Wednesday, 14 September 2016

New Book | Naturally: Tread Softly on the Planet | by Vikram Soni

New Book

Naturally: Tread Softly on the Planet

By Vikram Soni. Harper Collins Publishers India, 2015, ISBN: 9789351770640.

Preface| A Survivors' Guide for the Planet

If we stop all emissions today will the Arctic and the glaciers stop melting? The answer is no. Will the sea rise that is submerging the coral Eden of the Maldives stop? No. The reason is simple. Even if we change the profile of the atmosphere to be greenhouse friendly, the time for changing the temperature of the air and sea, from the present rise to a decline, will be at least another 50 years. It is foregone that a third of the Maldives, most or all of the Arctic and a large part of the glaciers will recede, but may come back if we behave for the next 100 years. However, the species that have gone extinct will not come back. While global warming and carbon emissions made up much of the sky in Copenhagen, dwindling rivers, disappearing lakes and vanishing forests are all on hold, just waiting to be unleashed. It is a much larger angle than will be seen from the window of Copenhagen. The landscapes, the seas and even the air that we breathed as children are fading into memory. Since the trouble is on the planet, we have to really start by finding how the living planet works. We have to dig deeper into the past, to the evolution of life on the planet, to find out where we are coming from. This book sets the direction by placing human interventions in the matrix of life on earth. From there it gathers wisdom to walk in symbiosis with the planet. In fact, the 'Green' technologies that are in currency are only about mitigation of the harm we have already caused, yet very far from an encompassing answer. We need a radical shift from invention and production into 'preserve and use' non-invasive technology. The book is about our future, about a holistic scheme of living. Both the human being and the planet are evolutionary beings, as are plants, seeds and geological formations that make our rivers, aquifers and forests. They are all symbiotically linked by evolution.. They all enter into natural cycles that keep the planet stable. It is biodiversity that repeatedly makes the waste of one species the food for another, to close the chain and make a natural cycle. In the first part of the book we start by understanding these fundaments of the life process that hold the planet in a steady state. In the following part we focus on how the human being has invented for the sake of invention and more recently, the global market. We have dumped enough waste to make waste of the planet, from an endless list of over-indulgent inventions. All of them come with good science and technology but end up being no good for the planet. We have strayed away from the natural wisdom in nature where invention is integrated into cycles to banish waste. The entire evolutionary network of life on the planet, created by millions of years of evolution, is being taken out. We have to act now. That is exactly what the book does – look for enlightened solutions that are not injurious to the planet. The next part of the book goes beyond the present, to a template for a change to a non invasive scheme of living. It has symbiotic solutions that build into natural cycles, is about understanding evolutionary resource and how to preserve and use it and guarding nature's resource for human survival. Finally, none of this can work unless it comes from deep within our consciousness. It is about our ethos, the values of conservation, the ideology of living. We conclude by recalling the ancient idea of Ahimsa, which is non-violence toward all living things. The ancient philosophy of respect for all life has suddenly transformed into an essential for preserving biodiversity.



Table of Contents

I History of the Planet | Who We Are and How We Got There | Natural Wisdom from the Evolution of life on the earth and the Dialectic of Nature

1. The Creation of Natural Cycles

2 How the planet maintains a Steady State with respect to atmosphere composition and temperature, salt content of sea water etc. Homeostasis Cycles, zero waste production and a Steady State are maintained by Biodiversity

3. A model of how biodiversity is necessary to stabilize evolutionary networks

Including a model network for interested students

4. Nature's Canvas - Biodiversity and Locality

II A Recent history of Human Intervention | What We Have Been Doing

5 Human Intervention: Chronology and Technology

6 The Dialectic: Ideology and Technology

7 The Global and the Local | Disturbing The Earth - Contemporary Dilemmas

8 Threshold Loss - Species and Habitat

9 Climate Change and the Homosapien | A simple climate model for interested students

10 Population Up and Megacities

III What We May Need to Do | The Known & the Unknown | A Living Scheme based on Natural Wisdom | Working the Future Transition - How Technology Can Work

11 Solutions - Building into the natural cycle with examples | Including how we decontaminate ground aquifer system for interested students

