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PEOPLE AND UN

JANUARY 2013  ` 40/-

Published by The Indian Federation of United Nations Associations

Tension IN Ocean  Murky Waters: Politics in

the South China Sea  Hanoi pours oil on

disputed waters  South China Sea Dispute

could Fuel Global Energy War ?


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Contents IFUNA Members attending World Ferderation of United Nations Associations Plaenary Assembly 2012 at Rio-De-Janerio (Brazil) seen in the picture (left) Vinayak Srivastava, P.C. Mahajan and Suresh Srivastava (centre)

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RNI NO. DELENG/2012/44082

PEOPLE AND UN Vol. 2, No. 1, A Publication of The Indian Federation of United Nations Associations, New Delhi Quarterly - January 2013

PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY Suresh Kumar Srivastava Secretary General, IFUNA on behalf of TheIndian Federation of United Nations Associations, New Delhi and Printed at: Modest Graphics Pvt. Ltd., C-53, DDA Sheds, Okhla Phase-I, New Delhi-110020, Ph.: 011-26817565, E-mail:rkjulka@yahoo.co.in PUBLISHED AT IFUNA , C-6, Qutub Institutional Area, New Dehli-110016 Tel.: 011-26511257, 26852293 Fax: 011-26852291, E-mail: ifuna@ifuna.org, ifuna@mail.com, www.ifuna.org

Odissa UNA

Current Event

Human Rights Day Celebrated

Gillian Sorensen visits IFUNA

page 22

page 6 Of caps and gods in RIO

MeghalAya UNA Chief Minister Dr. Mukul Sangma inaugurated

page 7

page 24

Tension in the Ocean

Maharastra UNA

A Chinese estimate says 2,000 trillion cubic feet of natural gas lie under the South China Sea. That would be enough gas to meet the country's needs for the next 400 years, based on 2011 consumption levels!

Photo Exhibition on Holocaust

page 11

Representative Visits U.K.

Entry Strategies for Foreign investors in India

Praying and working

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Rajasthan UNA page 27 Spritual talk by Sant Rajender Singhji

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page 28

CSR needs transparency

Art-Culture International Crafts Mela at Surajkund

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Community Based Rehabilitation India leads the world

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WFUNA Plaenary Assembly, Rio

EDITOR Pran Mohan Parvatiyar ADVISORS Charti Lal Goel Ms. Mohni Mathur Sitaram Sharma A. S. Talwar P S Paul S. P. Kalra Seshadri Chari Sagar Ahluwalia Vinod Srivastava P. C. Sinha C. P. Mahajan Bharat Babbar Ms. Meena Srivastava * All disputes to be settled in Delhi Courts only. All rights reserved. No respnsibility is taken for returing unsolicited manscripts . Views expressed in articles in the PEOPLE AND UN do not necessarily reflect those of the editorial.

CONGRATULATION IFUNA felecitated it’s Vice President S.P. Kalra; and Ms. Kusum Kalra on their 50th Marriage Annivarsary, on the left is A. S. Talwar Addl. Secy. General

PEOPLE AND UN  JANUARY 2013 3


Editor’s Page

E

VERY Indian is seething with anger at the barbarous, brutal and inhuman act of Pakistani troops who infiltrated into Indian Territory in the first week of January and killed two Indian soldiers, beheading one of them. This heinous crime and brutal act of Pakistan is not only condemnable but also unpardonable. Anguish of the Indian people has been rightly expressed by Chief of the Indian army Gen. Bikram Singh that "The beheading of our soldiers is unacceptable, if provoked, we will retaliate, we reserve the right to retaliate at a time of our choosing." Defence Minister, AK Antony has termed the very recent ceasefire violation by Pakistan, along the heavily militarized Line of Control (LoC), wherein two Indian jawans were killed, with the body of one of the slain soldiers badly mutilated, as a turning point in India-Pakistan relations. Antony called the occasional ceasefire violations by Pakistan as a matter of serious concern. "We believe in peace on the border and have been always offering a hand in the hope of friendship. But each time we ended with a bitter experience," said President, Pranab Mukherjee addressing the nation on the eve of Republic Day.One wonders whether Pakistan will ever mend its way to respect its neighbour for a peaceful co-existence or go on pursuing the policy of confrontatition. If they choose to continue such type of hostility and irresponsible behaviour, they will only damaging themselves as the people of India are not ready to tolerate it any more. We hope the leaders of Pakistan will try to understand the sentiments of the Indian people. WE welcome John Forbes Kerry the new Secretary of State of the United States. He is the first sitting Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman of U.S to become Secretary in over a century. Born on December 11, 1943 ,Secretary Kerry, was a a Senate leader on key foreign policy and national security issues facing the United States, including Afghanistan and Pakistan, nuclear nonprolifJohn Forbes Kerry eration, and global climate change. In his 28 years on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Kerry has chaired the Asia and Middle East subcommittees where he authored and passed major legislation on international drug trafficking, international money laundering, humanitarian aid, and climate change, and he helped negotiate the UN's genocide tribunal to prosecute war crimes in Cambodia. He also held senior positions on the Finance, Commerce, and Small Business Committees, as well as served as a member of the bipartisan Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction, where he worked across party lines to try and reduce his country's debt and strengthen economy. Secretary Kerry is also the author of best-selling books, including A Call to Service: My Vision for a Better America and This Moment on Earth, a book on the environment which he co-authored with his wife Teresa Heinz Kerry. With John Forbes Kerry's positive approach, Indian people are looking forward to a strong Indo-American relations not only politically but also economically..

— Pran Mohan Parvatiyar (pmparvatiyar@gmail.com)

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Current Event

GILLIAN SORENSEN

SENIOR ADVISOR TO THE UN FOUNDATION

VISITS IFUNA

M

s. Gillian Sorensen, Senior Advisor to the UN Foundation and member of the Friends of WFUNA, gave an interactive lecture to the membership of the Indian Federation of United Nations Associations (IFUNA) on the "UN and the 21st Century: Where Do We Go From Here?" on 19 January 2013. The audience included research scholars, students, journalists, and IFUNA general membership "My guess is in coming years there will be many permanent seats but may be not with a Veto," Gillian Martin Sorensen, Senior Advisor at the United Nations Foundation, said . She pointed out that there had been a lot of discussion about India as a permanent member of the Security Council, and said: "The issue of whether there should be another permanent seat had formally come up for debate in the UN at least twice, but there were local political issues (that came on the way)." Sorensen, though, was of the view that the Security Council could not bring together consensus and therefore, "diplomatic persuasion is everything." She opined that "there is nothing more compelling than the power to lead by example and not by command". When asked

Suresh Srivastava, Secretary-General IFUNA, presenting a momento to Ms. Sorensen

whether this suggested that there was any reconsideration within the UN Organization on veto rights, she acknowledged that there was a growing demand for reviewing the veto powers of the permanent members, but reiterated: "I don't see the permanent five members giving up with veto or passing it to other country. I do see the possibility of adding additional seats." In October last year, during his trip to New Delhi, Bonian Golmohammadi, Secretary-General of a UN affiliated body, the World Federation of United Nations Asso-

Ms. Gillian Sorensen, Senior Advisor at the UN Foundation, addressing the members of Indian Federation of UN Associations at the IFUNA conference hall, New Delhi

ciations (WFUNA), had advocated longterm removal of veto power in the United Nations Security Council, saying it had been used less over the past 25 years and should be eventually restricted so that countries cannot use it for vested interests. Sorensen said: "UN is a place where idealism and realism meet‌ UN is a complex institution." She referred to the fact that the UN Secretary Generals are not appointed from the permanent five member countries of the Security Council as these countries are considered a privileged group. She was also asked about the role that UN could play on the contentious issue of overdrawing of Brahmaputra river water due to construction of large number of dams in the upstream Chinese side. She said beginning with the bilateral issues, the UN can have countries involved and other mediaries "who can help you in environmental issues. UN can give meeting places, experts on environmental issues often useful in bilateral issues." She added: "I would urge India to see if you can meet China in the UN with mediator from UN Environment Program." 

PEOPLE AND UN  JANUARY 2013 5


 BY CHANDER P MAHAJAN

Of CAPS and GODS in RIO gaiety with founder acharya: His Devine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhunanda, who is seated to their left. The home of many universities and institutes, it is second largest centre of research and development in Brazil. Rio is Brazil’s primary tourist attraction and resort. City and sports world class hotels. It receives the most visitors per year of any city in South America. Most common language is ‘Portugese’.

‘Hare Rama Hare Krishna’ Temple in Barra da Tijuca, Rio

H

imachal is overwhelming with feathers in it’s cap from all over the world. Thanks to WUNA’S 40th plenary session in Rio de Janerio, Brazil. The colorful topi from Kullu, a valley of gods in H.P., adorned the heads of people from over thirty six countries, making India proud. Brazil UNA played excellent host. Rio-de-Janerio, (Rio), is the capital city of the State of Rio-de-Janerio, the second largest city of Brazil with a population of 6.3 million within the city proper, almost equal

to that of H.P. Rio has become a home of World Heritage Site named “Rio de Janerio: Carioca Landscapes between the mountain and the sea” in the category Cultural Landscape. The city was the capital of Brazil for nearly two centuries. Rio is nicknamed the ‘Marvelous City’. Because of the geographic situation along the coast, the breeze, blowing alternately onshore and offshore, moderates the temperature. Gods, in ‘Hare Rama Hare Krishna’ Temple in Barra da Tijuca, Rio, live in all their

IN HIMACHAL’S CAP Rio is the most visited city in the southern hemisphere and is known for it’s natural settings, celebrations and beaches such as Barra da Tijuca, Capacabana, Ipenama. The beaches in Rio play an important part in the social life. There is a definite beach culture. Christ the Redeemer (40 mtr high) is the statue of Jesus of Nzareth in Rio considerd the largest Art Deco Statue in the world and the Fifth largest statue of Jesus in the world, overlooking the city of Rio from peak of Mount Corcovado. The statue represents the cultural identity of Rio and also of Brazil.

