India asks its nationals to leave Libya


India asks its nationals to leave Libya

Amidst spiraling violence in Libya, India on Monday advised all its nationals to leave the strife-torn country and not to travel there.

“In view of the current security situation in Libya, all Indian nationals are advised to move to safer places and avoid all conflict zones.

They are further advised to use all available means for exiting Libya.

All travel from India to Libya should be postponed till the situation improves,” an advisory issued by the Indian mission in Tripoli said.

It also said all Indians should avoid the conflict zones in Tripoli and Benghazi and move to safer locations immediately.

Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh government wrote to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj seeking Centre’s intervention to evacuate people from the state who are working in the North African country.

“I request that suitable instructions may be issued to the Indian Embassy to intervene and provide all necessary aid in terms of food, clothing and shelter to Andhra Pradesh migrants and also to arrange to bring them back,” AP’s Special Representative, K Rama Mohana Rao, said in a letter to Swaraj.

Prior to the uprising in Libya, the number of Indians engaged there was estimated to be more than 18,000.

The Indian professionals were mainly employed in hospitals and other teaching institutions whereas a major part of manpower was engaged in construction projects. During the course of revolution, most of them were evacuated to India in February/March 2011.

Few hundred Indians continued to serve in Libya even during the revolution period. Gradually more Indians have returned to Libya and presently there are about 6000 Indians engaged there.

The demand of medical professionals and nurses in Libya is growing. Owing to the uncertain situation, recently the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) suspended grant of emigration clearance to ECR category till June 30, 2014.

World Bank Turns Its Back on Rights Protections for the Poor


Global civil society response gathers momentum

(Hindi Press release pasted below and NAPM’;s letter to Indian ED attached)


(New York, London, New Delhi, July 29, 2014) – Civil society organisations around the world are decrying a leaked draft of the World Bank’s proposed new policies to avoid harmful impacts from the development projects that it finances. Despite earlier commitments by Bank President Jim Yong Kim that the policies would not be diluted and that safeguards on land rights would be strengthened, theproposed changes have gutted essential requirements that arenecessary to prevent displacement, impoverishment, and environmental damage.  The draft policies are up for discussion by the Bank’s board on July 30 ahead of public consultations.

“This draft effectively winds back the clock to the 1970s, before the Bank had binding policies in place to protect the poor and the environment. We see nothing more than a naked attempt by the Bank to shield itself from accountability for the destructive impacts of themega-projects it is planning.” said Madhuresh Kumar, National Organizer of the National Alliance of People’s Movements in India.


Most shockingly, the draft policiesprovide an opt-out option for governments that do not wish to provide essential land and natural resource rights protections to Indigenous Peoples.


JojiCarino, Director of the Forest Peoples Programme, said “we have engaged with social and environmental safeguard development with the World Bank for over twenty years and have never seen a proposal with potential for such widespread negative impacts for indigenous peoples around the world. The proposed ‘opt-out’ for protections for indigenous peoples, in particular, would undermine existing international human rights law and the significant advances seen in respect for indigenous peoples rights in national laws.”


The draft also weakens protections for people who will be evicted from their homes, land and livelihoods, increasing the risk that Bank-financed projects will impoverish people, exacerbate inequality and cause human rights violations.The proposal scraps critical rules that have been in place for thirty years requiring the Bank to take concerted measures to avoid and minimise displacement and for resettlement action plans capable of restoring the livelihoods of the displaced to be in place before committing funds to projects.It provides multiple opportunities for borrower governments, or even private “intermediary” banks, to use their own standards for impact assessment, compensation and resettlement, without clear criteria on when and how this would be acceptable.


Theodore Downing, President of the International Network on Displacement and Resettlement, a 14-year old network of involuntary resettlement professionals, said “the proposed changes eviscerate existing international standards – knowingly placing millions of people at risks of impoverishment.”


