Asit K Biswas

Asit K Biswas
University of Glasgow | UofG · School of Engineering

Ph.D, D.Sc, D.Tech.

About

867
Publications
186,532
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6,155
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2020 - present
University of Glasgow
Position
  • Professor
January 2012 - December 2019
National University of Singapore
Position
  • Professor
Description
  • Current research interest: improving water policies and governance practices, institutional and policy environment necessary to coordinate food, water, energy and environment policies, corporate social responsibilities of major multinational corporations.

Publications

Publications (867)
Article
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Singapur está utilizando la digitalización para gestionar su suministro de agua urbano. La Agencia Nacional del Agua de Singapur (PUB) es responsable de garantizar el suministro de agua de una manera sostenible y eficiente, la alta variabilidad de las precipitaciones, que dificulta la previsión, tiene implicaciones más amplias, como en la gestión d...
Article
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Cingapura está usando a digitalização para gerenciar seu abastecimento de água urbano. A Agência Nacional de Águas de Cingapura (PUB), é responsável por garantir um abastecimento de água sustentável e eficiente em Cingapura, a alta variabilidade das chuvas - dificultando a previsão - tem implicações mais amplas, como no gerenciamento de inundações....
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Singapore sta usando la digitalizzazione per gestire la sua fornitura d'acqua urbana. La National Water Agency (PUB) di Singapore è responsabile di garantire un approvvigionamento idrico sostenibile ed efficiente a Singapore, l'elevata variabilità delle precipitazioni - che rende difficile la previsione - ha implicazioni più ampie, come nella gesti...
Article
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Singapur nutzt die Digitalisierung, um seine städtische Wasserversorgung zu managen. Singapurs National Water Agency (PUB) ist für die Sicherstellung einer nachhaltigen und effizienten Wasserversorgung in Singapur verantwortlich. Die hohe Variabilität der Niederschläge – die eine Vorhersage erschweren – hat weitreichendere Auswirkungen, beispielswe...
Article
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Singapour utilise la numérisation pour gérer son approvisionnement en eau en milieu urbain. L'Agence nationale de l'eau de Singapour (PUB) est chargée d'assurer un approvisionnement en eau durable et efficace à Singapour, la forte variabilité des précipitations - ce qui rend difficile la prévision - a des implications plus larges, comme dans la ges...
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Singapore is using digitalisation to manage its urban water supply. Singapore’s National Water Agency (PUB), is responsible for ensuring a sustainable and efficient water supply in Singapore, the high variability of rainfall - making it difficult to forecast - has wider implications, such as in flood management. PUB has managed this challenge by tu...
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From solar farms to carbon capture, PUB (Singapore's National Water Agency) is looking at all ways and means to meet rising demand for water while keeping down carbon emissions. To meet its net-zero carbon goals, PUB has formulated a three-pronged strategy to replace carbon, reduce carbon and remove carbon. It plans to use more renewable energy in...
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World Water Day, which falls on March 22, is an occasion to reflect on how we manage this vital resource amid the uncertainties of climate change. PUB is tackling the challenge with an array of digital approaches, from radar rainfall monitoring to robotic swans.
Conference Paper
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Simply speaking, ethics are a set of moral principles that steer overall societal behaviour. They guide any specific society’s beliefs as to what could be considered right or wrong, or what is just or unjust. They, thus, affect the individual as well as societal behaviour. From a historical and global context, ethical values are neither constant ov...
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Water security and climate change are only two of the major problems humankind is facing at present, and they will continue to be so for decades to come. However, important as they are, there are many other critical problems the world will have to confront for the rest of the 21st century. Most of these problems are now known, but there may be some...
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India’s water management has been on an unsustainable path for centuries. Its record on wetlands management has been even worse. Over the past 500 years, India’s water management practices have improved slowly and at best incrementally, even though its water demands have grown exponentially. Not surprisingly, India’s water situation has deteriorate...