12 Energy Mitigation: The Energy Landscape | A full discussion of the energy in totality including cost and environmental costs – wastes, Nuclear, Solar, Wind, Wave and Tidal and Biofuels

13 Evolutionary Resource: Seeds, Plants, Rivers and their floodplain aquifers, ground aquifers Forests etc. | Preserve & Use of Evolutionary Resource - The new non invasive technology with examples. The River floodplains as a large scale non invasive source of water that has natural storage and recharge, worth ~ a billion dollars a year just in Delhi. How each city can source mineral water from its forest areas – the Delhi ridge , Banergatta forest, Bangalore …in a non invasive way worth a ~ billion dollars a year.

14 Nature's Rights - for Human survival

15 Conservation: Ethos, Values and Practice

16 Wisdom, Full Circle

Commentaries on the Book

"The author has for many years been a leader in the fight against the destruction of the natural environment in his home country, India, and elsewhere throughout the planet. In this book he describes some of the exquisite balances which nature has evolved in the course of Earth's 4-billion year history, and makes an eloquent plea for a kind of technology much more respectful and symbiotic with them than what we have to-day". Antony J. Leggett (Mc Arthur Professor, University of Illinois (Urbana Champaign), Nobel Prize in Physics 2003)

"In an age characterised more than ever by extremes of opinion ranging from techno-euphoria to doomsday catatonia, with little in between that is credible, this book presents a refreshingly sane and practical path for humanity to carve out a modus vivendi with Nature and to design a future that is fulfilling for all and destructive for none." Ashok Khosla, President, IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) President, The Club of Rome, Co-Chair, The United Nations Resource Panel, Chairman, Development Alternatives.

More About the Book


JNU TRCSS Course on Science in the Public Interest Non-Invasive Solutions for the Planet | Starting Tomorrow | Enroll Now

Course on Science in the Public Interest Non-Invasive Solutions for the Planet

The course is about finding solutions and redefining our living scheme to be in symbiosis with nature.

An Interdisciplinary Course on Planet Science and Non-Invasive Technology, being taught for the first time at any University.

by

Vikram Soni

20 Lecture course starting on 15/09/2016

Days and Time: Tuesday & Thursday (15:30 pm)

Venue: CSRD Lecture Hall 202, JNU

If we want to work with the planet we have to understand how the planet works. The course is about designing a non-invasive scheme of living. How? By understanding how the planet works and how our production practice has been destroying it for 200 years. By moving technology to a new level to avoid this. Commentary on the main text "Naturally: Tread Softly on the Planet", by Vikram Soni, Harper Collins, 2015. A non-credit course, School of Social Sciences and Transdisciplinary Research Cluster on Sustainability Studies, JNU Contact: Vikram Soni Email: vsoni.physics@gmail.com Mobile: +91-9899821135.

 

Course Outline

The first part is about what we are and how we got here. The course will look, with new perspective, at how nature works. How it provides a scheme of living and a production system that has no waste, is self-sustaining and integral. In the part we look at what we have done. We look into the production system we have invented through technology that is contrary to nature's and find that the scale of consequence of this technology has grown beyond the planet's capacities. This derives strongly from the market driven ideology that fuels consumption. We suggest reform and deal with contradictions in the Local versus the Global. Next, the course will walk you through the major contemporary problems of threshold loss, climate change and population growth. The latter part of the course is about finding solutions and redefining our living scheme to be in symbiosis with nature. Transition suggests moving to natural cycle technology, with explicit examples. Next, the energy landscape is assessed with some natural wisdom – looking not just at renewable source for energy, but renewable apparatus and non-invasive waste. The final part is about the living natural resource bequeathed to us by evolution and the great value in using it non-invasively. Here we give new and operational solutions on sourcing water and drinking water for cities. Last, we consider nature's rights as a must for human suvival; placing values in line with preserving nature and the progress on this front. Simple Scientific models for evolutionary networks and biodiversity and on climate will be given for the interested students. Further new, non-invasive solutions using local nature resource, particularly for water in cities, will also be given .

