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Amid the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, residents of the capital Kabul have complained of "unfair distribution" of aid

Amid the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, residents of the capital Kabul have complained of "unfair distribution" of aid, saying that it was not provided to the vulnerable people who need it the most, the media reported. "Let the aid be continued. But it should be given to people who deserve it," Ghulam Nabi, a resident of Kabul, told TOLO News on Thursday. "No one has given us anything," said Abdul Muttalib, another resident of Kabul. "When we ask for aid, they tell us to wait, but I haven't received anything yet," said Rahim, another resident.

The World Food Program (WFP) said that it has provided food, clothing and cash aid to 15 million people in 2021 in Afghanistan. The WFP expects to reach over 23 million vulnerable people next year in Afghanistan. "There should be a home-to-home survey so we can address the problem of those who are in grave need," TOLO News quoted Wahidullah Amani, a spokesman for the WFP, as saying.

Meanwhile, the Taliban-led government's Ministry of Refugee and Repatriation has denied the existence of corruption in the provision of aid to the people in need. "Those who deserve to be helped, we give them (humanitarian organisations) information to send assistance there," said Abdul Muttalib Haqqani, spokesman for the ministry.

Based on international humanitarian organizations' statistics, over 92 per cent of Afghans are currently struggling with food insecurity. (IANS/JB)


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India's Science & Technology Minister, Dr Jitendra Singh and United Kingdom Science Minister, George Freemandiscussed Green Energy collaboration between the two countries.

India's Science & Technology Minister, Dr Jitendra Singh on Thursday held an online meeting with the United Kingdom Science Minister, George Freeman, wherein the two discussed Green Energy collaboration between the two countries among other issues.

The India-UK Science & Technology (S&T) collaboration has been growing at a rapid pace and the joint research programme has gone from an almost zero base to close to 300-400 million pounds now, the Indian Minister informed his British counterpart and that the UK has emerged as India's second largest international research and innovation partner.

Dwelling on the issue of India's net zero journey, Singh said that energy efficiency and renewable energy are central pillars, where India has already taken lead by various initiatives like India Solar Alliance, Clean Energy Mission etc., a release from the Ministry of Science & Technology said.

Calling for a greater India-UK collaboration in clean and green energy areas, he said that four technology value chains contribute about half of the cumulative CO2 savings: technologies to widely electrify end-use sectors (such as advanced batteries), carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS), hydrogen and hydrogen-related fuels, and bioenergy.

He pointed out that the Newton Bhabha MoU provided an opportunity to take India UK S&T cooperation to the next level in various research areas, for example energy security, food and agriculture, water, health, climate change, environmental studies as well as social and cultural changes that are taking place in India.

Singh said that India will join G20 troika in few days from December 1 this year, will hold the G20 presidency from December next year, and plans to convene the G20 leaders' summit in 2023 for the first time.

"The S20 group (Science track of G-20) has the most important responsibility to engage with all stake holders in the spirit of collective foresight and develop science-based solutions to counter the multitude of challenges faced by the humanity," he said.

The India-UK S & T partnership covers all aspect of research and innovation from discovery to development to translation which is required for our nations to rise to new heights together, he said.

There is great need to enhance industry-led collaborations or industry participation both at the national as well as international levels to ensure application oriented technologies for solving societal needs and spur innovation, Singh said, as per the release.

(IANS/JB)

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The 13th edition of the Abu Dhabi Art Fair will feature a diverse line-up of 49 galleries from 19 countries, including India.

The 13th edition of the Abu Dhabi Art Fair will feature a diverse line-up of 49 galleries from 19 countries, including India.

More than 190 global artists presenting more than 600 artworks will headline the in-person Fair organised by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT – Abu Dhabi).

This edition will feature 14 new galleries from Colombia, France, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Italy, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Singapore, Spain, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.

There will be new curatorial frameworks by renowned curators and new commissioned artworks.

This includes 'Kind of Blue', a curated sector for the art fair by Simon Njami; the 'Performing Arts' Programme, curated by Rose Lejeune; and the 'Beyond: Emerging Artists' programme, curated by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath.

Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman, DCT – Abu Dhabi, said the return of the in-person Fair after being held virtually last year is a testament to the collective efforts of individuals across arts and culture sectors globally.

"Our thanks to the many distinguished guests, partners, exhibitors, curators and artists who are joining us in Abu Dhabi, a nexus of multinational talent where the next generation of emerging artistic voices are given a crucial platform to contribute to a sustainable arts and culture ecosystem."

Dyala Nusseibeh, Director, Abu Dhabi Art, said the Fair opening with 49 galleries is exceptional.

