Category: News Fact

Cherish Banarasi Saree


The Indian handloom and cottage industries have emerged stronger after every unwarranted crisis for years. The past has always sown seeds of hope. The Banarasi saree’s recent geographical indications (GI) status is an achievement worth mentioning.

With this the story of duplication comes under scrutiny as “the GI rights are the intellectual property rights that restrict others from marketing or processing a product in the same name.”

September saw the Banarasi silk product register as the ‘Banaras Brocades and Sarees’ under Geographical Indications (GI) Act.

According to experts “the GI status would benefit about 12 lakh people associated directly or indirectly with the handloom silk industry of the region because it would restrict the misuse of Banarasi saree brand. As per the GI certificate issued by the registrar of GI, the Banaras Brocades and Sarees fall in four classes (13-26) that include silk brocades, textile goods, silk saree, dress material and silk embroidery. The registration is for 10 years and it may be further renewed.”

It is easy to find skilled labour, but maintaining the tradition needs attention and care. Though at the policy level there is a need for protection from cheap silk and powerloom houses, the challenge to reintroduce Banarasi sarees as a brand is not anymore a dream in waiting. The sweat, blood and about eight years struggle of many weavers to restore the lost glory and grandeur of the Banarasi sarees is set to begin a new innings.

Virtual India’s Bhuvan

Bhuvan, India’s mapping application website has been launched.

Working on similar grounds as Google Earth and Wikimapia, Bhuvan is a geoportal that provides medium to high resolution satellite imagery of virtually the entire India.

When compared to the rest, this web-based 3D mapping tool, which is a product of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is said to have better zooming properties.

“This would provide a user with images having resolution up to 10 metres. The degree of resolution showcased is based on the points of interest and popularity, but most of the Indian terrain is covered up to at least 5.8 metres of resolution with the least spatial resolution being 55 metres.”

It is also said that “the user can also navigate through 3D viewing environment. One can “fly” to destinations of choice and even draw 3D objects such as placing of expressive 3D models, 3D polygons and boxes. The site also offers tools to measure horizontal, vertical and aerial distances.”

The images on the site are a combination of satellite imagery from various IRS sensors taken “sometime within the last three years during different seasons.”

But to browse the website, one has to create an account and download “the Bhuvan Plug-in”.

A few days old into the World Wide Web, Bhuvan has a long way to go. As a common man we can hope that it would be a rich and useful source in addressing very local problems including water issues and infrastructure development.

Lifestyle Change Climate

Tackling climatic change has been an ongoing process world around; but who could have imagined that the rich and the wealthy can be one of the causes?

According to a study conducted by researchers at Princeton University, rich people and their lifestyles account for a major chunk of the carbon emissions globally.

“Instead of simply considering carbon emissions on a national or per capita level, the Princeton team proposes a more granular system of climate accounting that would examine the range of individual emissions within countries. Thanks to economic growth, there are well-off people in almost every nation in the world.”

The current data says that the world average for tons of carbon dioxide emitted a year per individual is about five tons. Here, while each European produces about 10 tons a year, Americans alone produce twice that amount.

A researcher noted that most of the emissions come from lifestyles that involve airplane flights, car use and the heating and cooling of large homes. “And the study doesn’t take into account the carbon that is embedded in imports and exports in global trade. But big developing nations like China – with its rising middle class – won’t be let off the hook either.” Writes Times.

It has been estimated that in 2008, half of the world’s emissions came from just 700 million people.

Wonder, what one will do, if pleasures and comfort are taken away from life.