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India and the Path to Environmental Sustainability
(Released February 2008)

 
  by Ethan Goffman  

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News Articles

  1. 'People's car' could spell disaster; India's ultra-cheap Nano potentially a giant problem for the environment
    MIRA KAMDAR The Washington Post.
    Daily Mercury (Guelph, Ont.) 01-17-2008

    The most hotly anticipated auto show of 2008 isn't the one now underway in Detroit. It was the New Delhi Auto Expo, which managed to beat Detroit to the punch by a week -- and $2,500.

    That's the sticker price of the most eagerly awaited new car in decades: the Indian-made "people's car," dubbed the Nano. It's the brainchild of Ratan Tata, scion of the massive Indian conglomerate known as the Tata Group. He had long dreamed of giving middle-class Indian families a safer alternative to piling mom, dad and the kids onto the only motorized transportation they could afford: a motorcycle. True, the car doesn't meet North American safety standards. Still, by putting distribution in the hands of its dealers, taking advantage of cheap Indian labour and using lower- cost materials, Tata Motors has driven the price of a car down to levels never seen before.

    This is good news for the millions of people in the developing world who never imagined that they could own their own car. But it's a problem for the rest of us. . . .

    Copyright (c) 2008 Metroland Media Group Ltd. All Rights Reserved

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  2. ENVIRONMENT-INDIA: WATER MANAGEMENT KEEPS FARMERS AFLOAT
    Goswami,
    Rahul Global Information Network 07-22-2003

    HYDERABAD, India, Jul. 22 (IPS/GIN) -- Narayan Reddy, a sorghum farmer in the central Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, pointed out two wells adjoining fields near his village. "There's still some water in them at the bottom," he said with some pride. "If we hadn't built check dams and percolation tanks, we would have had none."

    Those water management techniques have indeed helped Reddy's village of Kothapally, which is home to about 1,500 people and lies about two hours away by road from Hyderabad, the state capital that is considered India's biotechnology hub.

    Reddy though had more on his mind than biotechnology aspirations when IPS met him. "If it doesn't rain soon we're in trouble," he said. "It's been two years of below-average rain and this village at one time had people migrating away. No rain and that could happen again."

    The region does not get very much rain at all - about 760 mm a year, which hardly compares with, say the Konkan coast in western India, for which 3,500 mm a year is routine. Even so, the structures the villagers built have helped recharge the groundwater table around Kothapally.. . . .

    Copyright 2003 by Inter Press Service/Global Information Network

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  3. Indian PM calls for 'climate justice' to fight global warming;
    AFP English Multimedia Wire 02-07-2008

    Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urged rich countries to ensure technology transfers to developing nations to combat climate change under a transparent global regime.

    Calling for "climate justice," Singh said developing countries such as India needed environment-friendly technologies in various sectors.

    "We in the developing world desperately need access to environment-friendly technologies, especially in energy, transportation, manufacturing and agriculture," Singh told a gathering of international leaders and scientists in New Delhi. . . .

    Copyright Agence France Presse

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  4. India's Population Reality: Reconciling Change and Tradition
    Haub, Carl; Sharma O P
    Population Bulletin 09-01-2006

    India is often described as a collection of many countries held together by a common destiny and a successful democracy. Its diverse ethnic, linguistic, geographic, religious, and demographic features reflect its rich history and shape its present and future. No fewer than 16 languages are featured on Indian rupee notes. It is also only the second country to achieve a population of 1 billion. While it is an emerging economic power, life remains largely rooted in its villages. Only a small fraction of Indians are benefiting from the country's expanding industrial and information sectors.

    India has more people than Europe, more than Africa, more than the entire Western Hemisphere. India's population will exceed that of China before 2030 to become the world's most populous country, a distinction it will almost certainly never lose. Just one group, Indian boys below age 5, numbers 62 million-more than the total population of France. India's annual increase of nearly 19 million contributes far more to annual world population growth than any other country.

    This Population Bulletin presents a demographic portrait of the diverse country of India in the early years of the 21st century and offers insight into some of the forces driving continued growth. . . .

    Copyright Population Reference Bureau, Incorporated Sep 2006

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News Articles taken from ProQuest's eLibrary.

CultureGrams

Republic of India
map of India & surrounding countriesDid You Know?
  • Covering 1,269,338 square miles (3,287,590 square kilometers), India is roughly one-third the size of the United States.
  • India has the second largest population in the world and is one of the world's most ethnically diverse countries.
  • The nation is home to several hundred languages, of which 33 have 100,000 or more speakers.
  • India is the birthplace of Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism.

Land and Climate

India, covering 1,269,338 square miles (3,287,590 square kilometers), is roughly one-third the size of the United States. The Himalaya Mountains, the tallest mountain system in the world, are located on India's northern border. South of the Himalayas, the fertile Ganges Plain is India's most densely populated region. The Great Indian (Thar) Desert extends westward from the plain into Pakistan. The Deccan Plateau in the south lies between the Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats, hill regions along the coasts of peninsular India. About half of the country is under cultivation and less than one-fourth is forested.