 

About Vikram Soni

Prof. Soni is presently UGC Professor at the Centre for Theoretical Physics, at Jamia Millia Islamia. He was awarded a PhD in Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 1976. He has been faculty at Sussex University, UK from 1976 to 1978, after which he was at the University of Madras till 1983. In 1983 he went to the Institut de Recherche Fondamental at Saclay in Paris, followed by two years at the University of Regensburg in Germany at UC Berkeley. He then worked at the Institut du Physique Nuclaire at the University of Paris in Orsay, as a visiting Professor, before returning to India as UGC Professor at the National Physical Laboratory in 1989, where he worked till 2009. He has worked mainly in High Energy Physics and Astrophysics. In Physics, he has made seminal contributions in our understanding of phenomena ranging from the nucleon to neutron stars and from the matter-antimatter puzzle to evolutionary networks. More significantly he has produced a body of work in public interest science that deals with non invasive, 'Preserve and Use', solutions to contemporary problems, particularly the water problems. This work is published in prestigious science journals. Acting on his convictions, he has worked tirelessly to protect living natural resource both with the courts and government. The Aravalli biodiversity park in Delhi exists thanks to these efforts. The protection and moratorium on building on the floodplain of the river Yamuna followed from the novel natural water storage scheme proposed by him and co-workers.

Text for the course

Naturally: Tread Softly on the Planet

By Vikram Soni. HarperCollins Publishers India, 2015, ISBN: 9789351770640

Preface

This book is about what we are and how we got here, about what we have been doing and where do we go from here.

A Survivors' Guide for the Planet

If we stop all emissions today will the Arctic and the glaciers stop melting? The answer is no. Will the sea rise that is submerging the coral Eden of the Maldives stop? No. The reason is simple. Even if we change the profile of the atmosphere to be greenhouse friendly, the time for changing the temperature of the air and sea, from the present rise to a decline, will be at least another 50 years. It is foregone that a third of the Maldives, most or all of the Arctic and a large part of the glaciers will recede, but may come back if we behave for the next 100 years. However, the species that have gone extinct will not come back. While global warming and carbon emissions made up much of the sky in Copenhagen, dwindling rivers, disappearing lakes and vanishing forests are all on hold, just waiting to be unleashed. It is a much larger angle than will be seen from the window of Copenhagen. The landscapes, the seas and even the air that we breathed as children are fading into memory. Since the trouble is on the planet, we have to really start by finding how the living planet works. We have to dig deeper into the past, to the evolution of life on the planet, to find out where we are coming from. This book sets the direction by placing human interventions in the matrix of life on earth. From there it gathers wisdom to walk in symbiosis with the planet. In fact, the 'Green' technologies that are in currency are only about mitigation of the harm we have already caused, yet very far from an encompassing answer. We need a radical shift from invention and production into 'preserve and use' non-invasive technology. The book is about our future, about a holistic scheme of living. Both the human being and the planet are evolutionary beings, as are plants, seeds and geological formations that make our rivers, aquifers and forests. They are all symbiotically linked by evolution.. They all enter into natural cycles that keep the planet stable. It is biodiversity that repeatedly makes the waste of one species the food for another, to close the chain and make a natural cycle. In the first part of the book we start by understanding these fundaments of the life process that hold the planet in a steady state. In the following part we focus on how the human being has invented for the sake of invention and more recently, the global market. We have dumped enough waste to make waste of the planet, from an endless list of over-indulgent inventions. All of them come with good science and technology but end up being no good for the planet. We have strayed away from the natural wisdom in nature where invention is integrated into cycles to banish waste. The entire evolutionary network of life on the planet, created by millions of years of evolution, is being taken out. We have to act now. That is exactly what the book does – look for enlightened solutions that are not injurious to the planet. The next part of the book goes beyond the present, to a template for a change to a non invasive scheme of living. It has symbiotic solutions that build into natural cycles, is about understanding evolutionary resource and how to preserve and use it and guarding nature's resource for human survival. Finally, none of this can work unless it comes from deep within our consciousness. It is about our ethos, the values of conservation, the ideology of living. We conclude by recalling the ancient idea of Ahimsa, which is non-violence toward all living things. The ancient philosophy of respect for all life has suddenly transformed into an essential for preserving biodiversity.

