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WEDNESDAY, 1 JANUARY 2025
A Happy New Year
ET Wishes Its Readers
Hackers administer a ‘DoSe too high Mumbai. Stocks plummeted on New Year’s Eve as the BSE terminals got disrupted due to a cyber attack. Trading was disrupted for almost 3 hours on Tuesday as the BSE home page said the site has been taken down for maintenance or was busy. An employee in the know says it was a Denial Of Service ( DoS ) attack where the hacker(s) bombard the server with more requests than it can handle at a time, leading to temporary unresponsiveness. He said the Quick Response Team had difficulty taming the situation. “I assure everybody that all information is intact. Measures are being taken to step up our cyber security. We are investigating the matter. This is a one‐off attack and people should not worry about further attack possibilities”, said Chairman of BSE Subramaniam Ramadorai.
Inside Story ‐ G20 announces global currency ‐ NRIs on way back
Page 2 Page 7
‐Wireless electricity Page 8
‐ Water crisis deepens Page 15
Meanwhile, investor confidence is at a low and many are pulling their money off the exchanges. Sensex dipped a whopping 400 points. There is no information about the perpetrators yet. “I never thought the BSE would be so vulnerable. Who knows what will happen next?” says small time investor Naveen Bhatia. Since a DoS attack does not leak any information, the motivation for this attack is unclear. Stock exchanges all over the world have been alerted and are stepping up their security.
UPA hurting the nation by opposing the custom‐reservation bill The UPA opposition led, by Rahul Gandhi, seems to have cornered the NDA government backed by BJP on the issue of revoking reservation system. What happened to be an iconic view by the Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi, now all set to be held back. In his second term as Prime Minister, Mr. Modi asked for a change in decade old reservation system in India. He tried to implement a well planned gradual change in reservation system. According to him, the Indian backward class in now matured and India doesn’t require a caste based reservation system. He put forth a detailed plan for converting traditional cast‐based reservation system to an income‐based reservation system. In the first phase, the system was to be implemented in well developed states like Gujrat, Karnataka, Maharashtra,
Delhi, Tamilnadu and Madhya Pradesh. As in all these states, the literacy levels are 100% and the number of people below poverty line is less than 15% of population.
NDA government has done a tremendous job in taking India forward on a global stage in past 8 years. This bill would have helped India, developing a more stable system in the country.
After first year of phase 1, the other states were to be considered over 4 more phases. The plan was set to finish in 2034. Though, the plan was well thought off, NDA missed the trick in getting the confidence of its allies. The states of UP and Bihar are dependent on these caste votes and they did not support the government at all. SP’s Akhilesh Yadav, even after supporting NDA, has opposed the bill openly in media. Opposition, sensing the opportunity of getting back to scene, denied the whole plan openly. In the winter session of parliament, NDA could not even take the bill to debate.
According to analysts, India badly needs a change in its reservation system. The system was started after independence to reduce the caste barrier in India and help the backward people to grow. Year on year, this became a major factor in asking votes for political parties. Every year, a lot of deserving candidates are denied an admission in top institutes like IITs, AIIMs and NITs. This is hurting India severely. In last few years, the quality of employable students coming out of top institutes has decreased.
The common man also wants a change in this system. The caste is no longer a barrier for growth in India now. Mr. Modi has
rightly identified the change to be based on income basis. As India has grown after 1990s and 2000s, the income has not been distributed evenly. Though, after the FDI is passed in retail system, Indian farmers have been benefitted and their income level has raised, but still the major inequality in income, not caste. But, the constant opposition from UPA and a backward thinking of most of our politicians will stop this bill to be passed in upcoming session. This will not hurt the NDA government but will give them a major boost for upcoming elections in 2026. The UPA might hurt itself badly by sticking to the traditional political views.
G20 announces Global Currency Following the 2024 G20 summit, plans were announced for implementing the creation of a new global currency to replace the US dollar’s role as the world reserve currency. Point 19 of the communiqué released by the G20 at the end of the Summit stated, “We have agreed to support a general SDR allocation which will inject $500bn (£170bn) into the world economy and increase global liquidity.” SDRs, or Special Drawing Rights, are “a synthetic paper currency issued by the International Monetary Fund.” As the Telegraph reported, “the G20 leaders have activated the IMF’s power to create money and begin global “quantitative easing”. In doing so, they are putting a de facto world currency into play. It is outside the control of any sovereign body.
into a parking place for the foreign holdings of central banks, led by the People’s Bank of China.” Further, “The creation of a Financial Stability Board looks like the first step towards a global financial regulator,” or, in other words, a global central bank.