Chapter
Water security and climate change are only two of the major long-term problems the world is facing at present. Increasing population, urbanisation and demands for a better quality of life all over the world mean more food, energy and other resources will be necessary in the future. Increasing food and energy supplies will require more efficient wat...
Book
This book highlights the likely impacts of climate change in terms of global and national water securities, how different countries are attempting to address these complex problems and to what extent they are likely to succeed. A major global concern at present, especially after the social and economic havoc that has been caused by COVID-19 in only...
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100 years ago, China was ravaged by imperial mismanagement, foreign colonialism and civil wars. Its 400 million people lived in poverty. In July 1921, 13 disillusioned people met secretly in Shanghai’s French concession and Communist Party of China was born. Mao Zedong became the leader of this fledgling Party. In about three decades, the Party was...
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COP26 will start in Glasgow, 31 October to 12 November 2021. The event will bring together governments to accelerate actions to achieve the goals that were unanimously agreed to in the Paris Agreement during COP21, in 2015. This Agreement was a momentous event during which all the governments of the world agreed to work together so that global warm...
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Globally, extreme weather events are becoming more frequent due to a warming planet which is changing climates. While scientifically it is still not possible to say if a specific climatic event was intensified by global warming, and, if so, by how much, the overall trajectory of available scientific evidence during the last two decades is becoming...
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The societal roles that hydropower and dams can play, including mitigation and adaptation to climate change, are neither fully appreciated nor understood in most countries. These have been a serious bone of contention between pro- and anti-dam lobbies since mid-1980s. During the post-2010 period, discussions on the benefits and costs of large dams...
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China has proven all the doomsayers wrong. It has not slid into stagnation like Japan or the Republic of Korea, as the doomsayers had predicted, because of two key factors.
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The future of water and wastewater management was an important issue of discussion during the 2021 Singapore International Water Week (SIWW). Within a short period of 12 years, SIWW has become the premier event globally where participants learn about the first-in-class practices developed in different parts of the world on different aspects of urba...
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The 1920s were not a good time for China. Its 400 million people mainly lived in rural areas, mired in poverty. The government of the day couldn’t do much to improve the lives of the Chinese people. The Chinese people faced poverty and famine. The reform and opening-up initiated by Deng Xiaoping in the late 1970s totally changed the economic and so...
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Covid-19 has resulted in loss of life and livelihoods while deepening political fault lines and exposing governance shortcomings. Emerging from the economic upheaval of the pandemic will be the next great policy challenge. Industries like tourism and education are among those affected most by the crisis.
Article
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Despite contributing a tiny fraction of global emissions, the Singaporean Government’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions is an example that large emitters should follow, Asit K Biswas and Peter Joo Hee Ng write.
Article
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‘Boom and bust’ rainfall is one challenge as weather patterns change. The other is how to produce more potable water through processes such as desalination without raising carbon emissions. Too much, too little, and never quite enough – that sums up Singapore’s water challenge now compounded by climate change. As we mark World Environment Day toda...
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Chinese President Xi Jinping took the world by surprise by declaring that China will “aim to have CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060”. To achieve these objectives, China will pursue “more vigorous policies and measures”.
Article
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The pandemic has seriously disrupted global plans to achieve SDG targets because of unexpected and very high economic, social and health costs. All governments had to borrow heavily and divert focus to counter the pandemic’s immediate adverse impacts, leaving limited resources and efforts towards achievement of SDGs.
Article
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An important reason as to why water is not a priority item in the political agenda of any country for an appropriate length of time is because the way the water profession has framed its discussion. It is all about issues like supply and demand, efficiency of use, good planning and management, risks and uncertainties, etc. Policymakers have very li...
Article
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Within a span of 40 years, China has lifted about 800 million people out of absolute poverty and become the second-largest economy in the world. In 1980 China’s per capita GDP was $194.80-10 percent of Brazil ($1,947.28) and 73 percent of India ($266.58). But thanks to years of good economic management and rapid growth, its per capita GDP increased...