Ms. Meena Srivastava flanked by Himachal cap wearing WFUNA delegates at Rio-De-Janerio

6 PEOPLE AND UN  JANUARY 2013


Cover Story

TENSION

IN THE OCEAN A CHINESE ESTIMATE SAYS 2,000 TRILLION CUBIC FEET OF NATURAL GAS LIE UNDER THE SOUTH CHINA SEA. THAT WOULD BE ENOUGH GAS TO MEET THE COUNTRY'S NEEDS FOR THE NEXT 400 YEARS, BASED ON 2011 CONSUMPTION LEVELS!  BY P.M.PARVATIYAR

T

HE last two years have witnessed a heady interplay of inter-state disputes and constant strategic maneuverings, if not intrigue, in the South China Sea (SCS). Beyond anything else, it gives the world a sure glimpse of the possibility of future energy wars over oil and gas resources in this energy-rich area, which is moreover emerging as a hotbed of global power politics. The South China Sea dispute thus involves a series of complex and interwoven technical, legal, economic and geographic claims, the most critical of which involves issues of territory and sovereignty. The dispute over the 1.4 million-square-mile area crossed by one-third of world shipping routes,

was played out at the recently concluded Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Cambodia among China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines, China and the other nations desperately want the energy resources beneath the South China Sea, and the dispute has caught the attention of global financial markets.. China's biggest offshore oil company, CNOOC Limited, recently updated its projection of energy assets in the South China Sea. It said the area could hold 17 billion tons of oil and 498 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. China's Ministry of Land and Resources says the area contains more than 40 billion tons of oil equivalents. Another Chinese estimate says 2,000 trillion cubic feet of natural gas lie under the South China Sea. That would be

enough gas to meet the country's needs for the next 400 years, based on 2011 consumption levels! No wonder energyhungry China is so interested in pushing its claims in the region. The area is also one of the region's main shipping lanes, and is home to a fishing ground that supplies the livelihoods of thousands of people. Exploration in the South China Sea has been very limited so far because few major international oil companies want to get involved in the territorial dispute. China has already successfully pressured companies like BP plc and Exxon Mobil Corp. to abandon their deals with neighboring Vietnam. CNOOC itself caused a diplomatic row with Vietnam in June when it put up for auction nine oil and gas blocks that Viet-

PEOPLE AND UN  JANUARY 2013 7


Cover Story

Hanoi pours oil on disputed waters Y

Sensitive issue: protesters rally in Hanoi

nam says are in its territory. The blocks had already been auctioned by Vietnam to companies including ExxonMobil and Russia's Gazprom. The South China Sea is a marginal sea that is part of the Pacific Ocean, encompassing an area from the Singapore and Malacca Straits to the Strait of Taiwan of around 3,500,000 square kilometers, collectively an archipelago in hundreds of islands. The sea and its mostly uninhabited islands are subject to competing claims of sovereignty by several countries. The area's importance largely results from one-third of the world's shipping transiting through its waters, and that it

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ES, you are right. The modernisation (of Chinese Navy) is truly impressive... It is a actually a major major cause of concern for us, which we continuously evaluate and work out our options and our strategies," he told a press conference. Indian Navy Chief was replying to a question on contingencies in South China sea to protect Indian interests there and impression about the Chinese Navy's modernisation. Answering a volley of questions about South China Sea over which India had a tiff with China last year, he said although India's presence in that maritime region was not on "very very frequent" basis, it had interests like free navigation and exploitation of natural resources there. "Not that we expect to be in those waters very very frequently, but when the requirement is there for situations where country's interests are involved, for example ONGC Videsh, we will be required to go there and we are prepared for that. Are we holding exercises for that nature, the short answer is yes," Joshi said. Talking about Indian interests in the South China Sea, he said the first of it included freedom of navigation. "Not only us, but everyone is of the view that they have to be resolved by the parties concerned, aligned with the international regime, which is outlined in UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea), that is our first requirement," he said.

is believed to hold huge oil and gas reserves beneath its seabed. The area is located in the south of mainland China and the Taiwan, west of the Philippines, north west of Sabah (Malaysia), Sarawak (Malaysia) and Brunei, north of Indonesia, north east of the Malay peninsula (Malaysia) and Singapore, and east of Vietnam. China claims by far the largest portion of territory — an area stretching hundreds of miles south and east from its most southerly province of Hainan. Beijing has said its right to the area come from 2,000 years of history where the Paracel and Spratly island chains were regarded as integral parts of the Chinese nation.

Vietnam hotly disputes China's historical account, saying China never claimed sovereignty over the islands until the 1940s. Vietnam says both island chains are entirely within its territory. It says it has actively ruled over both the Paracels and the Spratlys since the 17th Century — and has the documents to prove it. The other major claimant in the area is the Philippines, which invokes its geographical proximity to the Spratly Islands as the main basis of its claim for part of the grouping. Both the Philippines and China lay claim to the Scarborough Shoal (known as Huangyan Island in China) — a little


Cover Story more than 100 miles (160km) from the Philippines and 500 miles from China. Malaysia and Brunei also lay claim to territory in the South China Sea that they say falls within their economic exclusion zones, as defined by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in 1982. Brunei does not claim any of the disputed islands, but Malaysia claims a small number of islands in the Spratlys The Paracels and the Spratlys may have vast reserves of natural resources around them. There has been little detailed exploration of the area, so estimates are largely extrapolated from the mineral wealth of neighbouring areas. The most serious trouble in recent decades has flared between Vietnam and China. The Chinese seized the Paracels from Vietnam in 1974, killing more than 70 Vietnamese troops. In 1988 the two sides clashed in the Spratlys, when Vietnam again came off worse, losing about 60 sailors. On July 22, 2011, one of India's amphibious assault vessels, the INS AIRAVAT which was on a friendly visit to Vietnam, was reportedly contacted at a distance of 45 nautical miles from the Vietnamese coast in the disputed South China Sea on an open radio channel by a vessel identifying itself as the Chinese Navy and stating that the ship was entering Chinese waters. The spokesperson for the Indian Navy clarified that as no ship or aircraft was visible from INS AIRAVAT it proceeded on her onward journey as scheduled. The Indian Navy further clarified that "there was no confrontation involving the INS AIRAVAT. India supports freedom of navigation in international waters, including in the South China Sea, and the right of passage in accordance with accepted principles of international law. These principles should be respected by all." In September 2011, shortly after China and Vietnam had signed an agreement seeking to contain a dispute over the South China Sea, India's state-run explorer, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation overseas investment arm ONGC Videsh Limited had signed a three-year deal with Petro Vietnam for developing long-term cooperation in the oil sector and that it

Navy Chief Admiral D K Joshi

India will protect its interests in South China Sea:Navy Chief

W

e are viewing the rapid modernisation of Chinese Navy as a "major concern", Navy Chief Admiral D K Joshi has made it clear that India will protect its interests in the disputed South China Sea, even if it means sending forces there. "Yes you are right. The modernisation (of Chinese Navy) is truly impressive... It is a actually a major major cause of concern for us, which we continuously evaluate and work out our options and our strategies," he told a press conference. The Navy Chief was replying to a question on contingencies in South China sea to protect Indian interests there and impression about the Chinese Navy's modernisation. Answering a volley of questions about South China Sea over which India had a tiff with China last year, he said although India's presence in

that maritime region was not on "very very frequent" basis, it had interests like free navigation and exploitation of natural resources there. "Not that we expect to be in those waters very very frequently, but when the requirement is there for situations where country's interests are involved, for example ONGC Videsh, we will be required to go there and we are prepared for that. Are we holding exercises for that nature, the short answer is yes," Joshi said. Talking about Indian interests in the South China Sea, he said the first of it included freedom of navigation. "Not only us, but everyone is of the view that they have to be resolved by the parties concerned, aligned with the international regime, which is outlined in UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea), that is our first requirement," he said.

PEOPLE AND UN  JANUARY 2013 9


Cover Story

Taiwan undersea oil plans raise neighbours' eyebrows THE island's exploration efforts in the South China Sea could fuel tensions with China and other nations with territorial claims there. Heated rhetoric last year prompted the US to intervene. Taiwan, a normally quiet claimant to portions of the disputed South China Sea, plans to explore for undersea oil there, a move likely to test fragile relations with China and upset major Southeast Asian Nations. Taiwan's Bureau of Mines and its top energy

had accepted Vietnam's offer of exploration in certain specified blocks in the South China Sea. In response, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu issued a protest. The spokesman of the Ministry of External Affairs of the Government of India responded by saying that "The Chinese had concerns but we are going by what the Vietnamese authorities have told us and have conveyed this to the Chinese. On July 22, 2011, one of India's amphibious assault vessels, the INS AIRAVAT which was on a friendly visit to Vietnam, was reportedly contacted at a distance of 45 nautical miles from the Vietnamese coast in the disputed South China Sea on an open radio channel by a vessel identifying itself as the Chinese Navy and stating that the ship was entering Chinese waters. The spokesperson for the Indian Navy clarified that as no ship or aircraft was visible from INS AIRAVAT it proceeded on her onward journey as scheduled. The Indian Navy further clarified that "there was no confrontation involving the INS Airavat. India supports freedom of navigation in international waters, including in the South China Sea, and the right of passage in accordance with accepted principles of international law. These principles should be respected by all." The Philippines has also been involved in a number of minor skirmishes with Chinese, Vietnamese and

10 PEOPLE AND UN  JANUARY 2013

company plan to explore this year for some of that oil near an islet that the government holds in the Spratly archipelago, a spokesman for the company said."Taiwan seems to be seeking ways to remind other nations of its sovereignty claims," says Bonnie Glaser, senior Asia adviser with the Washington-based think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies. "Taiwan doesn't want to be ignored or forgotten."