G20 also stated “There is now a world currency in waiting. In time, SDRs are likely to evolve
These “solutions” have been in plans of the global elite for a long time being, proposed and implemented in the midst of the global financial crisis. However, in the midst of the current crisis, the elite have fast‐tracked their agenda of forging a New World Order in finance. The background to these proposed and imposed “solutions” has been addressed along with the effects they will have on the International Monetary System (IMS) and the global political economy as a whole.
Payment through Face Recognition You can now pay your bus/metro ticket through a touch of your thumb, pay your bills on internet by just looking in the camera, without typing a single letter.
Bangalore, Indore, Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmadabad, Jaipur, and Hyderabad. After the follow up and response in these cities, the project will be launched nationwide.
After the success of cash‐ transfer on the basis of AADHAR cards, Government of India is all set to launch payment through fingerprints and face recognition. To start with, all the government payments will be fingerprint enabled in selected cities.
This project is supposed to save at least 20% of user time while paying for several bills. Consumers are very excited about this new project. After having a cashless life, they want to experience a card‐less life in future.
This is made possible due to two major factors; first, the decision of GoI to have a mandatory UID for every citizen of India, and second, the advent of touch recognition technology on web‐ based system. Once the person is identified, the payment will be taken from his/her bank account attached with his UID. GoI has installed AAKASH 8 tablet in every payment counter across Delhi NCR, Mumbai,
This will also reduce the threat of identity threat over the internet, as the research says that it is very hard to replicate a human finger print for hackers. So, get ready to pay through your fingers and eyes.
Asia catches up with USA and Europe in the area of research
In recent years Research has developed outside the countries traditionally considered as leaders. The United States and Europe have lost their scientific and technological supremacy for the benefit of Asia where China and India have caught up with or even overtaken the Triad even if they still appear among the principal world powers as regards R&D5. However, their relative weight in terms of R&D investments has strongly fall to the profit, in particular, of emerging Asia. India and China thus account for approximately 20% of the world’s R&D, i.e. more than the double of their current share. In many crucial areas to Europe’s future welfare, such as energy saving technologies, research on sustainable development and climate change, health and the spreading of diseases, food safety, security, social sciences and humanities, etc., it is the
global access to such knowledge, the development of joint global standards and the rapid worldwide diffusion of such new technologies which is at stake. Ensuring access to knowledge in global networks also means being attractive for researchers and investment from abroad. Depending on immigration policies in industrialised countries and on the policies of emerging countries, one can imagine that we have moved from yesterday’s “brain drain” (mainly towards the United States and the Anglo‐Saxon countries) to a more balanced “brain circulation” of young researchers between regions of the world. It has been estimated that 645 000 Chinese students and 300 000 Indian students today study abroad, a sign that these countries are gaining ground in the global knowledge area. The number of EU students
biotechnologies) although strong regional differences exist in Europe.
and researchers going to China has increased. Asia is the main destination for the location of business R&D. The EU – and especially some regions – succeeds best in the “traditional” scientific fields like chemistry, astronomy, pharmacology, physics and engineering sciences. But the EU is behind the USA in the new and emerging fields (in particular information technology and
Numerous scientific and technological advances (cognitive sciences, nanotechnologies, synthetic biology, surveillance technologies, biometrics, etc.) have given rise to controversies in society. Europe, with its wealth of various debate and participative governance experiences, is well equipped to manage them and involve the civil society in research. The absence of an international framework of dialogue on these developments has led to “free riding” behaviour (e.g. “ethical paradises”) and to conflicts.