Article
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India’s water management has been on an unsustainable path for decades. This has ensured that not enough water of appropriate qualities is available not only for basic human needs like drinking, cooking and proper personal hygiene but also for industrial, commercial, agricultural and environmental purposes. There is not a single Indian urban centre...
Chapter
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While the importance of water for human and ecosystem survival has been known for thousands of years, water has not been on the international political agenda until around the mid-1970s. In 1977, during the United Nations Water Conference, held at a very high decision-making level, it firmly entered the global political agenda for the first time. T...
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A comparison of Glasgow and Singapore on health services.
Chapter
This section analyses gaps in the physical, operational, financial and institutional domains of PPWSA under the status quo situation. The term “gap” in the current context, stands for what is lacking in each of the domains from the perspective of going from “what it is at present basis” to “what it should be at basis.” What it should be at basis is...
Chapter
The Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA) is responsible for supplying drinking water to Phnom Penh. It was formally established in 1959 under a Royal Decree as a state-controlled business under the direct supervision of the Phnom Penh Municipality. However, the piped drinking water supply in Phnom Penh started well before 1959. In 1895, Compag...
Chapter
Based on detailed analyses of PPWSA, PUB, National Water Agency of Singapore, and several other successful Asian water utilities carried out by the authors, a tool kit for possible consideration of the Chief Executives of water utilities in the cities of developing countries, both public and private, is proposed herewith.
Chapter
The Khmer empire was the predecessor state to modern Cambodia. Angkor was its capital city till the early fifteenth century. Phnom Penh became the royal capital for 73 years, from 1432 to 1505. However, at that time, it was known as “Chaktomuk” (Four Faces), because of its location next to the four-branched confluence of the rivers Mekong, Tonlé Sa...
Chapter
By any criteria, both the operational and financial positions of the Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority, in 1993, were untenable. It has undergone major transformation during the 1993 to 2019 period. This can be best illustrated by noting the extent to which its business expanded during the 26-year period between 1993 and 2019.
Chapter
Any good and usable framework for analysis has to define its unit of analysis, identify main intended users of the framework analysis and the end objective to be achieved by it. The proposed 4-D framework of analysis is primarily meant for the managers of urban water utilities. They can use it as a management tool to understand the strengths and we...
Chapter
Phnom Penh is the capital city and is also the political and the economic centre of the Kingdom of Cambodia. Ravaged by internal conflicts and social and political turbulences for decades, Phnom Penh’s drinking water infrastructure, as well as the city’s overall management of all other services and infrastructure, were in shambles in 1993. Any sane...
Chapter
Interviews were carried out with selected residents of Phnom Penh about their views and experiences with the providers of different urban services. The sample size of twenty was small and was not randomly selected. However, the interviews provide a good insight into residents’ views on the qualities of different urban service they are currently rec...
Chapter
An important reason for the success of any organisation is the quality and the commitment of the people who work for it. The current top management team at PPWSA is a very experienced one. Most of the Deputy Director Generals have been with the institution for more than two decades.
Chapter
The Four-Domain (4-D) Framework is used in this section to analyse PPWSA “business” in its four key domains.
Book
This book analyses how a water utility from a developing country, Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority, that was totally dysfunctional, corruption-ridden and literally bankrupt in 1993, became one of the most successful water utilities of the developing world in only about 15 years. By 2010, some of the performance indicators of this public sector uti...
Article
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Any objective review of the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) will show it has been a game changer for China. The plan has promoted the transition to ecological civilization and green growth through significantly strengthened environmental policies and legislation, which have reinforced earlier efforts to control. environmental pollution, and promoted...
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A comprehensive strategy to manage floods in Singapore would comprise engineering, green and digital solutions.
