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What are Small Island Developing States?
Small Island Developing States are those countries around the world with diversity in history and language but similarity in shared environmental challenges and environmental and economic vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities are typified by : a heavy reliance on international trade, thus very vulnerable to global developments (economic and natural shocks beyond their control);a susceptibility to natural disasters and climate change (sea level rise; hurricanes, typhoons); limited financial resources and economies which heavily rely on the use of their natural resources.
About Small Island Developing States
Small Island developing States (SIDS) have their own peculiar vulnerabilities and characteristics, so the difficulties they face in the pursuit of sustainable development are particularly severe and complex.
for instance, small size can actually be a blessing, and several SIDS, including the Maldives, Tuvalu and several Caribbean island states, are working to achieve “climate neutrality” through the use of renewable energy and other approaches. Another island territory, Tokelau, recently began producing 100% of its energy from solar sources. And as the vice-president of Seychelles remarked in the most recent General Assembly general debate, SIDS are ideal locations for pilot projects in renewable energy and other areas, which can then be rolled out in other countries on a larger scale. SIDS are also leading the way in ocean conservation efforts, and some of the largest Marine Protected Areas in the world are being established in the Pacific and incorporated into the Pacific Island Forum Oceanscape initiative.
As is the case for nations around the world, SIDS are making variable progress toward the Millennium Development Goals, which have 2015 as their projected endpoint. Notable gains have been made in some areas of health, education, and gender parity, while other goals continue to prove challenging for some SIDS. SIDS in all regions are actively involved in shaping the post-2015 development agenda.
The International Year of Small Island Developing States (SIDS)
The International Year of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) as declared by the 2012 United Nations General Assembly Resolution aims to raise awareness of the environmental problems that these countries are facing and to promote their achievement as it relates to sustainable development.
About the year
According to the UN Herald, the Pacific region is endangered by environmental influences and that is why Pacific island states need support and assistance. Countries like Australia, France and United States aimed to promote the prevention of forced migration on the basis of environmental impact. Events and activities that promote the year are dedicated to work towards securing small island states and preventing forced emigration from them.
The following ideas are being proposed as the objectives of the International Year:
Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States
The Programme of Action presents a basis for action in 14 agreed priority areas and defines a number of actions and policies related to environmental and development planning that should be undertaken by small island developing States with the cooperation and assistance of the international community. In general, financing for the implementation of the Programme of Action will come from countries' own public and private sectors. National elements, for inclusion in the medium- and long-term sustainable development plans of small island developing States, are recommended, along with the measures necessary for enhancing their endogenous capacity. Regional approaches to sustainable development/environment problems and technical cooperation for endogenous capacity-building are proposed. And the role of the international community is outlined, including its role in providing access to adequate, predictable, new and additional financial resources; optimizing the use of existing resources and mechanisms in accordance with chapter 33 of Agenda 21; and adopting measures for supporting endogenous capacity-building, in particular for developing human resources and promoting the access of small island developing States to environmentally sound and energy-efficient technology for their sustainable development. In that context, non-governmental organizations and other major groups should be fully involved.
The Programme of Action identifies priority areas and indicates the specific actions that are necessary to address the special challenges faced by small island developing States. In fulfilling those actions, several cross- sectoral areas are identified, for example, capacity-building, including human resource development; institutional development at the national, regional and international levels; cooperation in the transfer of environmentally sound technologies; trade and economic diversification; and finance.
Taking Stock, Looking Forward
Facing a future whose only certainty is change, small island developing states are confronted with many problems and difficulties – some intrinsic and timeless, others extrinsic and new – in making progress towards sustainable living and sustainable development. However, small island societies have a record of thriving in challenging times. Their long histories are rooted in new and innovative approaches, societal mobilization and technological adaptation.
In contributing towards a new vision and commitment for small islands, UNESCO’s own action in support of countries and communities is rooted in the fields of culture, basic and natural sciences, social and human sciences, communication and education. The underlying challenge is that of building capacities, bridges and networks, in promoting problem-solving actions that mobilize key actors and constituencies, that generate effective momentum and impact, that are culturally sensitive and scientifically sound. Addressing this challenge calls for meaningful collaboration between societal and organizational sectors (intersectoral cooperation), between regions and between islands of different affiliations (interregional cooperation) and between generations (intergenerational cooperation).
Together with governments, civil society, regional bodies and other international organizations, UNESCO takes timely actions to ensure effective implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and is actively contributing to its 20-year review (BPoA+20) which is planned to take place in Samoa in 2014.
There are a host of traditional delicacies that are relished on Holi Festival making the occasion even more enjoyable. Here are selected Holi Recipes to help you celebrate the festival to the hilt. Try these simple Holi Recipe with love and make place in the hearts of your loved ones !!
