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Indian appointed as regional director under ICC

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Paris: Abhinav Bhushan, an Indian lawyer was appointed as the regional director for South Asia in the International Arbitration Court under the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

The first Indian to be appointed as deputy counsel of the ICCearlier, Bhushan “will be based in its Asia offices in Singapore and will take on part of the role of the outgoing regional director, Sylvia Tee”, the ICC announced in an official statement here.

“I look forward to strengthening ICC’s presence in South Asia and am committed to further raising awareness of ICC Arbitration and other dispute resolution services,” said Bhushan.

“A foremost objective will be to develop a programme of first-rate networking and training events that will bring ICC expertise to the doorsteps of legal practitioners and dispute resolution users in the region,” he added.

The appointment of Bhushan is in continuation of ICC’s efforts to expand its on-the-ground presence in Asia.

Bhushan brings to his new role first-hand experience working on arbitrations arising out of common law jurisdictions, in particular working with parties from India, Singapore and other regions of Asia, the statement read.

Bhushan’s appointment also follows the creation of an Indian Arbitration Group of the ICC, established as part of ICC India.

Besides, Davinder Singh, a top Indian-origin lawyer in Singapore has been named Vice-Chairman of the ICC, the media reported.

The 58-year-old Chief Executive Officer of Drew & Napier Singapore’s leading law firm has been appointed as the Vice-Chairman of the ICC Commission on corporate responsibility and anti-corruption.

Singh, a Member of Singapore Parliament from 1988-2006, is appointed to the leadership of one of 13 policy commissions under the ICC, which forges international rules, mechanisms and standards used across the globe.

The Commission on Corporate Responsibility and Anti-corruption develops rules of conduct, best practices and advocacy for fighting corruption, among other things.

It brings together more than 300 members from 40 countries, representing multi-national companies, law firms, trade associations, and small and medium-sized enterprises.

ICC is a private sector global business organisation with a central role in world trade and commerce.

It provides a forum for businesses and other organisations to examine and better comprehend the nature and significance of the major shifts taking place in the world economy.(IANS)(image: icc.ge)

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“Indians Ought to Take Pride in Their Buddhist Heritage” says Tibetan Legal Scholar and Politician Lobsang Sangay

Tibetan Buddhism across the Himalayas is intangible and therefore indestructible but so is the Indian Buddhism. It's about time we start taking pride in our Buddhist roots.

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Prayer Wheels in Buddhism
Buddhism in India. Pixabay

New Delhi, July 31, 2017: Tibet is the autonomous region of the Republic of China and due to the Sino-Indian standoff, Tibet is at the heart of political differences between these regions. However, the interview talked majorly about the cultural exchanges between India and Tibet. Upon being asked whether Momo is a Tibetian delicacy or not, Sikyong immediately certified with affirmation, as the term itself suggests meat filled dumpling in Tibet.

“Indeed, the origin of Buddhism and the provenance of the momo can be seen as two immutable truths that bind Tibet and India together forever. Others can claim them and offer seemingly convincing arguments but we know better. Buddhism, taken to Tibet from India from the 7th century onwards–most importantly by monks from the ancient Nalanda university–is now an inextricable part of the Tibetan people. And momos have become as intrinsic a part of India ever since Tibetans and their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, fled Chinese occupation to seek refuge, appropriately, in the land of Buddha’s birth.” Lobsang Sangay said.

“It may be also germane to remember that at its peak from the 7th to the 9th centuries, the Tibetan Empire was bigger than the Chinese one and extended as far south as Bengal and north to Turkmenistan, Mongolia, and Siberia. Maybe momos traveled along with Tibetan Buddhism to those areas, both morphed into local variants and then journeyed beyond.” He further added.

It was a remarkable revelation that Buddhism culture is more widespread than one would think, fourteen countries being a Buddhist majority, while the total number of Buddhists around the world account for a total of 500 million people who are spread across 52 countries in total. Buddhism is said to have its roots in India, while it’s celebrated around the world and enjoys immense popularity we Indians are yet to embrace the fact that Buddhism, in fact, is an integral part of our culture and to protect the culture is our responsibility.