"This reflects the thriving art community in the UAE and the support shown here in Abu Dhabi for artists and galleries during the pandemic, through our online edition last year and throughout the year. Returning galleries can't wait to reconnect with members of the public and collectors in person once again and first-time exhibitors look forward to meeting all the supporters, visitors and patrons that shape the fair each year."

The modern and contemporary gallery sector of the Fair will feature 26 galleries from 15 countries.

The Special Projects gallery sector will feature 21 galleries from 6 countries, presenting curated booths by one, two or three artists.

Abu Dhabi Art in partnership with Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation (ADMAF) and the National Pavilion UAE – La Biennale di Venezia will be showcasing Passage, an immersive video and sound installation created by artist Nujoom Alghanem for the National Pavilion UAE's 2019 exhibition at the Venice Biennale.

The Fair will be open to the public from November 17 to 21 at Manarat Al Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi. (IANS/JB)


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Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the global climate talks in Glasgow announced net zero by 2070 for India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the global climate talks in Glasgow announced net zero by 2070 for India. This makes India as one of the last major economies to join the countries committing to net zero goals, climate experts said on Tuesday.

In addition, Modi called on developed countries to dramatically raise their financial help to developing countries for the transition to clean energy and protection against climate impacts.

Responding to announcements made on Monday at World Leaders Summit of a stronger climate target with 50 per cent of its energy requirements to be met by renewables by 2030 and a commitment to cut one billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions by 2030, NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) President and CEO Manish Bapna told IANS India is making a vital contribution in the global march against climate change, which disproportionately harms the world's vulnerable people the most.

"Its bold pledges to cut climate pollution by a billion tonnes, in large part by meeting 50 per cent of its energy requirements with renewable energy by 2030, signals India's resolute commitment to a healthier and clean future, for the people of India and the world.

"The world's fifth-largest economy and fourth-largest carbon emitter has set a high bar for stronger climate commitments by key countries at COP26."

Rhetorics ran high as the UN Climate Change Conference named COP26 in Glasgow on Monday.

There is a deficit of credibility and surplus of confusion over emissions reductions, said the UN Secretary General. Leaders' speeches spoke about how climate change "is tearing us apart, and we need a new momentum, a quantum leap in the fight against climate change".

On India's bold announcemets, International Solar Alliance Director General Ajay Mathur said: "Prime Minister Modi cut through the rhetoric and delivered a big promise of climate action from India.

"Reducing 1 billion tonnes of emissions by 2030 and expanding non-fossils capacity to 500 GW are enormous and transformative steps. Fifty per cent of electricity generation from renewable energy sources speaks to India's leadership and commitment to climate action."

Describing it the real climate action, Council for Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) CEO Arunabha Ghosh told IANS: "India has clearly put the ball in the court of the developed world. Now India demands $1 trillion in climate finance as soon as possible, and will monitor not just climate action but also climate finance.

"Most importantly, India has called once again for a change in lifestyle. If we cannot fix how we live, we can't fix how we live on this planet."

Chandra Bhushan, CEO, iForest, said: "India's announcement of an ambitious 2030 target and a net zero target is a big step for climate collaboration."

It's a tremendous leadership gesture, says R.R. Rashmi, Distinguished Fellow, TERI.

"One billion tonne of reduction in absolute terms is massive. Compare this with the entire GHG inventory which is less than three billion tonne today, and will be 4.5 billion tonne in 2030. Committing to one billion is 25 per cent of the inventory in 2030.

"This shows a tremendous leadership gesture and commitment to act now and fix the road to 2030. It also sets the stage for carbon markets. In a way this means absolute emission reductions and this also means that India has set itself to commit to a peak in emissions without saying so explicitly."

Dave Jones, Global Lead, Ember, said: "The world's top 10 coal power countries have now all committed to net zero, as India announces a net zero pledge at COP26. But coal will need to end one, two or even three decades before the net zero dates that have been laid out. These net zero ambitions now need to transform into near-term action on coal. Failing to act on coal will undermine the credibility of net zero pledges."

For Vibhuti Garg, Energy Economist and India lead with IEEFA, India's pledge to increase the share of electricity generation from renewable energy sources to 50 per cent by 2030 would also reduce the emissions intensity of the economy by at least 45 per cent from its 2005 levels.

New Delhi-based Climate Trends Director Aarti Khosla said by announcing a commitment for achieving net zero targets by 2070, India has responded positively to the global call and it was the best climate action in Glasgow.

The commitment of 500GW of renewable energy by 2030, which is more than twice the installed capacity of coal currently, should set the stage for a quick transformation of the energy sector, the kind of which hasn't been witnessed so far, she added.

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