There is Nobody to Blame for Anything

Let’s start by stating a bold claim that you’ve probably never heard before. Upon first hearing this claim, you’ll most likely think it to be ridiculous and absurd, but by the end of this article, you’ll see the utterly obvious truth of it, and you’ll never look at the world the same way again. Are you ready for it? Here it is…

 There is no cause of anything.

 That’s right. Nothing “causes” anything else to happen… ever. Now let me explain why.

 As an example, let’s say that a man needs milk, and he walks several blocks to the corner store to buy it. After purchasing the milk he begins his walk home, but while crossing the street there’s a drunk driver that doesn’t notice the stop sign at the intersection where the man is crossing. At the very last second the drunk driver slams on his breaks, but it’s too late, and he hits the man crossing the street.

 Now, with our current mindset, the vast majority of people would automatically say that the drunk driver “caused” this to happen. Or did he?

 If we just take a step back in the way we perceive things, we could just as easily say that the man was hit by that drunk driver because cars were invented. Or because the wheel was invented. Or because of the development of technology. Or because somebody figured out how to make pavement for driving on.

 Maybe the man was hit because of his neediness for milk. Or because his wife sent him to the store. Or because of his wife’s enjoyment of breakfast cereal. Maybe it’s because people drink milk. Or perhaps it happened because cows exist.

 Maybe it happened because the man chose to live in the exact location that he does. Or maybe it was because that was the only house on the market that he could afford, and he could only afford that house because of the job he has, and he has that job because he dropped out of high school.

 Maybe he was hit by the drunk driver because of the precise speed in which the man walks, and the exact time he got there. Or because he had to stop to re-tie his shoe lace that had come undone. Or because he didn’t tie them properly when he first left his house. Or because he chose to wear that specific pair of shoes to walk to the store. Or because he chose to buy those exact shoes. Or because he could only afford those shoes.

 Maybe it’s because the city chose to install a stop sign instead of traffic lights. Or because stop signs aren’t twice as big. Or because they’re not fluorescent yellow.

 What if the whole incident happened because the man decided to walk to the store instead of driving? Or what if it was because the store was built at that location? Or because the owner of the store decided that was a good place to set up shop?

 Perhaps it was because the drunk driver was born. Or because the man buying milk was born. Or because either of the men’s parents had sex. Or because his parent’s parents had sex. Or because any of these people ever met each other in the first place.

 What if it was because the human species evolved in the manner that it did? Or because life came to be on the planet? Or maybe it was because of the “big bang” (if that’s how it happened). Maybe it’s because the physical universe exists.

 It might have been because of the location of the bar that the drunk driver was drinking at. Or because the drunk driver had to be home at a certain time. Or because the drunk driver had to work in the morning. Or because his taste buds like the taste of alcohol. Or because he’s not able to overcome his addiction despite all of his efforts. Or because nobody has taken him to an AA meeting.

 The drunk driver may certainly be irresponsible, and maybe he lacks proper judgment, but that certainly isn’t “the cause”. It’s only one tiny minute reason out of a literally infinite and unending number of factors within all of existence. There is no end to the amount of circumstances that come into play, and not a single one of them is the cause of anything else.

 So let us repeat the lesson learned… There is no cause of anything… ever. There are only automatic effects and consequences. Everything is happening of its own, as a spontaneous result.

 Most importantly of all, if there is no cause of anything, there is nothing and nobody to blame for anything, and if there is nothing to blame, then there is absolutely nothing to be angry about. Everything just is what it is, and we have no choice but to accept it. No matter what’s happing in the universe, it’s perfect, and it can’t possibly be anything but. This understanding literally forces us to fully accept absolutely everything as it is. There is nothing to complain about and we have no choice but to forgive everybody for everything they have ever done, no matter what that might have been.

 What a person does, and chooses, is determined by what a person is, and what they are is determined by what they are aware of. Everybody is exactly what they are currently aware of, and what they are currently aware of is based upon an infinite number of factors.

 We might all be learning from “mistakes”, but at least we can all be at peace (of mind) with each other as life unfolds. The whole concept of causation is an entirely false ingrained perception that is in everybody’s best interest to let go of. If everybody had this understanding, we would have total world peace because nobody would be acting out of anger, blame, resentment, hate, or fear. Everybody would fully accept, forgive, respect, and love all of life for what it is. And we would no longer need lawyers.

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Reason why TamilNadu suffers from dire Electricity shortage

The major reasons for the power crisis in Tamil Nadu are the following

1. Absence of a long term vision to increase availability of power by capacity addition and encouraging private investment in power generation compared to other states, over the last 10 years.