“The Bankis trying to exonerate itself from all responsibility for the devastating effects of the displacement it finances, while giving private equity funds to some of the world’s most abusive governments unfettered discretion to uproot the poor as they fit,” said David Pred, Managing Director of Inclusive Development International.


Land titling projectsare exempted from the coverage ofthe draft resettlement policy. This will leave affected communities completely unprotected from forced eviction by their government, as happened in the case ofCambodia’s BoeungKak Lake community whose homes were demolished after they were deemed not to have ownership rights under a Bank-titling project.


“If this policy is adopted, many communities around the world will be forcibly evicted like mine was, and they will not be able to seek any recourse from the Bank,” said TepVanny, a community leader from BoeungKak Lake. After filing a complaint with the World Bank’s Inspection Panel about the controversial project, TepVanny and local organisations finally secured title for hundreds of families that were previously threatened with eviction. With the proposed changes to the Bank’s policy, that would not have been possible.


Despite the growing land-grabbing crisis displacing countless indigenous communities, small farmers, fisher-folkand pastoralists throughout the global south,the draft policy fails to incorporate any serious protectionsto preventBank funds from supporting land-grabs.


“In Ethiopia, World Bank funds have been used to facilitate one the world’s biggest land grabs, with the indigenous populations of entire regions being uprooted to make way for agro-industrial investments.We had hoped that the new safeguards would include strong requirements to prevent governments like Ethiopia from abusing its people with Bank funds, but we are shocked to see the Bank instead opening the flood-gates for more abuses,” said ObangMetho, Executive Director of the Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia.


Not only is the current draft an unconscionable weakening, it is a complete misrepresentation of two years of consultations with civil society.The Bank’;s Board must not endorse this draft, and at a minimum must insist that these fundamental loopholes be addressed before the next round of consultations,” said SasankaThilakasiri, Policy Advisor for Oxfam International.


97non-governmental organizations and civil society networks and 17 distinguished individualsfrom Asia-Pacific, Africa, Latin America, North America and Europe sent a statement to the World Bank’s Board yesterday, demanding that the draft be sent back to the drawing board and re-written with serious safeguards to respect and protect the land, housing and livelihood rights of the poor.The statement is available here.


For more information and press enquiries, please contact:

–          In New York, David Pred, Managing Director, Inclusive Development International (IDI), +1 917-280-2705

–          In London, James Harvey, Communications Manager, Forest Peoples Programme (FPP), +44(0)1608

–          In Delhi, Madhuresh Kumar, National Alliance for People’s Movements (NAPM), +91 (0)9818905316

Modi’s ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’ is great vision: Kerry



The developmental plan of Prime Minister Narendra Modi reflected in his poll slogan of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas” is a great vision, US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday on the eve of his departure to India.
Kerry will be in New Delhi to co-chair the fifth annual IndiaUS Strategic Dialogue with his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj.

In fulsome praise of the developmental agenda encompassing inclusive growth of Modi, Kerry in a major foreign policy speech on India said that the US is ready to be partner with the new Indian government in its endeavour.

“The new Indian government’s plan, ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’, together with all, development for all that’s a concept, a vision that we want to support. We believe it’s a great vision, and our private sector is eager to be a catalyst in India’s economic revitalisation,” Kerry said in his address to a Washington audience at an event held by the Center for American Progress, a top US think tank.

“American companies lead in exactly the key sectors where India wants to grow: in high-end manufacturing, in infrastructure, in healthcare, information technology, all of them vital to sort of leapfrogging stages of development so you can provide more faster to more people,” he said.

India also wants to build a more competitive workforce, and already 100,000 Indians study each year in American universities, he said, adding US community colleges actually set a remarkable standard for 21st century skills training.

“We should be expanding our educational ties across the board, increasing opportunities for young people in both of our nations. I know Prime Minister Modi drew from that energy of India’s youth during his campaign. He repeatedly pointed out that while India’s one of the world’s oldest civilisations, it has the world’s youngest population.