Olympic: India finally makes a mark
This is the first major leap of India in Olympics since the Hockey magic in 1960s. Everyone kept saying that India being second most populated country, constantly failing to perform in Olympics. The major reason was the sports have given a low priority in Indian culture. As there was no career and money in sports, parents forced their children away from it. India has many doctors, engineers and scientists all over the world, but no world class athlete in sports, apart from cricket for obvious reasons. Another problem cited by analysts was Indian children are undernourished. India is rated
literacy levels in villages. Though, the initial investments were large, it has started to pay off after a decade. It created a lot of jobs in India; we now have several coaches who are full time employed in it, sports villages have their separate management teams. The basic living conditions have improved in villages and small towns. As a result, about 30 million people were lifted out of poverty line from 2015‐2022. India now has over 60% people in middle class.
in sports infrastructure. Every town now has a sports village having facilities for at least 50 sports.
below sub‐Saharan Africa, which is much poorer than India. GoI has identified it correctly and promoted the sports in India. The sports policy promises assured jobs and pensions. It
As per the policy, GoI sent teams in remote villages to identify the
India in Olympics after 2000 25 20 Medals
In the year 2014 Indian Government announced the Sports Policy. That seems to have paid off in just concluded Olympic Games. India fetched 12 gold, 14 silver and 22 bronze. The tally is much more than 2020s 2 gold, 8 silver and 14 bronze.
15 10 5 0
made sports a compulsory subject from in schools. Every child has to take two sports of his/her choice apart from cricket. GoI also invested heavily
young talents. They were brought to the nearest sports village and given complete facilities and scholarships. This has also helped in improving
Now with this improved infrastructure, India will be realising their dream of hosting the Olympic on Indian soil in 2028. Though, India has a tough ask of complying with Olympic norms but this will certainly help India grow bigger with heavy investments in infrastructure. Hopefully, this will generate large long‐term multiplier effects in the economy and boost potential GDP growth in the years to come.
Robotics: Year In Review
In the early 2000's robots are mostly industrial types found in factories, like an arm that inserts a product into a box and places it on a conveyor belt. Domestic robots in the service area – vacuum cleaners, lawn mowers, and security systems – are just beginning to find their way into homes. In 2005, UN statistics predicted increase in worldwide robotics sales by double digits every year, which had encouraged a host of companies to invest aggressively in robotic products.
marvels were able to speak and understand crude language, recognize family members by sight, and perform many butler, chef, and maid services.
encounter a staircase where it would transform into a climbing device, go up the stairs, and then become a car again.
Robo‐pets like Sony’s Aibo and NEC’s PaPeRo – priced in the $2,000 range – dominated the robo‐toy market in 2010s by pleasing children and providing companionship for handicapped and elderly people around the globe. Later in 2015, human‐like robots were launched in the $10,000 range, such as Sony, Qrio, Honda Asimo, and Toyota Personal Robot. These realistic
In the past few years, Robotics has been used to lower the human life risk in tough working conditions. For example, the mines are now man‐less. The human labour has been replaced by robots in mines. Though, it has initial set up cost, but once set‐up it has 4 times the efficiency of human workers.
As thought of in 2012 by Henrik Lund, of Maersk Institute in Denmark, robotics could reduce the machines to nano‐size and go inside a human body to make medical repairs. These thoughts were realized in just concluded year when the first by‐pass surgery without any human intervention and operation was conducted successfully.
During 2023, European scientists, inspired by human biology, had created the world’s first shape‐shifting robot. This amazing machine had the ability to morph into different shapes. It can start off as a small car with four wheels. If it approaches an impassable wall, it searches for a hole or crack and transforms itself into a snake. After passing through the hole, it might
Scientists now believes that in coming years, advanced robots will surpass human intelligence and could actually help us evolve into the future. When these robots become aware of our world and social interactions, they will develop a human‐like consciousness. These robots will eventually gain the ability to replicate themselves, and increase their intelligence with
Traffic RoboCops!!! Mumbai. Indian transport minister inaugurated a major innovation in Indian Traffic, the traffic robot. These robots are capable of directing traffic and moving around on squares. These are equipped with cameras to record the traffic rule violation, as soon as it find a vehicle breaking the rule, the challan will be sent to the vehicle’s owner and the money will be charged from his/her UID account. This is implemented as it is becoming impossible for policeman to stand on squares because of increasing pollution. Hopefully this automated system will bring a discipline each succeeding generation. This will cause an explosive increase of information unlike anything the world has ever seen. Let's hope that tomorrow’s super‐intelligent versions will simply merge with us and not replace us and become the next step in our evolution.
Space To ourism is now Ope erational
The new‐year gift T is here for the 20 2 member touring party. The fiirst ever space to ouring team left from NASA base yesterday.
