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Trump Just Replaced His Campaign Manager As He Trails Biden By 15 Points - vice

Trump Just Replaced His Campaign Manager As He Trails Biden By 15 Points

Brad Parscale is out, with just over 100 days until election day.
vice - 1 hour ago
Iceland invites visitors to SCREAM to blow off lockdown steam in bizarre tourism campaign (VIDEO) - rt

Iceland invites visitors to SCREAM to blow off lockdown steam in bizarre tourism campaign (VIDEO)

Despite escaping the coronavirus pandemic largely unscathed, Iceland has decided to open its pristine landscapes up to those suffering under lockdown elsewhere in the world, inviting them to ‘let it out’ with a piercing scream.
rt - 1 hour ago
‘We’re just a pile of misery’: Victims of Germany’s child molesting ‘experiment’ tell RT of their nightmare that lives on - rt

‘We’re just a pile of misery’: Victims of Germany’s child molesting ‘experiment’ tell RT of their nightmare that lives on

Decades ago, they fought for survival every single day – now they have to motivate themselves to live. RT listened to heartbreaking memories of two German men placed in the foster care of a known pedophile by Berlin authorities.
rt - 2 hours ago
Danish ice cream maker to rebrand ‘Eskimo’ desserts over RACISM concerns - rt

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rt - 3 hours ago
Beijing claims UK has lost independence on Huawei 5G issue, warns of retaliation over tech firm’s ban - rt

Beijing claims UK has lost independence on Huawei 5G issue, warns of retaliation over tech firm’s ban

China has lashed out at Britain’s decision to exclude Huawei from developing the country’s 5G network, suggesting the move was self-defeating and would negatively affect Sino-British economic cooperation.
rt - 4 hours ago
Man, 27, charged by detectives investigating murder of Lyra Mckee - metro

Man, 27, charged by detectives investigating murder of Lyra Mckee

The man has been charged with two gun offences in relation the journalist's killing in Northern Ireland last year.
metro - 5 hours ago
Device fitted to washing machines could stop 80% of microfibres getting into the environment - metro

Device fitted to washing machines could stop 80% of microfibres getting into the environment

Considerable potential for environmental benefits
metro - 6 hours ago
Sarcastic memes rain down on Twitter after company asks for patience amid ‘security incident’ - rt

Sarcastic memes rain down on Twitter after company asks for patience amid ‘security incident’

Twitter’s support account has been bombarded with snarky replies after the company acknowledged that users may be experiencing issues due to a massive security breach.
rt - 6 hours ago
Instagram users report direct message problems after Twitter suffers massive security breach - rt

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rt - 8 hours ago
Alleged screenshots of internal Twitter tools suggest platform maintains user ‘blacklists’ despite denying practice for years - rt

Alleged screenshots of internal Twitter tools suggest platform maintains user ‘blacklists’ despite denying practice for years

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rt - 8 hours ago
Twitter puts verified accounts on LOCKDOWN after massive hack hits billionaires, politicians & celebrities - rt

Twitter puts verified accounts on LOCKDOWN after massive hack hits billionaires, politicians & celebrities

Twitter has frozen its verified user accounts following what may be the largest security breach in the company’s history, seeing a wave of high-profile figures swept up in an apparent bitcoin scam.
rt - 14 hours ago
Apple, Bill Gates, Kanye West and Elon Musk ‘hacked by Bitcoin scammers on Twitter’ - metro

Apple, Bill Gates, Kanye West and Elon Musk ‘hacked by Bitcoin scammers on Twitter’

Other victims include Barack Obama, Jeff Bezos and Joe Biden.
metro - 15 hours ago
Felony Charge Dropped Against Homeless Man Dragged Off Subway by NYPD and Punched - vice

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vice - 16 hours ago
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Russia to blame for landmines found in Libya, says US Africa Command in another self-serving ‘bombshell’

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Uyghurs bussed across China for forced labour in factories – new footage

The US State Department announced new sanctions today on some employees of Chinese tech companies, including Huawei, for their involvement in human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region; home to the country's persecuted Uyghur community.
channel 4 - 17 hours ago
We need to be ‘rethinking our approach to migration’ and seeing migrants as a benefit – Prof Molly Scott Cato - channel 4

We need to be ‘rethinking our approach to migration’ and seeing migrants as a benefit – Prof Molly Scott Cato

We talk to the author of the report on fertility, Christopher Murray, who is Professor of Global Health at the University of Washington, and Molly Scott Cato, Professor of Economics at Roehampton University and a former Green Party MEP.
channel 4 - 18 hours ago
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Johnson pledges independent coronavirus inquiry - channel 4

Johnson pledges independent coronavirus inquiry

Boris Johnson has promised an independent inquiry into the way the government has handled the coronavirus outbreak, saying it would be “in the future” without giving any details.
channel 4 - 18 hours ago
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quartz
What is preventing the adoption of renewable energy in rural India, and how to fix it?

