Economic Crisis – Ethics and the World Of Finance

Economic Crisis – Ethics and the World Of Finance

Meet on ethics and finance from today
Express News Service
First Published : 28 Aug 2009 03:39:00 AM IST
Last Updated : 28 Aug 2009 02:38:05 PM IST

ANANTAPUR: A two-day high profile conference on Ethics and the World of Finance will be held at Sri Sathya Sai University in Puttaparthi on August 28 and 29. For the conference, the university has brought together the top echelons of the world of finance and a number of reputed economists.

The conference will be inaugurated by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Friday morning at the university auditorium.

RBI Governor Duvvuri Subba Rao will deliver the keynote address.

Former RBI governor YV Reddy has also been invited to deliver a lecture.

Chairmen and chief executives of nearly 25 commercial banks, insurance companies and several regulatory bodies will participate in the conference.

The deliberations will be interactive as panel discussions. The plenary session at the end of the conference will outline a roadmap for financial institutions, regulatory authorities and other investment institutions to follow so as to ensure sustainable and stable economic growth of the country.

Four themes which are on the agenda include, the quintessence of the human values relevant to the world of finance, functioning of the financial institutions and the new complexities which have arisen in the present world of globalisation, role of the government and regulatory agencies and the need for a value oriented educational process, which produces business leaders with appropriate value orientation for tomorrow’s world.

The organisers of the conference believe that a good part of the problem is due to declining moral standards in all spheres of economic and social life.

The most appropriate place for holding such a conference is indeed Sri Sathya Sai University, which lays primary emphasis on inculcation of human values without compromising on excellence in academic pursuit. The university has, over a short period of its existence, become a role model for other varsities by effectively integrating the two objectives of education, inculcation of values and enhancement of capabilities.

The unique educational experiment started by Sri Sathya Sai Baba as part of His Divine Mission has indeed proved to be a great success, according to Viswanath Pandit, Vice-Chancellor of Sri Sathya Sai University.

Express Buzz Reference

Global crisis led to breakdown of trust in fin system: RBI
Press Trust of India / Puttaparthi /ap August 28, 2009, 17:39 IST

Reserve Bank Governor D Subbarao today said the ongoing global crisis has resulted in a massive breakdown of trust in the financial system and that the study of economics could lose its value base.

“What the crisis has done is to cause a massive breakdown of trust: trust in the financial system, in bankers, in business, business leaders, investment advisers, credit rating agencies, politicians, media and in globalisation,” he said at a conference on ‘Ethics and the World of Finance’ here.

Saying that current financial crisis has called into question the ethical foundation of the financial world, the Governor at Sri Sathya Sai University said the crisis has exposed an issue of moral hazard in the banking system.

“…Something that has come to be called privatisation of profit and socialisation of costs,” he said.

The governments can hardly afford to have large institutions fail as they would be bailed out at tax payers expense, he added.

The ‘too big to fail’ syndrome enables financial institutions to take risks a soap maker cannot take, he said.

The crisis, he said, has triggered a soul searching debate on whether the malaise in the financial sector could be a result of the flaws in the direction that economics, as an academic discipline, has taken over the years.

“I have raised the issue of economics, as an academic discipline, losing its value base, and conjectured if that could be at the root of the malaise in the financial sector,” he said. Subbarao said the ethical content of economics got eroded over the centuries as economics tried to move from being a value based social science to a value free exact science.

“The mathematical abstractions got carried too far and in the process economics lost its link with real life situations that it was expected to study and analyse,” he said.

Though there is no evidence to show that people in the financial sector are inherently less ethical, given the larger temptation and more opportunities there could be greater incidence of unethical behaviour in the sector, he said.

“Banks and financial institutions have a greater responsibility of being conscious of the obligation they have of not jeopardizing the larger public interest,” he said.

Further, quoting economist John Stuart Mill, he said that “if we make men honest, good and decent, then they will make themselves honest, good and decent engineers, doctors and teachers, and may I add, financial sector professionals.”