Soak rice for an hour. Cook with milk, salt and little water (if necessary). In a sauce pan, make sugar syrup with little water. To this add the cooked rice, color, 1 tbsp ghee, cardamom and stir for 10 minutes in low flame till all water is absorbed. Fry cashew nuts and coconut in 1 tbsp ghee to a golden color and add to the rice mixture.
Grind all the spices, with the almonds separate. Blend together in a large bowl, and add water and milk. Strain through cheesecloth until liquid is smooth. Serve cold. Serves 4-5
Car Bazzar - The Car of the Year 2014
A total of 30 candidates are eligible for Car of the Year 2014 award. All of the contenders are new vehicles available now or before year’s end in five or more European markets, and each has the prospect of at least 5,000 yearly sales. The voting process has two stages. The first one will produce a short list of seven nominees, which will be announced on 16 December 2013. The second round will find the single winner that will be made known in Geneva Motor Show on 3 March 2014.
Seven Nominees for CotY 2014
The Jury has cast a first decision on Car of the Year 2014 award. Seven of the thirty initial candidates have been nominated finalists; in alphabetical order: BMW i3, Citroën C4 Picasso, Mazda3, Mercedes-Benz S-class, Peugeot 308, Skoda Octavia and Tesla S.
For this voting phase, each juror has selected seven candidates in a simple vote, and the ones with most votes comprise the group of seven Nominees 2014. Now the Jury focus only on those models, that will be also submitted to specific tests near Paris next February, prior to the final vote and the announcement of the winner in Geneva on March 3rd, 2014. Finalists include regular cars as Citroën C4 Picasso, Mazda3, Peugeot 308 and Skoda Octavia. Also an extra-luxury vehicle as Mercedes S-class, a full electric as BMW i3 or one that adds high price and electric drive, as the Tesla S.
The spirit of Car of the Year
An expert, independent judgement of all new cars on the European market.
The Car of the Year is an international award, judged by a panel of senior motoring journalists across Europe. Its object is to acclaim the most outstanding new car to go on sale in the 12 months preceding the date of the title.
The Car of the Year has a new look with the smart new logo seen about. It replaces the 'poppet valve' design that has been used for more than 30 years.
What makes a Car of the Year?
The object of Car of the Year is to find a single, decisive winner. The voting process is designed for that purpose, and not to provide a scale of merit of all competing cars. There are no categories, sub-divisions or class winners.
A truly International Contest
The Jury for the Car of the Year 2014 consists of 58 members, representing 22 European countries. National representation on the Jury is related to the size of the country's car market and its importance in car manufacturing. France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy and Spain each have six members; other countries, proportionally fewer.
Seven pillars of support
The Car of the Year Organizing Committee is made up of managers from the seven prominent publications around Europe which take it in turn to organize the vote, publicize and promote the contest, and hold the prizegiving ceremony. The Jury is completely independent of the Organizing Committee in matters pertaining to the award itself - the selection of eligible cars and the voting.
The seven organizers of car of the Year are:
While poised to become the next Segway, in the sense of revolutionary technology limited to tech nerds and tech tourists, Glass has the potential to be something more. Yet, every time Robert Scoble tweets a picture of himself in the shower, the product takes a hit. Do we want that kind of accessibility on our faces? Only time will tell.
Welcome to a world through Glass.
20 ATM Security Tips for Indians
One of the most intelligent way of managing your security is to typing your PIN (Personal Identification Number ) in reverse order once you sense the danger to you. This is also called REVERSE PIN OF ATM. It is the security feature of ATMs which accept your PIN reverse order too. But will automatically alarm to the nearest police station.
Update from Mr. Naresh our reader.
From his sharing it seems that such reverse PIN system never exists or not adopted by any banks in India. For further reading on the same visit the below link.
How to Make Your Laptop Last Longer
Laptops are used frequently, misused often, and expensive to replace. The following instructions will help ensure your laptop lasts as long as you have a use for it.
Safety and Care
Know where your laptop is at all times and treat it with care. Be cautious about leaving the laptop unattended, and know that dropping, jostling, or bumping may cause damage to the hard drive.
Protect the screen and body of your laptop. Your laptop will last much longer if it doesn't get damaged.
Make sure your electrical cord helps your laptop, and doesn't hurt it. Treat your laptop's electrical cord as an extension of the laptop itself.
Remove disks with care. Small pieces are easy to snap off if you are not careful.
Make sure you understand your computer's software requirements. Some software can be susceptible to viruses and can inhibit performance.
Routine Laptop Maintenance
Your computer, like your car, needs regular tune-ups. This will improve the laptop's ability to run smoothly.
Adjust your printer settings. This feature allows printers to work fast, using the least amount of ink.
Adjust your power settings. This will help your laptop conserve power and run efficiently.