The selecte ed ones were traained for more than t 1.5 years beefore their take‐off. The tour wiill be 10 days lon ng including a staay on the Moon Space City, buiilt in
The T 10 year long project finally fiinished successfully. NASA announced a th heir “Space Tourism” T plan in early 2015. It got g a great response despite having a huge fee h e. The ticket for the spaceship waas $0.2 million fo or 1 person. Many rich space enthusiasts e camee ahead for a seat. NASA decideed on lots basis to select the few lucky ones for the first ever com mmercial trip to space.
2020. It haas been reported that NASA has made a huge profit p from this programme p and they have plann ned more such triips in near future e.
The earn nings from these t programme es will be used d to build the first f space station on Mars.
India Callin ng! : NRIs coming g home
Afteer the financiall cliff and glob bal slowdown off 2013, the NRIss especially in USSA had very touggh times. The job bs were lost and constant cut in outsourcing had made life difficu ult for NRIs. Becaause of increasing unem mployment rate in USA, the Obama governmentt passed a law in 2016 to fix thee number of US employees in a a company. This affected NRIs seeverely. The num mber of Indians in Silicon Valleey decreases by 30%. Indian scien ntists, working for NASA, weree reduced by 20% %. Indiaan government cited an oppo ortunity in the situation and policcies were created d for helping the restrained NRIs. They were allow wed to relocate in i India and weree given ample op pportunities in go overnment sectorr. The efforts are now paying off. In th he just concluded d year, more than n 25,000 NRIs came back hom me. It helped Indiaa
enormously, aas India got man ny entrepreneurss with hugge capitals. The service class go ot benefitted with employees of international exposure. An nd above all, it brought dollars in India. Looking at the prosperou us situation of th he “again Indianss”, more NRIs aree planning to com me back in near fu uture. This will givve India a major boost in terms of intelligent w workforce. Indiaan private sector has alread dy spread its arm ms for the NRIs. Th he coming year w will have its mark in Indian econom my in future.
Wireless Electricity! A Home without Wire
WiTricity Technology launched their evolutionary wireless electricity transfer device.
the WiTricity power source will be connected to AC power source. As soon as you park the vehicle, the car will start charging automatically. In similar manner, every single electric product can be attached to a central WiTricity power source. This will be a major step in providing a wireless home and also to reduce the cost on towering structure to transfer electricity from one place to another.
WiTricity power sources and capture devices are specially designed magnetic resonators that efficiently transfer power over large distances via the magnetic near‐field. These proprietary source and device designs and the electronic systems that control them support efficient energy transfer over distances that are many times the size of the sources/devices themselves. This technology was first demonstrated by WiTricity Corp’s then CEO Eric Giler in 2009. Later in 2010 Toyota funded them to device the product out of the technology. By 2012, WiTricity team was able to produce a demonstration kit for small devices. In the next few years, this technology surfaced its drawbacks such as
loss of electricity and very costly as compared to wired systems at home. Team WiTricity worked on its drawbacks and devised a full proof product which was able to transfer electricity over a
distance of 2 km without using wires. This technology will be a boon for the electric cars, as the car owners find it very difficult to plug their cars daily. Now, these panels will be fitted in cars and
A timeline of Indian Economy On the new year of 2025, we present you a timeline of Indian Economy from independence era till now. India has become a global force in the world despite being a poor nation at the time of independence. The economical reforms of 1991 proved to be the pivotal point in India’s leap. The government’s aid in the booming era of IT services helped Indian economy to grow at 6‐8%. The reforms continued in health care and robotics sector, that made India what it is now.
Extinction Countdown: Who will survive? Since the dinosaurs disappeared, humans are driving animals and plants to extinction faster than new species can evolve. The world is in the grip of the "sixth great extinction" of species, driven by the destruction of natural habitats, hunting, the spread of disease, and climate change. As a result of human influences, the rate of species extinctions at present is between 100 and 1000 times the natural "background" or average extinction rates seen in the evolutionary record on Earth. This is often referred to as the Holocene extinction event. Extinctions are expected to peak by 2060, with 0.5% of the world's animal and plant species disappearing every year. African elephants – on the verge of extinction In 2012 their population was at 600,000 but then it had declined by nearly 40,000 each year. In 2025, only a handful of African
elephants have survived. These few could be saved from outright extinction if zoos and safari parks around the globe work to maintain viable populations for future rewilding.
Amphibians Based on current trends, half of all amphibians in Europe will be extinct by 2050, including many previously common species of frogs, toads, salamanders, newts and caecilians. The main threats are pollution, disease, loss of natural habitat and droughts caused by climate change.