Business Standard Reference

Water Education For African Cities

Sathya Sai Baba And Water Eduation

Sathya Sai Baba And Water Education

Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s Philosophy and Methodology of Education with a Focus on Water Education for African Cities
by Victor Krishna Kanu

IN THE RECENTLY PUBLISHED book “Water – the Elixir of Life”, documenting many drinking water projects of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba during the last decade, we read:

“Next to air, water is the element most essential to sustain human life. It is therefore no wonder that in ancient times, people in all societies revered water as a wonderful gift of God. Almost all major religions have an important place for water in their rituals; these involve cleansing, blessing, ablutions of various kinds and offerings accompanied by the pouring of water.”

Water as a Basic Element
According to the story of creation in the Bible (Genesis 1: V1-2), we are told: “In the beginning God created heaven and earth ….. the earth was without form ……. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters”. This shows the part played by water in the beginning and sustenance of life as perceived by Bible believers.

Truly, water is sacred and must be treated as such by all its users. Yet, there are billions of people on this planet to whom good drinking water is not available or accessible.

Sri Sathya Sai Water Supply Project India
Responding to the dire needs of the people of the scarcity affected regions of Andhra Pradesh, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba declared in March 1995 that He was going to provide drinking water to the villagers who had been the victims of acute drinking water shortages for more than a century. Sri Sathya Sai Water Supply Project was thus started which has provided water to millions of villagers of Anantapur, Medak, Mahboobnagar, East Godavari and West Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh during the last 10 years. It has also met the acute drinking water shortage of the city of Chennai in Tamil Nadu. All this was possible through the unlimited love and grace of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba to all mankind. As He Himself says: “I am always ready to help you and serve you. You may belong to any village or any district ……… I do not have any feelings of difference – religious, regional or national. I do not go by the position of the people or the place to which they belong. All are the same to Me and I serve all equally”. Bhagavan’s example of His concern for the supply of water is being replicated by many countries of the world.

Water in African Cities Project
There exist many dissimilarities in African countries in terms of size, water resources, water management styles, economic differentials, social and environmental norms related to water, etc. Yet their national goals and objectives are basically similar. They all have, as their main goal, the provision of adequate cost- effective and good water supply for all (the economic and social dimensions of water). In cognizance of the fact that these goals cannot be achieved in isolation, these countries have, as complementary goals, the maintenance of a good environment, avoidance of water wastage and pollution, prevention of vandalism and illegal connections; discouraging late or non- payment of water bills, non-tampering of water meters, prevention of water riots and water wars, eradication of corruption and enhancement of adequate sanitation and better hygiene practices through technical and regulatory measures. In pursuit of their goals and objectives, the African cities have been using different strategies as leverages towards the realisation of their national goals. Overall, these strategies have not produced the desired results of reaching national goals and objectives. This is because of the absence of second tower that lays emphasis on the transformation of attitudes and behavioural patterns of water users and providers. UN-HABITAT have for a long time been searching for a tool or mechanism that will enrich and strengthen Water Education strategies in Africa.

Human Values Approach to Water Education in Africa
The introduction of the water education initiative was preceded by an Expert Group Meeting (EGM) convened by UN-HABITAT in collaboration with United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Swedish International Water Institute (SIWI) in Johannesburg, South Africa from 30th April to 2nd May 2001. The meeting brought together international and regional experts on education, curriculum development, urban development, water resources management and NGOs active in water education. The objectives of the meeting were to share information on the ongoing water problem in Africa, develop a broad consensus among all stakeholders with regards to the most effective strategy for introducing Water Education in-African cities, agree on sharing of responsibility for project implementation by different partners and develop an action plan for the project implementation.

An important outcome of the Expert Group Meeting was the consensus acceptance of the paper presented by the Director of the African Institute of Sathya Sai Education (TAISSE) with the title “Water Education: A Human Values Approach” which was, in fact, a reproduction of Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s philosophy and methodology of Human Values Education in its pristine form. The recommendation arising therefrom was the pursuance of a Human Values Approach to introducing Water Education for African children and communities.
Understanding Water Education

What is Water Education? From the point of view of the Human Values approach, Water Education is not just about water literacy (knowledge of the science of water, types, sources, uses, treatment, management and its associated problems, etc). These are, of course, important tangibles. However, Water Education is also about intangible things that are equally important. These include people’s perceptions of water, the level of their consciousness towards water usage, awareness of their civic responsibilities towards water, cultural beliefs and practices in relation to water. In short, it is about Human Values – about the country’s sense of duty, the obligations members have to each other, to the use of water itself and to future generations.