Defensive driving, or planned driving as it is sometimes known, is the key to better, safer and therefore tension free driving in ever increasing traffic
India is one of the largest utomotive markets in the world. Hundreds of cars are sold here each day, be it the firsthand market or the secondhand market. The road space in our cities however does not grow in the same geometric progression as the graphs on the sales charts of car manufacturers and sellers. Naturally, traffic conditions in all cities, without exception, have worsened over the years and driving in such conditions is now more perilous than ever before. The good news though is that you can still do enough to safeguard your own interests, ie: your car’s safety and your own. The answer lies in defensive driving. Here’s the first in a three-part series on how you can drive defensively.
What is defensive driving?
Defensive driving is the exact opposite of competitive driving. It is based on the premise that your safety lies mainly in your own hands and that the better you control your vehicle and the road space it occupies, the safer you’ll be. Defensive driving is based on awareness, anticipation, responsibility and consideration for other road users.
Awareness of the driving environment, which changes continually as the vehicle moves forward, is crucial to safe driving, ie: defensive driving. The key aspect here is good observation skills. This is what will help you assess a situation and then decide on your course of action. Look ahead to spot things early on so that you get early warning signs. At the same time improve peripheral vision to spot things around you.
While looking ahead will help you spot things early on, you must also analyse everything you see. Will that pedestrian on the sidewalk step on to the road in front of my car? Irrespective of the answer you must be prepared for that eventuality so that in case he does step out and in front of your car you are already prepared to stop rather than indulging in an emergency braking manouevre at the last possible moment.
A good driver is always aware of his responsibilities. He knows that not only is his safety dependent on his actions but those of others as well. This includes cars that might be behind him. As a result he avoids things like braking late, driving around a blind corner at speed without signaling or sudden acceleration and so on.
Defensive driving also takes into account that there will be times when others will make mistakes around you and land you in a situation that you would ideally avoid. Watch the car behind you to see if it’s driving too close to you. Let the vehicle in a hurry pass, if he is driving aggressively there is no need for you to do the same. One fool on the road is enough of a hazard anyway.
One of the major festivals of India, Holi is celebrated with enthusiasm and gaiety on the full moon day in the month of Phalgun which is the month of March as per the Gregorian calendar.
Holi festival may be celebrated with various names and people of different states might be following different traditions. But, what makes Holi so unique and special is the spirit of it which remains the same throughout the country and even across the globe, wherever it is celebrated.
Entire country wears a festive look when it is time for Holi celebration. Market places get abuzz with activity as frenzied shoppers start making preparations for the festival. Heaps of various hues of gulal and abeer can be seen on the roadside days before the festival. Pichkaris in innovative and modern design too come up every year to lure the children who wish to collect them as Holi memorabilia and of course, to drench everybody in the town.
Womenfolk too start making early preparations for the holi festival as they cook loads of gujiya, mathri and papri for the family and also for the relatives. At some places specially in the north women also make papads and potato chips at this time.
Season of Bloom
Everybody gets delighted at the arrival of Holi as the season itself is so gay. Holi is also called the Spring Festival - as it marks the arrival of spring the season of hope and joy. The gloom of the winter goes as Holi promises of bright summer days. Nature too, it seems rejoices at the arrival of Holi and wears its best clothes. Fields get filled with crops promising a good harvest to the farmers and flowers bloom colouring the surroundings and filling fragrance in the air.
A Hindu festival, Holi has various legends associated with it. The foremost is the legend of demon King Hiranyakashyap who demanded everybody in his kingdom to worship him but his pious son, Prahlad became a devotee of Lord Vishnu. Hiranyakashyap wanted his son to be killed. He asked his sister Holika to enter a blazing fire with Prahlad in her lap as Holika had a boon which made he immune to fire. Story goes that Prahlad was saved by lord himself for his extreme devotion and evil minded Holika was burnt to ashes, for her boon worked only when she entered the fire alone.
Since that time, people light a bonfire, called Holika on the eve of Holi festival and celebrate the victory of good over evil and also the triumph of devotion to god. Children take special delight in the tradition and this has another legend attached to it. It says that there was once an ogress Dhundhi who used to trouble children in the kingdom of Prithu. She was chased away by children on the day of Holi. Therefore, children are allowed to play pranks at the time of 'Holika Dahan'.
Some also celebrate the death of evil minded Pootana. The ogress tried to Lord Krishna as an infant by feeding it poisonous milk while executing the plan of Kansa, Krishna's devil uncle. However, Krishna sucked her blood and brought her end. Some who view the origin of festivals from seasonal cycles believe that Pootana represents winter and her death the cessation and end of winter.
In South India, people worship Kaamadeva- the god of love and passion for his extreme sacrifice. According to a legend, Kaamadeva shot his powerful love arrow on Lord Shiva to revoke his interest in the worldly affairs in the interest of the earth. However, Lord Shiva was enraged as he was in deep mediation and opened his third eye which reduced Kaamadeva to ashes. Though, later on the request of Rati, Kaamadeva's wife, Shiva was pleased to restore him back.