Table of Contents

I History of the Planet

Who We Are and How We Got There | Natural Wisdom from the Evolution of life on the earth and the Dialectic of Nature

Chapters

1. The Creation of Natural Cycles

2 How the planet maintains a Steady State with respect to atmosphere composition and temperature, salt content of sea water etc. Homeostasis Cycles, zero waste production and a Steady State are maintained by Biodiversity

3. A model of how biodiversity is necessary to stabilize evolutionary networks

Including a model network for interested students

4. Nature's Canvas - Biodiversity and Locality

II A Recent history of Human Intervention | What We Have Been Doing

Chapters

5 Human Intervention: Chronology and Technology

6 The Dialectic: Ideology and Technology

7 The Global and the Local | Disturbing The Earth - Contemporary Dilemmas

8 Threshold Loss - Species and Habitat

9 Climate Change and the Homosapien | A simple climate model for interested students

10 Population Up and Megacities

III What We May Need to Do | The Known & the Unknown | A Living Scheme based on Natural Wisdom | Working the Future Transition - How Technology Can Work

Chapters

11 Solutions - Building into the natural cycle with examples | Including how we decontaminate ground aquifer system for interested students

12 Energy Mitigation: The Energy Landscape | A full discussion of the energy in totality including cost and environmental costs – wastes, Nuclear, Solar, Wind, Wave and Tidal and Biofuels

13 Evolutionary Resource: Seeds, Plants, Rivers and their floodplain aquifers, ground aquifers Forests etc. | Preserve & Use of Evolutionary Resource - The new non invasive technology with examples. The River floodplains as a large scale non invasive source of water that has natural storage and recharge, worth ~ a billion dollars a year just in Delhi. How each city can source mineral water from its forest areas – the Delhi ridge , Banergatta forest, Bangalore …in a non invasive way worth a ~ billion dollars a year.

14 Nature's Rights - for Human survival

15 Conservation: Ethos , Values and Practice

16 Wisdom, Full Circle

Reviews of the Book

"The author has for many years been a leader in the fight against the destruction of the natural environment in his home country, India, and elsewhere throughout the planet. In this book he describes some of the exquisite balances which nature has evolved in the course of Earth's 4-billion year history, and makes an eloquent plea for a kind of technology much more respectful and symbiotic with them than what we have to-day". Antony J. Leggett (Mc Arthur Professor, University of Illinois (Urbana Champaign), Nobel Prize in Physics 2003)

"In an age characterised more than ever by extremes of opinion ranging from techno-euphoria to doomsday catatonia, with little in between that is credible, this book presents a refreshingly sane and practical path for humanity to carve out a modus vivendi with Nature and to design a future that is fulfilling for all and destructive for none." Ashok Khosla, President, IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) President, The Club of Rome, Co-Chair, The United Nations Resource Panel, Chairman, Development Alternatives.

More About the Book

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

CfPs: Pathways to SDG: Macro to Micro Perspectives | World Toilet Day Conference | A UNU-MERIT External Event | at IHC New Delhi

Pathways to SDG: Macro to Micro Perspectives | World Toilet Day Conference

Technology, Innovation and Governance for attainment of the SDGs

A UNU-MERIT External Event in collaboration with Friend In Need India

20th November 2016

India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi

 

Call for Papers

In a general sense, technology refers to a practical application of science to address a particular product or manufacturing need in the form of a specific process that produces a product or service. Innovation refers to novelty in terms of quality, product, design, process or organizational routine.

Exploiting technology and promoting innovation for economic growth as well as socio- economic development is a challenge for all developing countries. Here governance is key. The national system of innovation of any country comprises a complex mesh of actors such as the State, firms, public laboratories, institutions, NGOs, civil society and consumers and even nature. Governance involves setting the rules of the game, with monitoring and incentives – so that collective welfare may be maximized. As with Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) call for astute exploitation of existing technologies, promotions of useful innovations and efficient governance designs for attainment.

Thus, we call for papers addressing any issues related to the following that touch upon attainment of one or more SDGs:

  • Technology usage or redesign
  • Innovation creation, adoption, diffusion
  • Governance of delivery platforms, multi-stakeholder consortias, public private partnerships, sanitation drives, government programmes.

