Banking Business Correspondents, World’s Most Powerful Cities, Trade mark Amendment Bill, Green Buildings & Climate Change Risk Report
Total number of Bank Branches in India is approximately 85,000. The total number of outlets of the mobile companies is 140,000. In order to extend the reach of the banking network across the country and to all sections of society Reserve Bank of India has been doing a lot. The latest in this series is to appoint ‘business correspondents’ in areas where the size and volume of transactions are too small to justify a branch.
The RBI has recently issued a notification which broadly allows banks to appoint the local kirana/medical/fair price shop as a ‘business correspondent’. The transfer of the money through these associates would be through SMS Channel. This system involves a hybrid of Mobile and banking system and is prevalent in a few African countries. However the large number of fake subscribers in mobile telephony and RBI’s Know Your Customer compliance seem to be a hurdle.
December 3, 2009: World’s Most powerful Cities survey by “citimayors.com” : Mumbai ranks 34
Mumbai ranks 34th in the list of most powerful cities in the world & is only city from India as per a recent survey by citymayors.com. This research was done in Japan for The Global Power Index 2009, assessed 35 cities from across the world based on six criteria: Economy, research and development, livability, accessibility, cultural interaction as well as ecology and natural environment. New York has topped this list.
December 4, 2009: Trade Marks (Amendment) Bill
Government of India has introduced Trade Marks (Amendment) Bill. The objective of this bill is to simplify the trade marks registration procedure. Before we understand this we have to know what is Madrid Protocol.
- Madrid Protocol or Madrid system for the international registration of marks is an international system for facilitating the registration of trademarks in multiple jurisdictions around the world.
- It broadly provides a bundle of trademark registrations in separate jurisdictions to the trade Mark seeker.
- It is administered by the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in Geneva, Switzerland.
- Please note that It does not provide a “international registration” but provides a bundle of registrations.
- Madrid system will permit the filing, registration and maintenance of trade mark rights in more than one jurisdiction when the target jurisdiction is a party to the system.
Benefits of Madrid System:
- A person seeking global trade mark need not apply for it in several countries incurring big cost and this is the biggest benefit of this system.
Members of Madrid System:
- At present there are 84 members.
India & Madrid System and the Amendment Bill:
- India is not a member right now.
- At present, anyone seeking registration of a trade mark in different countries, has to make separate applications in different languages and also pay different fees.
- The present Act in India has no provision for facilitating Indian nationals as well as foreign nationals to secure simultaneous protection of their trade marks in other countries.
- India needs to access the he simple and cost-effective system for international registration of trade marks which enables nationals of member countries of Madrid System which enables a person to obtain trade marks registration within 18 months by filing a single application with one fee and one language in their country of origin.
- However, India accession to the protocol needs to make changes in the law.
- The government is seeking to include a new chapter in it for protecting international registration of trade marks and for this this Trade Marks (Amendment) Bill has been introduced.
- Besides, the bill also proposes to remove the discretion of the Registrar to extend the time for filing notice of opposition. It provides for a uniform time of four months in all cases for the trade marks.
December 5, 2009: Green Building Code
The green building code is also known as energy conservation building code. It is a mandatory code for buildings finalised by BEE (Bureau of Energy Efficiency) two years ago , however voluntary at this time. 8 states Delhi , Haryana, Maharashtra , Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal , Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh have become to amend their legislation so that the commercial buildings coming up will be Green Buildings .
Delhi was the first state to make mandatory for all new government buildings to be ECBC-compliant.
December 7, 2009: Climate Change Risk Report 2009/10: Australia Biggest CO2 emitter (per capita)
Australia spews out more carbon dioxide per capita than any other nation on Earth and is also ranked at “extreme risk” from possible future global emissions regulations. This has been revealed by Maplecroft, a UK-based risk analysis organisation that recently released its “Climate Change Risk Report 2009/10.”
According to this report Australia has overtaken the US in per capita carbon emissions and is now the most at risk among 185 countries in terms of its energy usage and carbon dioxide output. Australia now emits 20.58 tonnes of carbon dioxide per person annually, whilst the US and Canada come in at second and third place, respectively, with 19.78 tonnes and 18.81 tonnes per person. Netherlands and Saudi Arabia follow afterwards.
The report says that China and India generate just 4.5 tonnes and 1.16 tonnes of carbon pollution per person, respectively.
China is the world’s worst polluter nation with the highest overall annual emission of greenhouse gases (6,018 million tonne). However, in terms of per capita emissions it is ranked 44th in the world, emitting 4.5 tonne (per person).