2. Overdependence on outside sources.

3. Considerable dependence on wind energy which is highly seasonal in nature and therefore not completely reliable.

4. Failure to reduce power transmission losses in the last 10 years.

1.Lack of long term vision

The following stats demonstrates how the gap between  requirement and availability of power in Tamil Nadu has altered significantly in comparison with other industrialized states between 2003-04 and 2010-11.



Comparing this with the situation in 2003-04, it can be seen that the status of deficits in most of the states was the same, except in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Tamil Nadu, in particular, only had a deficit of around 1% in 2003-04. This deficit has been increasing rapidly, especially in the last five years as can be seen from the graph below:


Anticipating a huge increase in demand, driven by economic growth, states such as Maharashtra, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh put in added efforts to increase the availability of power. This was done both by increasing own capacity and by encouraging private investment in power generation. On the contrary, such a long term vision to increase availability of power was absent in Tamil Nadu.

Further, installed capacity in Tamil Nadu increased from around 13,000 MW at the end of the 10th plan to around 14,700 MW in 2010-11, representing an increase of around 12%. This represents the least capacity addition among all the states in this period.  States such as Maharashtra and Gujarat have capacity additions of 53% and 21% respectively. States such as Rajasthan and West Bengal increased capacity by as much as 43% and 47% respectively. This is explained in the table below:


The graph below will help you visualize better


2. Overdependence on external sources

There are five main sources of power in a state  – own generation, central allocation, power purchased from IPPs, short term power from the exchange and other sources (including wind mills). The sources of power for the various states considered here are shown below


As can be seen from the above graph, among all the states, Tamil Nadu is the most dependent on outside sources.

3. Over dependence on wind energy

All the capacity additions in Tamil Nadu were in private wind generation (R.E.S), which, as mentioned before, is highly seasonal. This can be seen from
the graph below, which shows sector wise capacity additions over the last three years:


Thus as mentioned before, the reason for the low generation by the state sector is the absence of investments by the state in stable internal sources.

4. Failure to reduce Transmission and Distribution losses

Tamil Nadu also has relatively low T&D and AT&C losses of 18% and 19.5% respectively. Even though these values are relatively low, they have remained at these levels for the past ten years. Tamil Nadu is the only state which has not reduced its T&D losses and improved the system over the years. This is evident from the following graph which shows the movement of T&D losses in the different states since 2002-03.


The main problem faced by Tamil Nadu in transmission is with respect to  congestion in the Southern grid. The following table shows the capacity of the Indian electricity grid.  Further, the southern grid is currently running at full capacity. This is a major problem for a state like Tamil Nadu which is dependent on outside sources of power. As can be seen from the graph below, the amount that can be transferred to the Southern Region is not high. (I am guessing the Kudankulam plant will solve this problem).


Future Projections

1. Projected Demand for Power

The graph below shows projected power demand in Tamil Nadu till 2015-16.



The following shows the break up of the demand sector wise:


2. Supply of Power

Total capacity that will be added in the state from 2011-12 to 2015-16 is 7310 MW, out of which 1860 MW will come from the state sector, 4250 MW from the central sector and 1200 MW from the private sector. The plants coming up in the state in the next five years are shown in the graph below.


The total power made available through capacity additions in the year 2011-12 is expected to be 11,536 MU out of which 6384 MU is generated from TNEB’s own capacity additions, while 4059 MU is allocated from capacity additions of Central Generating Stations (CGSs) within the state. Further, a capacity of 1093 MU will be allocated from CGSs outside the state (namely, NTPC’s Simhadri power plant in Andhra Pradesh and Kaiga APS in Karnataka). In 2012-13, an additional 2770 MU of power is expected to be made available due to further capacity additions by NTPC in the state. The graph also shows an increase in existing capacity from 65420 MU to 88478 MU. This increase is mainly due to higher generation through increased utilization of the plants commissioned in the previous year. In 2013-14, only one plant is likely to be commissioned. This is the 1200 MW thermal power plant, Coastal Energen, Tuticourin.

Strategies to be adopted by the state government: (Taken from the Draft of the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17) of Tamil Nadu)

(i) Capacity Addition

♦Taking up new projects-North Chennai Stage III and IV, Udangudi project and its expansion, Ennore Annex, Kundah Pumped Storage, Uppur thermal power project, ETPS replacement, Tuticorin stage IV,
Cheyyur Ultra Mega Power Project etc.

