due to the low revenue generation in healthcare in the Eastern Region the governments need to handhold the private sector. Dr Rupali Basu, Chairperson, CII Healthcare Sub Committee (ER) & CEO, Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals, Kolkata highlighted on the need for partnership between the government and private sector to bridge critical infrastructure gap and improve healthcare delivery system. Mr R K Agrawal, Chairman, CII (ER), Managing Partner, SR Batliboi & Co also addressed the gathering.
Reliance has agreed to purchase BP’s interest in BPCM for $230 million in cash and both parties anticipate completing the transaction in 2012.
James Yim, head of BP's aromatics business in Asia, said: “This is an efficient plant with a good market position in the region. RECRON Malaysia, part of the Reliance Group, is already our largest customer in Malaysia and Reliance Industries is a significant feedstock supplier at Kuantan, so Reliance is a natural owner of this plant.”
Nick Elmslie, chief executive of BP Petrochemicals said: “BP has a major, global PTA business, with around one fifth of global PTA production capacity and a track record of leading technology. We will continue to concentrate our PTA strategy on deploying new technologies into high growth markets like China where we are in the middle of a considerable expansion programme, and in OECD markets where our technology gives us an advantage and high utilization rates.
“We are also building new revenue streams by licensing our PTA and paraxylene technologies.”
All current staff of BPCM are expected to transfer to the new owners under equivalent terms and conditions. BP’s acetic acid manufacturing and marketing business in Malaysia is unaffected by this sale.
The $230 million in cash includes the net value of working capital and cash, estimated at a Malaysian Ringgit to US Dollars exchange rate of 3.1. The final value will be determined by prevailing Ringgit exchange rate before completion of the sale.
Including this agreement, BP has agreed divestments of assets with a total value of around $33 billion since the start of 2010. BP currently expects to increase this total to $38 billion by the end of 2013.
BPCM’s PTA plant, commissioned in 1996, has nameplate production capacity of 610,000 tonnes per year (tpa).*
BP’s current net global PTA capacity is 7.5 million tonnes per year (mtpa) from eight sites in the US (2), Belgium, China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Taiwan (2). The largest is at Zhuhai, China where expansion of its current capacity of 1.5mtpa is expected to add a further 1.25mtpa by 2014, making it one of the world’s largest PTA manufacturing sites.*
BP has been present in Malaysia since the 1960s and has over 850 staff in the country, including BPCM.
BP has a 70 per cent interest in a 560,000tpa acetic acid plant in Kertih*; a lubricants plant at Port Klang; and markets lubricants in Malaysia under both the Castrol and BP brands.
BP is currently in the process of growing its Asian Business Service Centre in Kuala Lumpur, which supports business and functional operations both regionally and globally.
|Air Force Day Air Display: An Appeal|
The Indian Air Force celebrates its 80th anniversary on 08 Oct 2012. An air display by various aircraft will form part of the Air Force Day Parade cum Investiture Ceremony at Air Force Station Hindan. The rehearsal of the air display will commence from 1st October 2012. The areas over which aircraft will be flying at low levels are Wazirpur bridge –Karwalnagar – Afjalpur – Hindan, Shamli – Jiwana – Chandinagar – Hindon, Hapur – Philkua – Ghaziabad – Hindan.
The air display will commence with flag bearing sky divers of AKASH GANGA Team dropping out of AN-32 aircraft.
The commencement of the Air Force Day Parade will be marked by fly past of “ENSIGN” formation comprising of three Mi-17 V5 helicopters in Vic formation trooping the Air Force Ensign. “CHAKRA” formation comprising three Mi-25/35 in Vic formation would follow. This will be followed by “HERCULES” formation comprising of one C-130J Hercules aircraft and two AN-32 aircraft in echelon position on either side, followed by “SPECTRUM’ formation comprising one C-130J Hercules aircraft in the lead with two Avro and two Dornier aircraft flying past in “ECHELON’ position.
The fighter flypast will be led by three JAGUAR aircraft in Vic formation closely followed by BISON (MiG-21), BAAZ (MiG-29), VAJRA (Mirage 2000) aircraft and Su-30 MKI (Sukhoi) aircraft in Vic formation. Followed by a Su-30 MKI aircraft carrying out low level aerobatic display as grand finale to the ceremony.
