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India 'cares little' about UN chief's call: Ending fossil fuel use only way to save planet

By Shankar Sharma* 

A few of the recent new items should indicate to us the seriously troubling days ahead of us in view of the irrational/ irresponsible stand taken by our government, which likes to call itself a global leader, in various COP meets such as in COP28.
Most deplorable aspect of such a stand is that there has been no explanation/ public consultation/ substantiation on the policies/ action plans to address the catastrophic consequences of climate change.
These people claiming to represent a country as a responsible member of the UN seems to have no care about the UN chief's call (as well as call by other global agencies such as UNEP, WHO, IPCC etc.) at COP28: "Ending fossil fuel use only way to save planet".
The much touted slogan: "sub ke saath, sub ka vikaas, sub ka vishwaas, sub ka prayas" appears like just a rhetoric.
Taking pride in claiming to be the fifth largest economy, and hoping to be the third largest soon, it seems to have no responsibility/ accountability attached to such claims in honestly minimising the associated ecological destruction.
India's lofty claims on being global leader in climate action, through statements such as "India reduced emission intensity by 33%, reached target early" can be seen as totally ineffective to reduce the climate change related threats, when we also get to read reports to say that "India’s emissions up 4.6% in 2016-19, new climate plans show".
It should not be difficult for anyone to realise that even if statement such as "The country aims to reduce GDP emission intensity by 45 per cent by 2030 from 2005 levels" become true, the net effect on GHG emissions by 2030 can be that India's total GHG emissions can go up by a considerable margin since it's GDP also would have doubled or trebled by that time.
Even if it is the case that our leaders do not care for much of the global pressure to reduce its overall carbon foot print, it must not ignore the associated consequences on the true welfare of all sections of its people, which also includes the flora, fauna and the general environment on a sustainable basis.
So, the country needs to urgently undertake a rational set of actions, not only to effectively reduce its total GHG emissions by 2030 and beyond, but also to adequately protect its critical natural resources, as might be indicated by the acceptable pollution/ contamination levels of its air, water and soil, and by ensuring forest & tree cover of its land to an extent of at least 33%.
When we objectively consider the various associated policies and ad-hoc statements of the govt., it is impossible to project the feasibility of such a happy scenario even by 2050. Even if our elite public / higher educational/ research institutions ignore to focus on such critical and strategic issues, the role of civil society groups become vastly more important to pursue our govt. to act rationally, as called by more than 1,000 climate scientists.
*Power & Climate Policy Analyst



'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site The article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Don't agree on domestic subsidies, ensure food security at WTO meet: Farmer leaders

Counterview Desk  The Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers Movements (ICCFM), a top network of farmers’ organizations in India, in a letter to Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry, has asked him to “safeguard food security and sovereignty, even as ensuring peasants' rights" at the 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO MC 13), to take place from 26 to 29 February 2024 in Abu Dhabi.

Students, lawyers, professors detained in Delhi for demonstrating in support of farmers

By Our Representative  About 25 protestors, belonging to the civil rights network, Campaign Against State Repression (CASR), a coalition of over 40 organisations, were detained at Jantar Mantar for holding a demonstration in support of the farmers' stir on Friday. Those detained included students, lawyers and professors, including Prof Nandita Narain and Prof N Sachin. 

Sharp 61-85% fall in Tech startup funding in India's top 'business-friendly' States

By Rajiv Shah Funding in Tech startups in top business-friendly Indian states has witnessed a major fall, a data intelligence platform for private market research has said in a series of reports it has released this month. Analysing Tech startup data of Telangana, Maharashtra, Delhi NCR, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, Tracxn Technologies Ltd , the Bengaluru-based research firm, finds that except for Kerala, funding witnessed a fall of anywhere between 61% and 85%.

Solar energy funding dips 9% in 2023; 2024 'kicks off' with US$1 billion investment

By Lakshmitha Raj*  Solar energy tech companies have already secured slightly over US$1 billion in funding in 2024 (till Feb 7, 2024) after total funding into Solar Energy companies in India fell 9% to US$1.55B in 2023 from US$1.7B in 2022. A total of 39 $100M+ rounds have been closed till date, with Delhi leading the city-wise funding, followed by Gurugram and Mumbai.

Maize, bajra, jute, banana cultivation banned off West Bengal border: Plea to NHRC

Counterview Desk  West Bengal-based human rights defender Kirity Roy, who is secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Manch, and is national convenor of the Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity, in a representation to the chairman, National Human Rights Commission, second within few days, has bought to light one more case of trespassing and destruction of a fertile banana plantation by BSF personnel along the Indo-Bangladesh border, stating, despite a written complaint to the police has taken "no initiative".

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

India second best place to invest, next to UAE, yet there is 'lacks support' for IT services

By Sreevas Sahasranamam, Aileen Ionescu-Somers*  The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the best place in the world to start a new business, according to the latest annual Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) survey. The Arab nation is number one for the third year in a row thanks to a big push by the government into cutting-edge technology in its efforts to diversify away from oil.

Mahanadi delta: Aggressive construction in flood plains, reduced fish stock, pollution

By Sudhansu R Das  Frequent natural calamities, unemployment, low farmers’ income, increase in crime rate and lack of quality human resources to strike a balance between growth and environment etc. continue to haunt the state. The state should delve into the root causes of poverty, unemployment and natural calamities.