♦Speeding up and expediting the completion of on going projects-North Chennai Stage II, Mettur State III, TNEB-NTPC JV Vallur, TNEB-NLC Tuticorin JV, Kudankulam, PFBR Kalpakkam, Neyveli TS-II Expansion

♦Exploring the possibility of adding 10000 MW wind  energy through various promoters; Setting up offshore wind power plants;

♦Setting up of Solar Parks;

♦Attract private investments on a commensurate scale;

(ii) Transmission and Distribution

♦Enhancing transformer capacities in the existing sub stations;

♦Bifurcation of high tension overloaded feeders and installation of capacitor banks at distribution transformers for injection of reactive power;

♦Conversion of low voltage lines to high voltage lines along with feeder separation to reduce the distribution line losses;

♦Segregation of agricultural loads from industrial, commercial, and domestic loads;

♦Adequate transmission network to evacuate the power generated from new plants and to distribute the customers;

(iii) Energy Conservation

♦Implementing Bachat Lamp Yojana (BLY) scheme to increase energy efficiency in domestic sector;

♦Improve the efficiency of the agricultural pump sets using appropriate incentive scheme;

♦Solar powered home lighting in 3 lakh Green houses; 1 lakh street lights through solar power;

♦  Energy conservation building code; Energy Star Labeling in Equipments

(iv) Fiscal Health of Power Sector

♦ Make the distribution system financially viable during the Twelfth Plan by rational pricing, bringing modern systems of management, use of IT, enforcement of accountability and privatization or franchising.

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Names of the Continents and Their Origin #Asia #Africa #Artica #Antartica #Australia #Europe #America

First on this list is Africa. There are many different theories as to the origin of Africa’s name. After the Romans defeated Carthage (which is in modern-day Tunisia in Northern Africa) in the third Punic War, they called their new province “Africa.” The most popular theory as to the origin of the name is that it was named for a native tribe there—the Afri, with “Africa” then being the feminine form of “Africus”, literally meaning “land of the Afri”.

An alternate theory, which has a hole in it due to when the name was first used, is that it comes from the Phoenician word “afar” which means “dust.” Put together with the Latin suffix –ica, sometimes used to denote “land”, the name could mean “a land of dust.” Given Africa’s hot, desert-like climate in the north, which is where the Romans claimed their province, the Phoenician root is considered by many to be a plausible alternative to the “Afri tribe” theory, for the origin of Africa’s name.

Whatever the case, as Europeans continued exploring and discovered the breadth of the continent, the name that the Romans had originally used for their small province stuck, and the entire continent became known as Africa.

Antarctica comes from the Greek word “antarktike,” which literally means “opposite to the north.” The continent is, of course, home to the southernmost point on Earth. John George Bartholomew, a Scottish cartographer, is believed to be the first person to use “Antartica” to refer to the continent. However, the name was used for a different place by the French before this. In the 1500s, they held a colony in Brazil below the equator which they named France Antartique.

Asia derives from the Ancient Greek “Ἀσία”, which was used as early as 440 B.C. by Herodotus in his Histories. However, it is likely that the name was in use long before then, though not referring to a whole continent, but rather originally just the name for the land on the east bank of the Aegean Sea, and then later the Anatolia (part of modern Turkey).

Romans referred to two provinces when talking about Asia: Asia Minor and Asia Major. A common theory is that the Greek name ultimately derived from the Phoenician word asu, which means “east”, and the Akkadian word asu which means “to go out, to rise.” In reference to the sun, Asia would then mean “the land of the sunrise.”

Terra Australis Incognita means “the unknown land in the south” in Latin, and rumours of the continent’s existence dated back to Ancient Roman times. Of course, Romans did not have the maritime technology to reach Australia and did not have any direct evidence that it existed, as far as we know. When Europeans finally discovered the continent, the name “Terra Australis” stuck. The continent was referred to the shortened “Australia” by a number of early explorers, but it was Matthew Flinders who pushed for its use from 1804. Though “Australia” was used unofficially for several years, Governor Lachlan Macquarie petitioned for its official adoption in 1817. It wasn’t until 1824 that the name was officially given to the continent.

Europe was likely named after Europa, one of Zeus’ many lovers in Greek mythology. Legend has it that he abducted her after taking on the form of a white bull and took her to Crete.  It is difficult to determine the etymology of the name, but one theory is that it comes from the Akkadian word erebu which means “to go down, set” or the Phoenician ereb which means “evening, west.” The western directional meaning would mean it had similar origins to Asia. Alternatively, the name Eurpoa may have derived from the Greek “eurys”, meaning “wide”, and “ops”, meaning “face”, so “wide face”.

As in many of the other names of the continents, “Europe” originally didn’t refer to anything close to what we think of as Europe today.  Rather, it was just a small region, like “Asia”, referring to a portion of present day Turkey, part of Thrace.