Malaysian forces. The Philippines has accused China of building up its military presence in the Spratlys. The two countries have engaged in a maritime standoff, accusing each other of intrusions in the Scarborough Shoal. Chinese and Philippine vessels refuse to leave the area, and tension has flared, leading to rhetoric and protests. Unverified claims that the Chinese navy deliberately sabotaged two Vietnamese exploration operations has led to large anti-China protests on the streets of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Vietnam has held live-fire exercises off its coast — an action that was seen as a gross provocation by Beijing. In July 2010, when US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton became involved in the debate and called for a binding code of conduct.. The Chinese Foreign Ministry dismissed her suggestion as an attack on China. They are currently in disagreement over the U.S.'s policy of operating military ships and planes in the South China Sea. This disagreement is exacerbated by the fact that the U.S. is not a member of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Although the U.S. is not a party to the dispute, should China achieve exclusive rights to the sea? Secretary Clinton voiced her support for fair access by reiterating that "freedom of navigation and respect of international law" is a matter of national interest to the United

States. Her comments were countered by China's Foreign Minister as "in effect an attack on China," and warned the United States against making the South China Sea "an international issue or multilateral issue."Clinton subsequently testified in support of congressional approval of the Law of the Sea Convention, which would strengthen U.S. ability to support countries that oppose Chinese claims to certain islands in the area." In July 2012, the United States Senate passed resolution 524, initially sponsored by Senator John Kerry, stating the United States' strong support for the 2002 declaration of conduct of parties in the South China Sea, reaffirms the United States' commitment to assist the nations of Southeast Asian to remain strong and independent, and supports enhanced operations by the United States armed forces. The long-simmering dispute between China and Japan over islets and rocks near Taiwan called Diaoyutai in Chinese and Senkaku in Japanese has flared up recently. On 10th january2013 according to the ministry of Defence of China; they sent two J-10 fighters to the east china sea after a Y-8 aircraft was closely followed by two Japanese F-15 fighters. Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has criticized China for allowing anti Japanese protests over the Senkaku Islands to turn violent. The new prime minister of Japan Shinzo Abe and his party has stressed national security amid an ongoing dispute with China. It is feared this may deepen a rift between Tokyo and Beijing that has already begun to sour diplomatic ties and trade. Senator John Kerry who had initially sponsored resolution 524 is now going to take over as U.S. Secretary of state. The new General Secretary of the Communist Party of China's Central Committee Xi Jinping has called for greater international cooperation on global issues for peace and development. Will they be able to reduce the tensions in South China Sea? The task is stupendous and challenging. Their leadership quality and acumen for the cause of peace is on trial.  (The views expressed are personal)


Current Crackle

Entry Strategies

for Foreign investors in India  BY VINAYAK SRIVASTAVA, ADVOCATE

W

FDI in India

ITH the advent of the new Industrial Policy on July 24, 1991, India opened up its economy which has earlier in the clutches of the License Raj and the Government of India permitted foreign investments in India. By virtue of this change many industrial sectors, which were closed, were opened up for investment for both domestic and foreign entities. Since then, the Government has not looked back, and presently in many areas foreign corporations are allowed to invest, leading to foreign corporations establishing wholly (100%) owned subsidiaries and JVs in India.

Under the FDI policy of India, investments can be made by person resident outside India in the shares of an Indian company, through two routes; the Automatic Route and the Government Route. Under the 'automatic route' the foreign investor or the Indian company does not require any prior government approval for investing in an Indian Company. The categories of investments that do not qualify to come under the automatic route would be carried out via the non-automatic route, where special approval of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board ("FIPB"), and/or other specified government department(s) is required. Further in line with the changes in the regulatory regime, changes have also been made to the tax regime of India to facilitate trade and investments in India. Various incentives have been provided to the investors, investing in India under the Income Tax Act, 1961 (Act). The tax implications for investment in India have been

Q. 1. What are the forms in which business can be conducted by a foreign company in India? Ans. A foreign company planning to set up business operations in India may: Incorporate a company under the Companies Act, 1956, as a Joint Venture or a Wholly Owned Subsidiary. Set up a Liaison Office / Representative Office or a Project Office or a Branch Office of the foreign company which can undertake activities permitted under the Foreign Exchange Management (Establishment in India of Branch Office or Other Place of Business) Regulations, 2000.

briefly described below. A foreign company that intends to set up business operations in India has following options to chose from , depending upon the nature of business or operations  Setting up operations in India as an Indian Company  Setting up operations in India as Foreign Company Setting up operations in India as an Indian company A Foreign Investor can set-up operations in India by incorporating an Indian Company as an Joint Venture or an Wholly Owned Subsidiary. A joint venture is subjected to taxation under the provisions of Act. Taxation of a joint venture depends upon the agreement between the parties, forming the joint venture. If the joint venture is established in the form of a partnership firm or as a company, it is taxed accordingly, i.e. as a partnership or as a company. But in all other cases, a joint venture is treated as an association of persons

FDI is allowed under the automatic route without prior approval either of the Government or the Reserve Bank of India in all activities/sectors as specified in the consolidated FDI Policy, issued by the Government of India from time to time. II. GOVERNMENT ROUTE FDI in activities not covered under the automatic route requires prior approval of the Government which are considered by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance. Application can be made in Form FC-IL, which can be downloaded from http://www.dipp.gov.in. Plain paper applications carrying all relevant details are also accepted. No fee is payable. The Indian company having received FDI either under the Automatic route or the Government route is required

Q&A

Q.2. What is the procedure for receiving Foreign Direct Investment in an Indian company? Ans. An Indian company may receive Foreign Direct Investment under the two routes as given under: I. AUTOMATIC ROUTE

PEOPLE AND UN  JANUARY 2013 11


Current Crackle (AOP) or a body of individuals (BOI). The corporate income tax rate is 30% for domestic Indian companies. A dividend distribution tax ("DDT") of 15% is payable upon distribution of dividends to the shareholders. However, such dividend income is then tax exempt in the hands of the shareholders irrespective of their residential status. A partnership and an LLP are taxed similarly. The rate of income tax for a partnership and an LLP are the same as for corporate entities, that is, 30%. However, the share of profit in a partnership firm (including LLP) is exempt from tax in the hands of the partners. However it is pertinent to note that any interest, salary, bonus, commission or remuneration by whatever name called which is received by or is due to a partner from such partnership (including LLP) is chargeable to tax as business income in the hands of the partner.

A wholly owned subsidiary on the other hand, set up by a foreign company is treated as a Domestic Company for all purposes including taxation. However to avoid WOS being construed as PE of the Parent, it is pertinent that activities of the WOS must be separate from that of PE. Delhi High Court in the case of Rolls Royce has held subsidiary to be Dependent Agent PE of Parent as it is habitually securing orders in India, on behalf of Parent company. Setting up operations in India as an Foreign Company An Foreign Investor can set-up operations in India as an foreign company as an liaison office, project office or Branch Office. The tax implications for various entities under this category is given belowLiaison Office A liaison office is a place of business to

FDI in India

to comply with provisions of the FDI policy including reporting the FDI to the Reserve Bank. as stated in Q 4. Q.3. What are the instruments for receiving Foreign Direct Investment in an Indian company? Ans. Foreign investment is reckoned as FDI only if the investment is made in equity shares , fully and mandatorily convertible preference shares and fully and mandatorily convertible debentures with the pricing being decided upfront as a figure or based on the formula that is decided upfront. Any foreign investment into an instrument issued by an Indian company which: gives an option to the investor to convert or not to convert it into equity or does not involve upfront pricing of the instrument as a date would be reckoned as ECB and would have to comply with the ECB guidelines. The FDI policy provides that the price/ conversion formula of convertible capital instruments should be determined upfront at the time of issue of the instruments. The price at the time of conversion should not in any case be lower than the fair value worked out, at the time of issuance of such instruments, in accordance with the extant FEMA regulations [the DCF method of valuation for the unlisted companies and valuation in terms of SEBI (ICDR) Regulations, for the listed companies].

act as a channel of communication between the principle place of business or Head Office and entities in India but which does not undertake any commercial/ trading/ industrial activity directly or indirectly and maintains itself out of inward remittances received from abroad through normal banking channels (Section 2(e) of FEMA Regulation, 2000). As the liaison office does not undertakes any commercial activities, usually it is not taxable under the Act. However in case liaison office undertakes commercial activities of the Parent, it can be construed as PE or business connection of the Parent and can be taxed under the Act or relevant DTAA. In this regard it is pertinent to note here is that only so much of profits as are attributable to the operations carried out by the liaison office in India would be taxable in India. To avoid the tax liability of the liaison office in India it is important that

be paid for such shares /convertible debentures by: (i) inward remittance through normal banking channels. (ii) debit to NRE / FCNR account of a person concerned maintained with an AD category I bank. (iii) conversion of royalty / lump sum / technical knowhow fee due for payment or conversion of ECB, shall be treated as consideration for issue of shares. (iv) conversion of import payables / pre incorporation expenses / share swap can be treated as consideration for issue of shares with the approval of FIPB. (v) debit to non-interest bearing Escrow account in Indian Rupees in India which is opened with the approval from AD Category - I bank and is maintained with the AD Category I bank on behalf of residents and nonresidents towards payment of share purchase consideration.

Q&A

Q.4. What are the modes of payment allowed for receiving Foreign Direct Investment in an Indian company? Ans. An Indian company issuing shares /convertible debentures under FDI Scheme to a person resident outside India shall receive the amount of consideration required to

12 PEOPLE AND UN  JANUARY 2013

Q.5. Which are the sectors where FDI is not allowed in India, both under the Automatic Route as well as under the Government Route? Ans. FDI is prohibited in the following sectors: i) Atomic Energy ii) Lottery Business iii) Gambling and Betting iv) Business of Chit Fund v) Nidhi Company vi) Agricultural (excluding Floriculture, Horticulture, Development of seeds, Animal Husbandry, Pisciculture and cultivation of vegetables, mushrooms, etc. under controlled conditions and services related to agro and allied sectors) and Plantations activities (other than Tea Plantations) vii) Housing and Real Estate business (except development of townships, construction of residen-tial/commercial premises, roads or bridges to the extent specified in Notification No. FEMA 136/2005-RB dated July 19, 2005). viii) Trading in


Current Crackle the liaison office should be engaged only in preparatory and auxiliary work and should not be construed as carrying out any major business operations of the foreign company in India. Branch Office (BO) A branch of a foreign company will be taxed in India at the rate of 40%. Currently India does not levy a branch profits tax. It is pertinent to note that for transfer pricing purposes, the branch and the head office will be considered to be associated enterprises and any transaction between the two entities will be required to be at arm's length. Tax implications of various investment options An foreign investors apart from setting up operations in India can also make direct investment in the equity of the listed as well as unlisted companies Indian compa-

nies and can receive returns on such investments in the form of capital gain, dividend, interest (in case of debt) etc. Below mentioned are some of the modes for investment and their tax implications. Investment by way of equity and preference shares gains earned on sale of shares of an Indian entity, being an unlisted company, are taxed at the rate of 20% for long term capital gains, and 30% and 40% for short term capital gains, for residents and non-residents respectively. In case of sale of listed company shares through stock exchange if it is sold before being held for more than 12 months, the seller will be liable for short term capital gain and will be taxed @ 15% under section 111A of the Act. However, if the listed shares of companies are sold through stock exchange after being held for than 12 months , gains on such sale

