Vice president calls for people centric sustainable development
The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has
called for achieving sustainable development that is equitable and people-centred
and stressed the need for efficient and frugal use of natural resources.
Inaugurating the International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB)
celebrations, in Chennai today, the Vice President said Biodiversity is
fundamental to the survival of the human race and said that man must
re-establish the link with nature, as did the ancients in India centuries ago,
and take from earth and the environment only so much “as we can replenish”.
Lamenting that the symbiotic relationship of man with nature was
being threatened as societies develop, the Vice President warned that any damage
to environment would put the well-being of future generations in peril. He also
pointed out that the current consumption patterns especially in the
industrialized world are unsustainable as they put enormous pressure on natural
The Vice President also spoke of the need to secure
international cooperation in fields ranging from sustainable agriculture and
food security to health and sustainable development to urban resilience and
adaptation, to climate change and disaster risk reduction.
The Vice President also pointed out that India had a long
cultural tradition of frugality and simple living in harmony with nature and
that all great religions which have traversed in our country have preached the
unity of humankind with nature. He also stressed the need for inclusive growth
and achieving home-grown food security, while ensuring sustainable development.
Shri Naidu expressed deep concern regarding the homogenization
of food habits and increased dependence on a handful of crops, resulting in a
rapid decline of agro-biodiversity.
Centre to finalise estimate of groundwater reserves
The Union Water Ministry is finalising an updated estimate
on the state of groundwater reserves in the country.
The groundwater assessment, last done in 2013, is a survey that
samples a sliver of blocks in each State and counts how many blocks have
critically low levels of water and how many are well-stocked.
“We have received reports from most States and have passed it on
to the Water Resources Ministry for approval. I expect that this will only be
made public after the new government comes in,” a senior official from the
Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) told .
The person said “some States” showed a precipitous decline
whereas some blocks showed an “improvement.”An assessment from Punjab, the
official said, pointed to “extreme” overexploitation of groundwater.
The share of other resources, such as canal seepage, return flow
from irrigation, recharge from tanks, ponds and water conservation structures
taken together is 32%.
The national per capita annual availability of water has reduced
from 1,816 cubic metres in 2001 to 1,544 cubic metres in 2011 a reduction of
That India’s groundwater has been depleting at a worrying rate
since 1995, the CGWB has shown.In 1995, only 3% of districts had overexploited
their groundwater reserves whereas by 2011, that had increased to 15%.
Investors worried about crisis in NBFC sector
The current liquidity crisis in the non-banking financial
companies’ (NBFCs) sector may not pose a systemic risk for now but investors
are worried over its potential impact on the overall growth of the economy
in the near term, say market participants.
The recent past had seen brokerages highlighting concerns in the
NBFC segment and their impact on the overall consumption story thereby affecting
macroeconomic growth even as many such NBFCs are facing rating downgrades and
tighter access to liquidity.
According to the global financial major, large NBFCs with strong
parents and track records are better positioned while small NBFCs could lose
market share, with a sharper slowdown for mid-sized and small housing finance
Incidentally, in a statement issued to the stock exchanges,
Dewan Housing Finance Ltd. (DHFL) said that it had stopped the acceptance and
renewal of fixed deposits (FDs) due to the recent downgrade of the credit rating
of its FDs.
The revised rating is below the minimum rating prescribed under
the National Housing Bank (NHB) norms for the acceptance or reneweal of FDs,
according to the statement.
The cascading impact of a slowdown in NBFC financing can be
further gauged from the fact that recently Nomura also lowered its weightage on
the automobile sector attributing it, among other reasons, to “slowdown in
consumer financing due to the NBFC crisis.”
Securities appellate tribunal gives partial relief to NSE
The Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) has given a partial
relief to the National Stock Exchange (NSE) in the co-location matter by
directing the bourse to transfer Rs. 625 crore to the Securities and
Exchange Board of India (SEBI) within two weeks.
While hearing the appeal filed by the exchange, the tribunal on
Wednesday said that the amount would be kept in an interest bearing account till
the matter was disposed while giving the capital market watchdog six weeks’ time
to file its reply. This would come as a partial relief to the exchange, which
was ordered to disgorge a total of nearly Rs. 1,100 crore for its alleged
failure to exercise proper due diligence while offering co-location facility
thereby affecting market fairness and integrity.
