Monday October 23, 2017

Global warming portends ill for India’s flourishing Dairy sector: Experts

India is self-sufficient in milk and is ranked the world's largest producer with an annual production of 156 million ton (2015-2016)

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Milk being poured in a glass, Pixabay

Mumbai, Feb 17, 2017: Global warming portends ill for India’s flourishing dairy sector that stands to lose a whopping three million tonnes of milk in the next three years as average temperatures increase, with wide fluctuations in day and night temperatures, industry experts warned here on Friday. 17

Addressing the ongoing three-day “45th Dairy Industry Conference”, themed “Climate Change and Dairying”, several industry leaders and experts discussed how the gradually warming climate is adversely hitting the country’s dairy industry that employs over 16 million farmers, including 4.60 million women.

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President of Indian Dairy Association Arun D. Narke said that today, India is self-sufficient in milk and is ranked the world’s largest producer with an annual production of 156 million ton (2015-2016).

Citing the Ministry of Agriculture figures, he said Indian farmers are adding around 10 million tons of milk annually with a compounded annual growth of around 6.5 per cent in the sector, largely from farmers owning an average of one or two milch cows, to make the “White Revolution” a success.

However, this milk production could go down by three million tonne over the next three years as the average temperatures rise, creating problems of water and availability of green and dry fodder for the cattle, he said.

Indian Dairy Association (West Zone) Chairman Arun D. Patil said that Maharashtra has already undergone three consecutive years of drought till this year, which is set to affect the entire agriculture sector, including dairy.

Patil said most of India’s water needs are met through monsoon rains, which remained deficient for three years in a row, resulting in rising prices of fodder and increased cost of milk production.

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He urged the government to procure milk at a fixed price determined by the Centre as in the case of other agricultural commodities, like cotton or sugarcane, to enable the milk farmers get a minimum support price.

The industry has already initiated aggressive measures to deal with the upcoming crisis, farmers have started raising levels of animal shelters and scientists are researching on how to enhance the shelf-life of milk.

In this connection, A.K. Srivastava, Director and Vice Chancellor, Indian Council of Agricultural Research-National Dairy Research Institute (ICAR-NDRI), said even if we can achieve an increase in shelf-life of milk by half an hour, it would lead to massive profits to the dairy sector.

“The biggest challenge to the global dairy industry is expected between 2070-2090 when the temperatures are expected to rise between 2 degrees and 7 degrees,” predicted Srivastava grimly.

Additionally, he said, the Indian dairy sector faces huge shortage of skilled manpower with sound technical expertise in understanding the need for handling of milking cattle and related issues.

National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) Chairman Dilip Rath said that India accounts for 18 per cent of the global milk production, which is growing at around 6.5 per cent annually as compared to 4.7 per cent over the previous 10-year period.

“Milk is India’s single-largest agricultural commodity in value terms and is more than the combined value of paddy and wheat put together. The per capita availability of milk has increased three-folds, from 112 gm per day in 1970-1971 to 337 gm per day in 2016-2016.”

“The country’s milk demand is likely to increase by 190 million tonne by 2020 and catering to it poses a challenge with reducing farmlands and other issues,” Rath pointed out.

The conference welcomed the government’s initiative to allocate Rs 8,000 crore for three years for the growth and development of the dairy industry.

The three-day conference and exhibition, which got underway on February 16, has attracted 65 experts and 180 exhibitors from Indian, the USA, the UK, Germany, China, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Lithuania, Malaysia, The Netherlands and Thailand, showcasing products, technologies and services. (IANS)

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Asia Cup : India Emerge Champions for third time, Beat Malaysia in Asia Cup Hockey Championship

India emerged victorious for the third time

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(representational Image) India vs Malaysia Hockey Match wikimedia

Dhaka, October 22, 2017 : India overcame Malaysia 2-1 in the final on Sunday to win the Asia Cup hockey championship for the third time.

Ramandeep Singh (3rd minute) and Lalit Upadhyay (29th) scored for India. Shahril Saabah (50th minute) scored the reducer for Malaysia. (IANS)

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India Demands Data on UN Staff Misconduct, Use of Immunity

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India has demanded the secretariat disclose information about misconduct by UN staff. Flickr

United Nations, Oct 7: In an attempt to break the wall of silence around the crimes and UN staff misconduct and those on its assignments, India has demanded the secretariat disclose information about such cases and the immunity invoked against prosecutions.