Transferable Development Rights (TDRs). ix) Manufacture of cigars, cheroots, cigarillos and cigarettes, of tobacco or of tobacco substitutes. (Please also see the the website of Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India at www.dipp.gov.in for details regarding sectors and investment limits therein allowed ,under FDI)

Investment by way of Debt An investment into Indian companies may also be structured in the form of debts such as loans or debentures. Interest

ment, Regional Office concerned of the Reserve Bank of India. OR  Shares have been issued in terms of SIA/FIPB approval (enclosing the FIPB approval copy)  Certificate from Statutory Auditors/ SEBI registered Merchant Banker / Chartered Accountant indicating the manner of arriving at the price of the shares issued to the persons resident outside India. Q.7. What are the guidelines for transfer of existing shares from non-residents to residents or residents to non-residents? Ans. The term 'transfer' is defined under FEMA as including "sale, purchase, acquisition, mortgage, pledge, gift, loan or any other form of transfer of right, possession or lien" {Section 2 (ze) of FEMA, 1999}. The following share transfers are allowed without the prior approval of the Reserve Bank of India A. Transfer of shares from a Non Resident to Resident under the FDI scheme where the pricing guidelines under FEMA, 1999 are not met provided that :i. The original and resultant investment are in line with the extant FDI policy and FEMA regulations . ii. The pricing for the transaction is compliant with the specific/explicit, extant and relevant SEBI regulations / guidelines (such as IPO, Book building, block deals, delisting, exit, open offer/ substantial acquisition / SEBI SAST, buy back); and iii. Chartered Accountants Certificate to the effect that compliance with the relevant SEBI regulations / guidelines as indicated above is attached to the

Q&A

FDI in India

Q.6. What is the procedure to be followed after investment is made under the Automatic Route or with Government approval? Ans. A two-stage reporting procedure has to be followed:. ON RECEIPT OF SHARE APPLICATION MONEY: Within 30 days of receipt of share application money/amount of consideration from the non-resident investor, the Indian company is required to report to the Foreign Exchange Department, Regional Office concerned of the Reserve Bank of India, under whose jurisdiction its Registered Office is located, the Advance Reporting Form The Indian company has to ensure that the shares are issued within 180 days from the date of inward remittance which otherwise would result in the contravention / violation of the FEMA regulations. UPON ISSUE OF SHARES TO NON-RESIDENT INVESTORS: Within 30 days from the date of issue of shares, a report in Form FC-GPR- PART A together with the requisite documents should be filed with the Foreign Exchange Depart-

shall be tax free under section 10 (38) of the Act. In addition to this, in case of sale of shares of listed company through stock exchange, Securities Transaction Tax (STT) would also be levied. Profits may be distributed by an Indian company either by way of dividends or by buy-back of shares. The dividend is taxed in the hands of the company declaring such dividend at the rate of 15% and is exempt in the hands of the recipient of such dividends. On the other hand buy-back/ redemption of shares would result in capital gains income in the hands of the shareholders. In such an scenario, Investor has an option of claiming treaty benefit under the relevant DTAA.

PEOPLE AND UN  JANUARY 2013 13


Current Crackle payments on loans availed in foreign currency is subjected to a reduced withholding of 5% (subject to approval by central government). The interest expense is, however, a tax deductible expense for the Indian company, and hence will go towards reducing the taxable profits of the Indian company. It is pertinent to note here in this regard that currently India does not have any thin capitalization rules to disallow such interest expense to an entity situated in low tax or free tax zones.

FDI in India

Contribution of Technology and Know-how Contribution by Foreign Enterprise could also take the form of technology inputs and know-how. For tax purposes, payments made by the Indian entity as consideration for such contributions may be characterized as royalty or fee for technical services ("FTS"). For example, due to the application of the India-US tax treaty, pay-

ments made by an Indian entity for technical services provided by a US resident would be treated as FTS only if the services result in the imparting of technology or know-how to the Indian entity. Under the domestic tax law, royalty or FTS paid to an Indian resident would be subject to withholding tax in India at the rate of 10 per cent (gross). Likewise, royalty or FTS from Indian sources paid to a nonresident would also be subject to a withholding tax at the rate of 10 per cent (gross). It may be noted that the characterization of income and the tax rate may vary depending on the beneficial provision of an applicable tax treaty. Use of Intermediate Jurisdiction Foreign enterprises could make investments through an intermediate holding company set up in a favourable jurisdiction. India has a wide treaty network and the judicious use of an appropriate offshore

form FC-TRS to be filed with the AD bank. B. Transfer of shares from Resident to Non Resident: i) where the transfer of shares requires the prior approval of the FIPB as per the extant FDI policy provided that : a) the requisite approval of the FIPB has been obtained; and b) the transfer of share adheres with the pricing guidelines and documentation requirements as specified by the Reserve Bank of India from time to time. ii) where SEBI (SAST) guidelines are attracted subject to the adherence with the pricing guidelines and documentation requirements as specified by Reserve Bank of India from time to time. iii) where the pricing guidelines under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), 1999 are not met provided that:- Chartered Accountants Certificate to the effect that compliance with the relevant SEBI regulations / guidelines as indicated above is attached to the form FC-TRS to be filed with the AD bank. iv) where the investee company is in the financial sector provides : a) NOCs from the respective financial sector regulators/ regulators of the investee company as well as transferor and transferee entities.; and b) The FDI policy and FEMA regulations in terms of sectoral caps,. Where non-residents (including NRIs) make investment in an Indian company in compliance with the provisions of the Companies Act, 1956, by way of subscription to Memorandum of Association, such investments may be made at face value subject to their eligibility to invest under the FDI scheme. Transfer of shares/ fully and mandatorily convertible

14 PEOPLE AND UN  JANUARY 2013

jurisdiction could result in benefits for the foreign company such as a reduced or nil rate of tax on capital gains income, reduction in withholding tax rates etc. The choice of an offshore entity would depend on the benefits available under the treaty between India and the offshore jurisdiction and the domestic tax laws of the offshore jurisdiction. The treaties commonly used for inbound investments include treaties with Mauritius, Singapore, Cyprus etc., for the purpose of setting up intermediary holding companies. Mauritius is a favoured route for inbound investments into India. Mauritius accounts for almost 44 percent of the foreign direct investment inflows into India. In accordance with the provisions of the IndiaMauritius DTAA capital gains earned by a Mauritius resident on sale of shares of an Indian company would not be taxed in India if the Mauritius resident does not have a permanent establishment ("PE") in India.

debentures by way of Gift: A person resident outside India can freely transfer shares/ fully and mandatorily convertible debentures by way of gift to a person resident in India : Q.8. Can a person resident in India transfer security by way of gift to a person resident outside India? Ans. A person resident in India who proposes to transfer security by way of gift to a person resident outside India [other than an erstwhile OCBs] shall make an application to the Central Office of the Foreign Exchange Department, Reserve Bank of India furnishing requisite information.

Q&A

Q.9. What if the transfer of shares from resident to non-resident does not fall under the above categories? Ans. Transfer of Shares by Resident which requires Government approval The following instances of transfer of shares from residents to non-residents by way of sale or otherwise requires Government approval: (i) Transfer of shares of companies engaged in sector falling under the Government Route. (ii) Transfer of shares resulting in foreign investments in the Indian company, breaching the sectoral cap applicable. Q 10. What are the reporting obligations in case of transfer of shares between resident and non-resident ? Ans. The transaction should be reported by submission of form FC-TRS to the AD Category - I bank, within 60 days from the date of receipt/remittance of the amount of consideration. The onus of submission of the form FC-TRS with-


Current Crackle Further, in addition to this, Mauritius provides a foreign tax credit under its domestic law which in effect may brings down the domestic tax rate in Mauritius to 3%. The India-Singapore DTAA also offers substantial tax benefits. Capital gains income is exempt from tax provided, that such person has not arranged his affairs with the primary purpose of availing benefits under the India-Singapore Treaty. Thus, a shell/conduit company, that is, company with nil or negligible business operations or with no real and continuous business activities in Singapore, shall not be entitled to the benefits under the India-Singapore Treaty. The India-Singapore DTAA also contains a limitation of benefits clause which restricts the benefits under the DTAA under certain circumstances. However, it is pertinent to note that Finance Act, 2012 have introduced GAAR provision effective from FY 2013-14, under which tax authorities can call a business

arrangement or a transaction as 'impermissible avoidance arrangement' if such arrangement has been primarily entered into to avoid taxes. Once an arrangement is ruled 'impermissible' then the tax authorities can deny tax treaty benefits. Further tax authorities by invocation of GAAR can also recharacterize a transaction and tax the same (for instance recharacterizing capital gain into dividend income). Most aggressive tax avoidance arrangements therefore, especially through intermediate low tax jurisdictions such as Mauritius could be under the risk of being termed impermissible. The rule can apply on domestic as well as overseas transactions. Further it is also pertinent to note that Finance Act, 2012 have also retrospectively introduced provisions to tax any indirect transfer of capital asset located in India. Therefore any transfer which indirectly results in transfer of underlying asset in India would also come in tax net.

in the given timeframe would be on the resident in India, the transferor or transferee, as the case may be.

laid down by the Reserve Bank from time to time, where the issue of shares is on preferential allotment. Q. 14. What are the regulations pertaining to issue of ADRs/ GDRs by Indian companies? Ans. Indian companies can raise foreign currency resources abroad through the issue of ADRs/ GDRs, in accordance with the Scheme for issue of Foreign Currency Convertible Bonds and Ordinary Shares (Through Depository Receipt Mechanism) Scheme, 1993 and guidelines issued by the Government of India there under from time to time. Q.17. Can a foreign investor invest in Preference Shares? What are the regulations applicable in case of such investments? Ans. Yes. Foreign investment through preference shares is treated as foreign direct investment. However, the preference shares should be fully and mandatorily convertible into equity shares within a specified time to be reckoned as part of share capital under FDI. Investment in other forms of preference shares requires to comply with the ECB norms. Q.18. Can a company issue debentures as part of FDI? Ans. Yes. Q.21. Can a foreign investor invests in shares issued by an unlisted company in India? Ans. Yes. Q.22. Can a foreigner set up a partnership/ proprietorship concern in India? Ans. No.

