NMML Public Lecture_ Prof. K. Vijayraghavan _28 August, 2014



From: ccsnmml5 <ccsnmml5@gmail.com> Wed, 27 Aug ’14 1:20p

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The Nehru Memorial Museum and Library

cordially invites you to a Public Lecture

(in the ‘Science, Society and Nature’ series)



at 5.00 pm on Thursday, 28th August, 2014

in the Seminar Room, First Floor, Library Building




A Disconnect in Need of Urgent Repair:

Scientific thinking and policy-making’




Prof. K. Vijayraghavan,

Department of Biotechnology,

Government of India,

New Delhi.




In this lecture, the speaker will address a global problem. Governments, the world-over, aim to serve people through crafting of policy. Scientific evidence can play a key role in policy making. Science is not the only component in policy-making, indeed it is usually a minor one. Several other factors, social, historical and economic perhaps play far more important roles. Yet, disconnecting science and evidence from policy making can have disastrous short and long-term consequences. The speaker will draw from examples where science has had deep (positive and negative) consequences in our lives through policy, and attempt to extract lessons for the future of our planet.



Prof. K. VijayRaghavan is Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, Government of India and Distinguished Professor at the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in Bengaluru, India. Prof. VijayRaghavan is a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences and the Indian National Science Academy, the Royal Society and a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences. He studied engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, from where he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award. His doctoral work in molecular biology was at TIFR, Mumbai, India and postdoctoral work at the California Institute of Technology, USA.


All are welcome.

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Web links to programmes for 2014:


Audio links of Public Lectures:


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Occasional Papers Links:


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Japan visit will take ties to new level: PM


Japan visit will take ties to new level: PM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said his upcoming visit to Japan will take bilateral ties to a “new level”.

Modi will visit Japan from August 30th to September 3rd. The trip was earlier scheduled to begin on August 31st.”On Aug 30, I will begin my visit to Japan. I am keenly looking forward to the visit, which will boost relations between our two nations,” Modi said in a statement on Tuesday.

The prime minister said the visit will be his “first bilateral visit outside the subcontinent”.

“I was to visit in early July but could not due to the parliament session. I see the Japan visit as an opportunity to take our ties with Japan to a new level and increase cooperation in various fields,” Modi said.

“(I) am particularly excited to meet Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. I deeply respect his leadership and enjoy a warm relationship with him from previous meetings,” he said.

The prime minister will visit Tokyo and Kyoto.

Modi said that during his visit he will interact with “all sections of Japanese society from students, political leaders to captains of industry”.

“(I) have very warm memories of visiting Japan as a chief minister. The hospitality and the immense scope for cooperation left a deep impression on my mind,” he said.

He said the “scale of innovation” and “level of precision” among the people of Japan is admirable.

Both our nations can learn a lot from each other. “Japan’s friendship with India is time-tested. We are two vibrant democracies committed to advancing peace and prosperity in the world,” he added.

‘We will defend our sovereignty in the Arctic’


Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper (Reuters / Chris Wattie)

Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper making survey in Arctic region.

Arctic region is again in the news  for its oil rich reason than the co-operation .As per Danish newspapers reports , Canada is ready for a confrontation with Russia if it expands its ambitions in the Arctic region, Foreign Minister John Baird told a Danish newspaper. The oil-rich region is set to become a key political battleground in the coming decades.

“We are deeply concerned, and we are determined to promote and defend the sovereignty of Canada in the Arctic,” Baird said in an interview with the Danish publication Berlingske, published in the native language.

“For us, this is a strategic priority. In connection with the militarization that we are seeing, we would prefer to alleviate the conflict, but it’s clear that we will defend our own sovereign power.”

Russia, last year unsealed a long-mothballed base on Novosibirsk Archipelago, off the north-eastern coast of the country, which has since then reinforced the area with warships and icebreakers that now constitute a coherent defense system. Moscow and Ottawa also engaged in a frosty exchange earlier this summer, after Canada scrambled its fighter jets to tail Tu-95 heavy bombers, which it said came close to its airspace.

“We have seen Russian provocations in the Arctic for decades, so there is nothing new under the sun,” said Baird, when questioned about the incidents. “We call once again upon the countries of the Arctic Council to sit down and solve problems constructively.”

Canada however already boycotted the high-ranking Moscow Arctic Council conference earlier this year, and with harsh rhetoric, a further escalation seems inevitable.

Baird’s statements echo the alarmist tone of his Prime Minister, the Conservative Stephen Harper.