“Prime Minister Modi has said that young people have a natural instinct to rise like a flame. And he has spoken about India’s duty to nurture that instinct, and we believe, frankly, that’s a duty for both of our nations,” he said.

“And that means strengthening the exchange in technical education, in vocational programs for high-skilled trades, and especially in areas where we can build on the entrepreneurial and innovative spirit of both of our nations,” he said, adding that everyone knows about the extraordinary work ethic that people in India have and the capacity to be able to do this and seize this opportunity,” Kerry said.

“One of the marked contrasts of this moment is this juxtaposition to parts of the world where young people demanded a participation in this world they see around them, and rose up against leadership that had stultified over the course of years, decades even Tunisia, Egypt, Syria.

“They all began without one flake of religious extremism involved in the revolutions that brought change. It was all about young people gathering and forcing the notion that they wanted something more to life. They wanted opportunity, education, respect, dignity, jobs, a future,” Kerry noted.

“So this possibility I’ve just defined between India and the United States, which fits very neatly into Prime Minister Modi’s vision that he expressed in a campaign which was ratified overwhelmingly by the people of his country is exactly the vision that we need to embrace now, and that’s why this opportunity is actually so ripe,” Kerry said.

“This area of cooperation is particularly exciting, I think, and I’m particularly confident about these opportunities, because only countries that reward creativity the way the US and India do could have possibly launched Hollywood and Bollywood.

“Only countries that celebrate the entrepreneur the way we do could have launched Silicon Valley and Bangalore as global epicentres for innovation,” he said.

“Innovation and entrepreneurship are in both of our DNA, and they not only make us natural partners; they give us natural advantages in a world that demands adaptability and resilience. The US and India cannot afford to just sort of sit back and rest on these currently existing advantages. We have to build on them and we have to build on them by investing more in one another,” he said.

“If India’s government delivers on its plans to support greater space for private initiative, if it creates greater openness for capital flows, if it limits subsidies that stifle competition, if it provides strong intellectual property rights, believe me, even more American companies will come to India. They may even race to India. And with a clear and ambitious agenda, we can absolutely help create those conditions,” he said.

“So as we work with our trading partners around the world to advance trade and investment liberalisation, India has a decision to make about where it fits in the global trading system.

India’s willingness to support a rules-based trading order and fulfill its obligations will help to welcome greater investment from the US and from elsewhere around the world.

“The greater transparency and accountability that Prime Minister Modi put in place during his time as chief minister tells us he has already provided a model of how raising standards can actually increase economic growth,” Kerry said.

The US and India should continue to reach for the ambitious target that Vice President (Joe) Biden laid out last summer in India, to push from USD 100 billion to USD 500 billion a year in trade.

“And whatever impediments we may face along the way, we need to always be mindful of the opportunities and the bigger picture around this.

“It is completely in our mutual interest to address those obstacles that kind of raise their head here and there as you go along the way and to remember that a lot bigger opportunities will come from more robust ties, so we need to keep our eye on the prize out there and not get dragged down by one small or lesser particular aspect of a restraint. The bigger picture has to guide us and the end game has to guide us,” Kerry said.

Deepening ties with India is strategic imperative: Kerry

Noting that deepening America’s ties with India is a strategic imperative, US Secretary of State John Kerry said time has come to transform bilateral relationship into a historic partnership that can create a more prosperous future for the world.

Laying out a roadmap for a long-term strategic partnership between the largest and oldest democratic countries, Kerry said, “This is a potentially transformative moment in our relationship with India.”

Kerry was referring to the post-election scenario and the formation of the new government in India.

“This is the moment to transform our strategic relationship into a historic partnership. This can be a moment where our destinies converge. US and India can create a more prosperous future for the world,” he said ahead of his visit to New Delhi tomorrow to co-chair the fifth India-US Strategic Dialogue with his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj on July 31.

Noting that the India-US ties is yet to “blossom” together, Kerry said, “The US and India can and should be indispensable partners for the 21st century.