Note: Kindly publish message in the box to help ensure a ‘safe’ flying environment.
Saturday, September 29, 2012
|PM’s Speech in the Conference on Economic Growth in Asia and Changes of Corporate Environment|
Following is the text of the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh’s address at the Conference on Economic Growth in Asia and Changes of Corporate Environment in Delhi today.
“It is indeed a privilege to address this distinguished gathering of legal experts and scholars from fourteen countries of Asia that all share common aspirations for improving the lives of their citizens. I extend a very warm welcome to guests from other countries. I hope you have a rewarding visit and use this opportunity not just for the conference but also to see a little bit of our country, which is a country of great diversity.
The 21st century is rightly spoken of as the Asian century. Economic growth in Asia in the last decade has positioned the region as the growth engine of the world. At a time when industrialised countries’ growth has greatly slowed down, GDP of Asian countries is estimated to grow by 6.9 percent in 2012 and 7.3 percent in 2013. The Asian region is thus expected to play a very crucial role in driving and stabilizing global recovery process.
This is part of a longer term recovery of the position Asia had two hundred and fifty years ago. If everything goes right, Asia’s share in the world economy could be greater than half by the year 2050, as against the present level of about 27 percent. The dramatic modernization of the Asian economies is acknowledged as one of the most important developments in the economic history of the world.
Asia’s corporate sector deserves a great deal of the credit for this massive transformation of Asia. It faces many challenges in the years ahead. We need modern, efficient and innovative companies, capable of competing with the best in the world and living up to the highest standards of corporate governance.
As Asian governments, we in the government have the responsibility to ensure that corporate laws match up to international standards, that the regulation of our stock exchanges comes up to the expectations of global investors and that our banking and financial sectors are exemplars of both efficiency and stability. We must build a climate that attracts investment and encourages and rewards innovation, and establish fair and effective regulatory institutions and also legal processes. Above all, we have the responsibility to ensure probity, transparency and accountability in processes of governance.
Asian countries are not all the same. There is a wide range of diversity among our countries in culture, history, geography, legal systems and institutions. But we do share a common humanity and destiny and I do believe we can learn greatly from each other even as we do things differently in many ways. I believe that we have much to learn from each other in terms of the institutions and methods that we have developed to address the formidable social and economic concerns of our respective societies and of our people.
The last century which has left behind a bitter legacy of the consequences of strife and conflict has also taught us about the immense benefits that could be gained from peace and from cooperation between countries. India was fortunate to have the guidance of Mahatma Gandhi who gave us the concept of Satyagraha to overcome formidable political opponents in pursuit of our Independence. His prescription of a just society based on commitment to truth and his concept of trusteeship of the nation’s wealth have guided us as India’s democracy, economy and society have evolved over the years. Morality as an intrinsic part of enterprise has been the basis of our development efforts and also our relations with the rest of the world.
Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister was the architect of modern India who spoke of the factories and dams as the new temples of secular India. He had a clear vision of the need to transform a rural and agricultural economy to a rapidly expanding modern economy, with an impressive manufacturing base. Since then we have seen new areas of transformation in modern services and a growing urban profile of our country.
As efforts are made the world over to redesign and reengineer business corporations to make them compatible with the aspirations of modern democratic societies, India can benefit from looking to its own traditions in several important respects. As I have said earlier, the concept of trusteeship of resources and wealth for the common citizen was articulated by Mahatma Gandhi based on traditional Indian thought. Similarly, the Indian philosophy of life which views man as a part of nature and one of the many living creatures, puts us in the mainstream of current thinking about concerns of environment and ecology.
Corporate governance including responsible conduct towards all the stakeholders, within the corporation as well as outside is also seen as good economics besides desired moral behaviour. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is therefore increasingly being seen as a fundamental dimension of the Social Contract between human beings and therefore sought to be subject to public disclosure and scrutiny. The contours and foot print of CSR are widely debated but there is today a growing consensus that it is intrinsically linked with the concept of sustainable development. A seamless structure is thus emerging that combines elements such as best practices in business, sustainable and equitable development strategies, as also redistribution of incomes and proper regulation of markets.
