Category Archives: India

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How to keep tabs on the Indian General Elections – 2014

With the Elections just around the corner, several politicians and their respective parties are busy polishing their image, building their portfolios, mending ties with their allies, sling mud at their rivals and preparing their manifestos. At the same time, traditional media and social media platforms are coming up with innovative tools to help the public keep tabs on all the happenings on a national and local level.

 

Here are some of the tools, trackers and portals you could ‘bookmark’ or save to stay up-to-date with the General Elections 2014:
 
Recently, Facebook rolled out its India election tracker app for its 80 million odd users in India. Visitors to this dashboard would be able to watch the Candidates 2014 livestreams, take a poll about the issues that matter the most to them in the election as well as compare how much the Facebook community is talking about leading candidates and parties over time. 
 
To view the app, go here
 
 
Whether you are a politician, journalist, or someone who just wants to keep a track of the latest happenings in the world of social media and politics, the Election Tracker is your answer. This tracker from mobile telecom service provide MTS and India’s largest Social Media knowledge storehouse Social Samosa provides real-time data analysis, comprehensive tracking, relevant data and graphical representation to help you stay updated on all the social media conversations around the elections.
 
To view the tracker, go here
Towards the fag end of 2013, Google launched an elections portal that aimed at assisting the Indian voters to understand the electoral process, get access to all the news related to elections and politics, get detailed information on specific political parties and serve as a one a one stop destination to help voters get answers to their elections and voting-related queries to make an informed decision.
 
To view the portal, go here
Catch all Hangouts and Election related stories on this dedicated hub for the Indian elections by YouTube. YouTube has partnered with all the top news channels across 5 languages to build this one stop destination for all the top stories, breaking news and campaign trails during the elections.
 
To view the hub, go here


Socialbakers’ Election Infographic for India
Wondering how political parties and leaders are engaging on Facebook? Here is a great infographic by Socialbakers where you can view data-driven social statistics for India’s largest competing political parties & understand the social media story being told.

 

To view the real-time infographic, go here

This portal from MapsofIndia.com brings to you everything related to elections as they unfold. It provides up-to-date news, accurate maps, critical analysis, and facts on the various elections in India. Opinion polls allow users to express themselves and get their voice heard. To view the portal, go here

Facebook Lists
Facebook provides its users with an option to organize the important and interesting content through the Lists feature. This feature helps The users can create their own interest lists based on the things they care about, or follow other people’s listsWhen the user creates or follows a list, they would see the best posts from that list in their main News Feed. Check out the following lists curated by Karuna Nain from Facebook India:


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When I met Hillary Clinton….

In May 2012, I got a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to interact face-to-face with one of the most influential and powerful women in the world- Ms. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the United States Secretary of State.
 
To watch the video footage of the show & my question (at 51:31), click here.


Secretary Clinton had a stop-over at Kolkata during her short to tour to China, Bangladesh & India. As part of the U.S. Government’s Youth Advisory Council (for India), I was invited to Kolkata to meet the Secretary of State along with other members of the council from New Delhi, Mumbai & Chennai.

 
Photo Courtesy: NDTV
And if the thought of meeting the ‘Most Admired’ woman in USA wasn’t enough, there came another stunner. We were going to be live on renown journalist Barkha Dutt‘s show- We the People on NDTV. 
 
                                                                                        Photo Courtesy: Pallavi Kaushal

It was an open forum with Ms. Dutt playing the moderator’s role. After a tête-à-tête with Barkha Dutt, the floor was opened up to invite questions from the audience. I finally got my chance and raised to ask my question on the issue of Outsourcing & Protectionism being promised in the 2013 US Presidential Election Campaign in USA in an attempt to address local sentiments over a shrinking economy and rising joblessness, a cut-down on outsourcing will result in huge job losses.She replied, stating that it was a legitimate issue to be needs to be aired. She also spoke of the President Obama’s goal of developing their own exports, improving education & skills training of the U.S. people.