Like most, I’ve known that the Americas (North and South) were named after Amerigo Vespucci since my early education. However, the story behind why this is the case is somewhat more interesting and quite a bit less well known. Vespucci was a navigator that traveled to “the new world” in 1499 and 1502. Being a well educated man, he realized that this new world was not part of Asia, as some had initially thought. Vespucci chose to write about his travels and his books were published in 1502 and 1504. Being both entertaining and educational, his accounts of the new world were reprinted in almost every European language.

In 1507, a German cartographer, Martin Waldseemüller, chose to make a new map that included the new world. He and two scholarly partners were aware of Vespucci’s writings and were ignorant of Columbus’s expeditions. As such, they decided to name the new land after Vespucci, stating:

But now these parts (Europe, Asia and Africa, the three continents of the Ptolemaic geography) have been extensively explored and a fourth part has been discovered by Americus Vespuccius (the Latin form of Vespucci’s name), I do not see what right any one would have to object to calling this part after Americus, who discovered it and who is a man of intelligence, and so to name it Amerige, that is, the Land of Americus, or America: since both Europa and Asia got their names from women.

When the large new map, approximately 8 feet by 4 feet, was unveiled by Waldseemüller, it had the large title “AMERICA” across what is now present day Brazil. Waldseemüller used Vespucci’s travelogues as a reference for his drawing and so his map had South America as the only part of this new western hemisphere. When North America was later added, the mapmakers of the time retained the original name. In 1538, the famous geographer Gerard Mercator chose to name the entire north and south parts of America as one large “America” for the entire western hemisphere

Bonus Facts

  • Part of Antartica has been named “Queen Elizabeth Land” in honour of Queen Elizabeth II. The area is about twice the size of the United Kingdom.
  • Captain James Cook was sent to find Terra Australis Incognita in 1772. Returning with charts of the eastern coastline of Australia—large enough to be considered a continent—he was turned down by officials who believed that the real Terra Australis Incognita was located farther south. Cook set out again and was the first person to sail into the Antarctic Circle. However, he turned away to resupply his ship before seeing land. If he had succeeded in his voyage, it is likely that Antarctica would have been named Australia after Terra Australis instead. (The first person to see the Antarctic Continent was Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen in 1820).
  • Europa is also the name of one of Jupiter’s moons.
  • An alternate theory as to how America got its name, not backed up by a whole lot of documented evidence, you may sometimes hear is that a tribe of Native Americans named the Amerrique may have existed, and both Columbus and Vespucci may have visited them. The word is said to originate from the Mayan word for “exceptionally strong wind.”
  • Another “America” theory that you may sometimes here, again, not backed up by nearly the evidence as the above in the main article, is that it was named after a Bristol merchant named Richard Amerike. Amerike and other merchants had been trading items and fishing off the coast of Newfoundland for many years before Christopher Columbus and John Cabot made their voyages to America. The theory is that the fishermen who worked for him named the area in which they lived after their employer. It is also believed that Amerike sponsored John Cabot on his successful trip to America’s eastern shore, and that Cabot named the land after his sponsor.
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10 Unethical Businesses Nobody Cares In India

India, a country that exudes diversity in every aspect of its social or cultural life, is a land of wonder for many. People come from all over the world to witness its charm and rich history. However, behind all these glam and glory lies an image that is ruthless and downright illegal. Although most of us are aware of the illegal practices being carried around us, we don’t have time to dwell in the negatives and hence efficiently adjusts to it.

Cleaning of Ears


For many, this may seem way beyond their imagination of ‘weird’ job. But in some places of India, it is a common sight to view a person cleaning customer’s ears with ‘special’ equipments. These equipments are special because although it efficiently cleans one’s ears, these are dangerous and can cause hearing disability if not handled properly. It is an illegal business as per the government norm but is carried out openly in villages and small towns of the country.   

Dentists on the Streets

At some point or other, everyone goes to the dentist for a dental surgery, filling job or just to get rid of the unbearable tooth-ache. However, to get the tooth fixed, one requires spending minimum thousand bucks. But what about those who couldn’t afford such an expensive treatment? Well, they are rescued by the street dentists who are now present in every corner of India in spite of the Government declaring it to be an illegal business. They hardly carry any license or certificate for that case and can’t be held responsible for the after-effects of a wrong treatment.

Food Adulteration


This is probably the most common and unfortunately accepted illegal business in India. Although it’s a known fact that our grocer is mixing unwanted things or adulterant to the food stuffs on his shop, we not only buy them but never question as well.
There are number of Food and Drug Administration that regulates laws on food safety and while they are strictly followed by people in foreign countries, the scenario is different in India. The illegal practice is more prevalent in small towns and places where people are ignorant. Every year, more than thousands of people in the country get ill or lose their life because of food adulteration.