The evolving economic space has to be addressed by all organs of the government: the executive, legislature and the judiciary. Separation of powers has been the classical guarantee of constitutional government and the rule of law. The balance between the three organs may appear to get unsettled at times but ultimately it has stood the test of time. Whilst Parliament has endeavoured to give expression to the aspirations of the people, the higher judiciary in India has made the most remarkable innovations in the field of public law using instruments like Judicial Review of Administrative action and Public Interest or Social Action Litigation to both enforce constitutional mandates as well as to amplify the Constitution’s philosophy in a meaningful manner. But as the judges have themselves stated, in contemporary times conventional common law wisdom and the doctrine of stare decisis need to be fortified with knowledge of modern challenges and the response of applied sciences, including economics, as the Honourable Chief Justice of India just mentioned.
The ability for economic analysis of law is now as much of an imperative as familiarity with Information Technology and the world of computers. Certain schools of jurisprudence have for long been rooted in economic analysis and have seen the pattern of rights and duties primarily in those terms. There are other schools of thought as well including some rooted in ancient Indian traditions. But as recent judgements have shown the adjudication of rights and claims between parties including between State actors and non-State parties has wide implications for the economy and can no longer be viewed in isolation. Judicial decisions may at times have transnational impact since the global financial and trade systems are also becoming closely integrated. Therefore, Judges of the 21st century therefore have to be social scientists, economists, political thinkers and philosophers. We in India can justifiably feel proud that we are blessed with some of the finest judicial minds of the world, including some who are present here today, including some who are present here today in this distinguished gathering.
In response to transformational changes of this century, we are examining many of our commercial and corporate laws to make them relevant to the challenges that lie ahead, particularly for ensuring distributive equities and empowerment of the marginalised sections of our society. Increasing use of this word ‘inclusive’ is indication of this new emphasis on equity in economic and social processes. New laws in areas such as regulation of securities market, competition and limited liability partnerships have been put in place. We will soon bring before Parliament the new Companies Bill that has been in the making for quite some time now. Examples of progressive legislation in the past and proposed for the future abound.
It has been an enchanting journey for our country from controls to regulation, from the time when business was to be kept at a distance to the present when government seeks a complementary and partnership role with the private sector to expand our economic base and to empower the disadvantaged groups through inclusive, faster and sustainable development. There has been a learning curve in all this but at the end of the day a silent revolution has given us the ability to allow the private sector to explore its potential to the maximum and at the same time to empower the disadvantaged sections of our society to seek a place in the sun.
The collaborative efforts of the Indian Law Institute and Korea Legislation Research Institute to build the Asia Legal Information Network is indeed a welcome development in the field of legal research that would vastly benefit the Asian legal community, judges and scholars. Your deliberations and sharing of experience with each other at the conference will enrich our understanding of the challenges of contemporary times and strengthen our efforts to formulate ideas and strategies for the future. It will also bring us all closer together in bonds of friendship and shared aspirations. I pray that you return from New Delhi with fond memories of a friendly city and its history and with greater determination to work for peace and prosperity in all countries of Asia.”
|PM’s Address at CSIR Foundation Day|
Following is the text of the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh’s address at the CSIR Foundation Day function in New Delhi today:
“I am delighted to join you on the 70th Foundation Day of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. Dr. Brahmachari just reminded me of a personal attribute that I happen to share with the Council --- we were both born on 26th September. I can think of no better company than this illustrious gathering of men and women of science, with whom to have my first public engagement on this very special day.
With your indulgence, I could stretch my association with the Council fraternity even farther. Dr. Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar, the man whose memory we cherish today, came to this city from Lahore with a dream to build the chain of CSIR’s national Laboratories. I followed him with a more modest dream of my own, to make a fresh beginning in free India, though in the tragedy and chaos of Partition that forced this choice upon my family, to dream was indeed to dare!
Partition was, of course, in many ways a national tragedy far more poignant than our personal losses. In those days of horror, it was easy to write off India, with its deep-rooted poverty, widespread ignorance, frequent epidemics and an economy that had remained stagnant in the five preceding decades.
But we were fortunate to have in Jawaharlal Nehru a leader who saw science and technology as an elixir for India’s development, and in Dr. Bhatnagar a scientist of extraordinary organizational capacity andcaliber to implement this vision of Jawaharlal Nehru.
Recognizing the potential of scientific research, Jawaharlal Nehru placed the Council under his personal charge, thereby beginning a tradition that successive Prime Ministers have continued. Science has always commanded the utmost priority of our policymakers. I consider it a privilege to preside over this hallowed organization in the seventh decade of its outstanding service to our nation.