                                                                                                      Photo Courtesy: NDTV

What really struck me about the former First Lady was her cool and calm demeanour. Barkha Dutt had pointed out at the beginning of the show that since the time Ms. Clinton took over the post of the Head of the United States Department of State (2009), she has travelled more than 7,00,000 miles to 95 countries which works up to around 25 trips around the globe! Despite so much travel, she hardly showed any signs of flagging energy, which is remarkable indeed.

To watch the video footage of the show & my question (at 51 minutes 31 seconds),
click here.

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Training for Trusteeship

Last year, I had written a post on Trusteeship as part of a selection criteria for an International workshop to be held in Sri Lanka in September. Thankfully, I was selected after 3 rounds & got a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, to represent India at this exclusive 8-day workshop for youth leaders of SAARC countries, called Training for Trusteeship. It was organised by Weeramantry International Centre for Peace Education and Research (WICPER), in association with UNESCO National Commission, the Earth Charter Initiative Costa Rica, the World Future Council – Germany and the US Embassy, Colombo UN Year of Youth and the UN Year of Forests.
The workshop was held at Kegalle in Sri Lanka from September 4th to 11th. It was a unique forum for young leaders from various South Asian universities and youth organizations. It was a thrilling experience to say the least. They all came from diverse cultural, religious, geographical and professional backgrounds. These outstanding young leaders in the region had been engaged in development activities over a period of time and had managed to bring about a positive and progressive social change in their respective communities & regions.
With other youth leaders of the SAARC countries
The concept of trusteeship is emphasized to bring home to these young leaders the notion of responsible management of our inherited culture and resources for the benefit of those who are to come after us.
This workshop is aimed at inspiring youth to do what they can as individuals and future leaders to change their countries for the better by working across the cultural, religious, disciplinary and institutional divide in serving their communities.
During the course of the workshop, we met, interacted and learnt from international experts in social media, climate change, social advancement, peace and conflict resolution, international law, and biodiversity.
Delegates from India, after the Country Presentation
I’ve always been passionate about building ethical, responsible and profitable organizations and also be a part of the policy-making process. 
Through TFT, I’ve added to my repertoire – elements of cross-cultural understanding & peace-building and access to collaboration with other South Asian regions to fight various ‘common’ issues. I hope to partner with other South Asian organizations in the near future and execute well-planned initiatives across the region.

Giving my Project presentation on Youth Empowerment 
It was a fantastic learning experience indeed for every participant. Personally, this international exposure was very beneficial for me. Prior to this conference I was not really have the ‘Big Picture’of the South Asian region and was really focussed on getting things done on a local level. This conference has really opened up new horizons for me. I strongly believe that a good social model is one that can be replicated effectively in any context/region with minor modifications. Through the workshop, I received access to a large network of individuals and organizations at the international and regional level. Hoping to work closely with them in the near future.
Delegates from all the South Asian countries pose for a picture on the Cultural Eve
Delegates from India & Pakistan with H.E. Judge Weeramantry on the Cultural Eve

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‘The Wall’ floors one & all

    Rahul Sharad Dravid became the first non-Australian to deliver the much revered Bradman Oration for 2011 and stamped his class on this ‘ground’ as well.

The speech was well received, deeply appreciated by cricket fans, former players and custodians worldwide. Personally, I was moved! By the end of it, I was floored by the great man’s words of wisdom.  It was emotional, humorous, insightful and entertaining- in perfect proportions. After all, it’s perfection that he stands for. 

He left us cracking  when with his take on Shane Warne’s diet and gave a subtle tribute to Tendulkar(& himself) with “Like a few, creaking Terminators, we’re back. Older, wiser and I hope improved” 

 While 2010 belonged to Tendulkar, 2011 was the year of Dravid, all the way, with The Bradman Oration being the icing. 

All Hail the Wall!


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Hyderabad Consultation of Anti-Communal Violence Bill

‘Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence Bill, 2011’


On Sunday- Oct 9, the Hyderabad Consultation of the Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence Bill was organized by COVA. I was in an elite panel consisting of a number of civil society organisations, activists, social entrepreneurs, lawyers, media-persons and civil servants from across the twin cities of Hyderabad-Secunderabad.