The dynamism and entrepreneurial spirit of our relationship is needed to solve some of world’s greatest challenges.”

He said the two countries can work together to tackle global challenges from climate change to clean energy and others.

Kerry in his speech supported India’s vision of an integrated South and Central Asia and that with the South East Asia.

The Obama Administration is ready to help India in this regard, Kerry said as he praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his initiatives to establish peace and improve relationship with the neighbouring countries.

By inviting Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to his inauguration, Kerry said Modi has taken the “first step” to establish peace and friendship with its South Asian neighbour. Supporting the move to increase India-Pak economic relationship, Kerry said improved trade is a win-win for both the countries.

Reiterating support for India’s place in the UN Security Council, Kerry in his speech said India is a global power.

The Secretary of State listed out the progress made between the two countries in various areas including economy, clean energy, and counter-terrorism.

The India-US collaboration on counter terrorism, in particular real-time information sharing, helps confront common threats and bring terrorists to justice, he said.

Describing climate change as a biggest challenge not only for the world, but also India, Kerry called for increased collaboration between the two countries on this issue.

Kerry said US President Barack Obama would welcome the Indian Prime Minister at the White House in November.

Kerry will be accompanied by the US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, as well as other members of the inter-agency, including Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security and NASA during his visit to New Delhi.

The trip will mark the first US cabinet-level visit to New Delhi since Modi took over office.

Eid-ul-Fitr celebrated across nation, PM greets people


Eid-ul-Fitr celebrated across nation, PM greets people

Millions of Muslims on Tuesday flocked to mosques and idgahs across the country to offer special prayers on Eid-ul-Fitr as people drenched in festive spirit exchanged greetings with warm embraces and took part in feasts with family and friends.

In the national capital, people dressed in their festive best turned up at historic Jama Masjid, Fathepuri Masjid, Hazrat Nizamuddin and other mosques in the city for ‘namaz’, wished each other “Eid Mubarak” and exchanged gifts on the festival marking the culmination of holy fasting month of Ramzan.

President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi greeted people on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr while Chief Ministers in several states joined the special prayers on the occasion.

“Greetings on Eid-ul-Fitr. May this auspicious day strengthen the bond of peace, unity & brotherhood across our Nation,” the Prime Minister said in his message.

In Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah joined nearly 60,000 devout to offer Eid prayers at the revered Hazratbal Shrine on the banks of Dal Lake which saw the biggest gathering in the state.

A big gathering was also reported at Eidgah in the old Srinagar city where nearly 30,000 people offered prayers.

The festival was celebrated across Kashmir with traditional fervour and gaiety though there were a few stray protests over the situation in Gaza.

Extensive security arrangements were in place across the country, especially where large congregations took place.

People visited relatives and enjoyed special dishes, particularly ‘sewayian’ made of vermicelli and different varieties of biryani and kebabs.

Elders gave ‘eidee’ (token money) to children and gave out alms to the needy.

In Uttar Pradesh, Governor Ram Naik and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav visited Aishbagh Eidgah in Lucknow and greeted people on the occassion.

In violence-hit Saharanpur district, devouts offered Eid prayers as district authorities relaxed curfew while security forces kept a tight vigil.

In Gujarat, festivities were marred by a mishap when a compound wall of an Idgah collapsed on people after they had offered prayers, leaving two persons, including an eight-year-boy, dead and more than 35 injured in Mehsana district.

In Kerala, people congregated in large numbers in mosques in various towns and villages, where clerics led prayers and gave out the message of love, compassion and fraternity. As in many parts of the country, the clerics referred to the Gaza situation.

In Kolkata, over 40,000 Muslims gathered on Red Road for the Namaz-e-Eid, where West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was present.

Thousands offered prayers at Nakhoda Masjid and Tipu Sultan mosque which Banerjee had visited Monday night.

Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi joined a large number of people who offered prayers at Gandhi Maidan. He later visited Khanqah Mujibia and Imarat-e-Shariah in Phulwarisharif and prayed for peace and prosperity of the people of the state.

In BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan took part in festivities at idgah.

Religious fervour and gaiety marked Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations in Andhra Pradesh and newly created Telangana. Major congregations were witnessed at the historic Mir Alam Eidgah, Makka Masjid, Secunderabad Eidgah in Hyderabad.

Big gatherings were also reported in the towns of Nizamabad, Warangal and Mahabubnagar in Telangana and at Kurnool, Anantapur, Vijayawada and Guntur in Andhra Pradesh.

Despite heavy rains in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra, people came out in large numbers to offer Eid prayers. In Mumbai, makeshift tents were put up outside many mosques to cover people.

To mark the festival, houses were decorated and members of Muslim community shared a special delicacy “sheer khorma” (a sweet preparation of milk, dry fruits and vermicelli).

Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, spiritual head of the Dawoodi Bohra community, prayed for peace in the Muslim world and advised the community members to work for the betterment of the nation.

Eid-ul-Fitr is celebrated on the first date of Shawwal–the tenth month of the Hijri calendar–every year.

In Meghalaya, over 8,000 people offered prayers at the Eidgah ground of the Madina Masjid in Shillong. It is the biggest glass mosque in the entire north eastern region.

Eid celebrations passed off peacefully in other states as well including Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana

Lab-to-Land, PM’s slogan


Lab-to-Land, PM
Pitching for greater use of research for boosting the agriculture sector, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday gave the slogan ‘Lab-to-Land’, saying that farmers should be able to enhance production to increase their income and feed the country as well as the world.

He pressed for the use of scientific technologies to help raise the agricultural production in “less land, less time” as he expressed concern over the depleting natural resources and the challenge of climate change.

The Prime Minister also called for ‘Blue Revolution’ in fisheries sector on the lines of Green and White Revolutions.

“We have to prove two points. One is how we can make farmers capable of feeding the whole country and the world. Second is how we can make agriculture capable to fill the pocket of our farmers,” Modi said while addressing the 86th Foundation Day of Indian Council Agriculture Research (ICAR) in New Delhi on Tuesday.

He asked the scientific community to plan for the centenary celebrations of ICAR and achieve more in the next 14 years than what they have over the last 86 years of the existence of the premium agriculture research body.

“Per drop, more crop’ can be our mission statement,” he said, while noting that India is still dependent on import of edible oil and pulses despite being an agrarian economy and efforts need to be made to become self-sufficient.

He emphasised upon the need for taking scientific research to fields and suggested setting up of radio stations by agri-colleges and universities to create awareness among farmers.

The farm growth target cannot be achieved unless farmers’ income is increased, Modi said, adding that the government’s policies therefore should focus in this direction.

Modi also talked about the need to address the challenge of taking farm research from ‘Lab-to-Land’ by making efforts to convince farmers about efficacy of new farm techniques in simple ways.

“Food demand is huge and this is an opportunity for us. The biggest challenge before us how we take research work from Lab to Land. Unless this work does not reach field, we cannot get results,” Modi said.

Exhorting agriculture universities/college to start radio stations, he said that young educated and progressive farmers along with farm research scholars can form a talent pool.

He asked ICAR to digitise database of all agri-research work in the country in the next 4-5 years.

On the need to achieve ‘Blue Revolution’ in the fishery sector, Modi said: “In India’s tri-colour flag, we talk about Green and White Revolution. But there is also blue colour Ashoka Chakra. That revolution we also need to look at.”

The development of the fishery sector is necessary as there is huge global market for this and has potential to change the life of fishermen, he said, and called for greater research and promotion of coastal seaweed.

In order to reduce dependence on import of pulses and cooking oils, the Prime Minister said that the production of pulses and oilseeds is a big challenge even today and priority should be given to raise productivity.

