Tech M joins UNGC club

Tech M joins UNGC club on climate action

by | Jun 5, 2020 | Industry News, Sustainability

The company has reiterated its commitment towards carbon neutrality by signing the UN Global Compact Initiative Statement on Climate Action
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Digital transformation, consulting and business re-engineering services provider Tech Mahindra has signed a joint declaration with UN Global Compact (UNGC), urging governments to align their Covid-19 recovery efforts with latest climate science. Incidentally, Tech M joins UNGC club on climate action on World Environment Day.

The UN Global Compact provides a universal language for corporate responsibility and provides a framework to guide all businesses regardless of size, complexity or location.

Tech Mahindra has joined 155 global companies in calling for policies that will build resilience against future shocks by supporting efforts to hold global temperature rise to within 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, in line with reaching net-zero emissions well before 2050. The statement comes as governments around the world are preparing trillions of dollars’ worth of stimulus packages to help economies recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, and as they prepare to submit enhanced national climate plans under the Paris Agreement.

Tech Mahindra said that this declaration was an effort to reinforce its commitment toward reducing carbon footprints, emission and will conserve energy using new-age technologies such as internet of things, artificial intelligence and blockchain. The company has also claimed to implement an internal Carbon Price of $10/ton CO2 to boost green investments and have also adopted a low emission technology path to increase the use of renewable energy from 1.7% in 2016 to 18% in 2020. Moreover, it has also taken targets to increase the renewable source of energy to 50% by 2025.

CP Gurnani, MD & CEO, Tech Mahindra, said, “Covid-19 has allowed all of us to reconfigure our priorities and understand the importance of building a sustainable world – by focusing on healthcare and leveraging technology to enable new ways of working. At Tech Mahindra, we are committed towards building a sustainable business with responsibility and by creating value for our stakeholders, while also keeping in mind the long-term impacts on the environment. It’s time to focus on and implement technology-led solutions that will help us reboot.”

The United Nations Global Compact has stated that the 155 signatories span across 34 sectors and have a combined market capitalization of more than $2.4 trillion, representing 5 million employees. The business voices are convened by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and its Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign partners, the UN Global Compact and the We Mean Business coalition.

Sandeep Chandna, Chief Sustainability Officer, Tech Mahindra, said, “Covid-19 has made businesses realize the importance of adopting strategies which will deliver innovative solutions without adversely affecting the environment. Our commitment towards going carbon neutral, conserving, and deploying resources efficiently will enable helps us to accelerate our transition to a low carbon economy while creating sustainable value for our stakeholders. As part of our TechMNxt charter, we have incorporated reduction of emissions as a key aspect to every function’s mandate and our overall business strategy.”

Tech Mahindra also works closely with partners and customers to help them increase energy savings, digitize and automate operations and create collaborative work environments addressing the need for sustainable practices. This includes solutions like micro grid as a service, smart city solutions, smart grid, smart data hubs, smart street light, smart bin, smart energy management, smart metering and analytics, intelligent electric vehicle charging system (IEVCS), and community action platform for energy (CAPE).

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Leather Mission launched on World Tribal Day

Leather Mission launched on World Tribal Day

leather mission

As part of the Leather Mission, KVIC is giving leather kits to the leather artisans across the nation.

Khadi and Village Industry Commission (KVIC) distributed as many as 50 leather kits and 350 bee-boxes with live bee colonies in tribal-dominated village in Sirohi district of Rajasthan, one of the aspirational districts in India identified by the NITI Aayog, on World Tribal Day today.

While addressing the villagers, KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena said that programs like Leather Mission, Kumhar Sashaktikaran Mission, and Honey Mission are the reflection of KVIC’s commitment to uplift the lives of marginalized communities in society.

He said that KVIC is launching a new program ‘Leather Mission’ on World Tribal Day from the tribal-dominated village of Chandala. Under this new program, KVIC will give Leather Kits to the leather artisans across the nation. It will not only increase their incomes manifold but will also inspire the traditional leather artisans who had migrated to other jobs from their traditional skill to adopt this vocation again.”

350 bee-boxes were distributed at the function. Honey Mission has proved as a game-changer in the lives of tribals, farmers, SC/STs and unemployed youths. So far, KVIC has distributed over 1.15 lakh bee-boxes across the nation among the marginalized community, which has provided jobs to over 11,500 people. It has not only increased the income of the bee-keeping farmers but has also increased the yield of the crops by up to 30 percent due to cross-pollination of the honeybees.

