Headlines Digest

  • Food Shortage Crisis: Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said that the country has sufficient food to feed the people and that prices should reflect that soon. Sending conflicting signals, PM Singh may call a meeting with Chief Ministers on controlling prices. Shockingly, another article highlighted the extremely high amount of crops wasted annually — RS 55,600 Cr!
  • Education and Quotas: Fresh off the recent Supreme Court case, the IIT’s have agreed on a plan to accept the 27% quota over three years. With regard to IIT’s, 3 new institutions are slated to open up this year.
  • Civil Society, Peace and Rights: A roundtable has been called to increase democratic participation and wrest power away from the military actors in this area. In a related article, Muslims across India have held various forums for public discourse denouncing terrorism and voicing its incompatibility with Islam. In Mumbai, the High Court recognized the right for indigent and poor people to have legal counsel by dismissing the sentence against a man convicted for murder.
  • Environment: Environmental groups have begun pressuring the World Bank to delay implementation of a new coal power plant. Also, in Kashmir the Wildlife Trust of India has developed ways to minimize human encroachment on native bears and also encourage greater conservation by residents. Also, five Indian coastal cities have joined Greenpeace’s efforts to call atention to global warming and the climate crisis.
  • Health: Global perception of HIV/AIDS victims in the workplace appears to be improving. Along similar lines, the Government of India modified its drug policy focusing on prices and access.
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Mumbai in 2100: Underwater

A new Greenpeace report states that by 2100, the main thoroughfares and heartbeat of India’s Gateway will be underwater, due to global warming. The Greenpeace report predicts that

a potential increase in temperatures by 4 to 5 degrees due to greenhouse emissions at the current rate would mean a corresponding rise in sea levels of up to five metres by 2100.

This, in turn, would imply that approximately 50 million Indians would be rendered homeless and become ‘climate migrants’.

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Predicting A Shift: Climate Migrants

A report released by Greenpeace titled “Blue Alert – Climate Migrants in South Asia: Estimates and Solutions” focuses on how climate change will cause major migration shifts on the South Asian subcontinent in the coming century and offers policy recommendations.

Looking at India and Bangladesh alone, approximately 125 million migrants, comprising about 75 million from Bangladesh and remaining 50 million from densely-populated coastal regions and other vulnerable parts of India, could be rendered homeless by the end of this century.

Migration patterns will occur both across borders and from rural to urban areas. A Times of India article notes that:

The study estimates that eight million of the rural population is likely to migrate to urban areas specifically because of their double exposure to climate change and their inability to adapt to global trade impacts by the end of this century.

With the release of the report, Greenpeace is also launching a Blue Alert campaign, which “aims to catalyse citizens in the coastal danger zones, and empower them with information so that impacted communities are able to bring up their concerns with their elected representatives.”

Environmental watchdog group calls for greater CSR from electronics companies

from OneWorld South Asia – Top Headlines

India generates around 300,000 tonnes of e-waste annually, which is likely to grow more than five fold by 2012. In a recent ranking guide, environmental body Greenpeace has called upon Indian electronics companies to adopt green practices to deal with the e-waste menace so as to come at par with global brands.