A country’s sense of duty ought to be strengthened through Human Values Education towards the management of water and other resources which took billions of years to develop and yet, which would be diminished or exhausted within a relatively short period of time.

There is, thus, a compelling need for the introduction of Human Values in Water Education as a complimentary to the existing technical and regulatory measures in water demand management. In this manner, Water Education will stand firmly on the twin towers of water literacy and Human Values – their understanding, commitment and practice.

The Expert Group noted that Water Education should aim at promoting a better understanding of water as a key social, economic and environmental resource and should facilitate the emergence of a new water management ethic on the continent. It is observed that the introduction and implementation of Value- based Water Education (VBWE) through formal, non-formal and informal channels of learning, especially through the use of the curriculum is a promising strategy to bring about a positive and lasting change in attitude and behaviour towards water at all levels of society.

Value-based Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Education (VBWSHE)
Having been inspired by the successful implementation of Bhagavan’s Values Education programme at the African Institute of Sathya Sai Education (TAISSE), Ndola, Zambia, many countries in Africa today are involved in Value-based Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Education (VBWSHE) programmes.

In 2002, TAISSE was contracted for two years by UN-HABITAT to implement the first phase of Value- based Water Education (VBWE) in six African counties. By the grace of Bhagavan, this was successfully completed in 2004. Impressed with the effectiveness of the values programme in the six African countries, the UN-HABITAT again asked TAISSE in 2005 to implement the second phase of the Value-based Water Education programme to include Sanitation and Hygiene Education, known as Value-based Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Education (VBWSHE) in twelve African countries. This Cooperation Agreement will end in 2007. This is indeed a major contribution of Bhagavan’s education programme, which is essentially philanthropic in its nature, to the upliftment of the African continent.

Sri Sathya Sai Drinking Water Project Zambia
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s water projects in India have inspired Sai Education Trust (SET) of Zambia to follow Sathya Sai Baba’s example in the provision of drinking water to the poor. In a small way, the Trust, in May 2005, embarked on the task of providing free clean drinking water to disadvantaged townships surrounding Sri Sathya Sai School, Ndola, Zambia. Ten bore-holes ranging between 60 and 97 metres deep with submersible and hand pumps were drilled in five townships where people had been greatly disadvantaged for centuries past in terms of good drinking water. The sprouting out of water and the simultaneous response of many children as expressed in their shouting and clapping was a moving experience.

There is no doubt that Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba will forever remain a powerful role model in the provision of water to the less-privileged people of the world.

Sourced: Sanathana Sarathi pgs 344 to 347 – November 2005

Himachal Governor Stressed Upon Value Based Education

Himachal Governor Stressed Upon Value Based Education
May 10th, 2009 at 7:50 pm | By NVO Bureau

Shimla: Smt. Prabha Rau, Governor Himachal Pradesh stressed upon the need for value based education in schools for overall development of the students. She was presiding over the ‘Eswaramma Day’ celebration at Sri Sathya Sai Educational Center, Anand Vilas, Pujarli near Shimla today.

Smt. Rau said that education without value of sanskaras has no meaning and added that parents and teachers should educate children in right perspective so that they could become quality citizens of India.

Governor lauded the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organization for providing education with emphasis on moral and ethical values, development of mental and physical faculties, nurturing character building and all around development of children.

The Governor said that the children are needed to give environmental education so as to prepare them for facing changing environmental scenario. She stressed upon incorporating environment studies in school curricula’s and said that she is happy to learn that Sri Sathya Sai Sewa organization are providing acquacare facilities to people in different parts of the country and has actively participated and aided people during natural calamities.

Smt. Rau facilitated the parents who selected this school for education of their children and congratulated the students for performing fascinating cultural programme depicting aims and objectives of the school. The knowledge empowerment played a great role in nation building and students could contribute significantly in nation building activities, she added.

On the occasion the Governor also gave away prizes to the students of the school.

Earlier, Governor inaugurated the function by lighting a lamp.