“Even today, production of pulses and oilseeds is a big challenge. There is a need to increase production of pulses. Poorest of the poor should also get pulses which has high protein. We need to work in this direction.” he said.

Noting that the country is still dependent on import of cooking oils despite being an agrarian economy, Modi emphasised that there is a need to take it as challenge by both scientists and the farming community to address this issue.

Modi also asked ICAR to focus on harnessing the potential of Himalayan herbal medicine as China is ahead in this area.

Emphasising upon the need to address water crisis, he asked ICAR to explore scientific approach to manage water according to changing weather cycles.

“Water is God’s offering to us and we should ensure that no single drop of water is wasted. How do we spread this message among common man? How do we work in this direction? Can we make ‘Per drop more drop’ as our mission statement? Similarly ‘Kam Zameen, Kam samay and Zyada Upaj’,” he said.

Modi said that awareness about water conservation among people is necessary as they are the ones who have to work upon this, though seminars on global warming and environment in 5-Star hotels do have some benefit in this regard.

Besides addressing water crisis, he said that the country has “no choice” but to increase farm productivity in less land without compromising the quality, while special efforts are required on growing agri-crops in less timeframe.

Referring to the pace at which ICAR Director General S Ayyappan gave presentation on the institute’s achievement in last 86 years, Modi in a lighter note said: “I was listening to Ayyappanji, it was like superfast train. I am fully confident that the country’s agriculture will grow in the same speed.”

The Prime Minister, who was given a standing ovation before his address, asked scientists present in the audit





Pensions, NREGA, NFSA, including Rations and Maternity Entitlements

Discussion also on Changing Labour Laws, Land Acquisition And Displacement

Jantar Mantar, New Delhi

4th August  2014

10 AM to 4 PM

Dear Saathis,


With a new government in power, in its first parliament session, a number of campaigns around issues that affect the poor and marginalised have decided to come together in order to hold a public hearing in the budget-cum-monsoon session of parliament. To follow up on this decision, the Pension Parishad, the Right to Food Campaign, and the Rashtriya Mazdoor Adhikar Morcha, the JSA and the NAPM invite you to a public hearing on 4th August, 2014. The Public Hearing will focus on Pensions, NREGA, NFSA, including rations and maternity entitlements. It will be held at the Jantar Mantar, New Delhi.


The hearing will also spend some time discussing the changes being made in thelabour laws in favour of the Industry, changing land use and the merciless acquisition of land which is going to have a deep impact on people’s livelihoods, making them socially and economically more vulnerable.


For NREGA, Pensions, NFSA (including rations and maternal entitlements) – we will spend about an hour each giving our testimonies. Following which we will spend about an hour or more on the other issues.


We will invite Members of Parliament and others associated with all these campaigns to participate. We would like at least ten persons to come from each State and national network within each campaign for the hearing, including testimonies. Till now from the confirmations received, we have learnt that the larger mobilisation will be of people from Bihar, Rajasthan and Delhi.


Since the time for testimonies will be very limited, we request you to bringalong as much material as you can in the form of photos, written testimonies reports, etc. Do let us know how many people will be attending. All organisationsand participants will come at their own cost while the campaigns will share the cost of the tent and mike. On the 4th, packed lunch will be provided at a subsidised rate of Rs.20.


On the 5th of August, a meeting of all these campaigns will be organised so that we can build a joint movement across all social sectors in order to strengthen our collective efforts and voices. A note for discussion written by Abhay Shukla of the JSA and of the Right to Life Alliance of Maharashtra is attached. This meeting will take place at Raja Ram Mohan Roy Memorial Trust (Brahmo Samaj) Hall, 12 – Rouse Avenue Lane, (Opp. Gandhi Peace Foundation), New Delhi – 110002.


Since only representatives of different groups and regions from all the campaigns are expected to attend the 5th meeting, we will not make arrangements for accommodation. In case you feel that accommodation is needed on the 4th night, do let us know and we will try to organise accommodation at the Gareebdas Dharamshala near LNJP Hospital.







