As Prime Minister Narendra Modi was laying the strong pitch for “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” (self-reliant India) to the UN and gave an outline of the efforts made by India to fight the coronavirus pandemic, simultaneously around the same time on Friday evening, India and the US were finalising a comprehensive energy partnership blueprint to set the high pace of the “energy diplomacy” initiated by PM Modi and President Donald Trump last year in Houston.
On Friday evening, Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan and US Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette met in a virtual meet to take forward the US-India Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership in the energy sector. Pradhan had made a strong pitch to the US to invest in the energy sector to realise the full potential of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat mission.
India’s growing tilt towards the US, while “cautiously balancing” with the traditional oil partner— Iran, is something intriguing many Washington think tanks. The big push given by PM Modi during his last Houston visit was the gamechanger and an instant boost to India-US strategic ties, say many in New Delhi.
Besides stressing heavily on enhancing energy security cooperation to modernise the power sector to conserve more and stop wastage and harness technology to innovate for surplus in energy, Brouillette-Pradhan meeting, for the first time, put focus on empowering women in the energy sector. The two leaders admitted the need for a “balanced work force and the commitment to addressing the gender diversity’’.
Detailing the cooperation outcomes, Pradhan said: “The United States and India are working to strengthen and modernize the power grid and distribution utilities for clean, affordable, and reliable energy access, improve efficiency, flexibility, and environmental performance in the power sector. It promotes inclusive and sustainable economic growth through long-term energy development, enhances energy security through oil and gas trade, and infrastructure investment. The partnership also makes India a strong energy partner of the US in the Indo-Pacific region.”
The two countries are also leading joint research and development (R&D) through the US-India Partnership to Advance Clean EnergyResearch (PACE-R) on smart grids and energy storage to increase resilience and reliability of the electric grid. Today, Secretary Brouillette briefed about continued bilateral R&D engagement on advanced civil nuclear energy technologies through the US-India Civil Nuclear Energy Working Group.
Pradhan added, “SEP teams will convene again in the near future to further develop action plans for the respective pillars of cooperation. The next Ministerial meeting will be held in 2021.”
Officials told The Daily Guardian, “Through the US-India Natural Gas Task Force, the US industry forged new commercial partnerships on innovative projects and developed a series of policy and regulatory recommendations to support the Government of India’s vision to increase the share of natural gas in India’s energy sector. The sides have also held numerous public-private dialogues to provide industry perspectives on challenges and opportunities to trade and investment across the energy sector. The efforts of cooperation and exploring opportunities of business in the energy sector has redefined the Indo-US ties, a glimpse of the strong bonds we saw as India battled China along the LAC in Galwan Valley.”
Pradhan, who had earlier chaired many meetings with the US industry leaders and with his counterpart Brouillette, said: “Apart from fostering bilateral energy trade and investments, we are seeking to align energy cooperation with energy security, expand energy and innovation linkages across our respective energy sectors, facilitate increased industry and stakeholder engagement as well as institutions of excellence from both countries.”
He said, India is satisfied “at the significant increase in bilateral energy trade in a short span of 3 years. The bilateral hydrocarbons trade alone has touched US$ 9.2 billion during 2019-20, accounting for 10% of the overall bilateral trade”. Pradhan told TDG: “We have also seen significant reduction in the trade deficit between the two countries. In fact, India is now the fourth largest export destination for US crude and 5th largest for US LNG. The trend is expected to continue with Indian companies entering into more long-term contracts going forward from this year.”
The minister added that the country is also in “an advanced stage of discussions for storing crude oil in the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve to increase India’s strategic oil stockpile”.
To keep the US-India energy diplomacy in high spirits, NITI Aayog and USAID have also launched the India Energy Modeling Forum to enhance long-term energy development and plans and strategies through energy data management, and also various programmes to promote low carbon technologies.
Pradhan said, “We have agreed to collaborate in new areas including bio-energy, RE in agriculture and SMEs, high efficiency coal technologies with low-to-zero emissions through CCUS…We also agreed to include ‘Women in Energy’ as a crosscutting theme across the four Pillars of the SEP. This theme will encourage women’s participation in energy governance structures as well as end users as reflected in India’s Ujjawala programme.”
Lauding PM Modi for laying the foundation of this highly productive Indo-US energy diplomacy with President Trump, Pradhan said: “In a short span of time, the Strategic Energy Partnership launched at the directive of PM Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump is emerging as mutually beneficial, and also one of the most resilient pillars on which the overall India-US Strategic Partnership rests.”