Papers must validate their arguments through evidence. Qualitative, quantitative or theoretical methodology can be deployed but final arguments must be validated by evidence. Six papers will be selected for conference presentations. Authors selected for conference presentation will be paid domestic air fare and 1 night of hotel stay. There will also be selection of papers for poster presentation (without airfare and hotel stay). Please send your papers to Rushva Parihar parihar@merit.unu.edu.

Key Dates:

  • Deadline for submission: September 30
  • Email confirmation of result: October 15

Title Page should include full contact details. Selected Papers will be published as part of the UNU-MERIT working paper series and/or as a Special Issue of an international journal.

Between 10.00 AM – 12.00 noon and between 3.00 PM to 5.00 PM – there will be an information desk manned by Sueli Brodin to answer all your questions on UNU-MERIT and Maastricht University for those interested in higher studies.

 

Organization Committee

Prof. Shyama V. Ramani and Rushva Parihar, UNU-MERIT (Netherlands)

Enquiries: Write to Rushva Parihar parihar@merit.unu.edu

Attendance is free but Registration is required to register – Click on this link – Fill the form and submit http://goo.gl/forms/7G2agTsJOX.


CfA: Children understand more…: A workshop for illustrators, graphic artists and authors on creating new and different books for children | 5-15 Dec, Santiniketan

Children understand more… !
A workshop for illustrators, graphic artists and authors on creating new and different books for children

5th to 15th December 2016
at Kolkata/  Santiniketan, West Bengal

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS
The Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan and Zubaan are organizing a workshop for illustrators/graphic artists and writers of books for children in December 2016 (from the 5th to the 15th). The workshop will be conducted by a well-known writer from India and two illustrators from Germany and will be held near Kolkata.

INTRODUCTION: Single parenthood, patchwork families, the relationship to one's body, disabilities, sex education, sexuality, same-sex love, trans- and intersexuality, death, (religious) fanaticism, environmental issues – these are all realities we live with every day of our lives. And yet, there seems to be an unspoken pact among adults, no matter what class, region, country or religion they belong to, that children must be protected from these 'difficult' realities. Children prove themselves to be more resilient than adults give them credit for, and remain curious about everything. Whom does it serve, then, to shield them from these realities? Is it time to begin thinking of how we can address such issues in sensitive, accessible, responsible ways?
This workshop aims to make just such a start by bringing together illustrators, artists, writers and resource persons over a period of a week, to create stories, discuss and distill them with peers, and to begin the process of publishing a body of work that engages with difference, with the 'othered', and with the many difficulties of reality.
The Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan, together with its partner Zubaan, New Delhi, would like to show, in a literature project with childrens' books authors and illustrators, how childrens' questions in these areas can be answered comprehensibly and engagedly in an Indian context.

PROJECT PROGRESSION: Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan, in cooperation with the publishing house Zubaan in New Delhi and the Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), will organize a 10-day workshop in/near Kolkata with 10–16 Indian children's book authors and illustrators in December 2016. The workshop will offer the opportunity to develop stories, and to discuss ideas and questions of how to create narratives for graphic stories/novels.
Three experts – a renowned children's book author from India and illustrators from Germany – will conduct the workshop. Extensive discussions, hands-on exercises and detailed feedback will offer participants the possibility to work in a collaborative way and to expand
and deepen their knowledge about art, aesthetics, design and networking. Participants and workshop leaders will be located on-site.
The workshop will start with an introduction to the (social) situation of children in India and child psychology, as well as the position of children's books in India. In the following days the authors and illustrators will decide which topics they would like to tackle and start developing the stories in illustrator/writer teams, in close collaboration with each other. The Indian and German workshop conductors will guide the discussions during this process and offer professional advice.
The project partners will present selected works produced during the workshop to publishing houses in India which might be interested to publish them. Selections will be made by a panel consisting of representatives from Zubaan, SCBWI and Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan, in consultation with the workshop leaders, on the basis of work submitted.
Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan will provide accommodation, three meals/day and a travel subsidy.