In solidarity,

Pension Parishad, Right to Food Campaign, Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, Rashtriya Mazdoor Adhikar Morcha, National Alliance of People’s Movements

Contacts: Shankar Singh 09414003247, Poornima 09422317928, Nikhil 09910421260, Kamayani 09771950248, Sanjay 09810711644, Nalini 07829777737, Arvind 09304238717, Swati 09702701525, Dipa 9650434777, Madhuresh 09818905316, Arundhati 09415022772, Kavita 09351562965, Vandana 0989155245

Session on ‘Supporting Invention based Entrepreneurship in India’



Kiran Pasricha

To Me
Today at 6:37 PM
 AAC Logo 07-01-14
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PresentsSession on

‘Supporting Invention based Entrepreneurship in India’

DATE Thursday, July 31, 2014
TIME 5:30 PM  – 6:30 PM (Registration: 5 pm)
LOCATION WWF India Auditorium, 172-B, Lodhi Estate, New Delhi-110003
SPEAKERS Mr. H.K. Mittal, Advisor and Head, National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board, Department of Science & Technology
Dr. Renu Swarup, Advisor, Department of Biotechnology & Managing Director, Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC)
Mr. Rakesh Rewari, Former Deputy M.D., Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI)
MODERATOR Mr. P.R. Ganapathy, Chief Operating Officer, Villgro Innovations Foundation
Science & technology or invention-based enterprises are not achieving their full potential impact due to the lack of a supportive ecosystem. In order to maximize the impact of these “invention” based enterprises and promote the expansion of the field, a supportive ecosystem needs to be created that can support their growth.In this context, Ananta Aspen Centre along with The Lemelson Foundation andAspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) is organizing a public discussion on  invention-based enterprises in India to discuss the challenges and opportunities, and the policy approaches that can lead to collaboration and high impact in supporting the ecosystem for these enterprises.
 H K Mittle 29-07-14 Mr. H.K. Mittal, Advisor and Head, National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board, Department of Science & TechnologyAn alumni of the National Dairy Research Institute (1981)  and the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad (1984),  Shri Harkesh Mittal’s two decades long association with the Government has coincided with the beginning of India’s economic liberalization initiatives.
With his untiring efforts and personal initiative, Shri Mittal has made the innovation and entrepreneurship programme of Department of Science & Technology a much sought after programme by the individual entrepreneurs as well as by the industry and technological circles – not only in India but among the industrially advanced countries of the world. Shri Mittal has been instrumental in involving the private sector – both national and international- in the task of innovation and entrepreneurship development in India. He has also been responsible for establishing networks with international development institutions like the World Bank and EU for bringing the global incubation knowledge to the Indian business incubators.
 Renu Swarup 29-07-14 Dr. Renu Swarup, Advisor, Department of Biotechnology & Managing Director, Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC)A PhD in Genetics and Plant Breeding, Dr. Renu Swarup completed her Post-Doctoral at The John Innes Centre, Norwich UK, under Commonwealth Scholarship and returned to India to take up the assignment of a Science Manager in the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, in 1989.
Dr. Renu Swarup is current Managing Director, Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), a Public Sector Company incorporated by the Government of India to nurture and promote innovation research in the Biotech Enterprise with special focus on Start-ups and SMEs. She was responsible for getting the new organisation created and getting it operational. BIRAC successfully runs a large number of funding schemes for Industry Innovation, ranging from the Ignition Grant to Proof of Concept funding, validation and product development. The main focus of the organization is on enabling and supporting the Biotech Innovation Ecosystem.
 Rakesh Rewari 29-07-14 Mr. Rakesh Rewari, Former Deputy M.D., Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI)Mr. Rewari has over 30 years’ experience with financial institutions in  the areas of SME Credit, technology financing, risk management, micro credit, venture capital, credit rating, asset reconstruction, cluster financing, promotional &development services, entrepreneurship development, policy Initiatives  etc.
He was an Expert in National Innovation Council (NiC) from Feb 2012 to May 2014  for setting up the India Inclusive Innovation Fund. From Oct 2006 to Aug 2011 he was Deputy M.D. and member of the Board of Directors of SIDBI. During that period he was also a member of Board of Directors of five SIDBI subsidiaries/associates. In April 2000 he was deputed by SIDBI as CEO to set up a subsidiary for Venture Capital for SME. Presently he is on the Board of NSIC Ltd, KITCO Ltd., Intellegrow and Mas Financial Services Ltd. He is also a Member of the Board of Trustees of Credit Risk Guarantee Fund Trust for low income housing. He is associated with various Committees for evaluation of technology focused startups, societal impact projects. Mr. Rewari holds a B. Tech in Mechanical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi and an M.B.A from FMS, University of Delhi.
PR Ganapathy 29-07-14 Mr. P.R. Ganapathy, Chief Operating Officer, Villgro Innovations FoundationPR Ganapathy is the Chief Operating Officer at Villgro Innovation Foundation. As COO, Ganapathy has operational and strategic responsibility for all major programs that make Villgro’s vision a reality. In addition to running Villgro’s programs, Ganapathy directly mentors several social enterprises in the Villgro portfolio, spending significant amounts of time helping entrepreneurs overcome their challenges and scale.
 He is also actively involved in building the social enterprise ecosystem in India, through organizations like the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs, by active participation in various industry bodies and working groups, and by giving inspirational talks at forums like TEDx.
Prior to Villgro, Ganapathy co-founded a venture-funded startup and held leadership positions at small and large corporations in India and the US. He has an MBA from IIM Ahmedabad, and an Honors degree in Mathematics from Hindu College.

