Daily Archive: March 13, 2019

IMPAct4Nutrtion launched in New Delhi convened by UNICEF

IMPAct4Nutrtion convened by UNICEF, Tata Trusts, Sight and Life, CSRBOX, CII, WeCan and NASSCOM Foundation was launched today in New Delhi.

IMPAct4Nutrition is an opportunity for the private sector to be part of a large initiative that will positively impact the nutritional and health status of India. This is a platform for the private sector to actively engage and build a social movement with their employees, customers and employees’ families who form a part of their business ecosystem, and support the POSHAN Abhiyaan.

Even before the formal launch, key businesses including Bosch, Arvind Mills, Moody’s Analytics and CareNX Innovations pledged their support to the platform. This quick endorsement by the private sector is a testament to the need for actively developing engagement strategies for working with the private sector and promoting good nutrition.

Meanwhile, Tara Chand of Moody’s Analytics promised wholehearted support to the platform. “I am proud to be a part of IMPAct4Nutrition. Moody’s Analytics will support wholeheartedly this platform and see how best we can enhance nutrition literacy among our employees, partners and customers,” he said.

Opening the session, Niti Aayog Advisor, Alok Kumar, said that one-third of the children in India are growing up stunted and tackling malnutrition is a key chalenge for India. “This needs to change for a nation that is doing well in many other areas, and we need to come together to tackle the problem of malnutrition,” he said.

He said that the Government with its schemes has done a lot tp strengthen the supply side response but needs cooperation from the private sector and the civil society to address the demand side. He gave examples of “junk food” products in the market, which are available in all kinds of convenient packs. He urged the private sector to take up experimental projects to come up with similar packages and solutions for nutritious food.

“Only nine per cent of the children in the age group 6 to 24 months in our country receive adequate nutrition. Perhaps the main reason is lack of awareness around nutrition issues. This requires inducing behavioral change in a campaign mode to reach every household ” , he added.

He gave an example of communities in India, where precious first milk of new mothers is offered to Gods and spilled on the floor. “We need effective communication to curtail that. We need partnerships. Corporates can bridge the gap between government and people,” Kumar added.

The launch event today heard new commitments and updates from companies, industry associations, development partners and Government of India on how to scale up nutrition and make sure that nutrition really does become everyone’s business.

Speaking at the occasion, Arjan De Waqt, OIC Deputy Representative at UNICEF India highlighted “According to the “Copenhagen Consensus” investing in nutrition is the best public health investment one can make. For every $1 of investment there is a return of $16 due to employee retention, dip in absenteeism and increased productivity. When you reach out to employees, their families and customers and empower them to improve their nutritional status, you benefit the business. Being an employer who cares by running a business that is socially aware and responsible also contributes to nation building.”

“The private sector has not only the resources, but the convening power to improve nutrition awareness in the country. After all, the private sector employs the largest share of a country’s workforce and through IMPAct4Nutrition, it can directly influence the nutritional status of its business ecosystem,” he added.

IMPAct4Nutrition will engage companies in three strategic areas, which businesses term as the ACE card and this includes assets/core business for nutrition, cash/CSR for nutrition as well as employee engagement for nutrition".

The platform will provide educational material, program information and will be businesses link to the larger movement around POSHAN Abhiyaan. It will coordinate with, support and help in working together for a healthy India.

UN report warns of millions of early deaths by 2050

Nairobi: A landmark UN report published on Wednesday, March 13, warned the world to drastically scale up environmental protections, or cities and regions in Asia, the Middle East and Africa could see millions of premature deaths by mid-century.

The most comprehensive and rigorous assessment on the state of the environment completed in the last five years warned damage to the planet is so dire that people’s health will be increasingly threatened unless urgent action is taken.

Produced by 250 scientists and experts from more than 70 countries, the report — Sixth Global Environmental Outlook — is special because it combines information from all environmental issues as well as links up with health consequences of environmental problems.

It warns that pollutants in the freshwater systems will see anti-microbial resistance become a major cause of death by 2050 and endocrine disruptors impact male and female fertility, as well as child neurodevelopment.

But the report highlights the fact that the world has the science, technology and finance it needs to move towards a more sustainable development pathway, although sufficient support is still missing from the public, business and political leaders who are clinging to outdated production and development models.

