Aside

Green Technology

In the 21st Century, man has innumerable reasons to be proud of their unique achievements. Mankind has achieved a series of advancements in varied fields such as nuclear energy, social media, transportation, communication, space science etc. However, with all the advancements and achievements come an equal number of issues and disasters inter alia overpopulation, poverty and water crisis, which pose a vicissitude to the economies of the world. Among the present day issues, there is one that is perpetual: the issue of protecting our degrading environment.

World economies are trying their level best to ‘go green’. The act of ‘going green’ brings with it a bounteous amount of new concepts such as sustainable development, green consumerism, green business and eco-friendliness. As governments adopt the concept of sustainable development, consumers are becoming more aware of the need of conservation which ultimately gives rise to the emergence of green consumerism. As consumers begin to demand for eco-friendly goods and services, businesses are burdened to satisfy the consumers’ demands. This, in turn, has led to the adoption of green technology by enterprises.

Green technology describes those technologies which are applied to environmental problems i.e. technologies that are more environmentally benign than conventional ones. The term by itself is very vast, describing an array of technology from those dealing with water treatment and purification to renewable energy generation and storage. Green technologies are also often termed as clean technologies which aim at eliminating toxic materials and waste materials in the production process.

Green technology has been most successful in the area of renewable energy generation; its storage and its transmission. Some of the green technologies which are highly popular today include Solar Photovoltaic cells, wind power technologies and solar thermal technologies – to name a few. Green energy storage technologies include batteries and fuel cells which highly advantageous due to its low cost, higher capacity and light weight. Bio-fuels and bio-energy – derived from living organisms or waste materials, are also being explored as green technologies to fuel transportation.

As the global economy confronts issues ranging from climate change, water scarcity and other environmental threats, green technology will continue to grow in the short term especially if used in synergy with infrastructural projects.

IKEA and Herman Miller, two giants of the furniture world, use green technology extensively in their production process.

Glimpsing into the future, green technology has bright prospects. Some of which include:

  1. Bolt-on Turbines: Wind turbines that work only on your home’s ceiling.
  2. Subway Power: Harnessing the power of the wind of passing trains to charge your gadgets.
  3. Solar Leaves: Tiny affordable solar leaves that cover the surface of a building to convert sun rays to power.

These aren’t just ideas, but actual projects that are in the making. A solar powered plane, named the Solar Impulse, is one of the many green innovations that are yet to come.

The path of a greener, brighter and a sustained future can be achieved if the usage of green technology, conservation and various other environmental concepts are in an efficient synergy.

But one thing is for sure, future technology is looking a lot greener.

– Erwin Rodrigues.

(Research, Writing & Photography)

Environmental Economics

The rising awareness about the hazards of environmental crisis has made various countries sit up and take notice about the unavoidable requirement for environment friendly prospects for boosting their economy. This is where ‘environmental economics’ steps in.

Loosely defined, environmental economics is the study of environmental policies around the world, and their effects on their respective economies around the world. In the latter half of the 20th century, people realised that the world could face a possible environmental crisis. Contributing to their speculation, a nuclear mishap, an oil spill fouling an entire shoreline, and other such events convinced the people of the onset of an environmental crisis. A glaring example of such a crisis is Cleveland’s Cuhayoga river. The river was so contaminated with industrial waste, that it self-ignited on June 22nd, burning on for four days.

 The environment and the economy are inter related and inter dependent – both affecting each other adversely. A detailed description states that the study of environmental economics depends on :

  • The nature and scope of environmental crisis
  • The range of economic and political possibilities

Households and firms are connected to the environment, and they are interconnected too. Households and firms depend on nature for resources. They send out a fair share of consumption and production residuals in the environment.

Thankfully, nature has the power to assimilate all forms of waste. But this    power is conditional. The earth can clean up the natural wastes, just as long as it is not disturbed by excess amounts of waste. If and when the Earth fails to respond to the 3 R’s (Recovery, Recycling and Reuse), the symptoms of environmental damage appear. Thus, a rhythm exists in the use and reuse of the resources for man and by man. Earth cannot respond properly to man-made or artificial wastes. Man-made waste is piling up around us, and the extent of damage to the environment has been on the rise. All the accumulated waste cannot be cleaned up by the Earth, like a makeshift sink. The Earth has reached it’s saturation point regarding this process. It is helpless in cleaning up several types of waste, finally resulting in major environmental issues the world over.

