By Joydeep Gupta
The largest international gathering of them all got underway in Rio de Janeiro this Wednesday June 13 with no agreement on how the world could be made more liveable and sustainable at the same time. Delegates from 193 countries are still divided over key issues – development financing, capacity building especially in least developed countries, technology transfer, the “green” economy and the framework of action to implement all these ideas.
But as the first lot of 50,000-odd politicians, officials, NGO representatives and media descended on this fabled city on Brazil’s Atlantic coast and jammed up the streets, Sha Zukang, head of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), was confident that the differences would be resolved. The last preparatory committee meeting of officials started on Wednesday, and by Friday they are supposed to finalise a declaration on “the future we want”. There was agreement on only 20% of the declaration and many developing
By Joydeep GuptaRead More »from What's going on at Rio?
- Never thought it would get to this; did you? Rs 80/litre just to get down the road! The need for more efficient vehicles was never 'in your face' as it is now. So, the time is right for Mahindra 2Wheelers to introduce the revamped Rodeo RZ, the highlight of which is certainly the impressive mileage of 59.38 kmpl under ARAI's test conditions.
The new Rodeo is not just another facelift, but an attempt to incrementally improve an already very good product. The 125cc Z series engine got better with the Dual Curve Digital Ignition System (DCDI), which marginally increases the performance while not compromising mileage. Do not expect jaw-dropping acceleration since the power delivery is very linear and smooth, however, the RZ is zippier than its predecessor and rides seamlessly even with pillion on board. Moreover, Mahindra claims best in class 0-60 acceleration of 9.35 seconds, which is better than the Suzuki Swish's 9.4 seconds record.
I rode the Rodeo RZ on various terrains ofRead More »from Test Ride: Mahindra Rodeo RZ
Who said Bengalis love fish and sweets over everything else? Neither Sourav the tragic hero nor SRK the new poster boy tops the list. The one thing that all Bengalis adore, sometimes subconsciously, is self-criticism.
Let's check out some pet peeves:
- It's true that Rabindranath Tagore had won the Nobel prize, but it has been stolen.
- Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose was a great patriot, but no one knows exactly how he died.
- Presidency College has lost its glory, though it's now a University.
- Young Bengalis — that's anyone between 2 to 45 — don't know enough about Ram Mohan Roy or Swami Vivekananda or Vidyasagar or just about any illustrious Bengali, except, of course, Sourav again.
- Jyoti Basu and the CPI(M) had made the state a shamsaan, and now Mamata is adding bits of wood to the pyre.
- Basically, it's Kaliyug, and the best thing to do is talk about it over tea and a generous helping of oily snacks.
When one proves conclusively that all Indian states and everyone else in the world too hasRead More »from State of Waste Bengal
By Kavita Kanan ChandraRead More »from 1 man. 1 rupee. 1 check dam
Y! Editor’s note: Anil Joshi, an Ayurveda doctor in Fatehgarh village in Madhya Pradesh- collected one rupee each from one lakh people and constructed a check dam across a local seasonal river called Somli. Going on to repeat it across eleven locations, he is now a full-time water conservationist. With a dream to build 100 such check dams in nearby villages, constantly experiencing drought conditions.One premise of the green economy (World Environment Day 2012 theme) is social inclusion and here is an economically inventive version of that possibility, where the initiative remains human.
The story of Re 1 and a dam ‘doctor’
In Fatehgarh, a check dam, constructed in 2010, permanently altered the face of this village – from a drought stricken - a well-irrigated one. And in that little dash sits this unsung story.
Anil Joshi had a clinic here since 1994 and knew most of the gaonwallahs. “Some of my patients were farmers who obtained 100-200 quintals of food
By Rina Mukherji
Editor's note: In the Yahoo voices on the World Environment Day theme of 2012 - Green Economy, hear the sound of green solutions coming from municipal corners of our big cities and towns. Where the term ECO travels seamlessly between its economic and ecological meaning. Dr.Rina Mukherji, a senior environmental journalist tracks Pune's green strides that tie up India's biggest bane — garbage, with a greener local economy too. (This series is in partnership with FEJI, Federation of Environmental Journalists of India).