Pradhan also invited the US companies to join the Aatmanirbhar Bharat mission, which aims to transform India into a global manufacturing hub of the 21st century, particularly in the development of energy infrastructure. “While India has the market, the US has oil and gas reserves, potential for investments and related advance technologies. Our collaboration, I am confident, will be win-win for all,” Pradhan said.
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Vyapar app simplifies financial management for MSMEs
Financial management is the key to business success. There’s no refuting this fact, but despite that, many business owners are simply not careful enough.
India has approximately 6.3 Crore MSMEs which contributes about 29 percent towards the GDP through its national and international trade. 70 percent of businesses in India are Micro, Small, and Medium-sized (MSMEs), and many business owners cannot cope with their business growth. Financial asset management is one of the contributing factors. In addition to that, many of them also struggle to keep up with digital systems that are supposed to ease the process but don’t actually do so. When they cannot afford better systems, hire qualified accountants and practice better financial management, they tend to lose control of their business.
To solve this issue, Vyapar App was launched in the year 2016 with the aim of making it easier for MSME business owners to run their businesses. Accounting can take a significant amount of their time, but they have comprehensive and accurate financial reports at the tips of their fingers with the app. Vyapar App is a business accounting application that helps the user store and access all their financial data in one place. In addition to offering an accounting solution, they also provide inventory tracking, customer and vendor management, invoice generation, barcode management, online cataloging, and even order tracking features.
Using Vyapar software you can send free transaction messages, payment reminders, generate E-way bills, delivery challan, generate financial reports and much more.
By providing so many features onto one software, they’ve enabled the growth of many MSME businesses in the country. Until now, many business owners would suffer because they had to use different applications for different purposes, which would lead to increased costs and efforts. But by using this easiest one-stop solution, they can manage their finances and get creative with it.
The software offers them the option to customise their dashboard and other feature of software as per their individual requirement. MSMEs have been able to present themselves professionally and see increased business as well.
One of the key points that many of their users talk about is that when the GST filing process was introduced, it was tough to manage it since you’d need an accountant with sound financial knowledge. But now, they can retrieve GST report directly from software in government prescribed format in excel. Later they can convert the excel file to JSON format using an offline utility tool available on GST portal. User can now upload the JSON file by logging in to GST portal.
This shows how the team at Vyapar Apps has taken the concerns of their users into account and adapted the software over time.
Overall, no other service in the market simplifies business and financial management for MSME business owners the way Vyapar App does. It’s available for download on the Play Store and can be done in two languages — English and Hindi. This will be a top-notch option if you’re looking to simplify financial management and grow your business.
ACCURSED SHARE ANNOUNCES NFT COLLECTION BY PHOTOGRAPHER FREDERIC AUERBACH
Artist-led production studio Accursed Share yesterday announced an NFT collection by celebrity photographer Frederic Auerbach that will give an exclusive insight into his work with five of Hollywood’s most notable celebrities as well as 30 never-before-seen ‘process’ photos culled from the working sessions with the stars.
The NFT collection, titled “Captured Moment: The Master’s Process,” will center around five famous figures – boxing legend Mike Tyson, singing legend Zendaya, as well as established actors like Natalie Portman, Benedict Cumberbatch and Sharon Stone.
The Master Series, which will feature celebrities, will be available for bidding in the middle of December. Winners will receive a dynamic NFT and a high-resolution one of the published work. The dynamic NFT is powered by an internal ‘smart contract’ innovation, Accursed Share’s proprietary technology, which displays an alternate edit of the final masterwork randomly at certain intervals.
Accursed Share CEO, John Connor said, “We wanted to give fans, collectors, and students of Auerbach’s work an internal view of his process and inspiration; we wanted to create a set of NFTs that really spoke to collectors and had engaging and intrinsic value.”
He added that Auerbach’s ability to capture the charisma and character of his subjects is unique in the world of photography, and his uncanny ability to ‘summon the ineffable’ in his images is very real. “This is something that seems to be missing from the current popular perception of NFTs, and we hope that this project -and other subsequent Accursed Share NFT projects will provide a renewed focus on high-quality NFT content and continue to push the boundaries of the medium,” Connor said.
Captured Moment’s first selections from the ‘Process Series’ will become available on December 5th, at which point early whitelist submissions will receive free airdrops of the first round.
CROWDFUNDING SOLUTIONS THAT HELP IN EMPOWERING PEOPLE
People must believe in the power to make someone smile, to save a life. Brilliant ideas and social change can make an impact on the world.