I glad that the Council has proven its professional worth in every phase of India’s growth, in line with prevailing national policies and national priorities. In the early days of Independence, it was a champion of import substitution, rebuilding our industrial base in the face of shortages and resource crunch. When India became a victim of technology denial, CSIR laboratories created advanced products and technologies, such as India’s first super computer, radiation shielding glasses and components for aerospace and satellites, emerging as a credible partner for our strategic sector. During this time, the Council also catapulted India as the top generic drug producer.
After India embraced globalization, introduced economic reforms and joined the WTO, the CSIR quickly emerged as the flag bearer of the Intellectual Property movement in our country and became the single largest holder of US and European patents. The Council, in recent years, has also become a world leader in specific domains of biotechnology and recombinant DNA products.
I would like to particularly compliment the Council on its unique attempt to make healthcare affordable by exploiting the power of open source drug discovery. As a concept, this is a global first and the world has turned from skepticism to partnership. I am happy to learn that the Council has opened its patent chest for accelerated drug discovery for hitherto neglected diseases like tuberculosis and malaria.
While we aim for global excellence and competitive advantage for our country in science, the Council must not lose sight of the mandate of science in our country that Jawaharlal Nehru spoke about while addressing the Indian Science Congress in 1947.
He said, “Science must think in terms of the 400 million persons in India”. I am glad that the Council has remained firmly rooted in the social milieu of our country while selecting and implementing projects. I commend the recent CSIR 800 programme which aims at affordable scientific interventions to improve the quality of life of the people at the base of the economic pyramid. The Council’s thrust on research and innovation in renewable energy, in water, environment and waste management also reflect its awareness of contemporary challenges that our country faces.
In recent times, conventional scientific disciplines and approaches are proving unequal to dealing with complex developmental challenges. New disciplines are emerging at the interface of traditional boundaries. The newly created Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research promises to train our young scientists and engineers in trans-disciplinary skills by tapping into the entire resources and infrastructure of the CSIR fraternity. This is a good initiative and I look forward to early results.
Last week, while inaugurating a new campus of the Council’s Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, I was impressed by the power and potential of public-private partnership in scientific research. I am told that across CSIR laboratories, new ecosystems like Innovation Complexes are being created to foster innovation through partnership with industry, academia and other R&D institutions. Mechanisms have been put in place to identify needs of India’s industries and to tap bright ideas of the CSIR’s young talent. The Council has announced policies to encourage scientists to create spin offs and new ventures. It is also partnering with the National Innovation Council to provide focused technology assistance to small and medium enterprises.
However, with all our achievements, we cannot rest on our laurels. As a nation, we have not succeeded in mobilizing enough private investment into science to raise our investment in scientific research to 2% of GDP. We need to recognize that excellence has not percolated across all our research and academic institutions. We have not been able to make an impact on a world scale commensurate with our large scientific manpower pool. CSIR, therefore, will need to devote itself to these national challenges in the years to come. It will have to take up national leadership in science, engineering and technology.
In this journey, young people like many of those gathered here are our nation’s hope and future. I congratulate the awardees for their talent, for their devotion to duty and for their aspirations for Indian science. Young scientists must dream big and refuse to despair. I would like to remind them of the exemplary determination and selfless patriotism of Dr. Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar that led to the establishment of one of the finest scientific institutions of our great country – The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.
With these words, I wish you all success in your endeavours. Jai Hind.”
Mindtree Limited, the global IT solutions company, today announced its new brand identity with the unveiling of its mission, values and logo. The rebranding initiative reinforces Mindtree’s ongoing transformation to an expertise-led organization. The new brand identity highlights Mindtree’s differentiated approach to sophisticated global customers, while also appealing to younger audiences that form the global talent pool of the future.
The rebranding activity is a strategic component of Mindtree’s vision of becoming a billion dollar company and will bring alive the new values of ‘Collaborative Spirit, Unrelenting Dedication and Expert Thinking’.