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India’s National Water Policy is meant to provide a definite course of action on water management, ensuring the country’s population of nearly 1.3 billion and industries have access to adequate water for various uses. In this piece, we provide some dos and don’ts for developing a credible NWP which will have an impact on India’s water management po...
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Rheumatic heart disease is in the declining phase, with the increase of urbanization and increment of availability of healthcare facility. However still it causes a substantial number of morbidity and mortality in South Asia. The prevalence of Rheumatic Fever and Rheumatic heart disease in Bangladesh is still high, 0.6 and 0.3 per thousand populati...
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COVID-19 will unquestionably delay achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the latest global attempt to improve the quality of life of billions of people around the world by 2030. Increasing access to clean water and sanitation are among the 17 SDGs. During normal times, and even more during the present pandemic, access to clean w...
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This article describes how COVID-19 crisis will increase demand for cleaner, safer water and more reliable and effective wastewater treatment everywhere. But success is far from guaranteed, not least because the pandemic also seems to be strengthening another trend: declining trust in public institutions.
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China has made great advancement in assessing risks, by studying the changes in flood-prone areas, and identifying ways to reduce those risks. And apart from making remarkable improvements in forecasting and monitoring floods, and strengthened its warning and communication system, China has built extensive flood-control infrastructure along rivers...
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Chinese translation of the opinion piece published by the The Conversation, June 8, 2020.
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On June 6, after 56 days of zero COVID-19 infections, Beijing recorded its first new case. The man had not left Beijing or had been in contact with anyone from outside the city for 14 days. He worked at Xinfadi market, Beijing’s largest. On June 11 emergency response was upgraded to Level 2. Schools were closed again. 60% flights at Beijing Airport...
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On June 11, Beijing reported a new outbreak of novel coronavirus after 56 days of "zero new cases". A 52-year-old man surnamed Tang was the first among the new cases to test positive for the virus. He had been to Beijing's largest wholesale market, Xinfadi, which supplies about 80 percent of Beijing's vegetables, fruits and meat. After the infectio...
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Pandemi COVID-19 akan pasti menunda tercapainya Tujuan Pembangunan Berkelanjutan atau Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), yang dicanangkan oleh PBB sebagai upaya berskala global untuk meningkatkan kualitas hidup miliaran orang di seluruh dunia, yang diharapkan dapat tercapai pada tahun 2030. Peningkatan akses terhadap air bersih dan sanitasi meru...
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COVID-19’s origin has become a political issue, but this should not prevent governments from learning from China’s response to the crisis. See our views.
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How and where the novel coronavirus originated has now become a highly debated political issue. But this should not preclude learning from the good practices of countries that are emerging from the global public health crisis.
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COVID-19 crisis has focused global attention to respiratory health. In cities with chronic and severe air pollution, people may be more vulnerable to the virus. While the entire world’s attention at present is on crisis mitigation due to coronavirus, it is important not to lose sight of the health impacts of serious and chronic air pollution. Even...
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More than a decade ago, China decided to take a long hard look at the way it managed it water resources. Its aim was to put an end to the devastating floods and pollution that had long blighted the country and held back its economic development. The result has been nothing short of revolutionary. In just 15 years, China has gone from being behind t...
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China was a very different country when SARS struck in 2002. Per capita GDP was $1,148. In 2019 it was $10,123. China is better prepared to manage COVID-19. It learnt well from SARS.
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China was a very different country when SARS struck in 2002. Per capita GDP was $1,148. In 2019 it was $10,123. China is better prepared to manage COVID-19. Also Medical facilities, scientific knowledge, research and development capabilities, and the quality of medical care in China have improved significantly since 2002. It learnt well from SARS.
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Chinese corporations' ESG requirements have undergone a sea change during the past 10 years.
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South China is battling a serious flood problem, and while this can never be completely prevented, with smart policy, the effects of floods can be blunted.