Environmental Economics thrives to solve the problem of the environmental crisis all around the world, and so it was necessary to highlight the issue of environmental crisis on a global platform. And so the 2012 United Nations Climate Change Conference was held in Doha, from 26th November to 8th December.

The UN chief Christina Figueres published the following statement during the conference

“The necessary technology and policy tools are available to governments and societies, but time is very short — only 36 months to reach a universal agreement before 2015. What we now need is to urgently implement the decisions that have been taken at the inter-governmental level and to further strengthen actions already under way”

– Utsav Gagwani.

(Research, Writing & Photography)

Gnaritas 2013 – Turning over a new leaf.

Over the past century, development has raced forward, ignoring the environment. It has reached a point where it has almost destroyed the environment in its hunt for progress. What will save the world? Is there anything that considers exponential growth of the economies without harming what is left of the environment??

Oh wait, there it is… *drum roll proceed into theme music*… the concept of GREEN ECONOMY!!!

Since the past two years, Gnaritas has been uncovering various segments of the economy. Starting with the ‘Evolution of Economics’ and then ‘The Economic Underworld’, we now present ourselves as ‘economologists’ – a fusion of economists and ecologists. (Yes, we have a penchant for creating new words.)Image

The concept of Green Economy highlights an environment friendly economy. Green Economy is not to be confused with sustainable development. Sustainable development focuses on economic, social and environmental factors of a particular region, whereas green economy focuses on development with environmental balance using sustainable measures. With the theme ‘Green Economy’, we aim to explore the various facets that enhance the environmental efficiency of an economy.

Gnaritas 2013 has incorporated the theme into its working this year. We have ‘gone green’ to use the phrase. The Creatives department is using last year’s posters [repainted] for this year to avoid the massive paper wastage that comes with poster making. The Research, Writing and Photography department has gone completely virtual and has zero paper usage.

So all in all, this year’s Gnaritas is working towards being as environmentally friendly as possible and practice what we preach to our associates as well as participants.

–         Rajat Musale.

(Research, Writing & Photography)

Theme of Gnaritas 2013

With the growing concern for the environment and the emergence of green consumerism, the world is moving towards a greener economy. According to UNEP, Green Economy is “one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities.” In its simplest expression, a Green Economy can be thought of as one which is low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive.

With this approach, many economies of the world are considering the concept of Green Economy as a way to an environmentally sound future. As green businesses are the need of the hour, Gnaritas – The ‘Busineconomics’ Festival aims to explore the various facets that enhance the environmental efficiency of an economy. Logo

An Interview With The Chairperson – Nikita Dhanraj.

Nikita, let’s start with the theme, nothing like ever attempted before. Playing with fire , aren’t we?

Yes, because the economic underworld which we’re trying to target is the manipulative side of world economy which is about the governments and the corporations engaging in money laundering in very large scale, there is resource and social exploitation of small countries. So, overall it is targeting a very controversial topic but again it’s something that the world needs to know, especially the youth.

Obvious chaos during planning & organizing, how did you handle it?

Basically I am not a very methodical leader. As things come, I plan my actions and work accordingly. There have been really amazing people who have helped me through all this. So, with around 135 members, there has been a lot of chaos and everything but then it is up to a leader how to handle it. I am very clear about what I want , what my targets are and I have been transferring that energy and that target completion through to my team members and it has worked successfully so far I am not very strict either which has sometimes worked against me. But at the end, the things somehow find their way out.

How has it all turned out so far? Worth all the months of hard work? Any way of chairing it again if you get a chance?

It has been a very worthwhile time of all this hard work that the entire team has put in. It is like our baby, we have actually come out with the concept of GNARITAS in Mithibai and it has been the wonderful journey. Actually, to be frank, it never stopped after Gnaritas – I i.e. after January 2012. We were working since March. A lot of ideas have been coming in, brainstorming things about going to state & national level. It has been such a rollercoaster ride and I think I have had all the share of fun learning and enlightenment through Gnaritas. The way I have always visualized Gnaritas and where it has reached today, I can vouch for the efforts that all of us have put in, all team members. When it comes about sharing it for the next time, I really want someone else to take up the position as I don’t want others to be deprived of it. Secondly, something as excellent as this has to be let gone for others. I will however, be associated with Gnaritas for the coming years, guiding my juniors.