Penguin Due to climate change and food scarcity, up to 30% of bird species may go extinct by 2050. This includes the Emperor Penguin, among the best‐loved and most recognised symbols of Antarctica.
Great Barrier Reef One of the world's most beautiful natural wonders, the Great Barrier Reef is likely to disappear by 2050. Rising levels of greenhouse gases are making seawater too acidic for calcium‐ based organisms to grow. Most of the colourful fish for which the reef is famous will also go extinct.
Borneo Due to rapid deforestation, Borneo's rainforests had been completely wiped off by 2023. Among the many species likely to disappear around this time is the Orangutan ‐ one of the most intelligent of the great apes.
Koalas By 2040, koalas may go extinct ‐ due to the combined effects of
drought, disease, climate change and loss of natural habitat. The koala is one of Australia's national symbols.
Polar Bears By 2050, some 70% of polar bears will have disappeared due to the shrinking of Arctic ice caused by global warming. They will disappear from Greenland entirely by 2080, and from Northern Canada, leaving only dwindling numbers in the interior Arctic archipelago.
Previous year has witnessed the start of a new era. The television screen will soon become history in coming years. Sony demonstrated their latest innovation of 3‐D holographic television system, an extension of 3‐D experience. Using this, you will only require a set‐top box and a projector. You can view your favourite movie by being a part of it. You will be able to see the cricket match by sitting at umpire’s spot. The system will replicate the whole screen in your room.
Energy from Kite California based 2011 start‐up Makani Power have succeeded in their quest for generating clean and renewable energy from high altitude wind. The kite
technology demonstrated by Saul Griffith in TED in the year 2011 has made its way to the implementation.
and also take off and land. It does not need nor do we ever plan to actually interact with something on the ground.
The giant kite, called “Makani Wing” has a turbine attached to it. The wing works on the same principle as a conventional turbine, converting the kinetic energy of wind into electricity by spinning rotors. The electricity generated is sent to a base station via a power line that doubles as a flexible tether for the wing.
Corwin Hardham, CEO of Makani Power says “We can produce power at a much lower cost than conventional wind turbines both onshore and especially offshore. And more importantly we can access winds at higher altitudes that are virtually untouched at this point.”
It has GPS onboard as well as a host of other sensors that enable it to measure its angle, orientation, and several other streams of data and using that data it is able to predict where it should fly to make the most energy, how to make it fly most reliably, so it uses the minimal amount of effort on its servos
The wing can generate about 600 kilowatts. So, just as a reference that is about 250 homes that can be powered with just one of those wings. And eventually we will build a wing that is about five megawatts and that is about as large as any wind turbines being built today. These new turbines have the capacity to replace fossil fuel in coming future.
Golden race for fusion power‐Access to limitless power that will revolutionise the energy sector Human‐engineered fusion has already been demonstrated on a small scale. The problem has been finding ways of scaling it up to commercial levels in an efficient, economical, and environmentally benign way. ITER ‐ previously known as the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor ‐ aims to be the first project to achieve this. Built in southern France at a cost of €20 billion, it will take over a decade to construct and be one of the largest scientific projects ever undertaken, second only to the International Space Station. This joint research experiment is funded by the US, EU, Japan, Russia, China, India and South Korea. To demonstrate net fusion power on a large scale, ITER's reactor must simulate conditions at the heart of the Sun. For this, it will use a magnetic confinement device called a tokamak. This doughnut‐shaped vacuum chamber generates a
powerful magnetic field and will prevent heat from touching the reactor's walls. Tiny quantities of fuel, injected into and trapped within the chamber, will be heated to 100 million degrees, forming a plasma. At such high temperatures, the light atomic nuclei of hydrogen will become fused together, creating heavier forms of hydrogen such as deuterium and tritium. This will release neutrons and huge amounts of energy. Following its operational activation this year in mid of June 2025, it is hoped that ITER will eventually produce more than 500 megawatts of power, in bursts of 400 seconds or more. This compares with 16 MW for the Joint European Torus (JET) in 1997, the previous world record peak fusion power, which lasted only a few seconds. ITER will require another few decades before its reactor has been sufficiently perfected. To generate the sort of continuous
Fusion Power Reactor levels of power required for commercial operation, it will need a way of holding the plasma in place at the critical densities and temperatures. This will need refinements in the design of the chamber, such as better superconducting magnets and advances in vacuum systems.