Krishan Singh, Principal, Sri Satya Sai Seva School, Pujarli presented the report.

Dr. Neeta Khanna, National Deputy Education Coordinator, Sri Sathya Sai Sewa Organization welcomed the Governor.

A Sarva Dharam Bhajan and colourful cultural programme was also organized on the occasion by the school children.

NVO Bureau Reference

Walk For Values USA begins in Plano

Walk For Values USA begins in Plano
By Kim Nguyen, Staff Writer
(Created: Tuesday, May 5, 2009 3:01 PM CDT)

Mayor Pat Evans will be on hand to kick off the first annual Walk For Values USA in Plano for the Dallas region Saturday morning.

Beginning and ending in Haggard Park in Downtown Plano, Walk for Values USA hopes to bring awareness to the universal human values of truth, right conduct, peace, love and non-violence. The event is unique because unlike other walks, it is not a fundraiser, protest, rally, or demonstration. Instead, it seeks simply to raise awareness, and it is open to the public free of charge.

“We are essentially walking to bring awareness to the five universal human values: peace, love, truth, right conduct and non-violence,” said Srinivas Somisetty, event coordinator.

Based off the teachings of Sathya Sai Baba, a highly revered spiritual leader in India, habitually practicing at least one of the five values has a positive effect on humanity. Somisetty used the current economic recession as an example of the negative effects of not practicing the five values.

“We’re all partly responsible for the economy because of our greed,” he said. “Violence, greed and hatred are widespread in our society. There is a lack of these human values and it shouldn’t be like that.”

Participants of Walk for Values USA believe that these human values — peace, love, truth, right conduct and non-violence — are worth walking for and hope to help raise the universal consciousness and awareness about the importance of practicing them in our daily lives. They have also pledged to “adopt a value” that they will practice themselves, to help bring about this awareness. Participants will carry signs and banners with the messages of truth, right conduct, peace, love and nonviolence.

“We’re not fundraising, not enrolling anyone into a church or faith and we’re not soliciting anything,” Somisetty said. “Our pure intent is to bring awareness to these values that are fundamental to humanity and are common across all faiths, religions and cultures.”

Somisetty said about 550 people are registered to participate in Saturday’s, but the success is not tangible.

“Even with just one participant attending, we’ll call it a success,” he said. “Because when they begin practicing one or all of the values habitually, other people will see and mimic, starting a chain reaction to spread the values across the universe.”

Registration for Walk for Values USA will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, followed by an opening ceremony with talks by Patrick Price, pastor at Community Unitarian Universalist Church, Plano; AnilKumar Kamaraju, professor of BioSciences at Sri Sathya Sai University in Puttaparthy, India; and Mayor Pat Evans. Evans will launch Walk For Values at 10 a.m. The Walk will end at Haggard Park at noon with a closing ceremony.

Star Community News Reference

Children To Lead Walk For Values In Queen St

Otara Sathya Sai Preschool

Otara Sathya Sai Preschool

Children To Lead ‘Walk For Values’ In Queen St
4:00AM Friday Mar 20, 2009
By Simon Collins

The Sathya Sai preschool in Otara is free. Otara preschoolers will get a taste of downtown Auckland tomorrow when they lead New Zealand’s first “walk for values” up Queen St.

The mostly Pacific Island and Maori children attend New Zealand’s only preschool run by the Institute of Sathya Sai Education founded by an 82-year-old Indian guru, Sathya Sai Baba.

Sai Baba followers in Canada held the world’s first “walk for values” in 2003 in response to gang violence.

Since then walks have become annual events in Canada, the US and Australia, and the movement’s 1500 followers in this country hope the Queen St walk will help to spread their message of love and peace.

“If you look around you from broken families to family violence to the statistics that show our alcohol and drug abuse, it’s very apparent that our society does need to go back to the values that we essentially are,” said spokesman Manoj Nathoo.

“In promoting the walk, we have asked people who have shown interest to undertake to practise a certain value. If you pick love, we hope that from the time you register to the time you walk you will make a deliberate effort to be more loving and caring.”

New Zealand Herald Reference

The Right Values

The Right Values

HUMAN values have changed over time, said Inter-Varsity Human Values Drama Competition (HVDC) organising chairman Shree Ganeis.