Duplicate Goods


The increasing population and the growing inequality among the people in India can be said to be one of the reasons behind the growing illegal business of duplicate goods. A common sight in India is that an item that is sold at 1000 in a mall is available as a duplicate product and at a rate twice less than that of the former. This market is flourishing as more than half of the population in India falls under middle class and couldn’t afford expensive goods.

Sex Determination And Female Feticide

Gone are the days when people used to differentiate between a girl child and a boy child. Every child brings along some specialty and is precious to their parents. While one part of India paints a picture of an open-minded and forward thinking country, the other part is gloomy and still very backward. There a nooks and corners in most of the states in India where female child is unwanted and killed while in mother’s womb. The law imposes strict punishment on those who are caught practicing the illegal act of sex determination and abortion of female child. Unfortunately, female fetus still killed or left behind after birth to be an orphan.


While in some countries like Germany and Gambia, prostitution is legal, in most part of the world it is regarded as an illegal act. All these countries, where the trade is illegal, are suffering from growing red light areas. According to a study by Axel Dreher of University of Heidelberg, countries that legalize the trade are encouraging human trafficking. India as well is a victim of this dreadful illegal business and growing diseases like HIV/AIDS.

Movies CD/DVDs Piracy Market

It is funny to note that while using a pirated CD/DVD, most of us don’t even realize that it is an illegal act. We are so used to the easy availability of the pirated products that we don’t want to take the hassle of waiting for the genuine CDs and DVDs to arrive the market. There is a major market in India that deals in pirated products and escapes any legal action although it is illegal as per Government norms.


Giving money to beggars is considered as a generous act by most of us. We pity them and wonder what might have happened to them to have such a miserable life. However, the real picture is beyond one’s imagination. Begging is actually a booming business for human traffickers and the beggars are part of their play to extract money from passerby. Begging is downright illegal but people hardly know about the reality and are always eager to please God by helping the ‘needy’. 

Desi Daru


Alcohol consumption could be injurious to health and family as well. But every city in the country now has one alcohol shop probably after every 2 kilometer. But the growing concern of the country is the increasing trade of local-made alcoholic drink or Desi Daru as it is popularly called. This falls under illegal business since many people were reported ill or dead due to the consumption of Desi Daru. Despite being called as illegal, shops selling desi daru are opening almost every fortnight. 

Child Labor

The most dangerous of all illegal businesses is that of child labor. According to Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles of State Policy in India, it is a punishable act to make children less than 14 years work in factory or mine. But the problem lies in the ignorance of people about this law and continuous harassment of child in different ways.

How One Woman Entrepreneur Is Breaking Pakistan’s ‘Cement Ceiling’

In 1984, Nora Frenkiel coined the term glass ceiling: “Women have reached a certain point — I call it the glass ceiling. They’re in the top of middle management and they’re stopping and getting stuck.”


“The glass ceiling is the ability to visualize getting to the top but not reaching there. In Pakistan for female entrepreneurs, you can neither see what it looks like nor aspire to be something you cannot imagine,” Maria Umar says. “It’s more of a cement ceiling here in our case in Pakistan.”

Umar is challenging the cement ceiling as an international entrepreneur and a key player in Pakistan’s burgeoning tech scene. She is revered as one of the trailblazers in the female entrepreneurial revolution, and focuses her efforts on furthering work opportunities for women in Pakistan.

Before becoming an entrepreneur, Umar was a full-time teacher. She quit after her job refused her maternity leave and subsequently began writing for a woman she found through, Pakistan’s premiere job portal. The money was good — almost double what she made as a teacher — but when Umar discovered her employer’s oDesk profile, she realized she could make even more money by contracting with clients directly.

She set up her own Desk account and began taking on extra jobs and outsourcing them. At first she gave the jobs to her nieces, then to their friends, and eventually to their classmates, until she realized that she had developed a small content-creation business.

Today, this company is called The Women’s Digital League, an IT-solution company that trains rural Pakistani women in micro online tasks, from ghost-writing to social media management.

Ovidiu Bujorean is the Senior Manager of the GIST Initiative, which supports entrepreneurship in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. He met Umar after she won a GIST business plan competition, and recognized her ability immediately. “She is extremely passionate and persistent,” he says of Umar. “She’s also very committed to her mission of helping female entrepreneurs find job opportunities.


“Even if she hits a wall, she will learn her way over, under or through that wall.”

Even if she hits a wall, she will learn her way over, under or through that wall.”

As a female entrepreneur working in a male-dominated IT-field, there is no shortage of walls for Umar to break through.