However, it could ultimately lead to a revolution in energy. If this project were to succeed, humanity would gain a virtually unlimited supply of clean, green electricity.
Powerful imbalances continue to haunt the world
The global economic pie has continued to grow, yet we remain on a path towards unequal growth. The “winners” and “losers” are not so much distinguished in terms of nations as they are in terms of social and professional groups. The winners are the upwardly mobile elites throughout the world with the required kinds of skill sets and capital. Thus the indigenous Dubai establishment is phenomenally rich, and those who cater to them with the requisite professional services are also rich, while the unskilled manpower from Bangladesh and elsewhere used in construction sites and menial service jobs enjoy neither acceptable incomes nor a dignified life.
world and it still continues in many parts of the world. The rich are rich and the rest are exploited and humiliated. Women especially continued to be condemned to inhuman conditions of servitude. Millions of children are exploited as child labor. All these concerns continue to plague the international community when the world is ready to make an entry into a new era 2025.
to weather the downside periods. At the same time, the volatility has meant that there has been little investment in alternative fuels. Iran, Saudi, Arabia, and Russia face little near‐term threat of transition away from fossil fuels. For the moment though, energy and food price volatility solutions escape world leaders, as they have ever since the period of rising prices and instability brutally emerged in 2007/2008.
drives innovation in a wide range of scientific domains. The impact on other economic sectors is expected to be quite significant in the post‐2025 world.
Similarly, the moral turpitude which came to characterize capitalism in the first quarter of the 21st century resulted in poor labor conditions in factories, mines and fields throughout the
Bilateral trade liberalization is re‐energized by the slowing economies, but there is increasing evidence of the formation of regional trading blocks. Here, the spheres of influence are reliant on economic interests, leading to increase of regional and sub‐ regional loyalties The boom‐bust cycles have increased the volatility of the price of oil and gas, but so far most producers have managed
The US has started promoting green technology as a solution to climate change and environmental security although significant benefits are reserved for the future. Europe continues to promote emissions reduction targets although a French‐ German coalition aimed at protecting Germany’s eco‐ inefficient automobile industry threatens to reverse or delay progress. Biotechnology starts showing its true potential and
As economic growth begins to slow in the rising nations, a new brain drain from East to West has picked up, posing a major problem for emerging markets as talent migrates. Many emerging markets are unsuccessful in creating attractive opportunities for their most educated and talented. As a result ,their economies will continue to suffer unless something is done to stem the talent loss.
2025 – A New Era – More tough choices ahead By the end of 2024, there is no doubt that the world has continued to ignore environmental destruction in favor of economic growth. Choices must be made now about how to deal with pollution, climate change and weather volatility that are more extreme than the decisions leaders faced in 2012. In addition to the environmental pollution, the world is also suffering from an acute moral pollution. An over‐reliance of corporate solutions to global problems without the adequate counterbalance of governance and humanity produces an environment in which the values of economic growth, materialism, and greed reign supreme. Famines, poverty, and resource conflicts that arise due to climate change are inadequately answered by governments and people generally have become ethical cowards and passive social observers rather than active
players. There is no human solidarity. The result is huge inequalities of growth, and a world that is fractured and divided. As long as this imbalance keeps on growing, crisis will continue to haunt the world. Long term prosperity can be achieved only when rise in productivity become equal to rise in wages. Hence, the issues that the world had faced 13 years back, are still haunting us .As expectations drive the world, lets renew our hope that this new year 2025, the world will learn from its past mistakes and will embrace the future with open arms and will head towards global prosperity.
Smart Materials – New Energy Boom The world is in the early stages of revolution in new synthetic materials. These “smart materials” offer tremendous potential to save energy, generate power, and create lightweight materials that are stronger than steel.
The material would have countless applications. For example, it could enable a new generations of solar‐powered blimps that would generate their own electricity from solar cells on their outer shells.
For example, carbon nanotubes are 100 times stronger than steel. They also conduct electricity like copper and disperse heat like brass. Carbon nanotubes could make a new kind of material that is lightweight, incredibly strong, and even generates solar energy.