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Corporate social responsibility in China was further strengthened when the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges issued guidelines for companies to disclose their CSR performance, with large companies such as CNPC, Sinopec and the State Grid publishing their CSR reports. In fact, between 2006 and 2009, Chinese companies issued nearly 1,600 such rep...
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With the number of academic journals growing endlessly and quality control failing, a new measure for whether research is ‘valuable’ is needed. Unfortunately, a change seems far from certain.
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Asian countries are not homogeneous. Laws, regulations, institutions, history, and the culture of water management vary from one Asian country to another, and often within one country. This means a process that may work in a certain part of China, India, Indonesia, or Pakistan may not work for another part of the same country. What may have worked...
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China’s CSR landscape has changed almost as much as its urban skylines over the last decade, but the next ten years should bring even faster progress. China’s people and their leaders are no longer willing to allow companies to ignore their operations’ impact on human and environmental welfare.
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Nobel Prize winner Simon Kuznets, widely credited for proposing the idea of GDP decades ago, noted GDP considers only economic production and not human well-being. Sadly, people routinely conflate the two, with troubling consequences that focus on economic outputs to the detriment of social and environmental issues. Take United States. During 2008–...
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Signs of water quality deterioration can be seen all over the world. Globally at least 4 billion people do not have access to water that they consider safe to drink. In Southasia alone this number is 1.7 billion. From Japan to United States fewer and fewer people are not drinking water from the tap. In entire developing world fewer than 10% of peop...
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The Fourth Plenary Session of the 19th Communist Party of China Central Committee is expected to study several important issues on upholding and perfecting socialism with Chinese characteristics and modernizing the national governance system and governance capability. The plenum is also likely to propose policies to ensure the CPC is governed “in a...
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In December 2018, NITI Aayog released its ‘Strategy for New India @75’ which defined clear objectives for 2022-23, with an overview of 41 distinct areas. In this document, however, the strategy for ‘water resources’ is as insipid and unrealistic as the successive National Water Policies (NWP). Effective strategic planning must satisfy three essenti...
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Managing floods and soaring temperatures in Singapore under climatic uncertainties will be a huge challenge for Singapore but the biggest impediment to tackling climate change wholeheartedly is mindsets.
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More and more countries are being forced to improve their water management practices, since they have no real alternative. Industries are realizing they can survive and thrive only by steadily improving their water efficiency. The general public is becoming aware of the value and the cost of water and of the uncertainties posed by climate change to...
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In 2018, India had 22 of the world’s 30 most polluted cities and China five, with Bangladesh and Pakistan accounting for the other three. Which shows urban air pollution is primarily an Asian problem, and the challenges are regionally widespread.
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Good, reliable and objective case studies of successful urban water systems in developing world are conspicuous by their absence. Such studies are needed to understand contextual and replicable aspects of why a few utilities have succeeded while others have failed. Most such water utilities have been beleaguered by poor governance and performance,...
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Urbanization cannot be stopped, but this does not excuse governments for failing to address air pollution. With considerable resources and capacity for nationwide policy coordination, China should be leading the way in developing a sustainable approach to urbanization that can serve as a regional and even global example.
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World Environment Day has been celebrated every year on June 5 since 1974. Its objectives are to encourage environmental awareness and promote actions for environmental protection. On this day, it is appropriate to review how major multinational companies such as Unilever and Nestle are managing water demands from manufacturing their products, and...
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With India’s working age population reaching 65% by 2030, it has to resolve its jobs crisis, the scale of which has never been seen before in human history.
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India will go to the polls between April 11 and May 19 for the election of representatives to the country’s lower house Lok Sabha. As India’s working-age population has increased, unemployment reached a 45-year high in 2017, at 6.1%. Job creation has therefore become one of the most important issues in this election. In 2014, Prime Minister Narendr...
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Today is World Water Day. It is imperative that politicians and general public do some soul searching on the impacts of poor water management for decades on the country’s future social and economic development.