Social for Action is easy-to-use to help transform individuals and the non-profit giving sector. The most accurate online tools, offered to mobilise crowds towards great ideas and projects, enabling good things to get done fast. As a tech-for-good platform, there are complete crowdfunding solutions to empower individuals, NGOs and social enterprises. Thus, enabling fundraising for medical emergencies, personal needs, creative projects, or any social cause – be it big or small. The aim is to bring forward the generosity and the need to maximise the potential to do good.
The team works together to assist, innovate, collaborate and support anyone who wants to use crowdfunding to make a positive difference. On a given day, there are interactions with campaigners, stories written, evolving the platform to be more functional by reaching out to more NGOs and disbursing funds. The world can be changed – one fundraiser at a time.
Verification for all required documents for fundraisers from NGOs and individuals ensures that the donation makes a difference in its true goal. The primary objective is to enable social giving to trusted NGO projects and an uncomplicated, credible experience for verified individuals.
FOR NON-PROFITS AND INDIVIDUALS
A simple onboarding process and 0% platform fee make fundraising a simple experience for all NGOs, no matter how big or small.
“Social For Action’s crowdfunding platform has helped 4211 destitute women in Maher Ashram to raise 8,93,000/- INR in a month. The collective amount will support the holistic development of all orphans, for women who have been victims of violence rejected by relatives along with women with mental disabilities to stand on their own two feet,” said Lucy Kuriyan, Founder, Maher
“Social For Action has helped us to raise an amount of 3,34,000/- INR. This amount has helped build hostel and school construction projects at Kudal in Ratnagiri district and help destitute, single parents, and low-income household children,” Renu Gavskar, Founder, Eklavya Balshikshan Arogya Nyas.
Get a 50% tax exemption on the contribution made. All donations made to SFA, India’s most trusted crowdfunding platform, are exempt from tax under Section 80G of the Income Tax Act.
I CALL MYSELF A LAWYER WITH A SOUL: NAINA PACHNANDA
In this conversation, the lawyer and author opened up about her journey from being a full-time lawyer and a motivational influencer at the same time.
Naina Pachnanda recently joined NewsX for an insightful conversation as part of NewsX Influencer A-List. In the exclusive conversation, the lawyer and author opened up about her journey from being a full-time lawyer and a motivational influencer at the same time.
We began the interview by asking Naina about her educational background, to which she replied, “I completed my schooling from Delhi Public School, RK Puram. I then went on to pursue BA LLB (Hons) from the National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata, wherein I graduated in 2014. I then wanted to pursue a carrier in litigation. In 2014, I joined the chambers of Paramjit Singh Patwalia, who is a senior advocate in the Supreme Court of India. At that time, he was an additional solicitor general in the Supreme Court of India. I had the good fortune of beginning my law career with him. Thereafter, I joined the litigation team at l&l partners law offices wherein I worked for about 3 years. After litigating for about 5 years, I decided to switch from litigation to policy and regulatory work. In 2019, I joined Invest India, the National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency of India, wherein I drive legal regulatory policy and strategy side of affairs for innovation and technology commercialisation.” She went to say that, “I call myself a lawyer with a soul”.
Speaking about her poetic journey, she exclaimed, “My poetic journey began at the age of 10 when I wrote my first poem on Harry potter. Always been a big fan and still am. Mystically, it got published in the Telegraph kids in Kolkata where I went to school briefly. This gave me a lot of confidence and hence began my journey of poetry. Over the years that I went to law school and practiced litigation lawyer, my creative side took a backseat for some time because of time constraints. In December 2019, there was a calling within me to start an Instagram page to share my poetry based on hope, motivation and very relatable content for our generation because I feel poetry is a very powerful form of expression. I also believe that my words would resonate with many. Apart from sharing my poetry on Instagram, I also have a blog called ‘Lawyer with a poetic soul’ wherein I often share my poetry”.
We expressed our curiosity to hear about the two books that she had written. Naina shared, “In December 2019, when I started my Instagram handle for the sole purpose of sharing my poetry. It was during the lockdown. There were so many challenges so I decided to write about all those challenges very unapologetically in the form of poetry and post them on social media. The reason behind this was that I wanted everyone to feel the spirit of being united. This was the time when the response was very positive and my following started to grow. That is what encouraged me to write both my books. I wrote both my books during the pandemic.”
“I chose a very unique topic for my first book. I work for ‘Make in India’, so I decided to write about the schemes of the government of India such as Make in India, Startup India, Aatmnirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, Digital India Mission, etc. in poetic form because again I believe that poetry is something that touches the heart and it is the most impactful medium of self-expression,” she added.
