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February 23rd, 2015

News and analysis from different parts of India constitute an important segment of IPS News Service. New Delhi in fact hosted the IPS News Agency’s South Asian bureau several years ago. I was therefore delighted when the prestigious TERI (The Energy Research Institute) invited me to attend the 15th session of the annual Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS) from February 4 to 7. It provided an excellent opportunity to refresh some of the old and outstanding contacts and explore possibilities of reviving IPS institutional presence in a country that, according to experts, is “eclipsing China’s Economy as brightest BRIC star”

The DSDS – attended by Government leaders from around the world and more than 100 corporate heads – was a welcome occasion to introduce IPS News Service’s emphasis on sustainable development in its coverage, both in personal conversations as well as by presenting a selection of recent articles on the theme. (See attached booklet). Within minutes on the first and second day of the DSDS, we ran out of all copies of the NEXT STOP – SDGs.

It was pleasing to hear from several Indian journalists, who were introduced to me, that they highly valued the IPS News Service because “it offers in-depth and intelligent journalistic coverage” that takes into account the concerns of the countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America.

I also availed of the visit beginning February 1 to meet a long-time friend of IPS, Ashok Khosla, who is President of the ‘Development Alternatives’ (DA) Group, and his colleagues dealing with communication. DA is “the world’s first social enterprise dedicated to sustainable development”. The communication colleagues told me that DA’s green technology innovations for habitat, water, energy and waste management, which deliver basic needs and generate sustainable livelihoods, have reduced poverty and rejuvenated natural ecosystems in the most backward regions of India.

I expect some solid partnerships to emerge from interaction with TERI and the DA Group as well as encounters, among others, with veteran Indian journalists Prem Shankar Jha and Shastri Ramachandran. Jha worked with the UNDP in 1960s, was a member of the energy panel of the World Commission for Environment and Development, headed by Gro Harlem Brundtland 1985-1987, and information adviser to the Prime Minister of India in 1990.

The visit also provided an opportunity to catch up with former IPS regional editor Ranjit Devraj in Delhi, meet IPS contributor Manipadma Jena working out of Bhubaneswar in eastern India and Mainstream Weekly Editor Sumit Chakaravartty, discuss possibilities of cooperation with Tarun Basu, the Chief Editor and Director of the Indo-Asian News Service (IANS), and skype connect with another IPS contributor Malini Shankar, who is an investigative wildlife photojournalist, radio and TV producer and documentary filmmaker based in Bangalore, southern India. (IPS Director General Ramesh Jaura)

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