On the eve of Holi, called Chhoti or Small Holi people gather at important crossroads and light huge bonfires, the ceremony is called Holika Dahan. This tradition is also followed in Gujarat and Orissa. To render greatfulness to Agni, god of Fire, gram and stalks from the harvest are also offered to Agni with all humility. Ash left from this bonfire is also considered sacred and people apply it on their foreheads. People believe that the ash protects them from evil forces.
Play of Colors
Great excitement can be seen in people on the next day when it is actually the time for the play of colours. Shops and offices remain closed for the day and people get all the time to get crazy and whacky. Bright colours of gulal and abeer fill the air and people take turns in pouring colour water over each other. Children take special delight in spraying colours on one another with their pichkaris and throwing water balloons and passers by. Women and senior citizen form groups called tolis and move in colonies - applying colours and exchanging greetings. Songs, dance on the rhythm of dholak and mouthwatering Holi delicacies are the other highlights of the day.
Expression of Love
Lovers too long to apply colours on their beloved. This has a popular legend behind it. It is said that the naughty and mischievous Lord Krishna started the trend of playing colours. He applied colour on her beloved Radha to make her one like him. The trend soon gained popularity amongst the masses. No wonder, there is no match to the Holi of Mathura, Vrindavan and Barsana - the places associated with the birth and childhood of Radha and Krishna.
Ecstasy of Bhang
There is also a tradition of consuming the very intoxicating bhang on this day to further enhance the spirit of Holi. It is so much fun to watch the otherwise sober people making a clown of themselves in full public display. Some, however, take bhang in excess and spoil the spirit. Caution should therefore be taken while consuming bhang delicacies.
After a funfilled and exciting day, the evenings the spent in sobriety when people meet friends and relatives and exchange sweets and festive greetings.
It is said the spirit of Holi encourages the feeling of brotherhood in society and even the enemies turn friend on this day. People of all communities and even religions participate in this joyous and colouful festival and strenthen the secular fabric of the nation.
Team Aadhar (Industry) with Joint Secretary (M), MOP&NG and ED(LPG), BPCL
Your benefit in your account!
Direct Benefit Transfer of LPG scheme
Under the scheme, Customers will have to pay the non-subsidised price for the cylinder and the subsidy amount will be transferred to their bank account. Effectively, the government wants to provide “Your benefit in your account” which means ‘subsidy directly reaches the intended beneficiary as the amount is credited in his bank account.
LPG is a clean fuel and hence the Government of India wanted to popularize the use of this fuel by subsidizing LPG for domestic use making it affordable for the consumer. However, due to LPG being subsidized, there is dual pricing in the market which has lead to unscrupulous elements misusing subsidized LPG for other than domestic purposes.
Government of India launched the Direct Benefit Transfer for LPG (DBTL) Scheme on 1st June 2013 to curb such leakages and diversion so that subsidized LPG is available to the genuine users.
Under the scheme Customers will have to pay the non-subsidised price for the cylinder and the subsidy amount will be transferred to their bank account. Effectively, the government wants to provide “Your benefit in your account” which means ‘subsidy directly reaches the intended beneficiary as the amount is credited in his bank account’.
Once the scheme is launched in the district, customers who have not completed formalities for being cash transfer compliant, will get 3 months to complete the formalities. During this period they will get cylinders at the subsidized price. But if they do not complete formalities to become Cash Transfer Compliant (CTC) within the due date, they will continue to get cylinders but they have to pay the non-subsidised price for the cylinder.
How it works?
On launch of the scheme, all Cash Transfer Compliant Customers will get a fixed advance subsidy amount when they book cylinder for the first time after the scheme is launched. This advance is given so that the Customer does not have difficulty in paying for the cylinder at non-subsidised rate. On delivery of the cylinder, they will also get the actual subsidy amount for that cylinder. Effectively they will always have subsidy amount in advance for one cylinder.
The launch has been successfully completed for four phases covering 5.15 crore customers attached to 4167 distributors of the Industry correspondingly the figures for BPC are 1.37 crore customers attached to 1058 distributors. Under the six phases, Industry would cover over 9 crore customers attached to over 7500 Distributors. On an Industry basis we have already completed over 22 million transactions wherein over Rs.1129 crores have already been transferred to beneficiaries’ bank accounts.
The implementation of the scheme is reviewed with all stakeholders on a regular basis in order to monitor and bring in improvements wherever required. With technical and knowledge support from an exclusive group of representatives from across the Industry, this scheme is by far one that covers the largest number of beneficiaries ever covered by any government scheme. It will bring about the much desired change in LPG marketing as it brings about a single price in the market and will induce competition and improve service!