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Singapore: Two young Indian Social Entrepreneurs win Global Competition aimed at Empowering Women and Girls

Applicants to the global competition included 270 entrepreneurs, aged between 18 to 35, from across the world

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Street children in India. Image source: Wikipedia

Singapore, November 26, 2016: Two young Indian social entrepreneurs have won a global competition aimed at empowering women and girls in the Asia-Pacific region at the Responsible Business Forum on Sustainable Development at Marina Bay Sands here.

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‘Project Inspire: 5 Minutes to Change the World’ is a global social initiative aimed at improving the lives of disadvantaged women and girls in Asia-Pacific, and was jointly organised by Singapore Committee for UN Women and MasterCard.

Applicants to the global competition included 270 entrepreneurs, aged between 18 to 35, from across the world. Among these, ten were given a five-minute platform to pitch their inspired idea live at the grand finale on Thursday.

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Aditya Kulkarni, Co-founder and Executive Director at CareNx Innovations, based in Mumbai won the first prize of $25,000 for their CareMother Mobile Pregnancy Care in the country.

“With this grand prize, we wish to scale our mobile pregnancy care solution to reach out to at least 2,000 pregnant women and 20 women health workers in next one year. We aim to reach out to 2 million pregnant women in the next three years and this prize would get us started,” commented Kulkarni, in a statement.

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The second prize was won by Indian-origin Riyanka Ganguly, Executive at Village Volunteers, a US based organisation working in India. (IANS)

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India is The Bright Spot For HP Inc in Asia-Pacific Region, Says Top Company Executive

HP Inc sees massive opportunities across consumer, enterprise and small and medium businesses (SMBs) segments in India in 2020

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HP
HP Inc sees massive opportunities across consumer, enterprise and small and medium businesses (SMBs) segments in India in 2020. Pixabay

For HP Inc, Asia-Pacific was the fastest growing market in its first quarter of fiscal 2020 and India is the bright spot owing to its rising millennial and aspirational young population, a top company executive has stressed.

HP Inc reported net revenue of $14.6 billion in the first quarter of fiscal 2020 (November-January period) and free cash flow at $1.1 billion.

“Asia-Pacific at roughly 23 per cent of our global business in Q1 was the fastest growing market and India led the pack, riding on its growing young population which aims to make a true work-life balance via digital technology and next-gen devices,” Vinay Awasthi, Managing Director, HP Inc., India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, told IANS.

Effective from November 1, 2019, HP announced a shift from its previous three-region model to 10 geographic markets to foster speed, flexibility and business efficiency. As part of the new structure, India is now a separate Geographic Market (GM) with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. “This move would not only enable tighter alignment between our global businesses and priorities in India but also simplify our go-to-market model in the country,” said Awasthi.

HP Inc sees massive opportunities across consumer, enterprise and small and medium businesses (SMBs) segments in India in 2020.

“In the last few months, consumer markets have shown more buoyancy than expected. We believe there is enough business for us in India. We need to just go out in the market and get it,” said Awasthi.

“Our PC business has been growing in double digits and we expect the momentum to continue. We also see consolidation of PC market to continue,” he added. Education, entertainment and creation will be the key uses cases that will drive PC adoption by Gen Z and millennials. “In our print business, we see learning as a core driver for home printing segment, while digitization, workflow transformation and ease of printing will drive the enterprise and SMB segment,” Awasthi told IANS.

India’s traditional PC market saw a six-year high with 11 million shipments of desktops, notebooks and workstations in 2019 — an impressive 18.1 per cent year-over-year (YoY) growth, according to the International Data Corporation.

HP
For HP Inc, Asia-Pacific was the fastest growing market in its first quarter of fiscal 2020 and India is the bright spot owing to its rising millennial and aspirational young population, a top company executive has stressed. Wikimedia Commons

HP regained the top position in Q4 2019 (October-December period) as its shipments grew 8.6 per cent from the same time a year ago. Riding on Ink Tank printer sales, HP Inc maintained its leadership position in the Hardcopy Peripherals market in India with a market share of 39.1 per cent in the calendar year 2019.

HP’s Ink Tank shipment grew by 14 per cent (year-on-year) as a result of strong channel schemes and end-user promotions. HP’s share in the copier segment grew by 29.4 per cent (YoY) owing to strong channel push, according to IDC data.

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“India is a young nation. Our age pyramid is just right. The time is ripe to leverage our demographic dividend. No country has been able to modernise without using latest technology tools — be it for education, entertainment or creation — and India is no exception,” Awasthi noted. (IANS)

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Italy to Make Climate Change and Sustainable Development Study Compulsory for School Children

Many traditional subjects, such as geography, mathematics and physics, would also be studied from the perspective of sustainable development

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Italy, Climate Change, Sustainable Development
Italy's Education Minister Lorenzo Fioramonti gestures during an interview with Reuters in Rome, Italy, November 4, 2019. VOA

Italy will next year become the world’s first country to make it compulsory for schoolchildren to study climate change and sustainable development, Education Minister Lorenzo Fioramonti said.