“Mindtree is looking confidently at the future, standing on the strong foundation that we built in the last 13 years” said Subroto Bagchi, Chairman, Mindtree Limited. “Our difference is our unique approach balancing a human perspective with deep strategic thinking which enables us to create possibilities to help our clients succeed”
“The new identity captures our values and beliefs. The brand voice - bright, confident and active will drive our behavior and lead us to greater successes” said Krishnakumar Natarajan, CEO and MD, Mindtree Limited. “We focus to deliver business value to our customers. Our expert solutions make us the trusted partners who drive a positive impact for businesses and societies,” he added.
Mindtree’s new logo of multiple strands weaving into a harmonious hub represents the meeting of minds and technology and speaks of humanity while projecting a forward looking momentum. The tagline “Welcome to possible” is a simple but powerful expression of the brand mission, values and promise. The brand identity was designed in Los Angeles, USA by Siegel + Gale.
Mindtree is a global information technology solutions company with revenues of over USD 400 million. Our 11,000+ experts are driven to engineer meaningful technology solutions to help businesses and societies flourish.
Mindtree’s consulting-driven approach makes us a strategic partner to over 40 Fortune 500 enterprises. Our domain expertise, unique culture and technical excellence help businesses thrive and be future-ready. We enable our customers achieve competitive advantage through flexible and next generation global delivery models, agile methodologies and expert frameworks.
Mindtree’s ability to devise solutions is equally matched by our ability to execute them. Our differentiation stems from a unique balance of human perspective with deep strategic thinking.
Our values - collaborative spirit, unrelenting dedication and expert thinking help us see possibilities where others see a full stop.
Welcome to possible.
Toyota Kirloskar Motor today conducted the Toyota Safety Education Programme (TSEP), a traffic safety initiative, at Madhava Kripa School in Manipal. Conceptualized by Toyota, TSEP is an interactive learning programme on road safety, designed especially for school children in the age group of 10-15 years.
The program was launched by Dr. Kusum -Regional Academic head, Pearson schools for Karnataka & Kerala and Ms. Sulochana Bhatt, Vice-President, State Bal Bhavan, in the presence of Dr. M.B. Boralingaiah, Superintendent of Police, IPS, Udupi District, Ms. Jessy Andrews, Madhava Kripa School, Manipal, Mr Prabhakar Rao, Director, United Toyota and Mr. K Srikanth, Senior Vice President, EA & CSR, TKM.
TSEP was launched as a pilot project in 2007 in Bangalore followed by its launch, in 2008, across all Indian metropolitan cities. Under this programme Toyota has educated more than 620,000 school children in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Toyota plans to extend this programme to other cities across India in the coming years.
The programme was initiated to create awareness about traffic safety amongst school children, train school teachers in Traffic Safety Education Programme through a one day training programme and participate in government initiatives to create awareness about traffic safety.
Sharing details of the programme, Mr. K Srikanth, Senior Vice President, TKM, said, “As manufacturers of automobile, we have an obligation to render better education on safe driving and traffic discipline to the general public. In order to inculcate better traffic discipline and traffic safety education, we are targeting young school children across the nation.
Toyota has been actively engaged in a spectrum of activities specially designed to educate people on traffic safety. Considering that children and young adults are the most vulnerable to road accidents, Toyota in India has initiated the Toyota Safety Education Programme. Toyota aims not only to sensitize school children to road safety but also hopes to make our future generations, better motorists,” added Mr. Srikanth.
Details of the Toyota Safety Education Programme
The Traffic Safety Interactive Course Trained instructors use the classroom methodology to educate children in the age group of 10-15 years on road safety. The module contains traffic rules, regulations and information about basic traffic guidelines. At the end of the course children can participate in quizzes and stand a chance to win exciting prizes.
The animation film Designed for children in the age group of 10-11 years, the seven-minute film emphasizes the importance of traffic rules and regulations. The two main characters in the film – Aki and Maya –are two school children who are given basic road safety tips by Traffy, the road, with the underlying slogan ‘Road Safety - My Right, My Responsibility’.
Traffic Safety Games The objective of the traffic safety game is to sensitize school children on traffic safety through fun learning activity. The game will include puzzles, card games and board games etc. This activity is designed for the children in the age group of 10 -15 years.
At the end of the TSEP session all participating children will be asked to write and paint on TSEP/Traffic Safety. This is purely optional for the children
Computer Game The objective of the computer game is to impart education to school children on traffic safety through virtual simulation. The computer game will be made available on a CD to all children in the age group of 10-15 years.