3rd global EV conclave held in Delhi

3rd global EV conclave held in Delhi

ev future concept

A futuristic rendition of EV (Representative stock image)

The Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Arjun Ram Meghwal, inaugurated the 3rd International Electric Vehicle (EV) Conclave at the International Centre for Automotive Technology (ICAT) in Manesar, Gurugram, today. The Conclave was held to create a knowledge-sharing platform to ensure flow of information at all levels in the automotive sector.

The EV Conclave organized by ICAT in association with India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) has grown and transformed itself into a global event since its inception in 2017. Owing to the growth of electric mobility and in order to meet the demands of the automotive sector, the EV Conclave is organized with a focus on new trends and challenges in the field of electric mobility.

Addressing the Conclave, Arjun Ram Meghwal, said that the Electric Mobility Mission will be implemented in phases based on feedback from the auto industry. He also promised all support to the industry on policy matters to ensure smooth and efficient transformation of the automotive industry from internal combustion (IC) to electric powertrain. He informed that 3 lakh electric vehicles have already been sold under the FAME India Scheme. He said the provision of Rs. 10,000 crore have been made for electric mobility in the Union Budget of 2019-20.

The Conclave was attended by more than 200 delegates from more than 80 organizations. The next Conclave will be organized in July 2020.

On this occasion, an exhibition was organized in which component manufacturers, system suppliers and service providers showcased their products and services to promote self-reliance, encourage designers and promote innovations in the electric vehicle industry in India.

Arjun Ram Meghwal also inaugurated various new facilities including Photometry Lab for General Lighting and Power Train Engine Test Cell (ETC)- Expansion. In the expansion of the Photometry Lab for general lighting, various performance and safety testing facilities like mirror Goniometer, LED testing facilities were also inaugurated. Powertrain ETC lab expansion includes two transient and five Eddy current dynamometers-based test cells for functional validation of engines. (News source: PIB)

Water conservation drive planned for schools

Water conservation drive planned for schools

Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ will launch ‘Samagra Shiksha-Jal Suraksha’ drive to create awareness about water conservation among all school students in the country. This mega drive would be launched at Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan Auditorium, Kendriya Vidyalaya No. 2 in Delhi Cantt.

Inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s impetus to Jal Sanchay, Government of India has launched the Jal Shakti Abhiyan (JSA). It is a time bound campaign with a mission mode approach. This concept of water conservation is essential for students so that they can understand the importance of water and how it is shaping their lives meaningfully, thereby enabling them to participate in water conservation activities in their day to day lives.

The Department of School Education & Literacy, MHRD has launched the ‘Samagra Shiksha-Jal Suraksha’ drive to promote water conservation activities for School Students, so that they can become competent, conscientious and committed water citizens of our nation. The department has prepared a detailed outline to implement this program in all the schools of the country.

Five major objectives of the program are:

  • To educate students learn about conservation of water
  • To sensitize Students about the impact of scarcity of water
  • To empower Students to learn to protect the natural sources of water
  • To help every Student to save at least one litre of water per day
  • To encourage Students towards judicious use and minimum wastage of water at home and school level

The program targets to achieve the following:

  • One Student – One Day – Save One Liter Water
  • One Student – One Year – Save 365 Liters Water
  • One Student – 10 Years – Save 3650 Liters Water
EoIs for biofuel coming on World Biofuel Day

EoIs for biofuel coming on World Biofuel Day

World Biofuel Day is observed every year on 10th of August to create awareness about the importance of non-fossil fuels as an alternative to conventional fossil fuels and highlight the various efforts made by Government in the biofuel sector. Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas will organize World Biofuel Day on 10th August 2019 at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi. Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas & Steel Dharmendra Pradhan will inaugurate the program. Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Dr Harsh Vardhan will be the Chief Guest of the function. This year the theme of the World Biofuel Day is “Production of Biodiesel from Used Cooking Oil (UCO).”

Biofuels have the benefits of reduction of import dependence, cleaner environment, additional income to farmers and employment generation. Biofuel program also compliments Government of India’s initiatives for Make in India, Swachh Bharat and increasing farmers income. A number of initiatives have been undertaken to increase production and blending of biofuels since 2014.

In India, the same cooking oil is used for repeated frying which adversely affects the health due to formation of polar compounds during frying. These polar compounds are associated with diseases such as hypertension, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, liver diseases among others. UCO is either not discarded at all or disposed off in an environmentally hazardous manner choking drains and sewerage systems.