Pune's green strides
Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat —three states with more than 40 per cent of their population in urban areas are likely to turn into full blown urban majority states by 2021. India's urban population across tier 2 and tier 3 towns is on its way to matching the predictions of The Census Commissioner and the Registrar General of India .In 2001 285 million were urbanites; in 2012 - 360 million. Meanwhile, infrastructural problems likeRead More »from Strife to Stride: Pune’s Eco Moves
By Mahazareen Dastur
Editor's note:In the Yahoo voices on the World Environment Day theme of 2012 - the Green Economy, first up, a conversation with eco-think tanks on what a green economy actually means. The UNEP suggests, it's an economy which is low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive. Mahazareen Dastur, a Mumbai based environmental researcher-writer probes further on what this could mean for India. This series is in partnership with FEJI (Federation of Environmental Journalists of India)
Imagine a world where human well-being, social equity and protection of our natural environment are the primary considerations for making business decisions. Sounds too utopian? Not if you go by what some of today's foremost environmental think-tanks call the Green Economy. Environmental circles are buzzing with the term, much like the well-bandied sustainability. But what exactly does it mean? To understand it, we need to first look at India's track record in economic terms.
The GDPRead More »from Greening India
Be it UPA, BJP or any other acronym at the Centre, petrol prices will again head northwards. We can only feel helpless in the face of recurring and economy-driven price fluctuations. Seeking measures to improve fuel economy is the only way to combat rising fuel prices. Do not disregard these simple guidelines; each little step can really start adding up to significant savings to your budget.
Do Fuel Quality/Types/Additives Help Mileage?
Petrol pump attendants often try to convince you to go for 'Speed petrol' or 'X-tra Mile diesel'. But this need not necessarily help improve your vehicle's fuel efficiency. Always use the grade recommended for the vehicle by the manufacturer. Higher octane fuel may not only be a waste of money but may harm the vehicle, as well. However sticking to one brand of fuel is always good for the engine. Know more about Octane Ratings
Keep the Windows Closed
Driving with your windows open considerably reduces mileage, far more than keeping the AC onRead More »from Improve Your Car’s Fuel Efficiency
XUV 5oo on a racetrack? Like any of you, I too had that skeptical smile on my face when Mahindra invited me to drive their hot-selling SUV on the Buddh International Circuit. Well, testing an SUV on the track, fair enough. But intentionally taking them on track for fun could be just the most absurd thing. With these two feelings to contend with, I reached the circuit in the wee hours of the 'XUV 5oo Torque Day'.
I could hear the distant sound of tyre squeal while paying attention to the safety rules of the Circuit. That reminded me of the fact that the XUV uses a race-bred suspension system tuned by Lotus, a world renowned name in motorsport. That was confidence-boosting enough; I put on the helmet and walked into the third car in the convoy of ten XUVs, sandwiched between a pace car and a sweep car. Abiding by the pit-lane speed limit of 15 kmph, I hit the track and followed the pace car for a lap to get to know the circuit.
Having completed the introductory lap, the cars were slowedRead More »from Track Test: Mahindra XUV 5oo
Mother dearest was talking about 'Satyamev Jayate' and the SMS that Aamir Khan, the show's host, had asked all viewers to send. The text messages will apparently help back his request to the Rajasthan government to set up a fast track court, so that doctors who were caught practicing female foeticide are brought to justice.
With the first episode of 'Satymev Jayate' telecast, the verdict is out and it's divided. The nation was waiting with bated breath for Aamir Khan's foray into television. You couldn't miss the show even if you wanted to; such was the promotional blitz before its debut. Aamir's carefully cleared up face looked down at you dauntingly from virtually every billboard and the show's musical jingle never lost an opportunity to ring Read More »from Satyamev Jayate = India's Oprah
Bengalis take pride in three names -- Rabindranath Tagore, Satyajit Ray and now Sourav Ganguly -- and these are the ones who often come to the Bhodralok's rescue when they're cornered in pseudo-intellectual debate.
My dad, being a proud Bengali, wanted his sons to absorb as much of Tagore and Ray, but as luck would have it none of his sons showed much interest in them.
However, being a subservient son has its own perils and the price I had to pay was life-threatening for, as a ten-year-old kid, I was asked to watch Pather Panchali with my dad repeatedly lecturing that the masterpiece was not about poverty, but human bonds. I could not relate to what he was saying; the film had no fights, no dhishoom-dhishoom, no songs and tough to interpret for a juvenile brain.
I cursed my dad that day for making me sit through the movie and despite being told that it was not about a bunch of hapless souls, all I could fathom was black and white images of hunger and suffering. This experience ofRead More »from A ‘Ray’ of light in post colonial darkness