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February 15th, 2008

India will adopt a reponaible tance for promoting sustainable development: PM

The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, has said that Government of India will adopt a responsible and forward-looking stance aimed at promoting sustainable development. Delivering his inaugural address at the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit in New Delhi on February 7, the Prime Minister said that the impact of climate change falls differently on people and the poor are the worst hit. "We need technology innovations for reduction of energy use by industry and other user sectors," he added.

He further said, "We need massive action for afforestation, drought proofing, flood protection and the need to protect our coastal areas and glaciers that feed our river systems."

Dr. Singh emphasised the need to ensure an acceptable standard of living for all our people following sustainable path for that development. Climate justice must, therefore, inform all efforts at international collaboration in act of human solidarity, he added. Following are the excerpts from Prime Minister's speech on the occasion:

"I am delighted to welcome all the Heads of Government and distinguished representatives of various countries who are all here today. Delhi is unusually cold, for the time of the year, but I do hope the warmth of our hospitality will make your visit a very comfortable and memorable one.

I compliment my friend Dr. Pachauri for the tenacity with which he has been organising this very important annual summit on sustainable development for several years now. This Delhi Summit has become an important event in the annual calendar for all those who are committed to finding a globally acceptable and socially inclusive solution to the problems of climate change and outlining pathways to sustainable development.

I believe that the good work of institutions like TERI, groups like yours and individuals like Dr. Pachauri have created the necessary 'climate for change' on climate change. Societies all over the world are challenging their governments to do something, to do it now and do it right. I assure you that India would be in the forefront of that effort.

This effort by TERI is a glowing example of that emerging trend of thought leadership that brings together ideas and people from across the world to collectively engage in this new struggle of human imagination over human predicament.

The environmental crisis that manifests as climate change makes us realise that we have a common predicament. It is a collective human crisis but, if imaginatively handled, offers a collective opportunity to reinforce human solidarity in the face of natural forces.

I have often said that the Indian approach to such global problems is defined by the ancient Sanskrit saying, "Vasudaiva Kutumbakam" - the Whole World is One large Family. In his very first address to the nation as India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru said, "Peace has been said to be indivisible; so is freedom, so is prosperity now, and so also is disaster in this One World that can no longer be split into isolated fragments." These were the words of Jawaharlal Nehru on the eve of India's Independence on August 15, 1947.

So we take our responsibility seriously. The Prime Minister's Council on Climate Change is now working on a National Plan of Action for Climate Change. Even as we engage internationally in creating a global strategy to address climate change we would in parallel, work on local, sub national and national action to meet the challenges of climate change. The impact of climate change falls differently on people and the poor are the worst hit. They have the least resources to cope. Action on climate change can then become an action for poverty reduction to reduce the vulnerabilities of the poor people everywhere.

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British Immigration Minister Liam Byrne visits India

The British Home Office Minister of State for Borders and Immigration and Minister for the West Midlands, Liam Byrne, visited India from February 4 to 7, 2008. Byrne was accompanied by a cross-party delegation of influential British Asian community leaders.

The visit focused on discussion over U.K.'s recently proposed changes in the immigration system. "The fact that so many people travel between our two countries means that it is absolutely right that I come here at this time," Byrne said.

Britain is presently reforming its immigration system to ensure that it meets its objectives of facilitating the entry of those persons with the skills required by United Kingdom's economy and supports its position as a destination of choice for study, business and tourism, while preventing abuse of the immigration system.

Bryne on his first visit to India held talks with government and community leaders besides key business people in Delhi, Mumbai and Chandigarh, a release from the British High Commission said.

"This is my first visit to India. I am excited to be here and look forward to meeting, listening and responding to people who are immensely strong," Byrne said.

Byrne also visited one of United Kingdom visa application centres, following the recent introduction of U.K. biometric visas in India.

On February 7, Byrne was in Mumbai, in his capacity as Minister for the West Midlands, where he met several key businesspersons.

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ISB among world's top 20 B-schools

Indian School of Business, a Hyderabad-based business school has been ranked among the top 20 such institutions by Financial Times, London. ISB is the first business school from India to have found a place in the FT rankings. None from the premier Indian B-schools from the Indian Institute of Management stable has ever made it to this list, which has ranked ISB as 20th best globally.

ISB has affiliations with three of the world's renowned business schools - Kellogg School of Management, The Wharton School and London Business School, and five percent of its total student intake consists of international students. Experts agreed that management education in India has come a long way since where it was a decade back and the future seems promising.



IVF centre dedicated to the nation

The Indian Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss, on February 7, dedicated to the nation the first state of the art In-Vitro fertilisation (IVF) Research Centre established at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). This facility will help those couples, who are not able to have a child on their own and need some assistance to be able to conceive. Speaking on the occasion, the minister said that this centre has been created with a mission to not only provide cost-effective services to the majority, but also to foster an environment that promotes research and training.



India relaxes foreign equity caps

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on January 30 decided to set up eight new tiger reserves in India during the 11th Five Year Plan at an estimated cost of Rs.320 million. Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram told reporters after the CCEA meeting that the new tiger reserves would be developed in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Orissa, Karnataka, Assam and Madhya Pradesh.

It was one of the recommendations of the Tiger Task Force constituted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, following the depletion of the tiger population in India.




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