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Can Modi’s ‘AIM’ Challenge Global Manufacturing Hub China’s Dominance?

PM Modi has set his eye on water management, agriculture and security issues

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Prime Minister Modi
Modi said strengthening the close bilateral relationship had been "one of the most important foreign policy priorities" of his government. WikiMedia Commons

Eyeing the global revolution in tech-innovations, the Modi government, in its second avatar, is all set to redefine the scope of ‘Knowledge and Innovation’ at NITI Aayog. Before leaving for his foreign visit to the Maldives, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a series of meetings with technocrats, top officials and key cabinet colleagues, discussing how to radically redefine innovations and technology on manufacturing front to compete with China.

Over all, the prime focus of the government as well as NITI Aayog remains on accelerating the pace of manufacturing sector in India. On domestic front, PM Modi has set his eye on water management, agriculture and security issues and he would likely underline his priorities once he chairs the first big meeting of NITI Aayog, on June 15.

In the wake of sharp criticism from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on the alleged failure of NITI Aayog, the government now seems more determined to take the Aayog to a new height, inducting domain specialists at the rank of Joint Secretary and above.

“The PM’s dream project is the success of the Atal Innovation Mission,(AIM) the flagship project of NITI Aayog to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in the country. If AIM takes off well, the country would soon be a substitute for China as a global manufacturing hub. In fact AIM complements Make In India, Digital India and Start up India mega projects,” said a senior NITI Aayog official.

Modi, AIM, Global
Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a series of meetings with technocrats. Pixabay

To provide impetus to the industrial growth, the NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar recently told media that a slew of big bang economic reforms are being pursued by the Modi government. These include change in labour laws, privatization moves and land banks for new industrial development. Once the stage is set for a positive industrial environment, the innovation mission will finally accelerate the growth of the manufacturing sector.

Global tech giants such as Adobe, Amazon, Dell, IBM, Intel and Microsoft are already partnering with Atal Innovation Mission. The AIM project serves as a platform for promotion of world-class innovation hubs, and self-employment activities in technology-driven areas.

Through AIM, the government expects a radical change in country’s MSME industry.

Earlier in Modi’s first tenure as PM, his Cabinet Minister Kalraj Mishra and later Minister for State (Independent Charge) Giriraj Singh did not impress the business fraternity while running the ministry for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME). In an after thought, Modi in his second innings gave the charge of this crucial ministry to Nitin Gadkari, known for delivering the goods on time.

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“Modi ji had spoken about the project to Gadkari ji. He (Gadkari) was more than willing to take up this challenge. I am sure MSME would now be one of the most important ministries in the government as it also addresses the problem of unemployment and lack of a fast-paced industrial growth,” said a BJP leader close to Gadkari.

Another big change on the scene is the Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL). It is Modi’s long-term plan for revolutionizing the young Indian minds. The ATLs are innovation workplaces where do-it-yourself kits on latest technologies like 3D printers, Robotics, Internet of Things, are installed at schools using the government grant. The mission director of AIMs , R. Ramanan, an IITian, says that by next year 10,000 ATL workplaces in the Indian schools will bring radical change in the near future in the field of innovation.

The objective of PM Modi through mega ATL project, is to enable India to become a global leader in technology and innovations, the key to rule the modern-day industries. (IANS)

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11,258 Scientists Warn The World About ‘Climate Emergency’

Over 11,000 across 153 countries declared a 'climate emergency'

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Climate emergency
Climate emergency is being declared by over 11,000 scientist. Pixabay

More than 11,000 scientists in 153 countries have declared a climate emergency around the world and also warned of ‘untold suffering’ unless there is significant transformation in the way humans live.

The study by 11,258 scientists called the “World scientists’ warning of a climate emergency,” marks the first time a large group of scientists has formally come out in favour of labelling climate change an ’emergency’. It was published on Tuesday in the journal Bioscience, spearheaded by ecologists Bill Ripple and Christopher Wolf of Oregon State University, along with William Moomaw, a Tufts University climate scientist, and researchers in Australia and South Africa.

The findings focus on six key objectives: replacing fossil fuels; cutting pollutants like methane and soot; restoring and protecting ecosystems; eating less meat; converting the economy to one that is carbon-free and stabilising population growth.

“Despite 40 years of global climate negotiations, with few exceptions, we have generally conducted business as usual and have largely failed to address this predicament,” the study stated.

Although there are some positive indicators such as declining birth rates and a rise in renewable energy use, most indicators suggest humans are rapidly heading in the wrong direction, they said.

Backward steps include rising meat consumption, more air travel, chopping down forests faster than ever and increase in global carbon dioxide emissions. Scientists said they want the public to ‘understand the magnitude of this crisis, track progress, and realign priorities for alleviating climate change’.

Climate change
This is the first time a large group of scientists has formally come out in favour of labelling climate change an ’emergency’. Pixabay

The study also departs from other major climate assessments in that it directly addresses the politically sensitive subject of population growth.

The research notes that the global decline in fertility rates has ‘substantially slowed’ during the past 20 years, and calls for ‘bold and drastic’ changes in economic growth and population policies to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Such measures would include policies that strengthen human rights, especially for women and girls, and make family planning services ‘available to all people.’

“Global surface temperature, ocean heat content, extreme weather and its costs, sea level, ocean acidity and land area are all rising,” Professor Ripple said.

“Ice is rapidly disappearing as shown by declining trends in minimum summer Arctic sea ice, Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, and glacier thickness. All of these rapid changes highlight the urgent need for action.”

Lead author, Dr Thomas Newsome from the University of Sydney, said measuring global surface temperatures remained important but that a broader set of indicators should be monitored.

This includes human population growth, meat consumption, tree-cover loss, energy consumption, fossil-fuel subsidies and annual economic losses to extreme weather events, he said.

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“Mitigating and adapting to climate change while honouring the diversity of humans entails major transformations in the ways our global society functions and interacts with natural ecosystems,” the scientists added. (IANS)