India, China agree to enhance defence and security dialogue

The two leaders have reiterated their intention to promote regular ministerial-level exchanges and make full use of the strategic dialogue and other bilateral dialogue mechanisms


Rio de Janeiro: India and China have agreed to enhance their defence and security dialogue and take steps to achieve a bilateral trade target of $100 billion by 2015, reports PTI.

Prime minister Manmohan Singh and his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao spoke of the need to continue with this dialogue at their 40-minute meeting on the sidelines of the Rio+20 Environment Summit here.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai said that during the discussion on trade and economic cooperation prime minister Singh invited Chinese investment in infrastructure in India.

Mr Mathai also said that Indian rice exports to China will commence soon.

Reflecting the good chemistry shared between them, Mr Wen told Mr Singh that their meeting in Brazil was the 13th.

Mr Mathai said the two leaders discussed the issue of trans-border rivers flowing in India and China during which Beijing agreed to transfer of data in this regard to New Delhi.

Official sources said this move sent a strong signal from China on sharing of information with India on the rivers issue. This was also important since India was a lower riparian country.

“Defence and strategic dialogue (between India and China) should continue and be stepped up,” Mr Mathai said.

The two countries have already agreed to establish a “strategic and cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity". They have also reiterated their intention to promote regular ministerial-level exchanges and make full use of the strategic dialogue and other bilateral dialogue mechanisms. Prime minister Singh also spoke of Indian naval ships recently visiting China.


Govt puts off cable TV digitalisation deadline by four months

Installing set top boxes in each cable viewing household is a precondition for digitalisation and even a fortnight before the 30th June, it was estimated that only 30% of households had acquired STBs


New Delhi: The government has deferred the digitalisation of cable TV services in four metros by four months to 1st November, from the earlier scheduled introduction date of 1st July, reports PTI.

The decision to defer the plan for switchover from analogue to digitalised signals, which promises better TV viewing, was announced by the government on Wednesday with a warning of strict penal action if the new deadline is not met.

“The ministry of information and broadcasting has decided to modify the 30th June deadline for a complete switch over to 31st October 2012,” the I&B ministry said in a statement after the four metros of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata were found to be grossly unprepared.

“All the TRAI regulations for Digital Addressable System will come into effect from 1st November, 2012,” the statement added.

It said that the assessment of ground realities compelled the I&B ministry to set a new deadline which would now be monitored more vigorously.

Digitalisation of the cable services in the entire country by December 2014 is one of the ambitious tasks that the I&B ministry has set for itself and the first step towards achieving this goal was its implementation in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai by 30th June.

Installing set top boxes (STBs) in each cable viewing household is a precondition for digitalisation and as per official sources even a fortnight before the 30th June, it was estimated that only 30% of households had acquired STBs.

“The seeding of STBs in cable viewing households was not satisfactory so a new deadline has been set. The state governments involved had sought an extension of six months till 31st December. However we have agreed to a postponement of deadline till 31st October and this time we plan to monitor it very strictly,” a senior official told PTI.

The ministry said that Multi System Operators (MSOs), Local Cable operators (LCOs) or other stakeholders could face action if they don’t match the new schedule.

“The Ministry of information & broadcasting will issue warning letters to those going slow on their written commitments. Needless to add that both, the I&B ministry and TRAI, will take action under the provisions of the Cable Act, wherever and whenever necessary,” the statement said.

The ministry said that it is “imperative that the modified target deadline is set with strict benchmarks to ensure that no complacency sets-in in the system and the new target date is achieved collectively by all the stakeholders.”

Officials said that the I&B ministry had the power to suspend or revoke the registration of Local cable operators (LCOs) or Multi System Operators (MSOs) if they violated one or more terms and conditions of registration which were mandatory under digitalisation.

“While the ministry has agreed to postpone the date for four metros, it also has the option of taking penal action against stakeholders who do not take the required steps to digitalise the cable services in the coming days,” a senior official said.


Satyamev Jayate shows Indians want to gawk but not give

The Sunday morning prime time show, which aimed to raise India’s social consciousness, asks people to support the NGOs working for the various causes featured in the show. Indian are watching but not opening their fists

While advertisers may complain about TRPs and high costs, Satyamev Jayate has certainly been a small boon to NGOs who have been featured on the show. However, it once again exposes how Indians are unwilling to donate to charity. They want to gawk but not give.


A show that reached out to a massive 40 crore Indians over just five episodes, has collected a paltry Rs1.7 crore for seven NGOs so far. And half of this, or Rs85.25 lakh has come from Reliance Foundation which offered to match the sum raised through direct donations and text messages sent out by viewers during and after the show. 


So in terms of making Indians ‘give’, Satyamev Jayate is a big flop, but that is the tragic truth about Indians and their current attitudes and no reflection on the show itself. 