Q&A

Q.12. What are the guidelines on issue and valuation of shares in case of existing companies? Ans. A. The price of shares issued to persons resident outside India under the FDI Scheme shall not be less than : (i) the price worked out in accordance with the SEBI guidelines, as applicable, where the shares of the company is listed on any recognized stock exchange in India; (ii) the fair valuation of shares done by a SEBI registered Category I Merchant Banker or a Chartered Accountant as per the discounted free cash flow method, where the shares of the company is not listed on any recognized stock exchange in India; and (iii) the price as applicable to transfer of shares from resident to non-resident as per the pricing guidelines

FDI in India

Q. 11. Are the investments and profits earned in India repatriable? Ans. All foreign investments are freely repatriable (net of applicable taxes) except in cases where: i) the foreign investment is in a sector like Construction and Development Projects and Defence wherein the foreign investment is subject to a lock-in-period; and ii) NRIs choose to invest specifically under non-repatriable schemes. Further, dividends (net of applicable taxes) declared on foreign investments can be remitted freely through an Authorized Dealer bank.

However, in view of the increasing criticism of above amendments , the Government has decided to set-up an committee to reconsider theses amendments. Conclusion A Non-Resident has number of option for investment in India from setting up operations in India by the way of joint venture or investment in equity in Indian listed or unlisted companies for returns on investments. The present regulatory as well as tax regime does inspire investments in India. However, introduction of provisions such as GAAR has certainly dampened investors confidence to invest in India. Steps are therefore required to be taken by the Indian Government to bring back such confidence in the Indian market. In view of the same, recently the Government at the moment has decided to defer GAAR for another two years and thus would accordingly would apply from April 2016.

PEOPLE AND UN  JANUARY 2013 15


Spot Diary

Union Minister, Harish Rawat (centre) at the CSR workshop in New Delhi conference

CSR needs transparency  BY AJIT KUMAR*

C

orporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is becoming the buzzword in the corporate circles these days. A lot of initiatives, events, seminar and conferences are held every year. But what is the definition of CSR? What role can it play in fulfilling the development needs of the community they work around? Can they help in getting closer to the internationally recognized development goals accepted by the government at UN meetings? Are people handling the department / division clear of their roles and responsibilities? Many terms have emerged in recent years to describe the environmental and social responsibility of business: corporate responsibility, corporate citizenship, cor-

16 PEOPLE AND UN  JANUARY 2013

porate sustainability, to name just a few. All of these terms describe a rapidly expanding global movement, one that reflects the increasing alignment between the objectives of the international community and those of the private sector. Shared goals, such as building stable markets, combating corruption, safeguarding the environment and ensuring social inclusion, have resulted in an unprecedented rise in partnerships between business, civil society, governments - and the United Nations. In fact, throughout the UN System, agencies, funds and programmes are relying on business collaboration in one way or the other to address critical issues, from humanitarian relief to the fight against TB, Malaria and HIV/AIDS. The United Nations envisages that this

new relationship is rooted in the notion that business must be made part of the solution to global challenges. At the same time, the UN has repeatedly called on companies around the world to ensure that their strategies and operations are aligned with universal values, so that negative environmental and social impacts of business are minimised. India has acknowledged this global trend in the preamble of the Corporate Social Responsibility, Voluntary Guidelines, 2009: "It is recognized the world over that integrating social, environmental and ethical responsibilities into the governance of businesses ensures their long term success, competitiveness and sustainability. This approach also reaffirms the view that businesses are an integral


Spot Diary part of society, and have a critical and active role to play in the sustenance and improvement of healthy ecosystems, in fostering social inclusiveness and equity, and in upholding the essentials of ethical practices and good governance. This also makes business sense as companies with effective CSR, have image of socially responsible companies, achieve sustainable growth in their operations in the long run and their products and services are preferred by the customers." Yet in India, as Union Minister for Water Resources, Harish Rawat, rued, industrial wastage remains a big contributor to pollution. "In spite of a well defined water policy of the government, the corporate sector is yet to get fully involved in its implementation process," he further pointed out.Rawat was speaking at at a two day Workshop on, 'Internalizing CSR by linking with Human Resources (HR), Corporate Communication (CC) and Marketing', conducted by Vision Consulting in collaboration with Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industries at India International Centre (IIC), New Delhi, recently. In India, while the Government is pursuing an amendment to the company's act to make CSR an effective tool in overall development, senior government officials acknowledge that what is warranted is the commitment of the people involved in the exercise. "The CSR concept should be embedded in the minds of corporate executives," O.P. Rawat, Secretary, Department of Public Enterprises, Government of India said in his keynote address at the workshop. He outlined the importance of CSR being made a part of work culture and informed that a new set of guidelines on CSR was being formulated and that soon Government would invite suggestions from stakeholders and general public. It may be mentioned that the Department of Public Enterprises, the nodal department in the Government of India plays a key in role in CSR and has brought in guidelines for the Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs). During a session on media engagement in CSR, chaired by this writer, senior journalist Deepak Parvatiyar emphasized that philanthropy needed to be the basis

Panelist Deepak Parvatiyar, Senior Journislit addressing the audience

of CSR, which he said, was not the case as on today. "Business is not a dirty word but statements such as CSR is not philanthropy as mentioned in the preamble of the CSR guidelines, 2009, send a confusing signal. You may have the lofty ideal of integrating the interest of the business with that of the communities in which it operates, but is it practical?" questioned Deepak Parvatiyar . He argued that since profit was the motive of all businesses, it would be wrong to equate business with philanthropy. "You are sending a wrong signal. If it is not philanthropy but a business activity then expect the media to be a neutral observer than an active participant in your activities," he said. He pointed out that there were instances where companies were creating their own society / trust to divert CSR amount and that there was a serious issue of credibility. He, though, pointed out to the changes that true CSR activity could wrought in. "Jamshedpur is a shining example of a corporate's contribution to the society. One should learn lessons from these kinds of examples and they will be able to make the real change," he said. Harsh Mukherjee, Founder & CEO, Development Stories, said that proper CSR communication was important. "The challenge was how to communicate development and the companies, both private and public should have a policy. The problem was that not many mainline journalists report from the hinterland. Internal CSR Communication was also very important."

She posed the question: Are we not stakeholders?" Prof. Ranjan Mohapatra, Chairman of Vision Group and a pioneer on CSR who helped develop many of the government documents on CSR, said timely corporate communication could make stake holders, consumers as well as general public aware about the activities of the company. He also reminded of the New York initiative regarding leadership in CSR. It may be mentioned that Build Smart NY Initiative is a prime example of public-private sector collaboration. New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo issued an Executive Order on December 28, 2012. He directed the state agencies to increase energy efficiency in state buildings by 20 percent in seven years — one of the most ambitious initiatives in the US that will save millions of dollars for taxpayers and create thousands of jobs while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Governor also launched "Build Smart NY," a plan to strategically implement the Executive Order by accelerating priority improvements in energy performance. Obviously, India can take a leaf out of the NY initiative. It is high time that we take action and help CSR become a robust tool as well as a strong institution that will also help bring stability to the businesses and connect the stakeholders including the local people through genuine philanthropy.  *The author is CEO & Editor, Radiance Media

PEOPLE AND UN  JANUARY 2013 17


Focus

Community Based Rehabilitation

India leads the world Over 1200 participants (including over 200 persons with disability) from across 86 countries of the globe participated in the three-day Congress jointly sponsored by the World Health Organisation, Australian Aid, USAID, CBM and Sight Savers at Agra

 BY DEEPAK PARVATIYAR

C

ommunity Based Rehabilitation (CBR) is a strategy initiated and promoted by the World Health Organization for a cross sectoral, human rights based approach to inclusive development. This approach for community development is targeting and involving people with disabilities, their families and their organizations as primary stakeholders.It seeks to ensure that all individuals are supported in their own communities, enjoy equal rights and opportunities as other members in the society. In agreement with the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), other international human rights treaties and the CBR Guidelines 2010, CBR is considered to be an effective strategy for realizing the rights of people with disabilities, their families and other marginalized people in communities. In recognition of India's leading effort in the field of community based rehabilitation (CBR), the historic city of Agra was the venue of the first ever World Congress on CBR in November last year. As Alana Officer, Coordinator, Disability and Rehabilitation, WHO, pointed out: "India has an incredible history in CBR. 30 years ago, India was the first country organizing CBR."

18 PEOPLE AND UN  JANUARY 2013

Performance by disabled persons during the CBR World Congress in Agra


Focus The three-day Congress was jointly sponsored by the World Health Organisation, Australian Aid, USAID, CBM and Sight savers. Over 1200 participants (including over 200 persons with disability) from across 86 countries of the globe participated in the three-day Congress that brought key stakeholders together to promote inter-sectoral liaison and collaboration, build and develop the network of CBR professionals, and promote and disseminate the new CBR Guidelines. The main objective of the CBR World Congress was to promote CBR as a global strategy "to realize the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities". Tom hopes that as a researcher, it would help him monitor and evaluate the project on ground. The Agra declaration stated that the key CBR partners such as the United Nations agencies, WHO in particular; the CBR Africa Network (CAN); the CBR Americas Network (CAsN); the CBR Asia-Pacific Network (CAPN); the International Disability Alliance (IDA); the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC); and the Asia-Pacific Development Center on Disability (APCD) wouldset up a global initiative, the CBR Global Network, for sharing views, experiences and knowledge internationally. In view of the perspectives raised throughout the three days of intensive discussion, the Congress made the following recommendations:  Partnerships should be developed to promote and implement CBR internationally and to ensure that the efforts are coordinated among stakeholders including disabled people's organizations (DPOs), in collaboration with the CBR Global Network and other CBR networks;  CBR should be part of development policies and programmes at the local, national and international levels, including discussions on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and post MDGs. This requires necessary resource allocations and involvement of women and men with disabilities, people with high support needs, children with disabilities and their families;  Capacity — building projects and programmes should be made available to CBR practitioners, including persons with

disabilities and their families, in line with the CRPD and the CBR Guidelines;  CBR should be adopted as an effective strategy for both poverty reduction and disaster risk reduction, enhancing the quality of life of women, men and children with disabilities, especially those living in developing countries; The glittering event saw many presentations, posters, discussions and deliberations. Also on display was the wonderful dance performances by the talented disabled dancers which left the audiences mesmerised and showed yet again to the world that mere disability cannot stand in the way of any activity - be they mental or