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Not only Tibetian but ancient Buddhist scriptures and commentaries by Indian scholars constitute an inconvertible link between India and Buddhists across Asia. Tibetian scholarly works are majorly based on and influenced by the references in the Indian scriptures, hundreds of books are written and preserved in Tibetian monasteries.

According to Sikyong, Buddhism in Indian origin is not emphasized enough and the links are blinded by the strong Asian narratives compounded by their inexplicable official resistance.

What could be more indicative of this indifference than the lament of a former Sri Lankan envoy to India that precious relics of the Buddha languish in closed quarters at the Indian Museum in Calcutta. We Indians must take pride in our Buddhist heritage too and build on the myriad cultural and emotional links with other nations that it offers, as the benefits are obvious.

Based on the blog Silk Stalkings in Economic Times.

Prepared by Nivedita Motwani. Twitter @Mind_Makeup


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21st century will not only belong to Asia but also to Africa, should navigate the Journey together: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

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Finance Minister of India, Arun Jaitley, wikimedia

Gandhinagar, May 23, 207: The 21st century will not only belong to Asia but also to Africa, hence India and Africa should navigate the journey together to shape their common future, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Tuesday.

Addressing the 52nd annual meeting of the African Development Bank here, Jaitley said while India has been a bright spot amongst the major economies amid challenging times, Africa too, has done well over the past few years.

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“I stand here with conviction that the 21st century would not be Asia’s alone but would belong to both Asia and Africa,” he said.

Jaitley added that the African continent was transforming rapidly and amidst tough global scenario, its economy grew by 2.2 per cent in 2016 and was expected to grow by 3.4 per cent in 2017.

“Africa is approaching an exciting time. India and Africa should navigate through this journey together and shape their common future,” Jaitley said.

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He added that India was committed to Africa’s development and this commitment was reflected in “continued high-level political engagement” including the three India-Africa Summits.

“It is no coincidence that our Prime Minister, President and Vice President have together visited 16 African countries in the past.

“There isn’t a single African country which has not been visited by one of my cabinet colleagues,” the Finance Minister added. (IANS)

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UN food agency Pushes ‘Smart Crops’ as Rice Alternative to defeat Hunger in Asia

Soaring rice prices, slowing economic expansion and poorer growth in agricultural productivity have been blamed for the slowdown in efforts to tackle hunger

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FILE - A worker carries a bale of dry millet at a field on the outskirts of the western Indian city of Ahmedabad, Nov. 17, 2011. VOA

Asia needs to make extra efforts to defeat hunger after progress has slowed in the last five years, including promoting so-called “smart crops” as an alternative to rice, the head of the U.N. food agency in the region said.

Kundhavi Kadiresan, representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Asia, said the region needs to focus on reaching the most marginalized people, such as the very poor or those living in mountainous areas.

The Asia-Pacific region halved the number of hungry people from 1990 to 2015 but the rate of progress slowed in many countries – such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India and Cambodia – in the last five years, according to a December FAO report.

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“The last mile is always difficult.. so extra efforts, extra resources and more targeted interventions are needed,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation on the sidelines of a business forum on food security in Jakarta on Tuesday.

She said government and businesses needed to develop policies to help make food more affordable, while changing Asians’ diets that rely heavily on rice.

“We have focused so much on rice that we haven’t really looked at some of those crops like millets, sorghum and beans,” she said.

A campaign is underway to promote these alternatives as “smart crops” to make them more attractive, Kadiresan said.

“We are calling them smart crops to get people not to think about them as poor people’s food but smart people’s food,” she said, adding that they are not only nutritious but also more adaptable to climate change.

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Soaring rice prices, slowing economic expansion and poorer growth in agricultural productivity have been blamed for the slowdown in efforts to tackle hunger.

More than 60 percent of the world’s hungry are in Asia-Pacific, while nearly one out of three children in the region suffers from stunting, according to the FAO.

Achieving zero hunger by 2030 is one of the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals adopted by member states in 2015. (VOA)