So, what should we be expecting from Gnaritas – II?

Grandeur, coupled with uniqueness, uncommonness & diversity. The most striking thing is the reach that it has claimed, all over the city and the states, thanks to our new department i.e. RWP team for the online promotions, posts and articles with have reached out to the youth that we were targeting. There are more than expected colleges registering for the events, which is really amazing. So, the scale this year is very high.

Any last words?

It’s my baby. I’m really going to miss it. The way it has shot up to new heights this time, is amazing & I’m expecting it to grow more and more in the future maybe reach up to the international level, with high standards in our functioning, theme, speakers, seminars, promotions, events, topics.. This is what Gnaritas is all about. It’s about knowledge and knowledge is ever-expanding. And that is wat we are focusing on, to make it ever-encompassing, to touch people’s hearts, and make people dig deep into the worldly issues.

 

Logistics

The Logistics department provides the foundation to every festival.  They are the score-keepers – the functional units, especially on the event days.

Though their work doesn’t really start until a few weeks before the festival, they have been helping other departments in every way they possibly can. This itself shows the team spirit and the support, shared mutually.

The members have been working really hard – getting all the rules right, making important sheets, deciding registration processes, planning their course of action on the D-days, etc.

When it comes down to the days of the events, we can almost see the amount of tension faced by this department. Not a minute goes by when they are off work. Even eating or talking become luxuries.

Being a member of logistics is a huge responsibility – one small mistake, and the whole festival is in the danger of being jeopardized. Thus, a hats-off to all those people who have been putting in their best efforts to make this festival a huge success.

 

– Hashwata Harlalka.

Research, Writing & Photography.

Gnaritas – II : An approach out of the box

Inspite of being the youngest of all the cultural and the academic festivals, Gnaritas-II 2012 has endeavoured an act of juvenile delinquency by being rebellious!

        A tangent against the conventional ways of selecting the theme, events and even for the formation of departments, Gnaritas persuades you to shatter the dogma that academic festivals are leisurely only for conversant brains and not for creative minds; by coming up with the fun events along with BusinEconomics and GK events. Fun events like Treasure Hunt, Street Play, Mr. and Ms. Gnaritas (personality test) are the events, incomprehensible for the tradionalistics to think in academic festival.  Moreover, all the events are enveloped in the zest of the theme.

        We have revolutionized departmentation by introducing a completely new department “Research, Writing & Photography”. The very attribute of creating such a department is to employ sapient minds of literary instincts in the work of research & writing and promoting Gnaritas II online.

        Our belief lies not just in thinking out of the box; but also transforming it into the reality. Disposition of our perfection is not just in being creative but bringing out best of the pearls from the ocean of creativity. Pearls which gives solitary surveillance to the tiara of Gnaritas.

 

– Shrusti Vasani

Research, Writing & Photography.

Ad Hatter : The Ad Mad World

Obsessed with the Ad-world? Think you can make into it? Take a chance!
An adept opportunity for ad-lovers, AD-HATTER is an all-encompassing advertisement event. Summed up in three rounds (elims+2), you can’t get a better whack to manifest your earnestness towards the most extensive tool of marketing.

Primary eliminations test your ad-knowledge, and no, we won’t ask you “Melody itni chocolaty kyun hai?”  You may depend upon it. Round 1 gives you a chance to create an advertisement for a given product. Present it your own and make sure it stands out of the crowd. Make the judges want to look at it twice and again. So give it your best shot.

Round 2 expects from you an adroit advertisement professional as for the 1st time an event requisites ‘Advertisement Budget Report’. So pull up your sock and don’t forget the golden rule of Advertisement, “There is no second chance at making a first impression.”

 

– Dimpy Saiya.

Research, Writing & Photography.

An Abrupt Landing For Air India?