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In December 1992, the UN General Assembly declared 22 March World Water Day, to be celebrated each year. With increasing populations and economic activities, many countries face water scarcity – which in turn limits their economic development. Sadly, not a single World Water Day over the past 25 years has focused on how water could be put high up o...
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Decades of improper management have ensured all countries, water scarce and abundant, are facing stress in terms of quantity and quality. During past 50 years, only Prime Minister who consistently considered water to be a national strategic issue was Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore. Due to his interest, Singapore’s water management, similar to India in 1...
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Three versions of the National Water Policy (NWP) have failed to make any perceptible difference in improving water management in India. The excuse that water is a state subject and thus central government cannot do much is not valid. States have always been a party to the formulation of the NWP. They have the freedom to modify the NWP to suit thei...
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In the 21st century, governments cannot ignore how changes in technology will affect employment and political stability. The automation of work-principally through robotics, The automation of work – principally through robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of things (IoT), collectively known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution – w...
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In 2018, there were repeated extreme events, including flash floods in countries as far away as United States, India and Japan; in the desert (in the ancient cities of Petra and Madaba in Jordan, as well as in Iraq, Kuwait and Qatar) and countries in the tropics like Malaysia and Singapore. Given the increasing intensity and frequency of storms, mo...
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ON Dec 18, 1978, the Communist Party of China (CPC) approved paramount leader Deng Xiaoping's historic plans for reform and opening up of China. It was an experiment unprecedented in human history. It ended the planned economy of the country but maintained the primacy of the CPC. It effectively started a market-oriented reform. Deng opened up China...
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China transformed itself from an inward-looking agrarian society to become the world's second-largest economy and an emerging superpower. The key to China's future sustainable development lies in continuous reform. For the 40th anniversary of China's reform, China Daily invited us to give our views on the country's transformation over this 40-year...
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This year marks the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening-up. In 1978, China’s per capita GDP was $156.40-the global average was $1,973.79. In 2017, the corresponding figures for China and the world were $8,826.99 and $10,714.47-an increase of 56.4 times and 5.43 times, respectively. In 1978, about three-quarters of Chinese people lived in...
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An iconic landmark, a symbol of the city-state’s success in water management, the Marina Barrage is a culmination of decades of visionary foresight, planning and execution, say Cecilia Tortajada and Asit K Biswas.
Article
As the Millennium Development Goals did earlier, the Sustainable Development Goals have mobilised the international community into what can be the most important, although the most challenging, development goals of the 21st century. However, a main limitation has been that the SDGs considered as a baseline the inaccurate figures that were presented...
Chapter
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Exponential increase in land area used for oil palm cultivation in Indonesia has been possible primarily through the clearance of primary and secondary forests and other vegetative growths. As the population of Indonesia has increased, there has been progressive deforestation, so that enough land could be made available for all kinds of human activ...
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As the global economy expanded significantly during the 20th century, levels of corruption increased as well. It is difficult to estimate the global magnitude and extent of corruption since these activities are carried out in secret. The World Bank estimates international bribery exceeds US$1.5 trillion annually, or 2% of global GDP and ten times m...
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Dengan berkembangnya ekonomi global secara signifikan selama abad ke-20, tingkat korupsi pun turut naik. Sayangnya, sangat sulit untuk mengestimasi besar dan luasnya korupsi secara global karena baik penyuap maupun penerima suap memiliki kepentingan pribadi untuk memastikan bahwa kegiatan ini tetap rahasia dan diam-diam. Tingkat korupsi luar biasa...
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Management of environmental resources presents challenges across jurisdictional boundaries. In the case of river basins, multiple localities must coordinate water allocation, often across social, economic, and political contexts. As such, the scale of governance systems often fails to match that of environmental challenges or the reach of their imp...
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The Belt and Road Initiative is not just a Chinese idea but a global development that creates jobs, alleviates poverty and improves living standards.

Projects

Projects (3)