World at the brink of Water Crisis
The three water crises – dwindling freshwater supplies, inequitable access to water and the corporate control of water – pose the greatest threat of our time to the planet and to our survival. Together with impending climate change from fossil fuel emissions, the water crises impose some life‐or‐death decisions on us all. Unless we collectively change our behavior, we are heading toward a world of deepening conflict and potential wars over the dwindling supplies of freshwater – between nations, between rich and poor, between the public and the private interest, between rural and urban populations, and between the competing needs of the natural world and industrialized humans.
where China’s proposal to divert the river is re‐igniting the divisions; Angola, Botswana and Namibia, where disputes over the Okavango water basin that have flared in the past are now threatening to re‐ignite as Namibia is proposing to build a three hundred‐ kilometer pipeline that will drain the delta; Ethiopia and Egypt, where population growth is threatening conflict along the Nile; and Bangladesh and India, where flooding in the Ganges caused by melting glaciers in the Himalayas is wreaking havoc in Bangladesh, leading to a rise in illegal, and unpopular, migration to India.
Water Is Becoming a Growing Source of Conflict Between Countries Around the world, more than 215 major rivers and 300 groundwater basins and aquifers are shared by two or more countries, creating tensions over ownership and use of the precious waters they contain. Growing shortages and unequal distribution of water are causing disagreements, sometimes violent, and becoming a security risk in many regions.
Regions of potential conflict that are threatening the world These include Israel, Jordan and Palestine, who all rely on the Jordan River, which is controlled by Israel; Turkey and Syria, where Turkish plans to build dams on the Euphrates River brought the country to the brink of war with Syria in 1998, and where Syria now accuses Turkey of deliberately meddling with its water supply; China and India, where the Brahmaputra River has caused tension between the two countries in the past, and
While not likely to lead to armed conflict, stresses are growing along the U.S.‐Canadian border over shared boundary waters. In particular, concerns are growing over the future of the Great Lakes, whose waters are becoming increasingly polluted and whose water tables are being steadily drawn down by the huge build up of population and industry around the basin. Similar trouble is brewing on the U.S.‐Mexican border, where a private group of U.S. based water rights holders are using the North American Free Trade
Agreement to challenge the long‐term practice by Mexican farmers to divert water from the Rio Grande before it reaches the United States. The question is whether the countries will fall prey to the conflict for ownership of scarce water resources or will collaborate their efforts and energies towards effective water consumption worldwide for the betterment of the human race.
What does the above figure indicates? Are we heading towards a worldwide water crisis? The increasing demand for water among households, industry, the environment, and especially agriculture is making global water scarcity a perilous possibility. What will happen to food production and global food security as water becomes increasingly scarce? What steps can we take to avert threats to global food supply, the environment, and the livelihoods of those lacking access to clean water? Further neglect of water issues could produce a genuine water crisis, which in turn could lead to a food crisis. But we can avoid these outcomes if we make fundamental policy changes now. But who will take the initiative? The question is “whether it is the sole responsibility of few nations to avert the crisis or it should be a collective effort and collaboration by all the nations to build the
foundation of a green and healthy planet?
USA becomes the net exporter of Oil and Gas
Oil and natural gas production in the U.S. has surged due to the combination of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and horizontal drilling that has allowed companies to tap hydrocarbons trapped in shale and other tight rock formations. As a result, natural gas prices have plummeted and the nation's dependence on oil imports has been dramatically reduced. However, fracking has raised environmental concerns. Opponents say drilling fluid or wastewater can seep into water supplies if wells are not constructed properly or if wastewater is not disposed of properly. Environmentalist , from all over the world are building pressure on US to reduce the pollution level as a result of fracking. The growth in natural gas's contribution to the world energy mix continues to be the most pronounced. Hence big players
Other main factors
Demand for energy has grown worldwide, but slower than the overall economy because of efficiency gains. Flat Energy demand in the developed world; the major growth in demand comes from developing countries. The biggest shift has been the growth in the use of natural gas and a decline in the use of coal. According to reports ,natural gas has replaced coal as the second most used fuel, after oil. The U.S. is exporting natural gas in large volumes and producing more oil while consuming less. Canada continues to be a major crude exporter
like Exxon have heavily invested in natural gas reserves followed by Chevron Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell. On the other hand, Oil continues to be the dominant transportation fuel, allowing demand to grow almost 1 percent a year. Demand for fuel to power heavy trucks will grow fastest, while demand for passenger car fuel will peak
worldwide in 2040 as fuel efficiency gains offset the larger number of cars on the road. Worldwide, average fuel economy of passenger cars will rise to 47 miles per gallon (5 liters per 100 kms) by 2040, up from 27 (8.7 liters per 100 kms) now. Hybrids will outsell conventional gasoline cars by then.