On April 30, the SEBI barred the NSE, which has the largest
market share in the equity segment and almost a monopoly in equity derivatives,
from accessing the securities market for six months.
The regulator further ordered the exchange to disgorge about Rs.
1,100 crore, which included the alleged profit of Rs. 625 crore from the
co-location operations along with 12% p.a. interest from April 2014.
“ NSE has committed a fraudulent and unfair trade practice as
contemplated under the SEBI (PFUTP) Regulations, I find that it is established
beyond doubt that NSE has not exercised the requisite due diligence while
putting in place the tick-by-tick architecture,” the SEBI had said.
Sri Lanka has extended by another month the emergency
regulations, which were enforced after the Easter Sunday terror attacks.
President MaithripalaSirisena issued an extraordinary gazette
notice today extending the emergency regulations which was imposed a month ago
after suicide blasts at multiple locations in the country which killed over 250
people including 45 foreigners.
The emergency provisions give the military sweeping powers to
act against fundamentalist organizations behind the attacks, which was claimed
by Islamic state.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister RanilWickremsinghe has said his
government will establish a new public school system within next two years that
is not based on language or religion. He said that all religious educational
institutes will be regulated by education ministry.
It was also decided to regulate madarsas by Muslim institute
regulation board under education ministry. The government has sought to control
the madarsas after the attacks and prohibited foreign nationals from religious
AIR correspondent reports that emergency provisions was imposed
to allow armed forces for search operations and arrest of suspects which is
still continuing. Around ninety people are under arrest including close
relatives of suicide bombers who were involved in the attacks.
Prime Minister RanilWickremsinghe said all religious
institutions including madarsas will be brought under education ministry.
Religious education in madarsas is believed to be one of the reasons behind
fundamentalism which terrorist organizations like Islamic state use as their
source of recruitment.
U.S and allies calls for agreement with Sudani protesters
The United States, Britain and Norway have called for a
swift agreement between Sudanese protesters and generals on installing
According to a joint statement released last night, they said,
it would be harder for them to work with any other new authority.
Talks between protest leaders and army generals who seized power
after ousting longtime leader Omar al-Bashir last month have stopped since late
Monday following disagreement about who should lead a new ruling body a civilian
or a soldier.
Meanwhile, Sudanese protest leaders are now preparing plans to
call for a general strike to build pressure on the generals to cede power.
The ruling military council has been pushing for its chairman
General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan to head the new sovereign body but protest
leaders want a civilian.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
ISRO launches IRSAT 2B satellite
In a predawn launch on Wednesday, a PSLV rocket of the
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) placed RISAT-2B, an X-band
microwave Earth observation satellite, into orbit 556 km above earth.
The PSLV-C46 launcher carrying the 615-kg RISAT-2B blasted off
at 5.30 a.m. About 15 minutes later, the satellite reached its designated
position and started orbiting in space, with an inclination of 37°.
Designed at ISRO’s U.R. Rao Satellite Centre (URSC) in Bengaluru
and fast-tracked in just 15 months, the RISAT-2B is built to operate for at
least five years
Data from the satellite would be vital for the Armed Forces,
agriculture forecasters and disaster relief agencies.
Its X-band synthetic aperture radar can give added details such
as the size of objects on earth, structures and movement.
Information from RISAT-2B will complement data from normal
optical remote sensing satellites. Such data are useful for agencies that need
ground images during cloud, rain and in the dark.
This is the third Indian RISAT in 10 years, and follows the
Israeli-built RISAT-2 in 2009 and the ISRO-built RISAT-1 in 2012. The older
RISATs have reached the end of their lives.
India advances to third round of archery worldcup
In Archery World Cup Stage III, four Indians including
DeepikaKumari and TarundeepRai advanced to the third round in recurve
individual section at Antalya in Turkey today.
In Women's individual section, former world No 1 Deepika
defeated KhatunaLorig 6-5 in the second round and set up a clash against
VeronikaMarchenko of Ukraine in the third round.
In men's individual section, former Olympian TarundeepRai
remained in the medal fray after beating Gasper Strajhar of Slovenia.