WORKSHOP DATES:
The workshop will take place from 5th to 15th December 2016 (inclusive).

WHO CAN APPLY:
Only artists in their final year of study, or who have graduated, or are accomplished authors/ illustrators can apply. Ideally, a mix of all three groups would create an inspiring atmosphere for all participants. Participants are required to spend the full 10 days at the workshop and to live on-site, arriving the day before the workshop begins and departing the day after it ends. Accommodation can be on a twin-sharing basis. The workshop will be conducted in English.

HOW TO APPLY:
Up to 16 participants (5-8 authors, 5-8 illustrators) will be selected via this call for applications. Submissions should include a curated selection of their works and potential story ideas. All applications must be sent to applications@kolkata.goethe.org, containing:
- a brief CV;
- representative samples of your work (as .pdf or .jpg attachments);
- suggestions for relevant topics; and
- a brief idea for a story on one of these relevant topics presented in text or illustration, which you would like to work on during your stay

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS: 20 SEPTEMBER 2016

We look forward to hearing from you.

Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Zubaan Books

Monday, 12 September 2016

New Report | Road from Paris: Ensuring Effective and Equitable Climate Action | ORF, New Delhi

Road from Paris: Ensuring Effective and Equitable Climate Action
edited by Vikrom Mathur and Aniruddh Mohan. Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi, 2016.


Abstract: The Paris Agreement has charted a new course in a two-decade old effort to respond to global climate change. The Agreement balances bottom-up national contributions with top-down rules for review, transparency and collective consideration of overall adequacy. This book brings together a collection of essays which analyse how the themes of adaptation and resilience; energy transitions and technology innovation; climate finance and; the role of non-state actors in the evolving climate regime will develop under the new framework. Addressing a complex challenge like climate change will require action at multiple levels by a diverse set of actors; building trust and legitimacy in the eyes of actors, across a range of goals, will be central to the successful implementation of the Paris Agreement.

Table of Contents
Foreword | JM Mauskar
We'll Always Have Paris | Vikrom Mathur, Aniruddh Mohan
Future Directions | Steve Rayner
Implications for Adaptation, Loss And Damage | Ian Fry
A Matter of Capabilities | Heleen de Coninck
Energy-Climate Innovation | John Alic
Energy Transitions in China | Wang Tao
The Technology Challenge | Anand Patwardhan
Bridging the Climate Finance Gap | Aled Jones
Climate Action Beyond Mitigation and the Global North | Sander Chan
Contextualizing and Linking Climate Commitments | Amy Weinfurter
Building Trust and Legitimacy | Vikrom Mathur, Aniruddh Mohan




Sunday, 11 September 2016

OA eBook | India Soars High: Key policies of the Indian Government and Their Impact on Business | by KPMG in India, 2016

OA eBook
India Soars High
by KPMG in India, February 2016.

