In this article, Ram Ramprasad says if India and the world need to transform, we must embrace a more holistic cultural framework. We need cultural planning as he suggests a framework for attaining a holistic economic advancement.
I am disenchanted—as most progressive people are—with economic progress worldwide, given its linear, mechanistic, and reductionist approach to development. This approach has created tragedies of ill health, climate change, and high costs in every sphere of life—ironically measured as GDP. If India and the world need to transform, we must embrace a more holistic cultural framework. Centuries ago, India emphasized ‘culture’ as the defining template for overall progress. This ‘archaic’ template is worth revisiting in the modern world.
In my view, there are two broad aspects that define culture. The first aspect is where we as individuals actively seek out and create harmony within ourselves; we call it spiritual (or self ) awareness. The second is where we seek to establish harmony outside of ourselves. These two broad aspects go together like two oxen pulling a cart. The former enables purity in thought and action.
There are several spiritual organizations within and outside of India that enable and foster inner transformation. As for harmony with the external world, there are three broad categories of development— ecological, political, and social. Emphasis on ecological culture means focusing on innovations that truly preserve and respect the five essential elements of nature, that is, air, water, fire, soil, and space. Our goal should be to create a circular economy. Most innovations to date have harmed all the five elements. Any harm to one element disrupts the others. For example, high levels of CO2 in the atmosphere have made our oceans more acidic. We need to focus on those innovations, models, and processes that preserve, protect, foster, or do least harm to the five elements. I offer below examples of how we can accomplish this.
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Plastic Waste Management - Turning Challenges into Opportunities
Plastic waste generation is expected to increase to 31.4 million tonnes by 2031 and further to 55 million tonnes by 2041 (Statista 2019), thus showcasing an urgent need to address the concerns from the growing plastic waste in our country. Dr Suneel Pandey and Sourabh Manuja tell us that a recent discussion paper, Plastic Waste Management: Turning Challenges into Opportunities, published by TERI brings forth a few recommendations to turn plastic waste management challenges into opportunities. lastics not only are enduring, tonnes of plastics in 2018–19 (PlastIndia those uneconomical for collection
The Secretive Lives of the Wild Cats of India
Did you know that living in the shadow of their famous and iconic larger relatives, there are 10 small and secretive wild cats in India? Sandesh Kadur, a National Geographic Fellow and BAFTA award-winning cameraman, has carefully documented them on film, for National Geographic Wild and for us to enjoy. Dr Marianne Furtado de Nazareth tells us about his vivid experiences in this endeavour.
Ways to Reduce Environmental Toxins at Home - To Lead a Healthy Life
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Turning Waste Plastic into 'Ecobricks'
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Constitution Salvages Environment - State Ensures All-round Development
In this article, Gajanan Khergamker says apart from ensuring that the law on environment is enforced equitably across India, the State has to provide the perfect platform to balance development and environment. He cites different examples to make his point clear.
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Farmers Shift to Climate-resilient Crop - With Rising Cyclones in Tamil Nadu
In the recent past, the Bay of Bengal has witnessed frequent cyclones. In 2011, when Cyclone Thane struck the coasts of Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu, many farmers looked for a crop that could withstand climatic fluctuations. Sharada Balasubramanian says vetiver (Chrysopogon zizanioides)—a hardy grass—was found to be a suitable alternative to cashew and casuarina, which were often getting toppled by cyclone. Farmers found this not just climate-resilient, but also profitable from an income perspective.
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Is India Tsunami Ready? - Present And The Future
India is recognized as a tsunami service provider for the Indian Ocean region by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). IOC is a global body supporting global ocean science and services. In August 2020, the IOC recognized two coastal villages of Odisha as 'Tsunami Ready' for their tsunami preparedness. The country has a well-equipped tsunami early warning system in place since 2007, but what is it more that India needs to be fully tsunami ready? The Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) in Hyderabad—an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India—has been providing ocean information and advisory services to the country for nearly two decades now. This includes issuing warnings and alerts about tsunamis, high waves, swells, storm-surges, and other ocean-related phenomena through sustained ocean observations and continuous improvements through research. In an interview with Dr T Srinivasa Kumar, Director, INCOIS, we understand the present status of tsunami readiness in India and what must be done by the country to be ready to combat dangers from impending tsunamis in the future.
YOGA & PEACE
DEEPAK CHOPRA speaks with DAAJI about the role Yoga has to play in bringing about world peace. This is an excerpt from their conversation broadcast on International Day of Peace, September 21, 2020. That documentary is available at https://heartfulness.org/en/international-day-of-peace/.
Create the habit of meditation
CHIRAG KULKARNI, Co-Founder and CMO of Medly Pharmacies in the USA, speaks with RISHIKA SHARMA about creating a regular meditation practice, so as to make it a habit. He also shares how meditation has benefited both his personal and professional life.
LiDAR MAPPING A GOLD MINE
When Consolidated Gold Mine in Dahlonega, Georgia, wanted to open more of its areas to public tours, they asked Inspired Intelligence, a family owned and operated drone business in Buford, Georgia, to help. Inspired Intelligence CEO and founder Nir Pe’er explained, “Besides drone technology, we also used new, amazing cutting-edge technology called LiDAR.
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Indian Americans rarely stop to ask why our entrance into American society has been so rapid—or to consider what we have in common with other nonwhite Americans.
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