The National Policy on Biofuels, released by the Government of India in 2018, envisages production of biofuel from UCO. Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is implementing a strategy to divert UCO from the food value chain and curb current illegal usage. The benefits of transformation of UCO will help bring health benefits as there would be no recycling of the UCO, employment generation, infrastructural investment in rural areas & cleaner environment with reduced carbon footprint.

At present, approximately 850 crore liters of High Speed Diesel (HSD) is consumed on a monthly basis in India. The National Policy on Biofuels – 2018 envisages a target of 5% blending of Biodiesel in HSD by 2030. In order to achieve the blending target, 500 crore liters of biodiesel is required in a year. In India, approximately, 22.7 MMTPA (2700 crore liters) of Cooking Oil is used out of which 1.2 MMTPA (140 crore) UCO can be collected from Bulk Consumers such as hotels, restaurants, canteens, etc. for conversion, which will give approximately 110 crore liters of biodiesel in one year. Presently there is no established collection chain for UCO. Thus, there is a huge opportunity in production of biodiesel from UCO.

To facilitate the production of Biodiesel from UCO, the Oil Marketing Companies shall float an Expression of Interest (EOI) for procurement of biodiesel from used cooking oil across 100 cities. The purpose of inviting this EOI is to encourage the applicants to set up biodiesel producing plants from used cooking oil (UCO), processing plants and further utilizing the existing potential of UCO based bio-diesel in India.

On this occasion, a sticker on RUCO viz., Repurpose Used Cooking Oil and a mobile app to facilitate the collection of UCO shall also be released by FSSAI.

Interactive sessions on Second Generation Ethanol & Biodiesel from UCO shall also be held. The sessions will focus on issues and hurdles being faced by the sector and dwell on how to overcome these hurdles for effective implementation of the blending program across the country.

Soon, 5,595 new electric buses for 64 cities 

Soon, 5,595 new electric buses for 64 cities 

Electric bus charging (representative image).

The Department of Heavy Industry has approved the sanction of 5,595 electric buses to 64 Cities, State Government Entities, and State Transport Undertakings (STUs) for intra-city and intercity operation under FAME India scheme phase II in order to give a further push to clean mobility in public transportation.

The Phase-II of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles (FAME-India) Scheme proposes to give a push to electric vehicles (EVs) in public transport and seeks to encourage adoption of EVs by way of market creation and demand aggregation.

The Department had invited the Expression of Interest (EoI) from million-plus cities, smart cities, State/UT capitals and cities from special category states for submission of proposal for deployment of electric buses on operational cost basis.

Eight six proposals from 26 States/UTs for the deployment of 14,988 e-Buses were received. After evaluation of these proposals as per EoI, on the advice of Project Implementation and Sanctioning Committee (PISC) the Government sanctioned 5095 electric buses to 64 Cities / State Transport Corporations for intra-city operation, 400 electric buses for intercity operation, and 100 electric buses for last-mile connectivity to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).

Each selected City/STUs is required to initiate the procurement process in a time bound manner for deployment of sanctioned electric buses on operational cost basis. As per EoI, buses which satisfy required localization level and technical eligibility notified under FAME India scheme phase II will be eligible for funding under FAME India scheme phase II.

These buses will run about 4 billion kilometers during their contract period and are expected to save cumulatively about 1.2 billion liters of fuel over the contract period, which will result into avoidance of 2.6 million tonnes of CO2 emission.

Workshop lays focus on bamboonomics

Workshop lays focus on bamboonomics

A tribal woman (representative image)

Arjun Munda, Union Minister for Tribal Affairs inaugurated a “National Workshop on Tribal Enterprise with focus on Honey, Bamboo and Lac” organized by TRIFED and Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) in Delhi today. Renuka Singh, MoS for Tribal Affairs, Deepak Khandekar, Secretary, MoTA and Pravir Krishna, MD, TRIFED were present. Munda released flyers and reports on bamboo and bamboonomics; lac; and honey on the occasion. A National Workshop was organized to fine-tune its action plan on promoting tribal enterprise on bamboo, honey, and lac.

Delivering the inaugural address, Munda said that the focus of such efforts should not be confined to job creation only but should focus on fulfilling the needs of the market. Support system and research should be market driven and equilibrium should be maintained between the demand and supply in the market. For these products, markets should be innovation and research based. The quality and prices of the products should also be maintained properly. The tribals should be treated as entrepreneurs and efforts should be made to upgrade them in technology.

