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Groundwater is a common resource and it ought to be regulated: SC

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supreme_court_scbaNew Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the center and the Delhi government asking as to why there should not be metering and pricing of the ground water which was being pumped out in huge quantities resulting in its depletion.

A bench of Justice T.S.Thakur, Justice V.Gopala Gowda and Justice R. Banumathi said that “groundwater is a common resource and it ought to be regulated. Use by one affects the other”.

The court gave the governments six weeks time to file their response.

Appearing for the petitioner Ramesh Ailawadi, counsel Prashant Bhushan told the court that the matter was of “enormous public importance since groundwater is wasted in huge quantities in the country, and that depletion of groundwater has reached alarming proportions”.

Ailawadi has challenged the April 22 dismissal of his PIL by the Delhi High Court. The PIL had raised the issue of “scandalous wastage, exploitation, and depletion of groundwater”.

He filed the instant special leave petition against the impugned judgment whereby his public interest litigation was dismissed in a summary manner without examination of the public interest issues raised in it.

The petitioner has raised the issue of complete inadequacy of the current system wherein the state has completely abdicated its responsibility of regulating the usage of this precious and valuable natural resource.

He has contended that it was in “complete violation of the public interest doctrine, and thus negating the rights of the people of this country under article 14 and 21 of the constitution of India.”

“The alarming depletion of groundwater is asking for urgent attention, where its highly inequitable use is causing its severe shortage, because of which millions of people have been deprived of its access. The future scenario is even grimmer as brought out in several official reports,” the petitioner said.

“Groundwater forms part of the various natural resources that have been imparted to us by the nature and the government is the guardian of such natural resources and therefore bears a heavy responsibility to lead the country in sustainable and equitable use of such resources.”

(IANS)

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Microsoft Ready to Help Indian Startups, Says President Anant Maheshwari

Microsoft is focused as much on selling third party solutions as their own, and this co-sell motion has helped generate $8 billion in revenue for partners within 18 months

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FILE - Microsoft Corp. signage is seen outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Washington, July 3, 2014. VOA

Armed with a cutting-edge technology platform, a well-established partner organisation and an expansion of M12 venture fund, Microsoft is ready to help Indian startups across the spectrum embrace the next phase of growth, Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India, said here on Monday.

India, which saw a tremendous growth in the startup space in the last couple of years, is now witnessing a growth in the business-to-business (B2B) tech startups coming up with innovative ideas to deal with local problems.

“With our intelligent tech expertise, deep focus on trust and unique global go to market partnering, we empower unicorns and startups to scale sustainably at a global level,” said Maheshwari.

“We remain excited about India’s entrepreneurial startup potential and will continue to accelerate it as a growth engine for the economy,” he added.

India witnessed a dramatic rise of eight unicorns in 2018 from among the start-ups across verticals as against a mere nine in six years from 2011 till 2017, according to IT industry apex body Nasscom.

The start-ups joining the select club for their valuation over $1 billion are Oyo Rooms (hospitality), Zomato and Swiggy (food delivery), Udaan (retailer marketplace), Byju’s, (edu-tech), Paytm Mall (e-tail), Freshworks (software programmer) and Policybazaar (digital insurance).

Maheshwari said Microsoft is uniquely positioned to support Indian startups to achieve scale and evolve from market ready to enterprise ready.

Microsoft, Taiwan AI
A man walks past a Microsoft sign set up for the Microsoft BUILD conference at Moscone Center in San Francisco, April 28, 2015. VOA

The introduction of M12, Microsoft’s venture fund, in India in February is creating new value for startups, VCs and the company itself to maintain the pace and direction of innovation.

“M12 is looking at investing in innovators who have aligned their focus on cutting-edge technologies that better enable digital transformation. The portfolio development team at M12 is specifically built to help support and scale companies by leveraging the expansive resources of Microsoft,” said the company.

According to reports, venture capital investments in Indian tech business-to-business (B2B) start-ups have been trending upwards, with over $3.09 billion raised in equity funding across 415 deals in 2018 — 28 per cent more than $2.41 billion in 2017.

Also Read: Facebook’s Push to Become China’s WeChat May Kill it

Under the “Microsoft for Startups” initiative, startups can co-sell with Microsoft sales teams, get access to top tech VCs in the global arena and mentorship from industry veterans.

In less than 18 months, Microsoft for Startups has closed more than 120 co-sell deals with more than $126 million in active pipeline for startups.

Microsoft is focused as much on selling third party solutions as their own, and this co-sell motion has helped generate $8 billion in revenue for partners within 18 months. (IANS)