Dr. Thomas Shakespeare of the World Health Organisation at the World Congress

physical in nature. Speaking at the plenary Keshav Desiraju (Additional Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India) stressed at the need for governments to be more consultative in nature and the need to work with NGO and with people from all other sectors. He said illness and disability

cannot be clubbed as one and hence treatment and rehabilitation needs to be seen differently. Speaking on inclusive health and its relevance to CBR, Malcolm MacLachlan (Centre for Global Health & School of Psychology, Trinity College), asked the audience to reflect whether one needs to seek to move up the exclusive hierarchy or there is a need to remove hierarchy altogether. He emphasised that CBR should not only be viewed as a tool to improve the lives of people with disabilities (PWDs) but also a document towards making policy changes. Chapal Khasnabis (Disability and Rehabilitation Team, World Health Organization) stressed upon to the people consider a triple track approach that would include rehabilitation, rights and reforms. "The road would lead to significant changes in the quality of life of persons with disability. CBR is not just one model — it must be viewed differently contextually. Poverty should also be addressed in a more inclusive way," he said. Dr. Einar Helander, world renowned proponent of CBR also desired that Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World should be made accessible to persons with disabilities. While one of the participants at the Congress declared that he was not a person with disability but a person of destiny, Napa Setthakorn (Secretary-General, National Office for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities under Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, Thailand) deliberated upon new concepts of providing 'on-line' training to CBR personnel. She desired that participating countries should adopt 'massive open online courses' for promoting human resources in the field. Chapal Khasnabis (Disability and Rehabilitation Team, World Health Organization) the architect of the Congress in the end concluded that he desires that people with disabilities should be included in every sphere of life. He advocated for community — based inclusive development. At the end of the Congress it was announced that the 2nd CBR World Congress is likely to be convened in Malaysia in 2016.  Deepak Parvatiyar is a senior Journalist and film maker

PEOPLE AND UN  JANUARY 2013 19


Health & Hygiene ORAL HYGIENE IS THE REFLECTION OF GENERAL HEALTH

H

ealthy teeth not only enable you to look and feel good, they make it possible to eat and speak properly. Oral Dr. Deepak Singh hygiene is the (BDS, FAGE, IDA) practice of keeping the MOUTH and TEETH clean to prevent dental problems, most commonly, dental cavities, gingivitis (gum swelling), and BAD BREATH. Teeth cleaning is the removal of dental plaque and tartar from teeth to prevent cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Severe gum disease causes at least onethird of adult tooth loss. Plaque is a yellow sticky film of food that forms on the teeth and gums and can be seen at gum margins

of teeth. The bacteria in plaque convert carbohydrates in food (such as sugar) into acid that demineralises teeth, eventually causing cavities. Daily brushing and flossing removes plaque and can prevent tartar from forming on the teeth. Tooth decay is the most common global disease. Over 80% of cavities occur inside pits and fissures on chewing surfaces where brushing cannot reach food left trapped after every meal or snack, and saliva or fluoride have no access to neutralise acid and remineralise demineralised teeth, unlike easy-to-reach surfaces, where fewer cavities occur. Generally, dentists recommend that teeth be cleaned professionally at least twice per year. Professional cleaning includes tooth scaling, tooth polishing, and, if tartar has accumulated, debridement; this is usually

followed by a fluoride treatment. Between cleanings by a dental hygienist, good oral hygiene is essential for preventing tartar build-up which causes the problems mentioned above. This is done through careful, frequent brushing with a toothbrush,combined with the use of dental floss to prevent accumulation of plaque on the teeth. Brushing thoroughly twice a day and flossing daily.  Eating a balanced diet and limiting snacks between meals  Using dental products that contain fluoride, including toothpaste  Rinsing with a fluoride mouthrinse if your dentist tells you to  Making sure that your children under 12 drink fluoridated water or take a fluoride supplement if they live in a non — fluoridated area. a. Tilt the brush at a 45° angle against the gumline and sweep or roll the brush away from the gumline. b. Gently brush the outside, inside and chewing surface of eachtooth using short back-and-forth strokes.

a

Benefits of Walking

W

ALKING 30 minutes a day cuts the rate of people becoming diabetic by more than half and it cuts the risk of people over 60 becoming diabetic by almost 70 percent. The human body works better when we walk. The body resists diseases better when we walk, and the body heals faster when we walk. For men with prostate cancer, studies have shown that walkers have a 46 percent lower mortality rate. In one study, people who walked and took medication scored twice as well in 30 days as the women who only took the medication. Another study showed that depressed people who walked regularly had a significantly higher level of not being depressed in a year compared to depressed people who did not walk. The body generates endorphins when we walk.

b

c

c. Gently brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen breath.

Endorphins help us feel good. Walking reduces the risk of blood clots in your legs. People who walk regularly have much lower risk of deep vein thrombosis. People who walk are less likely to catch colds. .Walking is a good boost of high density cholesterol and people with high levels of HDL are less likely to have heart attacks and stroke. Walking 30 minutes doesn't have to be done in one lump of time. Two 15 minute walks achieve the same goals. Three 10 minute walks achieve most of those goals. We can walk 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes at night and achieve our walking goals. Walking makes one feel good. It helps the body heal. It keeps the body healthy.It improves our biological health, our physical health, our psychosocial health, and helps with our emotional health. Walking can literally add years to your life.  Curtsey : Ms Shyamla Mohan

20 PEOPLE AND UN  JANUARY 2013


Rajasthan UNA

Jodhpur members Visit UK Excutive Director Of United Nations Association UK (UNA-UK)Mr. Philip Mulligan hosted lunch in honour of Dr. Subhash Purohit, visiting representatives of Indian Federation of United Nations Associations (IFUNA). Mr. Jay Jethwa of UNA Australia was also present as special guest.

Dr. Subhash Purohit also met High Commissioner of India Dr. J Bhagwati during their visit

PEOPLE AND UN  JANUARY 2013 21


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Maharashtra UNA

A first of its kind photo exhibition on the Holocaust

T

HE people of Mumbai witnessed for the first time an extremely informative event - an educational exhibition on the history of the holocaust at Heritage hall of St. Xavier's College in Mumbai on 6 November 2012 having displayed 40 pictures panels from 1933-1945. The display was kept open for five days i.e. from 6 to 10 November 2012 for the public, organized by The Maharashtra United Nations Association (MUNA), The Simon Wiesenthal Centre, an NGO at the United Nations, Israel Consulate in Mumbai, and St. Xavier's College. The initiative was encouraged by The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) for India and Bhutan, New Delhi.\ A five day photo-exhibition titled "The Courage to Remember" HOLOCAUST was held in the back drop of the General Assembly resolution (A/RES/60/7) rejecting any denial of the Holocaust as a historical event, either in full or in part, condemning "without reserve" all manifestations of religious intolerance, incitement, harassment or violence against persons or communities based on ethnic origin or religious belief, whenever they occur. The resolution declared that the United Nations would designate 27 January -- the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp -- as an annual International Day of Commemoration to honour the victims of the Holocaust, and urged Member States to develop educational programmes to instill the memory of the tragedy in future generations to prevent genocide from occurring again. It requested the United Nations Secretary-General to establish an outreach programme on the "Holocaust and the United Nations", as well as institute measures to mobilize civil society for Holocaust remembrance and education, in order to help prevent future acts of genocide. The exhibition was inaugurated by

22 PEOPLE AND UN  JANUARY 2013

Photo Exhibition being inaugurated by the sponsorers Maharastra UNA Secretary General A. A. Syed is seen fourth from right

galaxy of luminaries from Israel, USA and people from different part of India in Mumbai like Fr. Mascarhenas (Principal, St. Xavier's College), Ms. Orna Sagiv (Consul General of Israel, Mumbai),Mr.Sumit Mullick IAS (Chief of Protocol, Govt of Maharashtra), Mr. DR Kaarthikeyan (Former-Spl Director, CBI), Mrs. Mohini Mathur (Executive Chairperson Maharashtra United Nations Association), Mr. A. A. Syed, Secretary General, Maharashtra United Nations Association , Mr. Ajay Bagga from (Art of Living Foundation) and Rabbi Abraham Cooper (Associate Dean Simon Wiesenthal Centre Los Angeles, USA) and other dignitaries including Consul Generals from Germany, France, Poland, and Belgium, NGOs, Academia, journalism, etc. The event was flagged off with an opening ceremony which was led by Dr Alfred Balitzer, Professor Emeritus from Claremont McKenna College in LA, followed by inauguration of photo exhibition and

screening of the documentary " Genocide" The later evening was organized with the tireless efforts of Dr. Rabbi Abraham Cooper (Associate Dean Simon Wiesenthal Centre Los Angeles, USA) Dr. Peter Ted Gover from Simon Wiesenthal Centre, Mr. Maulik D.Mavani from Israel Consulate General and Mr. Ashraf Ahmed Shaikh, Secretary MUNA and President of its Youth Association. At the welcome remark Fr. Mascarhenas (Principal, St. Xavier's College) said "It is the hope for a safe and bright future for all humanity that keeps us positive. Such tragedies are born out of the idea to use one's might to discriminate against those they dislike" He welcomed the people of Mumbai to see the exhibition and be an aware citizen. Ms. Orna Sagiv, Consul General of Israel, Mumbai in her speech said that "Hitler's Nazi Regime in Germany murdered 6 million Jews (including 1 million children and 2 million women); it's the first time in human history that a State aimed at