The challenges women face while trying to secure an education in Pakistan are significant. Last year, UNESCO reported that 62% of girls in Pakistan between seven and 15 years old have never spent time in a classroom. Violence against girls pursuing an education has increased since the alleged Taliban attack against Malala Yousafzai in October of last year.

But the country’s education emergency is only the beginning of a larger problem.

According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, only 14.3% of Pakistani women currently participate in the labor force.

“Girls themselves are becoming more empowered and asking for their right to [education],” Umar says. “Unfortunately not very many actually utilize that education in the formal sector…


“Families discourage girls from working outside due to [the] security situation and lack of social acceptance.”

“Families discourage girls from working outside due to [the] security situation and lack of social acceptance.”

Social media has played an integral role in helping WDL provide work-opportunities for women who otherwise may be unable to work.

Umar finds the majority of WDL freelancers through social media. She attaches hashtags like #homebasedwork, #writerneeded, #jobopportunities and #pakistan to tweet advertising job opportunities, and receives a new CV almost daily.

“There are women that I’ve known for the past three years, and very closely through social media,” says Umar, “through Twitter, through Facebook pages and yes, through LinkedIn too.”

Umar estimates that more than 80% of her company’s business comes through LinkedIn referrals, largely because of the effort she’s put into cultivating complimentary reviews. “If you check, even now I don’t have my formal website up,” she says, “I’ve never needed to. When people come and ask me, ‘I’ve heard that you do this, how can we find out more about it?’ I just say well, go to my LinkedIn page.”

Umar’s leveraging of her LinkedIn referrals was impressive enough to catch the attention of Alec Ross, the former Senior Advisor for Innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“The idea of a woman in one of the Waziristans working on an IT micro tasking is a very powerful affirmation of the platform,” he said. Ross remembers being struck by Umar’s dedication to helping other women find work. “I firmly believe that we need to empower women in the marketplace. There’s so much insecurity brought on by men. This woman was empowering dozens of other women.”

Umar recently announced that she is expanding WDL into The Digital League, a company that offers digital solutions to individuals and corporate clients.

“We decided we needed to include the men as well,” she says, noting that WDL will remain a subsidiary of TDL. “Why just Pakistan? We are now expanding it to the world.”

By Jess Fee

Green school in Bali, Indonesia.

Green school in Bali, Indonesia.


19 1  5 11 13 14 17 18

It provides its students with an education about the amazing environment that we live in. It is a holistic and relevant education. During the construction, only bamboo, elephant grass and clay were used. Cement was used just in some places in the foundation. The central and the most important building is the “heart of the school.” It is perhaps the largest building in the world built entirely from bamboo. Its dimensions are 18 meters high and 64 meters long. General area of the school includes a variety of structures: apartment buildings, classrooms, office building, and cafes. The school gets electricity from environmentally friendly sources of energy: hydraulic turbine generators and installed solar panels. It seems that considering the way we are polluting the earth, everyone should attend.

India has given $ 5.5 million as defence aid to Tajikistan

Тренировка вертолетчиков Торжокского центра к Параду Победы

© Photo: RIA Novosti

India has given the Ministry of Defence of Tajikistan, a $ 5.5 million aid in military and technical spheres, said the head of the press service of the Tajik Defence Ministry, Faridun Mohamedaliev. One helicopter MI-8 and 6 motor-vehicles, including military trucks and fire engines were given to the Ministry of Defence, said Mohamedaliev .The Minister of Defence of Tajikistan, Sherali Hairulloev,pointed that the military and technical cooperation between the two countries would maintain security in the region. Mohmadaliev added that Tajikistan and India have collaborated in the military and technical field since 2002. Within the frame of this cooperation, the Indian side has reconstructed the military airbase at “Aini” situated 25km to the west of Dushanbe.

10 punch lines from #NaMo’s speech at SRCC

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday pitched the state’s model of growth and governance. Modi said that vote bank politics has spoilt the country and emphasised the need for good governance to make India globally competitive.


According to Modi all three major sectors of the economy viz., agriculture, industry and services should be given equal importance for development. This, he said, helps in overall development.


Here is a look at ten choicest punch-lines from his speech:

Nation of Mouse charmers

Mouse charmers: The youth of the nation has its finger on the mouse of computers and is changing the world. India’s journey has gone from snake charmers to mouse charmers!

Ignoring protests outside, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today used a college platform to project himself nationally saying his focus was on development politics and not that of vote-bank, which he said has “ruined” the nation.

India has a huge growth opportunity

“The ambassador of a nation asked me what major challenges India faces and I said the biggest one is that how we use opportunity. When asked what the opportunity was, I said the youth. Europe buddha ho chuka hai, China budha ho chuka hai.”

According to Modi India has a huge growth opportunity in the form of youth.