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Quake M6.3 VERACRUZ, MEXICO 17.8 -95.5 (3fa06)


Today at 4:44 PM
Globe with Earthquake Location


Preliminary Earthquake Report
Magnitude 6.3
  • 29 Jul 2014 10:46:15 UTC
  • 29 Jul 2014 05:46:15 near epicenter
  • 29 Jul 2014 14:46:15 standard time in your timezone
Location 17.842N 95.524W
Depth 95 km
  • 19 km (11 mi) SW of Juan Rodriguez Clara, Mexico
  • 60 km (37 mi) W of Sayula de Aleman, Mexico
  • 62 km (38 mi) SSE of Carlos A. Carrillo, Mexico
  • 65 km (40 mi) W of Acayucan, Mexico
  • 418 km (259 mi) ESE of Mexico City, Mexico
Location Uncertainty Horizontal: 0.0 km; Vertical 5.9 km
Parameters Nph = 149; Dmin = 324.3 km; Rmss = 1.12 seconds; Gp = 46°
Version =
Event ID us b000ry8m


Registration open for Half Marathon


SCMM 15 Logo Horizontal

Registration open for Half Marathon

Registration for the Half Marathon category in the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2015 have begun and will close on August 30 or whenever running places are full, whichever is earlier.

Online registrations can be done through the event or the duly filled entry forms with the requisite entry fee can be mailed to P.O Box No. 11017, Marine Lines Post Office, Mumbai 400 020. Mumbai residents can also deposit their entry forms with the requisite entry fees at 10 selected Standard Chartered Bank branches, details of which are available on the event website.

Entry forms will also be available at select Standard Chartered Bank branches in Mumbai, at the Asian Heart Institute in Bandra Kurla Complex, and the United Way of Mumbai office at 309 Nirman Kendra Premises Co-op Society Ltd., Dr. E Moses Road, Mahalaxmi Estate. More information can be sourced from the event helpline on +91 22 4202 0200,Monday to Saturday between 10 am and 6 pm.

For more information, please contact:

Santosh Barodia: 9820509642,

Pourushasp Mehta: 9820664262,


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