Green Housing Boom is underway While overall home sales are increasing slightly, green home sales are booming. U.S. consumers are increasingly demanding energy efficiency and the use of sustainable materials both in new homes and in remodelling projects. “Green homes” has grown from 17% of the residential construction market in 2011 to 38% by 2025, with a fivefold increase in revenues, according to the National Association of Home Builders.
Global Concerns: Then and Now!
Many of the world’s challenges require long‐term attention and commitment. But there is an inconsistent and incoherent approach to problem solving because many stakeholders (government, corporations) are operating on a short term basis. There is a general lack of control in many areas, for example in the global financial system, as issues requiring a sustained effort receives band‐aid solutions. Although there is economic prosperity and significant military build‐up, global cooperation is not really happening, except in a very limited way. We see more of the behaviour attributed to ostriches in popular mythology – the “hide your head in the sand” strategy.
also challenged by aging populations and will need intelligent immigration policies to support their economic growth. Shrinking native populations will necessitate the increased numbers of immigrants. In India, lack of any educational reforms has resulted in the country’s failure to capitalize on its “youth bulge.” Not lacking in workers, most lack the skills for high tech industries. Japan’s decline in the previous decades continued, as the country remained closed, with lacklustre leadership, and home to an alienated youth, harassed women, and having failed to have invested in high‐tech to compensate for a declining population.
As a result of an inability to adequately address issues of global concern in the early years, many problems fester and future generations will be faced
Ostrich effect‐In behavioural finance, the ostrich effect is the avoidance of apparently risky financial situations by pretending they do not exist. The name comes from the common (but false) legend that ostriches bury their heads in the sand to avoid danger.
with greater challenges that might have been avoidable, or at least less severe, in the first place. Water is a good example. The failure to design effective natural resource management plans (and effectively implement them) results in reactive instead of proactive policies. Water scarcity, including lack of the necessary physical infrastructure, is a persistent problem and has affected about 3 billion people by 2025.
Boom‐bust cycles of economic growth are increasingly the norm with increased protectionism and slowing growth in Europe and the US. Unlike earlier, the rapidly rising powers are being hit by slowing global growth and, in the case of China; the demographic pressures of a rapidly aging population (a consequence of the one‐child policy adopted in 1978) are increasingly acute. OECD countries in particular are
The glob bal heallth situaation is improvving butt with n new riskks Today T People aree on the whole in n better heealth, more prosperous p and live longer than 30 3 years ago but serious in nequalities exist between countries c and wiithin countries as regards access a to health care. In nfectious diseases as always are dominating d in th he developing countries. c As the economies of these countries haave developed, the non‐communicable diseases have become mor h re important.
diseases and a of the radio‐ nuclear ogical and toxicolo threats. A growing urban u concentration in m many developing countries has amplified the risks of health deterioratio on and of propagation
unprecedented rate of one per w almost 80 yearr. There are now diseases which were still unkn nown a generation ago. In addiition, the World Health Orgaanization confirrmed that morre than 1100 health events of
Global Averaage Life 120 100
This T is mainly related to the adoption a of “Wesstern” ways of liife and of their risk factors – smoking, high fat nutrition, obesity o and lack of exercise. In the developed countries, c the e diseases are non‐communicabl n dominant. d
1930ss 1960ss 1990ss
0 1 1930s
The T extremee mobility, in nterdependence and in nterconnection of today’s world create c a mu ultiplicity of conditions c favou urable to the rapid propagation of infectious
of diseasses. Non‐tradittional security issues like pandeemics are comingg up. Since the 19 970s, new dise eases have been discovered,, at the
epid demic nature occu urred in the world during the last ten years.
the same fo or more than a decade, according to the above‐ mentioned Naational Intelligencce Council repo ort which waas released yestterday, mentioneed that the num mber of patien nts affected by A AIDS has increaseed
and Becaause prevention effectiveness always remained
from 33 millio on 15 years ago to t 50 million todaay. In this scenario, 25 to 30 million people neeed b retroviral treaatments just to be able to surviive this particular year.
Edited By Lekshmy R Manideepa Halder Mukul Yadav Prashant Soni Saylee Warade Saloni Gosavi
Section C Group 8
Wish you a very Happy New Year Sir