The not-for-profits who are striving to help people are certainly not complaining. For them it is a lovely, one-time gift form Aamir Khan Productions, Star TV and all its associates. But, look closer and the number confirm the perception that Indians don’t really believe in supporting and donating to social causes, despite rapidly rising prosperity. And this fact, is the biggest stumbling block to social change and powerful civil society initiatives. 


Now lets look at the numbers. There were 13 NGOs on the list, but according to information we have received from Reliance Foundation, donations from them have gone only to seven. It is not clear if the others drew a blank. The Star TV spokesperson said that the show has not released any numbers as yet, but promised to revert. The NGOs listed on are Unique Home for Girls, Snehalaya, Amarjyoti School, Family of Disabled, Himmat, Childline, Jagori, Safai karmachari Andolan, Humanity Hospital Trust, Muktangan, Kheti Viraasat Mission, Punjab Centre for Sustainable Agriculture, Hyderabad Azad Foundation. 


Those who have received money so far are – Snehalaya, Childline, Unique Home for Girls, Humanity Hospital Trust, Himmat, Amarjyoti School and Family of Disabled. Snehalaya had the advantage of being featured in the first show which took social media by storm and was trending for two days. But the donations by millions of Indians who watch this giant show which aired simultaneously on Star and Doordarshan was apparently only Rs31 lakhs. Reliance Foundation matched it with another Rs31 lakhs, which makes it Rs 62 lakhs. 


Remember, Snehalaya had the advantage of featuring on the first show; the contributions/ donations seem to taper off after that. Childline received Rs10.39 lakhs (double it up for Reliance’s contribution), Unique Home for Girls (Rs7.4 lakhs), Humanity Hospital Trust (Rs8.11 lakhs), Himmat (Rs14 lakhs), Amarjyoti School (Rs 6.34 lakhs) and Family of Disabled (Rs7.34 lakhs). 


While all this is a sad reflection on the ‘giving’ of Indians, it is turning out to be a great bet for Reliance Foundation, which has got enormous mileage and promotional space virtually for a song. Remember, Satyamev Jayate’s title sponsor Bharti Airtel has forked out nearly  Rs17-20 crore for the presenting sponsor slot, while associate sponsors Axis Bank, Reckitt Benckiser, Skoda, Coca-Cola and Johnson & Johnson have apparently paid Rs6-7 crore each for the 13-week show. Star TV also charges a hefty Rs8-10 lakh per 10 seconds for spot rates for Satyamev Jayate while spot rates for KBC were Rs 3.5-4 lakh per 10 seconds, reports The Economic Times. The newspaper says that advertisers are chafing at the high ad rates since TRPs haven’t matched up to expectation. As against this, Reliance Foundation has so far contributed Rs85 lakhs over five episodes and has gained huge exposure during the show. It’s a bet that paid off. 


We must say that the pathetic donations or  “giving” by Indians has come as big shock. Donations to the School of Disabled, Amarjyoti and Unique Home for Girls is stunningly poor. It is no wonder that Star TV is embarrassed to release donation figures. In fact, the terms of the donation say that Star India was “to announce the exact total amount of donation received per week on subsequent Friday through the show 'Asar' on Aaj Tak Channel every Friday at 8:30 pm during the Campaign Period”.  But there are hardly numbers that one would want to broadcast. 


The first episode of Satyamev Jayate caused such a flutter on social media that one expected the smartphones to be zapping text messages every second. Instead, it appears that people were only tweeting, not texting for a cause. If Satyamev Jayate hasn’t been the gamechanger for social change that we had expected, it is we the people who have failed.





5 years ago

in nowadays renewable energy plays important role.this article is good but renewable energy based project as to be improved and create the usage of this renewable energy.


5 years ago

Wonderful article, thanks, and spells out the attitude and approach of our electricity and energy companies. Instead of concentrating on generating more electricity through every possible method and then selling it or buying it as the case may be, their short-sighted approach of trying to fight alternative sources of power will only end up costing more and therefore spending the public taxpayer's money.

Sooner solar power is worked back into grid, the better. This needs to become an electoral issue.


5 years ago

great article


5 years ago

What abt Wind Power costs? How does that compare with Thermal & SOlar, given the Tarrif here.
If you can share costing nos for Solar vs Wind, it may show us the reasons for such fall in tarriff. Also it will then incentivise industry & housing complex to setup their own small power generation units for Street lights & common area lighting to start with.


5 years ago

Nice well researched article. @RNBhaskar can you please clarify if the amount of roof space in most commercial buildings would be enough to fulfill the power needs of building in a commercial consumer scenario? Because from what I've read the cost of land is a large portion of the total power cost and it becomes economical only when land costs are not significant. Im not sure with the real estate costs in urban areas if it'll be viable. (quite a few commercial rooftops have pubs/ coffe shops etc.)


5 years ago

Can you investigate and publish the major cost elements for solar electricity farms and look at the impact of scale - large solar farms Vs rooftop installations by a shop/mall/factory etc.?

I doubt if rooftop installations currently come anywhere close to the low cost per unit quoted for large solar farms in this article.

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