“Our country is not poor. We have vast resources, see eastern India is full of them. But we are unable to use that. We are unable to utilise the opportunity,” Modi said.

P2G2: Pro-people, good governance

“We need P2G2. Pro-People Good governance: Pitching for the role of ‘good governance’, Modi said that the people of the country have sunk into an overwhelming state of pessimism.

“Even after six decades of freedom, the nation awaits good governance,” Modi said.

Speaking in Hindi on ‘Emerging business models in the global scenario’, Modi said the nation can progress by following ‘Gujarat model’ based on P2G2 (Pro-people good governance) principle.

Youth: New-age power

Youth ‘new-age power’, not ‘new-age voter’ alone. Youth have changed the way India is perceived today. Modi stressed the role of youth in the development of the nation.

His extempore speech was telecast live by news channels. “I am Chief Minister for a fourth term and based on my experience, with the same law, same Constitution, same rules and regulations, same officers, same people, same files, we can move forward. We can do a lot. I am confident that we can change things,” he said.

The glass is always full!

“I believe that the glass is full. One half with water and the other half with air.” There is despondency all over country but I am confident we can change the situation.

Picking up a glass of water, he said an optimist would say the glass is half full, while a pessimist would say it is half empty.

“I have a third point of view. For me the glass is always full — half with water and half with air. We can turn over the situation,” he said.

Milk in Delhi is from Gujarat

There must be no one in the audience who has chai without doodh from Gujarat in it. All the milk in Delhi is from Gujarat. Milk in Singapore is from Gujarat, Okra in Europe is from Gujarat.

Stating that the state’s agricultural sector has exhibited growth, Modi said, “If you go to Afghanistan, the people there have tomatoes that come from Gujarat.” Further talking about the development of the state, Modi said that the milk in Singapore and the ‘bhindi’ in Europe come from Gujarat.

Minimum government, maximum governance

Minimum government, maximum governance – this is my philosophy.

“This nation is being ruined by vote bank politics. This nation requires development politics. If we switch to politics of development, we will soon be in a position to bring about lasting change and progress,” Modi said.

“People feel nothing would change here. All are thieves, everything they do is waste. People consider it a curse to be born in India. They want to leave the country soon after completing their studies,” Modi said delivering the Shri Ram Memorial Oration.

Why not export teachers?

A businessman who goes abroad only captures dollars but a teacher influences a whole generation, said Modi while emphasising the need for education and promoting teaching as a vocation.

“We have created a university for teachers. I say we have so much youth and export so much, why not export teachers?”

Citing Gujarat’s mantra of success that can be emulated by the country for speedy progress, he said the focus should be on the manufacturing sector by making zero-defect products with good packaging.

Re-invent Made in India

Why shouldn’t we make the ‘Made in India’ tag a statement of quality for our manufactured products?,” he questioned.

Modi said there is a need to build the ‘Made in India’ brand. He drew a parallel between the credibility of a ‘Made in Japan’ tag and expressed the wish to have India reach such a level some day.

“The whole world says 21st century is India’s century. Some say it is Asia’s century, while some also say it is China’s century. I am confident that 21st century can be India’s century as knowledge is supreme,” he said.

Delhi’s Metro, Gujarat’s Coach!

Some years ago I launched a product which is now a part of Delhi. I launched a coach of the Delhi Metro! In Delhi all the metro coaches are coming from Gujarat.

Touting the recent ‘Vibrant Gujarat Summit’ which accepted the global relevance of Gujarat with the presence of 121 nations there, Modi said, “When the world sees this, they infuse confidence that we can do.”


Portion of global GDP contributed by river basins set to more than double by 2050.

  Economic output of the world’s ten most populous river basins will exceed that of the US, Japanese and German economies combined by 2050 – but only if water scarcity is addressed


Almost 8% of global GDP could be generated in China‘s Yangtze River basin by 2050,
but only if water shortages are dealt with.
Photograph: STR/AFP/Getty Images

The world‘s ten most populous river basins will account for almost a quarter of global GDP by 2050, according to research by Frontier Economics laid out in a new study commissioned by HSBC.

The portion of global economic output provided by these regions is projected to more than double between 2010 and 2050, with almost 8% of global GDP to be generated along China’s Yangtze River by mid-century.

In 2010 roughly one dollar in ten of global economic output came from one of the ten river basins shown below, but in 2050 this figure is predicted to be 24.7%.


Source: figures from HSBC and Frontier Economics

Publication of the report coincides with the launch of the HSBC Water Programme, a $100m, five year partnership with WWF, WaterAid and Earthwatch aimed at combatting water risks in river basins and raising awareness of broader global water issues.