Sharing insights on her second book, Naina revealed, ” ‘Miracles do happen’ was curated and conceived during the pandemic. It is a book of over 200 poems based on life, love, lost, failure, rejection, hope, motivation and so on. The idea behind this book is that life in general is a blur of uncertainty. The last 1.5 years have been particularly uncertain and full of challenges for all of us. The reason behind writing this book is to spread positivity and hope during these unprecedented times.”
MASKS: THE NEW ‘MODA’ OPERANDI
Wearing a mask has been the mandate and why shouldn’t the trendsetters step up? There is a unique mask available for every mood, every palette and every occasion.
In 2018 not a person (r.i.p. Nostradamus) could have envisaged in their wildest thoughts, they’d have to cover their nose and mouth to socialise. Enter the mask brigade which has swiftly become a fashion accessory to reckon with. Whether you don a jacket, a silky blouse, or even decadent wedding couture, wearing a mask has been the mandate and why should the trendsetters not step up. There is a unique mask for every mood every palette and every occasion. Dominatrix or sporty there is a mask for everybody.
Bows to the medical fraternity whose masks have been their second skin. You make any mask look good.
Payal Singhal the Boheme bridal and occasion wear designer has a new category in-store and online. Masks that are an extension of her ‘Life’s a beach” vibe. Ikat and quirky prints dominate her collection of masks. The icing on the cake is the charming little printed pouches they come in. The printed graphics on these accessories make them covetable.
Reusable and washable three-layered protective cloth cask (Unisex) with reversible prints so that you can wear it both ways and match it with a variety of looks. The top and bottom layers are made of 75 percent cotton and 25 percent silk with a layer of 100 percent cotton in the middle for better protection and breathability. Sits comfortably on the ear with printed ear loops, which gives it a grammable get-up. Ideal for all-day use. You can find these lovelies on Nykaa Fashion.
Pret designer Farida Gupta follows a different montage. Her natural-dye block prints masks are soft against the skin. Made sustainably using 100 percent cotton fabric, these washable cloth masks offer a comfortable fit. Featuring 3-layer protection as per international standards. Farida Gupta’s masks balance safety and style. Featuring elasticised straps, they are designed to fit over the top of the nose and below the chin. Head over to Farida Gupta’s website to add to cart.
Spotlighting a new designer on the block, Diya Aswani, her claim to fame is her eclectic mix of dressy masks. Varying from pink flamingos (my shopping list chart-topper) to monograms embroidered-on-one side. Diya’s mask’s collection casts a spell on you. The Blue evil eye mask chain is a striking piece. Additionally, she creates beautiful chains to suspend her masks from. Worth a mention is the green apple mask chain and the Evil Eye oval mask chain are some of her best-selling mask chains on Nykaa. A must-have mask.
Torani, the haute couture brand has a potpourri of masks(inset). Koran Torani the founder documents stories of his childhood through his work. Feast your eyes on these bright masks kissed in chintz prints. These can be sourced from their brick-and-mortar and online stores.
Life has a new modus operandi that mandates us to wear masks ( until further notice) So while we are at it why not be safe (and stylish).
PUNJAB CM LAYS FOUNDATION STONES OF DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS
Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Friday laid the foundation Stones of a slew of projects at a cost of Rs. 127.54 crore. He also announced upgradation of status of Gharuan from Panchayat to Nagar Panchayat and revealed that a Sub Tehsil would also come up here.
The projects whose foundation stones were laid by the Chief Minister comprised sewerage treatment plant ( Rs. 59.06 crore), Water Treatment plant at Kajauli (Rs. 47.06 crore), Beautification of Ajj sarovar (Rs. 4.83 crore), Government Model Senior Secondary School at Village Badali (Rs. 13.47 crore) and Pandusar Sarovar (Rs. 3.14 crore).
Earlier in his address at the office of Municipal Council, Kharar, the Chief Minister described his visit as a homecoming for him and said that Kharar has given him everything and made him what he is today. “I started my political journey from here itself. I know every nook and corner of the city. The people of Kharar have showered immense love upon me as my voting percentage increased everytime during the three times when I got elected from here as Municipal Councillor and also served as its President”, said Channi adding he would forever remain indebted to the people here. He also exhorted the Councillors to work diligently and go strict especially on the illegal encroachments.
The Chief Minister further pointed out that the development oriented projects would transform the face of the region and put it into higher growth trajectory. Describing the Water Treatment Plant at Kajauli as a gamechanger, the Chief Minister said that this would ensure clean drinking water to both Morinda and Kharar.
Likewise, the Chief Minister mentioned that the beautification of Ajj Sarovar was his dream from a much earlier time and now it has come to fruition.
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