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Maharashtra UNA exterminating an entire ethnic group — wherever they were on the face of the earth.For Jewry, it may be something extremely personal, reminding one of traumatic loss among family and loved ones in the community. But the lessons to be learnt are universal — Jews might have been the first ones but we never know who would be the next victims of a potential genocide."She further added that "We often undermine/deny the fears of a reoccurrence, labeling the Nazis as devils, etc. But they too, like the victims were real human beings with families and social affiliations. Yet they perpetrated such inhuman acts. Being in denial of such symptoms will only lead to catastrophes in the future — just like the silence of the majority round the world fuelled the arrogance of the Nazis during the Holocaust."She appealed to all to take the best lessons from the exhibition and the event to enhance intercommunity understanding about the Holocaust and its current relevance. Event's Chief Guest Mr. Sumit Mullick IAS (Chief of Protocol, Govt. of Maharashtra) in his address said "Holocaust is the first such perpetration of genocide in modern history where death was ascribed (just because one is a Jew or disabled or nonAryan, etc.); for the 1st time, murder was committed using large-scale industrial means (gas chambers, assembly lines, etc.), There's a very thin line between fascism and "state nationalism". Nations come and go, but the commonality of our 16 million years of evolution is HUMANNESS." He further stressed that "It's easier to build religion from cults and attach theology to it, but how universally harmonious and accommodating is its philosophy? Drawing room conversations can escalate into catastrophes, just as they can into positive revolutions. We must measure and scrutinize the righteousness of our thoughts and words very carefully. Now, in the nuke age, the prognosis of the future is very worrying.India has lessons to draw from the history of the Holocaust in order to preserve its quintessence of unity in diversity. We have a great responsibility towards our vulnerable social groups and minorities." Mr DR Kaarthikeyan (Former-Spl Director, CBI) in his remark mentioned the

time in Cambodia, when over 3 million were murdered by Polpot's army.India's idea of harmonious pluralism is founded on the principle of "VASUDHAIVA KUTUMBAKAM" a concept of the Upanishadas. India has welcomed and assimilated with grace, every community that was driven out of its motherland — the Parsis for instance. Jewism has had a preChrist association with India. Mrs. Mohini Mathur (Executive Chairperson Maharashtra United Nations Association, MUNA) in her speech said that, "The Holocaust was the darkest chapter in the history of humanity. It was the time when demagogy of one man betrayed the rationality of the entire nation. It was the turning point in the history which prompted the world to say "Never again". The UN Has marked January 27 as an annual

"It is our duty morally, socially and legally to observe and remember again and again the victims of Holocaust to educate the people of every country to not to repeat such heinous crime against the humanity." Mr. Syed read out a stanza of Urdu poetry which translates as follows, "History has also seen the tyranny that due to a moment's mistake, the punishment was in centuries." Mr. Ajay Bagga from Art of Living Foundation narrated 3 events — 1947 partition ("Indian Holocaust"); 1984 AntiSikh riots (a test of the Aam Admi (Common man) of his will to protect his fellow men); 2008 26/11 attacks — Sandeep Unnikrishnan's father's words to the survivors - "Your survival has given meaning to my loss". He warned that "today the world is very similar to the state

MS. Mohini Mathur, Executive Chairperson Maharashtra United Nations Association, observing a photosgraph on Holocaust

International Day of Commemoration to honour the victims of the Holocaust and we in MUNA strive to propagate the efforts of Peace and Human Rights.It does brings out painful memories but has to be brought out to prevent any subsequent such reoccurrences. Unfortunately world now also has a holocaust in making; unless rationality is exercised the scourge of fundamentalism will engulf the world with dire consequences. The younger generations should imbibe human values and tolerance. Initiatives like this contribute a lot to such understanding." Mr. AA Syed (Secretary General MUNA) in his address stressed the need of becoming free, bold and frank. He said that,

of the world prior to the Holocaust and the wars, when youth unemployment is at its peak and mental and social unrest is high. We must encourage higher proportion of inter-religious learning to enhance the understanding among religions, and thus spirituality — rather than conserve neutralist secularism. Technology must not mean desensitization. With these efforts, our peace quotient will rise." Rabbi Abraham Cooper (Associate Dean Simon Wiesenthal Centre, Los Angeles) who was the chief organizer of the event in his concluding remarks, thanked everyone.  Report By Ashraf A. Shaikh Secretary MUNA

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MEGHALAYA UNA

Chief Minister of Meghalaya inaugrating Tura chapter of IUNS .Sitting l to r Bharat Babbar Addl. Secy. Genl. IFUNA, Praveen Bakshi, I.A.S., Suresh Srivastava, Secy. Genl. IFUNA, Vice President Sheshadri Chari and Aswini sharma, Secy.Genl. Assam UNA

Chief Minister Dr. Mukul Sangma

inaugurates Meghalaya UNA

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he IUNS-Tura centre was inaugurated by Dr. Mukul Sangma Hon'ble Chief Minister of Meghalaya on 29th December,2012 at Tura. Tura is the headquarter of West Garo hills district of Meghalaya and is the second largest town in Meghalaya state.It was attended by Mr. Pravin Bakshi, IAS, Deputy Commissioner of West Garo Hills district, Dr. Aswini Sarma Secretary General of UNA-Assam. The meeting was attended by around 200 people of Tura region. Dr. Sangma also inaugurated the UN library attached to the IUNS-Tura centre. Mr. Sangma also inaugurated the UNA- Tura centre. The Government of Meghalaya has

24 PEOPLE AND UN  JANUARY 2013

Members of newly inaugrated Meghalaya UNA with Visiting IFUNA office bearers and Hon’ble Chief Minister Dr. Mukul Sangma


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MEGHALAYA UNA

IFUNA Secy. Genl. Suresh Srivastava presenting IFUNA Publications to Chief Minister Dr. Mukul Sangma

accomodated the IUNS-Tura centre at IFAD builbing, Tura having one classroom, one library and one office room. The Tura centre became the fourth centre in the North East after Guwahati ,Jorhat and Shillong. In the Inaugural Speech, Dr. Mukul sangma said that the opening of IUNS-Tura centre will bring vast knowledge on United Nations and its systems to the students community . Dr.Sangma ap preciated Sri. Suresh srivastava, Secretary General of IFUNA for his keen initiative in establishing the centre at Tura and conveyed his warm regards to sri. Srivastava. He hope the people will be great benefitted by this centre. The message of Sri Suresh Srivastava, Secretary General of IFUNA has been read out by Dr. Aswini SarmaSecretary General of UNA-Assam. Report By Pankaj Deka

A View of Audience at Tura function.

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ODISHA UNA

Manorajan Patnaik chiarman Utkal UN Association addressing the audience. Sitting left to right Poet Sukanti Sahoo, Poet Bahaclur Patasani, and Prof. Dillip Nanda.

Human Rights Day

Concerns over human rights violation in Pakistan

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he Human Rights Day was celebrated on 10 th December 2012. at Bhuvaneshear, Odisha. The Speakers expressed their anxieties about violation of Human Rights in countries like Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan. Every young person should come forward to protect the Human Rights and personal liberty in every sphere of life. Er. Dambarudhar Panda, Poet Maitree Subhadra, Bidyadhar Bank, Prof. Samir Sahoo, Sournya Ranjan Pattanaik also spoke. The programme was jointly sponsored by IFUNA AND Utkal UNA. Manoranjan Pattanaik, Advocate and chairman, Utkal UNA presided.

26 PEOPLE AND UN  JANUARY 2013

A view of audience.


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Spiritual Talk

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HERE is a beautiful German proverb that says, “Pray as though no work would help, and work as if no prayer would

help.” The first part of the saying says that we should pray as if no work would help. In this kind of prayer, we are focusing all our attention in God. All our being is immersed in the prayer. It is as if we become the prayer itself. When we pray with such intensity and singlemindedness, God cannot ignore us. There is the story of the mother who was cooking food in the kitchen. Suddenly, her child in the other room let out a blood- curdling scream. The mother dropped what she was doing and ran to pick up the child and comfort him. A few days later, while the mother was cooking, the child in the other room began to whimper, but the mother ignored him. The child, realizing the mother was ignoring him, tried whimpering again, but the mother again ignored him. The child sheepishly crept into the kitchen and said to his mother, “Mommy how is it that the other day you came running when I cried, but today you did not come?” The mother replied, “The other day I could hear the pain in your voice, but today I knew from the tone that you were just faking it for my attention.” Similarly, God knows when our prayers are sincere. God knows when we are truly crying for the Lord. God knows when we are in pain and we truly want help. But if we are merely half-hearted in our prayer, then God might or might not respond. That is why it is said that when a seeker is truly yearning for God, God hears it and will help that seeker find a way back to God. There is another saying, “God hears the sincere cry of an ant sooner than the trumpeting of an elephant.” This saying is instructing us that if we have deep prayer for something, we should pray with our whole heart, soul, and mind as if no work would help us achieve what we want, and our prayer will certainly bear fruit.

The second part of the saying is that we should work as if no prayer would help. This is addressed to another group of people who will not pray, but will put in all efforts to attain what they want. Many feel that all they gain is due to their own efforts. They do not remember God or call on God for help. They do not

Praying and Working Sant Rajinder Singh Ji

realize God’s presence or that God is a power that can help us. True spirituality involves a combination of both attitudes. We should do our part to take our share

of responsibility, and then use our time to help others. We should work as hard as we can to fulfill our duties as if no prayer would help. In this, we would be fulfilling our responsibilities to ourselves, our family, our communities, and our world. We would be of use and of service to others. Then, after putting in our best effort, if we found we still did not succeed, we could pray with all our heart, soul, and mind for help. Spirituality is the path of positive mysticism. We come into this world with certain responsibilities. We may have to support our family, we may have a certain role or job that we have to fill in this lifetime, and we have a collective responsibility to our society. We cannot shirk those duties to sit up on a mountaintop meditating all day and hoping God will provide for us. We need to spend time in meditation while also doing our duties allotted to us in life. Thus, when God sees we have put in our best efforts, and then, after all else fail, we turn to the Lord, God will take notice. But if we merely sit back and relax and expect God to do everything for us, that will not happen. The same is true of our meditations. We should not think that if we only meditate for a few minutes once every few months that God will reward us. Rather, we should put in the required time with accuracy and full devotion. We should meditate regularly, accurately, and with full concentration. In this way, we are working as if no prayer would help. Then, if we have done our part, and we still do not achieve what we wanted, we should pray to God with all our heart, soul, and mind for help. If our yearning is sincere, God will listen. We should take a look at these two aspects of ourselves. Are we putting in full effort as if no prayer would help? And after doing so, are we praying to God as if no work would help? If we do these two things, we will find that our progress will move forward steadily and we will be blessed by God. 