The launch of the Water Programme is covered in greater detail on our environment blog here, including the following quote from Barbara Frost, CEO of WaterAid:

This partnership will result in 1.1 million people gaining access to safe water and 1.9 million to improved hygiene and sanitation in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Nigeria and Ghana.

Most of the rivers in question are located in emerging economies – the Nile in Egypt, the Ganges in India, the Niger in West Africa – and such surges in economic activity could lift millions out of poverty, but these projections will only be realised if management of these regions’ water supplies is improved significantly.


An OECD model of water usage in 2050 shows that the largest increases in consumption are expected to come among the ‘BRIICS’ group of nations – Brazil, Russia, India, Indonesia, China and South Africa.

Total water consumption across BRIICS nations is projected to increase by 78% between 2000 and 2050, from 1,827 to 3,263 cubic kilometres, whereas the corresponding global figure will rise by a more modest 53%.

According to the UN’s latest World Water Development Report, water supplies in several of the ten basins featuring in the Frontier Economics report are being over-exploited. The map below shows water scarcity across the globe, with the darkest regions representing areas where water use exceeds minimum recharge levels.

Water exploitation

Global patterns of water exploitation, coloured according to water stress indicator (WSI). Click for larger image. Illustration: United Nations Environment Programme

The Frontier Economics study shows that water use in seven of the ten river basins will be at unsustainable levels (30% or more of natural run-off being consumed) by 2050 if resource management does not improve.

Water scarcity

Global distribution of different indicators of water scarcity. Click for larger image including description of categories. Illustration: UNESCO

Also included in the report are calculation of the benefits that would arise from meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) targets for water, and from going one step further to achieve universal access to water.

Several Latin American and Central African countries could see annual GDP increases of 5% or more if MDG targets are met, with the economic boost rising to as much as 15% with universal access.

Even China, already a major economic power, could see an annual increase in GDP of almost 1% if its entire population had access to clean water and sanitation.


Source: figures from HSBC and Frontier Economics

According to Frontier Economics’ calculations, the investments required to achieve such levels of water access could be paid off in as few as fifteen months.

A cost-benefit analysis of implementing the changes required to achieve these targets shows projected returns ratios vary considerable by region.

Assuming a 35 year lifetime for the impacts of initial investments, every dollar spent on achieving universal access in Sub-Saharan Africa would yield $2.50, compared to a return of over $16 per dollar spent on equivalent work in Latin America.

Data summary

Economic output from top ten river basins

Population in 2010 (millions)
Population in 2010 (% of global)
Basin GDP in 2010 (US$bn)
Basin GDP in 2010 (% of global)
Basin GDP in 2050 (US$bn)
Basin GDP in 2050 (% of global)

Source: Frontier Economics, HSBC

Ganges 528 0.08 690 0.01 5776 0.03
Yangtze (Chang Jiang) 407 0.06 1796 0.03 14810 0.08
Indus 254 0.04 281 0 1522 0.01
Nile 207 0.03 304 0 3035 0.02
Huang He (Yellow River) 170 0.02 751 0.01 6187 0.03
Huai He 103 0.02 457 0.01 3766 0.02
Niger 100 0.01 105 0 753 0
Hai 96 0.01 426 0.01 3511 0.02
Krishna 89 0.01 126 0 1052 0.01
Danube 81 0.01 1305 0.02 6432 0.03
Total 2036 0.3 6240 0.1 46844 0.25


Download the data

• DATA: download the full spreadsheet

Apple iTunes Debuts In India, Songs From Rs.7/-

Apple has finally opened the gates of iTunes Store to India. Apple customers in the country can now download, stream or store legal music and video content available in the digital store.
The iTunes Store will offer over 20 million songs including international tracks. Songs can be bought individually for price ranging from 7 to 15 or can buy as a complete album, starting from 70. The store also offers ability to buy or rent the movies which comes in High Definition and standard version. HD versions of some latest bollywood flicks are available for purchase from 450, while renting the same will cost around 120

Apple has also included Indonesia into the list of iTunes Stores. Even though the company has launched its digital store in many parts of Asia in June, India and Indonesia were left out till now. The company will also offer ‘iTunes Match’ which allows users to store music purchased from sources other than iTunes in Apple’s icloud.

The Cupertino tech giant, which recently started more focusing towards India with its products and services, will face competition in the latest segment from Nokia’s Music Store and Flyte, the digital store from Flipkart.

According to a 2012 report on Media and Entertainment Industry, the Indian music industry achieved a 19% year-on-year decline in sales of physical music which was compensated by a significant jump of 24% year-on-year in digital music consumed last year. The country also has high levels of content piracy.

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