Foreword
India has long been viewed as a potential economic tiger that is yet to achieve its potential. Myriad regulations and the intricate federal structure of the government inhibited business growth and held back India from achieving its expected economic potential.
However, that appears to be changing gradually. The state governments, in lockstep with the central government, have unveiled several reforms and changes that have made it comparatively easier to do business in India, than ever before. And this is not a one off process by the state governments. The process has been institutionalised by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Government of India, under the ranking mechanism on adoption of business reforms, supported by the World Bank and various industry associations. This mechanism has been widely acknowledged as a game changer in transforming India in terms of ease of doing business.
The Indian economy itself has shown resilience in the face of global downturns, and has stood up to be one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The performance of the USD2 trillion-economy at current price is being keenly observed by the world. During FY2014-15, India's domestic consumption and investment contributed a growth of 57 per cent and 33.1 per cent, respectively, to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In itself, that played a significant role in keeping India's economic sentiments charged up. And now that India's GDP growth forecast for 2016 is slated to be 7.5 per cent, India is firmly on its way to catapult into a global growth engine. This growth rate also makes India one of the fastest growing large economy in the world. 
I am happy to note that the growth of over 7 per cent GDP in FY2015-16 presents India's case strongly to the global investors. One of the world's fastest-growing economies, India is opening up a world of opportunities for investments, in a significantly conducive and supportive environment. In 1H FY2015-16, India received FDI of USD16.63 billion, an increase of about 13 per cent to the corresponding period in the previous fiscal year. Investments into India are accelerating, demonstrating increased investor confidence on what India has to offer. And the government is working hard to significantly reduce the red tape.
In addition, Government of India has launched various ambitious national programmes that present significant opportunities for investors to be part of one of the largest infrastructure programmes in the world. These programmes are expected to transform not only the cities and the country as a whole, but also the way business is done in India. Some of the infrastructure plans are trans-national and would help India economically integrate more firmly and rapidly with the regional economies. Proactive policy reforms along with several campaigns and initiatives, such as Make in India, Digital India, Skill India, Start-up India and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Mission), are likely to transform the extent and the quality of rural and urban infrastructure.
These steps are expected to bring forth a number of investment opportunities. For example, the initial corpus of USD6.2 billion by the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) is expected to bridge the investment gap in infrastructure, which would be addressed by FDI and private investments. Further, the investments planned for the Indian Railways, as an example, is USD133.5 billion over the next five years ending 2019. And, for roads, the investments planned is USD32.4 billion during the twelfth Five Year Plan (FYP) during 2012-17. In a scenario, where the nominal GDP is expected to reach USD3.4 trillion by FY2019-20 and further, to USD7 trillion by FY2024-25, the stakes for the return on investments is expected to be significantly high. It is certainly the right time to invest in India.
This positive sentiment is reflected by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecast for India's economic growth at 7.3 per cent for 2015 and 7.5 per cent for 2016. This report 'India soars high' by KPMG in India, gives an insight about the state of the Indian economy from an investor's perspective and I am positive that it would help investors in their decision-making process while strategising their investments in India. 
I hope this report gives you a better understanding of the rapidly changing business outlook for India and I take this opportunity to wish you the best for the New Year 2016.
Richard Rekhy | Chief Executive Officer | KPMG in India

Table of Contents
India - at a glance
Overview of the Indian economy
Key policies of the Indian government and their impact on business
Reforms at the state

Open Access eBook | New Publication Cultures in the Humanities: Exploring the Paradigm Shift | edited by Péter Dávidházi

Open Access eBook
New Publication Cultures in the Humanities: Exploring the Paradigm Shift
edited by Péter Dávidházi. Amsterdam University Press, 2014, 212 pages, € 79.00 (hardback), ISBN: 9789089645647.

Abstract: The changes we have seen in recent years in the scholarly publishing world - including the growth of digital publishing and changes to the role and strategies of publishers and libraries alike - represent the most dramatic paradigm shift in scholarly communications in centuries. This volume brings together leading scholars from across the humanities to explore that transformation and consider the challenges and opportunities it brings.

Table of Contents
Exploring Paradigms and Ourselves | Péter Dávidházi
The Digital Enterprise: Views Philosophical, Historical and Personal 
Digital Humanities Foundations | Jacques Dubucs
Looking Forwards, Not Back: Some Ideas on the Future of Electronic Publications | Gudrun Gersmann
The Dynamics of Digital Publications: An Exploration of Digital Lexicography | Claudine Moulin and Julianne Nyhan
Too Much of a Good Thing? Or, A Historian Swamped by the Web | Luca Codignola
Changing Models for Textual Editing in Electronic Publication
Electronic Textual Criticism: A Challenge to the Editor and to the Publisher | Gábor Kecskeméti
Computer-assisted Scholarly Editing of Manuscript Sources | Andrea Bozzi
Electronic Media and Changing Methods in Classics | Bernhard Palme
Cutting Edge: New Means of Access, Evaluation and Funding
Publication Practices in Motion: The Benefits of Open Access Publishing for the Humanities | Janneke Adema and Eelco Ferwerda
The Future of Publications in the Humanities: Possible Impacts of Research Assessment | Milena Žic Fuchs
ERIH's Role in the Evaluation of Research Achievements in the Humanities | Ferenc Kiefer
Performing Excellence in the Humanities: The Funding Initiative 'Opus Magnum' of the VolkswagenStiftung | Vera Szöllösi-Brenig