What is preventing the adoption of renewable energy in rural India, and how to fix it?

quartz - 5 months ago

India has achieved nearly 100% household electrification, but the story does not end there.

In the hinterland, poor power quality continues to affect service delivery organisations in the health, education, and livelihood sectors. Where electricity is unreliable, diesel backup is used.

This gap seemingly provides a perfect business opportunity for the Renewable Energy (RE) industry, but the uptake has been poor. Why is this the case and what can help the organisations leverage RE resources to access reliable, sustainable and affordable sources of power?

There are four key challenges related to adoption of RE by service delivery organisations working in remote parts of India:

  • Policies do not always reflect needs as they are often designed by the central government in New Delhi for implementation at the state level, without taking into consideration the local context and actual requirement. Because of this disconnect, service delivery providers face entry barriers to avail government schemes. It is often impossible for the doctor or the head of a training institute to decipher these policies and write an application that is in line with the priorities identified by policymakers in New Delhi.
  • Technology is not a black box anymore, but health, education and livelihood experts face challenges in finding the right solution for their specific energy needs. For example, the loads in a hospital are variable and critical in nature, and a few seconds of unreliable power may translate into loss of life. Many of these locations endure severe weather conditions like high humidity, temperatures and wind speeds, floods and landslides. And given the voltage fluctuations and expanding grid infrastructure, the systems capacity to absorb these fluctuations and integrate with the grid in the future needs to be ensured. These concerns continue to bother the service delivery providers.
  • Adequate finance is not available for not-for-profit organisations working in the hinterlands. As they cater to the bottom of the pyramid population, they are themselves starved of resources. And given the high upfront costs of RE, there is limited capacity to make these investments. While there are a few grant-based models like corporate social responsibility (CSR), such funds are sparsely available in far-flung areas. Less than 1.5% of the total CSR funds were invested in the entire northeast and Jharkhand in financial year 2018. Government subsidies and debt is equally difficult to access for the private not-for-profit organisations.
  • Data is critical but not available. Data on energy demand, policies, technologies, vendors and funding sources are the building blocks for scaling up RE. To customise the energy solution, data on the performance of equipment has to be accessible to the vendor. Similarly, in order to generate demand and market activity in remote areas, the vendor must be able to visualise the opportunity. The doctor or the head of an institute needs to know about the vendors and solutions. And to ensure maintenance of the system they would like to tap into the locally available skilled labour pool. But such data is currently unavailable in public domain.

As a result of these challenges, areas which are lacking in electricity infrastructure are also the least attractive for RE solutions. A few measures can support the adoption of RE and improve service outcomes:

  • Policy cannot be designed in silos. The centre has to talk to the state. At the same time, the departments also must interact with each other to understand the need for integrating energy into health, education and livelihood development plans and vice versa.
  • Greater engagement is required from the vendor community to help the doctors and the teachers understand the existing technologies, their limitations and possibilities. The energy requirement must be accurately captured. As in the case of policies, vendors located away from where the need is, cannot do justice to the doctors requirement of developing an optimal backup system for the operation theatre.
  • Innovative financing models are required given the lack of resources and collateral in most of the cases. Grant based models can catalyse initial investments, but in the long term the model has to be sustainable. For this to be possible, private and public funding agencies must work together along with the support of national and international development agencies and donors.
  • Data consolidation must be undertaken, given the number of organisations working in silos to collect and analyse information. Together they can build capacity and train people to collect the data at various administrative levels and across sectors before and after implementation.

Policy, technology, finance, and data have to talk to each other in order to find solutions that are applicable in the context of the organisations working in remote areas. A one-size-fits-all approach does not work for hospitals and training institutes. And vendors, policy makers and financing agencies have to appreciate this fact as they try to contribute towards bridging the gap.

We welcome your comments at ideas.india@qz.com.

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