The report has been released while environmental ministers and delegates from 170 countries are here to participate in the world’s highest-level environmental forum, the Fourth UN Environment Assembly.

Negotiations at the Assembly are expected to tackle critical issues such as stopping food waste, promoting the spread of electric mobility, and tackling the crisis of plastic pollution in oceans, among many other pressing challenges.

“Innovation is a huge part of the progress we’ve made so far on environmental challenges. It will play a vital role in tackling all manner of pollution as well,” UN Environment acting Executive Director Joyce Msuya told IANS.

“If we don’t think beyond our traditional approaches to environmental problems, we will only be treading water. That’s why it’s so encouraging to see innovation coming from all corners, especially developing countries like India,” she said.

Innovative policy options

The projection of a future healthy planet with healthy people is based on a new way of thinking where the ‘grow now, clean up after’ model is changed to a near-zero-waste economy by 2050.

According to the Global Environmental Outlook, green investment of two per cent of countries’ GDP would deliver long-term growth as high as the presently projected but with fewer impacts from climate change, water scarcity and loss of ecosystems.

At present, the world is not on track to meet the SDGs by 2030 or 2050.

Urgent action is required now as any delay in climate action increases the cost of achieving the goals of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, or reversing the progress and at some point, will make them impossible.

The report advises adopting less-meat intensive diets, and reducing food waste in both developed and developing countries, as it would reduce the need to increase food production by 50 per cent to feed the projected 9-10 billion people on the planet in 2050.

At present, 33 per cent of global edible food is wasted, and 56 per cent of waste happens in industrialised countries, the report states.

While urbanization is happening at an unprecedented level globally, the report says it can present an opportunity to increase citizens’ well-being while decreasing their environmental footprint through improved governance, land-use planning and green infrastructure.

Furthermore, strategic investment in rural areas would reduce pressure for people to migrate.

The report calls for action to curb the flow of the eight million tons of plastic pollution going into oceans each year.

While the issue has received increased attention in recent years, there is still no global agreement to tackle marine litter.

“The report shows that policies and technologies already exist to fashion new development pathways that will avoid these risks and lead to health and prosperity for all people,” said Joyeeta Gupta and Paul Ekins, co-chairs of the report process.

“What is currently lacking is the political will to implement policies and technologies at a sufficient speed and scale.”

What does this report mean for India?

“Inequality has to be addressed, especially in the growing cities of India, but also more has to be invested in rural India in order to nurture a healthy and happy population,” Gupta, who is Professor of Environment and Development in the Global South Governance and Inclusive Development with University of Amsterdam, told IANS.

“While clearly, in some areas of pollution the rich countries have a big footprint both in terms of production and consumption patterns and pressure has to be put on them to change their behaviour.

“Within India, there needs to be rapid transformation to ensure that pollution does not itself become the limiting factor for the development of the people,” she added.


Envoys of Six Nations present credentials to President of India

Envoys of Six Nations present credentials to President of India

Ambassadors of Chile, Bulgaria, the Kyrgyz Republic, Nepal and Montenegro and the High Commissioner of Seychelles presented credentials to the President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, at a ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan today (March 13, 2019).

The envoys who presented their credentials were: –

1. Mr Juan Rolando Angulo Monsalve, Ambassador of Chile

2. Mrs Eleonora Dimitrova, Ambassador of the Republic of Bulgaria

3. Mr Asein Isaev, Ambassador of the Kyrgyz Republic

4. Mr Nilamber Acharya, Ambassador of Nepal

5. Mr Thomas Selby Pillay, High Commissioner of the Republic of Seychelles

6. Mr Zoran Jankovic, Ambassador of Montenegro



Cabinet approves issue of Notifications for “General Elections to the Lok Sabha 2019)”

Cabinet approves issue of Notifications for “General Elections to the Lok Sabha 2019)”

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the ““General Elections to the Lok Sabha 2019) -for issuance of statutory notifications under under sub-section(2) of Section 14 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951”. It provides for calling upon the parliamentary constituencies to elect Members to the House of the People, on the dates to be recommended by the Election Commission of India in its Proceedings.


The issuing of notifications would begin the election process for constituting the Seventeenth House of the People.