The failure of Indian government to prioritize progress over their greed is reflected in the recent downfall of the government enterprise, Air India. A government enterprise means an enterprise owned and controlled by the Indian national government. Then how is it that Air India has borne the hit of inflation and rising petrol prices so hard. 
To look at the current state of Air India, the price of the air tickets will be rising 20% from September. The equity infusion it will be receiving in September will hardly be able to pay off the loans taken by the company. Air India staff is unhappy and going on strikes as their salaries have not been paid since months.
The pilots are going on strikes; the household of each staff member is being affected. One of the main reasons why people take up government jobs is that it assures job security and prompt payment. However with Air India, there is neither. Pilots are being fired for wanting to be heard by the government and staff is not being paid due to the losses the company is making.
Air India was meant to be for the people of India so that they can experience the luxury of air travel, however there are so many private airlines that have come into the aviation industry that are making that happen for the common people. This just shows that yet another government enterprise has failed to do their job. While Air India is dealing with such a crisis, Jet Airways gets official permission by the government of India to join the star alliance. In greed of making profits for the government, giving up market share may seem feasible now, but it is just momentary.

The question that arises here is: Is letting in private airlines greed for the company to do well for the government or for politicians to fill their own pockets??

 

– Khushboo Damakia

Research, Writing & Photography

(Coal)Gate Crashed!

With so much on their plate already, what the Indians least wanted was another scam. But here it is, avowed by the media as the “mother of all scams”, COALGATE. Coal Mining Scam or Coalgate is allegedly a corruption scandal in which the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) office accused the Government of India for providing the nation’s coal deposits to private and state-run entities in an irregular and arbitrary manner instead of publicly auctioning them off to the highest bidder, resulting in a loss of approximately 186,000 crore (US$33.67 billion) to the exchequer during the period 2004-2009.Tabling the crucial report on Coalgate, the CAG told the Parliament that the allocation of coal blocks on nomination basis instead of competitive bidding has given undue benefits to at least 25 private state-run firms.

The government firmly stood behind Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the issue of Coal scam even as the opposition stalled Parliament proceedings demanding the Prime Minister’s resignation since 3 of the 5 years under scrutiny Mr. Singh was in charge of the Coal Ministry. He is geared up to rebut in Parliament the charges, contending that there were ‘inaccuracies’ in the “misleading” assessment of loss of Rs 1.85 lac crore.

The ruling Congress-led coalition has rejected the demand for Mr. Singh to resign, with top party leaders reiterating that the BJP should allow a debate on the coal auction matter in Parliament and let the Mr. Singh speak on the issue. But BJP politicians say they don’t want to hear it and that they’ll accept nothing short of Mr. Singh’s resignation. And the stalemate goes on.
Midst all the political fiction lies a question, who is to be trusted?

Mr. Singh justifies his action by saying it would lead in eventual decrease in the price of coal by the firms. But that definitely comes with a hole in government’s pocket, worsening the issue governance deficit. And to say, Singh’s coalition government has been beset by corruption scandals since re-election in 2009, most notably stemming from the sale of mobile phone spectrum which has led to the arrest and trial of then-telecom minister A. Raja. Singh has definitely got some explanation to do, only if BJP puts their foot down that is.

A debate sounds like the next logical step but this sort of stonewalling is not helping anyone, least of all the image of our political class. By stalling the parliament proceedings including question of hour, to get underway forcing the House to adjourn repeatedly, opposition is doing more harm than help! Given the current economic scenario where extensive debate and passage of reforms is the need of the hour, parliamentary paralysis is only adding to India’s economic woes. It is quite a while since we have seen our elected representatives doing what they have been chosen for — to frame legislation which is aimed at improving the quality of life of the people. Disenchantment with the political class which seems to have no thought for the welfare of the people is what fuelled the initial outpouring of support for people like Anna Hazare. It is dangerous for a democracy when people begin to lose faith in elected representatives.
Also it is hard to decipher what the BJP hopes to gain by this. The thought of it merely being for country’s welfare, is laughable. And if it is trying to force an early election, this move could boomerang on it since the BJP itself has not projected a much unified picture in recent times.

This brings us back to square one. So all we do is bounce on the couch with a cup of coffee, turn on the television and see if the snail has moved any further. If only Indians had been impatient in this matter as well, things might have been different.

– Dimpy Saiya.

(Research, Writing & Photography)