The competition, organised by the Sathya Sai Baba Central Council of Malaysia, was recently held at Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur. It was the first of a series of events based on the theme Are U Valuable?, targeting students in higher educational institutions.

“The drama competition is only one of a series of events. What we want to do is to organise more activities that will emphasise the multiracial concept,” said Ganeis.

Thus, a criteria for the competition was that participating teams had to comprise members from different races besides demonstrating good human values.

The three institutions that took part were Taylor’s College School of Hospitality and Tourism (TCHT), Binary University College (Binary) and Universiti Teknologi Petronas.

The students took home trophies, as well as MPH and Jaya Jusco vouchers totalling RM4,750, sponsored by DiGi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd.

The first prize winners, Universiti Teknologi Petronas, received RM2,500 worth of vouchers while TCHT bagged the second prize and took home vouchers worth RM1,500.

Binary, which came in third, won RM750 in vouchers.

The students were judged on their acting skills as well as the values they promoted in the play.

Binary put up a play about a boy who left home to study overseas, who did not realise how much his parents loved him until it was too late.

“The play is inspired by the fact that we are students staying in hostels and don’t get to see our parents often,” said Binary’s team director, Melissa Wane, 22.

“Parents play an important role but often times, the children do not realise this,” Melissa added.

“I have written six plays in the past but this is the first time I am writing a story based on human values,” said TCHT’s play director who wants to be known only as Sim.

Sim’s play revolved round a traditional Chinese family and touched on issues such as the importance of sons in a Chinese family and sentiments about inter-racial marriages.

The competition started with a performance by the Sathya Sai Baba Seputeh choir team, followed by a performance by Fallen Leaves, a theatrical production written and performed by people recovering from various addictions, including some living with HIV.

Ganeis said that the Sathya Sai Baba Council has plans for more events in the near future, such as seminars on career and time management, mural painting, and even campaigns promoting human values on campuses. — BY ALYCIA LIM


Sathya Sai Human Values Debate

Human Values

Sathya Sai Human Values Debate
The Star Online
Sunday August 24, 2008

THE Sathya Sai Baba Centres of Perak recently organised the ninth annual Sathya Sai Human Values Debate.

The debates, which aimed to promote good values amongst youths, were conducted in the English Language and followed the Austral-Asian format.

They were open to universities, colleges and sixth form students in Perak between the ages of 17 and 25.

This year’s programme was one with a difference. Firstly, all arguments had to be supported by sound statements of human values. Secondly, all participants including teacher advisors, were required to do community service prior to the debate.

The service project was carried out at the Batu Gajah Handicapped Children’s home. Participants carried out gotong royong activities including cleaning the home and compound, washing cooking utensils, and bathing and dressing the inmates.

The aim was to enhance awareness on the importance of service to the less fortunate.

Seven teams from institutions in and around Ipoh took part in the debates which focused on thought-provoking topics relevant to the students’ lives. The participating institutions were Olympia College, Ipoh; SMK St Michael’s, Ipoh; Institut Perguruan Ipoh, Hulu Kinta; SMJK Shing Chung, Sungei Siput; SMK Anderson; SMK Methodist ACS; and SMK Sultan Yussuf, Batu Gajah.

The first preliminary round, held at Olympia College, saw students debating on the topic “Juveniles should be charged as adults for violent crimes committed”.

The topic for the second preliminary round was “It is morally wrong to place our parents in care centres”, while the semi-finals saw students arguing that “Poverty in the third world is the fault of the first world”.

The grand finals pitched SMK Methodist ACS, Ipoh, against Institute Perguruan Ipoh on the topic “Global warming is avoidable”. Both teams were very vocal.

Among the 300 people present was Perak State Education Department deputy director Mohd Yasin Mohamod, who gave away the prizes.

The opposing team from Institute Perguruan Ipoh — comprising Wee Vee Vien, Charlene Anak Charles Banyi, Shoba Andiappan and Nik Khairina Balqis Nik Mohd Asri — won the day and walked away with RM600 and the Dr P. Palani Velu challenge shield.


Education In Human Values

Education In Human Values