“I just think we should not be complacent, because we have seen over the period that President Putin has been in power just a gradual growing in aggressiveness of his government toward neighbors and the gradual military assertiveness of that country, and I just think it’s something we should never be too at ease about,” the politician told the media last week.

FM Launches New Website of PFRDA


Releases Its First Annual Report; Says the Pension Reforms will Help in Releasing Resources for Better Deployment and Utilisation in other SOCIAL SECTORS
The Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley said that to build a consensus on issues such as pension across the political spectrum is not easy. He said that the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) legislation has however gone through a process of guided development and adequate sensitisation. He highlighted the important aspects and implications of pension reforms, a key area of financial sector and economic reforms in the country. He said that an amendment to the Insurance Act to enhance the limit of FDI to 49% will also mean similar provision for the pension sector. The increase in the FDI limit to 49%, will permit inflow of foreign capital, investment expertise and new technology.

The Finance Minister Shri Jaitley was speaking after launching a new user friendly and informative website of PFRDA at First Pension Conclave held here today. The Finance Minister also on this occasion released the First Annual Report of PFRDA for 2013-14 post notification of the PFRDA Act. Releasing the Report, the Finance Minister hoped that the Regulatory Authority would provide a conducive and enabling environment for expansion in pension industry with larger number of players.

The Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley said that considering that pension pay-outs, particularly unfunded and uncertain are to be borne by the Public exchequer, the pension reforms will mitigate this burden releasing resources for better deployment and utilisation in other social sectors. He highlighted the need to build up corpus of funded resources to eventually act as the source for pension pay outs in future, and also as a source for financing critical sectors as infrastructure and also capital market.

Highlighting the importance of NPS Swavalamban scheme for the unorganised sector people, the Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley said that this segment requires special support and he urged PFRDA to promote this scheme vigorously across the country. Expressing confidence about the role of PFRDA in promoting Swavalamban Scheme, he expressed that the scheme signifies an element of self-pride through participation of the less fortunate and excluded segments. The Finance Minister expressed confidence that the regulatory authority will formulate regulations for sound and sustainable growth of the pension system with due regard to the interest of the subscribers including setting-up an efficient and responsive grievance redressal mechanism, He exhorted the industry to come up with more and more new products which could compete with each other with benefit accruing to the pension subscribers.

Invitation to Launch of Boondein: Celebrating Budget Private Schools


Centre for Civil Society

To Me

Aug 26 at 5:31 PM

Centre for Civil Society

Social Change Through Public Policy

Press Launch

Invitation to Celebrate Boondein: Budget Performing Schools
Saturday, 30 August 2014 | 10:30 am- 1 pm
Lecture Room II, India International Centre, New Delhi

I would like to invite you to the launch ofBoondein, our campaign and coffee table book on the Stories of Hope from Budget Private Schools in India hosted by Centre for Civil Society on 30 August, 10:30am-1pm at Lecture Room-II, India International Centre (Annexe Building)​, Max Mueller Marg, Lodhi Estate, New Delhi, DL 110003.

Mr Gurcharan Das, Author and Columnist, will be delivering the keynote address at the launch, followed by sharing of CCS’ recent study/research in Punjab on school closures of budget private schools. At the launch, school leaders and BPS owners will personally share the plight these schools are going through due to the mandatory legislations under RTE.

The recent decades have witnessed an upsurge in budget private schools (BPS) – low fee schools which currently function at one-third the cost of government per-child expenditure in public schools, serving the poorest sections of society (with equal or better learning outcomes). While the RTE legislation mandates that these schools are not in compliance with RTE norms and standards, severely restricting the scope of private edupreneurs to operate budget private schools. Media reports that since the passing of the RTE in 2010, 2,983 schools have been shut down across 17 states, and another 5,907 face threat of closure. In Punjab alone, 1,170 schools have been shut down. The actual numbers are even greater affecting over 18,00,000 students. These figures are alarming and we believe the time to ACT is now!

Boondein, the coffee table book, captures 45 stories of fortitude spread across four states and showcases the essence of these schools, why parents prefer these schools to their government counterparts, what made these edupreneurs start these schools; building evidence for their relevance and acknowledging their contribution in achieving universal education for all children in India.

Please find the invitation attached. Your support is critical and we’d be honoured to have you join us for an endeavour of meaningful dialogue on this profound issue. Due to limited space, attendance is by confirmation only. Please RSVP ​to me at samta@ccs.in | +91 99538 27773 latest by 28 August 2014.

For the Right to Education of Choice!