Most of the country experiences three basic seasons: hot (March-May), rainy (June-October), and cool (November-February). Temperatures rarely go below 40F (4C) in January or reach above 100F (40C) during the summer. Variations exist according to region and elevation. Floods, droughts, and earthquakes are common.

Population

India has the world's second largest population, behind China, with 1.1 billion residents. The population is growing by 1.4 percent annually. India is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world, with hundreds of linguistic nationalities and hundreds of different castes (tribes) residing in each state. The Indo-Aryan castes comprise 72 percent of the population. Dravidians account for 25 percent. The remaining 3 percent is comprised of a number of other groups. Nationally, castes are assigned to one of four general classes by the government. These include forward classes (FC), backward classes (BC), scheduled castes (SC), and scheduled tribes (ST). . . .

Castes are often confused with the Brahmin classification philosophy, Chaturvarna Vyavasta (four-class system), perhaps because the three historically dominant Aryan castes bear the same name as the three highest classes in this system. The ancient Sanskrit scholars believed any society is composed of four classes: Brahmin (intellectuals and priests), Kshatriya (rulers and warriors), Vaishya (merchants and artisans), and Shudra (workers). As they dispersed on the Indian subcontinent, the Aryans grouped most non-Aryan castes into the Shudra class. The Brahmin philosophy became widespread by AD 1000 because of Aryan dominance in many states, but it does not determine a person's caste.

Excerpts taken from ProQuest's CultureGrams

Historical Newspapers

  1. East and West at War in India; Lord Ronaldshay Sees Industrialism as Alien to Its People
    New York Times (1857-Current file). New York, N.Y.: Jul 13, 1924. pg. BR13, 1 pgs

    Abstract (Summary)
    THE Earl of Ronaldshay is an authority upon India, for he has traveled widely over the country, has spent many years there, and was formerly Governor General of Bengal. This book shows him to have been a student and an observer of all the many phases of his subject

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  2. BASIS IS LAID IN ECONOMICS FOR NEW INDIA; Sweeping Reforms Are Planned to Come in Force With Federal Regime VICEROY'S SPEECH ANNOUNCES SCHEME Revision of Transport and Production Systems In- volved in Project
    Special to The Christian Science Monitor. Christian Science Monitor (1908-Current file). Boston, Mass.: Feb 16, 1933. pg. 1, 1 pgs

    Abstract (Summary)
    NEW DELHI, India--Marked improvement characterizes the political and economic conditions of India Political peace is descending on the country and Indian finances are on a sounder basis than they have been for some months past

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  3. Asia Might 'Pay' for U.S. Aid by Saving Its Soil; U.S. Wants East to Work for Surplus Aid
    By Ferdinand Kuhn Post Reporter. The Washington Post (1877-1954). Washington, D.C.: Dec 4, 1949. pg. B1, 2 pgs

    Abstract (Summary)
    OFFICIALS here are considering a brand new form of repayment if, as now seems likely, the United States turns over a fraction of its huge farm surpluses to needy nations in Asia

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Taken from ProQuest's Historical Newspapers.
Scholars
  1. Ramanathan, Veerabhadran
    Professor, Climate Research Division, University of California, San Diego
    http://www-ramanathan.ucsd.edu/
    Integrated model shows that atmospheric brown clouds and greenhouse gases have reduced rice harvests in India . . . .Weakening of North Indian SST Gradients and the Monsoon Rainfall in India and the Sahel . . . Integrated model shows that atmospheric brown clouds and greenhouse gases have reduced rice harvests in India

  2. Bhat, Mahadev G.
    Associate Professor, Department of Economics, Department of Environmental Studies, Institute for Asian Studies, Florida International University
    http://www.fiu.edu/orgs/economics/profiles/bhat.html
    Mechanization and technical interactions in multi-species Indian fisheries: implications for economic and biological sustainability . . . Considering Aquacultural Externality in Coastal Land Allocation Decisions in India . . . Socio-economic changes and sacred groves in South India: Protecting a community-based resource management institution

  3. Robbins, Paul
    Associate Professor, Department of Geography and Regional Development, University of Arizona
    http://geog.arizona.edu/people/robbins.php
    Wildlife Sanctuary in the Aravalli range of Rajasthan, India using remotely sensed data and observation . . . technology & show possibilities for critical usage of the tool. Using a case from India, the research . . . of mapping technology and show possibilities for critical usage of the tool. Using a case from India

  4. Kant, Shashi
    Professor, Faculty of Forestry, University of Toronto
    http://www.forestry.utoronto.ca/people/kant/kant.html
    Shadow prices and input-oriented production efficiency analysis of the village-level production units of joint forest management (JFM) in India . . . Sustainability, economics and forest resources . . . Production analysis of collaborative forest management using an example of Joint Forest Management from Gujarat, India

  5. Stone, Glenn Davis
    Professor, Department of Anthropology, Washington University in St. Louis
    http://artsci.wustl.edu/~anthro/blurb/b_gds.html
    The case of recently introduced genetically modified cotton in India is used to explore . . . deskilling. India's first genetically engineered crop, Bt cotton, has recently been released . . . of information flows and thus of the skilling process. The India case shows how susceptible to political . . . .

Scholars taken from ProQuest's Community of Scholars