Yedla Umasankar, the legal advisor in India’s UN Mission, touched a raw nerve here by criticising the UN on Friday for not vigorously following up allegations of serious wrongdoing by its employees who enjoy the equivalent of diplomatic immunity, a prized possession of its staff.

“It appears that the UN system itself may be reluctant to waive immunity even for serious misconduct carried out by its personnel while serving on its missions, so that such cases can be prosecuted by the host governments,” he told the General Assembly’s committee on legal affairs.

“Even a few of such instances or allegations of crimes committed by UN personnel is highly damaging for the image and credibility of the United Nations system and its work around the world,” he added.

His statement also touched on the practice of some countries that protect their wrongdoers at the UN.

Umasankar demanded that secretariat disclose how many cases of serious misconduct by UN personnel were registered and the number of cases where the UN refused to waive immunity to allow their prosecution.

He also wanted to know in how many cases the host country wanted the immunity waived so it can prosecute those accused; the number of times the UN asked the host country or the country that sent them to prosecute them; how many times it consulted countries before waiver of the immunity of their personnel and how many of them refused UN’s request to waive their citizens’ immunity.

The information he wanted does not cover the diplomats sent by member countries to represent them at UN bodies and enjoy diplomatic immunity with the nations hosting the UN facilities.

After scores of serious allegations of sexual misconduct by peacekeepers, especially exploitation of children, the UN vowed to uphold a policy of zero tolerance and began publishing data on such cases in peacekeeping operations including how they were dealt with.

Starting with the year 2015, it began identifying the nationalities of those accused.

However, it has not made public a roster detailing all the allegations and proven cases of serious misconduct across the entire UN.

While the focus has been on sexual exploitation and abuse reported on peacekeeping operations, Umasankar said that “at a broader level, the issue of accountability has remained elusive in some cases”.

He attributed it to “the complexities of legal aspects relating to sovereignty and jurisdiction”, the immunity or privileges that may be necessary for UN operations, and the capability or willingness of countries to investigate and prosecute the accused.

He noted that the UN itself cannot make criminal prosecutions.

While Indian laws has provisions for dealing with crimes committed abroad by its citizens, not all countries have them, he said.

Those countries should be encouraged and helped to implement such measures, he added. (IANS)

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Indo-Pak Peace Talks Futile Unless Islamabad Sheds Links with Terrorism, says Study

A Study by a U.S. think tank calls India and Pakistan talks futile, until Pakistan changes its approach.

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India and Pakistan
India and Pakistan. Wikimedia.

A Top United States of America (U.S.) think tank, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace called the relations between India and Pakistan futile, unless Islamabad changes its approach and sheds its links with Jihadi terrorism.

A report “Are India and Pakistan Peace Talks Worth a Damn”, authored by Ashley J Tellis stated that such a move supported by foreign countries would be counterproductive and misguided.

The report suggests that International community’s call for the India and Pakistan talks don’t recognize that the tension between the two countries is not actually due to the sharp differences between them, but due to the long rooted ideological, territorial and power-political hatred. The report states that these antagonisms are fueled by Pakistani army’s desire to subvert India’s powerful global position.

Tellis writes that Pakistan’s hatred is driven by its aim to be considered and treated equal to India, despite the vast differences in their achievements and capabilities.

Also ReadMilitant Groups in Pakistan Emerge as Political Parties : Can Violent Extremism and Politics Co-exist? 

New Delhi, however, has kept their stance clear and mentioned that India and Pakistan talks cannot be conducted, until, the latter stops supporting terrorism, and the people conducting destructive activities in India.

The report further suggests that Pakistan sees India as a genuine threat and continuously uses Jihadi terrorism as a source to weaken India. The report extends its support to India’s position and asks other international powers, including the U.S., to extend their support to New Delhi.

Earlier in September, Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) slammed Pakistan for its continuous terror activities. She attacked the country by saying that India has produced engineers, doctors, and scholars; Pakistan has produced terrorists.

Sushma Swaraj further said that when India is being recognised in the world for its IT and achievements in the space, Pakistan is producing Terrorist Organisations like Lashkar-e-Taiba. She said that Pakistan is the world’s greatest exporter of havoc, death and inhumanity.

-by Megha Acharya  of NewsGram. Megha can be reached at @ImMeghaacharya.