Fioramonti, from the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, is the government’s most vocal supporter of green policies and was criticized by the opposition in September for encouraging students to skip school and take part in climate protests.

In an interview in his Rome office on Monday, Fioramonti said all state schools would dedicate 33 hours per year, almost one hour per school week, to climate change issues from the start of the next academic year in September.

Many traditional subjects, such as geography, mathematics and physics, would also be studied from the perspective of sustainable development, said the minister, a former economics professor at South Africa’s Pretoria University.

Italy, Climate Change, Sustainable Development
Fioramonti, from the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, is the government’s most vocal supporter of green policies and was criticized by the opposition in September. Pixabay

“The entire ministry is being changed to make sustainability and climate the center of the education model,” Fioramonti told Reuters in the interview conducted in fluent English.

“I want to make the Italian education system the first education system that puts the environment and society at the core of everything we learn in school.”

Fioramonti, 42, the author of several books arguing gross domestic product should no longer be used as the main measure of countries’ economic success, has been a target of the right-wing opposition since becoming a minister in the two-month-old government of 5-Star and the center-left Democratic Party.

His proposals for new taxes on airline tickets, plastic and sugary foods to raise funds for education were strongly attacked by critics who said Italians were already over-taxed.

 

He then sparked fury from conservatives when he suggested crucifixes should be removed from Italian classrooms to create a more inclusive environment for non-Christians.

Despite the criticism, the government’s 2020 budget presented to parliament this week included both the plastic tax and a new tax on sugary drinks.

“I was ridiculed by everyone and treated like a village idiot, and now a few months later the government is using two of those proposals and it seems to me more and more people are convinced it is the way to go,” Fioramonti said.

ANTI-SALVINI

Italy, Climate Change, Sustainable Development
In an interview in his Rome office on Monday, Fioramonti said all state schools would dedicate 33 hours per year, almost one hour per school week, to climate change issues from the start. Pixabay

Surveys showed 70-80% of Italians backed taxing sugar and flights, he said, adding that coalition lawmakers had told him they would table budget amendments to introduce his proposal to hike air ticket prices before the budget is approved by end-year.

Fioramonti said targeted taxes of this kind were a way of discouraging types of consumption which were harmful to the environment or individuals, while generating resources for schools, welfare or lowering income tax.

In this vein, he suggested other levies on various types of gambling and on profits from oil drilling.

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His progressive positions on the economy and the environment are the antithesis of Matteo Salvini’s hard-right League, which has overtaken 5-Star to become easily Italy’s most popular party, with more than 30% of voter support. (VOA)

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Himachal Pradesh CM Formulates Development Policy for Sustainable Development of Himalayan States

The conclave called for development of new tourist destinations as old hill resorts had reached their saturation stage

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sustainable development, himachal
The conclave called for development of new tourist destinations as old hill resorts had reached their saturation stage. Wikimedia Commons

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Sunday advocated the formulation of a holistic development policy for sustainable development of the Himalayan states so that they could progress on par with other states.

Addressing a conclave here of Chief Ministers and representatives of 10 Himalayan states, Thakur said about 66 per cent geographical area of Himachal Pradesh is covered with forests and if ecologically viable and scientific silviculture practices are allowed, the state can earn additional annual revenue of Rs 4,000 crore.

The conclave called for development of new tourist destinations as old hill resorts had reached their saturation stage. Thakur said that the state is neither able to get full revenue from its forest wealth, nor undertake developmental activities over a large geographical area on account of national laws and court orders.

sustainable development, himachal
Thakur said that the state is neither able to get full revenue from its forest wealth, nor undertake developmental activities over a large geographical area on account of national laws and court orders. Wikimedia Commons

“Therefore, Himachal Pradesh should be suitably compensated for being deprived of revenue worth crores for being denied harnessing of its forest wealth,” he said. He urged the Finance Commission and the Union government to provide adequate grant to revenue deficit states so that they have adequate funds for capital investment after overcoming the deficit remaining post-devolution.

He said that Himachal Pradesh has seen a huge fall in income following GST implementation and urged the Finance Commission for proper evacuation of GST for the state for the remaining 33 months.

Thakur said that the state has immense tourism potential but due to non-availability of rail and air connectivity, a big airport needs to be constructed. The construction of roads in Himalayan states was expensive and rail network was almost negligible.

himachal pradesh, sustainable development
Thakur also said most of the rivers in the country originate from the Himalayas and the Himalayan states are playing the most significant role in furthering Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s water conservation initiative. Wikimedia Commons

Moreover, the Himalayan states are prone to several natural calamities on account of the hilly terrain and it was the need of the hour that the Union government ensures adequate allocation of funds under the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) for these states, he said.

ALSO READ: Fourfold Increase in Himachal Farmers’ Income with Crop Diversification Project

Thakur also said most of the rivers in the country originate from the Himalayas and the Himalayan states are playing the most significant role in furthering Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s water conservation initiative.

According to the Chief Minister, since most Himalayan states have to depend on the Centre and the Finance Commissions for financial management, they are facing a lot of hardships after the scrapping of the Planning Commission. (IANS)