Addressing on the occasion, Renuka Singh said that such initiatives will strengthen ‘Van Dhan Vikas Kendras.’ The integration of ‘Van Dhan, Jan Dhan and Pashu Dhan’ will reform the lives of tribals considerably. Van Dhan scheme has the cluster of self-help groups to support tribals and is the mainstay for their family income who are living in and around the forest areas.

Deepak Khandekar in his welcome address said that the reason behind bamboo, honey and lac taken up for Van Dhan Scheme is that, these commodities are already having existing markets which enable producers i.e. tribal entrepreneurs catch on to the chain of procurement- primary level processing-storage value addition and marketing.

After inaugural session, technical sessions were held on the bamboo products, lac products and honey in which experts presented their presentations on the success stories, production, use and business related to these products. National Workshop was an initiative to formulate a strategy for establishing tribal enterprises based on skill and local resources available particularly in bamboo, honey and lac. In the workshop, national and international experts deliberated and gave their views and ideas for establishing implementable and commercially viable tribal enterprises. The expert insight and deliberation will explore the significance of bamboo, lac and honey to address livelihoods of tribal communities across the country. The workshop also introduced feasible technologies and process for production of value-added products from bamboo, lac and honey.

Bamboo
India is the world’s second largest cultivator of bamboo after China, with 136 species and 23 general (out of which about 19 care indigenous) spread over 13.96 million hectares. According to the Union Ministry of Agricultural and Former Welfare, India’s annual bamboo production is estimated at 3.23 million tons. Poor yield of Bamboo is one of the perennial problems in India. In contrast to China’s average yield of 50 MT/Ha, the maximal yield range in India is 10-15 MT/ha. This shows that there is lot of scope for bamboo enterprise based on the good stock. The bamboo is used in different types of products and it is a very good earning option for the tribals, for which necessary seed money, facilities and expertise need to be provided to tribal artisans. The bamboo enterprises can give immediate results leading to substantial increase in income of tribal artisans.

Honey
“As per the latest data from the ‘National Bee Board’ under the Department of Agriculture, the country’s total honey production reported in 2017-18 was 1.05 lakh metric tonnes, compared to the 35,000 metric tonnes in 2005-06. The major part of it comes from Apisdorsata. With international demand for honey growing, India exports 50 per cent of the commodity and in the last 12 years, exports have increased by 207 per cent. India has exported 61,333.88 MT of natural honey worth Rs 732.16 crores i.e. USD 105.48 million dollars to USA, Australia, UAE, Saudi Arabia. Morocco, Qatar Germany, UK, Japan, France, Spain and Italy being the main markets.

The tribals can be provided with trainings along with tools and kits for scientific extraction/collection and processing of honey from the beehive and thus the tribal SHGs can play a crucial role in this regard. Besides collaboration with KVlC, there is a need to collaborate with the forest departments for wild honey collection and protection, conservation and propagation of the tree species like Adina Cardifolia and Trivia Nudiflora that are preferred by bees to nest colonies.

As per the latest government estimates, large scale employment in the beekeeping sector is estimated to generate around 3 lakh man-working days by maintaining 10,000 bee colonies. The honey is an excellent source of earning and TRIFED is committed towards Prime Minister’s vision of a “Sweet Revolution” by way of making people prosper though production and trade in honey.

Lac
“Lac resin was once imported in sizeable quantity into Europe from India along with Eastern woods. It has been seen that the Lac is mostly cultivated by poor tribals to supplement their agricultural income. Lac cultivation in India is mainly confined to the states of Jharkhand which contribute 57% of the total production, followed by Madhya Pradesh at 24% and the balance 19% is contributed by Maharashtra, Orissa and West Bengal. This cultivation has proved to be a subsidiary source of income for the tribals. In the mid-1950s. Indian annual production was about 50, 000 tons of stick lac and export about 29,000 tons of lac. By the late 1980s, the figures were about 12,000 tons and 7,000 tons respectively. However, during 1992-93, Indian lac exports fell further to 4,500 tons only. On the contrary, during the same period, the countries like Thailand & China were able to increase their lac exports. Presently Indian lac export is almost non-existent, which needs to be revived. Lac with its availability and possibilities of cultivation in tribal areas has a great potential in creating livelihood and income generation opportunities for tribal communities.

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