Courtesy: Khaleeq ur Rahman

These distinguished people had come together to address two main issues regarding the ‘Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence Bill, 2011’ (also known as the Anti-Communal Violence Bill) : 


1. Identify weaknesses and lacunae in the ‘Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence Bill, 2011’ as it is introduced in Parliament and propose remedies.

2. Develop an advocacy strategy to ensure that the bill that is already introduced in Parliament is strengthened in its provisions to adequately provide the necessary safeguards to the minorities and the excluded communities and is passed by the Parliament at the earliest and does not suffer the same fate as the “Women’s Bill” that seems to be stuck in Parliament without any signs of being passed in the foreseeable future. 


To achieve these two objectives, it was proposed to organize Consultations in six different places in the country that have experienced communal and targeted violence. These locations are Kandhamal, Hyderabad, Moradabad, Mumbai, Delhi and Bihar. 


All the inputs from the Consultation would be collated and submitted to the political parties and members of Parliament from Andhra Pradesh and also used for advocacy at the national level.

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dhonistrauss

Can it get any better than this for a true Cricket lover?


Dhoni & Strauss posing with the Natwest Trophy
(via Cricinfo)


Test Cricket’s match #2000 all set to get underway today…
that too at the Mecca of Cricket- Lord’s…
Two teams playing their 100th Test against each other…
And fighting for the Top spot in Tests…
A fine gentleman on the verge of his 100th International century…
Some great individual contests lined up- Zak vs Strauss, Swann vs Sachin/Dravid/Laxman and more…
Looking more like a statistician’s dream than a string of coincidences…


Can it get any better than this for a true Cricket lover?

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Trusteeship- the need of the hour

My Understanding of Trusteeship
As a 23 year old global citizen, I consider Trusteeship as a responsibility that has been passed on to my peers & myself by the previous generations. Trusteeship is all about being considerate towards the world’s heritage & culture, playing an active role in the preservation & sustenance of the resources, fuelling further development of businesses, technology & sciences through innovation, ethical, responsible & profitable practices. And most importantly- grooming and nurturing the society through education, awareness & good governance.

Trusteeship- the need of the hour
In the past few years, the call for Trusteeship has become louder and considered by many as the ultimate solution to peace and prosperity of the society. Mahatma Gandhi had voiced a strong support for Trusteeship as did Karl Marx. The United Nations had setup a Trusteeship Council in 1945 to ensure the growth and development of ‘trust’ territories. Trusteeship has been heralded as the ideal approach to tackle problems of social injustice and disorder, environment, empowerment of weaker sections of the society, unethical and immoral practices. In the trusteeship model, a trustee is made responsible for the well-being of other individuals who are incapable of acting for themselves. Trusteeship allows for the society to come close and co-create solutions to address the need of the hour.
Role of a Trustee
The decision to take up Trusteeship is a matter of choice and varies from person to person. Nevertheless, it is a great opportunity to be conferred Trusteeship. It expects the ‘trustee’ to ‘be’ the owner and not ‘be like the owner’. He needs to be unselfish and unwavering. At the same time, he needs to realize that his appointment is impermanent. I believe the aspect of Trusteeship can be applied to all realms including nation-building, faith, community & organizational management and advancement.

Hurdles on the ‘Road to Trusteeship’
Playing the role of a trustee in any environment is an arduous task, given the kind of resistance he/she would have to face at every step. To tread on this path, every trustee has to develop a conscientious approach, have a strong conviction and come across as a service-before-self individual at all times. The trustee has to keep in mind the slip-ups of his predecessors and set realistic goals where he’d like to get to before he hands over the reins of the ‘trust’ to his successors. Also, trusteeship doesn’t come to everyone naturally. It really has to be triggered in most people. The idea of Trusteeship has to be infused into the enthusiasts and explained how they could contribute towards the cause in order to achieve sustainable development goals.
Other perspectives to Trusteeship
Trusteeship is an excellent motivation as it is more entrepreneurial than just ownership. Intrapreneurship, an essential wing of Entrepreneurship is derived from similar principles. Trusteeship is also a key aspect of philanthropy.

Through Trusteeship, we can strive to build a better society and make our world a better place to live in.