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Art & Culture

International Crafts Mela

Craft from SAARC at Surajkund

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he 27th Surajkund International Crafts Mela is offerering a lot of fun, frolic, entertainment and exclusive shopping. In the rural ambience, craftsperson have display and demonstrate their finest products that are set to capture erverybody hearts. The authentic fragrances & flavours of rich Indian cuisines kindles

your taste buds. Tap your feet with the beats of enthralling folk dancers from the various parts of the country. Surajkund is the annual fair that showcases the finest handlooms, handicrafts, authentic fragrances and flavours of rich Indian cuisines. National and state awardees craft persons from every corner of India wind their way to Surajkund. The craft persons from SAARC Nations are also participating in the Surajkund Crafts Mela. 

28 PEOPLE AND UN  JANUARY 2013


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Allahabad Kumbh Mela

The largest gathering of people on the earth

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he Kumbh Mela (religious congregation and fair) is the largest gathering of humanity on the earth and an unique event that blends religious and social features of Indian society. It is the largest and the greatest Indian river side pilgrimage and religious congregation celebrated with unique religious fervor and has no parallel in the world in terms of sheer participation and zeal. In January and February, 2013, Kumbh Mela is being celebrated at Allahabad, situated at 25.28 N latitude and 81.52 E longitude in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. At Allahabad over a billion people from different parts of the world is participating in Kumbh Mela.. no advertisement, No invitation, yet such a big congregation. It is nothing short of a marvel and unbelievable till one is a part of it.. Today Kumbh Mela at Allahabad is the biggest spectacle of faith and symbolic of 'Jagat Kutumbkam ' or global fellowship, wherein cultures, different religions and schools of thoughts come together and discuss and share information and knowledge. It is like an open university on religion. The Kumbh Mela which began on 27th January 2013 and will end on 25 February

2013. at Allahabad is being held on the banks of river Ganga, Yamuna, mythological Saraswati and the confluence of the rivers, which is known as the Sangam. On the sandy banks of the rivers, a new township comes up, wherein pilgrims, saints, preachers, healers, government departments, social organizations etc., set up their accommodation and offices. People assemble here to bathe in the holy rivers daily and more so on specified holy bathing days known as Snan Parvs (Bathing Days). to listen to holy discourses, to exchange and learn religious philosophies etc. People from

Visiting foreigners tasting the saints smoke (Chilum)

different parts of India and from abroad converge at these places to bathe in the river on the auspicious occasion, known as Kumbh Snan Yoga. It is believed that the dip grants salvation. Religious discourses, cultural activities and other events keep the people at large spell bound during this month long festival. It is something which has to be seen to believe. If one misses the opportunity to be a part of the world's largest congregation in 2013, then the next opportunity would be available in 2025. This congregation at the Kumbh Township at Allahabad is like a model of Indian culture, integrity, secularity and expanse. The faith and belief in god has propelled these people to be at Kumbh Allahabad despite of the several hardships on their way. Kumbh Mela does not belong to any particular religion, caste or creed; rather, it symbolizes the main spirit of Indian culture and thought. For such a sea of humanity to converge at a point of known attraction, the reason cannot be attributed to a mere myth. Kumbh Mela is a cultural festival, which symbolizes the stability and integrity of the Indian nation. In 1885, Mark Twain wrote about Allahabad Kumbh; "Pilgrims plodded for months in heat to get here, worn, poor and hungry, but sustained by unwavering faith" Kumbh Mela is also celebrated at three more places in India. At Hardwar, it is celebrated on the banks of river Ganga, at Ujjain; Kumbh is celebrated on the banks of river Shipra and at Nasik on the banks of the river Godavari. 

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Wfuna Plenary

SUMMARY 40TH PLENARY ASSEMBLY OF THE WORLD FEDERATION OF UNITED NATIONS ASSOCIATIONS 6-10 NOVEMBER 2012, RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL

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osted by UNA-Brazil, the 40th Plenary Assembly of WFUNA was held at IBMEC University in Rio de Janeiro from 6-10 November 2012 on the theme “Accelerating Progress: 2015 and Beyond”. Participants from 41 UNAs, representing every region of the world, attended. On 6 November a seminar was held on the theme of “From MDGs to SDGs” featuring high-level speakers at the opening ceremony, including Corrado Clini, Italian Minister for the Environment, Land and Sea as well as a video message from Amina Mohammed, Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning. Panelists from the United Nations, civil society, the corporate sector, academia and local government shared their expertise on both the process and the substance of the post-2015 global development agenda. On 7 November, for the first time at a WFUNA Plenary Assembly, capacitybuilding workshops were held on various topics, ranging from organizational matters to fundraising and online communications. Parallel to the workshops were information exchange sessions where UNAs shared their activities with each other. A special session focused entirely on bilateral and multilateral UNA collaborations. In the afternoon, regional UNA meetings and the Heads of Delegation meeting were held. The working sessions of the Plenary Assembly were held during the 3 days from 8-10 November. WFUNA’s President, Ambassador Park Soo Gil chaired the proceedings and video messages were screened from UN Secretary-General Ban Kimoon and the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay. Seven UNAs were welcomed as new members of WFUNA and 13 inactive UNAs were disaffiliated. New leadership was elected. WFUNA’s Constitution was amended.

30 PEOPLE AND UN  JANUARY 2013

The WFUNA Rio Declaration was unanimously adopted (see Annex I). Resolutions were adopted on issues ranging from financing UNESCO; to supporting the advancement of Universal Human Rights; to youth, peace and security; and on the situation in Syria (see Annex II). The WFUNA Global Youth Forum was held parallel to the Plenary Assembly. For the first time, there was real-time social media coverage of the Plenary Assembly activities throughout the 5-day event, including regular Twitter and Facebook updates. Official sponsors of the event included IBMEC University, TAM Airlines and Forum of the Americas. The Plenary Assembly established a Commission on resolutions on matters in the field of international relations (Commission 1). The Plenary issued the “WFUNA Rio Declaration” which is available on the Plenary page of the WFUNA website (link above) and attached in Annex I. The Plenary issued the following resolutions: Financing UNESCO; Towards greater empowerment of people; Promoting a world free from nuclear weapons; Upholding the commitment to prevent mass atrocity crimes; Supporting the advancement of Universal Human Rights; Securing an effective Arms Trade Treaty; Youth, Peace and Security; and the Situation in Syria (available on the website and attached in Annex II). A panel of speakers from within the UNA network presented on the thematic issues of sustainable development, peace and security and human rights. The Secretary-General presented his report of activities, available on the WFUNA website as “Global Citizens for the United Nations, WFUNA Annual Report, Special Plenary Edition: 2010-2012” (www.wfuna. org/ ourwork# annualreport2012).

The Plenary Assembly established a Commission on internal matters (Commission 2). The Treasurer’s Report was adopted by consensus. The projected three-year budget for 2013-2015 and the Audited Accounts for 2009-2011 were approved, as well as the membership dues schedule, which continues unchanged. The Plenary Assembly admitted the following UNAs as members of WFUNA: Gabon, Indonesia, Montenegro, Namibia, Sao Tome and Principe, United States of America and Zimbabwe The Plenary Assembly disaffiliated the following UNAs from WFUNA: Albania, Belarus, Bhutan, Bolivia, Burundi, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Haiti, Kenya, Kyrgyz Republic, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Zambia. The UNA Activity Report compiled for the Plenary Assembly is available at www.wfuna.org/una-recent-activities WFUNA’s Constitution and By-Laws were amended by consensus to remove references to the entity “WFUNA-youth” and include provisions for a UNA Code of Conduct. The WFUNA Global Youth Forum was held from 7-11 November 2012 in conjunction with WFUNA’s 40th Plenary Assembly. Twenty-two youth delegates from 14 different UNAs participated. The youth program included workshops on project management, media strategy, and communication strategy; a communityservice trip to a favela (slum) working with local NGOs and recording the experiences on video; discussing programs and collaboration; exchanging ideas; and electing a fivemember Youth Advisory Group with a representative from each region (and their five alternates). The youth attended activities on the seminar and capacity-building days and presented their outcomes to the Plenary during a joint-session on the last day. 


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Wfuna Plenary

WFUNA RIO DECLARATION 40TH WFUNA PLENARY ASSEMBLY RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL

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he World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA) and its member associations represented at the 40th WFUNA Plenary Assembly in November 2012 in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, adopt this Declaration and commend it to the Member States of the United Nations and to the peoples of the world. During this time of rapid global transformation marked by increasing inequality, shifting centers of economic dynamism, and enhanced connectivity through technological advancements and new pressures on the environment, we recognize challenges to multilateralism and threats to the legitimacy of the role of the United Nations at the center of global affairs. To address divisive competition and emphasize the importance of engaging individuals and organizations with the United Nations we will continue conducting creative public outreach that builds support and legitimacy for the organization worldwide. We emphasize the indispensable role of the United Nations as the facilitator of multilateral action and integrated solutions across interconnected issue areas, such as sustainable development, peace and security, and human rights, and support the measures outlined in the UN Secretary-General’s Five-Year Action Agenda. We believe that civil society plays a vital role in meeting global challenges and will work to

increase its role and presence in the United Nations system. Partnerships and functional collaborations across sectors are necessary to address today’s complex global challenges, and we aspire to increased openness, connectivity and complementarity with partners from the public and private spheres. We will remain engaged in the ongoing process to reform the UN to enable it to respond rapidly and effectively to the full range of global challenges and opportunities, including the promotion of the ‘One UN’ effort to ‘deliver as one’. We continue to look towards a more fair, safe and sustainable future in which the rule of law will prevail. We will seek to empower the next generation of global leaders who will carry on our work. Awareness raising and education about the UN and its efforts remains a top priority. WFUNA together with all its United Nations Associations will continue with the strategic plan that we have set out while striving to accelerate our impact, continuing to build new relationships, and strengthening our institutional core. 

Famous Statue of Jesus Christ in Rio


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RNI NO. DELENG/2012/44082

With compliments from

Indian Beverage Association 5th floor, PHD House, August Kranti Marg, New Delhi-110016 Tel. 46508722, Fax: 46508733, www.in-beverage.org

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