Samta Arora
Centre for Civil Society

Peak Meat Production Strains Land and Water Resources:


Worldwatch Institute

To Me
Aug 26 at 8:11 PM

WW Color Logo_Green Blue


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Contact: Gaelle Gourmelon,  ggourmelon@worldwatch.org

For more information:  Peak Meat Production Strains Land and Water Resources


Peak Meat Production Strains Land and Water Resources

New Worldwatch Institute analysis examines global trends 

in meat production, prices, and practices

Washington, D.C.—-The steady growth of global meat production comes at considerable cost. Industrial methods in the livestock sector cut down forests to expand grazing lands and use large quantities of water. Production uses grains (such as corn or soybeans) for animal feed and relies on heavy doses of antibiotics in animals. Beef is particularly resource-intensive. Limiting these environmental and health impacts requires not only a look at how much meat people eat, but also at the kind of meat that they consume worldwide, writes Worldwatch Institute Senior Researcher Michael Renner.


Global meat production rose to a new peak of 308.5 million tons in 2013, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). In response to growing purchasing power, urbanization, and changing diets, meat production has expanded more than fourfold over just the last five decades. Even more startlingly, meat production has grown 25-fold since 1800.


The growth in meat consumption has not been constrained by rising prices in the last decade. Worldwide, meat consumption stood at 42.9 kilograms (kg) per capita in 2013. Even though the gap is beginning to close, people in industrial countries continue to eat much larger quantities of meat (75.9 kg) than those in developing nations (33.7 kg).


Close to 70 percent of the planet’s agricultural land is used for animal pasture. Another 10 percent is used to grow grains to feed livestock (for meat and dairy). Producing beef is much more resource-intensive than producing pork or chicken, requiring roughly three to five times as much land to generate the same amount of protein. Beef production alone uses about three fifths of global farmland but yields less than 5 percent of the world’s protein.


Meat production also consumes a lot of water. Agriculture uses about 70 percent of the world’s available freshwater, and one third of that is used to grow the grain fed to livestock. Beef is by far the most water-intensive of all meats. The more than 15,000 liters of water used per kilogram is far more than is required by a number of staple foods, such as rice (3,400 liters per kg), eggs (3,300 liters), milk (1,000 liters), or potatoes (255 liters).


Worldwide, more than 40 percent of wheat, rye, oats, and corn production is fed to animals, along with 250 million tons of soybeans and other oilseeds. Feeding grain to livestock improves their fertility and growth, but it sets up a de facto competition for food between cattle and people.


Heavy doses of antibiotics are used to speed animal growth and reduce the likelihood of disease outbreak in cramped conditions. In the United States, 13,600 tons of antibiotics were sold for use in livestock operations in 2011-almost four times the 3,500 tons used to treat ill people. Even this number, however, pales in comparison with the possibly more than 100,000 tons used in China’s meat production.


Alternative practices could reduce these environmental and health impacts. Solutions like switching feed from grains to grass and other plants, using natural instead of synthetic fertilizers, and ending factory-style livestock operations are a start. But dietary choices also make a big difference. Until broader changes sweep through the meat-production system, eating less meat, or choosing lower-impact meats, typically means leading a less resource-intensive life.


Country and Regional Highlights from the Report:

  • Asia‘s 131.5 million tons of meat accounted for close to 43 percent of world output in 2013.  Europe was second (58.5 million tons), followed by North America (47.2 million tons) andSouth America (39.9 million tons).
  • China single-handedly accounted for nearly half of global pig meat production in 2013.
  • The two most important exporters of meat in 2013 were the United States (7.6 million tons) and Brazil (6.4 million tons), together representing 45 percent of global trade.
  • Just two countries-Australia and New Zealand-were responsible for a stunning 84 percent of the world’s lamb and mutton exports.
  • The 10 largest meat companies, measured by their 2011-13 sales, are headquartered in just six countries: Brazil (JBS, BRF, Marfrig), United States (Tyson Food, Cargill, Hormel Foods),Netherlands (Vion), Japan (Nippon Meat Packers), Denmark (Danish Crown AmbA), China(Smithfield Foods- acquired by Shuanghui International Holdings in 2013).

Join me in demanding a change – Daler Mehndi


Daler Mehndi

To Me
Aug 26 at 8:30 PM
Turbans are Dangerous?2 Indian basketball players were asked to remove their turbans before an international game. Ask FIBA to change its rule on headgear.

This is a ridiculous international basketball rule. Join me in demanding a change.

We have 1 day before FIBA meets to decide this.  More people means more pressure on FIBA.

Sign this petition and forward it to your friends as well.

Sign the Petition Here


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